Getting down to 50 Apprentice

I’ve been busy lately and my accuracy is suffering (~75%). So I thought I would reduce my daily load by aiming for 50 apprentice rather than the 100+ I’d been working with.

I simply have not been able to get my apprentice count down that low. It’s been a couple of weeks and my numbers wobble between 75 and 100. I think my low accuracy means I’m always getting more apprentice items in from failing old items.

Is what I’m trying mathematically possible? Any advice would be appreciated.


Well, if your accuracy never changes, there’s indeed a limit. But you do not have to worry about that. The more time you spend with those items, the better you’ll be at remembering them.
If you stop doing lessons for a month or so and just do reviews, your apprentice count will definitely decrease.
You can also try to increase your accuracy by using a leech training script or checking carefully items that you got wrong during a session. Eventually, those extra efforts will pay off.


See *ekg’s leech battle blog - a study log of sorts for advice on this.


I did this in the fall. I just stopped doing lessons for a loooong time, but kept doing my reviews every day.

It felt SO nice once the review counts dropped, and when I finally did lessons again, I was actually excited for them! It’s very doable, and a great idea, especially if your motivation is dipping.


Update: In case someone searches for this in the future.

Hey future person! It took me about six weeks, but I changed my daily load from 100+ Apprentice and ~200 reviews down to 50 apprentice and <100 reviews.

I’m spending a lot less time a day (I’m very slow on reviews) and my accuracy has improved a little.

I’m at level 28 now so I feel like I’ve passed the ‘core’ kanji and I’m not so stressed about continuing at a slower pace for the remaining ‘less essential’ stuff.

Thanks for the advice everyone.


Thanks for this. I’ve only been doing this for a few days, but my apprentice items never changes from between 75-85 items after every review. I was wondering if it was even possible to drop lower once you reach a certain level. I guess I’m seeing that it is possible.

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do you check your workload graph for errors? How is it now?

I realized mine since lvl 21 has been increasing a lot, many vocab I cant relate to and I have to build some mnemonics, but still forget my own mnemonics. :frowning:

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Workload graph?

A userscript:

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I don’t really know how to interpret the workload graph.

I’ve stopped doing new lessons for over a week now, and my number of apprentice items hasn’t gotten lower than 74, currently sitting at 95.


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everyone has a spike in lvl 21 :laughing:

but since then you got better in retention as it shows.

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That’s funny, I went through my list of Level 21 vocabulary, and a lot of them are still at Apprentice. Is level 21 cursed or something?


Haven’t done lessons in weeks and I’m now up to 238 apprentice items. It’s just getting worse and worse.

This is strange indeed. Could it be you have learned some items wrong and this wrong knowledge gets in the way of learning them right? Perhaps you should study some of these items in Self-Study Quiz until you learn them right.

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I think it’s because I made the mistake of doing a lot of lessons right before going on vacation for a week. When I came back, my accuracy dropped from 80-90% to 40-50%.

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In this case you may consider doing a reset to the level prior to the offending lessons and restart doing those at a saner pace.


Is Self-Study Quiz a script?

Yes it is.

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Are you failing the same things over and over again, or is it your long-term retention (failing all the master/enlightened ones you haven’t seen for a long time)? The attack plan is different depending on which you think.

If it’s mostly the new apprentice/guru ones you’re failing, then you’ve just hit a tough patch. Resetting to before it is one idea, or you could just put in some extra study. Say, pick 20 of those items, and study them so much you can never possibly miss them again. Repeat with another 20.

If you can get recent ones (current/previous level apprentice/guru) right, but you’re just not remembering when the master/enlightened ones come up, that’s a different and much tougher problem. Your memory decay is faster than the SRS “reminders” are designed for. You’re going to have to find a way to supplement the SRS, by reading, extra reviews (with the excellent Self Study Quiz script for example) or something. Maybe try also testing yourself in reverse meaning->kanji and/or learning to write the kanji with a pencil, involve all your senses and physical muscle memory. Unfortunately any change you make here, even if it works 100% for new items, isn’t going to take away the weeks and months of old items you’re weak on. A reset to a lower level is probably more necessary if you’re still getting buried by failed reviews in that case.

It’s definitely possible. I had some stuff on this past month, so, ahead of time, I decided to stop making progress and just flush my queue as much as possible and it’s seriously, and predictably, reduced my workload.

Pro-tip: Worth noting that if you’re not sure what your leeches are (or if you’re not convinced by the way leeches are calculated by whatever script you use), waiting long enough will mean only your leeches are in Apprentice/Guru. Then you could use the SSQ on all items Apprentice/Guru and be confident you’re drilling leeches.