A good pace to take WaniKani

I’m wondering what a good pace is for learning WaniKani. It’s been about a year since I started and I only recently reached level 12. I feel like I’m making slow progress personally, and especially compared to others here, but then again I don’t care too much about others’ unnatural speeds.

I just want to know what a good pace is for WaniKani. How many lessons is a good amount (I mostly do the standard 5 a day, 10 if I’m feeling lucky) and how many levels is a good pace after a month for example.


Good pace kind of depends on the person. I think there is nothing wrong with going slow as it’s more about retaining then speeding through. I’ve seen posts where people got to 60, but then had to go back to level 1 redoing it completely.

If you feel you are retaining a huge percentage of the words and reviewing your burned items that is all that matters.


As many lessons as you can do without getting overwhelmed, and while still balancing your time with other aspects of learning: that’s the perfect pace.

10 lessons will equal one level every 2 weeks, 20 lessons is one level every week.

Something else to think about, 5 lessons a day will take 4.4 years. 10 a day 2.2 years. 20 a day 1.1 years.


Almost, but not quite. You get held up waiting for the second set of kanji to be unlocked, and then held up again when you level up clearing out the newly-unlocked vocab. (Assuming doing it without a reorder script). It comes out to about 10 days, at least for me.

As for speeding up, I would factor in both your accuracy and how much time you have available for reviews. If you’re doing really well on accuracy, I would speed up until that starts to drop too much. But also know that your daily review work load will be somewhere around 8x your lesson rate. So if you don’t have time for that, maybe don’t speed up.


There is no such things as a good pace for everyone.

My personal view is that one should pace one’s lessons according to one’s performance, rather than as an arbitrary number per arbitrary time period.

In the days of the summary page (RIP) I took ten lessons every time I scored 80% or above in my reviews.

These days, I do the same when my apprentices are below 100.

For what it’s worth, I am about 3.5 years in, and have recently slowed down further because of the diminishing returns thing.



I was looking on the macro level. When choosing 10 versus 20 versus 5 lessons a day it’s good to know you these changes can effect your life in terms of YEARS.

Of course it is not guaranteed but you CAN level up in seven days if you have the perfect review schedule. But it’s more like 8-10 day as you said.

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For me it makes sense to go as fast as you feel comfortable going early on because of the great returns you get for every level you complete, then as you start nearing the thirties it’s probably time to think about refocusing your studies towards other areas, in particular grammar and vocab.

I would never advise “speedrunning” to level 60, but knowing a thousand or so kanji really makes everything else a lot easier to handle IMO so it’s well worth putting in the effort to get there.

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It is one week per level with about 20 lessons/day… with a reorder script to start all the radicals as soon as they become available, then all the radical-unlocked kanji as soon as they become available ~3.5 days later.

It’s a very stringent regimen though, I can’t recommend it for people who can’t dedicate a lot of time to WK. I’ve done this for the first 40 levels and I was close to burning out for the last few levels. Doing it all the way to 60 (and even doubling the load for the “fast” levels) is pure madness IMO.

Now I do 10 lessons/day, it’s a lot more relaxed…


Because my accuracy is pretty good right now, I use a reorder script to learn all the radicals first. That’s usually around 20 or so, give or take depending on the level. Then, once the kanji is unlocked, I use the reorder script to learn all the kanji, which is usually around 30.

But after that, I take it slow with the lessons. I try to clear out the vocab lessons before I do the level up. For example, I should level up in about 7 hours and just cleared out the last 30 reviews in preparation.

If I am really struggling and just can’t seem to retain the vocabulary in my lessons or reviews, I try to cut back on my lessons.

Essentially, at the start of a level I will have ~100 lessons (at least for my level right now). I’ll do all the radicals/kanji, which can be 40-60 lessons sometimes. But then I will have days where I don’t do the lessons and will just review the content I’ve learned. When I see that there are days with really low reviews in comparison to other days, those are the days I try to do around 20 lessons. I try not to do more than 30 at a time unless the batch of 10 I learned contained a lot of words I already knew.

I think this is a case where setting goals (or doing a study blog here on WK!) can be helpful. It’s easy to meander through studying on WK or other places, but having a study blog to state your progress and set goals for the future can help put your work into perspective and action

Congrats for level 12 (can’t wait to be there). It sounds like your pace is working for you if you have been steady for a year. I wouldn’t worry about the others - although you may optimize your learning through ordering the lessons in case you haven’t done that yet.

