Ive been using wanikani for almost 2 months now and have just gotten to level 6. In the beginning i was finding the amount of reviews i was getting very manageable, but i’ve noticed recently that my reviews have been adding up quite a bit before i can find time to complete them and once i do have time to complete them im finding it very difficult to complete them in a timely manner.
For example: on the worst day i had 202 reviews to complete in one go ( i should not that ive never missed a day for reviews yet im pretty sure, i think the number of reviews was this high due to me going up a level the day before and completing a bunch of lessons) and it took just over 2 hours to complete. I found this pretty wasteful as my the end i was just wanting it to end rather than want to actually succeed. Its very common to get between 105 and 160 reviews built up before i can review them as i cant complete them at work and i only have an hour for a break during the day so trying to complete all these reviews then is impossible as again, they would take me at least an hour to an hour and a half to complete.
Does anyone have any suggestions to making reviews more manageable? I’ve unintentionally started postponing staring new reviews when i get them to reduce the amount of reviews i need to complete in a given day, which isn’t the best approach for speed, but then again language learning isn’t a race.
You need to do fewer lessons to manage your workload. Every lesson you do becomes reviews. If you do all your lessons at a rapid pace you set yourself a high review workload.
The standard advice is to set a limit to the number of apprentice items. 100 is a good number to start with. If you have more than 100 apprentices you stop doing lessons until the number is back under 100. Then you resume lessons. The bulk of your review is from apprentice items. If you keep them under control you manage your review workload. You may change the 100 number to match the workload you are confortable with. If 100 still gives you too many reviews drop it to 75 or even lower as you see fit.
the number of lessons you do determines the number of reviews you get. assuming you never make mistakes, every lesson leads to 8 reviews. as everybody makes mistakes, lets say 10 reviews. so if you do 10 lessons a day, you will eventually end up doing about 100 reviews a day.
so figure out how much time you need per review, and adjust your number of lessons a day accordingly.
To elaborate a little bit more on this part… the first three review sessions for a new learned item will be within 48 hours after you’ve learned the item if you get them right. Therefore after learning an item you’ll review it four hours later, then again eight hours later and then 23 hours later.
You don’t have to do all your reviews in one sitting. For example, I usually split up the total number of daily reviews into 2~4 sessions (approx. 15 minutes each) depending on my RL schedule. Feel free to try out to limit your review sessions. Experiment with the length that is comfortable for you.
Another thing to keep in mind: if you do a lot of lessons in one go (even if you apply the different advice people give you here) or do a lot of reviews with items in the same SRS stage in one go those items will come back at the same time in the future. Therefore, feel free to experiment with spacing out lessons / review sessions over the day. You don’t have to log in into WK every hour but maybe two or three times a day can do the trick.
Anyway, good luck with your studies and feel free to keep us posted
EDIT: corrected the time intervals for the first three review stages. Thanks @Mrs_Diss san
I have the same issue, but I commonly will get to 300+ reviews. My advice is limit your lessons to 15-20 a day, always prioritize your reviews over lessons. If you’re okay with leveling up slower, I also tend to do lessons in the order of vocab > radicals > kanji, just so I stop getting into scenarios where the amount of vocab reviews keeps skyrocketing because I’m reaching the next level before the vocab is cleared.
To that I would add that one has to do some basic calcs on the number of new radicals + kanji + vocab at the beginning and midpoint of each level one intends to do to anticipate one’s workload. As @Mrs_Diss mentioned, the first 3 review cycles are spaced at 4/8/23 hours and final at 48+ hours (WK lists it as “2 days” so please, correct me if I’m wrong). Once you Guru the item, the next review is in 7 days.
From experience I see that my Apprentice item count fluctuates and can be anywhere between 50 and 120. An extra factor that contributes to that is also the amount of Guru items I fail and which go back to Apprentice. I started seeing that trend at exactly level 6 and it is likely to increase.
In this case aim well below 100 Apprentice items. Maybe even stop doing new lessons entirely and try to drop your Apprentice count to 50-60 and try to build up from there to develop a more manageable pace .
it’s 47 hours, technically. this gives you a little flexibility, so if you usually do reviews at e.g. 10 pm, and one day only get around to doing them at 11 pm, they’ll not be stuck at 11 pm forever. but it’s perhaps simpler to think of the timings as 4 hours, 8 hours, 1 day, 2 days.
…unless you’re a speedrunner, but then you have to approach the whole thing very differently anyway
edit: i believe the later delays (1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 4 months) are also all -1 hour. not at all relevant for speed, but again allows a little flexibility with your daily schedule
Thanks for all the feedback guys! I was under the impression that i was supposed to keep up with all of the new lessons as they came in and all of the reviews also as they came in, I didn’t really look at it from the perspective of trying to pace things out by postponing starting new lessons as they came in to reduce the number of apprentice items. I just kind of assumed that this was supposed to be the normal pace that people go at and that i should be just grinding it out (which in all honesty has been starting to take the fun out of it).
I just noticed when doing the reviews that there’s a “wrap up” button to just give you 10 last reviews before finishing the review session which i feel with greatly help in giving me the ability to say “just 10 more” rather than “ah, sure there’s only 78 left”.
I’ll start to implement this strategy now and i can see it benefiting my retention and likely my speed as a result. Slow and steady and all that!
I feel like it all depends on how you approach the whole learning thing. When I first started with WK, I was so gong ho to go faster, I even wrote a post to figure out exactly how unlocking things works to come up with a method to unlock things as fast as possible, by basically cheating, thinking that once they’re in the reviews, if I still don’t know them, they’ll stay there till I learn them anyway, while on the other hand I won’t have to wait for new items for so long any more.
Then I got to lvl 10, forgot about WK for half a year, and restarted from the beginning after coming back, and now I find that my approach is much more chill, like, whenever I get an item wrong, I’m thinking “nice, I will remember it next time, instead of just typing it in mechanically without thinking”. I don’t really care about keeping my queue empty any more. I’ll just do a batch now and then, whenever I feel like it, and when I want to learn some more, there’s always more Grammar to go through.
Actually, that might be a better approach in general, once you get to like lvl 5, so you have some vocabulary to use, go hard into Grammar. Once you learn it, it gets much easier to memorise additional kanji, since you can learn them in context and use them in a sentence you can actually remember, instead of just learning weird sounds in the void with no context or understanding why are they written like that whatsoever.