Coming back to WaniKani and now have less time to study

Hi all, I’m hoping for some advice please on a few points.

Here’s the current situation:

My WaniKani History

I started and loved it.

I was eager to learn as much, and as fast as I could, so I installed lots of scripts and always went for Lessons when I could. Around the first few levels this was great.

Then I became overwhelmed with the amount of Reviews I had, I tried to keep up but found it difficult. Then, kids and a demanding job meant I had less time to study and so stopped.

This year I started again. I’m limited on the amount of time I can spend learning a day, 10 minutes would be ideal, 20 minutes doable, 30 minutes rare. Whilst picking it back up and only concentrating on Reviews I’ve found that I struggle to remember things and thinking of rolling back a few Levels, or even starting again from the beginning.


  1. Given my stats, what do you think about going back a few Levels vs starting again vs keeping going with 600+ Reviews?

  2. In the beginning I never really concentrated on memorising specifically which was the Onyomi and Kunyomi reading, just that this ‘felt’ like this reading, or another. I’m wondering if people specifically memorise which is which from the start, or if this is something you more pick up further down the line?

  3. Is there a calculation to help with working out if you spent ‘x’ amount of time a day, what the average level up time would be, given that you did ‘y’ amount of Reviews and ‘z’ amount of ‘Lessons’? or any advice on what I should try next? e.g. Start again, do 15 minutes a day, concentrate on Lessons over Reviews and you should hit Level 60 in 4-5 years.

  4. Apart from WaniKani, I have the ‘First Thousand Words in Japanese’ and also the ‘SEGA TOYS Anpanman Japanese & English Talk a lot Words Book SuperDX Japan’ both are great and we very much enjoy :slight_smile: Are there any other resources you’d recommend for learning with a 3 year old?

Thanks in advance everyone!

どうもありがとうございます :man_bowing:t2:

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I know I’m way too new to have a legitimate opinion, but I’ve restarted from level 3 to 1. I don’t go near as fast as others, I take lessons 5 or 10 at a time and wait until I’m kind of confident I’ll remember them before I do the next 5 or 10 at a time. Works well for me anyway.

Onyomi and Kunyomi, if I’m supposed to remember which is which, then I’m certainly failing at that part and may have to do some extra studying, hopefully someone else can chime in there.


I’m only at Level 13, so no expert, but I too have a Kid and not that much time to study, so maybe my opinion is helpful.

I would restart from Level 1, you are not that far in that it is worth doing 600 reviews. Should be faster so start over.

And then I would skip all those scripts. Don’t do all the lessons and overwhelm yourself with reviews, forgetting everything you have learned in the lessons.

I would recommend doing lessons in small batches like this:
Radicals - do all at once, its not that difficult and you only have 1 review per Radical, not two questions like with everything else.

Kanji - Do 5 or 10 a Day (maybe more in the beginning but not more than 15!), not more.

Vocab - Do 10 or 15, depending on how many reviews you have piled on and how good those go.

I will always do all my reviews before new lessons. I do them at least 2 times a day, in the best case when they appear. With this you have only a few every time and you can do this in little breaks (like on the toilet or waiting on the train).
I do my lessons every morning (so the reviews for thos will appear 2 times on the day I did the lesson) on each working day, but not on the weekend. This helps to leave Apprentice Items under 100. I would advice not going over 100 Apprentice Items, becaus otherwise there will be too many reviews.

I level up roughly every 21 days. Thats not fast, but I can manage this and do some grammar lessons on the side without being totaly overwhelmed.


Going to preface this by saying that spending just 10 minutes a day on WK would be very nearly impossible. I think you could do 30 and finish in a fairly reasonable amount of time (I’d estimate maybe 4-5 years), but any less than that, and I feel like it would just take so long to progress, it wouldn’t be worth it. Is this all the time you have in your day for Japanese, period, or just what you’ve budgeted for WK? If that’s all the time you have for studying in general, you’ll have a very long road ahead of you.

As for the questions:

  1. Yes, given that you’re only level 7 and seem to be operating on a very tight schedule, I’d reset.
  2. You’ll figure out on and kun readings with time. The on’yomi readings have a much more limited set of sounds, and you’ll quickly get a sense for what those tend to be.
  3. I’d choose a consistent number of lessons to do each day that lets you stay under your strict time parameters. For you, 5 lessons a day might be about as fast as you can go. I believe that should let you reach level 60 in roughly 5 years and shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes a day. At the beginning, it will be an especially light workload, but will increase as more items enter circulation before roughly stabilizing 6 months in. However, for even this speed to work, you’d need to be able to do WK at least three times a day (though at least one of those times will be extremely brief): first your lessons, then review them 4 hours later, then 8 hours after that.
  4. I don’t have any advice here, unfortunately!

