Can you complete Wanikani in JLPT order?

Hi! I am in university and am majoring in Japanese. I really enjoy WaniKani (level 3) as it has sped up my learning a lot.

Problem is, every year is dedicated to a JLPT level and I cannot pass the exams if I don’t learn the Kanji in that particular order.

Right now we use “Basic Kanji Book vol. 1”.

I was wondering if there was any script available or if, worst case scenario, there is any alternative to WaniKani itself.

Thank you! Any suggestions are appreciated :slight_smile:

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Nope sorry. If you want to do the JLPT order you sadly have to use other sources. Wanikani has a pretty strict progeression and it’s not really possible to do it any other route or skip parts.

EDIT: don’t have any recommendations. All other sources I would recommend also don’t go in JLPT order.

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Kanshudo is another resource, and it has tailor made lessons for specific workbooks, including Genki, Minna, and Basic Kanji I believe. I use it along with Wani. Even if you need to adhere to JLPT and need to use other Kanji resources, WK is still great as supplement for that - you just have to slough through kanji you don’t need yet to get a firm grasp of a specific JLPT level using WK.

There is also a Basic Kanji mobile app which is pretty good and I would recommend using it as a standalone supplement even without the book.

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Something I don’t see mentioned here, is that if you go at a speed of about 2 years for the whole 60 levels, you’ll easily clear n4 kanji by the end of the first year and you’ll have most n1 kanj by the end of the second, and you should have all the n5 kanji done by the end of the first semester, so this shouldn’t pose a big issue in the end. And keep in mind, 2 years for all 60 levels isn’t the fastest you can go at, going to uni on one hand will be hard to balance alongside wk, but on the other hand, majoring in japanese technically gives you a significant advantage at it.

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As others have said, WaniKani won’t let you re-order kanji.

As a reminder, the main reason for this is because kanji with more strokes are often built from kanji with fewer strokes. Thus, by creating associating of new kanji to old, you can more easily learn the new.

After having attempted to learn kanji in Grade order and JLPT order, I strongly second the idea that this idea of “stroke/radical” order is best for those who already have a strong first language. (Kanji with fewer strokes tend to have more abstract meanings.)

I want to add, though, that for JLPT 5, you’ll have seen most, if not all, kanji needed by WaniKani Lv. 16. If you are working through WaniKani at a speed of one level every two weeks, a fairly common speed, you’ll reach Lv. 16 in about 8 months. Given the school time-frames, that’s about the same time it would take to reach JLPT 5 grammar, maybe a bit further, anyway.

Then, of course, if your resources use the kanji, you’ll probably learn them somewhat anyway. For example, due to immersion, I can read the word 呼ぶ without issue, even though I haven’t reached that level in WaniKani.

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As other people mentioned, it’s fairly common to take around 2 years to do all 60 levels. It’s even possible to do it in a single year, but more uncommon. Some people rush the first levels and then slow down after a bit. The JLPT levels covered by WK are as follows:

5: Level 16
4: Level 27
3: Level 51
2: Level 51

So by the end of Year 1, you should have more than covered JLPT 5 if you go at an average pace. But only you can judge if this would work for you.

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The kanji here are already “somewhat” in JLPT order, that is, you’ll finish JLPT N5 Kanji first, but you’ll also learn a lot of N4 and N3 along the way. If you stay consistent with kanji, the few ones that don’t line up precisely with the timing of your classes aren’t likely to matter much.

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Level 18 of Wanikani gets you to all but two of N4 kanji as well, getting nearly everything necessary for N4 that quickly is real nice.

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If you are able to complete 10-15 lessons a day in WaniKani you will most likely be able to keep up with the kanji in your Basic Kanji Book after just a few months. And then you will start sprinting way ahead. There may be a few kanji you come across that you realize you won’t learn in WaniKani for a long time. It won’t hurt to just learn those separately from WaniKani as part of your other vocabulary study you’ll need for your classes.

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I went this route so I’d say it is definitely doable. Wanikani was the perfect tool for me to learn kanji efficiently, though we didn’t progress specifically in JLPT order - we did Genki 1 and 2 over the course of two semesters and 20-ish new kanji per week based on the content in those textbooks.

I’m not familiar with the book, but if you do one Wanikani level per week (pretty much the fastest speed possible), you’ll have done the all the lessons for N5 kanji within 16 weeks. Not that I know when your exams are going to be, but I bet there’s going to be lots of overlap between the kanji you need to study for your exams and the content available to you on Wanikani as you level up.

@CoffeeFuel already posted the specific levels, but here’s the table anyway.


@FarcasA1 If you haven’t read it already, I recommend reading this guide so you’ll know how to best make use of Wanikani as a study tool that suits your goals. It was really helpful for me when I started out.

Best of luck and ganbatte! :muscle: :fire:

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I would like to add that I took JLPT N3 exam when I was level 35. I was very comfortable with vocab and kanji even though I didn’t use any other sources apart from Wanikani. So within a year of Wanikani you can consider you are good to go for N3 for the vocab and kanji part :slight_smile:

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