Overview

Progress with Membean is nonlinear; at times you will see many new words, but at other times you will be reviewing what you've already learned. Reinforcement is essential for learning the material well over the long term. This article will discuss what factors impact the pace of new words and why you spend so much time answering questions about your words.

Interested in improving your training? Check out our Training Tips.

When new words are introduced

The Membean Adaptive Reinforcement Engine (MARE) determines when new words are introduced and when words are reinforced. Most of the time, your training will begin with a period of review in which you will answer questions about words already in your word bank. This reinforcement is essential because it combats the forgetfulness curve. Once you have made it through the words that need to be reinforced, the MARE will give you a new word.

Several factors influence the pace at which new words are seen because the MARE adapts to your learning needs. If you know the words in your word bank well and have recently reinforced them, then you'll see more new words. If you're struggling to remember your words, or if you have taken a long break from Membean, then you'll spend more time reviewing.

Membean also has a setting called Strong Memory Mode that slows down the pace of new words. If you are a student, your teacher has control of this setting. Personal account users can control this setting in their training preferences. Strong Memory Mode focuses the trainer on reinforcement, meaning you need to review your words more often before new words are introduced. 

In general, regular training is key to making progress in Membean. Focus on completing your class training goal every week. If you're using a personal Membean account, we recommend training three days per week for 15 - 20 minutes each day. 

Why Reviewing is Essential to Learning 

When we first learn something, in this case a vocabulary word, that knowledge is strong in our minds. It feels like we'll know it forever. However, in reality, we quickly forget what we learn unless we recall it again and again and again. Each time you recall a word, it becomes a little more stable in your memory, meaning it takes longer to forget. Eventually the word becomes strong enough that it's unlikely you will forget it before the next time you encounter it in a text or use it when speaking or writing. 

When you're answering questions on Membean, you are making your words more stable in your memory. It may feel like you're being asked questions about words that you already know, and in a way that's true. However, if you stopped studying those words, they'd be forgotten. Membean doesn't just to prepare you for your next assessment, it enriches your vocabulary for a lifetime of use.