Training System Help Page
Guo Juan has designed this Training System as a complement to her Pro Lecture Library to help you retain your new knowledge for use in your games. The Training System does this by integrating the science of spaced repetition with carefully designed, high-quality Go problems.
If you would like to know more about the science behind spaced repetition, here is a good place to start:
1. Try a free set or two
Two lectures and their associated Training System problem sets have been made free. Click the links on the Training System Welcome page to watch the lectures and do the problems. (note: if you click both problem set links you will get a mixture of both problem sets)
2. Subscribe to the system
Make an account if you haven’t already. Log in. Go to the My Account page. Pay for a subscription and subscribe to the Training System.
3. Pick a lecture
Within the Training System section of the website, go to the My Problems tab. Here you can see the lectures for which problem sets have been published so far (more are being made all the time). Pick a lecture that you want to study.
4. (Recommended) Before you get into the problems, watch the lecture
The lectures give far more information than the problems. They provide context in which the problems appear and can help you compare and contrast variations. Memorizing the shapes is good, but understanding WHY is also important!
5. Start studying the problems
On the My Problems tab, check the “Enable” checkbox for the problem set you want to study.
Click the “Study Now” button at the bottom. Work through the problems the system gives you for today.
By default, the system will give you only 10 NEW problems per day. A NEW problem is a problem you have not solved within the Training System before. You can choose to study more than 10 New problems in a day, but before you do, keep in mind that you will be seeing each New problem more than once during in the first few days. If you get too ambitious on the first day you may become overwhelmed keeping up with your scheduled problems.
Special on-board symbols
The problem authors use a few symbols on the board to direct you through the problem or to better test your knowledge. These symbols are not explained in the problems, so you must know what they mean.
“O” means “Play here.” Sometimes this is to set up a problem. Sometimes it is to just get you to play through a sequence of moves to help you memorize it. Sometimes it is to force you into a certain variation.
“X” means “Don’t play here.” Usually this will be placed in a spot where it would have been a good move (e.g., if there are several valid joseki variations) but the author wants to force you to find a different line of play.
“?” on the board means there is a question for you in the text window. Think about the answer, then click the '?' on the board and see how you did.
A [Sad Face] on the board marks a mistake move made by your opponent, which you have successfully taken advantage of. When there are multiple mistakes made by the opponent, the problem usually only marks the first or most major one.
A [Happy Face] on the board marks a good move or possibly a tesuji move made by you during the play of the problem.
6. Every day, continue studying the problems
The spaced repetition system works best if you come back every day. Take days off whenever you want, but if you can study daily you will get the best results.
Normally, do not uncheck the “enabled” button on a problem set once you have started studying it unless you don't need to remember its subject. Problem sets that are too easy or way too hard, go ahead and uncheck. Your enabled problems will continue to show up in your daily studies farther and farther apart. After a while, the problems will pop up for study very infrequently, pretty close to the time you would have been forgetting them without the refresher. The system “learns” what spacing is right for each problem you study based on your feedback (see below).
Self-evaluation is key!
Flashcards are a time-proven way to study. You sit down and plow through a deck of cards and study each one. It works, but it’s not efficient. Very soon, you are wasting a great deal of time re-studying cards that are too easy. And the cards you really need to see more often are just lost in the deck. We need a better way.
The solution to this is for you to evaluate how easy or difficult each problem is. Guo Juan’s Training System will schedule your problems based on when you need to study them, allowing you to learn and remember vast amounts of data!
So, within this Training System, when you are done solving each problem, you do a self-evaluation.
Solving a problem correctly or incorrectly has no effect at all on the system. Misclicks don’t matter. Exploring or experimenting is not penalized in any way. Correctly guessing doesn’t mislead the system into thinking you actually knew the answer. In fact, if a problem is displayed and you just know the answer, there is no reason to click through it. You can just click one of the self-evaluation buttons and go on to the next one.The only thing that matters to the system is which button you click next.
Sometimes there are 4 buttons, sometimes there are 5.
The self evaluation buttons
- “Easy” means it was really easy.
- “Good” means you knew it. This is kind of a “normal” level of challenge. You could solve it with confidence, even if you had to think about it for bit.
