Nine months ago, when I had been using Clozemaster Pro for three months, I posted a review:
I want to explore what has changed and what is still the same.
In dark theme, one could briefly see the cloze word before the blank was displayed, which defeated the whole purpose of the game. This bug was fixed five months after I reported it.
Marking a word “Ignore” used to render the interface unusable for five or ten minutes, presumably while the program performed a real-time search for all instances of the word. Now the program no longer blocks the user after a word has been marked “Ignore”. This makes things much more pleasant. I might still encounter sentences with the word until the program has had time to hide all of them, but that is a much smaller inconvenience.
“Review” and “Favorites” are now split up by category. This took some getting used to, and it’s still awkward to get from one category to the next, but ultimately, I think this was a change for the better.
Mistakenly typing a nonalphanumeric character (such as a backslash or plus sign) used to immediately crash the app. This was also fixed a little while ago.
Biggest improvement yet to be made:
- Use a spaced-repetition algorithm (like the SuperMemo algorithms used by Anki and other apps) that allows you to schedule sentences farther ahead in the future if you get them right immediately. (See More repetition scheduling options? - Questions, Suggestions, Feedback - Clozemaster. ) Clozemaster uses a simpler five-level system (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% mastered), where, unless you use one of three buttons described below (“100% mastered”, “Ignore”, “Favorite”), you face the following disadvantages:
- the level depends solely on the number of times in succession that you’ve gotten the sentence right the first time you’ve encountered it in a round (a mistake drops you down to 0%, and you can only get to 25% by the end of the round)
- you cannot skip levels
- the time delay between reviews depends solely on level
This means that:
- you are guaranteed to see every sentence, no matter how well you know it, at least four times in relatively quick succession
- once a sentence reaches the 100% mastered level, you will see it for review exactly as often as any other 100% mastered sentence, regardless of the relative difficulty of the sentences for you
So no matter how long you’ve played the game, you need to plow through tons of sentences that you find easy mixed in with the ones that you want to concentrate on because you find them difficult. There are various ways to address that, but all of them have drawbacks (and are not available from the non-Pro version, I believe):
a. Use the “100% mastered” button. This is time-consuming (requiring two mouse clicks or touches without keyboard shortcuts), and a more coarse-grained tool than one might like (maybe I’d like to skip to the 75% level rather than the 100% level). It also means foregoing the points I’d get from the intermediate reviews, each of which is progressively worth twice more than the last. (Yes, if I were strictly rational, this would not be a reason in itself to go through the intermediate reviews, but it’s easy to get caught up in the “game”.) Finally, once you’ve reached the 100% level for a sentence, there’s no way to see it any more or less often than any other 100% mastered sentence.
b. Use the “Ignore” button. This has the same drawbacks as the “100% mastered” button.
c. Mark a sentence a “Favorite” if you want to concentrate it (though as others have pointed out, these tend to be the sentences that are actually our least favorite). The drawbacks are that you then assume full responsibility for managing the sentence (by removing it from the “Favorite” list), and that there is no fine-grained way to indicate how well you know the sentence.
Rather than these “hacks”, I prefer a SuperMemo-style algorithm that integrates degree of knowledge seamlessly into the spaced repetition.