Spaced repetition with Memrise


Have you heard about spaced repetition? Spaced repetition is a learning technique for learning and memorizing facts, words or anything else you might want study. When studying using spaced repetition you increase the time between review sessions in a smart manner instead of simply trying to cram facts into your memory. This is then supposed to help you remember the facts (or whatever you choose to learn) for a longer time, instead of just forgetting it directly again.

Memrise explains it like this:

Memrise makes use of Spaced Repetition, helping you review items at expertly spaced intervals to help you maintain them in memory in the most efficient manner possible. Reminders space out in time as your knowledge for an item gets deeper, meaning you don’t forget, but don’t waste time reviewing what you already know.

There are many helpful websites that make use of spaced repetition, and I can really recommend using one of them or mobile app while studying. Usually they work like normal paper flash cards (useful while remembering new things) but with the additional bonus of automatically only appearing when you need to review that specific card. If you while reviewing a card are unable to remember the answer, you simply mark the card for an earlier review. And on the other hand if you know the correct answer, you mark it as correct. The program will then calculate the optimal time for reviewing the individual cards. This is easier than having to manually sort physical flash cards, trying to guess when to review them.

Another good thing when using any of these websites or apps is that they will automatically sync your cards and progress between devices. So I can at one moment review the cards on my computer, and then simply continue on my phone if I want too. This makes it much easier to just spontaneously review some cards when you have a few minutes over.


One website that I like is Memrise is a free website which makes use of spaced repetition and also something they call the “Testing Effect”. This simply means that by actively trying to recall the correct answer you reinforce the memory, making it more likely that you’re going to remember that item later.

On Memrise you also find lots of pre-made courses for languages, chemistry, engineering, history and many other subjects. This is perfect for me, since I have studied Korean in South Korea for one year, but now live in Sweden and don’t study Korean at school any more. On Memrise there is a Korean course with the 1000 most common words that I’m studying right now. In this course there are many words I already know, mixed with some new words. This is good combination for me, since I can both review what I already know and also learn new words at the same time. If there is no suitable course for what you want to study you can also create your own and input the things you want to remember. Then you have the opportunity to either keep it private, or share it with other people.

If you choose to study a pre-made course, there are usually lots of “mems” that other users have created and shared with everyone. Each “mem” can consist of funny pictures, pronunciations or helpful mnemonics or a combination of any of these. By reading these mnemonics, listening to the pronunciation and looking at the pictures you use many different senses, which is supposed to help you remember the word even better.

To further help you studying with Memrise they also incorporate game-like aspects into the learning process. You get points while reviewing words, which are then visible in the high score list for that specific course.  Also, instead of only reviewing facts on two-sided flash cards all the time (like many other apps), there are a few varied exercises for both choosing the correct word from a list or spelling out the word (both from the target language to English or the other way around). This both makes it more fun to learn, and helps you retain the fact for a longer time.

When you’re then done with the initial learning phase of the new words the level that you just completed will be locked for a few hours, making use of spaced repetition, before you can study it again. After the second time you have reviewed it, it might be locked for maybe a full day, or whatever amount of time Memrise finds suitable.

Memrise is totally free, and instead of only me talking about it, have a look at the pictures below. You should also go and try it out by yourself.

Go to and create an account, or simply use the links below to download the app for Android or iOS.

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store



Have fun learning and see you later!

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