900 reviews / coming back after a break

Hi everyone, so I just deactivated vacation mode after about 2-3 months. I have 900 review items and a lot of lessons because the week or two before I activated vacation mode I didn’t have time to use wanikani and didn’t get to activate vacation mode before a lot of things piled up >_<

So I was thinking about maybe resetting my level or going down a level or two just because I don’t want to move onwards when I might be forgetting a lot of the stuff I should’ve learned… Although, I’ve heard the SRS system is supposed to help with that since it’ll auto adjust when I get things wrong?

Well, I’m going to plunge into the reviews and let you guys know how it goes. Any advice/tips from other people that took longish breaks is appreciated!

I just came back from like a year off, and I had 1600 reviews to go through! After two weeks now I’m almost done with going through them. (300 left) Even after all that time, I’m surprised that I remember most of what I learned, and even if I make a mistake the first time around, re-learning is much quicker than learning something for the first time.

I really really recommend you install the Wanikani Reorder Ultimate script. The way it works is that you can exclude levels from your reviews, so for example you can choose to only review the available items from lvl 1-10. So in a way, it’s like setting your level, but way less drastic.

Start with the oldest stuff, because you probably have a lot of easy things ready for enlightenment/burn, which makes your queue seem bigger and scary. You should pretty much breeze through lvl 1-30 since you know most of it already, and after that you can tackle more recent stuff which you have probably forgotten. Just don’t start any more lessons until you get your reviews/apprentice items under control and you’ll be fine!


Basically items have an internal SRS level. Each time you get a meaning or reading wrong the item goes down a level. IIRC, level 1 == “Apprentice 1” and level 9 == “Burned”. Since the intervals get longer the higher the level this more or less means items you have difficulty with accumulate more practice than items you don’t.

The general stance is stick with the reviews as much as you can. Worst case you get a bunch of items that slide back into lower SRS levels and have to get built back up. Because of that you’ll definitely want to put your lessons on hold for a bit.

Reset some of your levels if you would instead prefer to learn them from scratch including the lessons. It’s more for the psychological benefits, but some people consider it a waste of time. Try what Singultus suggested first and then reset if the review queue is still causing you some distress.

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On the other end of the advice, I did reset, right back to level 1. Honestly, though, the Re-order Ultimate is likely your best bet after such a short break. In my case it was many months, and I had attempted to bring it back under control a few times, before biting the bullet. You’re also a lot further along than I had gotten.

I recently came back to around the same amount of reviews. I just took the dive. I did I think 300 a day, and then any reviews that popped up as I was catching up. It was good review, if not a bit tiring. I think it took 5ish days to catch up and then finished the level I was on.
Again, a bit of a pain, but now the material from that level is really cemented in my head at least.

I suggest you don’t worry about getting them all done in a day. Just do as many reviews as you can whenever you can, don’t worry too much about getting them wrong, and use the wrap-up function when you feel yourself getting tired. If you get into a groove and hack out a few hundred a day, then you’ll get to a point where they’re cleared out and you can resume lessons.

I strongly recommend not using a script which forces you to do one item at a time. When I was in a similar situation to you, it was hard to be motivated to get through all the reviews; one of the things that helped me was WaniKani’s default jumping between all the different characters’ meaning and pronunciation, because it tricks my brain into thinking "Well, I’ll do a couple more before I wrap up. Before I know it, I’ve gone through 100 and finally remember to wrap up because it’ll just keep going otherwise.

If you get some wrong, well then, it’ll just take longer for them to burn. No biggie.

I came back with ~1300 a few weeks ago. I used the Pomodoro Method to help me knock them out. You set a timer and work for 25 minutes, then set a timer and take a break for 5 minutes. Every four Pomodoros, you take a longer break (for me, usually half an hour or something). It makes it much easier to keep moving. I usually average ~75-100 every Pomodoro, so I was able to knock them all out in a few days by doing it for a couple hours each day.

This sounds like good advice. I have been meaning to apply the Pomodoro technique for things I have to do in general and trying to get through a massive review queue would probably be a great use of it.

I just recently went out of the country for a couple of weeks and wasn’t able to touch WK for about 4-5 days and I stacked up 500 or some reviews. I kept getting it down to around 250-300 and then couldn’t touch it for another few days and it kept creeping back up. After coming back I just pushed as hard as I could an after a couple of days (taking a lot of breaks a long the way) I was able to catch it back up. But I think it’s nice to let the SRS do its work. If you don’t know it, then you don’t know it. Don’t feel bad to get it wrong. After all, we ARE here to actually LEARN the kanji right? Not just to see how fast we can “level up.”

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thanks everyone, I did about 200 reviews so far, will continue later

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