Assuming Knowledge

If you've studied Chinese before using Hack Chinese, there will be many words you already know.

There are two "obvious" (but poor!) approaches to how to deal with these words:

  1. Mark them as 'memorized' and never test you on them.
  2. Test you on every one of them immediately to make sure you really know them.

The problem with marking everything as memorized

If we marked them all as permanently memorized (option #1), in many cases, we would be overestimating your vocabulary and creating permanent gaps in your knowledge. For example, even if you tell us you've studied HSK 6 before, do you know with 100% certainty that you know every single word in HSK 6?

The problem with testing you on everything immediately

If we tested you on every word right away (option #2), it could take a very long time upfront, and would be very dull. 

Our Approach

Instead, each day we test you on some of the words we assume you know.  (You can set how many 'assumed known' words we check each day).

Because we only check a few daily, you can immediately focus on words that are much more likely to be new to you.

When we check your knowledge of a word we assumed you knew:

  • If you do know it, we'll give that word an interval that is close to what we think it ought to be given the size of your vocabulary (much larger than 6 hours for new words)
  • If you do not know it, great! We've found a gap in your knowledge, and can now eliminate that gap. We will set the interval of that word to zero, and will immediately treat it the same way we would treat a word that was new to you.

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