For the next few months I am intending for a max of 9 days per level, and hoping to refine my estimates once I get around level 15 or so. I have prior japanese exposure so some words/kanjis are a lot easier in first levels. I say this because I know I would be infinitely slower if WK was my first kanji experience.

I probably will slow down significantly around level 30 to invest more time in reading and grammar (after all that is the objective). But I need a good foundation first. Ideally I would like to complete WK in 2 years. But I don’t really know if feasible yet and I am setting myself intermediate targets.

The best pace will be the one I can follow while memorizing durably - but I also optimize by learning the next level kanjis in parallel to the srs in current level else I would need more time.

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Wow, it’s shocking me to hear someone getting to 60 and then go all the way back to 1! Besides the few weeks where I stagnated, I do feel at my current pace I have the time and energy to learn 10 reviews a day consistently. Thanks for the great response!

Despite my frustrations after doing my reviews and getting a handful of things wrong, I am always consistently in the 85%+

Considering this and having a good amount of time to work on wanikani in my day(work from home), I do think I can at least attempt to do more reviews consistently. Thank you very much for the advise!

I’d love to get to 60 sooner than later, but I also want to understand everything i’m learning, so taking it at a decent pace is the aim. It sounds like the 30s are really challenging, I’ll make a note of that. I’m already learning grammar(granted I definitely should progress more there so I can comfortably read), so to not kill myself with work, i’ll definitely be wary of how many lessons I do a week. Cheers

I usually do 10 lessons a day, since that sets me on pace that is not too slow for me, while still being manageable.

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For me the challenge as you get in the 2nd half of WK is that by that point you should really have started reading actual Japanese and that means that, if you’re like me, you’d want to have the content guide your studies and not the other way around. What I mean for instance is that I would like to be able to pick and choose what kanji/vocab I’m learning based on what comes up in the stuff I read.

For the first 30 or so levels it’s less of an issue because at that point you’re probably not reading a whole lot (unless you have some preexisting knowledge outside of WK) and the kanji that you learn are for the most part extremely common so you want to know them regardless of the type of content you want to read. But that’s less true as you continue on.

For instance at my current level WaniKani teaches me kanji like “lagoon”, “honey” and “liver”. Those are certainly useful but they haven’t really come up in the stuff I read, meanwhile I regularly encounter kanji like “黙” (shut up) but I still have to wait until level 46 to learn it, or “没” (die/drown/sink) that’s still a long way away at level 52.

I think WK would benefit from offering more flexibility in general and especially as you get to the higher levels.


For me, this entirely depends on the number of Reviews I have… 5-10 Lessons is good (btw, you can change the number per lesson batch to 3, which was super helpful to me)… but if you’re super busy and you have 200-300 reviews on a given day, it might be too much.

So, I’d suggest eventually also looking at your Apprentice, Guru, and Master items.
For me, 65-80 Apprentice items was OK when I was in the 10-25 Level range, but above that it became better to keep things around 50… but recently I feel the most comfortable at the snail’s pace I’ve been going in recent levels when I have about 30-40 Apprentice items.

The thing is, this might fluctuate for you. It might not, but don’t feel pressure to maintain any certain pace unless it’s a comfortable pace for you.

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The recommended pace is the one that works for you. One that won’t crush you and make you want to stop.

I took the approach of get as high a level as possible, as quickly as possible, and would do 30+ lessons a day. The problem? You keep at that pace and when your Enlightened and Burn surprises drop, you are looking at an avalanche of reviews in a day. I learned a painful lesson and regrouped.

My recommendation, one I learned from others here, is try not to go above 100 Apprentice items. Since these are the ones that you will see the most while leveling them up, limiting these still allows for new lessons and Enlightened/Burns coming in won’t be a massive boulder.

And of course, the best advice is, don’t give up. (Not that you did or will)


the best pace is not overwhelming yourself.

Learning a language is like doing physical exercises, you dont start with heavy lifting, you start slow and then you increase bit by bit, the same I always applied here.

For first 10 levels I just did the basic, only WK. Keeping my apprentice around 100 always. After lvl 11 I started nhk easy news and podcast on yt nihongo con teppei. Then I started bunpro because I had already some foundation for vocab so I could focus on grammar point and not translating the sentence as main priority.

On finish line now my main idea is increasing my vocab which is still very far from my goal, so I can read and understand way better website news and maybe japanese song lyrics (these I still struggle a lot).