Demotivated by errors

S-send help pls ):

Maybe I’m being way too hard on myself, but anything below 80% correct in reviews is just Not Good in my book. Whenever I give an incorrect answer I hate myself for it and dread having yet another item that’s going to show up more frequently. I know it can’t be true, but it still feels like every time I come out of a review session I have more apprentice items than when I started. And that’s killing my motivation.

Also doesn’t help that I’ve falling woefully behind on my KaniWani reviews and lessons. I feel those help items stick better for me, but I have the feeling I won’t ever catch up at this rate.

Is there anything else here I can do other than slowly powering through and trying not to beat myself up as hard? That’s probably the core of most answers I’ll get here, so I guess I just wanted to vent a bit…

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Hmm… you could constantly reset to level 1 and only review things you know by heart already? Then you will get 100% all of the time!

Seriously though, it feels like you might be approaching your reviews like a test in school, where you have to get a certain percent correct to get good grades. This is not what reviews are. Reviews are only an evaluation that determines what you need to practice more. It’s not a test! There is nothing at stake.

Try to widen your perspective to what you want to accomplish, which I guess is being able to understand written Japanese? Does low percentage on a review impact this goal in the slightest? The answer should be “No”.

I’ll also attach one of my recent review sessions from the Screenshot Thread. It is what it is, learning and keeping on learning is the important part. I didn’t suddenly get worse at Japanese because of a 38% review. I, in fact, got better. Because I practiced.

Let’s keep on practicing together :blush:


Um… chill out?


I used to feel frustrated whenever I got a wrong answer as well. I’m the kind of person who gets 95% on a test and feels disappointed. For me, it helps if you realise that getting an item wrong means that you don’t know it well enough (I read this in another thread, I don’t remember who said it though). Instead of thinking “I know this, I should have gotten it right” I think “It wasn’t burned into my brain enough, but now I can get it right the next review session.”

So basically, just sit back and let the SRS do the job for you.


Yes! - honestly, I now get kind of anxious if I get something up to Enlightened when I don’t really feel like I knew it that well. Sometimes I have to sit and think about an item for a while, or I just kind of guess the meaning. I’m concerned about the prospect of burning items in the same way*.

So try to see the incorrect answers as an opportunity to practise more, OP :blush:

*not, like, super concerned - reading will help to consolidate, and my lofty goal is to unburn everything once I reach level 60 HAH


OP, let me teach you a tacky acronym: FAIL
F: First
A: Attempt
I: In
L: Learning

Although sometimes the F stands for fifth, or four hundredth, it doesn’t matter.
No one is grading us except ourselves. Of course, many of us are our own harshest critics, and this is a behaviour you will have to curb a little. What do you actually achieve by making yourself feel bad after a low scoring review session? It doesn’t motivate you to keep learning. It just makes you feel bad, and that’s no good for you mentally or your learning.

Here’s the thing. There are people who spend their entire lives not failing. They also spend their entire lives not achieving anything. Making mistakes means you’re out here doing something.

As I once wrote on the inside of my door as a daily reminder to myself- mother yourself. What I mean by this is, yes, encourage and push yourself, tell yourself that you can do better, expect good things of yourself; but also be kind to yourself, pick yourself up, feed yourself and treat yourself the way you would want to treat a small child.


Learning is rarely a straight line. It can be full of ups and downs and but it’s still incredibly rewarding.

I think you just need to chill out a bit and try to actually enjoy the process of learning. Enjoying what you do is incredibly important for your mental health. Are you having fun while learning? Are you sure of your goals and reasons for learning Japanese?

Make sure you’re in a right mood when doing reviews and don’t force yourself. When I do reviews, I have to be really awake and my mind has to be clear or I’m bound to make more mistakes than usual.

In the end, you’re still utilizing your brain power and bettering yourself by learning things. But, the road is long and if you really need it, taking a break is not a bad thing either.

My point: stress less, have more fun! Good luck!


Just get it wrong again and again, eventually you’ll hate the problem words so much you can’t forget them :smiley:
Genuinely vargsvans got it right. All we’re doing is practicing, getting good at something, anything, is hard work.


All of the advice above is your first line of defense.

Second line is to reduce your errors by spending more time up front on lessons. Don’t exit the lessons until you can repeat them all, reading and meaning, without hesitation. It takes longer up front, but saves a lot of time down the road, and you’ll be happier because you’ll have fewer errors (within reasonable limits, of course). Practice is what ingrains it into your head, whether during lessons, reviews, or outside of WK.


I haven’t been tested on anything in years, and yet the education system has conditioned me well enough to continue thinking about everything in terms of success metrics rather than focusing on improving my understanding… That’s really insightful actually.

That’s a good one. I already did extra passes for kanji, because their readings almost never stick well with me at first, but might be worth doing this for all items.

Thanks for the advice everyone, I’ll take it to heart!


Here’s one to beat myself up over: just finished a review, should have levelled up, except that for one kanji, I inexplicably typed an answer and double-hit enter with my eyes shut. Never even looked at the kanji. I blame tiredness, but that error has quite literally added two days of doing nothing but twiddling my thumbs to this level, waiting for this sole kanji to come around again.

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Don’t be hard on yourself. We are supposed to get wrong answers. Thats the whole point of the SRS system! And don’t get frustrated if you miss an Enlightened, or a Burn review. Again, the whole point of SRS is that you will then get extra time with an item that you don’t fully know. This is all by design, so be OK with yourself!


This nice feeling of shame when you fail to burn an item because of a typo… :upside_down_face:

That’s why you need the ignore script :smiley:


I can’t on iOS :persevere:

Or that’s when you leave the review pile for some hours and by the time you try it again, it’d have forgotten that you had entered a wrong answer.

If you don’t want to wait for the system to forget, you can always use the app (android for me) and answer it there since the phone won’t have your wrong answer in its cache.

This all depends on the fact that you have not already just given the correct answer at a later stage to see that red mark.
Also, I only use this trick when I have made a typo.

I’d say don’t worry too much about accuracy, the SRS will take care of it. Try to take the most out of every lesson and don’t take more than you can hold! I always did every vocab item as soon as it was available and it was killing me. Try to space vocab lessons by x amount of items each day. That helped me a lot.


[iOS] Mobile AlliCrab for WaniKani has the ignore script built in :wink:

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I ignored the “limiting how many apprentice items you have at once” thing, because it was always pitched as a way to limit reviews, and I’m fine doing a bunch of reviews. But I came back after a ~2 month break and realized, my brain just plain can’t hold on to too many things that I “half-know” at one time. So I spent a few days doing reviews only, and really working on solidifying my iffy stuff. Then moved on to the new stuff, and I think it really helped to slow down for a few(3-5) days, probably saved me months of feeling overwhelmed.


Um… chill out?

It’s hard for some people to just “chill out” yeesh…It’s like telling someone to “relax” totally unhelpful.