Having trouble recalling Guru words

Hi everyone,

This is my first post (though I’ve been lurking the forums a good bit the last couple of weeks), nice to meet you! Please let me know if I posted this in the wrong spot or if this topic has already been discussed.

Question time: Once kanji and vocab get to Guru and I have to wait a week before seeing them again, I almost always get them wrong! Radicals and words I already knew before starting wanikani are easy, but everything else doesn’t seem to stick once I’m not seeing it everyday. I know I shouldn’t study them in the off time because I want to follow the SRS, so if anyone has any tips about learning it right the first time I’d greatly appreciate it!


It’s not that studying those items in the meantime is necessarily a bad thing, as long as you’re not cramming right before you do a bunch of reviews. The SRS is pretty strict here, but obviously everyone learns a little differently and at different rates.

That said, first of all, are you using the provided mnemonics? If not, I highly recommend going over those! Connecting the items to the stories will help you to pull those readings and meanings out of whatever dusty little corner your brain has decided to store them in. If you have been using them, the stories may just not be “clicking” with you. In that case, try creating new mnemonics for the ones you’re struggling and writing them in the provided “notes” section for that item.

And definitely try to incorporate study outside of WK! Grammar, vocab, etc. Diversifying your study will ensure that you get more exposure to some of these items, and that will help your brain to form a better network of connections. More connections means faster and easier recall when the time comes!


This is very helpful, thank you! I do think I rush my lessons because I try to do them in one sitting whenever they pop up. That usually means speeding past the mnemonics, which doesn’t have a big impact when you see the words every few hours, but makes it hard a week later! I’ll try choosing quality over quantity and hopefully that will help.

Also I didn’t realize the notes section could be used to store personal mnemonics, that’s great advice :slight_smile:


You’re welcome! :blush: I know a lot of people here limit themselves to 10 lessons a day or something to keep things paced, especially at later levels. Do whatever works for you! :smile:

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Something that helps me is to actually take a good look at the items I got wrong in a review right afterwards. I might use [Userscript] Self-Study Quiz, write things down to break down the differences between anything I’m getting mixed up, or come up with new mnemonics if the old ones aren’t working for me. Whatever works for you to reinforce it!


That is smart to really dive into the incorrect answers! I give them a quick look and reread the mnemonic but haven’t been spending too much time on them. Guess I’m going to learn Japanese and patience :laughing:


Yes! Definitely haha. For awhile I was having lots of trouble with the vocab for counting things, days, and month (and I still do) but I was able to get out of the rut I was in by writing them all out and reviewing them all together. I still get some wrong from time to time but it doesn’t feel as bad now.

I would also suggest spending a little more time drilling the items before taking the quiz. After I’ve been through a batch, I’ll cycle through them backwards over and over saying the meanings and readings out loud until they come pretty spontaneously.

It might feel like it’s slowing you down a lot, but improving your accuracy actually has a huge impact on how much time you spend reviewing in the long run!

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you don’t level up faster when you do all lessons ASAP. only radicals count at first. even the first batch of kanji has time till the radicals are guru’d and the second kanji batch is unlocked.
pace yourself a little while still going at top speed - it’s not rocket science. :slight_smile:

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