After the pileup: how to manage reviews when they all come due at once?

Phew! It’s been a busy year. New job, new house, new state! Now that I’ve got a little free time (emphasis on a little) I’m coming back to WK.

Or trying to.

Problem: I failed to turn on vacation mode for two months. I kept trying to log in and grind out all the buildup when I had time, but that didn’t really pan out. I used this holiday weekend to finish going through a backlog of 1000 reviews, and I’d feel accomplished if not for the reality that… they’re about to come back. Tomorrow, pretty much.

I’ve got 207 reviews that will come due in the next 24 hours and no less than 40 per day for quite a while in my queue. I had a lot of time on my hands before the move, so that number jumps to 80 every couple of days. I really can’t sustain 80 reviews per day, let alone 200. But when I just do what I have time for they pile up and I don’t see reviews I really need for weeks while they’re buried in the mound, which puts them back down to apprentice level and starts a vicious cycle I can’t seem to escape.

Other people must have experienced this before - what techniques or APIs help manage the flow?


Just keep it slow and steady. Do your reviews and try to crush it down to zero each day (even if you can’t don’t panic). Keep at it until the apprentice number on the dashboard dips below at least 100. Personally, I’d say wait till it dips below 65 before you do more lessons n’ stuff again. It’ll calm down in a week or so if you’re consistent. Just do small chunks at a time :smiley:


Oh man I had this too.
I try to do it once a day but because of the way the timers work I end up with 100+ things to review a day. (Only at level 5)

I guess I just take in a little at a time. I try to do it every day after work, but for new words I take that 5-10 at a time so I don’t cram my brain.

Because of school, I had to reset from level 20 because I didn’t want to go through the agony of re-learning everything I happened to forget through reviews. So I’m trying to speed run these early levels, but I’m being cautious about overloading myself with reviews. So what I’m doing is staggering each review session by an hour if I have more than 30 to do (I figured that was a good cut-off number). I do half the reviews (or further fractions, depending on the amount), then come back the next hour and finish up or continue working. It works right now because I have a relatively light load, so it might not work for you depending on how your hourly breakdown is.

This is probably the most useful piece of advice and what you should be aiming for.


Oh I won’t be touching lessons for a long time. The problem is I have so many reviews there’s literally no way I can consistently do them all every day, or even most of them most days. And then on top of it they’re compounded by waves of mastery reviews from a time when I was much more free. I don’t see it calming down for months since I forget the kanji and vocab when I don’t see the reviews and that just makes more reviews :sob:

It probably means that improving memorization takes more priority. A way is to use [Userscript] Self-Study Quiz (rfindley’s version, rather than built-in WaniKani’s).

Then, try to learn well, and memorize in advance, by level if it helps, to be able to clear review’s pile… eventually.

Also to say, there is no reason to avoid visiting items outside the SRS.

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It’s not really a matter of forgetting them in the standard time between reviews - it’s that I don’t have time to review them when I’m supposed to, so days or weeks more go by before I dig them out of my backlog and by then poof! the memory is gone. Adding more study time isn’t an option when I can’t even keep up with the normal review schedule :cry:

I’m seriously considering a reset. I have the majority of the earlier levels burned so I might not have to go all the way back. I kinda hate relearning stuff I already know but there’s definitely a point in the levels where my knowledge gets choppy at best. I’m glad to hear that it’s working for you! Makes me a little less worried about the possibility.


I’d reset back at least a couple levels. Pretty much anything that was guru or less before your break is gone from your memory, and many of the master level items are probably gone as well. You could try resetting back to a level where you have/had almost all master level items and try from there. If necessary, you can reset back even further.

If a reset is still not enough, I’d recommend finding a script that’ll let you reorder your reviews either by level or SRS stage. That way, you can tackle the pile slowly. If you go this route, you’ll want to be sure that you’re at least clearing all of your apprentice stage items out every day if possible. If you have extra energy, you can work on some of the higher stage reviews, but many of them will immediately fall back to guru and apprentice, so you’ll want to make clearing those out your priority. If the number of apprentice items is too large, limiting them by level can help reduce them.

I believe that this is currently the most robust and most well-supported reorder script:

While working through the backlog, just do whatever feels like a reasonable number of daily reviews. If you’re consistent with them now, they’ll come back at a steady, consistent rate later instead of coming back in huge clumps of hundreds at once. The reorder script will help you actually take advantage of the SRS intervals again, letting you basically recreate the WK experience until you get back on your feet and can start doing lessons and reviews normally again.


Yeah, reset by 2 levels max and use a reorder script to focus on moving apprentice items into higher boxes.

I’m clearing a pile of 1800 reviews after 2 years away. Under 300 reviews to go. But I’m not super crunched for time. Failing lots of items (but burning lots too!)

My apprentice pile is around 300 now, so got to get that down or it will be perpetual reveiws.

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I’ll let you know when I find out, hopefully we can both make it out.


This happened to me at level 40, I understand the pain.
Apprentice level reviews are basically every day (on average) and they are that way on purpose. They are meant to be done every day. So, if you miss apprentice level reviews for a few days, learning them will become much much more difficult. I figure, 1 missed day of reviews means 3-4 lost days of progress.
Anyways, the fix is to get through at least 50 reviews, 3 times a day. If you overdo it, it wont help, they`ll just show up again the next day. So figure out your pacing, and take time to re-drill anything you noticed you missed more than once. Use built in stories, or make your own. Keep up 150+ review days for about 2 weeks and it should come back under control.

(not to be too scary, but that get it back under control number gets up to 250-350 once you stabalize guru-master-enlightened)

Just reset from level 13 to 10 (though I hadn’t made much progress on 13 so it was more like 12->10). I recognize a good amount of stuff from this level but not all of it, so I think I made the right choice. I can’t even describe the relief I felt seeing my daily reviews slashed to less than a third of what they had been. I’m going to be busy all day tomorrow and those 200 reviews - and the other 400 coming the rest of the week - felt like the looming end of my WK journey. Thanks everyone for the advice!


Installed Reorder Omega. VERY nice script.

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YAY! Just slow and steady reviews for a few days and rest will become manageable.

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Do the reviews.

The others already had great tips but what really saved me was understanding not to grind through 500 reviews because they will become available again a day later (duh). Just go slow and steady and try to space the reviews out. Doing 100 in the morning and the evening really helped widdle my review mountain down.

Good luck and congrats on the wonderful life changes!

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Here’s my ugli pile:

Under 200 reviews to go, down from 1800, but a lot more will drop every day this week.
Apprentice and Guru levels, like Tesla stock price too high.

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i second fallynleaf’s suggestion; use a re-order script

what worked really well for me* was to re-order by srs level, lowest levels first. and do about 100 (or a little more, but not much more) reviews per day. once i was getting to enlightened items every day, i started adding a small number of lessons every day. it certainly took longer to get through the pile, but it felt very motivating to be learning new stuff too ^^

*i’ve come back from 2 1600 item pileups

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