How do some level up so fast

The fastest you can go for a normal speed level is 6 days and 20 hours. For level 1 and 2, it is 3 days and 4 hours. And to my knowledge, most of the 40s and 50s are 3 days 10 hours due to few radicals


I have been going full speed for up until now at the very least (level 9). I can make the cutoff times since I have a flexible job (research) that I can easily change my sleep schedule to make night reviews. As for memorization:

I do “2 hour reviews” where I basically do a radical and Kanji review 2 hours after first learning it, and 2 hours before the first scheduled review. I always do the vocab immediately, but I care less about making sure I don’t mess up. It shows since my radical and Kanji success rate are both at least 98.5% while my vocab success rate is around 96%. It is still high enough to not have any worries though.

For memorization? I make my own mnemonics when WaniKani’s doesn’t work for me. This is usually especially the case for certain readings. I usually replace the しゅ memonic of “chute” with “shoo” for example. I also sometimes replace them with personal things, like らい with my brother "Rye. " Personalize the Menomics, and try to feel emotion. I have made myself really hate こういち and whenever I see こう I feel myself get mad.

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ah ha ! I’m great at missing the point.

@FiRe1987 If the question is not a technical one -

You can either have an incredible memory (or at least a developed good techniques and habitat when it comes to committing things to memory - like @MegaZeroX)


You can put yourself in a whole world of pain using scripts, and not doing vocab.



Or maybe people use the self study script or maybe they write the kanji and vocab down to solidify the knowledge :slight_smile:

(not me i took like 4 years)


Many (maybe most) people who level up fast (I consider less than 10 days per level to be a fast pace) have some prior Japanese learning experience.

Without getting into the technicalities of reaching top speed on Wanikani in my experience (shared by at least a few users according to the discussions I’ve had) if you do about 20/25 new lessons everyday, with good accuracy on radical and kanji, you should be around 10 days/level on average.
20/25 per day already way more doable than 40 per day.

That being said people who level up faster also end up spending more time everyday on WK, they are more daily reviews, they spend more time en review etc.

People should focus on finding a good pace that they can follow for a long time but that pace should not be too easy compared to what they can do. Challenging oneself a little bit is not that bad as long as you don’t push yourself too hard.

Edit: Also you do not need to finish all items in a level to level up. As long as you Guru radical and Kanji you can level up.


As previously recommended, read jprs’ guide. And consume a butt ton of japanese content. Min 20 items a day will get you by.

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I’m lumping that in with …


(it’s going to take me like 4 years :sweat_smile:, so not me either) :crazy_face:

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I personally prefer sitting underneath my favourite thinking tree.


I never used any script tbh ( i don’t know how) and don’t want to at this point. When i started i used to do all the lessons in single day. And almost never truly read the mnemonics. And i kinda paid for it couple levels later lol. Go on your own pace. And if you use other resources in the side(i don’t use any🙃) i do recommend u slowing down a bit.



This is funny because i am an ecologist - and this morning i have been working on, and talking about HABITAT creation. so obviously i was half thinking about it when i made this typo :sweat_smile:

Although I quite like the idea of a optimized ‘learning habitat’ :crazy_face:


Since a lot people have talked about the technicalities, I’ll contribute with the memory stuff.

If you have more of a photographic memory and can recognize shapes well, that’ll help a lot. Same goes for prior experience learning (which has been already brought up), but also a large exposure to the language. There’s no way you wouldn’t pick anything up. That way you probably know a lot of the especially low level vocabulary and realize that you have heard the words before in maybe anime or Japanese songs.

With memorizing kanji readings, seeing the vocabulary it’s used in is great because you might see a word you’re familiar with and use that to remember the kanji. You can also use those words you know already to associate the new with the old or if your native language has something that makes it easier to remember the kanji/vocabulary.

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At fastest you can level up in 7 days, if you make very few mistakes and if you are able to make the reviews as they are available.
The reviews are available after 4h from the lesson and further after 8h, 24h and 48 h.
For example, if you choose to make the lessons at 7 AM, the reviews will be available at 11AM, 7PM, again 7PM next day and 7PM after 2 more days. And here you get the other lessons from this level. You will get the nex review at 11PM, next day 7AM , one more day 7AM and two more days 7AM. If you make a calculation there are 7 days.
In simple words, the first half lessons from a level you can finish in 3,5 days, when you get the other half, which you can level up in other 3,5 days.
This is the ideal case. Of course you have to be make very few mistakes, especially when it comes to radicals and kanji, and keep the time.
But… it’s worth the effort?
And why should you go so fast? Your speed fits you the best.

