How Does Smart Review Work?

Simply put, Smart Review is a tool that helps you remember what you've learned.

As you use our platform, you can add words and phrases to your Smart Review list that you find most relevant or helpful. You can add them from the end of the Lessons (throughout the Units), and from Learning Notes, Blog posts, and the Vocabulary / Expressions tabs of the Shorties, Podcasts, and Videos. You can also search for and add them from the Translator tool and the Manage Smart Review page.

There are 3 review modes: Quiz Mode (similar to the lessons in the units), Flash Cards (self-guided, English to Portuguese translation), Listen & Speak (generate and download audio reviews)

What makes it "smart"?

Smart Review uses principles of spaced repetition to make the learning process faster and more efficient. Learn more here: Smart Review: Learn European Portuguese with Spaced Repetition

How does it work?

As you do review sessions, our system keeps track of your performance.

✅ When you get one right, it will wait more time before showing you that phrase again. At first, that time interval is very short -- it will show you the phrase again very soon to help store it in your memory. When you get it right a 2nd time, it will wait even longer before adding it to your review again. And so on... The goal is that eventually you can remember each phrase even if months have passed since you last saw it, indicating that it is truly "Mastered". 

❌ When you get one wrong, it will wait less time before showing you that phrase again. That way, you get extra practice with the phrases you struggle with most.

Why does the "ready to review" number go up and down?

This is expected because reviewing is an ongoing process. You will see each phrase many times before it becomes Mastered.

After reviewing lots of new phrases, the number due for review will jump back up again very quickly, because the intervals are still short. After more consistent reviewing, the number will start to go down. However, it will never stay at 0 (unless you've fully mastered every single phrase), especially since you'll likely be adding more new phrases along the way.

The number to review is just an indication that you may want to spend more time reviewing before moving on to new Units.

How should I use Smart Review?

It depends on how you learn! The suggested plan would be to work through the Units slowly and use Smart Review regularly as you go along. Try to get the number due for review down to zero or almost zero before moving on to the next Unit. This doesn't need to be perfect, but we recommend at least checking in with yourself every few Units. Do you feel like you have a good grasp on what you've learned so far? If not, consider spending some time with Smart Review before moving on to new Units.

However, even though this is the "ideal", we realize that it won't work well for everyone. That kind of slow, steady pace can feel demotivating for people who learn better by getting a broad overview quickly, and THEN going back to review and fill in the gaps. So always do what's best for you as a learner.

Whether you do it along the way or wait until after you have a foundation, it's a good idea to review more consistently, over time, instead of doing occasional marathon sessions to try to get the number down. It's not effective to overload your brain like that! 🤯

How to deal with a large backlog of phrases

For those of you who have been learning with us for a long time, or maybe took a break for a while, you may end up with a large backlog from time to time.

Don't worry, this is normal, but we do understand the panic! It's scary, and sometimes discouraging, to see that many phrases to review. However, the number itself is not that important, as long as you're trying to use Smart Review as regularly as possible.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, take the opportunity to look through the Manage Smart Review section. You can remove phrases (so they won't show up in Smart Review) by checking them off and moving them to Mastered (if they're too easy) or Removed (if they just aren't important to you right now). Or you can change the status of phrases individually at the end of a review session. You can always search for and add phrases back later if you change your mind.

Need a "clean slate"?

If the backlog is really bugging you, you have the option to email us and request that we clear out your Smart Review. This is not reversible and all phrases will be removed.

Or, we can clear ALL of your progress. This includes the Units, Shorties, Verbs, Smart Review, everything. This is also not reversible. It will reset everything from across the whole site, as if you are a brand new member. So we don't normally recommend it unless you're really sure. That said, a lot of people find it very motivating to start from the beginning and strengthen their foundation. You tend to notice lots of details you missed the first time around. 🙂

If you email us to request we clear your progress, please specify whether you'd like to reset everything, or Smart Review only. Thanks!

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