Asking for WaniKani efficiency tips


Since I have nothing to really compare myself to, I’ve decided to ask you: What are your tips for being efficient at WaniKani? More specifically, how many reviews do you do per day? Do you review as soon as it’s available? I’ve been doing 1-2 reviews per day so far, and it seems to me like that’s a huge mistake. On the WaniKani homepage, it says that the whole learning process takes just over a year to complete. But I’m guessing you do have to be efficient at it to manage that. I’d be really glad if you could clear this up for me.

Thank you.


Read my Guide for Wanikani. This is what I wish I was told when I started WK.


Keep in mind marketing speak.
Yes it’s possible to complete in just over a year, as some have. But you’d need pretty much do every review and lesson as soon as they are available, and never get anything wrong.


I’m a year in and only on 42 and I have been going as fast as I can, more or less.

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You should definitely try to do the first review for a new item right when it’s available. Personally, that means I do my lessons right after work so I can review them before bed. For others, doing lessons in the morning works better. Whatever works for you.

And as @DaisukeJigen said, reaching level 60 in about a year is possible, but for many people it’s not realistic. I expect to reach level 60 sometime between two and two and a half years after starting.


Lol, WaniKani is way more compilcated than I thought. Thank you for telling me about the 9am (lesson and review) - 1pm (review) - 9pm (review) schedule, which I’ll be doing over and over, except you did give me a lot more to worry about! Will keeping at this 9-1-9 schedule and not bothering with all those scary scripts make me inefficient? Also, is level 30 a good level for starting getting into grammar and reading stuff?


Level 1 is a good place to start on grammar.


I was going to say precisely this. ^-^

Haha, I’m aware that my Guide does sound complex. But it’s all there. During your journey to level 60 all the answers you’ll need will be there, so think of it as a place to go back once you see yourself facing a new situation.

For grammar, you’ll notice that a lot of grammar points won’t even involve kanji. As long as you know hiragana, you can read them (and therefore, learn them). Of course, grammar points are applied to sentences, which will then be using kanji. That’s why some people might say that having some knowledge of kanji will grant you a smoother path for your grammar studies. No need to keep checking for the vocab’s meaning, etc.

However, like people have suggested, the early you start, the better it is. Use this calmer days to check for grammar resources and identify those that fit best your way of learning. Everything might look overwhelming at first, but it really isn’t. With time, you’ll get there. Grammar is the same as Wanikani: routine is king. So even if you don’t have a defined plan for grammar just yet, it’s okay. By starting, you’re able to also start a routine around grammar that will lead you to a successful learning journey.


As a novice here, my understanding of the WK system came from the @jprspereira 's guide! I guess this is all you need to be crazy fast.

I personally don’t plan on going insanely fast but some points that I did borrowed to be more consistent were the 3 daily reviews (8-12-8) and doing all the radicals on the first day of a new level. I don’t use the reorder script because I fear the tsunami of vocabulary!

Right now I’m averaging 8 days per level (average which is about to get screwed by the holidays), so not taking into account the legendary fast levels, that would take about 1 year + 4 months to reach lvl 60. So… yeah, 2 years will be just fine…

By the way, you can also use this site: to average and calculate when you’ll level up!


I’d call it "All you need for WK to be as smooth as possible (and to actually reach level 60). Speed is a consequence of the quality of your new routine. In the long-term, what will dictate your speed is pretty much the time you have to alocate to Wanikani. That’s all :slight_smile:

Appreciate the support :slight_smile:


After some trial and error this is the system I use:

  1. Do reviews whenever possible. Use mobile phone to do reviews whenever there is a short break, on the bus, etc…

  2. When the review asks for meaning, try to remember the reading before answering. When it asks for the reading, try to remember the meaning first.

  3. Never do more than 30 items per review. Use the wrap-up button when you reach 20 items in one review. If you have enough free time. Take a five-minute break and then re-start your reviews.

  4. If there are more than 140 apprentice items, stop doing new lessons.

  5. There are two user scripts (they are easy to install!) that are a must for increasing efficiency: A) ultimate timeline (allows you to see how many reviews you will have at each hour in the future, I changed the default settings to show only the number of items and not their content) and B) self-study quiz with the leech filter so you can practice the items you keep getting wrong


How do you do all the radicals on the first day without reorder? Do you just do a bunch of lessons until you get them all or something else?

Just curious, doesn’t that mean you have reviews coming in at all hours of the day since you’re not doing reviews in big chunks?

Have they? I’ve heard more than a few people say they’ve gotten through level 60 in a year, but not one yet (that I remember) who doesn’t admit they prioritized apprentice->guru, kanji over vocab. What’s the fastest anyone’s burned them all (or even kept them above guru, not amassing a big leech stack once it doesn’t matter in the level-ups)?

I think for efficiency, you want to do WK, some other vocab learning (N5, N4 lists), grammar, and reading all at the same time. They mutually reinforce each other, and in each thing you hit a learning-more obstacle when the others don’t support it. WK is probably the most able to do alone, but it won’t stick until you start seeing the words in reading. And you can’t read without grammar and vocab. Big circle.

My best efficiency/workload advice is do every review when it’s due, no matter how many there are. AND, throttle the lessons to a comfortable rate, keeping in mind that down the road that pace is amplified by several times in the review load.

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I don’t know about him/her but in my settings, I have Lesson ordering = ascending and then subject. I still do lots of lessons but only for the vocabulary of the level I left until I hit the radicals.


I suggested to add a ten minute break (drink water, eat a snack, etc…) in between reviews. Say, if you have 90 items, this will add only 20 more minutes to the review. In my case, I tend to have reviews almost every hour but, sometimes there are 2 hours periods during the day without any reviews. Try to compare your accuracy rate for big batches reviews viz-a-viz the accuracy for small batches reviews, if you don’t see a decline, then stick with big batches…


If there’s a ton of vocabulary I’ll just do it throughout the day little by little.

I fell like this isn’t going to be very sustainable in the near future since at the last level up there was about 50 items until I got to the radicals…

I’m still new here so maybe I’ll be better off just reordering the lessons? It’s starting to feel like my brain is running at full capacity here :laughing:

こういち sent out an email on 1 January 2018 that broke out the grammar like this:

WK 1-10 - Focus on WK

WK 11-20 - Beginner grammar if you want, but better to wait until…

WK 21-30 - At this point, you will know most of the words in a beginner grammar guide and can focus on grammar (I chose level 16, the point where you know 95% of N4). Try to finish the beginner book by 31.

WK 31 - 40 - Intermediate Grammar Book. Try to finish by 41.

WK 41-60 - Read anything you can get your hands on.


Don’t get me wrong, I was in no way criticizing the way you do things or trying to discredit you, I was honestly just curious how that affect your review timings.

I think the most important thing in studying (not just with WK but with pretty much anything) is to find a system and routine that works for you. I personally do 3 large batches of reviews a day, leveling roughly every 7 days, and have ~98% accuracy lifetime. That said I’m only level 8 and I have a lot of time to study, so for the moment it works well.

All of that to say, I think your suggestions are good, and hopefully the OP can apply them in ways that work for them.

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