3 month long levels, any suggestions?

I’ve been at this for 1.5 years. I started off pretty well but the last few levels have been 80+days. I’m pretty good at doing my reviews once a day, sometimes twice. I find that after clearing all of my lessons and unlocking new radicals, that I quickly progress to the next level and am swamped with 100+ lessons to work through which takes me months. I try to keep my apprentice items at about 70-90.

You all who burn through 1 level a month or less, do you just do all your lessons and swamp yourself with reviews? I can’t seem to keep my levels moving. I don’t mind having my own slow pace but at this rate it will take me years! Do I just need to man up, study more externally, and make sure to do my reviews ASAP?



You can get from 3 months per level to 2-3 weeks per level pretty easily, without doing anything too crazy. It really depends on how many lessons you do per day and how you do the lessons (plain WaniKani versus a script to optimize the lesson order), plus of course how you do your reviews.

So first things first. You said you do your reviews once per day, sometimes twice. To keep up a decent pace, it’s really important to do your reviews at least twice per day. This is because the first review after a lesson is after 4 hours, then 8 hours. To optimize, you should do reviews around 4 hours and 12 hours after the initial lessons. For this I usually recommend either doing lessons first thing in the morning, a review around lunch, and a review at night. Or, do lessons around 4 hours before bed, followed by a review right before bed, and a review first thing in the morning. To level up faster, keeping those timings (for the most part) is important, as is doing reviews 2-3 times per day instead of 1-2 times per day.

For lessons, do you do them every day or sporadically? If you tell me a target for how many lessons (items) you want to do per day, I can give you a specific suggestion on how to use [Userscript] WaniKani Lesson Filter to optimize your lessons.


How long does it take you to do your reviews? I think thats the primary issue you’re having here.

Really, it doesnt look like you should be getting over 150 reviews a day, so if you knock them out some in the morning and some in the afternoon then the only reason you would feel swamped is if you do them real slow. If thats the case, then I would suggest just spending more time on your lessons and trying to dedicate those mnemonics to memory.

If a 100+ lessons takes you months then that would mean you are doing like a couple lessons a day on average, right? At the end of the day, you have like 8000 items to learn on here so 2 lessons a day will make it take roughly 4000 days. You can certainly increase the amount of lessons per day without having accuracy suffer if you focus and work hard to dedicate the mnemonics to memory. I would just ask yourself how many lessons a day you can do/want to do, and stick to that amount every day.


If you do roughly ten lessons a day and review 2x a day you should level up every two to three weeks and I don’t think that the pace feels crazy. I will also sometimes do all the radicals in one session because I find them easy idk.

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What’s your accuracy rate on reviews? If your apprentice levels are staying that high, it sounds like maybe you are failing a lot of reviews and keeping things at the apprentice levels for a long time? It might help to put in more time doing the lessons to cement thing in your brain. I always write down the term, meaning, and pronunciation. I take time to really think about the mnemonic (and possibly create my own if I think it will work better), and play the audio a few times. Then I do 1 or 2 rounds of waiting 5-10 minutes and then quizzing myself on the new terms. I saw someone post the that “official” SRS timing includes a few faster rounds at like 5 and 10 minutes before jumping up to hours. I think getting a couple rounds in like that at the beginning helps to cement my memory.


what changed on level 8? you knocked that one out in 16 days. do you think you could do it at that pace again?


We need more info to give a proper answer:

  1. How much time can you spare for reviews per day?
  2. How many reviews can you do in an hour?
  3. What is your accuracy?
  4. Are you open to using scripts to make you more efficient?
  5. How quickly would you like to get through the levels? Some people want to level up every week. I prefer a 9-day schedule.some prefer 2 weeks.

Based on your answers, we can try and help you build a schedule. If you’re OK with a 2 week schedule, you could actually manage with logging in just once a day if you can do a couple hours at a time and your reviews per hour rate is not too low.

You could try aiming for 100-120.

Curious what your review accuracy tends to wind up being, and if you do better on readings or meanings or what.

As someone else pointed out, what was different about Level 8? Got that done in just over two weeks!


I’m the same. I wanna tell you something that other comments might be missing. Is this your actual priority? Like, is learning Japanese your #1 goal?

Because for me, it used to be #1 (or one of the top) goal up to ~level 15. Until then, it took me like 2 weeks to level up, iirc.

Then I started studying university, realized I’m interested in learning coding, working on my body, reading philosophy, studying math, cybersecurity etc. Now my levels take around 3 months. I’m aware of it, I just don’t prioritize it.

So, what I’m saying is, if your levels take so long, probably WaniKani isn’t a priority for you, or you lack discipline / focus. If it’s not a priority, that doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing, maybe you’re just not aware of other things in your life that take up a lot of time and are more important for you. If it’s the discipline or focus, well then you gotta do something about it, first step is being honest to yourself…


I try not to worry about it too much. I’m 60 some odd days on level 18. My accuracy has gone way down as I have a number of persistent leeches and my burn percentage success has declined. You can see my level up rate plunged around level 14. But I just figure each cycle from Enlightened back to Apprentice means that kanji wants more time with me, and I have lifetime, so…

I’ve been slacking off on my よつばと! translation and think that’s part of it (not spending more time searching out learned kanji in the wild).

here’s my accuracy, I think it’s pretty good.
I do not do enough lessons and these comments got me thinking about why. It’s probably because I let my reviews build up too high. When I have to do a block of 100+ reviews there will be less motivation to do some lessons.

