Card deck memorization : challenge to get below 2 minutes at speed cards



Thanks Simon !

Well I guess they did not have all the tips we have access to these days :slight_smile:

Also I heard the rules were differents back then.

Before 2001, one had to tell all the cards one by one as they are turned

Which is a more difficult feat than ordering another deck, since in the later case, you have time to correct some errors based on other cards…

Your suggestion is indeed what I did when my errors were largely superior to my good cards.

But actually I take my errors positively, as it is the sign that I train hard !



Today, I did not make much progresse on my training :

Here are my times :
4:05 22 errors
4:26 19 errors
??? 33 errors 19 BPM (forgot the timer)
5:01 22 errors 19 BPM -> so slow !

I guess one of the reasons is because I have modified quite a few of the objects on my cards.
Juste to get some more striking to my memory.

So this slows me a bit.

I also feel less rested than yesterday…


(Simon Luisi) #23

I would think that your chances of getting below 2 minutes with a perfect deck before the end of the month are about one in a million at this point. Maybe in 3 months you will get there.Good luck! Keep trying.


LOL !!

Thanks for your opinion.

Anyway I’ll keep trying !

Today :
4:23 6 errors at 19 BPM
4:56 7 errors at 19 BPM
3:52 17 errors at 19 BPM

I’m also doing short sessions at 30 BPM to investigate which are my slowest cards.

That’s how I found out that imagining someone doing the pant dance of the video “I’m sexy and I know it” takes too long… :wink:



Well I found out actually my aim is not 30 BPM but 36 BPM as I usually train memorizing 3 cards in 4 beats.

Which is even higher…

Also I guess at some point, I will remove the metronome in my training sessions.

That will improve my results as removing the stress induced by the metronome will allow me to better memorizing.



Here are my results for today (22/11/2018) (I trained at 20BPM, up from 19BPM yesterday)
4:06 18 errors
4:19 23 errors
4:46 15 errors
4:29 14 errors
4:07 19 errors
4:18 22 errrors

Judging by these times, it might seem I’m not improving.

But as I changed many of my mnemonics, some of them slow me down a lot.

If that was not the case, then I guess these times would be below 4 minutes.

I’m working on it using Nelson Dellis tip to bring along the difficult cards to get familiar with them.

But even though, it is a long process for me…

I’m editing this post since the forum does not allow more than 3 consecutive replies.

This is for date 23/11/2018 :
3:52 8 errors 20BPM
4:17 5 errors 20BPM
3:48 8 errors 20BPM
3:51 5 errors 20BPM
4:09 25 errors 20BPM (getting tired !)

Much better times/error ratio than yesterday.

Also, I started replacing some of the mnemonics with members of my family.

I was reluctant to do this before.

But now I see these mnemonics are much more powerful !

This is for date 24/11/2018, (I used 21BPM):
5:26 ? errors (dit not even bother to count)
4:00 14 errors
3:37 17 errors
4:07 11 errors
4:50 11 errors

Well, not a great day.
Even if I lowered my time in the range of 10+ errors, with 3:37 minutes

Day 25/11/2018

This morning, I had a terrible cluster headache crisis

This lasted 2h30 (from 8am to 10:30am). And after that, I had a little headache in the background.

So I told myself this is going to be a recovery day.

I think I needed this anyway. Since I haven’t improved much the last days.
An I did not get any full recovery day since the start of this month.

We’ll see tomorrrow morning if this improves my performance.

(Silvio B.) #27

Don’t underestimate the power of a rest day :smiley:
I always have (at least) one day off per week. I am usually better/faster after the rest day.

I just train my memory like it’s a muscle. It needs rest to recover and get stronger.


Thanks for youi wise words SilvioB :slight_smile:

I actually think it would help me as well !

Do you do anything special during your rest day ?
Do you have additionnal sleep ?
Do you allow yourself to revise your mnemonics ?

Here were my times yesterday :
4:35 / 3:49 / 3:55 / 4:23

No a lot of progress.

I changed again some of my mnemonics.