- “Hard” means you had difficulty or lower confidence about the solution but hadn’t forgotten it completely.
- “Forgotten” means you didn’t know or remember the correct path and need to re-learn it from scratch. (The “Forgotten” button doesn’t appear until the problem reaches REVIEW status, which is why it sometimes isn’t visible)
- “Broken” isn’t really a self-evaluation button but this seemed like a good place for it anyway. Sometimes problems aren’t perfect and this is a convenient spot to let you give feedback to the problem authors. “Broken” means there is something wrong with the problem. Please do let us know if a problem is broken so we can fix it! (This is not a software bug report, it’s a report of a problem with the Problem, such as a missing solution, misleading text, etc.)
How scheduling works
Each time you evaluate a problem, the system adjusts the future scheduling of that problem. The next scheduled showing of a problem is based on which button you click and also on your previous evaluations of that problem. If you click “easy” on a problem a few times in a row, it will get pushed quite far into the future quite quickly. You won’t be endlessly nagged to study things you already know.
Next to each of the evaluation buttons is an indication of when you will see the problem next, based on this button push. As explained above, these schedulings are affected by how you have evaluated this problem previously.
The next showing is also based on how long it has been since you have seen it. If you have taken time away from your Go studies for a while, you may have many overdue problems. If you haven’t forgotten the problem in that span of time, then the interval was not too long and the system will take that into account for future scheduling. But if you have forgotten, then you should click the “Forgotten” button and re-learn it.
On the short timespan schedules (such as “see it again in 20 minutes”), sometimes you will see a problem sooner than expected. This happens when the day’s queue of problems is running out and the system gives you the remaining problems for the day even if they’re not quite due.
Also, on short timespan schedules, two buttons might have the same scheduling date, such as two days. Don’t worry about this. Evaluate normally as the system is making a history of your experience with the problems and it will still affect the subsequent schedulings.
Statuses of problems
The “My Problems” tab shows how many problems you have of each status for each lecture. The statuses are:
1. NEW problems
A “New” problem is a problem YOU have not seen before. By default, the system initially shows you 10 New problems per day. New problems will often be seen more than once on the first day of their study (based on which button you click).
2. LEARN problems
When you don’t know a pattern, such as a joseki, you must learn it. To do this, you start out seeing problems pretty close together. With default settings, problems scheduled on intervals less two days are in LEARN mode. On the "My Problems" page, you can quickly see how many problems you have that are still in this short-interval stage.
3. REVIEW problems
Later, the system will show you the problems at widening intervals. The ideal interval is one that refreshes your memory of a problem slightly before you forget it. Initially, the system increases your study intervals so that the next interval will be 2 times longer than the previous one, but this is significantly affected by your feedback (“Easy”, “Good”, “Hard” button clicks) and also by your preferences (under the “My Parameters” tab).
4. DUE problems
A Due problem is either a Learn problem or Review problem that has reached the scheduled time that it should be seen again. If you’ve taken a vacation, problems listed as Due include “over-due” problems. The system will start with the most over-due problem and work its way forward.
New problems are never included in Due problems because they don't get scheduled to be re-studied until they have been studied the first time.
After you complete your Due problems for the day, the system will give you New problems until you reach one of your limits. (See the “End of a study day” section.)
Understanding the problems
Each problem has been created with the idea of teaching something. When looking at a problem, you should be trying to learn the thing the problem is teaching. One problem might ask you to play a joseki as white, while another might ask you to play the same joseki as black. Please don't get too involved in questions like "wouldn't a tenuki be valid too?" unless that is what the problem is about. Try to learn what the problem is teaching you.
Often problems won't tell why a wrong move is wrong. Instead, especially for common mistakes, there might be another problem where YOU will have to refute the wrong move. And don't neglect watching the lectures. The problem sets are not intended to replace them.
When presented with a problem, check which color you are playing.
Read any instructions in the text window. We’ve tried to keep the text to a minimum at the beginning, but if there is any, then it’s important to the problem.
Don’t forget to actually think before you look at the answer (especially on the problems with the “?” symbol on the board).
Click on the board to move through the problem. The Training System will answer your moves until the end of the problem is reached. Many problems are only one move deep, but some are much longer.
