Urgent help low retention

taking step 1 soon and worried about retention. could someone please check my settings or offer insight on anything i should change? i use the @AnKingMed settings for super memo and am consistent with reviews. any advice would be really appreciated!


It seems that you are mostly using the AnKing recommended settings. I am using those too but I noticed your maximum interval is 365 which is a bit high in my opinion

When i first started, i set mine to 120 and started noticing that any cards that were 4 months out I started getting a ton wrong. Then i switched to 90 day max interval and that eliminated my issue. My retention was atrocious for any cards that were 4 months out.

This could also be your case but as you said you’re close to your step 1 exam.

How are you doing with Question banks? Are you getting things wrong because

  1. You don’t remember
  2. You don’t understand the content
  3. Test taking issue (stress, not enough time, etc.)

If you are doing okay and your scores are trending up then I wouldn’t worry too much. Read each card carefully, don’t do cards too fast and fly through them and answer because you remember how the sentence looks like (I was guilty of this too).

Prioritize questions as much as you can as you approach your exam! (I’m also taking it soon haha)

thank you for the in depth response! my exam is in august actually so i do have some time.

so i set it to 365 based off the anking video cause it said to trust the algorithm but i guess i should have changed it when i saw i was getting alot wrong.

but the thing is these days i am doing 400ish reviews per day so i feel like if i decrease the max interval its just gonna rack it up even more which will be unsustainable for me in the long run (as i add more cards from uworld incorrects as well when i do blocks). what do you think about switching to frs and setting it to the desired retenion rate?

also with q bank i do feel like for stuff i have completed from third party resources (sketchy pharm / micro / biochem) i do get the majority of them correct and if i get it wrong it was a testing mistake on my end because i definitely had done the card for it haha. as for the rest of uworld im using more as a learning tool (as i mentioned my technique with uworld quid add on in a previous post in this category if you could give that a read i would appreciate it). but i am getting the hang of questions. but it is scary seeing that retention when its recommended to be in the 90% range. and im scared that these cards i have rn with long intervals ill end up forgetting them as their due dates move past my test date.

also best of studying for your exam too i hope you ace it!

Same haha

You are correct in saying that it will increase your reviews (I’ve been doing 1,000 reviews a day for a while so its torture lol). You have two options

  1. Slow down slightly and try your best to fully read the card and don’t skim
  2. Like you said, switch to FSRS. I personally have not switched to FSRS since the original algorithm (SM-2) is working okay for me and I don’t want to make any changes before my exam. However, you can try it out and see how it works for you

That’s great to hear! You’re going in the right direction.

Honestly don’t worry too much about it. I used to care but I stopped looking at it. I gauge it by:

  1. Am i getting questions wrong because I am simply forgetting tons of cards causing me to get questions wrong
  2. I got the question wrong because of any other reason OTHER than the above reason

If it was mostly 1, I would be concerned (which does not seem to be the case for you). So I wouldn’t worry too much about retention

My only advice for now is to slow down a tad bit and try to read every word of the card. That might improve your retention a bit (like it has done for me in the past)

Thank you! You’ll ace it too, keep going :muscle: