Doing older reviews

So I was wondering, is there any way for me to review older stuff by my own?

I know WaniKani has a system of repetition and all, but I would really like to be able to do some older reviews in order to go through some complete old stuff when I feel like, or when I have no reviews at times just to burn them a bit more and remember them again.

So say im currently for example on level 8 with no new reviews… and I would just like to quickly go through level 1-3 thought, which has stuff that is already at a high level of competence, how can I do that?


First off, you should know asking this likely is going to spawn a debate over whether or not you should be reviewing kanji/vocab that you haven’t burned, and if that messes up the SRS factor. However, barring that, if you feel like reviewing, if it’s not burnt, I’d suggest either going through the lesson page and just manually trying to read them, or getting Anki/any program that has flashcards and just inputting what you want. Someone else can suggest decks, I’m not big on Anki.
However, if you want to review stuff that you’ve burned, I’d suggest downloading this burn review script if you know how to use userscripts.


I set this up now it looks good, but how do I select for example only level 1 items?

It has only selections of apprentice items, burned items etc… but not levels

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Nevermind I got it

Just in case people bring that up, I’ll link this:


That makes absolutely no sense to me, if I do my SRS stuff on my own as per wanikani reviews, and when I have nothing else to do I go and review some old stuff that I already know how exactly does that negatively effect my learning lol?
Thats the same as saying if I do extra stuff on my own apart from WaniKani like write those kanjis I learned down and practice writing them etc etc… does harm… thats ridicilous to me, it only does good.

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Yeah, it’s something people often say when they don’t understand how SRS works. Spaced reptition only maximizes retention for effort put in. Studying more doesn’t hurt. No one goes to Japan and forgets everything because they used the word too much.


Oh trust me, I don’t think they’re right, I’m just saying it’s happened more than once on posts like this.


I’ve never really dug deep into the SRS “debate”, but when I did hear about people talking about “cheating” and reviewing before the SRS interval dictated, a question that’s been in the back of my mind for a while is “what happens then when you come across a word you’ve learned in the wild? Are you supposed to ignore it or something in order to keep your SRS in balance?”. With this in mind, the argument of “cheating” is maybe a bit… flawed…?


(typical not an expert disclaimer)
I think it’s sort of a murky area. Like lets say you have an Enlightened kanji review coming up, and like a week before, you are going through some Kanji and come across that Kanji due for review, and you end up not remembering it, and so you get a refresher. Now, that Enlightened review comes up, and while you technically did not remember it for a month, you get it right cuz you just reviewed it on your own a week ago. Now it moves to Enlightened but its not actually there the way its supposed to be there. Its not the worst thing in the world, and it doesn’t damage your Kanji learning. It just distorts the SRS. Probably the only REAL downside of a lot of outside reviewing is that the SRS levels aren’t as “accurate” an indicator of your mastery of a item as they would be otherwise. The importance of that is up to you.


My uninformed opinion is that there is more than one way to learn. SRS is one of them. Finding items in the wild is another. Studying between SRS intervals is a third one. “Cheating” the SRS system means you are no longer using the SRS way to learn. You may still learn but it is not by the SRS method.

Edit: There is a question of what the SRS intervals should be. WK uses one algorithm. Bunpro uses another one. Anki uses a third one. I don’t know about others apps but I suppose most of them use their own algorithms. I don’t know how WK (or any other app) has chosen its intervals but I suppose they are not necessarily the best ones. In some cases doing additional reviews is “cheating” because they are too close to a Wanikani review and this defeats the point of SRS. In other cases they amount to an alteration of the sequence of intervals.

There is also a script that hides meanings on level item pages, if you just want to do a quick check in your head. No need for typing that way.

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Imagine you don’t review it on WK, but find it in a book you’re reading, and that book has furigana.

You see, it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, because what timer a word is on in WK is not important. You’ll remember it better the more you see it in various context, because your brain will accept it more readily as a relevant word than if you only drill it via SRS, even if aided by some mnemonic.

Words irrelevant to you might slip by the WK system and get burnt “unduly”, and then you’ll forget them. But what’s the harm? If the item was irrelevant to you in the first place, you can just forget it and are not worse off than before. If the word becomes relevant to you in the future, you’ll learn it again, and remember, and you then have the slight bonus of having had it on WK in the past.


i like manual physical index cards. old school. in my day we made index cards by hand both ways to school in the snow. with real cards you can review whatever you want whenever you want.

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I feel like that’s basically what I was saying. As I see it, SRS works both to learn something and to evaluate how well you’ve learned it. If you are doing a lot of reviews outside of SRS it could very well assist in learning, but its value in evaluating is distorted. There is no harm to the end goal of learning the language, and I said so.
And obviously you’re gonna encounter words in the wild. But I don’t think that’s a huge issue. I think its just drilling vocab in a vacuum on a regular basis that makes evaluating SRS progress fuzzy.



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Of course. We’re not disagreeing here, at all. I believe that WK is useful to minimize effort by making learning as efficient as possible - but there’s nothing stopping you from being less efficient if you feel it helps you be more effective.

There’s the pareto rule that states that you can reach 80% with 20% effort, which is how SRS with zero outside work will turn out in the end. Maybe even worse, because a WK session is likely way less than 20% of the input needed to learn properly.


It may be cheating: suppose you review the items you are going to burn, let’s say, three minutes before your SRS session. In fact, try it yourself: review each item just before each SRS session, and you accuracy will skyrocket to 100%. But of course, the items will be in your short term memory, and basically you are defeating the whole SRS method.

I think that sums up my feelings on it as well.

I think a major difference is that in this case you have context around the word. While I agree with majority of the post, I don’t think reviewing WK items on their own outside of the SRS intervals is helpful. However, I do think that coming across them organically in media and looking them up has a positive effect on retention.

I think this is the most important part. Regardless of the wider debate, sticking with your own method in the long term will be beneficial.

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