How long does a level take you?

I try to use Wanikani as much as I can, but lately Ive been feeling really frustrated and would like some feedback.

Ive seen some folks here in the forum say a level only takes them a couple days to do. Im Level 11 and it takes me a good several weeks to do a level. I try my best but sometimes kanji just dont click for me until its been awhile. I know Japanese is hard and everyone should go at their own pace but lately ive been feeling sort of frustrated and embarressed by the facr Im only at 11. At this rate itll take me years to get to Level 60.

Any advice? Tips or tricks? ありがとう❤️


It takes me 600 days…


If I’m on top of things with my routine it takes a month (4 or 5 weeks really). Going any faster just isn’t sustainable for me. Everyone is different on what they can handle so I wouldn’t focus too much on how fast others go, especially when a lot of them will do things like skip all vocabulary to do it. For example, it’s been two weeks to the day since I unlocked level 14; in that time all I’ve done and been doing is the level 14 radicals, previous level vocab, and the level 14 vocab that was unlocked (I have just 14 unlocked vocab items from level 14 left to learn before I start the level 14 kanji). Then it’ll likely take me 1.5 to 2 weeks to do all the level 14 kanji. This is what works for me so my reviews don’t pile up. Yeah it’ll take years to hit level 60 but I don’t see that as a bad thing, I really dislike the idea of rushing language learning.


I’ve got a lot of free time on my hands, plus I had some prior knowledge (nothing formal, and it was all over the place) coming into WK and have been reading a little bit longer than I’ve been doing WK, so when I’m on top of things, with the number of lessons I do daily it takes me around 12 days. But I also have slow periods where doing WK is a chore and a level can take me a month or longer. I’m in one of those currently; I’ve been on lv 39 for over a month and a half now. When I finally level up, it’ll have taken me a bit over 7 weeks.

Early October I’ll have been doing this 2 years, so I guess I’m still a bit on the faster side since it’s looking like I can finish in 3 years. That’s assuming I don’t keep with the slower pace though, since really I’d much rather spend my time reading. (I am still at a point where I need to study though, just. I hate studying. Bleh)

If a kanji is holding you back, you can always add a synonym (and/or use the doublecheck userscript or that functionality in one of the apps) to pass it until it reaches Guru, and then use the SRS normally for it even if it gets knocked back to Apprentice for a while. Because then, you’ll unlock vocab that can help solidify it. SRS is efficient in theory, but having you learn items in a vacuum is where it falls short. If your brain can connect something with other things, it sticks better, and that’s where learning vocab that uses it comes in with kanji, and where seeing how it’s used in context comes in with vocab. In the end, WK (and SRS in general) is just a tool, and tools are meant to be used, not to use you. So don’t be afraid to use it a different way if the way it’s “supposed” to be used isn’t working for you.


It takes as long as it takes you. Comparing yourself to anyone else doesn’t help anything.

So the question now is, why do you think you’re going slow and what are you longer term goals with WK?


Thank you, I know this is true it is just very difficult to not compare yourself to others in the language learning community, especially one as passionate and direhard as the Japanese language community.

I feel like I’m going slow because I guess I feel like I should be going faster? I mean long-term I’d love to be fluent in Japanese and I feel like Wanikani is an essential stepping stone in that direction for me to learn kanji, so it’s really a life long adventure. Not something you can rush, for sure.


Thank you, this is a good reminder. I think I’m just hard on myself because of how oddly competitive the language learning community can be. Everyone needs to learn languages the fastest and know the most.


Takes me between 7 and 7.5 days. The levels past 43 that are able to be finished quickly takes me around 4 days.

I always make sure to set aside time throughout the day for reviews.


This is my second time doing WK (I reset from around level 45 after a 1-2 year hiatus). The first time it took me a week to go through each level, but it was during a time that I was really depressed and had nothing else to do (more like I couldn’t bring myself to do what I actually had to do) and WK was pretty much the only thing I focused on and that didn’t make me feel like a failure.

