How to study and 'learn' my cards?

Jeff's Avatar


20 Feb, 2011 09:41 PM

I just download Mental Case today from the Mac Store.

What's the right way to use this software to 'learn' the cards? I used to use the mac program 'Genius', which was absolutely great, it had little quizes that would show one side, and I'd have to type in the answer (or click to affirm it was right). It repeated these, and no question was complete until it got the right right 5x. Each quiz session was bite-sized, and would repeat cards to foster proper learning.

Either I cannot find out how to properly do this kind of learning/quizing in Mental Case, or this software is just fairly useless for learning. The 'Study Lesson Notes in Case' option just went through cards only once, and now it's not even a selectable option to go through again. That is not the right way to learn card material the first time.

The only reason I purchased this was because I wanted a way to import pictures into cards. I really hope there's a way to properly learn the material with this software.


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by drewmccormack on 21 Feb, 2011 08:05 AM

    drewmccormack's Avatar

    Mental Case uses a more advanced learning system than Genius. It is called 'Spaced Repetition', and is the most efficient way to learn. It was developed in the program 'Supermemo'.

    The lesson is a time scheduled system. Once you study a card, it is scheduled into the future -- provided you got it right. That is probably what you are missing at this point: it is necessary to mark the notes you didn't know as 'wrong', then they will reappear.

    Having text entry is something we are adding soon, but for 90% of study is completely useless. It only works when you happen to be studying one word translations. For everything else it is not useful, which explains why we opted originally to just have the use honestly indicate whether they did or didn't know the answer.

    Hope that helps.
    Kind regards,

  2. 2 Posted by Ryan on 25 Oct, 2011 06:20 AM

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    Any recent updates on a text entry feature? It would be really useful for learning verb conjugations in foreign languages.

    Thanks in advance,

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by drewmccormack on 25 Oct, 2011 06:21 AM

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    Hi Ryan,
    It is in version 2.0, due in a week or two.
    Kind regards,

  4. 4 Posted by Ryan on 25 Oct, 2011 06:28 AM

    Ryan's Avatar

    Thanks for the quick reply. Does that mean text entry will work on iOS as well, or would that require a separate iOS update in the future?

    Thanks again,

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by drewmccormack on 25 Oct, 2011 06:35 AM

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    No, that would require updating the iOS app, and we aren't sure it would make sense on a small screen with virtual keyboard.


  6. 6 Posted by M_D_Kaiser on 13 Nov, 2011 06:39 AM

    M_D_Kaiser's Avatar

    I am missing a similar feature. When studying a set of cards for the first time, I'd like to cycle through a certain number (e.g. 7) and only mark a card as known once I get it right 3 times in a row. After that a new (unknown) card should be introduced into the (7) card cycle.

    At the moment I have to go through the entire set. If I have 500+ cards in my set, I will not remember the answer to the first card I got wrong, and I'll never get anywhere

    Am I missing this feature? I tried the limit on due notes setting, but that didn't really help; it'll give me (e.g.) 5 cards instead of the entire set, but it's marked as correct after just one "success". I also have to go back to the main screen after the (5) cards and hit the refresh button and then start the studying again.

    Please let me know if I explained myself well; it's a little difficult to articulate.

    I was also wondering if we could have a little more insight into the algorithm that is used by MC2; and if there is some file that we can tweak to accommodate our individual needs, if we want to go a little more in depth.

  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by drewmccormack on 13 Nov, 2011 10:03 AM

    drewmccormack's Avatar

    You can read about the scheduling algorithms in the help pages, but it doesn't go into great depth. This is an aspect we prefer to keep simple for users. Other, more technical apps, may be better suited if you are the type of person who likes to make their own scheme.

    The algorithms are complex, and in code, so there are no files you could adjust to change them.

    The way grading works in Mental Case is simple: if, when you first see a note, you think "I knew that", mark it right. If you think "I didn't know that, or, I had trouble", mark it wrong. It doesn't make sense in this context to see a note three times and then decide to mark it right or wrong.

    You can limit the number of notes due, as you have found, but you can also put limits on slideshow size by using the Custom… setting.

    Hope that helps.
    Kind regards,

  8. 8 Posted by kat on 22 Nov, 2011 07:08 AM

    kat's Avatar

    hi,i might have missed it but how do i change the default size of the font. I want all the cards to be typed in large but its very painful to manually change the default of every card.

  9. Support Staff 9 Posted by drewmccormack on 22 Nov, 2011 09:23 AM

    drewmccormack's Avatar

    Are you talking about Mental Case 2 on the Mac?
    If so, you can create a template to do that.
    Setup one of the notes the way you like it, flipping the facets with the cog button, and setting the font there.
    When you have it right, click the 'Make template' button that looks like a stamp.
    Name the template and save.
    Now go back to the 3D note browser. Use command-A to select all the notes in the stack, and choose Notes > Apply Template
    Choose your new template, and the notes should be updated with the settings you used, including font size.
    If you want new notes to have the same template, set the template in the Stack Info (double click the stack).
    Kind regards,

  10. 10 Posted by Katerina Kharch... on 22 Nov, 2011 12:09 PM

    Katerina Kharchenko's Avatar

    thank you

     From: drewmccormack <[email blocked]>
    To: [email blocked]
    Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 5:23 AM
    Subject: Re: How to study and 'learn' my cards? [Questions]

  11. drewmccormack closed this discussion on 22 Nov, 2011 12:32 PM.

  12. Michael Kaiser re-opened this discussion on 24 Nov, 2011 06:53 AM

  13. 11 Posted by Michael Kaiser on 24 Nov, 2011 06:53 AM

    Michael Kaiser's Avatar

    > From: [email blocked]
    > To: [email blocked]
    > Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 07:09:52 -0500
    > Subject: Re: How to study and 'learn' my cards? [Questions]

  14. drewmccormack closed this discussion on 24 Nov, 2011 07:16 AM.

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