Back after a few months and struggling: Advice?

Hi everyone - as the title says, I had to take a few months off and dedicate all my time to formal study. I’ve now got the time to review again - I was at level 28, but when I re-started I was basically getting everything wrong! Then I went back down to level 26, which is the highest level that I have “enlightened” kanji - not much improvement. Does anyone have any advice for me before I reset to level 14, which is my highest level for burnt kanji?


I don’t advocate resetting in these situations; needlessly throws away progress on words you do know and remember even if you’re getting a lot wrong. The ones you don’t remember you’ll be seeing again regardless of whether you reset or not.

IMO best thing to do is just relax, accept that it will be rough sledding for a few weeks, but then it’ll be back to business as usual. And if you have a huge review pile to get through, set a realistic goal of reducing that number by X per day until you hit zero again.


I’m interested in hearing from people who have actually recommenced after having a break for several months, and are in a good routine again. Did you reset, or persevere? What worked in the end?

This was literally at the bottom of the page, one of the recommended topics

There are other topics like this, of people who have been in the same situation as you. Some reset to 0, some to some level between 10 and whatever their current level at the time is.

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I reset to 0 after a break.

I would recommend against it. If you already took a break once, chances are you’ll probably take an other one in the future. Then what? You’ll reset again? With this mentality, you’ll never get to higher levels.

That being said, I don’t regret resetting because I’m having fun progressing again. But I would definitely recommend against it.

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Forget about advancing in level for a month or two and focus on reviews only. Any time you fail something, write it on a piece of paper with readings/meanings in hopes that it refreshes your memory. Outside of going backward I see no other way to get back on top of it.


If you’re struggling and getting things wrong – it just goes down the SRS ladder. No point in resetting, if there’s something you have no idea what it is, just go back to the kanji and reread the mnemonic and try your best to remember it. I’d bet you can at least remember 30-50% of the things, so it’s just a waste of your time to reset.

Good luck, you can do it!

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The OP was in a very different situation.

I have restarted at lv16 after a 4.5 month break. Had 0 burns when I returned and 2150 reviews pending. Did not do any resets, just did the regular reviews starting from 20-30 in the first days to adjust myself and going up to 170-190 by the time I reached lv17.
It took 3.5 weeks of me to complete this, now I am at lv19 and it’s going pretty well.
New WK pace leaves me enough time to do sth else with my Japanese (apart from work and everyday life too).

I couldn’t keep up with my reviews due to various circumstances for the past 5 months or so, and when I came back to it i found a pile 70 odd lessons and 400+ reviews. I would never consider resetting levels though. I just start working on the reviews at a pace of about 80 a day. I did get a lot wrong in the beginning with an average session score of about 60-80% (used to be 90+ when I was regular). But over the next 4 weeks or so I managed to clear the backlog and was scoring in the high 80s again. Eventually I got back into it and could progress with the lessons.

I’d say its not worth resetting levels at all. Once you’ve learned something its just a matter of recalling it, which you will get to after you encounter them again.

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I’m actually in the same situation and got back into WaniKani one month ago. I almost reset, but I figured I’d just give it a shot and try and remember the things I DO know. So far I’m glad I didn’t reset. My strategy is just to kill down those apprentices levels to around 50 ish while slowly adding new reviews in (5-10). I’ve been doing reviews according to my schedule allows. I clear reviews in the morning, some at my lunch break, and the rest before I sleep.

For me personally, I’m in Japan (arrived 3 months ago) so I have the advantage of seeing lots of Kanji and I can actually remember and read more than I thought I was capable of remembering. I would stick through it for the month to get the habit and if you’re still frustrated, then I would recommend a reset to a lower level.

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Jealous that you’re in JP. I’m actually learning from overseas after having lived there for a couple of years (with limited proficiency). Enjoy!

Thanks! Hopefully you’ll just get back into it. As we all know, it’s all about making it a habit.

I’ve reset back to 0 a couple times now. Highly recommend to not do so. It’s super motivating at first, because you get near 100% all the time, but you quickly realize how long you’re going to spend on things you already know. The worst part is when you get back up to your original level, you’ll hit a wall with all the new material and it can be really demotivating and actually make things worse.

