Hard stuck lvl 5 over a year

My current strategy is to never do lessons if the lessons would cause the reviews in the next day to go over 50. It’s a bit slower, but that way I’ll usually get through all the reviews in a session, so I won’t forget the ones I just learned.

I also don’t do lessons too late in the day, so that I’ll get my first review that same day and have an easier time remembering it.

And listening to the vocab pronunciation every time it comes up in review seems to help a lot as well, especially when trying to remember which reading it is.

I also go a bit overboard in the notes with etymologies and mnemonics, but I think that’s just me, and it is a bit time consuming. Especially with kanji.

I tried this site a while ago, and got up to level 8 before getting too overwhelmed and stopping. I restarted at the start of the year with these techniques, and it’s been a much calmer experience getting here. Even stopping for a few months and coming back wasn’t too painful.

1 Like

Seen several people on here talking about needing to do reviews more than once per day to level up reliably.

When/if that’s simply not possible (i.e. I’m getting about 15 reviews every hour, but I can only complete 3 or 4 reviews during downtime between classes, and I can only reliably devote an hour in the evening to doing reviews and lessons together) what do you suggest? 3rd party apps?

I totally get why the srs system works how it does because on free days that i can just screw around on my computer I actually catch the reviews as theyre intended to be, remember them, and have a manageable workload, but it sure would be nice to level up faster than once a month on my regular schedule :pensive:

For myself, I’ve noticed the more I expose myself to the things I have trouble with the better I do later on.

I did the Tango N5 book before learning about WK. I found it easier when I wrote down things I had trouble with. Then looked at them regularly throughout the day, like my own personal “critical list” I could hold.

I would try to associate the items with real life things in an attempt to get them out of the SRS program I was using and into the real world. It helped to write them down. For some reason getting it out of the sterile SRS helped me to solidify things. If I knew I knew a word I was saying in English I would try my best to remember it in Japanese, and if I had something to write with, I’d write it. It was a mixture of that, and rote learning for me, not ideal for most, but for me it gives that extra little push.

Read the mnemonics provided by WK, but also try to think of your own if you can. Associating it to things in your life, so you have a personal memory tied to it.

1 Like

Once every third day won’t work out unfortunately. Items don’t stay that long in your short term memory usually. Once a day even might be too low. Even if I were time-constrained, I’d still try to get in 2 review sessions a day. @Omun ‘s schedule of 8:00 - 12:00 - 20:00 seems to be the most efficient way for long term retention because you line up with the critical apprentice items’ review intervals. It’s also not a huge time investment tbh. I’ll take 1 batch of lessons at 8 in the morning, and then do my reviews and that’s the most time I take out of the day for WaniKani, and it’s 30 minutes at most. After that, at 12:00 and 20:00 it’s just reviews, and they don’t usually take longer than 15 minutes. You’ll need to experiment with this yourself, but otherwise just doing WK twice a week is probably not going to work long term for you.


Maybe try to do more, but shorter sessions.

I’m doing reviews in the morning, as well as 10 to 15 lesson. If you have trouble remembering your current items maybe go for 5.
About 4 hours later, at noon (so I get the reviews of the lessons from the morning) another batch of reviews during my lunch break.
Another 4 hours later, an afternoon/early evening session, where I can re-review items I got wrong in my lunch session.
At last, another 4 hours later a 4th review session before I go to bed/while laying in bed.

Each session takes maybe 10 minutes and I’ve reviewed the lessons from the morning at least two times. Some times I do skip the afternoon session, depending how much time I’ve go.
If you do them like that, they won’t pile up and you’ve got less reviews at once.

And as others said, take the time to read the mnemonics, I skipped them in the beginning, but they’re helping me a lot. And if they aren’t working for you, try to find one on your own.


On one review session per day:

My 2 cents worth: I am super happy doing reviews only once a day. Works for me. Usually have about 80 or 100. My progress is slow and steady and that suits me fine. I think it’ll take me 2.5 to 3 years to get to lvl 60 (5 to 10 lessons a day at the moment, but sometimes I pick up the pace depending on life). Occasionally I skip a day, but not often. It has turned into a habit.

On mnemonics:

I do take my time on lessons to stick the new info in well and force myself to recall the mnemonics in the first few reviews rather than relying on an initial impression of the meaning/reading (which is usually correct in short term but flies out of my head later on if I haven’t refreshed the mnemonic pathway). If I do it this way I find that I recall them much easier when enlightening or burning them. I expect I will ditch most mnemonics in the long term when I really know a kanji solidly and can read it in context regularly, but they are a very useful scaffold in the interim imo and worth the extra time investment. Perhaps they will remain useful to me in the long term for rarely encountered kanji, but not sure.

1 Like

The bigger problem is that the OP is only doing WK once every three days :slightly_frowning_face: which is unsurprisingly not really getting them anywhere.

@Soffeh Could you potentially break that up into 20 minutes a day instead? Coming on at least once a day, just for a smaller amount of time, should make a really big difference in your retention. (20 min/day is the same amount of time as you put in now, but means your brain won’t have discarded as much of the information as unimportant between sessions.)


My suggestions:

  1. Understanding how WaniKani’s level up system works

For this, I highly recommend reading this guide (don’t worry about the title, it’s worth reading even if you can’t or don’t want to finish WK in a year), especially chapter 4:

  1. Figuring out how you can fit WK into your daily life

The guide above has some suggestions about that, and other posters on this thread have also shared their ideas.

It’s not necessarily about checking WaniKani all the time, or spending several hours a day. Basically, on a day with lessons, ideally you would access WaniKani two or three times a day:

  • Morning lesson pattern: lessons in the early morning, first reviews at lunchtime, second reviews in the evening.
  • Evening lesson pattern: lessons in the early evening, first reviews at night before going to sleep, second reviews early in the next morning.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.