Hard, Easy and Normal now forced on us, but oh, it gets better

When the Hard, Easy and Normal buttons were introduced for “mastered” sentences there was an option to turn them off. Which I did. With bells on, because I want my review times to be MY review times.

A couple of days ago I noticed that (a) all supposedly “mastered” questions were coming up with the Hard, Easy and Normal traffic light buttons and (b) the option to turn this off seemed to have vanished. I wasn’t worried as long as [Enter] still meant “whatever you say, boss”, and after testing out a couple of questions that seemed to be the case… except it isn’t always.

This morning I looked at my reviews and something didn’t look right, so I did a little experiment. For simplicity I set all of my review times to 1 day.

I have reviews in one of the grammar collections called Conditional. I entered the response, saw those annoying pretty multicoloured buttons, pressed [Enter], exited the question and went to Manage the collection, and searched for the question. The review date is tomorrow. So far, so good.


Another collection up for review was my custom “The World Of Work” one. I did the same test; answered the question, saw the pretty and annoying buttons, pressed Enter, and went to check the review date.

1 February. Which is NOT 1 day from now, it is double that. Not that I would normally HAVE this as 1 day from now; that was just for demonstration and it would normally be 90 days when I play this collection. However that’s not the point. If I say 90 days, I don’t want the system to declare “Oh, you don’t mean 90 days, 180 will be fine.”

So not only do we no longer have control over whether the pretty and annoying buttons appear, it seems to be random chance when it comes to what review date the [Enter] key will result in.

Could this be fixed, please?

(Yes, I know these things happen, yes, I know I shouldn’t sound annoyed, but CM is usually the “first thing I do after getting out of bed” exercise and right now I can’t risk doing any reviews at all because I have no way of knowing how far the reviews are going to be kicked down the field.)


Just to expand on this:

I was set to wondering exactly how random this could get. In the non-mathematical sense, the answer is “very”.

I played three questions out of Fluency Fast Track, still with my reviews set to 1 day to keep things simple. The first one I selected the “Hard” option, the second one the “Medium” option and the third one the “Easy” option.




So… none of the options end up as my specified review cycle of 1 day. “Easy” and “Medium” end up as exactly the same number, 2 days, or double my specified review cycle.

But “Hard”, and here you need to imagine me making the same hand gesture as Matteo in this clip, because I was, sets it to a month and a half from now. So, a sentence that you flag as “hard”, which would presumably mean that you need to practice it more, gets kicked 6 weeks from now rather than the 1 day that my settings specified (albeit only for demonstration).

Oh yes, something is broken. Really, really broken.

1 Like

Thanks for letting us know and sorry for the trouble!

In that screenshot of the Review Settings that you posted, please select the Always use 100% Mastered review interval settings - is that not working? We need to explain that better - it simply means to always use the 100% Mastered review setting (so 1 day in that screenshot) for 100% Mastered sentences, and you won’t see the Hard/Normal/Easy buttons.

The first two options will show the Hard/Normal/Easy buttons.

Where were you seeing this option previously?

So! The first time you “master” a sentence with the “Use an always increasing next review interval” option selected, it should use the 1 day interval you have set in that screenshot, but every time you answer that sentence correctly again (keeping it at 100% Mastered), it’ll use an “always increasing next review interval” - all that means is that a modified version of the SM2 algorithm is being used to determine the next review interval. With 1 day selected, the Easy and Medium next review intervals are pretty close, Easy is probably coming out to 1.3 days or so, and Medium 2 days, so in terms of dates that’s probably why they’re coming out to the same date.

Please let me know if any of the above is unclear or I’ve misunderstood anything. I think what you’ve described is indeed expected behavior for that review setting, but I may have misread, and we could certainly explain it all better. :slight_smile: Thanks again!


Hi Mike, thanks for the reply.

If there is a beetroot-faced-with-embarrassment emoticon, please imagine that it’s here.

Yes, that’s where the setting was. For some reason I had a mental blind spot about it even though it was right in my face, but in my defence it was really early in the morning, and it’s sometimes easy to lose track of where the options are. There are options in the review settings on the dashboard, there’s the dashboard settings button (which only sets the dark mode), there’s the option for appearing in the leaderboard which is in the Account page, and there are the options for pretty much anything else which are under the settings cog in individual collections even though most of those are global rather than relative to that collection. I’ve become stuck in the habit of going directly to the last of these because that’s where the overwhelming majority are.

And clearly, this one isn’t. And I should have looked more closely at the review panel.

But that said… I cannot for the life of me understand how mine changed from the “Do what I tell you” setting to the “Traffic light setting”. If I didn’t even see the thing when it was right in front of me it follows that I didn’t click the radio buttons. I’ve spent the morning looking for a hotkey that might trigger the buttons to change, but I can’t find one of those either.

Yes, I do go into that dialog regularly because I switch the 100% mastered between Never (FFT), 90 days (most personal collections), 120 days (collections which have been heavily worked over), 1 day (things that I really want to hammer) and so on.

(On which point it would be really nice if review times could be collection-specific rather than global (the review times for the 100 most common words are likely to be very different to the 1000 most common words, for example), but that’s a different conversation.)

But I NEVER touch the radio buttons at the bottom. How that changed, I cannot even begin to fathom.

Many thanks again, and apologies for the false alarm.


@LuciusVorenusX Great post! You could use :hot_face::rage:either of these perhaps. (Una barbabietola - such a fine word).

Tanti auguri.

1 Like