How many hours per day do you have to invest at high speed?

This is my first post on the forum. It’s super cool to be here! (:
Maybe you can help me with some advice because I feel like I’ve still not wrapped my head around the whole range of possibilities on wanikani. >.<
I am really serious about learning Japanese and have been studying it for two years, but the area I’m still by far worst in is kanji. I can write around 400, and read probably some 600 to 800. That’s why Wanikani seems perfect for me. Since I’m only 15, I can’t afford lifetime and my parents aren’t willing to buy it for me as a Christmas present. So, considering I can get a discount, the most sensible option is subscribing annually (which is already great, of course!). Now, my question is this: If I try to reach level 60 within a year, how much time do I have to invest in Wanikani every day?
I know there are userscript tricks allowing you to rearrange lessons, so you don’t lose single hours. And also, I have completed the first three levels already. So I would only have to do 56 levels in a year (after which I can purchase lifetime for 60$). Is that correct? If I use all this information responsibly, how many hours a day would I have to be on wanikani on average?

Thanks a lot in advance!

PS: As a secondary question for those who have done wanikani at full speed: How much life were you actually left with when you did it? lol
In my personal case, the thing is that I am also in an “elite” sort of programme that allows me to assist in university math courses and people are obviously expecting me to achieve, so I’m kind of worried how that may develop. But I am prepared to work as hard as I can!


This might be a good read for you: My Journey of 368 days (+ The Ultimate Guide for WK 📖 )

Chapter 4 through 6 seem to be about what you ask, but I’m sure everything else will be helpful.



I personally spend probably 2–3 hours a day studying. More when I’m bored or don’t have work! Some people spend up to 8 hours a day, but I think that even if you were willing to go that far, it’s better to start small, build the habit, and add a little more every day.

I say this not because I want to discourage you but because I don’t want you to discourage yourself later on: I think that going for level 60 in a year is too ambitious. A year and a half is more realistic. That’s how long it took me, and I’d known the first 10-ish levels of kanji and vocab for over half my life. If you want to meet that goal, you’d want to to all the lessons as soon as they become available, which will become a tall order later on.

You’re best off mixing WaniKani with other kinds of practice, like reading Japanese books that interest you or watching anime without English. It takes longer—and I’ll tell you honestly, you’ll feel super frustrated at first!—but your memory will be much stronger for the kanji that you’re learning.

You have a lot of time (I know it doesn’t seem like it!) and it sounds like you have a lot on your plate. To this day, I really regret that I didn’t take more time for myself and my friends when I was 15. I’d really encourage you to do that. Also, something high-achieving students don’t hear often enough (I didn’t when I was one!)—try not to hold yourself to high standards, and especially try not to get down on yourself when you make mistakes, which you will. Keep learning and growing and accepting setbacks as part of that process and you’ll be OK.

By the way, I happen to be a math professor myself. If you ever need math help, you should post in the math thread, where other mathematicians look too. It might look overwhelming at first because they’ve been discussing mostly graduate-level topics (some of the things they talk about even intimidate me, and I have a Master’s!), but in math or Japanese, there are a people here who’d enjoy making your journey easier than ours was!

Good luck!!


I agree with @Brand_S advice, especially with that part:

Unless you need a high level of Japanese for further studying purposes in case you wish to go to an university there ore something along the lines, I highly recommend keeping your Japanese study time at such a level that you still have some free time left. My friend from highschool and I recently spoke about this. We both regret almost solely focusing our time on studying for school and extracurricular activities for several years, and as a result neglecting to spend quality time with friends, family and (other) hobbies that provide joy and energy. We were also almost burnt out by the end of high school because we were (and in some ways still are) overachievers…

Speaking of high-achieving students…

This advice is gold and please try to keep it in the back of your mind when making mistakes – humans are, at the end of the day, fortunately ((or unfortunately)) imperfect beings, so mistakes are bound to happen many times throughout one’s life.


Wow, thank you!
That was some extremely useful advice, especially coming from a math professor!
The prime reason I was asking is because of financial issues, as even in a year’s time, I’ll still only be 16 and probably not going to earn a fortune with all the pressure of getting my bachelor’s and still doing well at school and my hobbies (including Japanese). The programme does support me significantly, even letting me participate in international conferences and paying accomodation and travel expenses, but they’ll hardly do the same for Japanese. :smiley:
I might try to get a scholarship, though. That would thankfully do the job.
If rushing wanikani means no more time for immersion, listening and speaking, then that’s definitely not what I want. Talking to natives has been my main interest from the beginning.
That said, I’ll definitely take your advice: Being around five other kids who did their math Abitur (German high school diploma) at 14 entails a lot of holding myself to high standards, and I should probably relax much more than I currently do (but still continue with the programme 'cause I enjoy doing maths ^-^). Also, thank you for the link! I’m happy to use it next time I have a problem - which won’t be long in coming, I’m sure. :smiley:
Very inspiring answer!


