Do you prioritize Lessons or Reviews?

I currently have 200 lessons and 200 reviews to do. Would you prioritize doing the reviews first? or getting through more lessons?


I never touch lessons until I clear my reviews. Reviews are meant to be done when they come up (or around that time), lessons I can do whenever I want.

Also if you do more lessons without clearing reviews first, you will only increase you workload as more reviews start pouring in.


Only very rarely will I do lessons when I have reviews pending. Like when it’s 7:50, and have 20 reviews. I’ll do my usual 20 lessons before 8:00, do the reviews right after, or at 11/12 at my first review of the lessons that morning.

I would definitely not do lessons if I already have 200 reviews I likely won’t get to in the next couple hours.


My personal rule and advice:
No lessons unless reviews zero

They will just make more reviews. If you can’t get zero reviews you have too many/going faster than you can handle.
I learned that from experience, have reset from semi high levels twice (20 and 42)
This time I go by that rule and it makes a huge difference!


I do the same as everyone else here. Only exception is if I have less than 100 items at apprentice, I’ll do enough lessons to get it back up and then finish my reviews after.

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Pretty much the same for me as everyone else: Reviews first, lessons after. I usually like to do lessons in the morning, so I can see the newly learned words 3x in one day.


It makes more sense to prioritize reviews before doing more lessons, BUT there are times when I’ve done lessons before reviews. Mostly to do with the SRS timing.

For example, level up in the morning is often preferable. So, I’ll wanna get those radical/kanji lessons underway as soon in the day as possible. The reviews I can do anytime really.

So, depending on how fast I wanna go on a level, I sometimes ignore pending reviews, and instead, especially for larger numbers, do them in chunks of 40-50 per hour until they reach 0 after having gotten the lessons underway.

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I always do reviews first no matter what.

The main reason I don’t do it this way is I may not have less than 100 items at apprentice after a review session. :wink: I’d rather pick up those items that have dropped back down rather than add to the stack.


doing lessons is how you regulate your overall speed, and how much reviews you will have to do in future.

each lesson leads to at least 8 reviews, more if you make mistakes. so if you do 10 lessons a day, and make no mistakes, you will be doing 80 reviews a day when you start burning items.

doing reviews is how you learn stuff. each time you do a review you write it a little deeper into your memory. the timing of the reviews is relatively important, they’re timed in such a way that it maximises how well you will remember.

so if you’re not keeping up with reviews, you’re not going to remember as well as you otherwise would.


I was doing all the lessons first until I got to level 5, and it was working fine. Then suddenly I was not able to keep up and I was just pushing a wave of stuff I didn’t know around. I’d get 60% right, creating a huge number of new reviews to do at my next session. So I stopped all lessons and just worked on reviews until I was able to cut the daily review total to something reasonable.

So now I’m at 6 and I’m steadily working down my lessons. I haven’t touched any of the new 6 content, but better to be stable with 5 then repeating the cycle again.


After having reset several times, one thing that I am going to try, in addition to always doing reviews before lessons, is to take a pause here at level 10 and take a week or two to get my Guru and Master count lower before I do any lessons. I am finding at age 65 that I cannot remember a lot of new information in a short amount of time and am hoping that cementing what I already know will make new content easier to absorb.


So far I’ve been prioritizing lessons over reviews at the start of each level, but the last batch hit me pretty hard and from what you write, it’s only going to get worse :smiley: .

In the nearest future I will probably try to balance it out more and spread it out in time so that I don’t get burned by spikes of reviews.

Then again, it really depends on the kanji and radicals I’ll get. Many of the simple ones I haven’t encountered yet.

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reviews all the way

I tend to do lessons as early as possible in the day so that I can do the first and second review well before bed time. But I still prioritise reviews, in the sense that I only take lessons on days where I don’t have loads of reviews coming up (to put things into perspective, 200 reviews over an entire day is a heavy day for me, let alone in a single session!)


Can I just say how amazing you are that you are doing this at age 65, I got a lot of respect for that.

And to anwer the question: I’m a beginner myself but noticed pretty fast that lessons make more reviews, so I also focus on review first. When there’s a big new batch of lessons from a level up I find it easier to do them when I wake up on a day I don’t work.


I kind of spread lessons out over the day/days so that they come back as reviews spread out that way too. So there are times where I’ll do a few lessons even when I have reviews. But the general “do reviews first” advice is sound.

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I do normally prioritize reviews too, but since reviews require way less attention, sometimes I’ll do lessons if I have “attention time” now and I know I won’t have so later, since I can do reviews on my phone while on an uber or waiting for the bus or something

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Reviews. Always reviews.


200 reviews at lvl 6 feels like a bit too much. Reviews are supposed to be done when they come up. That’s what srs is all about. Delaying the reviews too much might lead to worse retention rate → more mistakes → more low srs stage items → more reviews. This might cause the vicious circle. Also, 200 lessons is more than a single lesson would normally give you. So I suppose you’re using your phone to do lessons at least. Keep in mind, by default a browser version will give you older vocab before newer kanji for lessons, while the phone version can prioritize radicals and kanji over vocabs. In this case if you use your phone, you can be at lesson say 15, but have vocab lessons for lesson 5 available. Which is not very good, because you miss out on vocabulary this way, and vocabulary is imo the best way to remember kanji better.


That being said I do use my phone to get to the new kanji first when I reach a new lesson so I can complete it faster. My vocabs are about a level behind for this reason. Doesn’t feel like that much of a deal, but gives more leeway timewise to do studies. Good thing for me cause I tend to get lazy at times.

I have 1523 reviews.
I have 246 lessons.

I won’t touch the lessons until I’ve done the reviews.
I won’t touch new lessons until I’ve done old lessons.

This is the way.