Advice on WaniKani schedule

Yeah, @andresanchez was harsh on their criticism… :confused:
No one wants to hear how their progress is not good enough.
I’d say all progress is good progress. :slight_smile:


I’m scrolling through the replies to this question and love all the advice. I’m also in the same situation. Very helpful and thoughtful advice.


People in here saying it takes 3 hours to do reviews how many reviews are you getting?

Today I had something like 120 reviews in one go, and it took me 7mins.
At the same pace 3hours would mean 3085 reviews per day!

Do you really get 3000+ reviews at level 39? holy moly…

1 Like

No. Nightscotsman explained what he meant if you scroll above a few comments.
I said I take about 2 hours. When I get home from work, I usually have about 120 reviews and it takes me about an hour to do them. Then throughout the evening I estimate I spend another hour on WaniKani. How many of your 120 reviews that you had today were radicals?

1 Like

I love that you are really digging into the language. I’ve been turning to illustrations for some of the kanji whose mnemonics I can’t connect with, and obviously this adds time to my learning, but we do what works for us, right.

I don’t think you’re wasting your time, and you are setting yourself up for success in a way that works for you. Keep on keeping on!! :heart:


I’ve been finding in the higher levels a lot of the mnemonics don’t make sense to me, so I’m writing my own about 50% of the time. One thing I do that is a good indicator of weather the mnemonic will work for me or not is to try to think of one just from the radicals shown on the first page of the lesson (just the first thing that pops into my head), then when I click to the next screen if the given mnemonic is somewhat close, I will have a good chance of remembering it. If it’s way off, then I usually write my own.

1 Like

Higher levels have harder kanji and vocab, and as time and the SRS goes on, the items from way back will start to appear in your reviews, too.

I did 50 reviews just now and that took me 7 min. Btw, I got 8 of the items wrong, and I burned 5 items.

Some vocab I just can’t seem to differentiate nowadays: 審査, 検査, 捜査, 捜索, 検索. All of these have a similar meaning and the kanji are used multiple times. So of course it’s not easy to keep track when items like these take up your time. Btw, these kind of items that you just can’t seem to get right are called leeches.

About 20 or so radicals since I unlocked level 4 yesterday. Usually I don’t get any radicals.
120 was just for that single session, I usually do them as soon as they are available (ironically I let 120 build up today since it’s Saturday and I went to a Japanese class then hung out with other students for a couple of hours). So this was the first time I had a large enough stack of 100+ to time myself.
I don’t spend any time outside of the reviews looking at the reading or meaning. But I’m only level 4 so that might change later. So for me the only time it takes is the time it takes to type in the answer, and if I get something wrong the time it takes to review and listen to the word again (in the case of vocabulary).

I’m just curious on how large these stacks will continue to grow before reaching an equilibrium.

To be fair at level 3 you get a lot of radicals which are really easy and quick and isolated kanji which are easy. At higher levels you get more and more vocabulary which takes up a lot more time and is harder/slower. But yea, some people take way too long to do reviews because they actually study while doing the reviews, like they redo the mnemonics carefully, maybe even write down the answer, go through the example sentences, etc. I just lazily go through them, accepting that I forget things and not spending five minutes trying to recall something I forgot when I can just get the answer wrong and see it and hope I do better next time. I used to pre-train lessons and the next level’s content with the self-study script but I rather just watch anime and let the srs handle the material, even if it takes me forever to move to a higher level.

1 Like

If I don’t do my reviews for the next whole week, it will pile up to 1003 items.
Does that satisfy your curiosity? :slight_smile:


The stack is not going to grow to 3,000 unless you start skipping days and even then you would need to skip a lot of days. I mean in theory they could, if you just keep getting all the vocab wrong all the time, but in practice the only people who get insane numbers of reviews are people who use reorder scripts to skip the vocab and people who get busy or depressed and just let things pile up day after day instead of doing the reviews (think of it as getting fat because your lazy ass kept eating doughnuts day after day instead of doing cardio).

The kanji/vocab get harder but the reason why I specifically asked about radicals is because there’s one “card”. If you visualize the items as actual flashcards, 20 radicals=20 cards. 20 kanji/vocab items=40 cards.
I’m also bipolar so sometimes I’m depressed and it might take me a while to do reviews because of that and sometimes my brain is like a slot machine that goes to superspeed and never stops then I realize I barely did anything that I was trying to do. I also have fatigue a lot of the time. That’s why it takes me “way too long” to do a review session.
I know this line of discussion is off topic but I think some of the comments judging how long a review session should take might be harmful to new users who take a while.


