Advice to a long time student, new to wanikani

Hello everyone, this is my first post and I was not so sure where to fit it. I’ve learned all my japanese with Kumon so far (it was the method that best worked for me after many tries) and been studying it for many years now (I actually finished it some years ago) however it did not take me to fluency, actually I’ve been stuck on N3 for quite some time now and started feeling like I could not breach that barrier, so I started Wanikani for vocabulary since I think it is my weakness and I’m enjoying it a lot so far but I’d like advice on some stuff!
1 . What is a good schedule/times a day for doing it? Initially I was doing once a day but with levels lessons started piling up so now I’m doing reviews twice a day + 10 new lessons each time
2. I’m a little worried with past content (from previous levels) that doesn’t show up anymore on reviews, should I use decks to keep them fresh in my mind?
3. I’ve been looking to participate more in this community, what would be some good topics/categories to join to help me engage given my current level?
4. What level on Wanikani would be more or less a good parameter for trying N3 again? I don’t plan on going for it this year unless I feel quite some improvement till June or something, not in a rush since I failed it many times now
Thanks in advance!

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It will show up eventually, and if it doesn’t, you’re supposed to know it well enough, and see it from time to time while using the language. So no.

That’s the whole point of SRS.

Twice a day is fine. Three maybe better.

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\textcolor{pink}{\huge \textsf{WELCOME! ^-^}}

welcome gif - crabigator

Take the time to check out the FAQ and GUIDE if you haven’t already.

There’s also a lot of good stuff on the forum to help you, like:

The Ultimate Guide for WK
The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resource List
The New and Improved List of API and Third-Party Apps

I hope your Japanese learning journey goes well and that you enjoy your time with us on the forums.

If you look at the way the SRS intervals work, there’s a nice natural pattern if you do lessons around 9AM in the morning, you’ll find your next review comes at 1PM and then any reviews from that batch will come back at 9PM. You can adjust that around a bit to fit your schedule, but you get the impression.

Nop, as @Kazzeon points out, this is the point of SRS. You can read about the spacing effect here: SRS: Spaced Repetition System | WaniKani Knowledge

By bringing reviews in just as your brain starts to forget them means that there is a natural strengthening effect.

The POLL thread is pretty good, just sayin’

I can’t answer this better than @MegaZeroX:

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Any other thread, please…

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I can’t think of any better post on this forum in terms of active engagement numbers, just sayin’ :sweat_smile:

Wanikani is a great tool for learning kanji, but if your main focus is indeed learning more vocab, there are probably better tools out there. The vocab included here is based on what kanji it contains, and only after that on whether the word itself is common/useful. This means that usually an additional way to learn missing common vocab is required in addition to learning kanji here.

This might not be a problem at all for you, but since Wanikani is a large time investment it can be very frustrating to notice this later if you were expecting something else.

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You might notice that Kanji is a key to unlocking a lot more vocabularies, and remembering better, especially if you are not so a beginner, and also reading something alongside.

Perhaps also read something with Furigana. Find something of an appropriate level from Natively, or join a thread in Book Clubs.

Lessons aside, I am doing it once per day. Letting it pile until big enough. And not always finishing the Review (with wrap-up button).

Number of lessons per day depends on you, but it’s probably saner to go small batches at a time. Or perhaps see this guide.

There is this stats website.

Although 100% coverage is at Level 51, it is common that people get more confident around Level 20 or something.

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Ignore the lesson pile. Its a false God. The true one is on the right in the Review Pile. That will keep your soul cleansed and keep you right with the Crabgator’s will.

A look at my schedule, I do “2 sessions a day.” Why the quotes? Glad you asked, I do my general reviews at 4PM everyday + 15 lessons (Technically 3 sessions, but I do it in the same time frame). Then at 8PM, I do the reviews that is just the new words I learned, and don’t do any reviews until 4PM the next day. This is how I have kept my sanity for this long.

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As someone above already mentioned, WaniKani’s use of Vocab is primarily in support of learning the Kanji. Therefore, it is not optimized as a vocab learning resource – which is good in a way, because it is optimized as a kanji learning resource, which is what we’re all here for mainly. But if you’re looking specifically for vocab, there are other resources that would serve you better in that regard.

Personally, I’m currently using BunPro as my ‘supplementary vocab’ learning tool. BunPro is primarily focused on Grammar. However, they’ve recently been adding lots of new features and improvements to their site, as part of a Beta program (which one has to opt-in to, so it’s not visible by default; just have to flip a switch in your account settings).

And one of those features happens to be an additional/parallel SRS system for learning vocab. In particular, this is useful because BunPro is great as a supplemental tool for learning from traditional grammar textbooks, and those textbooks often include lists of vocab for each chapter, so you can study along with both the grammar and vocab for any of several popular textbooks.

And also, they have vocab decks specifically for the JLPT system, e.g. levels N5 to N1. And that’s what I’m currently studying. Near the end of N4 vocab, myself.


Regarding when & how much to study: There are lots of guides and posts explaining how to use WaniKani ‘optimally’ in terms of, for example, speed, or time-spent. Many have already been linked above. However, some of us have decided to take a much more relaxed and pleasantly-focused approach, focusing more on the long-term, slow-and-steady strategy. There’s a thread at :durtle_hello: Let’s Durtle the Scenic Route :turtle: if you want to check that idea out. It’s just a bit of a different philosophy on learning Japanese, and in particular how to use WK to that end.


Oh yeah, and I second @WaniTsunami’s warning about the false ‘Lesson God’. The Review God is indeed the one you want to focus on.

In fact, many people who’ve spent too much time paying homage to the ‘Lesson God’ ended up with waves of reviews crashing onto them later on, after constantly doing many lessons a day, and they eventually could not keep up with the tsunami of reviews. Their review stacks would build up to hundreds or even thousands of reviews, especially if they took any time off and forgot to turn on Vacation Mode.

Many such hapless folk end up burned out.Some are able to recover and continue, but switching allegiance to the Review God. But there are even those who’ve been so burnt out this way, like myself, we ended up too burnt out to continue the ‘old ways’, and have chosen to ‘durtle the Scenic Route’ instead. :sweat_smile:

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Thanks for this super detailed response! Really helps a lot

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Thanks @wct! BunPro seems quite interesting and totally my type of tool, do you know if they have some sort of discount period for the lifetime sub like wanikani does? Because I’m from Brazil and US$150 is quite expensive for me (that’d be more than 1K of Brazillian Reals on the current exchange value) just to get Wanikani it was quite a challenge, also I don’t think paying annual is worth given my condition

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Yes, they do have an annual discount around Christmas, just like WK does. I’m not sure what the typical discount is, off hand. You could check out their forum, search for ‘discount’ or something, and I’m sure you’ll find lots of info.

For reaching all of the N3 content (and all of N2 kanji and even half of N1), Level 51 - at least according to WK Stats.

But you can get to 98% of N3 by Level 40… and 97% by Level 37. So, those might be good goal points, as far as WaniKani.

I’m at that ‘barrier’ at the moment myself, and it feels like I’ve got a sufficient kanji background but need to continue applying my leaning. I’m using Shin Kanzen and other reading materials to slowly acquire the content I’ve studied. And I think I need to do more directed listening and speaking to move beyond where I am now…

So, personally, I might not recommend WaniKani per se (based on your personal description), but if you feel like your kanji reading skills in particular are lacking then it’ll likely boost those skills.

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