When you choose the button Learn (at the bottom of the element window) or press Ctrl+L (Learn : All), SuperMemo begins repetitions of the learning material.

Learning is based on repeating questions and answers selected by the program (these questions and answers are called items). The power of SuperMemo is in deciding when and which items should be repeated.

Each item is repeated along the following cycle:

1. the program displays the question

2. the user attempts to answer the question aloud or in his or her mind

3. after answering the question, users chooses Show answer at the bottom of the screen

4. the program displays the answer

5. the user compares his or her response with the correct answer and chooses a grade (e.g. Bright, Good, Pass, Fail, etc.)

6.the user chooses Next repetition to continue repetitions (or Cancel grade to change the grade, or Stop to stop repetitions)

7.if there is still some material to go through, the program goes back to Step 1 of this cycle

After choosing Learn, go repeatedly through the above cycle until you reach Oustanding 0+0 (meaning: there is no more work to do for today). This can also be seen as (0+0)/X in the second field of the status bar or as only-blue rectangle in the third field of the status bar. At the moment when Oustanding equals 0+0 you can memorize new items (note that when you start learning Oustanding is 0+0 anyway). To learn new items, the value of Pending in the Statistics window must differ from zero (Pending indicates the number of items that can yet be introduced to the learning process). After answering Yes to Do you want to learn new material? you should remember to choose Esc or Stop after memorizing a sufficiently large number of items. This is necessary to go through the final drill stage of learning in which you make sure you really remember the newly learned material.

Note that you can use the mouse to go through this repetition cycle or use the keyboard instead. Indeed the only keys you have to use are: (1) Space or Enter (for all stages and for the grade Pass), and (2) grade keys (5 for Bright, 4 for Good, 3 for Pass, 2 for Fail, etc.). You can use both the main keyboard on the numeric keypad.

It is worth to remember that at any time you can see the calendar of your repetitions by pressing Ctrl+B (Tools : Workload).

For more about learning see Learning topics and items