How can i remember items i got wrong for many many times?

Hey, i think i could need some help. A couple of weeks ago i stopped doing lessons because i had too many reviews piling up. Now that i try to clear it, i realize that its almost always the same. I do the same mistakes over and over again and that’s why it takes ages to move on currently.

So my question is, how can i memorize these ancient items which i do wrong almost every time?

Even if i get it right once, i will fail it later again and it drops to low level again. It makes the experience kind of frustrating and also exhausting. I really want to take new steps but i’m tumbling over old stuff constantly.

Thanks for your help (:


I have only ONE advice and that is : don´t give up. Sometimes, some items keep coming back for a whole week and I keep getting them wrong. And sometimes I just remember right away. So just let time does its job and you will somehow remeber at some point.
However, I do have one recommendation : when are you the most efficient ? I noticed I tend to remeber new items better and get things more accurate on the morning. And even if I fail, I remember the items much better in the morning. So maybe try to find the time you are the most efficient (like, when you tend to get a better accuracy) and try to tackle downyour reviews at that time. Maybe you will remeber them better.
Anyway, please be patient, these kind of things can happen sometimes and when you will overcome it you will feel so relieved and proud. Keep up the good work :slight_smile:


Usually when I have a leech (an item that I constantly get wrong), it’s because the kanji is too similar to another kanji. In this case, I concentrate on this kanji and the other similar kanji, and just take as long as I need to notice the differences.


Do you have any idea what exactly you’re getting wrong or what you’re mixing those items up with? The reason I asking this is that you might notice a pattern that helps you understand what sort of things you get wrong. I think there are ‘leech tracker’ userscripts for WK that might help you find a list of these words, though I’ve never used any myself. @plantron Any recommendations?

Generally speaking though, the typical way I tackle stuff I fail to remember (regardless of what I’m learning) is by trying to remember it ‘better’: I look for something that might make it stick better, I spend more time trying to understand it, I find out about things related to it so it makes more sense or so I can link it to other things I know etc. To me, the key questions to answer are ‘why am I getting this wrong over and over?’ and ‘how can I make it easier for me to remember this?’ On the flip side, you might want to take a look at what you have learnt quickly or easily and look for differences between the two sorts of items that might show you what you need for things to stick.

None of this is about giving yourself pressure, since some things just need time; the point is to see if such reflection can help you to know your learning habits better and lead you down a path to learning more effectively in general. :slight_smile:

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Lean to write them from memory. First, make a list of items you always get wrong. Then, find their stroke order and write them. Pay attention to the radicals. Of course make sure to focus on the meaning of the kanji while writing it.

Then drill it later on the same day and on the following days.

Another thing is to check the mnemonics again. Do they make sense? If not, see if you can create your own. Alternatively, see if you can find any vocabulary that uses that kanji and is easy for you to remember.

And that’s it, keep doing reviews.


I’d go for userscripts that helps you cram those items specifically. The Item Inspector, The Self-Study Quiz and the Wanikani Leech Trainer are all good options. Ganbatte! :+1: (and if you need inspiration, you might visit my studyblog for some tales about leech squashing ^^ )


I don’t use any leech tracker script. After wrapping up a review session, the items I got wrong will be listed at the top. So I just click the item and compare it to any similar kanji.


If you do use a leech tracking script like the Item inspector it can list the leeches, but it also digs into other scripts like visually similar kanji, to give you a pop-up view of all visually confusing kanji that might be tripping you up.

So, you can both just go through the list or quiz yourself on the items. :slight_smile:


@PetiteChose @ekg @plantron @Jonapedia @d-hermit

Thank you all for the great answers. Now that i think about it. The time when i do my reviews isn’t always ideal and my accuracy drops from time to time. Something i should focus on more often. Also i will try to find some examples to stick it into my head. Great tips, i will use it. Thanks (:


my leeches are in a long long list now in hell levels

since they are words I have never seen them before and rarely see them in the wild,

they dont stick to my mind, so I have already accepted that they will be part of my review pile list for a long time :smiley:


This might be a good place to ask for feedback on my plan for leeches.

In the new year I plan to pause lessons while I focus on some other activity, but I will keep up with my reviews with an aim to empty my apprentice items.

I am also considering using WKstats to look at items from earlier levels which I should have burned. If I take small batches (ten at a time?) what is the best thing to do with these. I note the suggestion about writing these out, and looking for comparisons with other Kanji. I also suspect there will be some where the mnemonics aren’t sticking, so I might be on the forums looking for alternative suggestions. Anything else I should do?

Maybe consider looking for more example sentences? You might find one that’s particularly helpful. If you start yourself on some fairly simple Japanese content, you might also get a chance to practise things you’ve seen before, even if it’s hard to guarantee that because I don’t think anyone has done anything like an ‘anime by WK level’ list. But still, really, if you can find some content you enjoy consuming in Japanese that’s accompanied by stuff like subtitles to help you along, you’ll get used to hearing certain words that you might otherwise not remember.

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I would suggest changing the mnemonic you use as a story, since it must not be interesting enough for you personally to stick in your mind. Try to spice it up a bit, adding some eccentric components to it.

I often do this when I notice some default WK stories are too bland or moronic, and it works for me.

Another suggestion: Make sure you stick to the same mnemonic throughout your studies for the same pronunciation. Heisig put special emphasis on this in his book, and I cannot stress enough how important it is to be consistent with this myself. It will save you a lot of trouble when vocabulary starts to accumulate.

For example: If you use か for “car”, don’t use it in another story for “kangaroo”. Use か for car and only for car.

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One additional suggestion: when you don’t know the answer, don’t try to guess, just type something random (I type o or お), so you don’t get stuck with your wrong answer in your head next time you have a review.


this one is good too :+1: