Falling off, and I'm really frustrated

Holy cow, 200-400 reviews a day? To me this would be overwhlemingly too much. And judging by your review score and you mentioning “oof” regarding to 250 reviews I’d say that it is too much for you too.

I usually have about 60-80 reviews a day and I think that is fine for me. I do them in 2 review sets. One after breakfast, one after lunch. I do 4 new lessons every day, sometimes more. When I feel a stack of reviews is a bit too big I don’t do new lessons that day.

I’d say stop doing new lessons for now and focus on reducing that review pile. When you start to get 80-90% scores and the number is at a comfortable level, then you could maybe think about doing new lessons again. No need to overstrain yourself. I mean, what good is fast progress if you can’t retain half of it reliably, right? Better dial it down a tune.

Yeah. I was also having close to 200 some days and it was too much. From now on I will aim for 100ish every day and I’ll maintain apprentice and guru below 100 too.

I can’t rush because otherwise I’ll get burned out. I like the pace I’m going at :slight_smile:

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If you aren’t enjoying wanikani its fine to not use it. Its not the only way to learn japanese. Or the best way. In my opinion its much more fun to learn by reading japanese stuff, like vns or manga. Plus since you’re already level 34 you probably already have a lot of vocab, so getting into reading might not be as hard for you as a complete beginner.

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Yup hahaha. I went on a 3 day vacation and would’ve have 800 reviews when I came back if I didn’t turn on vacation mode!

Thankfully I did and was able to enjoy the time off :face_exhaling:

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I don’t really have any good advice. But I wanted to let you know that you are not alone.
I started aka restarded after a multiple year hiatus last August and have daily reviews of at least 160+ items. Today I had a pile of 263 reviews. But I fail any kanji/vocab on purpose, if I would burn them on a pure “educated” guess. Therefore, my guru backlog is quite large.

As I will go on holiday without using the vacation mode, I stopped new lessons a couple of days ago to clear my apprentice reviews. Maybe you could also try to stay away from new lessons for a while.

Anyway, you got this. 頑張って.

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I started almost a year ago back in October and I’ve been doing it everyday almost, and I’m only on level 8 xD. I’d say you’re doing a great job so far at the pace you’re going. Just to put things into perspective, ganbatte!

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I think we’re all just perpetually hitting walls here.
The thing is that deviating from the SRS model, by say, stepping away for a few days, will screw up your accuracy because the brain forgets if the system is not adhered to. Which is fine. The worst thing that happens is back to apprentice.
Don’t take new lessons until your apprentice count is under 150, ideally around a 100. Take it slow, don’t fret. Accuracy in the grand scheme of things is irrelevant. You’ll remember them eventually and people are not robots. They’ll understand, correct you, whatever.
Just keep Reming on. It’s a long journey, try to enjoy it :pray::blush:


Putting aside the number of reviews for a second, you definitely need more sessions per day. WK is optimized for about 2 daily sessions. Less reviews in the “bucket” at a time means less leeches and more accuracy, which means less overall time spent doing SRS, less frustration and more motivation.

I’m doing 400+ reviews per day between my various SRS, but I break them down into 3-4 bite-sized sessions. I don’t plan on maintaining this pace over a very long period of time - I’m just rushing to get past beginner level. If I was trying to do 200+ reviews at a time I would quickly pick up my phone or start mindlessly scrolling the web.

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Honestly, though… those same feelings, and I guess even little, like @aliciaogawa who wrote above who lives in Japan (max immersion) ) Alice, your experience did make me feel so much better, actually)… it’s simply difficult to become intimately familiar with 8000 words equally and intensely and functionally…

I don’t care too much about accuracy, but oh boy when I’ve been away for even a week, I come back to 60% and below… particularly the newer Vocab. I don’t sweat it, because it obviously means that I need to spend more time with those I missed. (sometime here says if they don’t have fast, certain recall, they miss it…I like that approach, so percents be d@mned, if I need it to come around again, I type “miss” or き).

