So after finishing my third level and finally making a money offering to the great Crabigator, i levelled up to 4, and found myself at the new record of awaiting lessons: 87.
Now, my current strategy is to do 10-15 of them, then wait an hour or two, do 10-15 more, etc, usually around 40 or so per day. I have the time to do more than that but i feel like if i push towards learning too many at same time, i will end up not learning them well enough.
What is your strategy for dealing with large amounts of new lessons? Any tips or tricks, or personal experiences?
Yes. Do the new radicals at once, so that you don’t hold up your progress unnecessarily. After that, go back to your relaxed scheme. You now have four days to work through your lesson pile without delaying your progress.
But overall, do what you are comfortable with. Don’t feel pressured you “have to” do lessons.
I always plough through the radicals because I can remember most of them after seeing them once. For kanji and vocab, I do 10-15 at a time and then wait at least 1 hour. I’ve also stopped doing new lessons at the end of a day because that was very counter-productive.
Most people on here spread out their lessons. They do so to get a steady flow of reviews coming back to them. The burden of reviewing is regulated by how many lessons you do per day. So keep that in mind.
As for this latter concern, “can you learn that many items in a day?”, well I think many users also feel overwhelmed by doing too many lessons in a day. But, I’m not of that opinion myself that you have to limit the number of items for that reason.
The SRS system will simply compensate for any items you don’t learn on the first try. So, there is no need to overthink the number of lessons. Do as many as you feel like until mental fatigue setts in. Try to memorize them, but if you fail, you’ll just get another attempt at learning the item…until you do. So, that first review isn’t that important.
So, the primary concern is mostly to do with how many reviews you wanna do per day. Or rather, if you want a steady flow, or a more peaky WK experience. If you do all your lessons at once, you get the latter, if you space them out for example 20/day, you get a steady flow.
It’s all up to you really. There is no right or wrong here. Just do what you feel comfortable with.
I try to keep to a schedule where I know when I’m going to level up, so I do my radicals right away (as some have already mentioned) and when those are guru’d I also do the new small set of kanji that the radicals unlocked right away.
For everything else: I prioritize kanji lessons over vocab lessons, again because it helps keep me on a predictable schedule, but besides the ones I mentioned above, I spread things out so that I have no more lessons by the time I guru my radicals, and again no more by the time I level up.
I usually do reviews as they come up through the day, so I kind of do batches of lessons at times when there is a low review load in the 4-hours-later slot they’ll next show up at. But if you’re doing things just a couple times per day this part is probably irrelevant.
I would like to add is that you should always aim to clear all lessons and reviews available BEFORE going into the final level-up session. Spreading out your lessons over a couple of days and doing your reviews every day usually suffices.
If you manged to level up while still having lessons/reviews open, you shouldn’t clear all your radicals right away, imho. Either you are going to fast or you abused lesson/review re-order scripts to get a faster level-up. In that case, take some time to clear out reviews and bring your lesson counter down, before taking on the new radicals.
That being said, 87 new lessons after a level-up is normal if you wanted to go as fast as possible, you would have to clear your radicals right away (Reorder Ultimate Userscript) and the spread the remaining lessons over the next three days, so that you clear all lessons before the radicals guru and the rest of the kanji unlock.
However, there is no prize for being the fastest. Don’t risk burning out, find a good pace for yourself and stick to it.
This is all just my opinion, obviously.
At the bottom of the image below you can see the total number of reviews I get per day, doing only 15 lessons a day (156). I complete levels once every 11 days. You can complete ‘normal’ levels in 6-ish days if you do as many Kanji lessons as are available, and don’t make any mistakes in Kanji reviews, leading to 300+ reviews a day assuming reasonable accuracy.
To finally get to my point - if you can cope with 3-400 reviews + lessons a day, then there’s not much point in doing more than 30 lessons a day (if you make sure that you do the kanji first). If you can’t cope with that much work, then you just need to choose how many you can cope with and adjust the lessons accordingly.
I do 20 lessons a day. 10 in the morning, 10 in the evening. I have planned (and used scripts for) level ups (and lesson order) so I unlock more items to make sure I don’t run out, but other than that the actual number of waiting lessons is irrelevant to me - as long as there are sufficient to keep going.
I don’t care how many lessons I have available. I go at my own pace. I don’t want to burnout, I’m not in any rush, as I’m learning this as a hobby, not for need. What I do is check the apprendice pile, as that marks the rate of reviews I get. I started having just 20 something. After I got my lifetime, I sped up a bit and I have them in the 40s or 50s.
