Efficient Kanji-centered Level Up Strategy

If you want to go as fast as you can in WaniKani your first thought would probably be to learn all lessons as soon as they show up. But these lessons will be harder to remember if they are too many.

I noticed that the only factor for leveling up is whether or not all your kanji and radicals for the current level are on the guru. I also noticed that most of the SRS items in WaniKani are vocabs, not kanji nor radicals.

This means that if you want to go as fast as possible, you only need to finish all kanji and radical lessons. This will be easier to remember during reviews because it’s a lot fewer since most of those lessons will be vocabs. You can then spread out your vocab lessons in such a way that it will all be finished by the time your radicals and kanji are on guru. This will make you proceed in the next level kanji and radicals because it was just in time when your vocabs were finished.

It seems like this will be as fast as doing all lessons in one sitting, but also a lot easier during reviews.

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Actually you only need 90% of the kanji to ever have reached guru (doesn’t matter if they’ve gone back down to apprentice). Radicals only matter for unlocking enough kanji for the 90%

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I swear I’ve seen this exact same topic a few months ago… :thinking:

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I did a set number of lessons a day (15-25-ish) and I did 7 day levels for the vast majority of my WK tenure. ^^ You don’t have to do all lessons at once.

The only two things that matter if speed is your concern is 1) doing all your radicals when they pop, and 2) not make any kanji review mistakes once the second wave of kanji pop.

This strategy also kept my review load very steady, which I personally much prefer over days of spikes.

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Might have gotten buried. Anyway, I tried searching but I wouldn’t know the title they would choose. There’s a lot of the word “strategies” in all titles here.

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Well, there’s this guide that goes in great details over the optimal strategy to do WK at any speed (not only maximum speed):

That might be what @TrinityBringer was referring to.

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Took me the first few levels to figure this out, but yeah, if you don’t want to go insane, I feel like you generally end up at this strategy for the long term lol. I usually do 30-40 lessons each day, it’s pretty manageable for now.

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Also, if anyone is curious, the app Flaming Durtles shows how close you are to reaching that 90% kanji cutoff.

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Kinda. The vocab for a Kanji doesn’t unlock until you Guru that Kanji so you’ll always have a period during the start of a level where you’re finishing off vocab from the previous level.

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Did you mean this one?

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Yes, I think that’s what I was thinking of!

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There’s also this neat script that does the same job:


(You have to change two lines of code, but everything is explained in the comments)

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Yeah, that was actually mine. When I saw the title of this thread I immediatly had to think of it as well. I think it actually might be of use to the OP; guiding him in his next steps :wink: @vjlomocso.

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That’s really good guide, by the way! And thanks for the Userscript tip!

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I use Tsurukame and prioritize radicals and kanji so I’m always leveling up at the 7 day mark. The key is to do all of the radicals right away (usually easy), and the first batch of new kanji over the next couple of days. Vocab gets done in big chunks when I have time, usually while drinking some wine and watching Japanese news at night or something like that. I aim to clear the queue every week, and usually succeed.

Using either the reorder script or Tsurukame is essential in my opinion, and Tsurukame makes it very clear when your new radical/kanji incremental reviews are coming up. That in conjunction with wkstats v1 has kept me strictly on schedule for 20+ levels.

To remember new items, take your time on each lesson. Use an external dictionary with vocab and sentence examples to get an idea of how the items really function in the language. I find WK definitions are often vague or incomplete, and the example sentences less than helpful. And definitely get into the habit of making your own mnemonics. WK gets really lazy about it.

Thanks a lot! I have to say your Native Material Mine Guide is very good as well! I haven’t gotten through all of it yet, but whenever I want to know how to dissect something I look at it in your guide.

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