I’m doing almost exactly 7 days per level, but I wouldn’t really recommend doing it in this tempo. It’s not that it takes up that much time in total, around 1.5 to 2 hours per day, but… doing it at high speed means constantly doing the reviews, especially the level-up items, as soon as they become available.

I wake up, do my lessons and reviews, during the day I keep track of when I have to do them and the last thing I do before going to sleep is my reviews. It’s not the total amount of time but doing it constantly, day in, day out, that makes it a bit tougher doing it in a faster tempo.

I didn’t plan on doing it in this tempo, but I noticed I can keep it up and decided to stick to it as long as I can manage. It benefits me so much, learning all the Kanji, that I just want to learn the rest as fast as I can.

If you stick to a 1.5 year or even a 2 year period, it will be much more relaxed and in the end you’ll probably remember things in the long run much better too.


2 ish hrs on WK alone. But you wouldn’t want to only do WK however, you’d want to match it with tons of immersion and grammar, as well as another SRS deck for vocab. It’s easily a full time job if you decide to go fast. You’ll have to count with 6hrs atleast per day. That is what people don’t really take into account, all the other stuff around it. Sure, you could go through WK fast only, but you’ll end up forgetting a ton when you get into immersion later, and immersion and WK won’t do you much good without a good amount of other vocab and grammar. I have 6 hrs a day, to spend on the language, and have for the past 1.5 years, but do you?

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Only on holidays, I fear. :'D I love grammar for some reason, so I’m far ahead in it. Speaking works well, too, but vocabulary not as much all of the time. And since my priority is face-to-face contact with natives, I guess you’re right and I should not be rushing it, even if that means finding a way to afford wanikani for more than one year. Thanks!


You might want to email them and see if you can arrange something. Doesn’t hurt to ask.

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Yeah, good idea!

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It depends a lot on the person. I consistently spent one week per level, and spent at most 45-60 minutes per day on WK (and note that it will take 6 months to reach the maximum workload because of the way SRS reviews build up over time). But I do my reviews pretty fast - if I don’t know the answer in ~10 seconds, I just guess something and move on.

If you already know roughly a third of the kanji, that will give you a big boost. You’ll probably want to use a script to make sure WK doesn’t mark you incorrect if you use a synonym it isn’t expecting.

FYI the $60 sale is around Christmas, not year-round.

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Oh, thanks a lot! I didn’t know the $60 sale is only around Christmas.

This is a lot for people with a full-time work which is hard to emulate for sure.


This is a great feat, that not users of this site may proclaim if not for studies outside of WK. You’re plenty diligent!

Honestly, you don’t need lifetime. The cheapest option is yearly and then adding some months on top of it as long as you feel you need.

For that, you do have to stay focused on progressing, for sure. But not mathematically so. Just set up a good, stable pace for yourself that you feel comfortably with.

But forcing this, I doubt will work. Either you want and am ready to learn at a fast pace, or you’re not. It’s not helpful long-term to force your language interest into a race for the sake of forced progressed. Not if you truly have progressed to a point to be able to move on in your learning.

So, just listen to yourself and try to figure out what a good pace is for your. Going fast, only comes from there. :eyes:


I’ll second this recommendation. I’ve reread that post dozens of times as I’ve gone through my WK journey and I’ve always found new insights.

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I’m currently going full speed, how much you spend on WaniKani is entirely up to how you decide to do your lessons. If you procrastinate and keep getting distracted in the middle of your reviews it’ll take longer of course, if you try and think long and hard about reviews you’re unsure of, then that’s more time spent, you have the option to just accept that you don’t know something and let yourself get it wrong. Personally, I procrastinate and think about my reviews sometimes, maybe like 2 or 3 hours for me.

You should also get the userscript that allows you to redo your answers if you get it wrong for a typo or something. Considering you have knowledge of Japanese, I do think it’s a good idea for you to get through WaniKani relatively quickly, once your kanji is up to par, you’ll benefit a lot more from reading and will be able to cement your kanji knowledge.

I can’t answer too much of the 2nd question since I’m not level 60 yet, but for my experience so far, it’s completely doable if you’re able to force yourself to do your daily lessons and reviews no matter what. I do my reviews throughout the day, you need to hit the current radicals and kanji when they come to achieve max speed, as for lessons, I do my important radicals and kanji when I have to, but aside from that I do my vocabulary and things that can be done a bit later at night time before I go to bed. I’m doing around 25 lessons a day, sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less.

I don’t know much of your elite course but sounds like a big and busy responsibility, things will likely get painful for you if you do it this way. But hey, if you have the will, you can do it. Personally, I stopped questioning my reasoning for doing this a long time ago, I find that helps, it’s just a part of my daily life, it’s a responsibility, view it as such and you won’t be thinking “Is it worth it?”

Ultimately, if you need to slow down, you should, you shouldn’t let it get in the way of your course, but you know how much you can handle more than anyone else, so do what you can.


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I used to do about 4 to 6 hours a day, but i’ve really been slacking, escpecially as I maxed out my freemium account

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Lately, when I have time, i’ve been doing renshuu.

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