Genki folks: How small do you keep your WK Apprentice count?

Hey there! I’m at WK level 14 and feeling overdue to dive into Genki. I want to get some real grammar knowledge beyond what I received from my Duolingo days and Japanese media. And I’ve been told level 10-15 is a great time to start Genki.

Right now, I’m leveling about once a week and I don’t think this pace will be sustainable if I start Genki. WK already takes 1-2+ hours depending on how many reviews I have and how many times I do them during the day. I don’t have the capacity to regularly sustain more than about 2 hours of Japanese study a day.

Folks who do Genki alongside WK: How big do you keep your Apprentice count to maintain a manageable pace in Genki? I have been at 100-150+ but have started limiting myself to 100, though it’s clear it’ll take some time for the actual workload to be reduced as a result. Is that still too much?


I don’t count apprentice items myself, but the general consensus seems to be that you want your apprentice count to be around (preferably below) 100. This doesn’t account for other studies, but I assume people generally do more than just Wanikani

The best advice is to just go at whatever pace feels comfortable to you. It’s ok if it takes two weeks to level up, or even three or four weeks


I started Genki in March of this year, just a few weeks after I started WK. For most of the year I was trying to do 20 new lessons on WK every day and finish a chapter of Genki every two weeks. This worked out all right for me throughout Genki I, but once I hit Genki II it became a real strain as the grammar became more complicated and the homework required more brainpower, and I switched to keeping my apprentice count below 100.

I’m happy with my current pace; I’m still leveling up every 9-10 days on WK, and still moving through Genki at a nice clip. At this rate, I expect to finish Genki II this spring and WK next fall (in 11 months and 27 days, according to statkani!). My WK reviews seem to have stabilized around 150-200 a day, and they typically take me less than an hour to go through. I typically do reviews in two or three bursts across the day.

For the record, I don’t consider a Genki chapter “done” until I’ve read it through/listened to the audio, watched the accompanying TokiniAndy video, done the exercises in the front and back of the textbook, done the workbook exercises, and added the grammar points to the BunPro SRS. It’s not too bad spaced out over two weeks! My total Japanese “active study” time (i.e. time with the textbook and my various SRSes) comes out to just over an hour a day averaged out over the year so far.

Also, I’ll just say, I’ve been really happy with Genki so far! Just this month I started really digging in to native content (reading the Flying Witch manga, watching Cardcaptor Sakura with Japanese subs) and I am really amazed at how much I can understand considering I only started less than a year ago. I have just been really pleased with the textbook–I feel like it has given me a great foundation.


While doing Wanikani, I intentionally decided to ratchet down my pace at certain points so that I could maintain a balanced (and reasonable!) study diet. One of the times I ratcheted down was exactly where you are now, and precisely so I had time for Genki. Using a reorder script to learn 3 kanji/7 vocab a day wound up being the sweet spot for me-- I could digest that much new information each day, and keep my apprentice counts around 100 or fewer. (And still finish vocab for each level within a few days of starting the next one.) Everyone is different though, so if a smaller of number of lessons each day is sustainable, do that. Slow and sustainable is better that fast and burning out.

I’m very interested in learning to speak and listen well, and also to be able to express myself in writing. I got to Level 60 in a little under two years, but in retrospect, it would have been fine to go slower. Even though I’ve learned a good portion of N1 kanji, I’m still trying to finish N3 grammar. It can be easy to want to race through Wanikani, but if your other skills aren’t strong enough to read material that uses advanced kanji, you might wind up forgetting them anyway.

By the way, I benefited a lot from working through Genki slowly and writing out the answers to most of the exercises in the text/workbook. Sure, it took more time to get through Genki, but when I was done I felt completely ready for Tobira, and am now at the place where I can write and talk comfortably about a wide variety of topics.


I would say Kumirei has the best advice; disregard having any set apprentice count or things like that, and experiment to find a pace that’s comfortable for you.

After the first three levels of WK I started doing ten items a day, then moved to fifteen items a day, and finally twenty. At first I thought I had a good pace because I was leveling up quickly, but I realized around level 17 that I was getting swamped by reviews, being hit especially hard by items I hadn’t seen in a while due to them being enlightened. I know some people can handle this, or faster, paces, but learning new items in WK, , learning their production with KameSame, studying Genki, and working a full time+ job put me on the verge of a burnout.

I resolved to get to level 20 and then back off to ten items a day with one day off from learning new items a week, and so far this has been a very comfortable pace for me while still being productive. I’m also no longer getting overwhelmed by reviews, new or old. I’m now five levels in from that point, and although I’m not leveling up every two weeks, I’m much happier and nowhere near a burnout now.

tl;dr, try to find a pace that’s comfortable yet productive for you, that’s the key to success.


Fluctuates between ~120 to ~170. I do my first batch of lessons when I finish my first review session after waking up, then a new batch of lessons when the last one shows up in reviews for the first time. I continue like that throughout the day.

This so important!


I do reviews during the day from time to time, 30min of Genki in the evening, and then the remaining reviews before sleeping.

I just hit Level 16, and have decided to do a 1/4 way there pit stop. I’ve averaged 9 day levels since I started in May. My actual WK apprentice count is low(26), but my KaniWani count has gotten super high (Currently 160) due to leeches and less time spent there. I am not beginning lessons until I have my other apps under control(I’m not doing Genki per se, but I started Bunpro after doing near all of N5 Lingodeer and 3/4 of Jpod101 N5, hoping to just review but casual form is kicking my BUTT, I’ve missed a lot there).

Take whatever time you need. I think the worst part of language learning is worrying that you aren’t engaging in the maximally efficient method of studying when we all spent 12-16-20 years in an education system that constantly wasted our time. Yes learning Japanese quick would be awesome, but you’re self learning, so you have to adjust it to your schedule and what you can take in. I love the one WK post here that talked about how looking at WK like a chore is the fastest way to lose interest, so make sure you aren’t overwhelming yourself.

Yeah it depends. I usually keep mine hovering around the 125 mark. If I get down to 100 I know I’m good for another 20. But then sometimes it goes up higher to 140.

I also deliberately use the vacation button when my review count starts exceeding 150 and I can’t tackle them at that time.

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