DIscouraging number of lessons

I wonder if anyone here has a similar problem.

I enjoy doing reviews - even in larger numbers, as they are fun, making you search for things in your mind that are there, somewhere, but you need to find them. Obviously, as I am only level 3, the numbers are still not huge, and will only be increasing but I don’t mind.

What troubles me is the instant feeling of discouragement whenever I get hit with 42+ lessons at one time. It takes me more time, is more painful, and not as fun as reviewing what you already know.

How do you deal with that feeling and push yourself to keep going once you get slapped with such a great amount of lessons at one time?


You don’t have to do them all at once. Take your time, there’s no rush, it’s not a competition, slow and steady wins the race and other assorted cliches.


You don’t have to do all available lessons in one go. You decide the speed you would like to go.

Less haste more speed :slight_smile:


As people said, you don’t need to do everything at once, everytime you level up, you will have a huge wave of lessons, from the new radicals, the new kanji, the new vocab, AND the previous level vocab that’s associated with the kanji you just gurued, but you surely don’t have to do more lessons than you want to !


I’m sure there will be more useful answers coming, but for me, my lessons have not been under 50 since around level 6. I use the lesson reorder script to do the radicals and kanji as soon as I level up which leaves a large number of past level vocabs. This works for me because I can learn new kanji at the same time as cementing the old ones with the vocab. As long as I have the previous level vocabs done before leveling up again, I’m fine. So for me, it doesn’t bother or discourage me to always have lessons waiting.

WARNING: The reorder script can be easily abused and should not be used if you have little self control or just want to level up.Contact your doctor if you experience your skin falling off, banging your head against a brick wall, or pulling your hair out.


I do 15- 25 lessons a day, often 5 to 10 at a time, depending how motivated I am. For reviews I do 25 to 50 at a time a few times a day. If I’m not feeling up to it I try to do at least some reviews and no lessons or maybe just 5 lessons if they are piling up.


As others have said:

When I was level 3, I did ALL the lessons as soon as they popped, even if it took hours. Somewhere around level 8 or level 9 I found one of those frequently shared posts from a level 60 giving fantastic advice for newbies, and stopped doing all the lessons as soon as they showed up.

The key to survival for me has been to find a rhythm, and to spend about the same amount of time every single day on wanikani. That would be about 45 minutes every morning, 15 to 30 minutes at lunch, and 15 minutes after work. So, just figure out your rhythm, and do as many lessons as fit into that rhythm.

Of course, at level 3, you don’t have enough reviews yet to fill out that much time, so in theory, you DO have more time for lessons. Don’t worry, you won’t hurt yourself later by learning too much now. But you also won’t hurt yourself later by learning too little now. The key is “every day”, not “how many at a time”.


There was another thread not too long ago with what I thought was pretty good advice about managing large numbers of lessons:

The takeaway from that thread for me was basically not to try to do new lessons if I had more than 50 reviews pending in the next day, and to only do 5-10 new lessons per day regardless, so I’ve been trying to follow that pattern for the last couple of levels.


I’ve been feeling a similar sense of discouragement :slight_smile: low level, trying to get into this thing of a new language. Juggling all my adulting on the side has forced me to do 5 or 10 at a time (sometimes that’s all I manage in a day). When I have a little more time on my hands, I’ll sit down and do more so that I can fail at them a million times in my review queue. I’ve also realised that if I worry too much about all my kanji lessons, I’m totally neglecting grammar. So I try to focus on that for a while.


When i have a large number of lessons I simply do ten or fifteen a day. That way I keep my reviews to a manageable level as well as not overtaxing my poor tired brain


WaniKani is an easy way to learn kanji, however, WaniKani is not easy. Everything is all set up for you and that makes it an easy to use tool, but that doesn’t make the act of learning 2000 kanji easy. It is going to be hard work no matter what method you use. If your goal is just to learn for fun, then don’t push yourself too hard. Do whatever you can whenever you want. If you have a time goal, then make a schedule of what you want to do each day.


Do you mean lessons, or do you mean reviews? It kind of sounds like you’re talking about reviews.

Regardless, for lessons, I used to do smaller batches over time. If you want to go fast at wanikani, the lessons could be in significantly higher batches. I used to do half of my vocabulary in one sitting every time I had lessons because I was going at near top speed. If you want to go slowly, just do a set number of lessons every day. It’s easier to do 15 than 45, right? It’ll be slower but it won’t overwhelm you as quickly.

