Are 15 lessons a day enough

most days I don’t do any lessons, but around once a week I do a big batch of 50~
I like it better that way

3 Likes

Depends on what they are. 15 max at a time for radicals and kanji, because I’m going in “raw” on those. But vocab I will do up to 40 lessons at a time. A lot of vocab are based on the kanji readings. The other ones just get spaced out a little more later when I fail them.

Sometimes in a day I will do 15 radical/kanji lessons in the morning to make sure I have the time to review them in the day. But I’ll do a batch of vocab lessons later in the day, because often reviewing them isn’t as important.

1 Like

Number of lessons per day is irrelevant, imo. I ignore it. Or, more accurately, I do more lessons based on feel. When I was doing 15 per day, every day, I nearly burned out - and that was in the easy stages. I think I’d be at 200+ reviews per day at this point if I was going at that pace.

If I want to learn more, or things are getting easy, I’ll randomly do some lessons on my phone. I’ll also rush through any words I already know from other sources when they’re unlocked, because they won’t really make things harder (as I already know these new words). My apprentice items are usually less than a hundred. If I find that I’m forgetting or having a hard time with kanji that I’ve already gurued, I’ll go in and pick some vocab that includes that kanji to reinforce my learning.

The only thing that controls your leveling pace is kanji and radicals. I do every single one at once when they are unlocked. I think I’m at about a week per level, but since I’m not churning through vocab I’m still working through level 13 vocab. I’m fine with that, and I’ll get through them all eventually.

I’ll likely be 60 in around a year, but I won’t be done with all the vocab so I’ll continue working through them at my own pace.

If doing all kanji and radicals at once as soon as they unlock sounds hard, here are some things I figured out to make it easier.

I “pre” learn the next level’s kanji a little bit at a time, maybe 5 per day, outside of the WK lesson structure. Just go read them on your phone when you’re on the toilet or waiting in line. By the time those unlock officially, you’ll mostly already know them and can “get the timer going” for the next level unlock.

Be okay with cheating with new kanji. I might get some wrong in the first couple of reviews for a new set of kanji, but by the time guru rolls around I know them all. If I don’t know it, I look it up, review it for a second, then put in the correct answer. If you’re okay with levels taking longer you can take the L when you don’t know it, but I find that I know the kanji whether I “cheat” or not.

2 Likes

Since burn reviews started, I have been learning new items much more slowly, and every day there’s a load of new burn reviews from the time I was moving fast. At burn reviews the success rate drops significantly, so you get many items back in your queue. Something to keep in mind.

1 Like

This almost doesn’t sound like using WK with the goal of learning, this sounds more like using it as a game with the goal of advancing through levels.

5 Likes

You misunderstand. The problem is that getting access to new kanji requires new levels. I can’t move on until I’ve leveled up, and the regular pace is already too slow for me. I can learn new kaji much faster than wanikani’s regular pace, so I’m optimizing for access to new kanji but then slowing down and taking the vocab at a relaxed pace.

WK is working great for me and my retention is at 99%, so the way it unlocks kanji is really my only complaint. By the time it unlocks the next batch, I already know the current kanji, so why would I want to get an answer wrong and slow down the unlocks even more then they are? Honestly the “game” part of wk, as slight as it is, is totally pointless and adds nothing.

4 Likes

I’m currently doing just enough so that I have 25-30 items at “apprentice.” Any more and I think my review queue will balloon. Looking forward to reaching level 60 in 2035😂

8 Likes

Nothing revolutionary but I’m doing 5 lessons per day and the reviews are just about manageable, i.e. clearing the review pile of the 60-70 or so every day. So it’s been a 5-year project.

No way I could’ve fitted 3 times the reviews in every day by going 3 times as fast! But each to their own.

7 Likes

I’m probably doing 5 per day. It used to be maybe 10-15 during first year and now I’ve slowed down because I’m now also learning Cantonese Chinese at the same time…

3 Likes

Hi Muffinmuffi, My schedule is kind of currently:

Mon-Fri: Doing mostly just reviews and maybe a few new lessons if it’s super slow at work and if I can sneak it in.

Sat-Sun: I spend hours on Wanikani, actually. '>.> And I do all of the lessons until the button turns grey, indicating that there aren’t any more lessons (because I’m waiting for the blue radicals and the pink kanji to get to the “Guru” stage so it opens up access to related purple vocab).

As for the actual number of lessons each day, that may be a very large number on the weekends. Definitely over 15, I’d say. Then again, during busy days at work, I might do 3 per day.

Ahh… Just to explain the part about the weekends: I’m not saying anyone needs to spend 12 hours on Wanikani on Saturdays and Sundays. I just do this because I don’t do anything else on weekends and I greatly enjoy learning Japanese. I don’t have a boyfriend or in-person friends to hang out with, and I don’t have any kids (just a cat), sooooo I have lots of spare time on Saturdays and Sundays, lol

I like the pause in the lessons that comes while I’m waiting for the radicals to get to the Guru level. This allows me to take a break from WaniKani and to look at other stuff (japanese youtube grammar videos or whatever) or to tidy up my apartment and clean dishes or something.

