Why do I sometimes see questions on unrelated words when I practice a list?

We try to avoid it, but sometimes there are situations where we need to add some "filler" to your list practice.  Here's why:

  • Your list does not contain enough words.  If your list is shorter than 10 words, we'll need to add filler because we give questions in a series of 10 per round, and we never show the same word twice in a round.
  • Your list does not contain enough "learnable" words.  Similar to the previous point, if your word list does not contain 10 "learnable" words, we'll have to add filler.  Read more: What makes a word "learnable"?
  • We need to put some words on "hold" for a bit.  Sometimes, if you've answered a lot of questions on the same word in too short a time, we decide we need to put them on "hold" for a little while (so that you have a chance to forget) and hold off on future questions on that word.  If that happens, it's typically because you've gotten a bunch of questions right in a row on that word — so a little break won't hurt.  If enough words on your list slip into this category, we might need to add some filler to beef-up your round.
  • You've mastered most of the words on the list. When you are in the final stages of practicing a list (and you’ve mastered most of the words in the list), we’ll bring in a few questions from other words in your learning program (no more than two per round). This means that now, if you only use List Practice, you’ll still get some brush-up on words you’ve had trouble with in the past.

We use 100% grade-A filler...

When we do use filler, we do our best to test you on other high-priority words you are learning.  

Read more:  Managing the Words in Your Learning Program

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