Difficulty catching up on reviews

Hello! I was wondering if anyone has tips for catching up with reviews when they just keep coming in (haha)… I work a lot and will also be starting school soon, so I barely have any time to actually sit down throughout the day to do little bits at a time. I usually come home to like 400 every night and I have no idea how to manage it, I barely do any lessons and have been stuck at levels 12-17 for the majority of the time using WK because of this. Any advice for busy learners? I want to stick with it but it just gets so overwhelming!


I know Im a lower level than you so you will have a lot more than I do, however I was also feeling the same way recently and I found the best thing was to stop the lessons, even doing a few a day was adding a lot more reviews since the newer items need to be shown more often when first learnt. I founding biting the bullet and accepting I needed to stop lessons until I got the reviews to slow down was the best things to do even though it felt wrong to stop them.


400 reviews everyday at level 17 seems rather high. Could you show us your review forecast and apprentice/guru numbers?


That’s what I thought too :sweat_smile: Here’s the review forecast for now, it’s not high atm but I kinda just stopped lessons the past week or two just to catch up (I have 400 rn). The lessons add to the review count a lot, but it feels like once I do the ones I have, they just come right back.

Maybe all my apprentice and guru ones come in at the same time :joy: Honestly it doesn’t look that high to me so that’s why I’m confused I always end up with so many.


Yeahh I kinda noticed they were making it so much harder. I kinda started doing the same and just do a few occasionally. It does add to guilt tho because it almost feels like paying for nothing sometimes :sweat_smile: Thanks for the tip! I’m sorry you’ve been struggling with it a bit too, this is quite the challenge haha. But I’m sure slowing down will help with that a lot, good luck with your reviews too!

1 Like

For a start limit your apprentice to less than 100, try 80 at first so you’ll have that 20% extra space for leeches, and if that’s too much limit it even more.
If it means not doing lessons until it gets to 70, then wait until then, and then when you’ve done dealing with limiting them, limit your lesson per day in a way that you won’t go over your apprentice limit number. Space your radicals and kanji lessons, and on days that you’ve reach your limit don’t do any lessons. You’ll be able to keep a steady pace that way without burning out. 10 days or even 15 days per level are ok as long as you keep learning. When you don’t have much time slow and steady wins the race.


I know the pile of reviews can be very daunting, in my case I also found them incredibly unmotivating.

I have seen a few posts where people target a 100 reviews a day (for example) to reduce the pile slowly back to 0. Maybe you can find a moment everyday and set a target for yourself? Eventually the pace at which new reviews become available to you should go down.
In my experience, I prefer doing new lessons only when I have 0 reviews left.

Some others made posts about their battle against a massive review pile, posting everyday about their target and how well their review session went etc. It might help to create one yourself for accountability? Bonus, people will be cheering you on :wink:

These are just some suggestions on how I’ve seen others tackle it. I have been through the same but there was no plan to get back on track whatsoever.

You can do it! Take your time and tackle those reviews one by one on your own pace :smiley:


I found committing to doing reviews for a certain amount of time each day (rather than until they were finished) to be more beneficial to my long-term morale. If I had extra time for reviews because I was caught up, I’d use that time for lessons.


Just keep doing your reviews without doing lessons. The comment above about getting apprentice items under 100 is a good goal for this.
It takes a lot longer to get daily reviews down than you might think, so just keep powering through it.
If you can do reviews in small batches throughout the day, that’s a good way to make it less overwhelming.


I agree with what everyone above has said - don’t do lessons now, focus on doing reviews. Never ever ever do any lessons when you have pending reviews. That will just make your situation worse.

Keep an eye on your apprentice count and find an upper limit and stick to it. If your number of apprentice items goes over that limit, then don’t do any lessons. Keep doing reviews until you get that number down. Your daily number of reviews is roughly your number of apprentice items plus 10% of your guru items. If you feel that you don’t want to do much more than 100 reviews per day then don’t let your number of apprentice items go over 100.

One more thing, take a look at wkstats.com and see what levels you struggle with. You say that you have been stuck at level 12-17 for a long time. Maybe you should consider resetting back to level 12 or 13 or 14 just to get back some control.

How many lessons do you do every day? For me it helps to set a number and then do that number of lessons every day, no more. My number is 10 lessons, and I never let myself do more than that per day. And if I have pending reviews I don’t do lessons.

Try to do reviews in small batches several times throughout the day. 20 reviews 5 times per day feels easier than doing 100 at once. And be patient - it will take some time to get rid of your 400 reviews. Many of them will come back to apprentice and your apprentice counts will increase. Just breathe and work through it.

For what it’s worth, I know what it feels like. I was in the same boat a couple of years ago. Drowning under reviews, doing lessons only to feel like I was drowning even more, again and again and again. In the end I just gave up and left Wanikani. When I got back I reset back to the beginning. Now I’m slowly climbing back again, never doing more than 10 lessons per day. So far so good.


I’m still pretty low level but I wake up to 80-100 reviews on most mornings as of late.

I find it helpful to have the iOS app Tsurukame. If I have a few minutes here and there, like I’m in the bathroom, waiting in line, on the bus, eating lunch, etc. I’ll start some reviews and use the “wrap up” feature shortly before it’s time to move on with my day.

A few minutes here and there can make a big difference on the number of reviews I have to do later, and it helps to keep the new concepts fresh in my mind.


learning is not linear or fixed, there will be a time you’ll get good at working through it again.


But also faster than you might think. Assuming a relatively even distribution in apprentice/guru/etc status, then after a couple of days it should go down by half, after two weeks half again.

A lot of people say keep apprentice count under a hundred, I say just do X number of lessons a day and no more. Same thing really. (X for me is 20, which keeps apprentice count at 80-100 with my pass/fail rate and reviews under 200/day, usually less than 150)


What I do in these situations (e.g. I recently wrangled my review pile down from 700-ish to 0) is 1. No lessons, and 2. Do at least as many reviews as are upcoming the next day. So, going by your screenshot I’d do at least 39 reviews “today” then on Tuesday I’d do at least 61, on Wednesday at least 10 etc. That way, no matter how many reviews come up the next day the total review count never surpasses the highest point it was the previous day. For me this helps a lot with motivation:)

Also, once you reach zero and start doing lessons, as others have said, keep an eye on your number of apprentice items. Good luck, you’ve got this :+1:


Yeah it really is pretty unmotivating :') it’s definitely a big struggle when it feels like it will never end lol.

Honestly that’s a good idea! Everyone here is probably very right with going slower because you won’t have tons of reviews coming in again at the same time. I have an issue where I have like “batches” of hundreds, and because I do them all at once, they’ll keep coming back in droves because they leveled up together lol.

Thank you so much for the tips, I will for sure give them a try! I understand everyone’s pain with all this now :joy: but it’s satisfying to push through and get to the other side. Much appreciated, and I wish you the best on your learning journey as well! 頑張ってね!

1 Like

Thank you so much for sharing the advice and encouragement!

I usually did around 20 per day and tried to get all my reviews done as fast as possible, but I think keeping the pace so fast has made it more and more difficult. I initially wanted to get through it as quickly as possible but I’ve seen now why that’s a bad idea lol.

You’re exactly right that it feels like constantly drowning, and it’s just not sustainable. I’m glad you made the choice to come back and start over, that’s not always an easy decision to make but it’s definitely a healthy one. I’ll slow down now to avoid that kind of stress as much as possible down the line, thank you so much for sharing your experience with that! And I wish you all the best in your learning!

1 Like