So, for new lessons, if it is radicals I do around 10 a day, maybe more if they are easy/already know them. Kanji I do just 5 per day, as they are the most difficult. If I have several items in critical condition I slow down until they are gone.
Then I speed up with vocabulary and do 10-15 per day.
Remember: this is just a small part of learning Japanese. It’s about kanji and understanding some vocabulary, no more. You still have to use kaniwani to do the inverse (say/type the vocabulary in Japanese when you get it in English). You have to do your grammar lessons, listening, reading, writing/typing and speaking (if you can).
I do 20 lessons a day expect for Wednesdays, which I have designated my “rest” day. Doesn’t matter if I have 20 lessons or 100 lessons. I am not in a rush so I don’t worry about how many lessons I have in my queue. I do try achieve 0 lessons/0 reviews once for every level.
The only thing that I try to manage a little bit is the type of lessons that I have. I don’t like it when I have 40 vocab lessons and no kanji lessons or I have 25 kanji lessons and 5 vocab lessons. I like variety when doing my lessons since I find that it personally keeps me motivated and interested, but that is personal thing.
This is a fairly frequent question; my answer is always the same: I do them all in one sitting.
I use the re-order script so I can start on Radicals and Kanji (because these are the ones keeping me from levelling up), and keep doing about 20 lessons per day until I run out. I usually run out for a few days before I level up, and then lather, rinse, repeat.
To answer the main question, I cry every time (not really, but getting 140 in a single level up does sting at times).
I believe in the recommendation of keeping at or around the 100 or so Apprentice item limit to avoid huge smacks to the face when Burn items start to mix into your daily routine. If you do 40 a day and you get them right every time, expect in 4 months to get an additional 40 reviews in a day on top of whatever you are learning in your lessons.
My process on level up:
- Learn all radicals right away. Usually it’s 6-10.
- Learn 5-10 of the newly opened kanji
- Next day, hit 20 lessons in the morning
- If I am below 100, I do the rest of the opened kanji; if not, I do them the next day
- Next day, do remaining kanji (if I didn’t do in step 4) plus whatever would get me through 20 total lessons. This is where I will pop above 100 to around 130 tops. If I am near 130, I just pretend I don’t have lessons.
I do those 5 steps until I have no lessons and I push as hard as possible to be done with all previous level vocabulary, or at least have them in SRS stages, when I level up. So when I hit level 28, I hope to have all of Level 26 in SRS and working on 27. When I hit 29, I want all my 27 in SRS and be working on 28, etc.
This is good advice right here:
Doing all the lessons at once leads to 400-500+ daily reviews once those Enlightened and Master reviews start coming around.
If you’re ok with that kind of volume then go for it, but for me, I can only manage about 150-200 daily reviews so I only do 20 lessons max per day and follow the 100 item Apprentice limit.
I use a script to customize my lesson sessions. I do 3 review sessions a day and do my lessons after my morning session.
- 10 vocab (builds on kanji/vocab I already know, easier to retain)
- 5 radicals (easy, one card only, unlocks new kanji once you guru)
- 5 kanji
Radicals are usually cleared with 2 days (by cleared I mean into the review queue) so once those are done I increase my vocab to 15 a day. I keep the 5 kanji as that works for me and all my kanji are in the review queue within a week (since there’s usually 31-35 kanji in a level).
I’ve strayed away from this pattern several times and ended up stuck on a level for a month. Definitely smoother sticking to this schedule.
I go really slow regardless of number of lessons available. I don’t use a script but somehow my lessons are always in order by themselves, Radicals > Kanji > Vocabulary.
I grew up learning Mandarin in school (but haven’t used it in 12 or so years) so I can guess many Kanji words. However there are Kanji words which are not the same meaning as they are in Mandarin so I’m really not sure if knowing Mandarin is an advantage or not When I see Kanji, my brain automatically thinks of the Chinese meaning and pronounciation first.
I must be one of the slowest-paced learners here because I only study once a day and this is what I do:
I clear all my reviews then
I learn 15 radicals a day (If less than 15 Radicals, then 10 Radicals + 5 Kanji)
I learn 10 Kanji a day (if there are less than 10, I do all of them + however many Vocab is in the set)
I learn 5 Vocabulary a day, sometimes on a very free day, and I’m feeling good, I do 10 Vocabulary.
I’m not sure how everyone studies, but I write every single lesson down in a notebook, I make note of the mnemonic and practice writing the Kanji characters and write out the context sentences as practice for Japanese writing. I always try to read the context sentences and guess their meaning (trying my best not to look at the translations).
My review scores are often 90% and above and I get very upset at myself if I ever score anything less so I’m intentionally going at this slow pace
Hope this helps!
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