Be sure to read the text at the ends of the problems. You will often find useful information, e.g. if the system played a typical mistake (which you successfully punished).
Occasionally you may see text and/or special symbols in the middle of the problem, so keep an eye out for these too.
End of a study day
You can stop studying any time. Your progress is saved each time you click one of the self evaluation buttons.The Training System provides you with several natural stopping points. You will get a "No more problems" dialog box when one of the following occurs:
- You have studied all of the problems that were due and you have no New problems left in your enabled lecture sets.
- You have studied all of the problems that were due and you have also studied your preferred maximum number of New problems.
- You have studied your preferred maximum number of problems for a day.
(Note: See the section on the "My Parameters" page to change your preferences)
When you reach the "No more problems" dialog box, you will get the opportunity to extend your studies if you wish.
Your "study queue"
Problems are queued up for you to study within the system. When a problem becomes due for restudy, it is added to your study queue. Once per day, your preferred number of New problems gets added to your study queue (provided you have problem sets enabled that contain New problems).
Your study queue is limited by your preference for the "Max total problems per day" setting, found on the My Parameters page. If you have this set to 100, then the study queue will not populate past 100 problems for one day and any extras will go into tomorrow's queue.
When your queue reaches zero you will get a "No more problems" dialog box. In this dialog box, if you wish to extend your study, you will be given the chance.
A page-by-page look at features
The “My Problems” page
This page shows which lectures have problem sets available. (We are working hard to add problem sets for old lectures as well as adding problem sets for new lectures on a regular basis, so please keep checking for new problem sets!) This page is organized into the same categories as the lectures. (If you use “Browse by Category” in the Pro Lecture Library you will see the same organization.)
On the left side, the + and - boxes are clickable and expand and collapse the tree.
The "enable" checkboxes on the right side are used to put a set of problems into YOUR study selection.
In this example, the user will see problems from Joseki for beginners lecture 1. The user will not see problems from Joseki for beginners lecture 2 even if there are problems Due.
Notice that you can see how many problems have with each status (New, Learn, Review) within each lecture on this page. And you can see how many problems are Due within each lecture as well.
As problem sets are published for the lectures, they appear in the tree.
You can click on a lecture name to bring up a menu:
From here you can go to the lecture page so that you can watch the lecture.
Or you can go through all of the problems in Cramming Mode (see below).
Cramming is a word that refers to a fast, intensive study of something. Perhaps you are going to play in a tournament and want to review ALL of the problems having to do with Mini Chinese Lecture 1. This is how you do it. (See instructions immediately above to get to cramming mode.)
When you are in Cramming Mode, there is no self-evaluation. Studying in Cramming Mode does not affect any of your scheduling. It’s simply a way to do every problem in a set, one after another.
The “Solving” page
This button resets the problem to its starting position. It is grey (inactive) when the problem is in the starting position.
This button moves you back one (pair) of moves in the current problem. It is grey (inactive) when the problem is in the starting position.
The Solution button
When you wish, you can explore the “tree” (the moves in a problem and any variations) using the Solution button. When you click it, it will turn green and you are in Solution Mode. Click it again and it is turned off.
Solution Mode is OFF
Solution Mode is ON
When you are in solution mode, the next move or possible moves are shown on the board using a circle mark.
If the circle is green, then it is a move on a correct path.
If the circle is red, then it is a move on a wrong path.
You can click through the variations. In solution mode you play both colors.
Important: When you enter solution mode, you stay at the point in the problem you were at. If you want to explore from the beginning, you can click “Restart.”
Any move not included in a problem’s “tree” is considered to be a wrong move by the system.
Solution status indicator
While you are working on a problem, there is a status indicator which will say one of these:
means you haven’t reached the end of the problem tree yet.
means you correctly reached the end of the problem.
means you’ve taken a wrong path.
means you have continued playing moves past the end of the correct path in a problem - which you are free to do.
Bottom right corner buttons
The first button makes the board larger. The second makes it smaller.
Opens this help file in a new tab
Use this button to report a software bug. This one is not for reporting an error in a problem.
The “My Statistics” page
This page has two graphs on it. The first graph gives you a history of your studies:
Here you can see how many problems you have studied each day (or month or year). The graph also shows you which self-evaluation buttons you clicked during the day. The problems listed as "unrated" are problems you did not rate. This would normally either be done in "cramming mode" or when you look at a problem and exit the page without rating it.
