Advice for us low-levels?

I searched and didn’t see anything like this already surprisingly, but do any of you high-level folks (probably 45+) have any advice for us n00bs on our WK journey?

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For the love of f*cking god do not get behind on your reviews!

I’ve been doing around 250-300 reviews daily so falling behind would pretty much end me :stuck_out_tongue:

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One more tip: try to keep your apprentice items below 150. If you don’t, you’ll have significantly more daily reviews.

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Also, stay on top of leeches. I did not, and I let them pile up without dealing with them. Now I have all the easy items burned or enlightened and have like 400+ exceptions that I didn’t worry about.

I’ve been on level 42 for 2 months now while I squash all of these leeches.

I try to keep mine under 100!

[Leeches are items that you continually get wrong. You push them up to
guru or master and they tumble back down to apprentice. One or two
leeches is fine. But the problem is when they accumulate. If you aren’t
paying attention you can get overwhelmed.
https://community.wanikani.com/t/Team-Leech/14389?source_topic_id=18194]

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It’s not necessary to do every lesson immediately to maintain the minimum level up time. As long as you prioritize the radicals, and the kanji that are unlocked by the radicals, you can be a little more lax with all other lessons, spreading them out over the course of a week if it makes it easier.

I wish I’d known that during the first 15 levels or so.

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I’ve been trying to get mine sub-100… I don’t think I’ll ever get there. After a month or so of not taking anything new, I’m down from ~200 to ~140.

But with that said, just taking that month of no new lessons has been nice. Reviews are still near constant, but batches are getting smaller it seems. Which is making things feel more relaxed, and helping burn out.

Do not hesitate to use vacation mode.
It’s not a shame, no one knows.
So many people go to the Review-Overload Planet, but only a few ever come back.

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This, it is by far the most important thing.

Personally i made sure i got my reviews down to 0 by the end of every single day whenever possible. “By the end of the day” for me means by 22:45. Set yourself some time during the day (it doesn’t have to be the end) when you almost always have enough time to do the reviews beforehand. And get them down to 0, no matter what.
I say “always” and “no matter what”, but there are cases where it simply isn’t possible. Let’s say i go to the cinema late in the evening, or i go visit someone or i’m not at home doing something, then i simply can’t do the reviews. That’s fine, but make sure you always get them done the next day.

If you notice it becomes too hard to do that, then reduce the number of lessons you do a day. Slowing down with lessons will lower the number of daily reviews after a week or 2. Preferably you do that before it gets too hard, do it when you notice that it’s getting harder or becoming too much of a drag. This is important if you actually want to make it to level 60, because it helps to prevent you from burning out.

If you know beforehand that you will be away from WK for extended periods of time (might even be just a day or 2), remember there is a vacation mode. It stops all your review timers and you can’t do reviews during that time. Once you turn it off again, it can’t be turned on for a week. As the name suggests, this is extremely helpful when going on actual vacation. It’s not as important nowadays as it was back when it was introduced though, since you have internet pretty much everywhere now. But if you just want to relax on your holidays, turn on the vacation mode to prevent coming back to 1000 and more reviews. I had to go through this 3 times before vacation mode existed and you need a huge amount of willpower to get through this. It’s best to never let it get this far.

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Im not high level, but I have some advice that may be precious to you. Level up as fast as you can. It keeps you motivated. Dont slack. Push yourself as far as you can. Work hard. Try to achieve consistency in leveling. For example, there are really dedicated people who level up once a week. I work full time and have to do physical activities at least two times a week, but Im leveling every 8 days. To be able to do this, I usually take all the radical lessons and most of the kanji at day 1. Day 2 I learn the rest of the kanjis + some vocab. Day 3 I finish all the lessons. Day 4/5 Learn all the new kanjis. Day 5/6/7 The rest o vocab. Day 8 repeat. There are 2 bottlenecks that can slow you down: Radicals in day one and Kanjis in day 5. You have to achieve 100% accuracy on all the radicals in day 1 and from day 5 you cant miss more than 3 kanjis (90% guru for level up). From the first half of the kanjis, you can miss them until you get your second bunch. By the time you learn all the kanjis of the level, you cant miss them, so pay attention.

