How fast should i go

Hi, just started learning vocabulary and suddenly i feel overwhelmed with all the vocabulary at once, do people usually take it all at once or divide it into more manageable peaces for learning in different intervals? What are your recommendations?


Try to experiment with different speeds of learning to find one you can sustain for months at a time. I think you can go a bit faster now because you don’t have to worry about a ton of older vocab showing up in your reviews just yet.

Pick a number and try to do that many lessons every day for a week or two. Increase/decrease that number as you see fit.

I often go fast for 2 levels then catch my breath on the third, and catch up with pending vocab.

I do WK-ing as far as I’m comfortable.

If I’m uncomfortable, I stop doing lessons, just focus on reviews. If I’m comfortable, I do my lessons.

Number could vary. Each Wanikanian has their own (WK dashboard number) preference.


If you’re getting too many items for review, I’d recommend only doing 5-10 lessons a day, this can really help. If you’re having trouble doing all your reviews in one sitting, using the “Wrap Up” button (the clock), you can limit the review session to only 10 more, then take a break, and come back later in the day when you have time.


don’t go above the speed limit, or you’ll get arrested, you musn’t go at the speed limit, but you should adapt your speed to the current conditions.

yes this is a metaphore and I’m a poet now


I’d like to add that, using that button tells WK that you want to wrap up and that the next few items should the the other side of your last few items.
For example, if [てん = heaven] was in your last few items and you hit the “Wrap Up” button, then [てん = てん] should show up in your next few items as well. This closes both sides of the same card so that your SRS makes more sense when you quit.

TL;DR using the “Wrap Up” button and doing 10 more is healthier for your memory than simply just closing the window. Be a good student and Wrap Up instead :wink:


Gotta go fast.*

As fast as you can/want without getting overwhelmed.


I usually take a more careless approach and just do every single lesson when I can. After that, I actually learn the Vocab/Kanji through reviews. That is because i have trouble with mnemonics and learn better with actual repetition.

I feel Kanji get a more “natural” feeling through this method. Is just repetion and as soon as I get an item, I hardly ever get it wrong again. You should not only see which speed is the most comfortable for you, but see how you’re learning stuff. I don’t like the mnemonics, because I don’t want to read a book and suddenly have to cut my train of thought just to remember the mnemonics for a Kanji. So I get the repetition system to simply oblige me to learn those meanings by intuition.

Do what you feel like doing. If you finish WaniKani in one year or in three year, but is capable of understanding Japanese, you did it on the speed that was right for you.


I take the exact same approach. I actually only use mnemonics for items that for some reason just won’t stick. Most items i learn just through the reviews. This does mean that after a batch of lessons in the early apprentice stages I do get quite a few wrong that i need to review a few times before they stick, but after that i remember most of the pretty well. As for speed i just do lessons as they become available and I have time.

Of course you won’t rely on mnemonics only. As long as you can remember the word/kanji, you don’t need the whole story. But when you struggle, best approach would be to read through the mnemonics. Those are for making a memory about a word or a kanji only. You don’t really memorize the story. (Even if you do so, you forget about it and all you’re left with is the meaning/reading of anything. I recommend you to read through earlier level items because they’re mostly used and it makes learning faster for you)

I think that a lot of people handle their lessons differently. A lot of the time I’ll just do all of the lessons and see what sticks. After that I worry about the ones I have trouble with. But other times I don’t do that because I need to make time for school.

I will GENERALLY try to keep my apprentice level stuff at 100.

Just some stuff to think about! :slight_smile:


I feel like there are two equally valid approaches that have been advocated here, and both have their benefits. The best approach is one that will keep you from getting frustrated or burned out, and that may change as you progress. I started off with the “do all the lessons immediately” approach too, because I felt like having the immediate reinforcement of the kanji with related vocab helped me retain both better. However, I had to slow down a lot somewhere around level 10 or 11 when the number of new lessons exceeded my ability to finish reviews everyday.

That said, this question seems well-suited for a poll, if anyone cares to weigh in on their preferred WK speed…

  • Slow and steady: do a few lessons a day, and make sure you know them well
  • Utter chaos: do all the lessons as fast as possible, and let the repetition do the work
  • Something in between
  • Depends on the level and available time
  • Other, or I just want to click something

0 voters


I’d advise looking through the forums for the many other threads asking almost the same question.

My answer is always: I do 15 lessons a day, or up to 20 if they are easy to understand vocabulary with standard readings. I think this is about average, though many do more or less. The key is to find the pace that works for you and your schedule. I’ll just say if you go too fast you could build up a massive pile of reviews and will really be hurting when the burn reviews start coming up in a few months.


For the first 10 or so levels, I zoomed through the lessons (and levels) much quicker than I do now, probably 30 or 40 a day sometimes? But I reached a point of overwhelm and near-burnout, because that rate wasn’t sustainable for me with the amount of time/brain capacity that I had available :slight_smile:

However, other WKers speed through and love it! So do what works for you :smile: and don’t be afraid to switch up your routine or your amount over time.

My current rate is roughly 4 or 8 lessons a day, sometimes 0, sometimes up to 16 or more, especially if that includes radicals or very straightforward vocab.

I tend to level up every 16 to 20 days, which works for me and keeps me engaged and motivated without getting overwhelmed/stopping :ok_hand:


I usually do all the lessons in one big batch as soon as they become available. I think this has benefits, since the stuff you learn per level is somewhat related with each other (and the previous level). Having said that I find it really frustrating to do 200 reviews per day, so I use a script to monitor what is coming up: If I see that tomorrow I will have 200 reviews already, I will not add to this stack by doing my lessons and just leave them until I cleared out enough Apprentice/Guru stuff. Everything else is not sustainable to me and my lifestyle…

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I try to keep apprentice items at around 100 items and my speed is with that what is it, around 8-9 days per level.

I suggest you find your own level of apprentice items and go with that, that way you are not overwhelmed by too many lessons when you hit a rough spot (Believe me, those will come every few levels and it’s really stressful when you try to take lets say 10 lessons a day)


I voted “something in between” because you want to both avoid burnout and avoid taking too long. I took too long personally and it resulted in lots of forgotten stuff. That said, I could have been better about using the learned material.


Using the material is definitely important! Part of the reason I’ve had to slow down on lessons is because I wanted to spend more time reading and less time constantly reviewing (and also the avalanche of lessons that hit when I leveled up, but let’s not mention that…). There’s certainly an argument to be made for a somewhat slower pace that leaves time for grammar study and, later on, outside reading. Of course, OP, you’ll obviously need to keep learning more vocab to be able to read most things, so the key is finding that balance that works for you personally. We all have our own preferred methods as you see, but they may or may not work for you…

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I chose somewhere in between, because I just do lessons whenever I feel like it. I try to slow down and do only twenty or some other number a day, but I get restless or impatient too. That is where I end up doing all of my lessons (usually in batches spread over the day). I tend to skim mnemonics and not remember them well, so some kanji I get wrong the first couple of reviews. This ensures I slow down on the level mostly, as I won’t guru 90% of kanji in the same day (up here in the fast levels at least). But it does give me a lot of reviews to do, since every apprentice item wrong comes back the same day. Also my progress has not been steady at all. Most levels I finished in about 8-14 days, but I have also have month/two month-long levels, where I was just trying to do reviews and no lessons at all.

That said, I think in the early levels it is all right to dive in and do all the lessons, but if you feel it would benefit your recall then don’t do them all at once.

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I used to do all my lessons ASAP when it was still summer, but since starting school, I’ve only been doing 10 lessons per day. I still do all my reviews at least by the end of the day though.

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