The second graph on the page shows when your scheduled problems will come due in the future.
This gives you an estimation of your future workload. For example, looking at this graph, you can see that tomorrow you will have a little more than 50 problems to review, and the following day, you already have more than 80 scheduled. One use of this graph would be to help decide if you want to add additional New problems to your study today.
This graph only shows the next viewing of each problem. The problems you solve tomorrow will get re-scheduled further into the future on the graph. It is likely, therefore, that the number of problems you actually solve two days from now will be greater than shown on the graph.
This graph also makes no estimation of how many New problems will be solved on future days.
The “My Parameters” page
The “My Parameters” page allows you to adjust the interval settings that determine when your problems are scheduled.
- Max new problems per day: This is the maximum number of NEW problems you will see per day. On any given day, you can always choose to study more new problems once you have finished the scheduled problems and the “No more problems” dialog box pops up.
- Max total problems per day: This is the maximum number of problems you will see per day. On any given day, you can always choose to study more problems once you have finished the scheduled problems and the “No more problems” dialog box pops up.
- First learning interval: On a New problem, “hard” gives this interval.
- Second learning interval: On a New problem, “good” gives this interval.
- First review interval: On a New problem, “easy” gives this interval.
- Review easiness factor (EF): Once a problem reaches review, if you click “good”, the time until the next showing of the problem will be the time since the last showing times this factor. So if the last interval was 7 days and the EF is 2, the next showing will be in 14 days. In other words, raising this number makes problems farther apart initially.
- EF adjustment rate: The Review easiness factor is adjusted up or down by this amount when you click “easy” or “hard.” So if the EF is 2 and the adjustment rate is 0.4, if you click “easy”, the new EF will be 2 + 40% = 2.8 In other words, raising this number makes the system more sensitive to “easy” and “hard” clicks.
Changing these settings will not adjust any past schedulings. They only affect schedulings based on Easy/Good/Hard/Forgotten clicks that occur AFTER the changes are made.
Use caution in changing settings! There is no way to reset or undo weird schedulings within the system resulting from adjusting these settings other than to fix the settings and wait for the problems to come due again.
Here is a non-user-friendly flowchart for those inclined to such things:
Sometimes an error will be found in a problem and the problem will be edited by the authors. Sometimes, depending on the change, the system may treat the edited problem as a New problem for all users. Because of this you might occasionally see a problem earlier than expected. Also, if you have disabled a problem (such as because of the error in the problem), you will automatically see it again after it has been edited. If you still don’t like it, you’ll have to disable it again.
At present there is no provision to give positive feedback on a problem. However, negative feedback on a problem can be very useful to the authors, both in finding errors to fix and also in avoiding problems in the future. Use the “broken” button to give feedback. This dialog box will open:
Please give a comment in the form - it goes to the problem-author’s group for attention.
Disabling a particular problem
If you don’t want to see a problem anymore, check the “Hide problem until it is fixed” checkbox in the Broken Problem form. If the problem isn’t broken but you just don’t like it, go ahead and make a comment anyway so the problem authors know why you have disabled it.
Why an annual subscription?
The spaced repetition aspect of the system requires that you continue to solve the problems for a long time to push the knowledge into long-term memory. Since this is Guo Juan’s goal in creating the system, we set up a pricing structure that encourages people to use the system regularly over a long period of time. Monthly subscriptions would be too short.
Can I share my account?
If you let someone else solve problems on your account, it will mess up and defeat the scheduling of your problems.
Can I download the problems and solve them offline?
No. Creating and editing the problems takes a tremendous amount of work. Making the problems available for download would be tantamount to providing them for free.
First and foremost, I would like to thank Claude Brisson, our programmer, for the HUGE amount of work that has gone into this project.
Next, this group has been working amazingly long hours with me to get the problems designed, standardized, created, checked and re-checked.
If there is something wrong with a problem, please use the "This problem is [broken]" button.
If there is a bug in the software, please use the bug button in the bottom right.
Compliments, complaints, suggestions, anything else! Please send feedback to Guo Juan at firstname.lastname@example.org