What happens if you get an item wrong twice or more in one session?

I always assumed that a radical/kanji/vocab could only drop once per session - is that the case though?

So if a vocab comes up and I can’t remember the reading, I usually give it a few attempts without looking at the answer. Now I’m wondering, let’s say a vocab is at Enlighten and if I get it right it will burn, but I get it wrong - it drops to Guru 2. The next time it comes up (in that same session), if I get it wrong again, does it drop to Apprentice 4? Or no matter how many times I get it wrong now, it stays at Guru 2?

Thanks for any info as this could change my approach moving forward! I often just keep trying until I get it right, if it’s the case that I’m just pounding it down to Apprentice 1 I need to rethink my strategy.

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You can indeed send, for instance, a burn review item all the way back to apprentice 1 in a single session with enough errors. I forget how many. There’s a formula around somewhere.


That’s interesting. I had no idea.

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The formula is on this page:


How are the SRS stage decrement calculated? The following formula is used:

new_srs_stage = current_srs_stage - (incorrect_adjustment_count * srs_penalty_factor)

incorrect_adjustment_count is the number of incorrect times you have answered divided by two and rounded up. srs_penalty_factor is 2 if the current_srs_stage is at or above 5. Otherwise it is 1.


That’s really interesting, thanks. That also explains why it took me so long to notice. Usually I’ll get it on the second or third try, so it still would have fallen just once, but recently I’ve had a few words I just couldn’t remember. The next day it popped up again and I was surprised to see it in the lower Apprentices. I’ll keep this in mind moving forward! Probably best I just look if I don’t get it the second time.

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well…you could do that: prepare yourself so you get it right next time. but if you do this every time, it will mess up your srs. goal is to remember long term, right? if you prepare yourself for reviews higher than guru level you will only have to activate your short time memory to remember…thus missing the beauty of the srs system.
mind, i said above guru, if you can’t get it right you should obviously check your notes and learn it again.good luck

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