You can stop doing lessons to move the items through Apprentice and into Guru. I usually do this every few levels to catch up. Try to split your reviews between days if you can as well. Having 600 Guru isn’t too bad if they’re spaced out across a few months, but Apprentice really should be down around 100-150.
This! A few months ago, I saw someone say this, and it has changed my life. Now I try to be in the 90-100 Apprentice range. It’s amazing. I do like 20-30 minutes when I first wake up and 10-20 minutes after dinner. I’m still progressing and retaining. It’s not optimal or fast, but it’s sooo much more manageable.
@Aarix While I have never been in your situation, I have been doing particular things regarding leeches to keep me out of such a position:
- Study leeches after every review session, using either the leeches component of the Self-Study Quiz or using the ‘10 oldest Apprentices’ button in BishBashBosh.
- Using the previously-mentioned Prioritise Overdue Reviews script anytime I know I will not get my reviews down to 0 in any given review session.
As long as you are not doing lessons, and you keep chipping away using this 1-2 combo (even if it is only in batches of 10 by using the Wrap Up button), you should be able to steadily move those leeches out of Apprentice and so dramatically decrease your daily workload.
The good news is that the sunk cost for learning a language isn’t completely “sunk”. You will have some retention no matter what, so resetting isn’t always a bad thing.
Set a day, stop doing lessons, and then just knock out as many as you can per day. I crawled back from a backlog of 1400+ items so it’s doable, just painful.
That whole experience is what made me settle on the limit of 100 Apprentice and 500-600 Guru. With these numbers my daily load is kept manageable but I’ll also delay starting levels if I need to lower those numbers.
Wait! How do you do this? Sorry, I really don’t know what I’m doing lol
Holy crap 600 apprentice items? Dude you must have done like a few hundred lessons at once are something? Or you just have a butt ton of leeches? Going to bed at 1am and waking up 5:30 just for that is so not worth. I have to ask… do you even know the srs intervals? I swear, understanding that will change your life. You should really read the beginner’s guide. My Journey of 368 days (+ The Ultimate Guide for WK 📖 )
Just to let you know I’m only doing ~20 lessons a day and levelling up once a week. The max DAILY reviews I get are ~200, yours just sound insane.
Ok, let’s start with the SRS Intervals for reference:
Apprentice 1 → 4 hours → Apprentice 2
Apprentice 2 → 8 hours → Apprentice 3
Apprentice 3 → 1 day → Apprentice 4
Apprentice 4 → 2 days → Guru 1
Guru 1 → 1 week → Guru 2
Guru 2 → 2 weeks → Master
Master → 1 month → Enlightened
Enlightened → 4 months → Burned
Here’s the plan:
- Set a day to start. Let’s say Monday. Take the weekend to have a stress-free break from WK. It’s stree-free because even though you’re not doing any reviews, you have a plan to do something about it. So there’s no guilt.
- On Monday, do 20-30 reviews and keep an eye on your percentage. If it’s 80-90% or more you can add another 10-15. If you can get through 100-200 that would be ideal, but don’t sweat it too much.
- Check how much your Apprentice count has fallen. This is the number of items that have moved to Guru and won’t show up again until next week. Remember, no lessons until you get that Apprentice count down near 100.
- The next day, do the same thing again. You’ll see items that you reviewed the day before, and that’s ok. Reinforce your memory and go through them.
- Again, check your Apprentice count and make sure you’re steadily moving items through that to Guru.
The goal is to move items through Apprentice and into Guru. Week 2 is when we’ll have to deal with those, but we’re staggering our daily lessons so that they don’t all come back at once. We want to clear the queue as much as possible that first week but we also don’t want to overload any single day.
- At the start of Week 2, check how many upcoming items you have for the day. Your Guru items from the past week are going to start coming through now so reduce the number of reviews you’re doing if you have to but make sure to clear as many as you can deal with.
- Check your Guru count. You’ll have moved Apprentice items into Guru and move Guru items into Enlightened over the past week, so see if there was a net gain or loss.
- A net gain means you moved more items out of Apprentice into Guru then you moved from Guru into enlightened. This is a good sign and it means you’re starting to get your Apprentice items under control, but it should be accompanied by a corresponding reduction in the number of Apprentice items.
The 2nd week is where you want to reevaluate and see how your progress is. You may have to hold off doing lessons for a month, but that’s ok if it let’s you keep your daily items under control.
Once you’ve come out the other side, here’s how I structure my levels now:
- Levels start on Monday, no exceptions. I’ll stay on a level longer before starting the next one if I have to.
- Do 20 lessons per day until you clear the pending ones for that level. You should be done by Friday.
- You should have unlocked the next set of lessons by the following Monday. Again, 20 lessons per day until you clear the queue.
