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screenshot of review page

When I mouse over the "3" it says "3 total posts awaiting review". I click on it... there's 1 post awaiting review. No other posts.

The "3" disappears if the review queue is empty, but it always seems to be "posts in review" + 2. I see "4" and "5" sometimes and when I click on it there are 2 and 3 posts for review respectively.

Why? What's causing this offset?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Sometimes it's even zero posts awaiting review \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Oct 22 '14 at 11:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ That happens when I snipe you on the last slot of a suggested edit and it's being held in reserve so you don't approve the edit whilst I'm still thinking. \$\endgroup\$ – Pimgd Oct 22 '14 at 11:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sometimes though, there actually really is 3 posts awaiting review. Like it was for me just now. I think it is because of some kind of caching. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Oct 22 '14 at 11:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ But why have I never in all my time on CR seen a 2? \$\endgroup\$ – Pimgd Oct 22 '14 at 11:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's the total number of review items in the queue for everyone. Not you in particular. I'm pretty sure there's a meta.so about it. I'll try to find it later. \$\endgroup\$ – RubberDuck Oct 22 '14 at 11:59
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This question was answered on Meta Stack Overflow.

It's the total [number of review items]. It doesn't take individual user actions into account at all at the moment.

Essentially, asking SE's servers to keep track of each user's number of review items is simply too much load to handle, so the number of review items for all users is cached, displayed, and then refreshed every so often.

You also asked about why it's never less than three. When the indicator was first introduced, the indicator didn't show until there were 10 items in the queue. I can't find a post, but I imagine at some point in time, it was determined that 10 was too many items in the queue for smaller sites (such as ours) and was changed to 3.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would guess that the it's 3 because we are a lower volume site. Like we only need 2 reviewers to approve or reject a suggestion etc. \$\endgroup\$ – Marc-Andre Oct 22 '14 at 13:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ So when that 3 is showing we should review it ourselves first and then if it is still there write in chat: There's that damn 3 again... \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Oct 23 '14 at 1:14

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