Does your mind feel like it's melting with reviews/learning?

I have recently gotten to level 3 and as soon as I did there was some 50 new lessons which i got through at the end of the day and then this morning I woke up with 99 review items.

Does it feel like your mind is melting when you feel you’re drowning in these reviews/new Kanjis?

I have a full time job and a family so cleaning, entertaining the kiddo, working and attempting to stay healthy is just so much (sometimes! sometimes not so bad!) and I am trying to do 10 Review here, 15 there, 24 during lunch but sometimes my percentage is < 50% and I get discouraged i’m not soaking up as I should be. I think that’s preemptive and I should keep pushing forward but here I am posting and hoping for some encouragement or some tips to how I best keep it all from falling apart in the early days.

Blahhh is the feeling sometimes. Although I’ve been learning Japanese on and off for a few years it’s been very basic (Hiragana - Learning phrases) and this year i’d like to kick it up extremely as 2023 we want to go to Japan again for 3 months and i’d like to be able to speak at a very low level (Asking for directions, shopping, small talk) which I feel is achievable but I have to keep pushing.

Perhaps I just wanted to rant but i’d like to be more involved with the WaniKani community so here I am!


I’d recommend not to do all the lessons at once. Do 10, 15 or 20 each day. 15 a day is a pretty fast pace, I started doing that much a few months ago. Before then, I was doing only 10 each day.


Okay, also good to know. I think I have been trying to keep Lessons and Reviews down to 0 at the end of each day. It’s been a few weeks of that.

I can relate I am married, work full-time, and have two little kiddos only a year apart at home. (Granted, I am living and working in Japan)

I won’t lie, it’s tough. I started almos.t three years ago and I am only now just hitting the mid thirty levels. I think it’s probably best not to put too much pressure on yourself. These kids in college with lots of free time on their hands can eat their reviews up like a little kid eats cake, but us Dad types need to do the slow and steady pace if we are to get to the finish line I think. To me this means taking the levels a little slower than what would be considered average. Otherwise you will burnout very quickly. I have two such burnout experiences.

Once you get to the 30s it feels like you are drinking from a fire hose. So, 1 - 2 levels per month is probably a reasonable goal.

Routine, slow-is smooth-smooth-is-fast thinking, and just in general trying to enjoy the experience has been my bread and butter. I’d like to encourage you to keep on keeping on as the reward of learning one of the world’s hardest languages is quite unlike any other. The more I can read and understand, the more fun I have with the language.

From one dad to another. Good luck to you, friend.


It’s good to have that habit with reviews, but lessons you can take at a more relaxed pace. Doing a set amount per day will also ensure you have a mostly steady amount of reviews each day, instead of days with a lot of reviews, and days with only a few.

Another thing you want to do, is figure out where you want most of your reviews to fall. Morning or evening? I have most of mine in the evening. I got it there by doing my lessons in the morning before 8am. Then I will do a review session, between 11am and 1pm (sometimes I’m too busy and don’t get to them until later, though). Then I do the evening reviews. Right answers here will reunlock in the evening at some point in the future. Wrong answers you will see again in the morning if it’s low apprentice, or again in the evening at some point for appr3 and up.


That way lies madness my friend. :wink:

Same. Full time job. Family. Etc. Having a routine that you can stick with long term is crucial.

This is the way. :smiley:


I’m mastering one level per two weeks. I had many mistakes previosly, but now I just memorize those ones that is visible before ‘start session’. Much less mistakes for now. Also you can see your ‘problem kanji’ on dashboard with persentadge of thereof.
Aslo right before quizz I memoraze all I’ve just learnt.

The main point is before you click ‘start session’ and ’ quizze’ you make sure you remember everything!

I keep it down to 0 almost everyday.

***Also to learrn japanese much faster I search every new I kanji (there is a button for this). I just copy ones from sites, games, device or dictionaries and post it on my private social media accounts.

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Thank you, that helps for sure with understanding and being able to know others out there have the same. Nice that you are in Japan, though. I think I can still get to a nice level when I travel there with family in a couple years but it’s certainly tough getting through some of these reviews.

Thanks and keep on keeping on!


No! Do not do that!

The SRS is intended to check if you have actually committed something to mid- or long term memory, and if you haven’t, to give you another opportunity to reinforce it.

