Feedback on Study Plan

Just wanted some feedback on my current study plan and any tweaks you would suggest.

Quick intro, I studied Japanese at University, passed, got the qualification, got to an OK level but it was mostly cramming info and learning on a superficial level embedded in my short term memory. Some vocabulary and kanji seems familiar but often I don’t know the meaning.

It’s been 7 years since I’ve studied Japanese properly although I signed up to WaniKani years ago, I never stuck to it.

My aim is to complete N4 in July, I’ve tried some practice questions and my knowledge is not up to scratch.

So here’s my current plan -
Complete Japanese for busy people 2
Sign up to a weekly evening class between mid April which finishes mid June (reason for choosing the JFBP as its the textbook the Uni uses)
Try to reach WaniKani level between 10-15 by July
Use online grammar resources at both N5 and N4 level
Compete 60 words of vocabulary daily via Memrise
Practise grammar by writing and speaking 1-2 paragraphs weekly and sharing with an Italki tutor and get feedback
Practise listening through Japanese Pod (1 to 2 podcast a week actively following with notes).

I work part time so I do have time between now and mid May when I start working full time and will have less time to study. At the moment I am putting in 3-4 hours of daily study in but I do get study fatigue. I try to switch it up by listening to Japanese short stories or beauty bloggers for some time out in between. I’ve also ordered kiki’s delivery service for the beginner book club here.

I have some Q’s if anyone can answer, that’d be great.

I was thinking of getting the Genki textbooks but I’m travelling in Sept to Dec so I won’t be able to take them with me, I know of Bunpro but does anyone have other suggestions for a structured approach to learning grammar online? I’m not sure it’s worth me buying the textbooks if I can’t keep them.

Any suggestions for more Japanese beauty bloggers?
Any suggestions for podcasts that are not aimed at teaching Japanese?

Sorry that I can only give a quick feedback.

Does this mean that you want to learn 60 new words on Memrise everyday? If so, I wouldn’t advise it. It’s too much. Plus, you don’t need it. Your mental energy is better spent elsewhere. If you learn 15 new words a day, that’s 5500 words in a year, which is pretty good.

My other advice would be to start step by step. Don’t try to do everything at once now that you’ve got time. That will go against you. Instead, focus on making healthy habits so that when May comes, you’re able to continue with them without much bother.

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. - Bruce Lee


Thanks very much, yeah 60 does seem a bit overkill. I am not very tech savvy when it comes to Memrise and Anki and I found the Memrise app much easier to use. I downloaded a couple of random vocabulary lists for N4 and for Japanese for Busy People. At the moment I’ve been focusing on JFBP so I can be prepared for the weekly class. A lot of it is just katakana or sometimes a grammar note.

Probably doing any reading or immersion could be good. All that words with no relation to anything gets hard to anchor if not used.
Graded readers are a good place to start (for when you’re at 500 ish words).


Not only it is overdoing it, but also completely unnecessary. I’ve heard somewhere that native speakers are in the 20k+ words range. Theoretically, with 15 words/day, you get to that level in 4 years. That’s extremely good. Even then, you’ll notice that the number of words you don’t know will start getting lower and you end losing interest in learning that many words.

In case you’re interested, I wrote a small guide on how to level up fast on WK here. You can adjust the whole process to your goal.


Stop trying to confuse me! First I get a notification that you linked my post, and now there’s nothing here! Blasphemy!


Linked the wrong one D: ごめんね!

1 Like

I don’t have much useful to contribute except to say that I reached level 15 from level 1 in four months, so your goal to reach at least level 10 from level 3 in the same period of time seems very doable if you just keep on top of your reviews. If you aren’t already aware, this website will show you estimates of how far you’ll get by date, and you can input a hypothetical level-up speed to see how fast you need to take the levels to reach your goal:

It will also show you how many of each JLPT level’s kanji you will know by WK level (approximately, as there are no official lists, I believe).

1 Like

Actually most I’ve seen say it’s half that at about 10,000 words. Might be a bit more than that depending on how advanced the fields you are studying.

Anyways, I always recommend learning Japanese-> English which Memrise may or may not do. Memrise also has a poor SRS if memory serves as well as multiple choice, which does not do you can favors. I would suggest either Anki or HouHou as a WaniKani supplement.

1 Like

10k is the famous core 10k. I’m assuming that isn’t enough to put you in a native level. There was a post in here a few months ago about a book teaching you 18k words or something like that. I got the 20k+ words for natives from there. Can’t find it right now.

I believe the core 10k deck and other language learning resources actually count several words twice that have the same base. So, if you counting words like 高い and 高さ as different, then yes there would be more.

Also, speaking from personal experience, I would sincerely doubt I still have 13000 words left to go. Right now I’m learning words like 侍従 (chamberlain) and 子宮 (womb) and fancy synonyms like 図太い (bold).

1 Like

What a great suggestion, I’ve had a quick Google and the ones from White Rabbit Press look good. Maybe I will start with one at N5 level.

Oops just editing to add if you have any suggestions, please do let me know. Thanks!

What an amazing achievement!

I did actually find the link to that site in the threads, I got that I could get to level 15 by June. I’m not sure if it counts the fact I never used WK for years on end except for sporadic weeks at a time.

1 Like

The guide is really useful and I never thought about the impact I was having by doing WK at random times. I just try to get all the reviews and lessons done as soon as possible but it would be better to time them for before work/after work/evening.

I will need to get my other half to work out the times for me cause I can’t do the math. But it is a useful resource, thanks!

1 Like

Yeah I’m not sure how well memrise is working for me but I do like that some of the words have narration, and that it tracks whether you complete at least x amount of words each day.

I’ve heard so many good things about Anki, I downloaded the app and it seems to be working for me! When I did it on my laptop, I could never get it to open. I’ll check out Houhou too.

I would suggest HouHou over Memrise for sure, and Bunpro for grammar SRS (free).

Haha, thank you, but it’s really not!

You can click on the bars of the graph at the bottom of the page to include them or not in the average it calculates, but as a level 3 it’s unlikely to be helpful anyway. I’d just use the ‘hypothetical’ entry box to give you an idea of how fast you need to go.

I will try that, thanks!!

1 Like

Thanks! I downloaded Houhou and it was an app in Vietnamese then I realised it was the wrong thing, oops. I found the website with the desktop version.

Yep, those are the ones I got as well. Level 0 with 500 word it’s a great starter (not too childish stories, sometimes quite dark actually).

I would recommend to pick those ones, and as well as WK and any SRS routine you come up with… make an habit of constantly reading, so you see language for itself and not just in the bubble of “study mode”.

1 Like