Do you pace your lessons?

I do all the radicals and kanji lessons right away. I try to get the first two reviews (the 4h and the 8h) done ideally within 12 hours either by doing them during that day or getting up early (in the middle of the night if I have to) the following “morning”. If all goes well I do the all remaining lessons (in other words, vocab lessons) as soon as possible whenever I got time. However if the radicals and kanji gives me trouble then I only do a few vocab lessons (I would do zero, but I usually can’t resist). The reason is that if a new radical or kanji review is scheduled during work, then I want to squeeze that review in and since I got no reorder script on my phone, the best way is to make sure no new vocabs are clogging up the queue.

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Short answer: “Aye, there is much more coming.”

Longer answer: All the stuff from earlier levels will come back as it transitions from guru/master to enlightened/burned, and the amount of content in the levels is low at this point. I ended up taking time away from WK when I was at the end of level 9, due to unforeseen “real life” circumstances. I came back to thousands of reviews.

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I do 20 lessons at a time. Sometimes I’ll do that more than once a day, but only 20 at a time. I also try to keep my apprentice queue below 100 (though obviously it goes over 100 if I make mistakes and things get bumped back down to apprentice).

I also don’t always do all my reviews at once, either. I find after I’ve done about 80 or 90 I start making stupid mistakes like typos and the like - mistakes that aren’t necessarily related to recognition (just my last session I gave the reading of 勉強する as ばんきょうする, which I definitely know isn’t right, but I was getting tired and not thinking about what I was typing). So when I have a queue of about 150 or something I’ll generally only do half of them, and leave the other half for later. I’m less strict about that, though - it kind of depends on how I’m feeling at the time.

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I reset from level 20 a month ago, and what the others have said is accurate. Someone made a graph at some point that at a ~9 day levelling, the workload continues to increase until about level 20, which is when you start burning items, and then doesn’t let up until you’ve finished the last level. A single day of not doing your reviews can lead to waking up with over 200 reviews, which a lot of people find discouraging.

Add to that the fact that kanji become a lot more complex as well as similar to each other, and distinguishing between them becomes quite hard, especially at the enlightenment and burning stages.

TL;DR a lot of people say around level ~14 that they wish they’d taken the first levels slower, because the amount of reviews that pile up each day end up a lot more than what they can comfortably manage.

ETA:: Here’s the old thread regarding burnout that has the graph I mentioned:


It really depends on how you learn and how much time you have to dedicate to wanikani. When I started, I did them all at once, for a couple of reasons. For one, I had 2 dedicated periods that I would use for wanikani, one in the morning and one after work. As such, I had the time, but didn’t want to spread them out. Secondly, most of the kanji for the first 20 some odd levels, I knew either the reading or the meaning for, so that made it easier. (I came to wanikani to balance out my reading).

Now, at 32? (I don’t keep track usually), where I have a much different schedule and about half of the new kanji I know the reading or meaning for, the amount I can actively learn per day is less. As such, I always do radicals and about 40 reviews a day. That is about where I feel comfortable right now. My level time is usually about 9 days now, but I’m also not going for speed. Just by briefly look at some of the later levels, I’m guessing I’m going to slow down again around level 44-45, but we’ll see.

If your looking for advice, I’d say, experiment around and find what you feel comfortable with. Everyone learns differently, and different speeds will be more effective for different people.


Oh, thanks for letting me know! Yeah, that’s a huge increase. Though I wonder what would be a comfortable pace? 10-20/day still seems really low to me. In the thread you linked there was a suggestion to not let guru outpace master, but that is even slower. What pace do you keep?

I do 20 lessons a day (up from 15) because I’m in no rush and would like to not be overwhelmed this time around :sweat_smile: I’ll probably go back down to 10-15 once I get back to my problem levels, circa ~18.

Master shouldn’t be less than guru. But since you’re still low-level, your Guru items are expected to be higher than Master items until you start Enlightening items or so.

ETA: edited to clarify a badly worded post. :sweat_smile:

I’ve been doing 20 per day since like lvl 4 or 5 (10 in the morning, 10 in the evening) and do consistent 7 - 7.5 day levels. 20 is pretty solid and even using the reorder script, it’s enough that you aren’t more than a quarter or half level of vocab behind when you level. I’m really against the whole doing 80 or so lessons right away thing. You can spread it out into digestible chunks and still level up at the fastest rate possible while improving long term retention and avoiding the short term headaches of massive apprentice items.

That’s the first time I’ve heard someone say a lower srs tier should have more items than the next. Too many items in the lower tiers means you are getting a lot of items wrong and/or blasting through lessons too quickly. I’ve been at ~500 guru, ~700 master, ~2400 enlightened for a while now and it’s been quick leveling without a huge workload, at least in my opinion.

Good luck doing that as you get more items to that level.

For my last two level-ups I’ve done around half my lessons (previous-level vocabulary + radicals) the first day and the remainder (new kanji + vocab) the next. Which isn’t very much spacing out I guess. I’m a little worried now that I’ve read the warnings about future workload, but hopefully I can handle it without too much of an accuracy dip. It’s a time commitment for sure, but the harder I work now the sooner I’ll be able to read!

Hm, I either dropped a n’t after should or dropped another word.

What I meant is, ‘there’s no chance that you’ll have more Master items than Guru up until a certain point’. Beginners start with high App:Guru ratio, then high Guru:Master ratio etc, and it’s only natural. Though once you get past that point, it’s a really bad idea to keep your lower SRS items at a higher number than the higher SRS items.

You wouldn’t say! I misworded my post past recognition, I edited it now to be clearer.

No sooner than if you space it out, though. You are gated at a minimum of 6 days 20 hour levels, so if your goal is to space it out while still going as fast as possible, you don’t need to knock all the items out the same day or the next.

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I aim to do 20 in the morning/early afternoon and 20 at night.

This is really interesting. Thanks for sharing it! I should revise my opinion on OP’s decision, then.

Everyone has their own study pace! I’m getting lots of good ideas about my WK habits–thanks everyone that’s replied!

Right now, I am, but for only the vocab. I’m concentrating more on getting my radicals and kanji down (which is going really well so far) and decreasing my apprentice numbers.

I don’t use any reorder scripts and just do 20 lessons each day. I try and maintain 100 items in my apprentice count as best as I can. I level up every 18-20 days or so? I spent 10 days in America this month, so level 12 is kinda dragging on for a bit. I think this pace is more than sustainable.

I usually check mine in the morning, during lunch, and usually over dinner. If I’m not using WK, I’m studying grammar. The school I work at has summer vacation at the moment, so there is nothing else to do but study Japanese.

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