Anki keeps lots of information about your learning. This information is called Anki Stats. Some of the information included in Anki Stats:
- How often you study (20% of days, 50% of days, etc.)
- How many minutes you study per day, per month, etc.
- How many flashcards you have accumulated and learned
- How many flashcards you add per day
This information is EXTREMELY useful. It teaches you about your habits and allows your to set measurable goals for your learning.
I can tell you from many years of experience teaching, most students lie to themselves. They think they study a lot more than they do, and Anki shows them the reality.
In my classes, I don’t give my students a lot of homework. I don’t give them grades or tests either. Why? Because it’s obsolete. My AnkiMaster flashcard system makes homework and grades unnecessary. With the power of Anki, we know exactly how much you study every day and how many words you know. It’s impossible to lie to me or yourself. Anki will objectively show us exactly how much time you spend learning your new language and track your progress towards fluency.
Remember this very important statistic I shared with you?
Learning 1,000 words gives you 85% comprehension
With a frequency dictionary, you can identify the top 1,000 words that you must learn. With Anki you can organize and measure your progress towards learning all of these words.
Using this strategy, I was able to become fluent in Spanish in only 2 years.
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you some examples of different Anki Stats. I’ll show you three different examples:
- A progressing student
- A student who is not progressing
- My own Anki Stats
This is real data from real students.
How to access Anki Stats
First I click on the Stats button next to the Sync button in the Deck Selection Window.
Example from a progressing student
Let’s take a look at the Anki stats of my student Linda. Linda is a beginner in Spanish. She’s working on learning the top 600 words in Spanish.
Linda is making progress. Her study routine is not perfect, but it’s good enough to continue progressing at her level.
Let’s take a look!
I scroll down to the section called “Reviews.” I click on the little checkbox that says “Time.”
Here we can see Linda has studied about 50% of the days in this past month.
This is what I recommend to most of my students. Study your cards at least 50% of days. Of course, more is better, but 50% is the minimum required to make progress.
Next we can see the average number of minutes studied per day.
Linda has studied an average of 19 minutes every other day. This is enough time to continue progressing. Eventually Linda needs to increase this to about 30 min a day.
A few things to keep in mind about how long and how often you study:
- Studying for extremely short periods of time (2-5 minutes) is not very effective.
- Studying for extremely long periods of time (2-5 hours) is inefficient. Don’t study once a week for 4 hours.
- It’s best to study for shorter periods of time (30-60 min) more frequently (4-6 times per week)
- Dark green: represents cards Linda already knows
- Light green: represents cards that Linda is still learning
- Blue represents new cards (unseen cards)
Everything here looks good. Linda has already learned over 300 cards, and is currently learning 171 cards. She has 29 new cards that she’s never seen on the way. She has a total of 513 cards. This is probably about 250 words in total.
Here I can see how many cards Linda adds every day. For the last month, she has added an average of 5 cards per day. She eventually needs to increase this to about 10 cards/day if she wants to achieve 85% comprehension in one year.
Make sure to continue adding new cards every week to keep your flashcards collection fresh and fun. Your goal should be about 10 cards per day. (10 cards = about 3 words).
Overall Linda’s stats look pretty good. As I mentioned, she needs to increase the number of new cards per day, but at her stage as a beginner, it’s normal to start off a little slow. As she becomes more proficient with the language she will be able to process more words and sentences faster. At her current rate, she can definitely expect to become fluent in less than 2 years.
Example from a student who is not progressing
Here is an example from a student who is not progressing.
As you can see, this student barely studies at all (only 5 days per month, 16% of days). The student only studied a total of 38 minutes for the whole month!
Here we can see that most of the chart is light green. That means the student doesn’t really know most of the information in the flashcard system. There are only a total of 135 cards, which is extremely low.
This student may never become fluent. He’s not learning enough words in order to have an intelligent conversation. Even a 2 -year old child has more vocabulary. If he wants to actually use the language to communicate with adults he’ll need to learn a lot more vocabulary.
My Champion Anki Stats
Below you can see my Anki Stats while I was learning Spanish. This data is from a few years ago so Anki looks different.
DISCLAIMER: I’m a flashcard champion. Don’t worry if your stats don’t look as good as mine. I just want to show you what is possible if you really put your energy into it.
In the red box, you can see how many total notes and cards are in my collection.
As you can see, I was very consistent, with 90% of days studied. My average was 60 minutes per day.
My average was 27.2 cards per day.
How did I learn Spanish so fast? This is the proof! In retrospect, I could have spent more time reading and listening to Spanish rather than trying to learn EVERYTHING. I was hungry for more vocabulary because I wanted to be able to watch videos and listen to podcasts in Spanish without getting confused. I had to learn A LOT of words to achieve my goal.
“I don’t have time“
I don’t believe you. If you can’t spend 20-30 minutes a day practicing your language, then you may not have enough motivation or desire to learn. In that case, I advise you read about my story
You may want to reconsider your priorities and decide if learning a new language is really important to you right now.
I’d like to share a bit of research data I have found that I think will help put things into perspective for you. Many people don’t realize how much time they waste in a day. Social media and TV/video games are great examples of wasted time that can easily be converted into productive language-learning study time.
How to find time in your day
144 minutes per day!!! That’s more than 2 hours! I think you could trade some social media time for some study time.
144 – 30 = 114
Your dream of learning a new language could become true if you spent 30 minutes less on social media. You would still have almost 2 hours to use social media every day.
Watching TV and playing video games is another source of many hours of wasted time.
People spend 8 years and 4 months of their life watching TV! Do you know how many languages you could learn in 8 years?!
Maybe you could spend 30 minutes less per day watching TV and 30 minutes less using social media. Then you can have a whole hour to dedicate to learning a new language!
With these two simple examples, I think it’s quite clear that there is plenty of time in your day to learn a new language. What’s more important to you? one more hour of Facebook and your favorite TV show, or learning to speak a new language fluently? It’s your choice.