Best Strategy After a Long Break, High Level?

I was a very regular WK user for a couple years, really putting the pedal to the metal in 2019 (leveling up roughly every 8 days, I think I moved from level 30-ish to 50 between Jan and October) in preparation for a trip to Japan. During the trip itself I activated vacation mode which I promptly deactivated when I returned (and got back on that regular review schedule).

However, going into the 2019 holidays I forgot to enable vacation mode during a trip to see family and roughly 1800 reviews accumulated (given how quick I was leveling up, these only took a few days to build up). Once I realized what happened I turned on vacation mode again until the new year 2020.

I got back into my reviews in the new year, but at the beginning of 2020 I was starting a new job, getting ready to move, and then (of course) coronavirus happened. I was never able to clear that backlog fully, and in March I enabled vacation mode once more to move and settle in.

Unfortunately 2020 happened, so I only ended that vacation mode last week. Now I’m facing 1600 reviews across 51 levels of WK and I’m looking for advice on tackling them. So far I’ve been trying to keep myself below a threshold each day (for example, by the end of the day tomorrow I’ll have 1652 reviews, so I need to do reviews today until that’s at or below 1600). I do 10 reviews at a time to make sure they actually get completed and I’m spending about 1-2 minutes per item to refresh my mnemonics and to reinforce my foundations (I want to retain these, no “eh, good enough” or peeking/looking up).

Needless to say, this has been extremely draining (I still have a 9-5 job and other responsibilities).

Has anyone else been in a similar situation and pulled themselves out? Prior to this I always kept my reviews/lessons at 0, so there’s some severe psychological damage to knowing it will be weeks before I see that again.

I would really love to be able to just pause all but ~200 or so of my items so I can really re-learn and refresh them, moving them into Master/Enlightened before moving on to more, but with a random draw in such a large pool, that simply will not happen. I’ve considered resetting from 52 to…35 or so, just to trim the fat, but I’m worried about that as well.

tl;dr - I’m a high level coming back from a long break with a backlog of reviews…advice?

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Hi there! I’m not as high level as you are, but I had a similar issue where I didn’t touch Wani Kani for months when 2020 was like that.

What really helped me out on my 1500 review mountain was getting the script that reorders the kanji by level, and I worked from lowest level to highest over the period of a few weeks without touching my lessons. But, on my journey there, I realized when I had about 400-500 left that I just plain didn’t know them. After checking the index on this site, I decided to reset those last five-six levels to better learn them.

I’m still catching up to that, but resetting has really helped me trim down the reviews and focus on the kanji I had learned but not solidified before punting WK into the sun for like eight months.

Anyway, tl;dr I would suggest you check the individual levels you’ve already done and see how many of those kanji you actually know and reset back to a level where you genuinely don’t know half or so of those kanji. It sucks to lose so much progress on this site, but I think remembering that the main reason I came here was to learn Kanji and not “”“win”"" at Wani Kani was very beneficial.

Regardless of what you chose, good luck!! Congrats on getting to where you’re at right now and I’m sure you’ll find your way back there again.

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A script to reorder my reviews sounds like exactly what I’d need! Do you know where I can find such a thing? Having structured reviews so I can quickly clear through the items I’m solid on would do wonders.

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Okay, I couldn’t quite find the one I got a… while back, but I found this one that I think should do the same thing:

I will also warn that I really only recommend using this script to catch up on huge review mountains because long-term use really hurts learning retention imo.

Anyway, I hope this helps!

EDITED: Because I attached the old not working one first… Whoops

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Thank you so much! I’ll give this a try! I definitely have no intention with mucking with the default SRS for any extended period of time, as I’ve found it to be really effective, but I really want to get out of this crisis so I can start reviewing sustainably again.

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The thing with going fast then put on vacation mode is that I’m afraid you are actually having way more than 1800 items to handle. So, first thing I would advice would surely be resetting back a couple of levels. Often I think maximum 5 levels are good but since you were going fast, then 10 levels are not bad but dont go beyond that. The reason is just think your review items are actually your semi-new lessons. You would save a huge amount of time by just doing reviews (aka relearn them) than resetting back too far.

I came back with ~2500 reviews (forgot most of them). I reseted back 5 levels or so (about 2000 reviews left) and it took me about 1 month (to fully go to 0 review and actually remember them, not dashing through) before I can keep going. I decided to reduce reviews by 100 items/day and did them daily (mind you that reviews keep going back thus gradually you will have to review more to keep up the pace).

Think of it (doing thousand of reviews) just like a challenge, a test for you to actually make a come back. Yeah you will forget most of them (I did) and your review accuracy looks like shet, but the key point here is that you are re-learning them through reviewing. And you will be saved a lot of time.

You could even should create a study log or diary of some sort in the community just to share your experience and have some boost to your hard work plus some cool durtles here cheer you up also (trust me it helps).

