How many apprentice items is best for a busy student?

Hello,

I’ve been starting to think about setting limits for my current number of apprentice items. Usually I just see how many I’m going to get the next day and leave my lessons alone if I think there is too many coming up. But its kind of annoying, and I’ve read that setting a limit for number of apprentice items is common, and 100 is recommended. This sounds a little much for me, as I am pretty busy with university work every day as well as a job, but not so much that I don’t put aside a little bit of time to do my reviews. I just wondered if anyone is similar and has general advice on what the limit should be for someone who is quite busy and learning Japanese isn’t the main focus.

Thanks.

5 Likes

Try to limit the amount of lessons you daily until you reach the desired level of apprentice numbers. There are plenty of users that keep the number way below 100 (anything between 30-100 are all low numbers). Just beware that doing so, will also slow down your progress a lot. :eyes: then again, you do seem to have lifetime, so just try to be flexible about it, I think. When there is more intense studying for your university courses, just do less on WK, and then ramp it up for a while then things get more quiet with your IRL studies. :slight_smile:

11 Likes

Thank you :slight_smile: And yeah, while I do want to make good progress as I’ve become quite passionate about this, I find I don’t always have the time to get on top of everything. Mainly when I’m particularly busy. I’ll try to find a good balance of apprentice level. I was just wondering if anyone had a particular number they find works well, though I understand everyone is different as well.

4 Likes

I suggest a proven method for going into intense study periods for you at the university, use 2-3 weeks to just do reviews and no more lessons. That will bring most items up to higher SRS-levels and so, it will make a real impact on your review pile.

Many do so before vacations, rather than using vacation mode, since that just stops the SRS-clock. That makes it take longer for you to get to reviewing items, which for lower-level items especially, makes their reviewing harder for you (like they’d been guru’d)

So, if you know there are exams or paper deadlines coming up, prepare by ramping down on WK lessons around 2-3 weeks before that. Then right after the exam/paper period, that’s a time to get back to doing new lessons. :slight_smile: That sort of thing should work, probably? :slight_smile:

7 Likes

Ah yeah, that sounds like good advice, thanks. Though I do have many coursework deadlines throughout the semester, but at least that sounds like good for when the exams come around.

3 Likes

I mean, between stopping lessons altogether and just doing fewer, there are many options. Just do minor adjustments to suit your IRL studies, if you know about stuff beforehand coming up. That sort of thing should allow you to continue your Japanese studies for sure, since stopping it altogether is often not great. You do need to get back to it then, recovering what you’ve lost, so to speak.

Ganbatte! I’m sure you can make your study goals for this year, just keep at it! ^>^

ganbattene

7 Likes

Alright, thanks!

2 Likes

What works for me is 10 lessons per day. I like that there is something new everyday, but it’s not overwhelming. My count of apprentice items is always between 40 and 100, and leveling up speed is around 2 weeks per level. Also I reorder my lessons so that I do all the vocab first, and the leveling up kanjis last.

6 Likes

Yeah, sounds good. I do like to do at least one set of lessons each day when I can, to keep things moving. Thanks :slight_smile:

2 Likes

My suggestion is that this question is meaningless, because the best approach can hugely vary from person to person and also as the same person. I used to do 10-15 lessons a day and even feel overwhelmed by it when I first begun studying Japanese in early 2022. Back then, I was unemployed and the only thing I did with my days was working out in the gym and studying japanese. At the moment of writing I have a full time job working 9 hours 5/7, live alone in a new city (that is to say, I have few free time) and I found out I can comfortably level up in 8-9 days with 95% accuracy. I also suggest you not thinking too much about it because as a student who’s learning lots of stuff beside japanese, you’ll tend to amplify how taxed you feel by the japanese study.
Only suggestion I can give you is to start reading and exposition to native material ASAP.
Wishing good things my man/woman/x

4 Likes

Yeah I’m sure it varies, I just wondered about general advice from people .
The idea of starting to read native material feels a bit daunting without knowing a lot of the language. Is there any very beginner friendly material? Or should I learn more first?