- You should be clearing levels in about 10-14 days at this rate. The main thing to be aware of is the rebound from that backlog that you cleared, so keep an eye on the number of items for the upcoming days. You may have to delay levels longer to deal with those items from your backlog when they come around again since the SRS interval for Enlightened is 1 month.
Hope that helps.
It’s brutal lately. I’m a stay at home dad and with all the free time I have I still can’t get through it all. So am I understanding it right, I just do reviews every other day and the algorithm figures things out? Missed 1 day and my count is currently 545. I would blow through about 150-200 an hour but not even going to try and touch 545
It’s better in the long run to stagger them throughout the day. If you can’t do set times, then just find spots in your routine to fit in 10-15 minutes. Use the wrap-up feature or just end the review if you have to.
I’ll usually do mine around my morning coffee, sometime during lunch, and sometime before or after I make dinner.
This has the added advantage of feeling like less work. After doing 100+ reviews in a session before I had to rethink things, doing 30 or so items at a time seems so much easier even if the daily total is still 100+.
BTW, here’s what my Review forecast looks like right now.
This is a new level week, so the bump of 40/19/17 between 8am and 11am are from the lessons I did at the beginning of the week coming around again for Apprentice 3 and Apprentice 4.
So on the schedule I posted above, I’ll probably do around 60 at 9am or whenever I have my morning coffee/breakfast. That’ll take only 20m or so since these are items I’ve been doing the whole week and my accuracy should be pretty good with them.
By lunchtime, I’ll only have around 30 to do. And at dinner, around 10 or so. So it’s pretty easy to get through them all.
I haven’t done a lesson since January, also, hitting 500 reviews in a day is just not do-able for me. Even if it was, the problem is that 500 reviews would be fine if I could get 80%+ of them right, but when you’re playing catch up and 40% is a good score, then they come back at you really fast.
Where does your accuracy suffer the most? During the Apprentice stages or from Guru/Enlightened items that keep bouncing back and forth?
You seem to be adding around the same daily amount as I am so it’s not the load that’s the problem.
40% is really bad. Since incorrect items move down at least two SRS levels you need to be getting at least 66% just to make forward progress.
If you aren’t consistently scoring better than 70%, you need to step back and think about how to improve your retention or you will just spin your wheels indefinitely. See my post above for advice about using the mnemonics and getting them to stick.
I think resetting a few levels could help a lot in your case too – you need to re-boot those levels for which your extended vacation screwed the early SRS timings. I would consider down-leveling until your apprentice count is under 100.
He’s probably right.
Judging from this post, What's a normal level up time?, you may want to reset back to level 12. That seemed to be where your first long break happened.
This might not be the most popular method, but it really worked for me:
Last year I:
- Stopped doing lessons
- Installed the Ultimate Reorder script, set my reviews to be grouped by levels
- Used the script to only work on levels 1-10 for about 3 months. Completely ignored my review count (around 600 I think) and only worked on levels 1-10.
- Once most items from levels 1-10 were burned, took another 3 months to burn most items from levels 10-15 (a lot of leeches in this bracket).
- Another 3 months for 15-24
- 3 months for all the horrible leeches from 1-24 (still working on about 200 of them).
This way I didn’t have to reset (which I really did not want to do). Yup, it took a year, but now I have about 20-30 reviews a day without using scripts and 3000+ items burned. And I don’t hate opening WK anymore
Also, I was struggling with 40% accuracy as well. By limiting my levels, the SRS kicked in and I was re-seeing items I struggled with more often instead of when I would randomly get around to doing 500 reviews.
Yeah, doing this giant-ass program isn’t learning Japanese, it’s one step in learning to read written Japanese.
The only time I saw review queues like that were after non vacation mode breaks of months (years) and then after a small level reset, studying through 2k reviews and getting half wrong. It stayed hellish 400 reviews minimum a day for roughly 3 weeks until I had got everything to guru 2. Then… the backside where I had 50ish a day of only a few leaches and time for leveling. If you have dying on leaches, cheat know them to master then worry about them later. If those items are radicals… you need to study more as without them, you have no shot at the kanjis based on them. Or you need to reset back to a level where things are Known and go from there.
That’s why they call the 30s Hell.
If you focus and get over this hump it seems to normalize.
Dealing with leeches is a huge pain in the butt though.
You have two options:
1: Make a special anki deck/flashcards/notebook that have all the kanji you deem to be a leech. Review those specially. I did this with some of my worst leeches and I successfully destroyed a good percent of them. Leeches are one of the worst parts of this system, I can’t understand why they just won’t stick in the brain!
2: For leeches, unimportant, or words that are too difficult for you now:
change the alternate meaning to “leech”. This will cure their english meaning in case you can’t recall that. You will still have to remember the Japanese reading though, unfortunately.
I do this method for all radicals because they generally don’t help me in my personal learning process and I don’t want them bringing me down.
This is a learning process, and though it is gamified, there is no cheating. Do whatever you want.
You could also consider going back some levels, but that is kind of a pain.