This time it’s taking me between 2 to 3 weeks per level, and it turns out after level 17 or so I don’t remember much from the first time, so just know that breezing through WK doesn’t mean people are effectively learning all those kanji (not saying that they are not learning them, just that we don’t really know) and as long you’re learning and you keep going you’re on the right track. (:

Also, reminder that learning a language and reaching fluency takes years! This is totally normal, and we don’t gain anything by focusing on the idea that other people might reach fluency before us. English is my second language, I’ve been speaking English for more than 20 years and I still make a ton of mistakes, I’m still learning. Heck, even in Spanish (my native language) I still make mistakes, I still need to use a dictionary every once in a while and struggle to find the right words to convey what I want to say. So why I would expect to learn another language in less than a year?

I’d just recommend to study other things alongside WK. Even if it takes you years to reach level 60, you’ll find it much more enjoyable if you’re learning other things. You got this! :hearts:


I mean, if that’s your reason for wanting to go faster, then I think you’re good to just keep doing what you are doing right now. :slight_smile: Especially, since you didn’t mention any hard deadlines for your language goals, like moving to Japan or starting work requiring Japanese.

There is however, the issue of cost for going slow, which isn’t an insignificant issue these days of increasing living costs overall.

I noticed you mentioning that you might struggle with some kanji and somehow that being connected with you gong slow. I was wondering if you could expand on this a bit, about your reviewing routine (if you have one) and how you do your lessons.

Because, for me, I go with the quantity not quality approach, which I think makes most sense when using and SRS-system like WK. Essentially, I go pretty quickly through lessons and don’t worry too much about whether items stick or not. I leave that to the SRS. Items that I fail, will inevitably get more repetitions, and items I nail quickly moves up the SRS. I’m only really vary of having too many items in apprentice so I have a cap on total amount of reviews/day that suits me working full-time and having other stuff I wanna do in my spare time.

To summarize, focus less on learning individual items on WK, and don’t worry too much about the items that are more difficult, and do lessons less discriminately; accept that failing items during the review process is part of the learning process itself. Some items move up the ladder quicker than others, but all do eventually. :slight_smile:


You should get an idea here. (heh, the thread isn’t locked yet.)

I was a speed runner, but not only WaniKani. I also did Anki alongside, and whatever other resources I had found. (That time, I dealt with leeches with mnemonics.)

Currently, I take within 2 weeks per level, but I don’t make that many mistakes. I put leeches in Anki sometimes, because I have a nice Yomichan.

A question: are you a lifetime member? Or paying monthly/yearly?

Fluency in Japanese requires kanji recognition one or the other, but there are plenty of other factors than WaniKani pace that can help you reach your goals… For example, are you studying with a beginner’s grammar textbook, such as Minna no Nihongo, Genki, Japanese for Busy People, Japanese from Zero, etc.? Do you use any listening resources? Do you follow any YouTube channels? What other resources are you learning from?

Pace on WaniKani depends on several factors:

  • Background knowledge and experience with Japanese
  • Life stage and school/work/life balance
  • Individual differences in learning and memory and how those match WK
  • Apps and scripts that you use to supplement the desktop version
  • Your management of items, Lessons vs. Reviews, the number of Apprentice and Guru and Master items, your daily schedule vs. WK’s review schedule
  • What’s going on in your life

They’re not lifetime. They have a blue level badge. You can always hover over them and see. :slight_smile: Grey = no ongoing subscription


When I was working at my fastest speed, I think I was coming in at about 10 days per level. That was with doing reviews 3 times a day, but I wouldn’t always do lessons as soon as they were available because I didn’t want to get overwhelmed.

Anyway I just levelled up for the first time in like 3 years and was so confused by the levelling up graphic, that I thought the durtles were just celebrating the women’s football world cup final


I’ve had a somewhat similar experience - I used to take a week the first time I went through Wanikani (my account is from 2014… that’s almost 10 years ago), but nowadays I take at least 2. I don’t do more than 10 new lessons a day, because I know that I’ll eventually get overwhelmed and I’ll have days where I won’t even want to look at WK. As others said, its not a race, it’s supposed to be something you enjoy (unless you have a specific obligation such as learning for work).