I do recommend resetting down 2-3 levels, because it takes the edge off by pulling out a lot of your apprentice / guru items that you’ve probably forgotten while not totally killing your progress. Since you’ve already gone down 2 levels, I wouldn’t recommend going lower than 25. Definitely don’t reset to 14 for the reasons I mentioned above. Work through the reviews at your own pace. Building back the habit again is more important than racing to burn down your review pile. You’ll find yourself getting up to speed pretty quickly if you’re reviewing consistently again.

resetting a couple of levels down and check your ability is a fine advice.
if you cannot handle, reset some more.

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I personally just reset to 0 at level 34 and 4 years in. I was just in Japan for three weeks meeting my financé’s family and it made me realise how much I absolutely forgot from not being consistent in WK or my studies (I had 4 family members and 1 best friend pass away in this time so not beating myself up lmao). I even forgot how to pronounce 7日 and I couldn’t keep the onyomi for 上 and 入 straight. However, I can read manga while only needing a dictionary every few pages, so not saying my progress was wasted, it’s just that I really lacked confidence that I could remember things when they appeared in the wild.

That said, I just felt like I needed a hard reset for myself personally to really reinforce everything (and just reset my life after all this grief lol). I’ll be level 3 tomorrow, which isn’t far in but no regrets so far. If you know deep down that resetting to x level will help you, it’s probably the right decision since you feel that it is.

I joined early 2017. In May/June I felt boggled down and like I filed too much so I started falling more and more behind, loosing motivations to do review at all as the number grew. I reset in July 2017, from lvl 20 and back to start (1 ). It felt very worth it. I was so bad at the items from 12 ish, so truly needed it. Could have started at 10 at least though…
Then I started failing again around Christmas 2017. I got sick, very sick. Even as the symptoms faded I was still wasted for a month! But I was stupid enough to not slow down, pushing through the fever and remembering nothing XD
I declined again, and did a new full reset from a high level (was 42, but stopped doing vocabs at early 30, kept going ti 42 just for the heck of it after already deciding to reset when I feel better =P )
So June 28th 2018 I reset back to start again!
This time I regretted it. It felt so slow getting back up, and I knew the items well. I leveled steady and though I’ll make it this time! Whenever I felt a burnout coming on I stopped doing lessons and only concentrated on reviews. No leveing up, no leaving vocabs behind. Have a full streak in the 0/0 streak challenge (have a zero on both reviews and lessons at least once per level. I try get reviews daily, but spread the lessons out during the level, but have to get all vocabs before leveling up to have a 0/0)

I felt a new burnout coming on around level 30 (should mention I don’t work cause I have chronic fatigue. I burn out easily =( ) at the end of February 2019. I stopped leveling when I hit 31 and tried to just keep up with reviews this time. I refused to reset and continued as far as I managed, took a LOOOONG break, and started with reviews again in November. Only after reaching zero reviews did I start doing the leftover lessons (had 42 lessons for almost a year =P )
Last week I leveled up for the first time! And have done a semi fast level again since (not 7 days, but close =) )
I am so glad I didn’t reset this time! I will make it to the end this time, breaks or no, I’m not reseting!
If I had just preservered the first time I would have long since been level 60 I’m sure!

The diagram doesn’t have information from before August 4th 2017. I joined in late January or early February 2017.
It shows how much reviews I did any given day

I’m just currently level 12, but I did take 5 months break due to life and busy University life. Then I tried to reduce my review pile for a week then another month break. I didn’t want to reset as other said before me, you’ll lose a lots of progress even more if you tried to solve it. It’s rough. It was intimidating to see 500+ review pile and I was wondered a couple of times if I ever get the bottom of that. But I did. Just need some dedication. What I did is that I review two or three times a day a certain amount, what I got wrong I analysed why and tried to make a note for myself.
All in all I never thought I would able to see the end of the tunnel, but I did. I’m kind of felt proud of myself for not giving up and kept pushing day after day. Just keep pushing don’t feel discouraged by the amount of fail items. That just means that you need to study it more.
Keep it up I’m rooting for you. You can do it! Just do it! No thinking:))

I lost the motivation to study for around 8 months after an unexpected trauma last year. I was only level 9? but I just jumped into the pile of reviews and let the chips fall where they may.

I had 1,000+ reviews sitting in the pile, and I was surprised/heartened to find out that my first big batch of reviews had about a 60% recall rate. Over the three weeks it took me to get through all the reviews I gradually saw that percentage increment until it was in the 90s and I was back in the flow of things by that time.

Hope this helps.

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