If you go through the list of items before doing a review session, you will have a higher success rate because the kanji and words are in your short-term or operational memory. That means you can level up faster but you don’t actually ensure that you really have learned the kanji.

That way, you might as well not bother using a SRS.


You can expect to do badly with new items. Just plug away at them anyway, even if it seems hopeless and frustrating. They will start to stick after a few tries (or a dozen, depending).


I agree with @shionamekuji San, that 1-2 levels per month is a relatively good speed to work with. It takes a while till we figure out the perfect pace that suits the individual work-life style.
Start by doing fewer lessons that way you can have the reviews regulated. I see that around 20 lessons per day is the most common suggestion given on the forums here.
I would also encourage you to look up options like vacation mode. I am a mom of two little kids and work a 9-5 job, so holidays for kids means no study time for me.
But the most important thing is hang-on. I was able to set a schedule between mid-teen levels and early 20s I believe.


I agree - I don’t review before going in. I will sometimes type the wrong answer too quick so that I can see the real answer and then defeat the purpose of SRS so I have to learn to go slow and read over the stories again and really try to have it down.


That can actually be a good thing to do for the apprentice levels. I would rather fail quickly and look at the info to prepare for the next review than sit there for 30s trying to think or even worse reinforce the wrong answer.

I basically use the apprentice levels to weed out items that I need to spend more time on by only giving myself 5 or 6 seconds to come up with meaning and reading.

I find that it helps my long term recall much better.


I have to get the rhythm down of how many I do in the morning and how many reviews I want to handle and be okay with. I think going through 10 new lessons a day or even 5 is fine and to focus on reviews and understanding/committing to memory the mnemonics so that I get something from this.

I think I also got frustrated as I want to learn some key phrases/words but I was seeing words like ‘British Person’ and ‘French person’ which I don’t feel fit into a “most used japanese kanji’s/words” but perhaps i’m getting ahead of myself at level 3 :sweat_smile:


I’d suggest you only do 5-15 lessons each day. Over time, too many lessons results in your reviews expanding exponentially. You also want to make sure you’re absorbing and remember the various radicals, kanji and vocab. The worst I’ve ever felt using WaniKani is when I’ve taken a relatively short break due to other commitments and seen by reviews balloon to close to 900.

I know when I started I had a real desire to do as many lessons as were available at any given time. In hindsight, I don’t think this was the best approach.

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That’s just to reinforce the reading of 人 じん

You can add any country, like ノルウェー人 Norwegian

Aye. :wink:


@anon8142279 already pointed this out but I wanted to try to add a bit of zen to the message.

You should not review before reviews! In doing so, you will indeed mess up the SRS magic, as Taschi explains.

In fact: you should not feel bad about getting the answer wrong. That’s okay! It will just come back another time and you can try again. The next time Wanikani shows it to you, it will actually be easier to answer, because less time has passed since the last time you got there.

I always make sure I’m doing my reviews (somewhat) on time, to get the most out of this feature. Being (somewhat) on time is much more important than being right all the time.

Embrace the failure, because that’s where you’ll learn :slight_smile:


The good thing about being an adult, and not one of these young whippersnappers, is that we know by now what learning strategies work best for us. I learn best by reading and seeing, because my memory is very visual. Writing also helps, but other kinesthetic learning strategies don’t work for me. So for me, sitting at the computer and reading the lesson is fine.

Maybe you learn best some other way. Do you learn best by writing things down? Acting them out? Pacing around while reading? Reading them aloud? If you’re not a visual learner, maybe you can adapt how you use WK to suit one of the strategies that will work better for you?

I also agree with others who say to chip away at it slowly, and spread the lessons out so that you don’t have huge peaks and troughs. My strategy on this third attempt - the other two, I let myself get overwhelmed by huge piles of reviews and avoided WK for months/years, so have reset to 0 twice - is to do all the lessons for radicals and kanji when they become available, then 20-25 vocab lessons per day.


I agree but would like to add another reason: the goal is to be able to recognize kanji and words quickly and if it takes you really long to recognize something, that is a good sign that you probably could use the additional repetition.

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Who are you calling mad! :crazy_face: I’m still doing it! :joy: (granted, if I level up late in the evening, I probably won’t do more than a couple of lessons).

But, you’re right. If OP feels overwhelmed that’s a sign to slow down with the lessons and keep those review counts under control. Makes for much smother sailing on their WK journey. ^^ :sailboat: