Any other slowpokes?

I keep opening level 60 celebration posts looking for someone whose level stats look anything like mine (yet to find one) so I’d like to poll the community for advice or opinions.
Am I likely doing something wrong causing me to go at a snail’s pace? I usually review every other day, or every third day. Even during that 70 day spike I hadn’t taken a break or anything, I just took that long to level up. After a review session I usually have between 70 and 80% accuracy.
I’ve excluded the first 4 levels because I gave the program a try before realizing I needed all my energy to get through school.

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I’ve been doing this since Oct 6th 2017. One reset from lvl 17 which took an eternity to get back to, and I’ve been on hiatus since May because life events.

When life isn’t throwing ‘events’ at me, I endeavour to do reviews 2 to 3 times a day - the more promptly you do reviews when they become available, the faster you can progress. Whether you have time to do this and whether it is appropriate to prioritise WK over other stuff to progress faster is only something you can answer, though.

I’d say don’t worry about others’ speed and you do you.

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There are plenty of slower folks here! I’ve seen a few level 60 celebration posts where people spent quite a few years off and on WK and still managed to reach level 60. If you want to have a community of fellow slow people to hang out with, there is the Let’s Durtle the Scenic Route thread and the Team Snails on Vacation thread.

If you don’t like going this slow and would rather go faster, I recommend checking out the Ultimate Guide for WK, which has very in-depth explanations of how WK works and how to best optimize it. Some advice I can give right away is that it’s best if you can find a way to check WK three times a day (do your lessons, then review the new items 4 hours later, then 8 hours after that). If you stick closely to those SRS intervals, you’ll remember the items better, and you’ll also get them to the next stage faster, which will let you level up quicker.

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I try to aim for roughly 1 level a month, which is about 5 lessons a day + all available reviews. I’m currently testing out doing 8 lessons a day when it’s just vocab left, before the next levels kanji start showing up again.

At a certain point reading becomes more important than levelling speed because you’ll just keep forgetting previous stuff if you aren’t using it for anything. I’m reading よつばと!atm and really like it; even ordered some more + a kids copy of Alice in Wonderland off Japanese Amazon the other day. Vtubers are good listening practice as well if you like that sort of thing as they provide a constant stream of new content which always changes.

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Yeah, I should clarify that I’m not going full speed myself. My typical level up time is just over two weeks, which is about twice as slow as full speed. What this amounts to in practical terms is about 13 lessons a day (plus at least three review sessions). I start with all of the radicals, then do 3 kanji lessons and 10 vocab lessons a day until I’ve learned all the kanji (I use the lesson filter script in order to do this), then I spend the rest of the level just doing 10 vocab lessons a day. It’s not too bad of a speed, though it definitely does require committing some time to WK every single day. I think trying to go full speed would be too much for me.

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I think you are some what an average WaniKani user. The others on this forum that level-up at full speed are probably not even 1% of WaniKani’s users. So please don’t be discouraged by those stats.

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I think you’re doing fine and my stats will probably look more similar to yours by the end. I struggle a lot with burnout personally and find there are times when I can go fast and times when I just can’t handle any more Japanese in a day.

I’ve also decided that I need to take a more targeted approach with grammar and spend less time on kanji, so that’ll affect my speed too.

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It all depends what you have going on and what your priorities are as others have said. I was excited to level up in roughly a week to ten days when I started around last December or so.
I work as a commercial roofer and now that I spend half the day working in the hot sun, Im happy if I can manage about five lessons a day and staying on top of reviews. Now Im leveling up usually between two weeks to a month. I think staying consistent is important even if you have to slow down

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I’ve been getting a lot of practice reading/writing in vtuber chats (and a lot of reminders how many kanji I still need) so I can attest to that advice. Congratulations on getting to such a high level with such a measured pace!

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I relate to feeling burnout. When pushing through it reviews go much slower. I tend not to work on grammar when I still have reviews to do, which has translated into procrastinating on grammar quite a bit.

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Yeah! I think as others have said, the folks moving at full speed are probably a minority and moving at that pace involves putting in a lot of time and effort especially at the later levels. If you read many of the level 60 speedrun posts they will often be pretty up front about the fact that theyve had to sacrifice things like working on grammar etc etc as WK takes up all their Japanese study time.

Given that WK only focuses on one element of learning Japanese - how fast you want to move through it/how much focus you put into it will depend a lot of what your aims are. Just now I’m moving at around 2 weeks-1 month per level, which allows me to fit in reading in Japanese every day and keeping up with grammar lessons/homework with a teacher on iTalki. If I moved faster in WK I’d have to sacrifice those other things which I wouldn’t want to do.

