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Understanding the Interval

Time Posted on April 07, 2010 User Andy Comment 18 comments

People often ask how long it will be before a verse is classified as 'Memorized'. That's a valid question since it is, after all, the purpose of the Memverse.

Recall that a verse is classified as memorized once the interval has grown to more than 30 days. Let's look at two cases:

1. Starting a verse you have already memorized

Assuming you enter a verse that you already know perfectly. You start on January 1st, 2010 and every time the memory verse comes up for review you select option 5 because you can recall the verse perfectly without any hesitation. The interval will change as follows:

Date Interval
January 1st 4
January 5th 8
January 13th 16
January 29th



By the end of January, the memory verse will be classified as 'Memorized'

2. Starting a new, difficult memory verse

Now let's consider the case where you start a brand new memory verse on January 1st, 2010 that is difficult to memorize (Ephesians 1 is a good place to look for such verses). Each time the memory verse comes up for review, you select option 3 because you are struggling to remember the verse. You are able to recall it without flipping over the flashcard but there is plenty of erasing and reliance on the feedback. In that case, the interval will change as follows:

Date Interval
January 1st 4
January 5th 6
January 11th 8
January 19th 10
January 29th 12
February 10th 14
February 24th 17
March 13th 20
April 2nd 24
April 26th 29
May 25th 35

As you can see, the option you select makes a big difference to the time it takes to get a Bible verse memorized. Don't be tempted to select option 5 when you don't know the verse perfectly as you will later find that you can't recall the verse because the interval grows too quickly and you can't retain the verse over such a long period. These days I make frequent use of button 3 because that way I know it will be cemented in my memory. In most cases, you will find that it will take somewhere between a month and three months before a verse is classified as 'Memorized' since you will use a combination of the buttons based on your recall.

This is also why it's good to keep a 'pipeline' of verse that you're working on. Use the time commitment that is reported at the end of your memorization session as a guideline for when you should add more verses.

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The Mysterious eFactor

Time Posted on December 11, 2009 User Andy Comment 68 comments

If you look at your list of memory verses you will see a column titled 'eFactor'. This is a number that represents the difficulty (or easiness, hence the name) of memorizing a bible verse. Every time you review a verse, the number is adjusted and over time will be a good measure of how easily you retain that particular memory verse.

The eFactor is one of the biggest determinants of the interval between review sessions. If you keep rating your recall as '5 - Perfect', the eFactor will keep increasing and the interval will grow rapidly. If you rate your recall as '3 - Difficult', the eFactor will decrease and the interval between repetitions will grow slowly. Rating your recall as '4 - Hesitation' will leave the eFactor unchanged and the algorithm will assume that it has the speed with which it is increasing the interval just right.

If this explanation makes your head hurt, don't worry about it. Just think of it as the equivalent of sorting your memory verse flash cards from easy to difficult. The good news is that you don't have to keep track of this yourself and you can leave Memverse to figure it out for you.

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