Yeah, I am curious to see how I will adapt and survive in the higher levels when the kanji gets harder. Maybe do fewer lessons as needed.

I do sometimes write my own mnemonics as well when the WK one’s are too random for me to puzzle through. :rofl: But it sounds like you have a good handle on a method +how your memory works! I’m always one for experimentation and figuring out what works best for a person if that means that they don’t give up.

1 Like

I am on WK at least 4 times a day, with my first lesson and set of reviews happening during breakfast. I am considering waking up a little earlier though, like maybe 15 minutes, to do my reviews (if they’re available) so that I can just focus on my lessons during breakfast. Then I do my review during lunch/dinner and when I have some downtime. And then my final session is before bed.

Like others have said, it’s best to make sure your review pile is at 0 at the end of the day so that there isn’t such a backlog when you get started in the morning.

I suggest experimenting with timing. If I can’t get my lessons done by a certain time, then I just don’t do them for the day because I don’t want to see more than I “need” to first thing in the morning. But this is me. Everyone does something different as you are seeing!

1 Like

Yeah I was barely able to catch up to my reviews when was tired two weeks ago.

Not only that, but people have different reading, recall and typing speeds (PC/Mobile). On PC I also have scripts like the jitai font randomizer, which ups some challenge and delays me quite a bit when it’s a bit tricky to figure out the strokes.

When I don’t know a reading or meaning, I’ll definitely look at the right answer for a while. And when you got all the new kanji in the mix that adds up.

My only advice is to keep going at it every day, if you skip a day, it will just add them up to the pile and that is definitely one of the biggest demotivators to start reviews with. It’s really not a good position to set yourself in, even if clearing it will give a big boost.


By the way, if you haven’t already, I highly recommend installing the user script “Wanikani Ultimate Timeline”:

It will really help with visualizing upcoming reviews and planing your schedule. Without it feels like flying blind.


Not trying to contradict @jprspereira, because this works really well for some people, and there is something to be said for consistency in your schedule. But if you are the kind of person who finds themselves picking up their phone every 1-2 hours to check facebook/twitter/reddit/your personal social media black hole of choice (like I am), then why not use that time to do a handful of reviews instead? Replace a social media addiction with a WK addiction :wink:

I generally have a decently-sized stack of 50-100 reviews that pile up overnight, which I get done right away in the morning. After that, I’ll have a few (generally <5, and rarely more than 10) every hour that I do whenever I pick up my phone throughout the day. If I don’t think I can get through all of them at once, I’ll just do what I can at the time (using the wrap-up button in the app), and pick up a few more the next hour. It gets me more repetition throughout the day on new kanji and the worst of my leeches (though I’m only at level 13, so they really aren’t that bad yet…), and its not like I would have done anything more productive with that time anyway.

That said, if you can’t keep up with new reviews consistently every hour or two, you’re probably better off with setting some specific times for reviews… I second @Nightscotsman in recommending the Ultimate Timeline to see how your chosen WK schedule affects your review count. Find a schedule that works for you and try your best to stick to it. Best of luck!


I kind of do the in between. I wait until I have over 20 reviews in the queue so I have some breathing room, but I try very hard not to let them get over 40 because my accuracy steadily drops the longer the session due mostly to typing fatigue.

1 Like

My schedule pretty stable for already several months, and I am very satisfied with it.

I do all reviews at morning around 9-11am. Every day I have 100-120 reviews which takes half hour or more, sometimes I do with pauses.

At morning reviews I turn off reorder script, except 1x1 mode, when meaning and prononication comes together. I really don’t think I could learn something from errors when I just was too quick and haven’t noticed what exactly is needed. So I always answer meaning, and right after that kana.

During the day around 5-7pm I do 10-15 new lessons. no reviews at all. It takes around 10-20 minutes. I use reorder to balance complexity, like 5 new kanji, 5 new vocabs, and so on, or just roll “Force Reorder” button to easier vocab, when I tired.

Before night I do reviews for new lessons, and use reorder script to prioritize only current level, so all “old” words will fall to next morning. It takes another 10-15 minutes.

Here is my timeline, morning bars :slight_smile:

And plenty of free time from learning, when I don’t have to look at WK every hour.


Oh yeah, I totally agree. That’s what I did 2y+ ago, and it led to me doing reviews every hour, which made me succeed pretty well :stuck_out_tongue: It’s definitely a good improvement.