Thanks so much for the replies everyone.

I did it! I’ve reset :open_mouth:

For the level 60 in ~5 years at 30 mins, would that be:

  1. 8am: 5 Lessons (unless there’s radicals, in which case do them all?).
  2. 12pm: However many reviews I can do in 10 minutes.
  3. 8pm: However many reviews I can do in 10 minutes.

Thanks in advance!


Does this refer to only Wanikani or for all of Japanese?

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Yes, you could probably do all the radicals in one go and handle that, I think!

And the most important thing to do with your second and third sessions is to make sure that you get to all of the new lesson items so that you can review them and send them to the next SRS stage. The first review stage is 4 hours, and the second is 8 hours, so ideally you want to pass as many items as you can on both of those stages. Your memory will be better if you get to them soon, and also it’ll help you advance at a regular pace. Once they’re past those first two stages, it doesn’t matter as much when you get to them, because the review interval gets longer.

Generally, what I do is do my new lessons in the morning along with any reviews from overnight. As long as you stick to your schedule and do your night reviews before going to bed, you shouldn’t have many in the morning. Then the middle session is very short, not even ten minutes, because usually it just has the new lesson items and nothing else. Most of your reviews will probably end up accumulating at 8pm for you.

I’d estimate it’ll probably go more like this:

  1. 8am: 5 lessons (if radicals, do them all) + any standing reviews: 10 minutes.
  2. 12pm: All reviews (~5): less than 5 minutes.
  3. 8pm: All reviews: 10 minutes.

Obviously those are just estimations, and the beginning will certainly take way less time than that, but I think this is about where things will probably stabilize if you manage to keep this up for six months. I’d try to clear all of your reviews every day if possible. If you get to a point where you can’t do that, you’ll need to slow down on lessons even further.

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Just WK, I also do the 'First Thousand Words in Japanese’ and ‘SEGA TOYS Anpanman Japanese & English Talk a lot Words Book SuperDX Japan’ with my son. Open to other suggestions I can do with a 3 year old :slight_smile:


Thanks so much, sounds great, I’ll give this a go :bowing_man:t2:

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I think that’s about right. I did about an hour a day and finished in just over 2 years.

The thing is, if you don’t clear out your reviews for the day then they pile up and you’ll end up behind again. If you’re only doing 5 lessons per day it might be doable to finish all your daily reviews in 20m.

You may want to practice fast reviewing and move on if you don’t remember an item in a few seconds. The key to that is to take a bit of time at the summary page and go over the items you missed.


Thanks everyone for the feedback, here’s where I’m up to and a few more questions please :slight_smile:

I reset to level 0 and I’m loving it again (apart from ‘Full Power’, I’m sure I didn’t have that one the first time around!!!) :upside_down_face:

I do all my reviews morning / lunch / evening (sometimes extra if I get time). I’ve been trying to do a batch of lessons every morning, but I don’t think I’ve been managing to keep this up.

  1. Given that I have limited time to study, is there anyway to workout if I’m on track for lvl 60 in 4, 5 or 6 years etc…? I’d love to see something that would help me gauge if I need to pick up my tempo, or if I’m on track.

Is there a way to set these to all be first and come together, or should I keep doing lessons, but then when they land try and do them all? I think I found that I did some radicals, then some kanji / vocab came in, then more radicals afterwards.

  1. I noticed that I have 10 kanji left to learn in level 2, but yet I have 57 lessons. Does this mean I have 10 kanji to learn, and the other 47 will be vocab? Is there a way to glance over what’s left before I do lessons? or is that a bad idea?

どうもありがとうございます :man_bowing:t2:

すみません🙇🏻‍♂️ @Erik84 @fallynleaf @alo どうもありがとうございます for your help and getting me back on track, I’m now level 3 and wondering if you could help again please with the previous comment? お願い致します

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Average out your level up pace to see how many levels you do per month. If it’s close to 3 then that’s around 2-3 years to finish.

But don’t do that just yet. The first 3 levels are fast with half the time for the SRS. You’ll need to get to level 6 or 7 to have a good idea of your average.

