I’ve been getting back into the habit of doing my Surusu and Anki SRS deck reps, in addition to the reps I always do daily for Skritter. I came to a bit of a realization today, which I am certain has been written about somewhere, but I never really took it as much truth until I started to follow it myself. That is, when doing SRS reps, always aim to fail.

Something about the self-grading system on SRS programs are dangerous; you judge yourself and it is very likely you don’t want to judge yourself poorly. Or, if you’re like how I used to be, you judge yourself just to “get through the reps”.

So, now, I aim to fail each card as they come up. I put high standards on myself (depending on the card, MCD or regular; Heisig or not, etc) and make sure I meet them as I go. For example, tones always have to be right. Not the “oh right, I knew that [even though I got it WRONG] so I can pass it”. Now it’s failed. I would rather have a large stack of failed cards than a large stack of finished cards that I really didn’t learn anything from.

I’ve noticed its much more helpful this way too, and the results go much farther than they did the old way. Of course, I also liberally delete as boring cards come up. So, in your SRS reps, make sure you fail!