How do some level up so fast

I’ve read some people level up in just a few days and I was asking myself how is that possible?

I needed 9 days for level 1 and now I’m on level 2 for 9 days aswell and not nearly done.

How do some people level up in 4 or 5 days?

For example level 2 has almost 80 radicals and kanji plus 80 vocab.
So that’s 160 things
That would mean each day they learn like 40 of those that seems insane.


Some people have a lot of time on their hands, but sure that there are a lot of people that burn out when they go out at that pace, or they slow down. I also know that WK only lets you level up every 7 days after level 2 (for most of the levels). Generally speaking, I think if you’re willing to put in a lot of time and effort it isn’t all that hard to level up every 7 days because you’re setting aside enough time to make sure you’re retaining the large amounts of information you’re learning. However, that comes with the risk of burning out.


In my experience it becomes easier to go fast after you’ve learned enough Japanese. If you use a textbook, do grammar, read, then you will inevitably encounter new kanji and vocab before studying it on WK.

When doing WK lessons, out of the 20 daily lessons you might be at least a bit familiar with 5, making things easier.

And of course, you need to follow a consistent daily schedule. Do WK 3 times a day at optimal intervals.


Hello @FiRe1987

To go at full speed -

Change lesson order so that you do radicals and kanji first when entering a new level (with a script), OR do all lessons at once :nauseated_face: ;

do reviews as and when they become available (including if they are at ungodly hours)

Some levels are faster due to the fact there are less radicals, and therefore all kanji are available in the lesson pile straight away, without having to ‘guru’ any radicals. These levels can be completed in 4 days i believe.

Going at full speed is super impressive (maybe insane :wink: ) - but it is not for everyone. The most important thing is that you finish, not speed ! IMO.

Don’t worry about how fast others are going - just go as fast as is comfortable and sustainable for you !



Yup, basically what Ddjross said.

I’m still in the early levels, but I’ve been improving my times steadily.
When I unlock a new level, I do all the radicals and the first batch of kanji. While I guru up those to gain access to the other half of Kanji, I do about 25 lessons of vocab a day.

I also only do WaniKani three times a day, currently at 9AM, 1PM and 9PM. It’s honestly pretty chill. My fastest level took me exactly 8 days so far, but the fastest you can go is 7.5 days iirc.

Important edit: I also use the scripts in this guide, mainly the lesson filter, so I can choose what kind of lessons I’d like to do and how many / batch

Check out this guide!


My impression is the OP isn’t really asking so much about the technical process of levelling up on WK, but rather how people are fitting the information in their heads and retaining it.


Not everyone that starts Wanikani is learning Japanese from scratch. They may already know everything or almost everything on that level and basically just ‘skip’ the lessons and plop everything directly into review as it becomes available.
But for reference: I spent 12 days on level 2 - take however much time you need to learn at your own pace.


There are also people here (me included) that have previous knowledge in japanese/kanji before starting with WK. WK doesn’t allow skipping levels, so I needed to grind levels with less than 10% of “new” content for me and that easily allowed to keep a quick leveling speed. Around level 30 I reached a stage where my previous knowledge was not that useful anymore (over 70% of content is entirely new) and it would’ve been a struggle to keep up the speed if corona had not happened and forced me to stay home and keep a strict work/study schedule to stay sane :'D


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.