Do you take a break every couple of levels? Steady pace versus leveling up in bursts

I’ve seen a couple of you mention that they take a break every few levels and I notice that this is also something that I need every once in a while. Do you try to keep the same level up speed or not? Do you take breaks every X levels or just stop for a while when you realize that your brain is not ready for new lessons?

As for me, I just had 5 levels that I finished in 7 days and I really enjoyed this fast progress for a while – it was more fun than my 12 day levels. This might be because I really had to make WaniKani a priority and plan my reviews in a more strategic way which added to the gamification effect. And of course seeing my level number go up fast was motivating too.

Now I feel like I hit my limit but this is not the first time this is happening. This time, it does not come as a surprise so it does not worry me anymore. I will stop levelling up now and just focus on reviews for a while until my brain feels ready again for new content. This will also give me some time to focus on other areas like grammar and reading.

I’m starting to like this “doing WaniKani in bursts” approach and I might intentionally keep it up for a while. What about you?


I did this for the first 25 levels, but then switched to a consistent but slower speed. Personally that has worked better for me.


I always end up taking long breaks during school semesters. It’s not exactly by choice. I’d much prefer to level up consistently. But life is what is, and I’ve learned to manage my time the best I can. Sometimes that means pushing pause on some things so that I put my focus into a few things at time instead of everything all at once.

Come summer, though, I’m going full force! >:D


I started slowing down because I wanted to catch up on KaniWani and really hit grammar more. I had to intentionally slow down because I was spending all my time doing reviews here instead of grammar.

So on paper it looks like I’m making very little progress here, but I’ve made a lot of progress elsewhere.

I also have been hitting into speaking practice more too. No matter how much you can read, actually having a conversation is basically starting over again.

So for me it’s really focusing away from WK and elsewhere that has given me more progress total, but your milage may vary.


That sounds very familiar. Since I don’t particularly like practicing grammar, procrastinating on it by doing WaniKani instead is just tempting. I also hope I’ll make some noticeable progress during my WaniKani downtime.


I’m definitely a “doing WaniKani in bursts” type of person. There are some days where my brain feels so fresh and able that I’ll just jump on probably 50 lessons at once because it feels like I can. I also definitely won’t do WK if I’m sleepy or have a headache or am too busy or just don’t feel like it.

I tend to not let reviews get too ahead of me; I’ll force myself to do them once they might accumulate to about 250 or so. Otherwise I never pressure myself if I don’t feel like it.

After all, I’m studying kanji for fun with no particular goals. :woman_shrugging:


I’m in this same camp too. For me it’s less about reaching a particular level and more about improving a bit more each day. Less goal focus and more process focus.


I’ve taken breaks to focus on other aspects of Japanese. My grammar and non-WK vocab were really starting to slip, so I paused lessons for a while and just did reviews (and this is why level 7 and 8 have both taken over a month to finish).

But then when I’m feeling good about grammar and getting tired of neglecting kanji, I come back to WK and end up letting that side of it slip again. I just can’t seem to focus on both at once and it’s created this unfortunate cycle.


This time around I’m taking it easy if I feel like being lazy. Have only done the radical lessons since leveling up.


I took a break every 10 levels on my way up to 60. My goal was to finish 10 levels every 3 months and the time left over from finishing before 3 months ended was when I took a break. I usually had between 10-14 days on each of my breaks. In between I would be consistent and usually level up in 7-9 days on most every level.


I did 10 day levels until I hit level 40, then I took a break and read my first novel (took a month) before getting to level 60.

I think consistent leveling is the way to go because it means you can figure out what your work load is and find a way to work it into your schedule. If you level up inconsistently then you’re never sure how much time you’ll need in a week for WK. As you can guess from the numerous threads on it, huge review piles are a great way to lose motivation.


Honestly i just want to finish the first 30 levels as fast as possible, considering they have the most common kanji i believe anything after 30 can be taken slowly. So I’m going full speed, yet I cap my new lessons to either 30 Vocabulary or 15ish Kanji

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I did the opposite, started out very slowly, and now I’m doing 7-8 day levels for about the past 10 levels. My accuracy has dropped (I’m still hanging on to 99% but I am getting more wrong than I used to and I can just feel it’s not as accurate, my stats have dropped) but this is easily within bounds of acceptable. Like you, though, if I’m not feeling lessons on a certain day I will only do 5 or 10 and leave more for the day after.

I want to be able to read though, and not knowing kanji went from being a factor that would just take a lot of time and that I had to deal with, to something that is literally becoming easier with every week that passes, so I’ll keep up the pace for as long as I can. It’s rewarding to read a bit and notice that “hey I couldn’t have read/inferred that word a week ago”.


I never take a break from my reviews since that would defeat the purpose of the SRS (and too many reviews would pile up), but when I’m feeling too unmotivated I take a short break from new lessons. I’ve also started stopping new lessons before my apprentice level items reach 100, because I’m already getting close to 200 item reviews some days… and I count stopping new lessons before there aren’t any left as a break haha


Until recently I would have said consistent is best, but maybe taking an intentional break if you feel like you need to is important.

I’ve been on level 40 for nearly a YEAR, and I only just got motivated enough to keep my lessons/reviews at 0 again. The thing is, I never chose to take a break. I just couldn’t make myself do it, so I ended up reviewing really sporadically and piling up reviews until I had over 1000 just sitting there all the time.

I think it would have been better if I had recognized that I needed a break, chosen a specific start and end for the break, and then come back to wanikani at full power.

Obviously this is a very subjective thing.


My plan is to go 7-8 days/level until level 20. Then take a 1-2 week break from taking new lessons while reading stuff and still doing my reviews. That way I can hopefully push my reviews and space them further apart before going high speed again until level 30. Then another break from new lessons while still doing reviews.

Note to self:

After that maybe slow it down to 10-15 days/level with lesson breaks every 10 levels.

In short,
Lesson breaks: yes
Review breaks: no

Why full speed until level 20? So that I can read beginner stuff without having to look up the dictionary every other kanji. People say you can do that around level 20-30. We’ll see…

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I’ve been at or close to 7 day levels most of the way through. What I have discovered is that I like to level up on Fridays, it’s a good day for me to get through the pile of lessons and reviews. It’s a good motivator to stick to the 7 day lesson rhythm because Ive discovered that trying to fit it in on other days of the week is hard. My last break was to readjust myself back to this rhythm but it also gave. me some tome to attend to my apprentice leaches. I can force taking a week or two break from lessons (never reviews) to squash a few persistent leaches.

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I know myself, and I now that if I slack off just one bit, it’s the first step to eventually giving up altogether. I managed to find my rhythm by leveling up in exactly 7 days, no more no less, and by having the reviews at a constant pace, I can relax knowing my routine. Maybe I’m different :smile:

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I need to be on a 7 day schedule to get the motivation, drive and habit of doing the lessons at certain times.
But when the reviews start to feel like too much of a chore, I stop doing lessons for about a month. I star up again on the weekday needed to get back on the same schedule, but now with a much lower number of reviews coming in =^_^=

Important; NEVER stop doing reviews! The SRS needs to be done in the time to work, and a piled up review stack is the biggest demotivator D=

I’m planing on taking a break again from next week, once I hit lvl 31. I’ll do the new vocab, and probably the new kanji + vocab they unlock too, only keeping the radicals to prevent a level up.
I’ll be focusing on reading and grammar a lot for a month now, and will start up again about 4 weeks later if I’m ready =)

Plan is to stop again at 42, cause, reasons :wink:
And then see if I can do the last stretch, if not a stop around 51.
Even with the planed stops I should be done this year (unless they add more levels, if so, early next year :wink: )


I’m more of a slow and steady kind… I don’t really care how fast I level up, I’d rather make sure I really know the kanji and its readings… I don’t even use a reorder script, which is why it took me 50 days to finish level 13 lol… It took forever to get through all these vocab lessons because I didn’t have as much time as usual.

I really don’t mind, I like the freedom of just not doing lessons if I feel my mind is not up to it. I used to be on 3 different SRS but now I’m trying to split my time between WK, grammar, speaking/texting with Japanese friends and active listening/watching native content. It seems to be working as I feel much more fluid in my approach of the language, and also kanjis seem to stick better since I’m exposed to a lot of the words beforehand.