Fast Track or Common Words?

Which is the best path for German: Fluency Fast Track or Common Words?
My native language is a romance language.I started study German with Clozemaster. Now I am using an online course and Anki.
On Clozemaster I did the first 100 words. It is best for me to switch to Fast Track Fluency or begin to study the 500 most common words?
The default settings for review for me are totally unuseful.I need to review a word many times to learn it in German. Ho I can I set in a rational way the reviews?
In German I experience a great difficulty using Clozemaster, for Spanish is very different: I do the new Fast Track and it is easy and effective.

After reading what you wrote, definitely continue with the 500 most common words. Forget that the Fluency Fast Track exists (it has not enough repetitions).

You say you need to see a word a lot more than 4 times before you feel confident that you actually learned the word. I totally agree with you, and for me and many others it’s the same. That’s why I myself don’t really use the Fast Fluency Track, only the most common words collections.

I’m with you. Seeing a word just 4 times is certainly not enough. That’s why I think the Fast Fluency Track is not the right choice for you. Because there you would have not nearly enough repetitions, and by the time you see the word for the next time, you’d already have forgotten it again, which would be frustrating.

If you’re learning using the mobile app, you can (after answering a question) click on the clock icon and there you can decrease or increase the time you have to wait before you see the sentence again. You can also reset it so that you will see the sentence again the same day. I reset sentences all the time.

This is all quite tedious, but I’m afraid I don’t know any better way on the mobile app. Which is why I use Clozemaster only on my PC, not on my phone or tablet. There, you have much more control over when and how often you see a sentence.

Hope this helped.


I think this can be generalized to most (or all) languages: unless you’re a memory artist you need many more than four repetitions to fully “master” a word, so long as the answer isn’t obvious. My current strategy is to not allow any cloze of significance to reach “100 % mastered” until I know it with confidence, no matter how many repetitions it takes.


Thank you for the reply. My problem is that in default settings the repetitions are not enough.
I know I need many repetitions but I don’t know how to manually set the review settings
for my needs. I also like repetitions.
In other words once I mastered a word in German using Clozemaster I need to review it many times to really learn the word.
My problem is that I don’t know how properly set the review schedule.

How can I do this? I am confused with settings.

I updated my original answer with some tips. I hope it helps :slight_smile:

It helps. I thank you very much!

In addition to @davidculley 's helpful information, I can mention that I’ve tweaked the review settings to wait 90 days for the last step up to 100%; it’s surprising how many times I find that I need to restart the process after only three months. And, I often jump back from 75 to 50% as often as needed, to get the necessary number of repetitions. In my mind, that’s preferable to just changing the next-review date.

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I just want to point out that the Common Words collections typically contain multiple sentences with the same cloze, so you may be quizzed on that cloze before the next scheduled repetition of the sentence you’re looking at. However, if you feel that you are not getting enough repetitions even when you take this into account, you should follow the advice that others have presented above.


How can I jump back to 50% rather than to 0%?

Jumping back all the way to 0% is sometimes a bit too drastic for me, but I don’t know how I can jump back to other levels.

I fully agree. If I had trouble recalling the correct word, then I won’t let myself pass the test, not even with a shortened review interval.

(This will hurt my leaderboard score because next time I answer the sentence, I will make only 8 points rather than 24 or 32 points, but I use Clozemaster to actually learn the language, not to win some internet game, thus I don’t care about that.)

Short answer when playing on the web and using the keyboard:

  • Press Alt-D
  • then hit Tab 6 times
  • then press Enter

In other words, you edit the sentence (click on the “pen” icon if you prefer to use the mouse), then reset the %age complete.

You can reset to 25% with 5 Tabs, or 75% with 7 tabs, or just use Alt-D to quickly open the edit window and then use the mouse to click on your desired %age.

@morbrorper opened a request a long time ago to have an option for a gentler reset (i.e. not back to 0%) when getting an answer incorrect, but that hasn’t been progressed.

I realise that this isn’t exactly the same as what you’re asking, in that you might get an answer correct but still want to reset the %age. However, as you mention that you won’t let yourself pass a test if you have trouble recalling the correct word, then this would have allowed you to get it wrong and only move one step back rather than reset to 0%.

I don’t know whether this is something @mike has considered implementing (i.e. put in a queue of potential improvements), as there was no response in the old thread.


Thank you very much. Your explanations are very interesting and useful. I will try some of your tips.
In my opinion the app needs improvement and a clear tutorial for beginners. I enjoy using the app but I need Anki in combination to make some progress.

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I totally agree. I started with it, found too much heavy lifting, and switched to 100 most and then 500 most common–and then started to REVIEW both these once I finished the whole bundle, but spelling the answer rather than choosing from four options. Lots of repetitions. Lots more confidence as I filled in the right words. And my learning curve accelerated dramatically. The tools are all there. You just have to use them in the way that works for you.


I generally do the fast track and the frequency collections, and just don’t play new clozes in the fast track until I have caught up to that point in the frequency collection.

Remember that the scientific basis of spaced repetition is that to get things into long term memory you must remember them again at the moment you are about to forget. As in music, the silences are actually just as important as the notes. Sometimes you’ll see it right after you’ve forgotten it. That’s ok. If you are spacing repetitions so close that you have no trouble, that is defeating the purpose. You are supposed to have trouble and fail occasionally (sending the cloze back to 0%) so that you spend time only on the clozes you actually need instead of wasting time on overlearning everything. Each failure is a positive discovery that makes your learning more efficient and targeted. Doing too many reviews has a powerful multiplicative effect on the amount of unnecessary work you’re doing across thousands of clozes which will cause you to violate the pareto principle and probably limit your progress in the long term. The default settings are based more or less on the spaced repetition science available and should be appropriate for most people with little or no tweaking, but you can add plenty of nuance to your repetitions using the Hard/Normal/Easy buttons. That said, I think the review settings are well thought out and explained if you want to mess with them. You just need to spend an hour or two reading and playing with them.

Remember that since cloze ≠ word, you are going to see the same word over and over again in different contexts, which are going to reinforce eachother. Also, if I’m not mistaken, the same clozes can appear in multiple collections and will be repeated if you are playing both. Obsessing over review settings is misdirected in my view, since words repeat both in and outside of the cloze, so you are getting reinforcement in all kinds of ways that can’t be directly tracked. Even the random aspect of whether the same word shows up twice in a given review session means you might fail the first cloze and get the second one right purely because you saw it in the same session. So there is never going to be some precise ideal; just a fuzzy sense of progress over a lifetime and huge word space. You are probably better off doing other reinforcement (reading/listening to target language materials) rather than concentrating on the nuances of spaced repetition settings.

Aside: as adults we tend to think we can “solve” the learning process with techniques. In my opinion children are excellent at learning not because they have magical brain chemistry, but because they are both allowed and required to fail repeatedly over and over for years while being exposed to things they can not possibly understand, which is the true source of improvement and a state of being that adults have forgotten and avoid.


I finished both the 100 most common and 500 most common completely before moving to the "Ready for Review Section, and found I was really beginning to consolidate what I’d already done in a more grammar focused way of learning, not emphasizing single words. Thanks for your extensive explanation of how I should be doing it so as not to ‘waste my time,’ but I remain quite satisfied with my progress, as is.