I’m lvl 7 and have 400 reviews to do. I’m averaging 60% on the reviews after slacking and feel like every time I do bite off a chunk, the next day they just pile on a lot more. how do I dig myself out of this hole?
Since I presume that you have paused lessons, the only other thing to do is to keep doing reviews. I’m afraid I have no better suggestions. You can, of course, use one of the scripts out there such as the “ignore wrong answer” script, but that will come back to haunt you in the future.
Keep pushing forward! Try to do as many reviews as you can per day, even if that means breaking it up into a couple or several review sessions throughout the day, and at a pace manageable to you so that you don’t burn out.
Unfortunately it’s very likely to have lower accuracy after being gone for a while, so this will inevitably cause your apprentice count to get higher and result in a higher amount of reviews per day than what you’re probably used to, but just keep doing what you can and make sure you’re understanding what you’re getting wrong.
As you continue to whittle away at the review count, you’ll start remembering more as you continue to review the items you’ve been getting wrong more often and then eventually guruing them, bringing your apprentice count back to a manageable amount. I recommend clearing your review queue and bringing your apprentice count down before starting any lessons.
It’ll feel crazy for a bit, but you’ve got this! I climbed out of a major backlog after a ~7 month hiatus with no vacation mode, so I know you can!
I recommend using the Pomodoro technique. It has helped me dig myself out of multiple holes.
I don’t know if this is the worst hack ever because I’ve never seen someone suggest it but what I do when I’m completely stuck with a large pile of reviews is: I do as many as I can, then I enable vacation mode and take a break. When I come back, I disable vacation mode and do my reviews and afterwards I enable it again.
I do that until my reviews are down to 0, then of course the vacation mode stays off and I don’t do any new lessons until things are back to stable for a while. Otherwise it is so frustrating… you just went from 400 to 290 reviews and then the next morning you are back at 450.
“desperate times call for desperate measures”
It’s okay to have a 60% accuracy. This is fine if you haven’t spent much time reviewing the content. Given circumstances where you haven’t been able to study, 60% could even be good.
The goal isn’t to get high numbers or high levels. The goal is to learn stuff. So if you chug along at 60% for a few weeks but you learn a bunch of stuff, that’s a great outcome.
Eventually, your accuracy will go up and your daily reviews will go down. Then you can start lessons again.
You don’t want to hear this because it comes from Shia LaBeouf. But the dude’s right.
One day you will be able have conversations and consume content in Japanese. Think about that and let how that makes you feel wash through your system. How cool will that be???
We believe in you!!!
First things first, you need to tackle your reviews to get them under control. I recommend making a study plan, based on the amount of free time that you have at your disposal. If possible, try to spend extra time on WaniKani, until your reviews are back to normal. It kind of goes without saying, but ignore new Lessons for now. Instead, measure your progress based on the number of items at Apprentice level. A good goal to aim for is getting to under 100 in Apprentice, since this will mean you have significantly fewer items coming up for review in the near future and things should be back to being manageable - but feel free to adjust that goal, based on personal preference.
Personally, I recommend using Reorder userscript, as long as you can trust yourself to use it responsibly. Wanikani Reorder Ultimate When I have a large number of reviews, I will use Reorder Ultimate to chop the review up into smaller chunks - so I’ll focus on doing the vocabulary first. Then tackle the kanji, then the radicals. Or chop up the lessons based on review level - so I’ll start with the early levels if I’m trying to get clean up my Apprentice items, or focus on the more recent levels if I’m trying to move through the level a little faster.
The key to using Reorder responsibly is to NOT use it as a way to completely avoid doing the stuff you don’t want to do. Rather, just use it as a way to temporarily control when and how you review the material. With 400 pending reviews, you could use Reorder Ultimate to limit yourself down to just level 1 kanji and radicals that are due for review. Finish all of those, then move on to Level 1 vocabulary. Then do the reviews on level 2 kanji and radicals … and so on. Until you have done a comprehensive level-by-level review of all the pending material. Hopefully, this will also improve your recall and retention level, since you will be seeing similar material which might help trigger your memory and increase your correct responses.
I also use a Double-check/Ignore userscript for those times when I make a stupid typo or write the kanji meaning for the radical, but understand the item well enough to not want to see it again. Some people disagree with using Ignore scripts because it undermines the SRS timing. It is tempting to hit Ignore even when you should not. Use at your own risk.
On the subject of userscripts, if you don’t have one already, I strongly recommend installing a leech trainer, like this one. [Userscript] Leech training script
This simple add-on lets you focus your attention on the items that are giving you the most trouble without worrying about making a mistake. The ones that keep coming back again and again, sucking away your time. It probably won’t help much right now, while you are dealing with a backlog of reviews, but it will be invaluable as you continue by letting you keep tabs on potential leeches and give them the extra attention they need so they won’t come creeping back into your reviews over and over. This makes a huge difference in keeping your Apprentice items down.