The Mysterious eFactor

Time Posted on December 11, 2009 User Andy

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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68 responses to The Mysterious eFactor

Phil Walker

Andy, knowing when, and how often, to review verses I memorized was always a difficult, but necessary part of the treasure of knowing Scripture. Your efactor system is one of the things I like best about memverse.


And thank you, Phil, for the email advising me about this great site!!! I have begun to add in Galatians and James, the first two books I learned over the last two years, and it is such a joy to bring them back to mind. "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you," Phil 1:3 (no, I haven't quite memorized that one yet! :D) God bless you both as He uses you to increase His kingdom.
Laurel :)

Phil Walker

Laurel, thanks for checking in and letting me know you are joining us here at memverse. What two fantastic books you are rememorizing. I have memorized JAMES years ago and still have it pretty sharp; and I once journaled through GALATIANS (writing a paragraph every 1 to 3 verses-What an incredible experience that was!!!) Someday soon I will have to memorize the whole book with you here on memverse. May God richly bless you as you meditate on His glorious Word!! The extreme difference in your two books just hit me. Martin Luther who loved GALATIANS the most and JAMES the least of the 66 books would rejoice and shudder at the thought of you meditating on those books :)


"An epistle of straw" I believe were Martin Luther's words about James. What condemnation of part of Scripture! Now that I know how very possible it is to memorize whole books, I would like to memorize James sometime also, but for now, I am following along with the 1 Timothy project first. It has already been a great blessing. Thank you for your example and organization, Phil.

Phil Walker

Hi. Yes, I believe you got Luther's quote right. Shocking, and yet it is also refreshing to hear a Christian thinker being honest with his thoughts. Great to hear that you are enjoying 1 TIMOTHY and getting inspired by it to take on other books in the future. Thanks for checking in. Can I ask your name and where you are from?


By the way, if your name isn't showing up when you comment on the blog, it's because you haven't entered your name in your profile.

And if you'd like a photo next to your comments, you can go to and associate a photo with your email address.


Thanks for the explanation of the eFactor. Now, could you explain N, REF INT, REF TEST? Thanks


I had deliberately left my name blank originally, but I didn't realize it would show up blank here. I'm from Illinois. I think a couple of my friends are trying the 1 Timothy challenge now too after I posted about doing it on facebook, but they might not show up here on this site.

Phil Walker

Telyni, great to have you and your friends joining us with the 1 Timothy Project. Thanks for spreading the word. I teach at a small Christian school in Hannibal, MO which is on the IL border near Quincy, IL


we are practically neighbors; I grew up in Quincy.

Phil Walker

Leah, we will have to all get together someday with Telyni and any others Scripture enthusiasts in the area for some Scripture quoting and encouraging/sharing on thoughts!! If you want to communicate besides this great memverse blog, my website is ;my email is and my phone # is (573)822-4015


That would be cool. It might be an encouragement to my husband. He started on this web site a couple weeks ago, but I haven't checked on his progress recently. He put in 20 verses all at once (as we were cautioned against that) and I think he might be a little overwhelmed.

Phil Walker

Leah, sounds great. Do you and Telyni know each other? Do you and your husband still live in the Quincy area? What are the main Scriptures you and your husband are currently working on?


Phil, no I do not know her. I have lived in the St. Louis area for 35 years; my huband, 25 years. As far as scripture memory work, I am going through my Bible and memorizing verses that I've highlighted as important ones (even though they're ALL important); and my husband is probably doing his favorite ones in John. Your Timothy project sounds great, but I am 57 years old, and I've never really memorized scripture before so I have a lot of catching up to do before I commit to a project like that.

Phil Walker

Leah, it is great that both you and your husband are memorizing. Do you quiz each other and/or share insights?


Phil, well, not really. We were at our friends' house last night and he was saying he hadn't memorized any yet because there are so many. And I understand completely where he's coming from. I put in five or six verses from proverbs, and I'm having a difficult time trying to memorize them i think simply because it's difficult keeping them all straight. So I'm gave him the same advice I'm telling myself, just work on one that is the most familiar and forget about the rest. It might be kind of cool if you sent him a note of encouragement. Would you be up for that?

Phil Walker

Sure, what is his name and email address? You can also give your husband my contact info (573)822-4015


I just noticed that "country" for you is listed as Indonesia, yet you said you were in Hannibal...? Are you a missionary?
My husband's name is Mark, and his email is He told me today that he has pretty much memorized Acts 4:12 but I don't know if he's using the web site correctly. I think I'm gonna have to sit down with him and make sure he knows what he's supposed to do.

Phil Walker

Leah, I was born and raised on the mission field in Indonesia, and hope, Lord willing, to encourage/inspire both missionary families and other Indonesian Christians to memorize and join us.


So how old were you when you left Indonesia? Do you ever go back? Are your parents still missionaries there?

Phil Walker

I left for college and went back for a 3 week visit 8 years ago. My parents were there for 30 years, then in Poland for 3 years, and now are at Asbury seminary in Willmore, KY (outside Lexington)


Well, if you are ever in the the O'Fallon/Lake St. Louis area on a Sunday morning, you should come visit our church, Dardenne Prairie Bible Church, but I suppose your ministry keeps you busy where you are on Sunday mornings.

Kyle Brannen

I clicked on efactor but nothing happend what am i doing wrong?


KB, if you've just started it might be that the eFactor is the same for all your bible verses. Clicking on the eFactor column title usually sorts by that column but it won't change the order if they're all the same.