The ones which were the most difficult to remember.

With members of family.

And some of them still don’t come up immediately from memory.

(Silvio B.) #29

No, I just don‘t train my memory at all during my rest day. Additional sleep wouldn‘t be a bad idea but I think you have to get enough sleep every day if possible. I don‘t revise my mnemonics on rest day :slight_smile:

I recently have had a couple of rest days in a row. Now that I‘m back in training I already broke my numbers record on memory league (for 80 digits):
Before: 29 seconds
Now: 26.22 seconds

I didn‘t improve as fast as you do when I started memorizing. I had to change a lot of images in my system too, because they were too weak or I confused them because some were too similar. I still have some that aren‘t great, but they seem to work.


Thanks for your answers and congratulations on your new PB !

Thanks for your kind words Silvio :slight_smile:

Here are my results for today :
3:30 15 errors
3:44 16 errors
3:37 10 errors

Still at 22BPM

At last, I’m starting again to move towards 3:00 !

That’s encouraging :slight_smile:


Here are my results for today :
3:48 14 errors
3:51 16 errors
3:39 8 errors

For the first two scores, I was a bit distracted, which is fatal at this speed to make a good score.

But I’m quite happy with the third one.

I also accelerated my metronome to 23BPM.

Also, I tried to make a 4th attempt, but was already too tired to make a good score.

I’m surprised how fast my memory gets depleted theses times.

This week-end, I plan to take one day off to rest my brain a bit, as Silvio suggested.

(Nicholas Mihaila) #32

Good stuff, Corbanicum! That’s excellent progress. I’ve also been training daily, but I don’t have enough confidence yet to use a timer. I tried it, but I found the process nerve-wracking, so I stopped mid-way through. I got a PB yesterday, but it wasn’t actually timed, so I don’t know how I did. :confused:

edit Reading through the other posts gave me the idea of just going through the deck to practice recalling the images (without memorization). I was using Anki before, but I think an in-deck context is better, and lately I haven’t been using Anki at all, just in-deck practice.


Hey ! It’s great to have some company here !

Why not sharing your results here ?

I confirm, the timer is seriously pushing you to the limit !

Results for yesterday :

Well there is no result…

I did not sleep much.

And on my 1st attempt, I did not manage to remember a damn thing !

So I just took the day off…

I will be doing my training later today, and will let you know how it goes…

(Nicholas Mihaila) #34

That sounds good to me. :slight_smile: Currently every deck seems to involve several images that just take way too long to elicit, but this has been improving. I haven’t been training with too much intensity due to school, but finals are approaching fast and once they’re done I’m going to start training hard. Once I eliminate these lagging images, my times should improve quite a bit. I might try again with the timer tomorrow.

(Nicholas Mihaila) #35

I didn’t get a chance to train yesterday due to school, but I spent quite a bit of time practicing today. I did one run with memorization and everything else was just practicing translating cards into images. Unfortunately, I must have significantly underestimated my times before, because after multiple attempts the best time I could get (without memorization) was 1:48. This second type of practice seems to be far more beneficial to me at this point, so from now on (for now) I’m going to primarily practice just by going through the deck and recalling the images. I’ll do one deck with memorization and then quite a few without memorization. My short-term goal will be to get below 1:30 for recall.

How’s your progress been, Corbanicum?

(Simon Luisi) #36

Corbanicum, it’s now the begibning of a new month and your goal is still to be achieved. What is your new goal? Have you analyzed your results and made a chart? Have you got any conclusion to share?


It’s a joy to hear about you again RubiksKid !

I did have the same problem as you at the beginning. Trying to get through the deck telling all the mnemonics without memorizing was way too slow !

As a matter of face, at day 7 of my challenge, this time was 2 minutes 19 !

After 4 days, it was down to 1 minute 52. And focalised my time entirely on enhanceing it ! Such a small improvement !!

So after these 4 days, I decided that I would not worry anymore about this time, because it would get better and better naturally while memorizing decks.

And it did.

