Disapointed over progress (lack of information/transparency)

At the beginning, Wanikani tells you to “wait” and understanding how spaced repetition works I could see why this is necessary. After that, my progress was still slow but I believed this could be somehow related to an user retention strategy, finally I reached the final of the free trial and then purchased the month subscription (which is pretty expensive in my country currency), made my reviews almost every day, some times twice… but after almost 30 days I haven’t yet leveled up.

I was suspicious that this could be related to the ratio of correct answers or to the amount of new kanjis correctly answered, reading the forum I found out this is mostly the reason why my progress was so slow. I wasn’t “careful” enough in not making mistakes. But this IMPORTANT information doesn’t see available or hinted in any moment.

I can’t see a reason to not make it absolutely clear to the user how his progress works. What’s the ideal minimum ratio of correct answers? What happen when you make mistakes? What’s the importance of old vs new kanjis for progress? Mistakes made in Lessons are considered for your progress?

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There’s a ton of information WK gives you in the WK knowledge guide. You just have to read about it.


So basically :
-You level up once almost all of the kanji of your level are gurus. Concrete example : when I was at level 44 I had 35 new kanjis to learn. To level up to level to level 45 I needed to guru 32 kanjis of the 44 level.
-Some Kanjis of your level are locked until you guru the radical of your level.
-To guru an item you need to make a correct guess 4 times in a row. You go back if you make a mistake. So yeah, making good guess is very important. And this is quite logical. You can’t consider you know an item if you make mistake often, right ?
And last, when you guru a kanji, it will count for level up even if you make a mistake and it goes back to apprentice. However, I do recommend trying to guess old kanjis right as you learn kanjis to be able to read them in real situation, not to just level up :slight_smile:

Good luck !


Lol just do your reviews and don’t mess up too much on the pink ones

Also, doing two review sessions a day is pretty optimal, and the most optimal lesson route is gradual release as well, like 10 every session one or two a day. But thats a super heavy workload so I aim for one review session a day and do lessons when I feel like it to avoid burnout.

Keep it up, it gets easier esp when you figure out whats best for you

and don’t be afraid to stop and come back. You’ll just have to expect to have forgotten a lot of things, and that’s completely normal. There’s a thread somewhere about someone with about 4k (3000 now?) reviews sitting waiting to get worked through, and day by day they’re clearing them out.

Good luck, and there’s a ton of cool people on the forums willing to help you out with anything else you might need. :slight_smile:


The specific number of kanji you need to get to Guru is shown on your progress bar and changes with each level. For example, you need to get 17 kanji to Guru out of the total 18 kanji for Level 1.

I forgot though, whether this means 90%. But well, WaniKani doesn’t need you to calculate.

There is another thing that can be hard to mention exactly - workload. It really depends on accuracy, and how rush you are; but beyond 20s, there are usually a lot, even if you are almost 100% accurate.


They let people try the system for free for three levels and see how it works. I think it is very transparent way of showing the system. This just takes a lot of time, for a long time. Maybe that is one thing to think about.


“made my reviews almost every day, sometimes twice” - this is why it’s taking you a while. WK counts how many times you get your answers right in a row. So even if you’ve got a very high accuracy, to get to the next level quicker, you need to give those answers quicker - twice a day is probably what most people do.
My accuracy isn’t brilliant, especially on items that come back round after weeks or months. But if at the end of your session, it gives you a percentage of about 70% or above, you should be moving forward not backward.


I agree it takes a while to really understand all the ins and outs of how it all works. Most of it is explained on the WK site itself and there are some great posts here explaining the most efficient way to level up fast on this forum.

I’m level 12 now and I’m still learning new tricks and more efficient ways to manage the workload. The more time you spend on WK, the more you understand how everything works and which method/scripts work best for you.

In short the most important thing is to do the radicals as soon as possible, once you Guru those you unlock the second half of the Kanji for your level. You don’t need to guru the Vocab to level up, only the radicals and the Kanji, but do keep up with the vocab. It helps bigtime to memorize the Kanji if you also do the vocab that uses those Kanji.