I’m on a discord server and they started a game where people had to make Vocabulary cards. On PAPER! I was kind of ticked off, because I haven’t really used paper much in the last 2 years. One of the challenges was to write the same kanji 10 times on the Japanese school-kid paper grids. I could feel my relationship to the Kanji evolving as I wrote! And it reminded me of how it felt, copying sentences out of manga and novels to write notes. Goodness that takes SO LONG! WaniKani is like 140 vocabulary words per level. there is no way I’m going to handwrite all of that out!

Anyway… I can’t expect to know these well, I just want to get through WK…I realize that it’s only recognition and not recall… but I keep learning a bunch of these better as time goes by. I do Duolingo every day and that drills a lot of WaniKani vocabulary. I didn’t start WaniKani until after 2 years of DuoLingo, so about half of every level is already familiar to me.

I agree that multiple short sessions seem to give me better review rates and also better results multiple days in a row. I’ve cut down to 10-15 news lessons Max on any day (and some days I do none)…I want those steady stacks of reviews… When I’m only doing a portion of a big stack of reviews, I hit the “clock-looking icon” that counts me down to 10 more reviews and “dismount”, then pop on “Vacation Mode” to freeze it until my next bunch.

I’ve found that everyone is right about “letting the SRS work for you” by making sure to do a second review on a new lesson that same day, and get through it all that next day, and that next day. I’ve also started “quizzing myself” on a new lesson 5 pack, selecting “need more time”, and rolling back through again and again (covering up the meaning and reading) until I’m totally comfortable with those new lessons before I do the “quiz” and starts its SRS.

I keep thinking that I should use WaniKani app that again did recall or kaniwani or kamesame… but I just can’t make the time!

I do sometimes just look at the old WK level lists of all the words and “review” the old-fashioned way, you see what old items are “dead to me” (super rarely! lol). All of this just takes so much time!

Glad you’ve found the smaller review chunks are giving you encouraging results, Megahertz. I was impressed that you cranked all the way through to level34 before posting. You’ve made great time so far to get that far in only a year! Kudos! Impressive!

I decided just to finish plodding through to 60 and keep looking again and again at my “leeches” to clear them the first time, rather than pause and go review all of the levels I’ve already done. You’ll choose what works for you.

The advice many people have about doing something “fun” with Japanese is good… but I appreciate how aggravating that is when there is still so much I don’t know in irritates me when I’m trying to have “fun”.

Ganbarimashou! Keep up the good work

I haven’t read all the replies but wanted to answer the OP. I too have recently gotten quite behind. Due to other stuff taking priority in my life I was on vacation mode and did NOTHING for nearly 2 months. I got back now but my accuracy is so much lower too. And I’m only lvl 8 right now. I’m not rushing and I haven’t tackled any new lessons in a while.

However, I did realise that despite my accuracy being worse, I actually managed to remember quite a few leeches. What annoys me most and is quite frequent in my case, however, is that I’m “almost” right… like I’ll write something し instead of じ or stuff like that.

I can’t give any recommendations about resetting though but if you feel like it would help, why not.

Also, I find that it’s easier in the long run for me when 100 reviews are there to not do all of them at once, but instead 30 or 50 and then do that 2 or 3 times. Because it’ll mean that they won’t all pop up together again, whereas if I do all of them, they’ll all pop again later at the same time.

I also wanted to add that it depends what you want to do with this knowledge. I’m only level 8 and yet I realize, watching anime and reading sentences in japanese here and there that wow,I already know an impressive chunk of kanjis, up from zero about one year ago.

Another question is whether you do anything else than WK to learn Japanese? ATM, I have more or less consciously chosen to do nothing but kanji (more because I don’t have the time for actual lessons and because I was recommended that getting to WK lvl 10 would make subsequent study easier) and watch anime, looking up the odd word here and there.

And I’m nowhere near capable of speaking, writing or anything, but when reading kanji or listening, I can make out what the sentence is about, even in broad lines and that in itself is a big improvement


it’s normal IMO.

In the beginning until before hell levels, it was always 90% accuracy here.