You’re right that fits there :joy:

So if OP if you wanted a practical example of the category, there you go :stuck_out_tongue:

To be fair when I did level 2 for the first time I had learned most of the kanji of that level in my Japanese class. We had learned to write simple kanji such as numbers, day names, etc. Even then I was not able to complete level 2 in 3 days 10 hours.

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Teamwork makes the dream work :fist_right: :fist_left:

Congrats on lvl 60 btw !!! when did you get there?

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Yeah, I should’ve mentioned that I’ve been learning Japanese for a few years already, while I spent two years studying it during my vocal training which I’ll be finishing soon. So, I already know 70-80% of the vocab and Kanji I’m learning (so far)

I also studied Chinese for a few years before, so memorising Kanji is not too difficult.

That said, find your own pace, stick with it and be comfortable. It’s supposed to be fun! :slight_smile:

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It does :raised_hands:

Thank you!! Around december if I remember correctly :thinking:

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I’m a crazy person who’s speedrunning WK starting completely from scratch (no previous Japanese knowledge) and not using any userscripts. I’m just powering through it the hard way. (Understanding WK’s intervals, focusing your memorization effort on the level critical items and being strategic about review timing help of course)

Recently, my accuracy has been dropping though (or at least it seems that way). Before, I’d typically get in the 80s or 90s, but most of my recent review sessions have been in the 70s or 80s. I think I need to do more reading practice, but it’s hard to find the time to do it. Still, as long as you don’t mess up the radicals or kanji on the current level, doing badly on vocab reviews won’t actually stop you from leveling. It just means more time spent in reviews.


Yes its like some people mentioned.

Its not a technical question but more of how some are able to do it.

Me for example I have no prior Japanese experience, I’m starting from scratch, and I didn’t do any classes or apps or anything.

I learned hiragana and katakana on my own, and now I started kanji with wani kanji, and I find it more difficult than hiragana and katakana, and much more complex.

After doing radicals on level 1 I thought it wasn’t so hard.
Then I started kanji and ok that was harder be cause how it’s written are such new words and some mnemonics made no sense to me.

Then started vocab words and then it really got hard when I figured out that learning that person is jin is not that useful… When it’s also hito…and nin… and…ahh… and 1 being Ichi is not so useful when it’s not always Ichi but also hito…and I…tsu…and…ah…

So that’s why I started this topic because I find it quite difficult to soak up so much new knowledge that is also so different and also has many same things that are called different things etc…


I understand the feeling, I didn’t have any prior experience and don’t use any scripts. The first 8 levels were pretty hard to me and I struggled a lot because everything was so new.

However, I started levelling up at maximum speed after that, with many levels completely in 6 days 20 hours. It just depends how much work you want to put into learning the language (and if you don’t mind loosing a few hours of sleep, if you want to go at full speed).

Just trying to memorize everything from Wanikani isn’t easy. You need more contact with the language in order to retain everything. Things that have helped me a lot:

  • Writing the kanji down. I used anki+RTK in order to learn kanji stroke order and one definition for each of them. Both recollection and recall cards. I never confused similar-looking kanji on Wanikani after that. Even if you don’t want to use another SRS program, just writing things down while doing lessons helps a lot with memorization.

  • If there’s a leech in Wanikani, I also write it down a few times, make my own mnemonic, and write down some sentences using the word.

  • Reading. I force myself to read at least two hours every single day, no matter how painful. I would recommend learning basic grammar as soon as possible (such as Tae Kim’s guide) and then picking something online to read with a mouseover dictionary. It’s amazing how I always find a lot of new Wanikani vocabulary right in the next novel I read. Every single time. So many times I thought a vocabulary wasn’t very useful, but then it started noticing it all the time in native content.

  • Watching native content with Japanese subtitles. Shows on netflix or some youtube videos tend to have those subtitles available. You will naturally learn the reading of a lot of vocabulary like this. Don’t worry if you don’t understand much at first, just keep watching stuff everyday. Keep using Japanese sites everyday. Eventually it will become much easier.