Language learning is indeed a lifetime journey - that’s why, try to enjoy it in the meantime! I’ve been learning for 10 years (with breaks) and I’m barely around N3 level… and that’s ok! I’ve seem people pass N2 who barely studied the language for 3 years - and I’m happy for them, and learned not to compare my situation because everyone is different and has different things going on. Nowadays I focus a lot on reading, listening and practicing grammar with textbooks/other resources, so I don’t mind slowing down on WK.

I complete agree with this too, I see a lot of people frustrated or disappointed when they don’t get less than 95% correct answers on their reviews. While keeping a high accuracy is an approach that may work for some, it definitely doesn’t work for me - I’d rather speed it up and just review the same item several times until it sticks than overly analyse every single new lesson. Sure, some days I might get 95% accuracy, and on others 75% because I’m tired or struggling with similar kanji, but I just accept it as part of the learning process.


THIS! You put it to much better. You’re better some days and other not. But if you get an overall good accuracy, you’ll move the items up and you can move on to the next level just fine.

I think, from reading other people’s experiences, that the only thing you really need to watch out for, is when you have bad accuracy constantly. Like, you end up having huge numbers of apprentice items. That’s a warning signal you should take seriously.

But for most people, I think it’s just fine to move onto the next level items, even though the current level items aren’t really fully learnt yet. I just never wait around for that, and I think that’s the sort of tempo WK is allowing you to go at. Just move on, as the number of items that are actually hard, are fewer than the easy items.

That’s my theory at least. And true for me, but then again, I had prior experience of learning Japanese on my own! While not about kanji, I had vocabulary already in place. That’s why it’s very hard to say, what is a quick or a slow pace for people - we come from different learning backgrounds. All of us.

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for me, i was really slow the first 10 levels. Then, well, i started cheating, and i could not reccomend it enough.
Although of course you will encounter the same kanji less times, you will be way more motivated to study as you are moving faster. So essentially, for any new radicals or kanji, i have the sheet open in another tab and make sure i never ever get one wrong. Then you level up wayyy faster and are wayy more motivated. I don’t ever cheat for vocabulary words so you encounter the readings and such over and over again till you memorise it anyway.

I’m pretty sure anyone whos doing levels in under 10 days is basically cheating as well as making one mistake on a couple fresh kanji will literally take days off your level time.

I only do it for the level I’m on and i’ve found it hasn’t hindered my memory in anyway possible. I think anyone not cheating it would take years to complete but idk maybe you guys are just built different and can straight up memorise them within hours for your first set of reviews.


It takes me 7 days per level , +/- 2 hours (so 6d22hours to 7d2 hours). Keep in mind it’s nearly impossible to go any faster until you are level 42 I believe (then you can go down to 3 days 12 hours or smthg like that).
My advice is to not care that much if you get a kanji wrong. Getting a kanji wrong is part of the process, that’s how you learn. I get tons of kanji/words wrong all the time, I don’t care, my only goal is to keep going. Eventually they will stick.
What you want to focus more, I would say, is how much time are you willing/can spend on wanikani. It’s probably taking me 3 hours to go throw my reviews/new lessons every day. That is a big hit to the time I have left for reading and listening. So you have to be careful with what you want, what is your plan etc.
If you feel like you’re going too slowly, think about your time investment, are you fine with it? Do you feel like you can double it? That’s what matters. Well that’s what I think : P

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i had a month or so where i had the time to shoot for 7-8 day levels and 2 things that helped were

-at the end of levels, if i’ve got lessons to 0, there’s a bit of extra time before the next vocab drops. i use this time to look at the next level’s radicals and kanji. i just print them out and tape them up on the wall where i walk by often. i don’t do anything crazy here, but optimistically by the time i see the next level kanji, i just click through and it’s pretty fast to pass the reviews

-semantic-phonetic readings are mad useful. it’s the only script i use, and i’ve gotten a pretty big speedup. a decent amount of the time, you’ll be able to use another reading

It takes me 7 days per level , +/- 2 hours (so 6d22hours to 7d2 hours).

How do you know that so exactly? Do you manually note the times down or is there a way to see your own wanikani stats?