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How Do the Hard, Normal, and Easy Buttons Work?
How Do the Hard, Normal, and Easy Buttons Work?
Allen W avatar
Written by Allen W
Updated over a week ago

The purpose of these buttons

These buttons are the primary function of our Spaced Repetition algorithm. That's right... "Spaced Repetition". It's probably not a term that you or anyone you know has heard before.

We employ a learning style known as Spaced Repetition, which repeatedly shows you a question until you answer it correctly. And as you repeatedly answer it correctly, you'll see it less and less. 

The purpose of Spaced Repetition is to show you what you don't know more often, and what you do know less often. This allows you to efficiently focus your studies more on what you need to improve on. These buttons are the variables that give the system the input it needs to predict when to show you

How these buttons work

After you answer a question, you will be presented with three buttons: Hard, Normal, and Easy. These buttons determine the next time you'll see the question you just answered. The values for these buttons will change in duration, depending on your overall performance for the individual question.

If you answer a question incorrectly, then you'll have 3 options. These numbers represent the amount of time until you'll see the question again: 

Hard: 1 minute
Normal: 10 minutes
Easy: 1 day. 

If you answer a question correctly for the first time, you'll be shown the following options: 

Hard: 10 minutes
Normal: 1 day
Easy: 3 days 

As you answer the question correctly more and more, the times presented to you will continue to increase. 

To show you how the times increase with each iteration, let me show you by example. Take a look at this video of me answering the same question repeatedly. Please note: Normally you would see a different question each time you select Hard, Normal, or Easy, but I rigged the system, for the sake of example, to show the same question over and over, and eliminated the waiting period to show how the times increase.

In the video, the first time I answered it correctly I selected 1 day. So, imagine that 24 hours later I answered it correctly again and selected 2 days. Next, 48 hours later I answered it correctly again and selected 4 days, then 6 days, 8 days, 11 days, 15 days, 20 days, 27 days...but then I forgot the answer, which reset it to 1 minute, 10 minutes, or 1 day!

This process is repeated for each question, and if you keep on it, eventually you won't have to review each question for a year at a time. 

It is also important to know that the rate at which the times on the buttons increase is a variable. As you click Easy, the times on the buttons will increase at a faster rate than if you selected Normal. Similarly, if you click Hard, the rate at which the times on the buttons increase will begin to decrease. 

I hope this helps! If it's still clear as mud then please don't hesitate to reach out to us at for further explanation.

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