How do I manage the reviews? I just kind of do them. This morning, I woke up around 5am as I normally do. There were 91 reviews available and I went through them steadily between 5 and 6 am. I typically leave for work around 8am, so there is time. This is easy for me because I’m a morning person. If I had more energy in the evenings, I would switch it to sleeping in later and reviewing just before bed, I suppose. Oh, also, there were no lessons available this morning (this is typical for Monday mornings, because I cram in all the lessons on Sat/Sun, so now I wait for the blue and pink lessons to reach Guru level, which takes time).

I’m not sure if my post helps, but maybe it can give one small alternative experience of reviews and lessons?

2 Likes

I do 15 lessons per day. Recently I tried to do 25, and switched back to 15. I was getting burned out, it was too much for me. I think 15 lessons is the right amount for me, but it all depends on you. I recently had to do many reviews because of the days I was doing 25 lessons per day “came back”.

With 15 lessons per day I level up in 12 days approx.

3 Likes

I’m level 39. Most days I struggle just to finish my review backlog, never mind to do lessons as well. For me, 0 reviews is typical, 5 is good, and 15 is very good. I don’t do more unless I really want to suffer. I take maybe a month to get through a level if I don’t fall too far behind.

6 Likes

Indeed. I think it’s easy to get trapped into the “gamificated” side of Wanikani, wanting to level up quickly and learn fast. But my experience with learning languages is that it takes a lot of time. It’s better to be slow and don’t risk getting burned out, than be fast and get tired of it after some months.

6 Likes

I agree with basically everything that’s been said so far. But I thought I’d throw my two cents in based on my experience… Obviously the number of reviews a day you do is subjective… it all depends on what your goals are. Personally, I’m trying to hit 17 before December, at which time I plan to take JLPT N5 (17 is the level apparently that you finally get that last kanji haha). At 15 a day, I don’t think I will make it, so I might speed up. But I have also done every single available review when they become available… and I’ve been burned twice already with that - the reviews pile up and I have to reset. So I think what I’ll do is up the review count to whatever it takes to get to 17 by Dec… but then bring it back down afterward. I haven’t yet reached the highest level when I previously reset (11 I think). And things are better so far. Don’t wanna mess with it too much.

3 Likes

I thought I share my (kinda brute-force) approach as I don’t think that’s for most people, but for some like me who enjoys larger bulk reviews it might be interesting. I basically for the last 194 days did everything on the day they appeared (reviews and lessons, as many as available). It got quite tough between levels 5-9 with this approach (shared my current WKStats progress below) and I felt sometimes quite overwhelmed, but now I find it better to switch my brain into “kanji-mode” and I get much faster through my 2 batches, also my level ups improved and I’m at ~8-10 days per level compared to 12-16. I do two big bulks, one after lunch and one in the evening, at the moment both ending up at around ~100 items. I’ve started burning items recently and that made things a bit easier. I also do LingQ (mainly pulling in YouTube videos of beginner level and going through what is already available) which helps a lot to cement the knowledge and see the vocabulary in context. I think my approach to use WK is not for most, but hope that for some it’s relatable and found value in what I’ve shared.

2 Likes

Definitely some words of wisdom here. I was doing 15 lessons or more per day when I started and was blasting through to another level every couple of weeks or so. I felt great about my progress. Then I reached about level 40 and the “master” and “enlightened” items started popping back up and I missed a lot of them, bad enough that I believe many shifted back to apprentice which pop up for review much more frequently. I seem to recall that my number of reviews grew to ~2000 in spite of doing 200+ per day. I’ve been stuck at level 48 for more than six months and haven’t done any new lessons during that time. If I could rewind the clock I would have slowed down after level 20 or so. Too late for me but something to think about for others.

7 Likes

I skimmed through some of the answers here and I agree with most of them - 15/day works for me so far. It depends on what else is going on in your life. For me, besides learning Japanese I:

  • Have a full time job
  • Have to take care of an energetic dog
  • Have a chronic illness which limits how much I can do in a day
  • Do basic life stuff (cook, clean, errands, sometimes (not as often as I would like) hanging with friends).

I struggled with WK for a long time (5+ years) and reset multiple times. This time around, the default cap of 15 lessons a day has been magical for me. I am finally not feeling overwhelmed and can actually see myself pacing well and possibly even reaching level 60. I won’t do this super fast but that’s ok.

With the 15 lesson cap, there will be at least one day a week where I don’t do lessons and on some good days, I will click the advanced tab and do 5 additional lessons (total 20). But those days are rare.

My chronic illness has taught me that pacing is the hard lesson in life. We all would love to blast through things and sometimes that’s possible but most of the time, it would be best to go slow and pace.

Hope this helps!

Edit: Typos

6 Likes

I do 15 a day with vocab. With kanji and radicals it’s “all that is available” every time

1 Like