1 Like

I agree, the thought never crossed my mind until I visited the forums. I guess it’s a nice rule of thumb but there are so many variables it feels rather pointless. Ramp up when you feel like ramping up, cut back when you feel like cutting back.

I’ve started working my way through these free graded readers: Free books – にほんごたどく

3 Likes

Absolutely yes! I strongly suggest you looking into the absolute beginner book club of this forum and picking a manga that you like, there are a lot of awesome people that are willing to help, you can do it really step by step. What I did last year when I begun was to jump into the ABBC of the manga series からかい上手の高木さん (The teasing master Takagi-san, an awesome slice of life manga series which has anime adaptation). It was the first material intended for native people I was going to read and I was anxious af, I didn’t know anything and I used to spend 2 hours on a single manga page. I asked a lot of questions on the grammar breakdown of the speech bubbles and slowly begun to progress. 1 hour every page. 30 minutes. 5 minutes. 2 hors every chapter. 1 hour. Half an hour. I made it up to volume 5 that I could read a whole volume every 2-3 days and decided to go read something more difficult, so I picked up 進撃の巨人 (attack on titan which you’ll know). I successfully read the first volume and also made a vocab sheet on excel that covers almost every word of the volume 1. All the material and the excel file is in a thread I made.

So as you see on wanikani there is plenty of material to start and people willing to help, you can make it! Just don’t be like me - when I started the new job and moved to the new city I felt overwhelmed with commitments and lack of time, stopped studying jap till 3 weeks ago :joy::skull: now I’m almost where I left

Keep us updated on the journey

2 Likes

I get you, but I on the opposite end, was obsessed with doing everything ok and so I asked the same questions. It’s part of the journey, the important thing (as in everything) is to realize that there’s no one-fits-all approach and start adapting to ourselves. Anyway this way (also thanks to lots of free time) I managed to go from learning hiragana and katakana to ending the first volume of attack on titan in less than 4 months, so :skull:

2 Likes

Crystal Hunters is a manga that teaches Japanese and is made for beginners. Each volume has a vocabulary and grammar explanation in a guide so read the guide first than the volume. Currently there are 6 volumes out right now.

3 Likes

You’ll get a lot of different answers to this question (as is the case with anything related to studying Japanese), so of course do what feels right to you, but don’t ever feel that you can go wrong with more studying - especially at your level. I didn’t seriously read native material until I was maybe lvl 35 or 40, hell i didnt know any grammar until maybe lvl 15 or 20. A lot of people insist that no time is too early for native material, but I think it depends on the purpose. Trying to read something with a bunch of kanji I didn’t know was frustrating, and that frustration didn’t go away until I gave up to study for multiple months before returning. Settling for easy material that you have little interest in is a bad compromise in my opinion, too

3 Likes

You can read anything if you have the will. But you say you are busy, I don’t think you’d want to go through something so tedious right now, you seem to have your hands full with WK as it is. You can check out graded readers but personally I find them very boring.

What I’d recommend is to watch a lot of anime if you aren’t already, you don’t need to turn off your english subtitles, but just be aware that the subtitles aren’t exactly correct and are localized. Just pay attention to the Japanese and you will pick up a lot of different things naturally, even some grammar!

Speaking about grammar, make sure you start slowly trudging away at that too.

3 Likes

As long as you continue to do reviews daily, any process you follow for lessons is fine.

I preferred the apprentice count method to a fixed number of lessons per day, personally. Just find a number that seems “just hard enough” for you (and consider self-study/extra-study for recent lessons — it makes reviews FAR more comfortable).

Personally, I found new kanji much harder to memorize than new vocabulary, so I almost never did more than five lessons per day early in a level (and more later when I was was only getting new vocabulary). That’s the other reason I didn’t like the fixed number of lessons technique.

1 Like

I like to practice reading those free graded readers as well. :smile_cat:

1 Like

Ah cool, I’ll check those out, thanks.