I initially wanted to do 10 lessons a day but my review load made me think it’d bog me down. So lately i’ve been in a rut where i just do my backlog of 100reviews and just a few lessons every couple days.
I think the solution I’ll try is 3x or more review work a day and 10lessons, then I won’t feel as bogged down each review.

Level 8 was a outlier - i tried a script to move radicals/kanji to the front of the queue so i leveled up quickly but it left me with tons of lessons.

Reviews per hour? I did a block of 120 reviews today in about 45 minutes.
I think 2 weeks per level sounds pretty fast, i’d like 1 level a month at least.

Yes I’m open for suggestions of scripts if you guys have some favorites.

Thanks for all your suggestions


You just need to learn how the SRS stages work and time your lessons and reviews properly to effectively manage the level up process. If you’re doing reviews only once per day, its going to take a lot longer, especially if you get things wrong. It’s going to take you over a week to guru something, where it takes everyone else 4 days.

I’d say for the average user, 100 reviews per day would be a dream. During the later levers I was doing over 300 per day, and I do reviews every single hour.

Also, doing reviews once per day throws off the SRS, so you’re going to forget more. The first interval is 4 hours, then the next one is 8 hours after that, then 24, then 48. So things you see once, others are seeing three times.

I don’t mean to say there is anything wrong with taking it slow, but just schedule and manage your time to hit the pace you want.

Keep your apprentice count under 60 and you’ll hover right about 100 reviews per day. Ask me how I know. :slight_smile:

You should use [Userscript] WaniKani Lesson Filter I think. This script will allow you to do kanji and vocab at the same time. This means you shouldn’t end up with a ton of extra lessons in your backlog, but you’ll level up faster and more consistently than you are now. The average level has 34 kanji and 106 vocab items. This means you want to do three-ish vocab lessons for every one kanji lesson to avoid being left with a ton of lessons in your backlog.

Based on the pace you want to level up in, I think you can do less than 10 lessons per day (you can change your lesson batch size in the WaniKani settings or in the Lesson Filter script itself during lessons to make it a convenient number). For you personally, I’d recommend doing 8 lessons a day - two kanji and six vocab. (I’m not including radicals in the daily count, as I usually recommend just doing them the first time you do lessons after leveling up. But you can work them in another way if you prefer.) If a level has 34 kanji and you do two per day, it’ll take you about 20 days to level up, assuming you do reviews 2-3 times per day and have a good accuracy. Even if you do reviews only 1-2 times per day and make more mistakes than you’d like, you should still level up within a month with this strategy.


for the 1 month per level speed you suggested, you don’t need any particular scripts or anything. however seanblue’s suggestion to use a lesson filter to mix kanji and vocab lessons is good.

the main factor determining your speed is how many lessons you do per day. at 5 lessons per day, it takes just under 5 years to get to level 60. that works out to about 1 month per level.

my main suggestion would be to work on your accuracy. spend time on your lessons. read the sample sentences for vocab. look at the words using a new kanji. study the mnemonic provided, and improve it until it works for you. these are all things which build a network of context for the new item, which will help you remember it more easily. i reckon it takes me 2-3 minutes per lesson.

do your first and second review at the 4 and 8 hour marks. these are the reviews which will take the lesson from short-term into long-term memory. personally, i recommend a zeroth review, just a quick scan over your lessons after about 1 hour.

the amount of reviews it takes to get through WK increases dramatically as your accuracy drops. if you can get your accuracy into the low 90ties, 5 lessons a day should give you less than 60 reviews per day.

but in the end, getting through WK is a matter of sitting down and doing the work. and if you keep on doing the work, you will get there!


I wanted to go faster than that, so 60 or fewer apprentice was never an option for me.

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@seanblue basically gave you the solution. In fact, even if you did 2 radicals per day as well, rather than all at once, you’d still keep the 1 month pace.

But work on your accuracy. When you’re done with lessons and then quiz, do some Self-study on what you just learned and spend time reading the lessons. Getting accuracy above 95 should be doable with enough time spent on the front end.
After all, the better you chew your food, the easier you… digest it. yes, I was going to say something else instead

I was just commenting on the idea that 100 reviews a day is a dream for most users. It’s really just about rate limiting lessons. And everyone’s pace is different. But if you want to go fast, you have to pay the price.

I strongly disagree with the idea of you having to do reviews more than once a day. You can, but you don’t have to. Multiple review sessions per day are necessary for an optimal pace of a level per 7-8 days, but that’s not your goal. A level has about 150-180 items, so if you want it done in a month, you need about 5-6 lessons daily on average. That’s about it.
I don’t feel like giving you advice on how to do your wk stuff, because you know what you need better than I do.

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