River La Belle

To get back to Martin Luther. . . if I may provide a bit of insight about what he said: he was a VERY Catholic, Catholic for the first 30 years of his life, always lacking assurance of faith, thus always trying to get to Heaven by works. So when he finally became a Christian and the Martin Luther most of us know him as, he despised the Book of James because it talks so much about works! And he loved Galatians because it was all about grace, the truth that had made him Protestant. But what he didn't realize about James, was that all those works are the results of a true faith in God!

Thanks for listening to my monologue. . .

River La Belle

I just read to Luther's Tower Experience and I apologize for re-inventing the wheel earlier!


Thanks that's something interesting i didnt know!:)


Thanks for starting this level thing. It is answering a lot of questions I had, but never took the time to look for answers.

This website has been a great blesing to helping me be faithful in memorizing Scripture. Thank-you!

Donald S.

I think it's great that discussions surroundings Scripture can branch out to Indonesia, accountability and staw. . . . The levels are great. Thank you many times over to the strategist behind the e-factor.

Chancellor Ghafouri

efactor is a number which is easy or hard so when we memorize our verses our number increases after we have completed the verse

Bob Klein

what is the 1 timothy Project? and where can I find some more info on it? I am currently working on 1 Tim Ch. 1 and am doing well with it. One of my favorite books.

K Vredevoogd

What is the efactor when the verse is memorized? Can a verse be counted as memorized even with a low efactor?

Alex Watt

Bob Klein - good question. It was last year's equivalent of the 1 John Project. (Here is a link about it: I hope you are blessed by your work in 1 Timothy, even if it is not an organized project. :)

Matthew Minica

@Kaitlyn: I am no authority on this but I think you can have a verse with low efactor, say 1.2 (which, if I am correct, is the lowest possible) classified as Memorized, especially if you always or most of the time rate your memory recall as 3. It is possible to get your verse memorized that way (see this blog post: It seems that the efactor should not affect the status of the verse, or vice versa. I do not have any verses memorized with efactor under 1.7, though, so I am not at all sure about this. Someone please tell me if I am wrong. :)

Alex Watt

Yes, Matthew is right that eFactor doesn't effect verse status (except that if you are rating it low, it will take longer to be "Memorized"). Thanks for handling the question. :)

Victoria M.

This was very insightful! Thanks!

Michael Staddon

Thanks that's helpful!

Matthew Sinclair

Helpful. Thanks!


I was wondering what the eFactor was.

Lydia Young

That was helpful. THANKS

Brittany Clark ( Senior NIV)

hey, that helps a lot. not knowing what that thing meant was totally bugging me!

John Davis

That's great to know.


THANKS for telling



Vicki Davis


God's Gymnast

Thank you!

Rebekah Eddy

Very helpful. :) Thankyou.

Marie Angus

Thank you for that explanation!!! VERY helpful!!!

Claire Prinzing

I didn't know that. That's helpful!

Joe L.-- but Jesus comes 1st

Thanks. :)

Christiana Di Lorenzo

Thank you!!!!!!!! I am thankful for that.

Da Eun Jin

Thanks for the info. :)

Melody Placker

I am looking forward to seeing this work for me.

Allan Contreras


Benjamin Ludwig

Thanks for the info!!!

Janice Nicholls


William Hegg

I love this program, but would like the choice to write in my own verse translations, using God's Word.

Katie Grace [K8GB]


HonorYourParents (Terra)

Wow, I didn't even notice it was there until I read this! Thanks! I'm getting to love Memverse each time I log in!

Joyous Katie

Thanks! Now I get it! lol


I'm really new to this site/way of memorizing, and therefore, I apologize if I'm asking a redundant question that has a clear answer somewhere on the site (and I haven't found it). :) I am working on memorizing Romans 1, and I had previously memorized the first 18 verses. When I signed up, then, I added all of those as well as up to verse 24. When I log on and practice/review verses, they always come up in order (ie, vs 1, 2, 3....). This is helpful as it reinforces the flow of the passage, but I have a few questions about this. As I keep adding verses will that ever change? Will I constantly be reviewing them in the same order, increasing my time needed to review all of them as I add more verses? (I have been rating them, but most of them are a 5, since I know them already.) or will they (after a month) not all need reviewing every day as the computer recognizes that they are memorized? I think I'm just waiting on the program to catch up to my already having them memorized, right? Also, I was afraid that by always doing it in order (vs 1, 2, 3....) that I would have to do it in order to keep it. (ie that it would mess me up if I started out of order.) I've been using the reference tab and accuracy test and that seems to help - are there other things I should be doing to keep from getting too comfortable with memorizing in order? haha, or am I way over thinking this? :) Thanks and sorry this was so long.

Matthew Minica

If I understood your question correctly: in the regular memory verse review at, the verses in a particular passage or chapter will always come up in order. I believe that the system is set to present you with all verses in a passage, even if there is only one verse actually due that day. However, if a verse is not due for review that very day, there will appear a "fast-forward" button to the right of rating button 5 to skip to the next verse due for review today, or to the next passage. That way you can quiz, say, verses 1, 5, 11, and 22-23 (due today) in a chapter without having to worry about the other verses, if they're not due today.
You can check your verse intervals and next test dates at (Home>>My Verses on the main site ribbon, or simply the icon that says "Your Verses" underneath the welcome/logout string on the top right.)


Thank you, Matthew! I didn't realize the "Fast forward" button existed or how it worked. I appreciate you noticing my question and helping me out! Grace and Peace through Jesus, April


Just understood how eFactor works. Many thanks. This will surely help me speed up memorization time.


Thank You, I was wondering just what that eFactor was this morning.


Wow! That is very helpful! Thank you!




sounds good it's an easy way to check on how i'm doing.
~Amanda K~