Are those who are completing in 7 days really learning everything?

I currently average an 8 day pace. If I had a ‘secret’ it would be that I try to put in the work to come up with good mnemonics for all the kanji. While I can zip through 24 vocab lessons in about 15 minutes (if I’m focused), I’ll often spend the first 1 - 1.5 hours of a new level creating mnemonics for the new kanji. Not everything sticks perfectly, especially since I learn so many at once, but it really smooths out the rest of the level since most vocab become trivial once you know the kanji (alternative readings excepted . . .). Doing this, I have a 96% overall accuracy with mostly vocab alt readings dragging my average down a bit.

Beyond that, I try to check my reviews 3 - 4 times a day to keep them from piling too high; more than 70 reviews at once and I start getting distracted. Oh, and I try to remember to do a mini-review the items I get wrong after I finish a review. Helps keep that information targeted rather than getting lost in the overall review.


For me going in the fast lane was ok until level 20 perhaps. I had my sentence mining routine and my graded readers to put those kanji and vocab into use ASAP, so that was holding all in place (you could say that was “my secret”, after all I only really feel I learn anything when actual context strikes, I think of WK more as kanji awareness tool :sweat_smile:)

By the time I reached level 25 my accuracy for reviews drastically decreased, as well as my motivation for learning so many kanji in such short time, mainly because I was able to read and understand much more; I was eager to read more, watch more shows, etc… But eventually that became incompatible with a new level each 7-8 days. Some of the new kanjis became less used in my current readings, specially once I decided reading native material (children stories), as those books replaced them with hiragana.

Eventually I decided on slowing down, do less lessons per day on WK, and focus more on immersion and the vocab I was learning there.

Now I’m on a healthy 11-12 days per level average, and I think it’s much more sustainable in the long run. In any case, I’ve realized that a fixed number of days it’s not something important. My main focus now is immersion and doing daily reading on a consistent basis. It’s more fun and actually I think I get the most of anything I learn here, as WK is now a tool for getting me into shape for more advanced readings :sunglasses:


This. With WK Override it’s not a matter of “can I finish this level in X days” but rather “will I eventually die buried in reviews.”

You’re right, I actually don’t know any kanji. You got me.


I think they’re learning them too well, ironically. The SRS efficiency theory is, if you’re getting 100% right, the interval is too short and should be lengthened until you start getting some fraction wrong. I think the original SRS adaptively adjusted not only the time before the next review for the individual item, but also adjusted the interval lengths for all items at that level if you were succeeding at too high or low a rate on average. So say for your 12-hour interval you were getting 95% right. You change that interval to say, 14 hours from then on.

What I really think is happening (though maybe not in all cases) is people are “pre-studying” by looking at items again before the test. That doesn’t necessarily mean they wouldn’t have remembered if they hadn’t, but it kind of does defeat the purpose of SRS.

Some people just have good memories, though, so who knows?

My secret is having a good memory, everything is just soooo easy peasy lemon squeezy

No, seriously… I spend 4 hours daily studying Japanese, it’s pretty much consistency… tears and blood


If you aren’t actually learning your words, don’t bother with fast leveling. I saw a lot of posts back when I was new obsessing over the perfect review schedule, but you will get crushed once your burns start coming up if you haven’t been learning them well.

This isn’t just a fast learner thing. I got crushed by burns and I was a slow leveler. It’s been a difficult few months (losing my computer for half a month really didn’t help…).

If your success rate with Burning items is say, 50% (mine may be worse than that I’m not sure :<), it’s going to be rough no matter how fast you’re leveling. But it’s going to be that much worse if you slip when you’ve got, say, 100 burn items a week coming in. That’s 50 extra items a week you’ll have to account for!

I have no doubt that some, many people even exist who fast level fine. So I’m not answering the topic title question. I’m just suggesting if you are a new user trying to gauge the viability of speeding through wanikani, to ask yourself how much you’re really learning your items before going all in on the speedleveling. Because I would hate to be someone fast leveling who wasn’t learning their stuff.

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I think it’s a mix of things. Some people just learn faster and some people are just naturally better with learning languages. The brain can change and the more you learn the better your brain gets at learning.

Also I assume but (may be wrong) the people with the fastest level up times are likely full time students or have lot of free time to study and do reviews.

Some do use a reorder script to do kanji first and basically skip vocabulary, using a script like this will allow you level up really quick but your basically cheating yourself from really learning important vocabulary. Vocabulary does not factor into leveling up, it’s possbile to get to level 60 using the reorder script and never doing vocabulary but i think few people actually do that.

That is my view on things hope it’s helpful.


Tears and blood, exactly. If you run out, just buy more on silk road.

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I don’t think people generally think in terms of their “apprentice accuracy.” If people have a high accuracy it’s across all types of reviews.

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I don’t really see how fast levellers wouldn’t learn what they study… It’s all about how many words you are capable of memorizing daily (and if you can deal with the corresponding amount of daily reviews). Nothing else is really different. Your capacity varies tremendously depending on who you ask since language learning is a skill within itself. The more you practice the better you will become.


I certainly feel like I learned a lot and that WK was super helpful in getting me to a place where I could read Japanese, even though I went at close to optimal speed…

Mostly it’s just a matter of how many reviews you can realistically stomach every day, I think.

I didn’t have a secret, just put in the time and the SRS will make you work extra hard on whatever is difficult to remember.

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I think you should stop worrying what other people/can do. Just do your own learning at your own pace.

I have started very slow until I understood what it is about. Then, with Lv 4 I thought I do it as quickly as possible. Turned out I am almost 10 days now and close to complete the level. For me ten days was pretty much a lot of work. I am usually not good with other languages. So I guess I will take a level in 12-15 days at some time.

That said, the goal is to learn a language and not to compete with some of the extraordinary Kanji people you’ll find on this message board. Keep them as motivation but not as an idol. Whatever time you need is the right time.


Oh congrats!!!

You made it to lvl 60


Yeeeesss finally! Thank you!! :tada::confetti_ball::cake::coffee:


Yeah. There’s a sweet spot you need to find between moving too fast and buring out, and going too slow and getting demotivated due to lack of progress, I think.

Also, a pace you can maintain every single day is what I think will benefit you the most. Steady progress, be it slow or fast!


I’m good at remembering the radicals, and the kanji. I’m also good at remembering the vocabulary if the meanings are reasonably straight forward. If the vocabulary uses unknown kunyomi, it might take a few tries for it to sink in.

After a few months I might forget a few of the kanji or radicals, but that’s all part of the process. Eventually they become more solidified as part of long term memory.

The biggest help for me in learning the kanji right away was when I started writing all my own mnemonics. It’s not that the pre-written mnemonics are bad (though some of them are), it’s that the ones I write myself stay with me better. Before writing them, I try to look at the radicals in the kanji and think of a story using them, then once I learn the meaning and reading, I’ll modify that story to fit the meaning and reading. Because when I come upon the same kanji in a month or two and I don’t recognize it, I’ll be able to reconstruct the story and hopefully remember the meaning and reading. It works pretty well.


I agree with this. My level up is about 15 days or longer but I’m sill learning. I have to remember a few things myself, I work full time while still also taking college classes.

I stopped worrying about how fast others are leveling up and just focusing on doing my reviews and other Japanese resources and trying to best I know I can do.

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I think the real question is “are the people doing 3 day levels learning anything” and the answer to that is also “no, they don’t know any kanji either.”


Well in fact, no one is capable of learning any kanji apart from Japanese people with blood type B.