There are scripts available that can do that but I don’t know which ones off hand. I used the Tsurukame app for all of Wanikani and it has that functionality baked in.

Yes, usually from the previous level.

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@alo thanks, this helps so much :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

I’m on my iPhone most of the time for WK and previously used Tsurukame, but haven’t since restarting.

I just tried it, but it didn’t bring the radicals up first in lessons even though it looks like the setting is activated. Maybe an issue because I already started lvl 3 on WK.

I’ll continue with Tsurukame and see how I get on, thanks again :man_bowing:t2:

あなたは最高です @alo san

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Level 6 and loving it again :slight_smile:

I fixed the ‘radicals first’ issue on Tsurukame, looks like I needed to enable ‘Prioritize current level’.

Latest stats:

You’re doing great!


1 level per month would take you 5 years to get to level i 60 on WK

2 levels per month would take you 2.5 years to get to level 60 on WK

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Level 8! <3

Happy with how much I’ve remembered and the progress so far. Certainly helped a lot restarting and going at a slower pace, thanks again for the help everyone!



Level 14 and some more questions please :slight_smile:


Screenshot 2023-02-23 at 11.40.30


  1. I’m using the Tsurukame App and set the learning order to Radical, Kanji, Vocab. Recently I levelled up to Level 14, but it’s showing ‘Remaining in Level 13’ so I’m a bit confused. Not so much an issue, I have some Apprentice III items that I guess will move it along in around 3 days. But thought I’d mention in case anyone knows why this is.

  2. I have 1293 Lessons available, and aware that I’ve not done that much Vocab. Is there a way to see the split of Lessons available for Radicals, Kanji, Vocab? I’m enjoying learning the new Kanji and getting into a good rhythm, but I’m wondering if this could cause issues further down the line and if it would be better for me to prioritise learning Vocab that have stacked up, rather than Kanji and progressing levels?

  3. I’ve noticed a lot of Kanji with the same spelling and sound (Homophone?) e.g. こう looks to mean Construction, Mouth, Public, Go, Mix, Sunlight, Think, Yonder, School, Tall so far!

Does this cause a lot of confusion? or perhaps it’s just something you get used to such as:


Thanks in advance everyone!

どうもありがとうございます :man_bowing:t2:

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While i dont have an iphone and cant give advices on Tsurukame issues / advices, i can still give some advices.

Even without seeing exact split of available lessons,any time you see a lesson number, you can make some decent guess about composition with big number like that
Every level has about 30-40 kanji and up to 35 radicals (a lot less as levels go on) and you need to complete those to move on so theres never more than 1 level amount of them, meaning with 1293 lessons, more than 1200 of those are vocab lessons, which is… a big stack for just level 14 (out of aprox 1750 unlocked).

Seeing the third question, i think doing vocab would greatly improve your understanding on kanji, sure, some こう are confusing, but much less so than you think, the こう you learned is called onyomi, meaning thats usually the reading of kanji used in pair with other kanji, lets focus on the “sunlight” youve mentioned

You will basically never see/hear こう meaning sunlight, if its just the lone kanji 光, its usually read with its kunyomi, in this case ひかり which is very clear, if it was together with some other kanji, like for example 日光 (にっこう), the こう is there, but since its longer word, it doesnt have many homophones, especially in the context, noone would think about construction hearing that word.

Thats what those vocab lessons are, with kanji lessons you are not learning vocab, you are learning about building blocks of vocab, sometimes the vocabulary they teach isnt the most important in the world, but it teaches you other readings and combinations that will help you a lot with understanding.
There are those that argue for skipping vocab lessons (and yea, some of the points are valid, WK can be a bit bloated), but in that case i think there are better alternatives than using WaniKani

I personally did mix of x kanji and y vocab every day to keep the ratio about the same which i can recommend once you fix the vocab situation a bit, but at the moment i would really focus on that, it will slow down your WK leveling progress, but its still very valuable learning that helps you get better.

Good luck!

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@Nirgan どうもありがとう!

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply, this helps a lot. I wish I knew this information earlier, but it’s great to know now :slight_smile:

I measured myself against “1 level a month to get to lvl 60 in around 5 years” so thought I was doing pretty well, I’ll now concentrate on learning some more Vocab.

Out of interest, of the 1293 Lessons I have, I’m wondering, is there a way to work out how many Lessons I should be aiming for to get to level 60 within 5 years?

どうもありがとうございます :man_bowing:t2: