Does it take less time to level up after 40?

Hi everyone!

This is my first post ever.
I have seen a lots of wanikani level-up graphs, I notice that the number of days to level goes down after level 40 in almost all graphs, is that true? Or have I been seeing some biased data?
Also, is there a specific reason for this behavior? (like less number of radicals etc)

As I am approaching level 40 soon, I just want to know what I am getting into. If this question has been asked earlier, then I am sorry about it. Just give the relevant links I can go through to learn about this.

EDIT1: Another Question! Does wkstats( factor-in this reduced time to level up when making prediction of time to reach a future level?

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It is faster for most, but not all levels after 40.

What is a fast level?

In order to level up in Wanikani, you must guru at least 90% of the kanji for that level. In order to unlock a kanji, you must reach its level and guru all the radicals it depends on. This means that for most levels, you must go through two stages: First guru all the radicals on that level, then guru the kanji on that level that you unlocked after guru’ing those radicals.

However, if at most 10% of the kanji on a level depend on radicals from the same level, then there is only one stage required to complete the level. This is because 90+% of the kanji are available immediately on level up, so you do not have to wait to guru that level’s radicals first before you can start on the kanji.

Which levels are fast levels and which are slow changes occasionally as Wanikani adds, removes, or changes content. For example, last October, level 41 changed from fast to slow, and at some point a couple months ago, it changed back to fast, leaving guides on the forum out of date. Therefore, I decided to create a script that will automatically calculate the current list of fast levels for you.

As of this writing, the fast levels on Wanikani are: 41, 43, 44, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, and 60.

To see the up to date list of fast levels, go here:


Thanks for quick answer! Edited the original post to ask another question about wkstats.

The link for wkstats that you posted is the old version. You should try using the new one instead:, which uses the v2 API. The new version does not have a completed level-up prediction page; however, the old one would be inaccurate anyways at this point.

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(Old) wkstats does not factor that in if I recall correctly. It’s purely based on the hypothetical level-up speed you provide.

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Sorry to revive an old thread, I just wanted to ask how those fast levels are going and didn’t want to make a whole new topic. I’m level 42 now so I’m going to start my first fast level in about 2 days when I level up. Right now I’m averaging 7-8 days a level and 250-300 reviews a day, how sharp is the increase of reviews if you’re trying to go as fast as possible? I’d like to be done before I go back to college after winter break, but I think 500 reviews a day would be pretty overwhelming in the time before winter break. How quickly have you been leveling up, and what’s your average on reviews per day?

i personally recommend slowing down around level 40 because that’s a good time to start doing lots of reading, which is definitely going to take away from time spent on wanikani. the kanji after level 40-45 are very “diminishing return”; of the kanji i’ve learned since I started reading (around level 40), only about half of them have even been in wanikani at all.

the levels are worth doing, of course, but pushing for max speed doesn’t feel like a good use of time when there’s books, games, manga, etc you could be reading.


Good question! I was averaging around 10-11 days before I started hitting fast levels. Now, my fast levels are going at a speed of 5 days on average. So, in my experience, you can half the average speed of slow levels. I wouldn’t say the increase in the number of reviews is overwhelming if you’re going at your fastest speed, I think you should be fine. And as @fioraaeterna said, I am trying to consume as much Japanese from around me as possible which is way more important than just mugging up Kanji.

For me the fast levels are not fast at all. On the contrary my average time per level lately increased. When levelling up, I have still some vocabulary lessons waiting for me and I want to keep the number of Apprentice items at about 100-120 and Guru items around 900. Therefore I do not immediately do the lessons for the new level but try to consolidate the previous level.

So, if someone is strictly following x items per day (save for radicals, which are done in one run) and virtually never has 0 lessons there are/will be no “fast levels” - do I understand it correctly?

That depends on the value of x, but assuming you’re doing more than around 10 lessons per day, you should still notice a difference. The faster you go through the items and the better your accuracy, the bigger the difference will be.

I actually started lvl43 (the first fast level) yesterday. Of course, that’s not enough time to really feel the burn yet.

When you start doing fast levels, the increase in review load isn’t immediate (apart from the fact that you have to do all the kanji lessons on level up instead of spreading them out if you weren’t already doing that.)

Instead, it builds up over time. You need to think about it in terms of how many Apprentice and Guru and Master items you’ll have. For normal levels where you’re leveling once per week, you’ll have one level worth of Guru 1s coming from a week ago, plus a level of Guru 2s from two weeks ago, Masters from a month ago and so on. (Of course, this is assuming perfect accuracy.)

When you start your first fast level, there won’t be any immediate difference. A week after starting the fast levels, those reviews will come up at Guru 1, so the Guru 1 reviews have now been doubled. After two weeks, the Guru 2 reviews will double, and so on.

Of course, that assumes perfect accuracy. If you’re like me, you’ll be missing a lot of your Enlightened and Burned reviews and constantly be kicking older items back down to Guru, so the effect isn’t a straight doubling. However, if anything, the increased review load is likely to decrease accuracy due to mental overload.

Anyway, that’s what I’m expecting to happen, but I haven’t experienced it yet. Ask me again in 10 weeks, I guess.

I’m doing super-crazy 7 lessons per day and I usually have at least 40 lessons. When I level up I have more than 100 lessons and it takes almost 2 weeks to go over that.

My understanding is that with fast levels this won’t change much, and it seems that you confirmed that ^__^"

Yeah. If you do only ten lessons a day, fast levels should make zero difference. Assuming no reordering. The only thing that changes then, is the availability of the lessons. But if you never hit the limit (i.e. always have available lessons) that won’t matter.

Of course you will probably level up the first fast level fast, but then the vocab backlog will balance the speed in the long run.

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