Also, to maximize your productivity you should use the scripts below:

-Lesson reorder (MUST)
-Review reorde (MUST)
-Ignore (MUST)
-Ultimate timeline

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I wouldn’t say Ignore is a must, since depending on how disciplined you are it might be tempting to give yourself too much leeway and not learn as much. (I use it myself, but I feel I am pretty strict).

The other two I agree are pretty much essential if you want to level quickly and don’t feel like busting through 120 items in a row every time you unlock a new level.

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I’m gonna be contrary to rbsaito and say not to rush levels if you can’t handle it. Yes, don’t slack, but that doesn’t mean you need to be constantly checking times for when you can level up a current item. Consistency is good, but you don’t need to set the fastest pace possible. Working on reviews at least once a day should be good enough. If you can at least maintain a daily review schedule, you’ll do fine. Your apprentice items should settle into a nice amount at that pace. If you decide to go faster, you’ll have to learn how to trim that apprentice and review stack down.

It depends on you but I don’t think it’s necessary to do all that reordering and acing items for the fastest pace. If you fail an item, you don’t know it well enough. Don’t cheat. You don’t learn anything by cheating. (I’ll give you a pass on radicals though.)

Figure out what works for you. Maybe you’re like rbsaito and a fast and frantic pace keeps you motivated. Maybe you’re like me, going slow and steady. Find the number of items you can sit down and do in one sitting and try to aim for review stacks that have around that or less than that amount. If you feel like you have an insurmountable number of reviews, break it down to smaller stacks and tackle them bunches at a time. There’s no shame in taking it slow if necessary, as long as you’re making progress.

Also, aside from WK, I recommend you put your WK learning to use by reading Japanese media. Websites, news, books, games, you should try to use what you learn, because it helps the kanji sink in, plus it provides extra motivation. You’ll find your reading comprehension growing by leaps and bounds as you level, and it’ll make you want to continue WK.

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This is the most important piece of advice you will receive.

Leeches will break your higher level progress if they stick around in packs. Levels take me well over a month now due to not dealing with this early on. It will creep up on you and each level will start to get harder and harder to make progress on. It probably started to be noticeable for me around level 40 and by level 50 I was starting to get seriously light headed due to lack of bloodflow!

Identify them early and put extra study time into them outside of the SRS system.

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Dictionary link for vocabs… especially non-Jisho ones.

I make a link from Anki, BTW.

If you can handle Anki, Anki can change your life.

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Speaking of which, I am getting killed by “waiting-to-be-burned” items… Many of which got thrown back into Guru… and eventually Apprentice.

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It’s a vicious cycle. :’(

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What I believe are two…

  1. Keep Apprentice low.
  2. Level up steady. Like 2-3 levels per month. Monthly progress thread!
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I’ve been managing ~150 apprentice doing all lessons as soon as they’re available and doing reviews asap (I’m usually on 4-6 times a day) with my morning and nights typically the busiest (100-150 reviews). This is sustainable for me, but my question is, do the kanji get somehow more difficult in higher levels, or is there any other reason to believe that this might become unsustainable over time?

You’ll start getting more intricate kanji, and just due to the volume, you’ll more and more be in the situation of ‘wait, this kanji looks a lot like these other few… which one is this… crap’
@polv I’m more like, 1 level per month. Slowpoke I are :sleepy:

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It’s been said a bunch already but.

  1. Use Apprentice count to keep your review frequency at a comfortable level.
  2. Don’t be afraid to shortly stop doing lessons.
  3. However always doing your reviews as soon as possible and don’t let them sit.
  4. Don’t try to go by anyone else’s pace. But also try to push yourself to go at a decent pace.
  5. Use scripts to make your life easier, but be wary of easily abused ones like the override/ignore script.

The kanji will definitely get more complex. And you’ll be piling on more and more items into your review queue as time goes on as well. Burning will remove items from the queue but that depends on accuracy. I think this is why it’s so important to limit things with your apprentice item count. Personally I feel like it’s important to go at whatever pace is comfortable to you whiles till trying to maintain a decent level up time (8 to 15 days I think). It’s much better to go at a slower pace than to rush and burn yourself out.

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