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Sometimes teachers, students, or users will inquire about why they are not seeing any new words. Less frequently, they may ask why they are seeing so many new words. This article reviews key information about why the pace of new words varies as well as which factors determine that pace.

Why Does the Pace of New Words Vary?

First, it's important to understand why the pace of new words varies and present this as a strength of Membean. The Membean Adaptive Reinforcement Engine (MARE) individualizes student learning based on their training, so students learn at the level and pace appropriate to their needs. It isn't effective to give a struggling reader the same number of new words as a strong reader or vice versa. 

Modifying the pace of new words is one way that Membean adjusts to accommodate individual learning needs.

Responding to Tickets About New Words

How you respond to an inquiry about new words depends on the situation. Teachers may simply want to know why some students see more words than others. In this case, it's best to explain why the pace varies and which factors determine the pace. Students may want to know why they aren't seeing more new words. It may be appropriate to tell the student that they should focus on their accuracy or train more regularly. However, it may be necessary to tell the student to contact the teacher about their settings if Strong Memory Mode is enabled. This is definitely a situation in which you should copy the teacher on the email. In every case, it's important to present the pace of new words as an intentional, beneficial aspect of how Membean adapts to a student's learning needs. 

Factors that Determine the Pace of New Words

Time Specific Factors

The pace of new words is impacted by the following aspects of training: 

  • The total time spent training. More time spent training will increase the number of new words. 
  • The length of training sessions. Longer training sessions will increase the number of new words. However, we do not recommend lengthy sessions as a solution to no new words. Students should train for 10-20 minutes, with 15 minutes being highly recommended. 
  • The gap between training sessions. Shorter gaps between sessions will increase the number of new words. When students have long gaps in training, they spend more time reviewing words to combat forgetfulness. 

Training Efficiency

The pace at which students progress through training varies significantly. The more questions that students answer per session, the more new words they will see as long as that increased pace is not significantly detrimental to their accuracy. 


The higher a student's accuracy, the faster the pace of new words. Therefore, all else being equal, a student with an accuracy of 80% will see more new words than a student with an accuracy of 65%. 

Special Settings

If a student has Strong Memory Mode or ESL/Remedial enabled, then they will see fewer new words. These settings tell the trainer to prioritize reinforcing words currently on the student's list. They will still see some new words, but they have to meet a higher threshold of word stability before they do.

If a student has Stop New Words enabled, then they will not see any new words. They will see a Stable Memory message after they have sufficiently reinforced all their current words.

Determining Why a Student is Not Seeing New Words

  1. Check the student's settings. If Strong Memory Mode or Stop New Words is enabled, then this is the primary reason the student is not seeing many new words. 

  2. Check the student's training habits. If the student is training for short sessions or has long gaps between sessions, then recommend they train regularly for 10-20 minutes. Check the teacher's training cycle to help guide specific recommendations. 

  3. Check the student's accuracy. If the student has an accuracy less than 65%, the MARE is focusing on reinforcing the student's current word list. This is how the program is supposed to work. If the student is training regularly and still has low accuracy, consider additional supports that might help the student. You may want to send the teacher the articles Using Accuracy to Help Your Students and Accommodating Unique Learners

  4. Check the student's efficiency. The easiest way to do this is to use the teacher's grading report. To see how many questions a student has answered in a training cycle, add the questions correct and questions incorrect to the teacher's grading report. You can compare the number of questions answered by the student to others in the class. If you want to calculate the pace of words, divide the total number of questions answered by the number of minutes trained. (Be sure to restore the grading report to its original categories when done!)