Amount of old lessons when starting new level?

I wasn’t quite sure where to post this, but here it goes. I’ve been getting the hang of Wanikani, up to level 8 now. There’s something I’ve been noticing, and it bothers me a bit. Not a huge problem, but I figured I’d post it here. In the days before I hit a new level, I find my lesson queue is filling up. The result is that when I hit a new level (and getting the motivation boost of that), it takes a while to even get to the new radicals and such. And that weighs on my motivation.

I use Wanikani on a mobile browser and I’ve never used scripts. I stick to the recommended order of doing lessons from the previous tier first. I do about 10-15 lessons per day, and average 10-14 days per level so far.

Is this normal behavior? When hitting a new level, I get a sudden influx of new lessons of course. With 10-15 per day, I almost get those done by the time that I’m 2/3rd into the level. And then, in the last few days, I take the kanji from that level up to Guru and I find that the vocab lessons are added quicker than I can do them.

Ideally, I’d like to start each new level with a clean sheet. Is that just not feasible? Should I start looking into a reorder script to help me?

Yup, it’s normal. It’s a natural consequence of most kanji having more than one related vocab word

Since level-up is dependent on getting 90% of kanji to Guru, and vocab has nothing to do with it, it’s impossible to not level up before you’ve done all lessons for a given level. I believe the closest you can get is holding off on Guru’ing just enough kanji to not level up until you’ve done all your waiting lessons; this will keep the number of lessons before your new level’s to a minimum, but still not zero, since those kanji unlock the last several vocab for that level

(That probably is done easiest with reordering. E.g. If you need all but 4 kanji to level up, don’t do lessons for the last 5 until you’ve done the majority of the vocab that doesn’t need those to unlock, then do the rest while you’re waiting for those last kanji to get to Guru. Then you’re left with just those 5 kanji’s vocab before your new level’s items. But if you just skip reviews for those kanji, you don’t necessarily need to reorder.)

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That’s normal behaviour, and tbh, it’s essential for making the kanji you’ve learned on that level stick. I personally do them all in a single batch, and in my experience there is always about 110-120 words like that.

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in a similar vein as the above, I suggest two things.

First is to try to spread out when you guru those last kanji and to immediately do the associated vocab lessons. That way, less vocab lessons are remaining as you are actually approaching the final level up-step.

The second thing is to not guru more kanji than necessary for level up. If you have 6 kanji remaining on the level but only require 3 more, stop at the three to make quick work of the vocab and move onto the radicals and new kanji instead.

Only then, continue reviewing and unlocking the final vocab lessons of the previous level.

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if you can’t or don’t want to use scripts or third-party apps, then there’s really not much you can do about that. the only thing i can think of is to set lesson ordering to Ascending Level then Shuffled in the WK settings. that would spread out the kanji a bit, and reduce the vocab lesson dump as you guru all the kanji at once. though if speed is a thing for you, that might also make the levels take a little longer.

if you want more control over that, you’ll have to move away from vanilla WK. there’s excellent apps for phones (Tsurukame for iOS, Smouldering Durtles for android), which both give you much more control over how you use WK. otherwise there’s userscripts, i’m a great fan of lesson re-ordering (just don’t skip the vocab), and apparently there are ways to make them work on phones nowadays.

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Thank you, that’s some very helpful comments. First off, it’s helpful to realize that this is inherend in the way WK is setup. I’m going to try a few things:

  • Go a bit slower with learning new kanji at the beginning of a lesson, probably by setting the order to Ascending>Shuffled once I’ve hit all the new radicals.
  • Push harder with vocab lessons at the end of a lesson. I find that most of them are easy by that time, so going for e.g. 20 should be OK.

I’ll see how that goes for a level or two. If it still bothers me after that, I might look into re-order scripts and really pushing back the last couple of kanji in a level.

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Here are some other options (if you use a reordering script like Reorder Omega or Wanikani Lesson Filter):

  1. Reorder Lessons in this order: Vocabulary → Radicals → Kanji
    1a. With this method, you’ll complete all available vocabulary before moving onto more kanji.
    1b. Advantage: You’ll reinforce the kanji meaning/reading by learning the associated vocab right after guruing each individual kanji.

  2. Use a Kanji to Vocab Ratio
    2a. Wanikani currently has about 2074 kanji and 6588 vocabulary. 6588/2074 = 3.176, so users can progress evenly by learning 1 kanji per 3 vocab (4 lessons total) OR 1 kanji per 4 vocab (5 lessons total).
    2b. Advantage: The workload is balanced between kanji and vocab. For me, kanji lessons are more difficult and require more time than vocabulary lessons, so 1 kanji & 4 vocab lessons per day is more approachable and manageable than struggling through 5 kanji lessons in one day.
    2c. The WaniKani Dashboard Level Progress Detail 1.0+ script adds a vocabulary progress bar underneath the radical and kanji progress bars on the dashboard. This helps me keep my kanji and vocab progress approximately even.

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