HELP! I'm getting so many wrong...what should I do?

I’ve really slowed down my lessons and persisting with my reviews but the last few days I’m getting so many wrong (lots of masters and gurus going down to apprentice) and I don’t know what to do!? Should I go on vacation mode for a while to give my brain a break or should I persist and keep doing my reviews 3+ times a day???


Stop the lessons for a while and keep up the reviews till you feel better about them. It will take some time, but push through. This won’t be the last time you get to this point.


Especially when you get a Master/Guru item wrong, you should not just angrily go on to the next item. I would recommend stopping there for a moment and going over the reading and meaning again, actively re-thinking the mnemonic. Try to see what’s not working/what you are confusing it with. Don’t just try to hammer the vocab into your head, be smart about it!


Furthermore, we all have our items that don’t stick. The nice thing about SRS is that you let the ones that you don’t have a problem with sift through until you’re just left with the PITA items. I still have a couple items from ~20 levels ago that mess me up sometimes, hah.


After my reviews I like to do a punishment round.
For each item I got wrong, I will find it on and view the stroke order.
Then I will draw it in paint, and repeat the reading and meaning to myself.
I do this to try and reinforce my weak areas, while also learning stroke order and handwriting.
Maybe you could benefit from doing a similar exercise.


I second this.
Getting one wrong can be an emotional experience, you know.


I try to take the summary screen at the end to double check I have all the ones I get wrong newly remembered in my head. Take a break if it’s really stressful but I would also suggest just accepting that I’ll be making mistakes. It’s a marathon not a sprint.


Honestly I’m going to steal that! I’m not getting as much hand writing practice as I should and that’s just the perfect combination of self punishment I’ve been looking for


Haha I thought I am the only one who is punishing himself for wrong items… I write like a complete row of that kanji in my kanji practicing book. But so far only the items that are required for the current level of kanken that I am going to attempt (or the ones of a previous kanken level ) -> For each item I am writing the kanken in the meaning / help of the item i got wrong and check it… E.g. I get a Item wrong where one of the kanji appears on kanken 10 or 9 I will write it like 12 times… I really helps make these items stick better


Possibly. However for me it was going to vacation that made me forget everything and have a lot of fails recently. On the other hand 3 sessions of reviews per day sounds to my filthy causal ears like torture. Unless you have a reason to go over your reviews fast, drop it down to two or just one sitting of reviews per day.
Also get some ginko, mint and fruit sugar into your body (tea i the way) before doing reviews. It helps with brain concentration and clarity.

And last but definitely not least… what you do with “failed” items? If you are just “Well too bad, I will remember it next time.” you are wasting your time and brain power (and WK absolutely doesn’t stop you doing that).
My practice is to write down every item that I have wrong with my hand into the notebook.And yes, if I fail same item twice per sitting, I writte it down twice too. Example
青空 - two words - blue sky - あおぞら
活気 - one word - vigor, liveliness - かっき
失 - kanji - fault - シツ
etc… I will let you know on a secret that by level 7 I am on page 109 of that notebook :smiley: :smiley: I am so terrible. :smiley: :smiley: maybe I shouldn’t be getting advice. Thing is I rarely make same mistake twice so I guess it works.



I second this warning. :slight_smile:

Taking a break can be necessary, but as people here say: your memory won’t switch to vacation mode.

If you decide to use it, be sure to mentally prepare yourself for probably getting more mistakes than you are currently getting. A lot of items will be out of their SRS. Especially Apprentice and Guru items have a chance of failing a lot if you let them sit for a while.

If you feel like you need a break, then that’s probably best, but you will need some tenacity, and take mistakes on the chin for a while when you get back. But it always gets better if you stick with it, so don’t fret! :muscle:

Best of luck!


I’ll second this. Take the time to go over the item info if you get it wrong. take a break to go through the mnemonic again, etc. This is gonna be the most important thing for getting back on track.

@pragmata’s right, you’ll have to experiment a lot with your pace before you find yourself in a sweet spot, until then you can definitely expect to be in the same position a few more times. I’ll also add that vacation mode, while pausing the SRS and giving your brain a break, will not really help with the items you’re struggling with, because the next time you’ll review them it’s highly likely they will have popped out of your short-term memory already and you’ll have to memorize them again anyway.


I always read the example sentences again (out loud if possible), words that are similar looking/meaning mess me up sometimes so remembering the context usually helps.

If all else fails you can get the leech review script, I usually only use it when I’m missing a lot. They call items that you miss a lot “leeches” and this script will let you review them as long as they’re not in a soon upcoming review.


I just got a batch haha. Idk it goes back into the system again.

I think it helps knowing when you perform better. Last night I already had reviews ready, but I postponed those because my brain was already pooped. So leaving things when you know it’s not gonna be productive, is not gonna be helpful. If you got a large amount of reviews, then you can either power through or chop it down in smaller pieces. Sometimes I’m a bit too eager to do it all at once, but I know personally the bigger the pile the more I get wrong. I’ll confuse items much faster. Another thing is getting yourself ready for review time. If it’s too noisy in the room, I go somewhere else to do them. I usually have some tea with me or eat something during my reviews, gives me something to do that is very calming. And if I get an item wrong, I take a bite/sip to reset myself a bit.

And at the end of the session look at how many you get right. That’s a lot of turtles you still remembered.


I have items that gone to apprentice from enlightened. I just don’t care. I just move forward. Reason is I can confuse them with later learned items. So after double reviewing it is sticking better. For example I learned “arrow” first. It was good without knowing what is coming. Then I had been introduced “fault”. So far so ok. Sometimes I confused them. And they moved to guru or master. Then after being introduced “husband”. Some kanjis are separated by small difference. So whole system in my brain collapesed and reset. I move forward again. But in return, I am able to distinguish kanjis better. At the moment, I can get confused still, and yet I am moving forward.


Take a nap.

Seriously. The focused concentration that learning requires is draining both mentally and physically and a nap - no more that 20-30 minutes - will give you new energy and refresh your brain. Also, your unconscious brain will be working away at connecting characters and meanings, especially if you can hit a dream cycle.

I know that the 1:00-2:00 reviews are my worst. It’s just after lunch and I’m a little drowsy from my body working to digest the food I’ve eaten. My brain is foggy and I often miss normally easy reviews. Super frustrating. But it’s too early and I’m not quite sleepy enough to nap yet, so I try to power through. If I can take a nap at around 4:00 or 5:00, then my reviews at 6:00 and 7:00 are a breeze. It feels so great just flying through remembering everything. Review sessions can go from 80% correct to 95% correct on days when I can get a nap.


How many is

so many

maybe you fret for nothing?

The way I deal with such matters is by adding failed items as English to Japanese cards to anki, this is more active memorization, it’s bit more taxing but it works

Wrong answers are part of SRS. Stick with your reviews! I recently passed 15,000 wrong answers, and it still stings sometimes.


Also depends on what “a lot” is. I rember 10-15 levels back I would usually do 92-95% of items correct. Now it’s closer to 85-90% but I think it’s fair since there’s far more items in the queue now.

But sometimes getting items wrong only allows me to remember them better. When I see it again I remember that I failed it last time and recall the correct meaning/reading.


I got stuck in level 8 for what seemed like forever. But then there was a breakthrough! So, for me, valleys are followed by peaks—followed by valleys. Etc.

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