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Going fast is actually not recommended. Many speed demons have tried and failed, only a few make it :wink:
I tried and it made me hit the wall more than once and had to reset!
I have learned though! This is what my leveling looks like lately:

I’m not 60 yet, but I am almost there, so close enough :wink:

I don’t recommend pushing too hard, but I highly recommend doing reviews daily (more than once a day if possible)
It is much better for your recollection. I hate it when i’m away too many hours and end uo with big batches, it ruins my recollection so much!
Doing it often helps pushing the items forward too. It is better to spread out lessons and do reviews often =)

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Am I likely doing something wrong causing me to go at a snail’s pace? I usually review every other day, or every third day.

Well you low-key answered your own question right after you asked it. To be clear there is nothing wrong with going slowly, everyone has their own pace, but if you’re only doing reviews every 2-3 days then it shouldn’t be surprising that you aren’t progressing as fast as full speed guys.

If I was to give advice it would probably be to plan for the days where you unlock new radicals and kanji so that you can do the reviews at a high frequency that day. Maybe you already do this though but if not then it is probably severely hurting your progression speed. WK has a short review period between items in A1 because it wants to give you a chance to get it right on the day of learning it and because it wants to at least somewhat beat it into your memory.
What I’m saying is that you should not be taking a days break between reviewing A1 items or probably even A2 items for that matter (maybe it’s fine for vocab but radicals and kanji are a nono). It will not just massively pad your review intervals but also hurt your memory retention of the items causing you to get them wrong more often in the future (resulting in more reviews and work overall).

I usually do reviews at least once a day, sometimes twice, sometimes I skip a day if I’m feeling burned out. My accuracy is usually between 80%-95% but this can be as low as 35%-50% when reviewing new items (mostly with kanji, vocab and radicals sink in better for me).

Here is what the progression looks like for me so far:


I realize that I’m still not at peak workload which is probably somewhere between levels 15 and 20 so my progression will probably slow down a bit later and I’m certainly not going full speed now. I just want to show what kind of progression you can get close to if you do reviews at least daily.
I guess I’ll add that at levels 5 and 7 I’ve taken a week long break where I didn’t do anything.

Edit: Also 100% cheat on your radicals at least until you “clear” them to unlock the kanji, they are by far the easiest to remeber overall and since kanji include them you will have plently of opportunities to memorize them (though personally even if I cheat on the first 2 radical reviews I still remeber it by the 3rd). Getting a single radical wrong though can stifle your progress by a lot and unnecessarily.

I’ve been wondering if I should make a level 60 post when I get there (made it all the way to level 59 then reset back to 52). I was going to title it something like “One slow durtle’s journey to 60” :joy: I’ve taken a lot of breaks though rather than going at a consistent slower pace like you have. I do think WK is best done at least once a day but ultimately, you can go at whatever pace you feel most comfortable that suits your needs.

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If you have the time/energy to do so I certainly think that would be great! Think it’s helpful for everyone to see the variety of different experiences and approaches :slight_smile: I think as this post shows (and I also thought this for my first 10 or so levels) it’s quite easy to just see the speedrun level 60 posts and think that everyone is going that fast!

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I think it’s more of a selection bias thing. The people who have done it fast are more likely to post their stats. I really wouldn’t focus on speed. There are LOTS of people on here going slow. There are also lots of people going fast. I have my own reasons for going fast as I MUST get up this mountain but I also have the luxury of time right now. You just cannot compare yourself because you don’t know all the variables in order to be able to compare. So do your own thing. The goal is to learn and have fun…and maybe look at some cute cat and dog memes along the way…see you at the top, regardless of how fast or slow we get there…

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I joined WK in 2012 and still haven’t made it to level 60 yet. Wanikani was still in beta back then! In fairness, I have a couple of break and reset twice (each time stalling out somewhere between level 25-30) but yeah, pretty much the definition of a slowpoke. My latest run I managed to go a pretty fast clip until about level 20 - but that is mostly because I had already done levels 1-20 twice. After that, I had one level take 47 days, another a full month, another 20 days, and since levels 27, I haven’t been able to do a level under 2 weeks. Mostly down to life stuff, and wanting to keep number of reviews under control, and accuracy dipping from 90% on average to 70%.

But yes, most people don’t go at full speed unless they 1) are students with tons of times on their hands and flexible schedules or 2) have had prior kanji knowledge. Most people I suspect take much longer :slight_smile:

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