If you were talking about reviews, slowing down on your lessons will help. If you are doing less lessons than less reviews will show up all at the same time. Going back to what I said about going fast, I have the unfortunate issue (that could have easily been prevented) that I get a lot of reviews at one time. This morning, I woke up with 275 reviews to do. It’s not ideal but it works for me. You need to find your own groove and figure out what works for you.

As for motivation, do wanikani everyday at the same time. Set aside some time specifically for it every day. It’s easier to do something when it’s happening at the same time everyday, right? Just like going to work or school. You don’t want to do it, but the more you do it at the same time everyday, the more used to it you get. If you need motivation for reviews, do it at set times as well. A lot of people on here do their reviews 2-3 times everyday. Once in the morning, once at around lunch, and once in the evening. That tends to be around what I do.

Anyway, good luck! I know it can be hard to get through wanikani, but if you persevere it’ll make you a lot better at your Japanese. And like I said, find your groove. Figure out what works for you.


I rather insightful post if I remember correctly :wink: :slight_smile:

Jokes apart, I’ve been following those guidelines and I’m already back to level 5. Not as fast as some, but I’ve got nothing to prove :slight_smile:


Thanks for the tips, I appreciate it.

The thing for me is, that as evidenced by my past successes and failures - if I let my lessons to just sit there and wait for a better moment, I will create a dangerous precedent for myself, that is, “nothing happens if they just sit there for a while if I’m tired”.

If I get to that moment, instead of doing them on my own pace, I will continue to procrastinate thinking it’s okay if I don’t do them at once… and over time I will stop doing them.

I failed many times in other areas, and that always happened when I was trying to “pace myself”, but have succeeded if I pushed through. Anyone has a similar approach?


The advice that is often shared is also to keep an eye on your apprentice count and do a number of lessons depending on that. Set yourself a maximum count of apprentice items that you know is good for you pace and will ensure you don’t get hit by too many reviews when those items come back as guru, master, enlightened.
This will allow you to pace your lessons.

For me that count is 100. I usually do around 20 lessons a day, but when I see that I’m already close to 100 apprentice items I don’t do as many. Or I might do more if I’m way below 100 and I have time ahead of me.

Some people like to have more than 100, others are closer to 50. It’ll depend on your pace, but at level 3 you might not have a sense of what’s a good pace for you yet.

This method as also allowed me to completely disregard the number of lessons I have, since I just worry about my apprentice count. As a result I don’t feel as discouraged when I see 60+ items hit me after leveling up.

1 Like

yah same, I find it ridiculous that, you have to wait like 5-6 days for a new 42+ words all at once, when you could break them down into smaller amounts like 8-10 words per day for the window of 5-6 days.

1 Like

I use a reordering script to break it down.
First, I learn the radicals, then a day or more later the kanjis, then the vocabulary.
Feels less overwhelming

1 Like

I’ve had the opposite experience. Every time I didn’t pace myself I failed (my interpretation of failing at least).

For instance, at high school I was in the cross-country running team. In my first regional race I stayed in the front group believing that I would be able to lead the race at a pace that was faster than my usual. Instead I burned myself out and learned for my next race.

A less obvious example is from uni when I studied day and night for a week to pass an exam. I passed the exam with top marks, but I quickly forgot everything I learned and I paid the price the next year, when I had to go back and re-learn everything properly.

I find that I have the ability of remembering a lot of new stuff quickly and on top of that I can be very competitive too. However when that stuff is important for the years to come, if I learned it too quickly I didn’t learn it properly. More often than not if I don’t use what I’ve just learned through practical exercises or by comparing it with other things I learned earlier, then it’s a very superficial learning experience for me. I both don’t particularly enjoy it and somehow it doesn’t work.

its normal , it the way the brain works

for a long term remembering of a stuff you’ve learned , you gotta burn it in your long term memory
Fast learning just stays in the short term memory and it’s easily forgotten after

that’s why it’s important to pace yourself

1 Like

" What troubles me is the instant feeling of discouragement whenever I get hit with 42+ lessons at one time. "

It’s like buying a book to learn more at each level
each time it’s a new book
do you feel discourage when you see a minna no nihongo book because you have to learn all this book ? or a genki book ?
you take it the wrong way
you should be thrilled and excited to learn new items , to be able to learn , you shouldn t be discouraged ( especially at a low level )

1 Like