Since then I am happy with 55-60% accuracy, it’s a new normal for me because I have bunpro as well and it is overwhelming increasing so many items to be remembering all the time in two SRS systems.

But I have great results, I can read today 97% of every nhk easy news and understanding around 60% anime with japanese subtitles, those are the places I put to the test if I am learning or not and I dont take into consideration only accuracy in reviews isolated anymore.


It happens me all the time since i hit level 60, so don’t expect to shake off that feeling as you progress. With that said, it is frustrating to go from somewhere between 100% and 80% to 60% and below, but learning is all about patience and resilience.
Personally, I’d suggest you to stop after each review to focus on the words you failed. Sometimes trying to figure out a new mnemonic for the word, rather then using the provided ones, can work wonders.
As a non-native english speaker (although i consider myself rather fluent), i would add words to the vocabulary (always cross checking with reliable dictionaries) or create new mnemonics for the kanji reading based on similarities with my own first language.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. At the same time learning a language properly takes several years of practice. Keep up the good work, try to look for other inputs to make your experience more pleasant (read a mangas, novels, light novels, whatever suits you) and to make you feel a stronger sense of progression.

At the time of speaking i’m struggling with some leftovers with i really can’t fit in my mind. Every time I feel discourage, I read 騎士団長殺し by 村上 sensei. It helps me grasping my current progress. Novels written by professionals are really good for japanese learners. Compared to amateurs, a professional really hones the art of writing and achieves astonishing levels of clarity.

I’m facing a similar problem. My retention is deteriorating, I was studying 15 new items daily, and the number of reviews daily was about 100-120. After a long day at work it really requires motivation and dedication, but lately I felt it very overwhelming. I took a break, doing only reviews and using the new study tools to work on my mistakes and strengthening the last items learned. These new tools are very nice and helpful. After my break, when the daily reviews were “only” 60-70, I resumed my studies with 10 new items per day.
The reviews increased again to 90-100, since my retention depends on good and bad days. I have no more bandwidth to use the study tools.
I’m not sure if it’s normal to spend around 2 hours to do 90-100 reviews in one go: the gurued and enlightened items sometimes are taking a lot to be recalled or guessed, while the recent items are easier and quicker to recall. It might be the SRS interval is not “calibrated” for me.
I too started studying kanji first, with the idea of building a vocabulary and be able to read. I still can’t read the Absolute Beginners Book Club selections…
Since I passed level 30, it feels bad to abandon my progresses, but maybe I need to slow down WK by studying maybe just 2 items per day and use the remaining time to deepen my grammar, start reading graded readers books and/or to listen/speak Japanese.


I’m not sure if it’s normal to spend around 2 hours to do 90-100 reviews in one go

I usually spend few seconds per question (more one failures to read descriptions/mnemonics). As an example yesterday I did 167 reviews in 42 minutes as reported by WK History

That’s about my pace aswell. 3.98 reviews per minute, I did 423 reviews in 1h 45min, 4.03 per minute. That is about a decent pace. If I had to spend 1min per review I would go crazy.

I just tried the WK History and it says 105 reviews in 34 minutes. I don’t know how it calculates that, but mine were not contiguous. I took a break to write the message above while I was doing them, plus time to grab something to drink, to listen to my son and other small interruptions. I started doing the “evening” review bunch at my 6pm and I ended at 8:40pm. I just can’t do them in a single flow, it’s too overwhelming for me.
Then it’s probably my way of doing that is not helping :slight_smile:

I do wk 3 times a day. First around 8 am - all reviews + some number of new lessons. Next around 12 to try to do (and fail :>) first reviews from new lessons in the morning and finally last time sometime in the evening. When I do start a session I never do anything other and try to complete it as soon as possible.

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Take 10 days a level. You won’t burn out that way. I am level 26? I still have around 100-200 reviews per day this way.

You should try the review lessons option an hour after you do the lessons. No consequences and that gets you to memorize the new work.

Same here. New item at 8am, first review at lunch break, and the rest in the evening from 18:00. And it’s the evening set that’s the hardest one :slight_smile:

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