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Day 14, SuperMemo Ultramarthon Finish Line

April 27, 2010

Over the past 14 days I have done a total of 7534 repetitions, with an error rate of 17%, this accounts to almost 38% of my personal collection. Been able to review this amount of material is very impressive to me, even more because like I said before the were many postponed items in this review.

In the past it’s been impossible to go trough a review, of more then 10% of previously read materials, for long term test like mid term exams, you normally get trough the outlines and personal notes and review what you think you know or not. But there’s a catch on reviewing this way. You can’t know you don’t know something, because in order to do that you  first need a reference point (memory) on your mind. This catch leads to many unrevised subjects and, consequently, many mistakes  on the tests.

I was able to do more than what I though possible, and although you loose a lot of the social demands at this rate of studying, I can’t say it was not worth, I’m feeling much comfortable with my knowledge. It’s interesting to notice that blogging about it has made the journey possible, trough compromise to non personally known people, this is some of pros of digital age, it’s funny that comprise with study buddies in the past was less effective than blogging it out. Thank you all for the support, not only for the encouragement trough comments but with the overall number of visits to the blog, yesterday we had a new record on the number of visitors. Not being some celebrity site, or gizmo’s site, I’m pretty happy and proud with the interest in this small blog.

What did the effort feel like? Its been in a really demanding task, because of the time needed and the high level cognitive demands. By yesterday night, or perhaps a couple of days before,  I have learned that really long hours of  “deliberated learning” is very exhausting, albeit  hugely rewarding.

By deliberate learning, and borrowing the basis of the concept from Dr. K.ERICSSON,  I mean the kind of learning which is done with the only goal to improve what you do not yet know, hence the kind of learning you can only get trough spaced repetitions systems.

I believe this same level of learning can be achieved with any kind of repetitions system. There are no proofs about superiority of any algorithm regarding its effectiveness (if effectiveness is measured by level of retention and not necessarily time invested if creating the knowledge base). You could personally compare this many spaced repetition algorithms, but it takes quite a lot of time to learn and study them.

The main reason I use SuperMemo is because I feel comfortable in it because it does what I need most of what I need. Expertise on any subject demands that you move out of the comfort zone to a step further, but testing out one over another algorithm, and any other type of learning tools would only make me an expert on learning software. Its not that I’ll stop doing it any time soon, I love to see what’s out there and what could help more people accomplish effective learning, what I’m explaining here is the reason it takes me a lot of time to review something. Gladly, now it takes much less to review what I have studied before.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. rmd permalink
    April 27, 2010 19:28

    Congratulations. . . .what a journey! Thank you for sharing!

  2. mndfll permalink
    April 28, 2010 23:10

    You inspired me to do a lot more repetitions over the past few days. Thanks and congrats.

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