As I approach the end of the 2042 kanji contained in the first volume of Remembering the Kanji, I’m finding (unsurprisingly) that with more cards to deal with my failure rate on reviews is increasing. At first, it was unusual to have more than a 10% failure rate, and most of the time it would be around 5%. Now, I’m not surprised to see over 20%, and probably average 15% or so.
I was thinking of attempting to reduce this rate by adding only very few new cards per day for a while. Usually if I only add a half dozen or ten cards, I easily remember them all the next day, and longer term retention on such cards also seems to be a little higher although I have no hard data to support that. So the thinking went that I could remember the kanji better if I take a slower pace, and I do believe that I would. Given a week or two of this, easy cards would move further down the boxes, harder cards would see more reviews and then in their turn become easier, and the daily number of reviews would go down while the failure rate would also go down.
The other option is to keep adding as many new cards as I can find time for every day. This is usually around 30, sometimes 40. That way I would be finished adding cards in about two weeks from now, but my failure rate would continue to climb. I might even occasionally damage my delicate OCD psyche by adding new cards with restudy cards still existing (horrors!).
Deciding which route to take, though, is quite simple. First the goal must be clarified, and then a little elementary mathematics must be applied.
The goal is simple enough; finish RTK1 and begin reading and SRSing sentences.
The math is just as simple. 100% sounds better than 80%, and to a perfectionist indeed it sounds much much better. However, 100% of 10/day is 10; whereas 80% of 30 is 24. Therefore tolerating errors allows over double the rate of progress as not tolerating them.
Full speed ahead it is then.