Finally, checkout this guide to learn more about how those srs of Wanikani works (including the cool srs reorder script and more for you).

Have fun reviewing ;)!
ᴼʰ ᵃⁿᵈ ᵈᵒⁿ’ᵗ ʰᵃᵗᵉ ʳᵉᵛᶦᵉʷᶦⁿᵍ ˢʳˢ ᶦˢ ᵃˡˡ ᵃᵇᵒᵘᵗ ʳᵉᵛᶦᵉʷ ˣᴰ

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I just reset to Level 1 from a half-way to Paradise after a long break (two years) due to health issues at first, and a lack of motivation to pick up thousands of reviews later. Tried to go over them, but the accuracy was in low sixties on a couple of hundred of items, and I did not like it at all.

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The answer is yes. @evethemighty did it. See her study log here. If I recall correctly she just powered through her items until the job got done.

https://community.wanikani.com/t/3739-review-avalanche-of-death/45226

Perhaps some kind of reorder script will help you. Reorder Ultimate 2 posted by @cineebon will let you prioritize items by level. Then you will have to settle the lowest level before you move to the next one. This is kind of what you are looking for.

You may use Item Inspector to plan such a reset. This script will let you sort and display your leech items ordered by level. This will let you know which items are causing you most trouble and what level they are. Then you will know which level is worth resetting to and which don’t cause you enough trouble to be worth a reset. Disclosure: I am the author of Item Inspector.

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my personal opinion (after plenty of long breaks and a few resets): don’t reset for cheap gratification, ignore the numbers, accept the lower accuracy as an atonement for your negligence, let the SRS do its job and well, just do it.

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This is such a mood.

I’m in a similar boat though about half your levels. I’ve been using the reorder script and working from the lowest levels up. This makes it easy to keep reviewing on time the ones I’ve “recleared” while making progress on the rest, and as the oldest ones are likely ready to burn it helps permanently clear out some that way too… Tho I did find my retention rate is not the best.

So for example, say I’ve cleared levels 10, 11, and 12. The next day I’d filter to those levels to review the ones still in queue, then I’d struggle through level 13. Next day, rinse and repeat.

Ive also decided thst if it doesn’t come to me in 20-30 sec I fail the card and move on. Otherwise it takes up too much time and I get frustrated. IMO that time is better spent relearning the card.

Once I get closer to my currently level I’ll decide if it’s better to power through those or reset back a bit.

So far this has been working well for me. I won’t continue using reorder after I’ve got the load back to manageable levels though.

Edit: oh, regarding reset. I had once reset from 11 to 3 and found that relearning the cards was much easier and a confidence booster. What I am planning, is if the last few levels are just too frustrating then I will reset a bit.

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For me personally, resetting saved me so much trouble and I think it was the only way to actually get back into WK. I was 37 when life happened and my reviews very quickly piled up, and I spent the best part of 2 years avoiding WK, occasionally trying to wrangle down the 2000+ reviews that had accumulated. Eventually I decided to bite the bullet and reset, although the first 2 times I reset I only went back a few levels so I quickly lost the energy again, but in October I decided to go all the way back to 15, where I only had to deal with a few hundred items. From there I’ve been doing my reviews every day and levelling up again. So for me, sacrificing the 4 or so months of progress early on could’ve saved me 2 years of time.

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Oh I am totally fine getting them wrong, WK is about learning, not winning. My only concern comes from having such a huge pool of reviews that it effectively breaks the SRS. Since reviews pull randomly, items I get early and start to relearn get dumped back into that pool and may not get drawn again even if the SRS says they’re “ready”.

With work/family/etc. I only really have time for 2 hours or so of review a day, which is far too slow to clear the stack to get the SRS working as intended again.

Per others’ suggestions, I’ve installed the Ultimate Reorder script–burning the low level items first will get me back to normal much more quickly.

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saw your graph
welcome to the procrastinator club lol

Reorder by SRS level in descending order. This will allow the SRS to do its thing.

Not as high level, but had 4-5 months break and about 2500 reviews accumulated (level 20). This was beginning of October. I decided not to use any scripts and look at the situation like this: I had 4 months break, so I need comparable time to get back on track and feel confident in myself. The beginning was very hard and took a lot of energy, but I managed to do little review sessions in the morning and evening. Speed was very low and pile didn’t seem to decrease, but after couple of weeks the SRS magic kicked in, habit returned and pile started decreasing slowly but steadily. 1.5 months in I finally saw 0 reviews once, and 2 weeks later my apprenticce pile decreased from about 400 to 70 and I started learning new words again.

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I paused for a while and had like 600 reviews per day. Sure it isn’t exactly as much as your, but still a lot. I just dedicated a certain amount for each day until I went back on track. (I did then use 30 min where I would learn.) It was tiresome, but I went through it and since then I practice regularly.

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