How helpful/harmful are single review sessions?

I have a few scattered sessions of 1 to 5 items which come from mistakes I made earlier. On one hand, they’re helpful to know what to focus on, which is kind of the whole point of SRS. On the other hand, for items that are can be confused with each other, it provides an easy way out that I feel could be harmful in the long run.

Take for example the intransitive/transitive verb pairs. If I forget which is which and, let’s say, get 出す wrong, it won’t appear in the same session as 出る anymore. I could then differentiate between the two simply by remembering 出す is now in the smaller (hopefully…) “mistakes” session.

I have this problem myself with 水 and 氷, which are simple, but annoyingly similar. Now that 氷 is by itself, I can’t really confuse it with 水 anymore, but I won’t have that out when I start reading Japanese material.

Now I’m sure it’ll be less of a problem on higher levels when the session times start spreading everywhere, but for now, should I wait and try to combine these small error sessions with bigger ones, or am I stressing about something that just doesn’t really matter?

This shouldn’t be a problem in the long run. Right now, most of your review gaps are relatively short (a few hours, a few days, a few weeks). Eventually you’ll have so much mixed in at so many different times, you won’t (usually) be able to remember when they should come in. And when you do get something right at a short interval when you don’t really know it well, you’ll just get it wrong next time and review it more anyway.

So in short, I wouldn’t worry about it. Just review them as usual. You can wait to combine these small sessions with bigger ones if you want, but I would suggest only doing that if the wait is a couple extra hours. There’s no reason to wait half a day just to join them with other reviews, and in fact this could be detrimental because the point is to review those problem items sooner.


Pretty much what seanblue said. Wanikani deals with 8k items total. There’s gonna be so much stuff cycling in and out that it doesn’t even matter anymore. And that pretty much sums up SRS learning in general. The further you get in the less individual items matter. What’s important is that you’re practicing recall and constantly introducing new material.


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