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How good is timed practice?

So I just did timed practice and it felt like I was learning less even though I was getting exp faster. Usually I check all possible answers and try to figure out the answer for everything before choosing the right one. But with timed practice you just click on the right answer and move on without thinking about anything else. I learn japanese in case that matters. Anyone else with this type of issue? I think it's best to not play timed practice anymore.

Thank you all for reading this hope you have a great day.

January 14, 2018



I personally like timed practice a lot.

If I want to consider grammar structure, read sentence discussions, ponder alternative phrasings, try out an answer to see if it's accepted... then I use regular practice.

If I want to get myself accustomed to the rapid-fire exchange of the language, so that I can (hopefully) watch a video, listen to the radio, or have a real life conversation without getting hopefully lost, then I use timed practice.

To me, timed practice helps to develop the skill of being able to continue forging ahead and focusing on the "now" without getting hung up and distracted with "wait, why was that verb conjugated in the preterite?" type thoughts.

I love it, but there are plenty who don't.


I don't use timed practice that much as I found it weakens skills faster than doing an untimed practice.


I don't like the timed practice. I get nervous and fall below my skill level. Maybe I need to do more?


Real language is fast. So speeding up helps. Plus, timed practice helps you respond instantly, without overthinking the process, and I believe contributes to "thinking" in the target language, which is the eventual goal.


If you're at the stage of skill acquisition where you have to check possible answers or review discussion, then you're probably not quite at the point where timed practice will be useful to you. Timed practice, at least how I use it, is for when I'm at a point where I can look at a question marked wrong and know immediately where I messed up. Without having to have it explained to me.

Timed practice is for you to: a) get a ton of practice very quickly (i.e. where you're at a point where you just need to see more reps) b) make the grammatical constructions rote through repetition and speed demands. It's sort of like how one trains themselves to speed read: you get words to appear and disappear on the screen faster than your brain can subvocalize them so that you train yourself to stop focusing on each word or sound within a word one-by-one and start simply knowing what the sentence as a whole is saying.

This is more or less what timed practice does. It's getting you to think of "nous parlons" as a single unit, rather than having to subvocalize through a conjugation chart: "je parle, tu parles, il parle...nous parlons" to get there.

With all that being said, I really wish timed practiced could be tweaked a bit. I use timed practice for my daily experience grind, and having to do 18-20 question sets one-by-one is kind of annoying. I really wish you could set it so you do timed practice in, say, 50 or 100-question sets, or even set it to just go forever until you hit a certain points threshold.

Also I think timed practice is a bit too forgiving in the parcels of seconds it assigns for right answers. If you get the first five or so questions right in rapid succession (particularly if the first 5 questions are oral recitations or really easy multi-choice questions, then you suddenly have a minute and a half of time banked and the timed part of timed practice ceases to be a factor. Rather than banking time for correct questions, I would much prefer if you had an amount of time allotted to you for each question individually that resets to zero upon you giving an answer. Another cool option would be, if you are marked wrong, it doesn't move on to the next question, but gives you the option of retrying until you get it right or you run out of your allotted time.


I type too slowly to achieve any real learning through times practice, and when I do I leave off accents, so it encourages lazy habits. I really only use it on skills that I already know well and want to just reguild quickly. I wish there were more multiple choice questions in timed practice, because I feel like those I could benefit from. That said, I see the benefits it just doesn’t work for my chicken pecking typing ability.


before i do any timed practice i will do a couple untimed ones first to prepare. the course i'm following now is very strict on the translation exercises and only accepts certain sentences so it's a little tricky.

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