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Aug 14, 2011

Suspend Bad Cards - Be a SRS Referee

When it comes to the SRS, it's extremely easy to get caught up in getting more cards and trying to increase deck size (thus all of the spam emails offering methods for doing so *bah dum psh*). The truth is, sometimes a card is just not worth keeping. When these kinds of cards come up, the best option is to take them out of the game.

When I say take a card out of the game, I mean suspend it. If you're using Anki, then clicking Edit at the top of the window will show you the Suspend Card option (default shortcut Ctrl+Shift+S). When you are doing reviews and come across a card that you just don't want to bother with, simply hit suspend and it will stop coming up in reviews.

As for what cards you should suspend, that's mostly up to you. If you keep failing a card and it's becoming a time sink, then suspending it can make your learning sessions more efficient by removing that time leech. Alternatively, as you progress in your studies you could change card formats - it may then be easier to start suspending older cards to make your deck more uniform. Similarly, some older cards could contain information so basic that you don't want to see them anymore.

You may be wondering what there is to gain from suspending cards. After all, you spend all of this time adding sentences, so it would be a waste to then suspend them. It all comes down to time. While keeping cards in Anki so that you can continue to review is definitely important, sometimes a card just isn't worth the time it takes to review. In these cases, knowing that you can suspend the card is extremely valuable.

Overall, the point of this article is remind you that you have the option of removing a card from Anki. If a card is taking too much time or is outdated, then feel free to remove it. Unlike learning in a school setting, when learning on your own you have these kinds of options. Learn at your own pace and make it as easy as possible for yourself - you'll learn so much more in the end.

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