Personally I do WK multiple times per day, around 6 times or so, sometimes even more often. I like to do the reviews in smaller batches instead of having big piles two times per day. In the first levels you don’t have that many reviews but it quickly adds up over time :slight_smile:


As another user has already pointed out:

There is no “almost” every day with SRS (the system WK uses) especially if you’re making a lot of mistakes, it needs to be “everyday” sometimes multiple times a day (if possible) - This is part of your issue.

Review SRS Level Waiting Time For Review
0 Lesson -
1 Apprentice 1 2h
2 Apprentice 2 4h
3 Apprentice 3 8h
4 Apprentice 4 23h

You need to get over this “apprentice 4” mark to level up. To be clear, if you skip days, and then forget the review items, they go back down:

From 4 → 3, or from 3 → 2. And if you do this over and over again, you’ll end up “30 days without leveling up”.

My advice, make sure you’re reading the mnemonics properly & do your reviews more often - multiple times per day if possible.


I tend to check Wani Kani multiple times a day. As someone in high school, I have the free time to do this. Try to get 100% on the pink ones (kanji) as much as you can, and you will find you will move faster.

Quick tip, you might find that moving faster might burn you out in 6 months, as the faster you go, the larger your “review” workload becomes. (:


Now, it strikes me that you probably already know how the system works, but don’t really understand it, nor realize a strategy.

Looked at your profile page, below 50% accuracy (for readings) is without doubt, low. I think it is a bad idea to rely on repetition and SRS for memorization. Rather, some active memorization is important, so WaniKani gives you mnemonic for this.

Of course, mnemonic isn’t the only way. First and foremost, you can always learn to create your own mnemonic. Second, listening, even if you don’t fully comprehend it, will improve Reading Recognition; meaning is a little more than that - I suggest you start reading (otherwise why would you learn Kanji). Third, actively write and create sentences will help you choose what to actively remember, and will also help really understand the language in the long run.

I disagree with doing reviews more often. That’s not the point.


I agree with your advice 100%, the only thing is, this bit specifically can be quite difficult especially at level 4/5 because we don’t really have enough cards in our deck to read or produce sentences yet.

(This is the reason I recently decided to stop being a slow durtle and rush to like level 10 then slow down again :slight_smile: )

What would be the disadvantage of doing reviews multiple times per day to spread out the workload?


How about studying WaniKani vocabularies’ usage explanation, and context sentences’ vocabularies?

Otherwise, not sure if someone made a vocabulary list from WaniKani context sentences. Also, of course, grammar explanation.

My strategy was reordering and limited time for reviews (since I wasn’t always free, anyway).

In any case, it shouldn’t become 30 days per level like OP.



I do scan them, but because I don’t understand most of what they say it is hard to “focus” almost like i’m not wearing my glasses I get fuzzy eyed lmao! :smiley:

It might just be a “me” problem tbh.


They can be deceptively easy. Why not just use Kanji and Furigana, anyway?

Full-width spaces can be used to assist vocabulary and particle recognition.


I didn’t know that’s an option :stuck_out_tongue:

The example sentences are really hard, especially if you’re starting out. I’d prefer simple sentences you’d hear in a normal conversation… or small talk related.

Anyway, I feel you on that „very slow“ feeling, but as soon as you started level 4, spacing out your lessons evenly is really important, even if you want to do more. I don’t think Wanikani didn’t tell you; I browsed the forums a lot to learn about SRS, I think you can find lots of info on it it you’re interested. Considering you decided to spend money on Wanikani, I’d assume you’d be reading all these guides and infos before investing?

But don’t worry about pace, it might take longer - I repeat Kanjis and vocabulary more than intended and it’s slowing me down. But I don’t mind, at least it’s sticking better then. Everyone is different in their learning. :slight_smile:


dont worry OP

I just level up, my situation right now

later on you will see there will be plenty of lessons and a huge pile of reviews. :smile:


30-day levels are totally okay. But only if you have lifetime subscription.