So I would tell you : don’t worry too much about it just now because it takes time to enhance it.

What I did and still do is that each day I tell my mnemonics to myself while walking when going to eat for lunch (I try to sync the cards to the rythm of my walk).

Also, I practice the advice of Nelson Dellis : I bring the toughest cards of my deck with me, and keep them on my desk all day long, sometimes glancing at it.

This really helps !

Yep ! Thanks for the reminder.

I actually made a recap on my blog here :
Défi mémorisation : stop ou encore ?

(I hope you understand french)

I even told about your opinion (that it would take me another 3 months to get below 2 minutes ! LoL)

Well I tried to get a more realistic goal this time, and at the same time keep it challenging.

And I have set the date to the 7th of january 2019 to get below 2 minutes.

About the chart : well I’ll make one when reaching 2 minutes :wink:

About what I learned.

First about the mnemonics. I think that it is better not to worry too much if they are slow to come at the beginning. As I told earlier in the post, I think it is a natural process that they are slow at the beginning and improve one day at a time, and that there is not a real shortcut for this (or if someone could tell me a good one I would be delighted to know it).

Secondly, I learned the importance of rest and taking a day off once in a week.

Thirdly, as Nelson Dellis emphasized in his book : “Remember It”. I think it is really important to trust your memory.

Remember my last post here on thursday ? I told that I was so tired I could not remember anything.

Well on friday, I had completely lost my confidence in my memory. I was always stressing out about “will I remember these last cards”. So much that I aborted 2 of my runs, as it was clear my times would be really slow anyway.

Then on saturday, I slept a lot.

Most of the day actually.

I also had a severe cluster headache on the morning, so I was forced to rest, which is actually a good thing !

And today, finally, I managed to recover my abilities.

Here are my times for today :
This morning :
?:?? 4 errors at 23BPM (timer continued to run after I stopped it, I was so pissed off about it!)
3:41 7 errors at 23BPM
3:45 11 errors at 24BPM

Since I had so few errors on the morning, I decided to speed up the metronome, and it further enhanced my times (while making more errors of course) :
3:08 19 errors at 24BPM
2:55 27 errors at 25BPM
3;22 15 errors at 25BPM

It is such a good feeling to see this 2 minutes digits at last !

(even if I make so many errors right now)

The point is that I managed to recall all of my mnemonics and create images below 3 minutes.

I’ll try to maintain this kind of timing.

That’s all folks.

Thanks for reading :slight_smile:

(Nicholas Mihaila) #38

Yeah, I’ve been bringing cards with me lately. Sometimes I’ll even go through the deck while in line at the store. :slight_smile:

That’s awesome! It looks like your goal is in sight.

As for me, I didn’t sleep very well last night and recall was quite bad today. I just couldn’t seem to focus. I did, however, go through the deck quite a few times just to practice recalling the images, and I managed to get a new personal best of 1:26. It was funny actually because realizing that I was on pace for a new PB I started to get really nervous toward the end. :laughing: My next goal is sub 1:15 for recall (no memorization), and then sub 1:00. Once I can consistently get sub 1:00 I’ll focus more on actual times (w/memorization).

(Nicholas Mihaila) #39

Tired again today unfortunately, plus I started taking Prozac which has been making me feel a little fuzzy-headed. Forming the narrative was a slow process, but recall was surprisingly good. No errors. Something really rare happened, though. About halfway through the story, a tiki islander was fighting Pikachu, which phonetically is tEk and pEk, which corresponds to 7♣ 7♦ 7♥ 7♠. I’ve never seen indexes line up like that before.


Well getting time for sleep is also a constant struggle for me… Today is quite ok. But I had to lower my ambitions in other domains for that.

So you got no errors, that’s great !
What is your system for memorizing ?
And can I ask you your age ?

Here were my results for yesterday :
3:15 20 errors at 25BPM
3:21 12 errors at 25BPM
3:02 9 errors at 25BPM

Even though I did not go below 3minutes this time, I managed to lower my errors.

I will increase the metronome rythm today at 26BPM