Advice for starting again? 2300 reviews

Hi everyone!

I started WaniKani in late 2014 and got to level 19. During a trip to Toukyou the following summer to take a language course, my kanji experience proved amazingly helpful! I was a level I student, but better at reading than most level III students in the language course, and was able to pick up new things that much faster because I was familiar with so many kanji and words already.

As I had plenty of opportunities to read and look up/learn kanji just out and about, and didn’t have a ton of free time between exploring, homework, and the hour and fifteen minute commute from my dorm to the school, a couple weeks in I fell off keeping up with my WaniKani reviews.

My mistake was that I didn’t get back into it after coming back home, and then getting into an intense school year, didn’t touch the massive review pile accumulating.

Now I’ve got a little more free time and decided to re-subscribe, and have 2,319 review items and 138 lessons or so. I’m also a bit worried I may have forgotten some of my burned items.

I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts/advice on getting back into it or how to break it up. I’m assuming I shouldn’t touch the lessons until I get reviews down to something manageable. Should I just power through and let the SRS do its job sorting through what I do and don’t remember (and maybe resurrect burned items I’m not sure about)?


I was in a similar position as you about a month ago, after coming back from a 7 month-ish hiatus, I had about 1500+ reviews and 180 lessons or something like that :see_no_evil:

I just did as many reviews as I could every day and didn’t touch my lessons until I finished all the reviews. It took me about a week to get back on track that way. The SRS definitely pointed out my weak points and it did its job well in bringing me back to where I needed to be.

So yeah, based off my own experience, I recommend finishing your review pile and then going through your lessons. It’ll take a little time, but it’ll be well worth it :slight_smile:



I’m going through that process again right now, signed up as a beta tester in 2014 and didn’t renew until last month. If you’ve forgotten stuff, think you’ve forgotten stuff, or are worried about your SRS being completely out of whack, consider resetting your level. You could power through reviews, but personally I wanted to be re-taught the things that I’d forgotten instead of having to make a list of what I got wrong every review and then finding them in the vocab/kanji/radical list to get the mnemonic, etc. And I didn’t feel like pulling the mental crust off of 100’s of things that I only kinda-sorta remembered.

So I just reset my level to the last stage where I remembered most of what had been taught and started working back up from there. The bonus is that you don’t have to go through all 1000+ reviews at once, as they get turned back into lessons instead so you can coast at your own pace doing “lessons” about stuff you already have 20% down. The learning 2nd time around is hella fast, and it’s a lot less stressful for me. Keep in mind if you choose to reset it to an earlier level, you can’t make yourself a higher level again automatically, you have to work back up just like the first time, but it was worth it for me because I didn’t want to tackle the SRS and all those reviews at once. Worth considering for some!


Not quite as severe a case as yours, but I just let my reviews pile up for about two months and ended up with 1300-ish items. I tried diving in and doing 250 a day or so, but quickly found that I wasn’t retaining anything, since even 4-hour apprentice items would have days between consecutive reviews and I’ve have forgotten it by then.

What I ended up doing was using a reorder script to do the reviews by level (but only by level). Every day I’d do all the repeated reviews for items that I’d done on previous days, then knock off another level or two. That way, at least for all the items I’d done since coming back, the SRS timings would be right.


There are a couple big threads floating around concerning this type of problem. I don’t remember the exact titles but they are probably easily searchable and had a lot of tips you might find useful.

This is one of my favorite for how someone handled a large review queue.


Thank you all so much for the advice/suggestions! Yes, I tried searching for similar threads first but maybe didn’t look long enough (and couldn’t narrow my search wording well enough; for one search, most of the results that came back were different threads of people impatient about the ‘slow start’ at the early levels – the opposite problem, haha). And in my search, I didn’t really find scenarios with as big of a queue or as long of a hiatus, so I was wondering if suggestions would differ for this case, or if I’d find people with similar experiences.

I was wondering if the reorder app might be helpful! I think I’ll give that a try, the way the person in the ‘Defeating ~1300 reviews’ post did, and go at it a little per day. I was thinking earlier of resetting/starting over from the beginning, but I’ll try the reorder first and grind away at the queue for a couple weeks at least and see how it works out.

I feel like a lot of the challenge is just wondering where to begin (again), with such an intimidating review queue. With a strategy in mind, I’m feeling a lot better about tackling it. Thanks again!

I had to deal with 4200+ reviews when I took a break for a year without setting vacation mode on when I was level 40-ish. As you can see, it was pretty bad:

I just did as many as I could per day until they were all cleared, I feel like what motivated me was sheer anger. I’d see the review count and get really angry with myself for letting it come to this, and that would increase my motivation to go through them properly.


Just do the reviews. I frequently have to catch up on large amounts. Yes, it will suck (a lot) but it feels great when you actually get there, and you actually learn a lot from failing them. I recommend using KaniWani to revise the vocabulary for the previous levels (start at the bottom, and then work your way up).

Resetting is the coward’s way out.

I’d suggest installing a reordering script. I had a huge amount to get through recently (I still have an 800 backlog), but letting WK serve you random reviews from such a huge stack doesn’t work, and it is far from efficient.
The script will allow you start from the most recent/oldest, rad/kanji/vocab/ (any combination). I found that I began to make progress again and started learning again. The problem with the random nature of such a massive stack is that you forget everything (well, almost) by the time it comes around again, doing it in order allows you build confidence again and make meaningful progress. In short it puts you back in control.

You want the Tampermonkey browser extension, and the the ‘WaniKani Reorder Ultimate 2 Embe’ (you can see the names in the attached screen grab).

Good luck!

After posting I actually took some time to read the thread. I see you’ve seen this recommended elsewhere. Totally agree with whomever you read the post from. I didn’t search for answers, probably should’ve done and saved a week or two of anger towards myself and the review system itself. This method works.

I’m in the same position. Just came back a few days ago after being gone for over 3 years. I came back to about 1300+ reviews. I saw some suggestions about resetting your level but I really didn’t want to do that so I just decided to slowly work through reviews only until they are done.

I also went ahead and resurrected all of my burned items which brought my reviews up to about 1600. I figured it wouldn’t be too much trouble to burn them again and I have the peace of mind knowing I’m reviewing everything.

I fully expect it to take a several weeks to be back on track but I feel it will be worth it in the end. I regret not having kept it up every day for the past 3 years but it’s in the past now. I just have to look forward with newfound determination.

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Reordering script. Keep doing reviews everyday, even if just 10. You’ll get there

I had exactly the same problem after kind of giving up for a while whilst on holiday (Jan 2017) and by the time I came back I kept looking at my reviews and getting overwhelmed by the sheer number (almost 2000) and I found that I just wasn’t making a dent. I also swapped jobs shortly afterwards so most of my energy went towards that… but now I’m back so I decided to…

  1. Use the level-down button and take 10 levels off… now I have less than 1000 in my queue which I think I can deal with and less of everything that I have totally forgotten due to a lack of repetition in the first place.

I think I will be making progress now… also need to start reading again and brush up on my horrific grammar.

I was in a similar position months ago. I just reset my level to 1 and started over. I cannot begin to describe how glad I am for doing it. Having gone through the initial levels of Wanikani with little knowledge of Japanese and now going back with over a year of grammar and study make such a difference. At first it may seem daunting and sad to see all your work disappear, but I understand so much more now and you fly through most of the stuff you remember. But you understand the context of it better and now I read the example sentences and things just make more sense to me. It also tests the burned items I had if they were really burned, and I would say for about 80% yes they were. The system works. Remember, learning a language is not a race the more you work on it the better you will be. Just powering through sometimes is not the best learning option for everyone.


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