How many hours/min before the next review can i study the stuff coming up?

So I get reviews many times a day that I never know when I can review my mistakes + study the kanji/vocab on my own. Cause I feel like learning to write the characters while a review is an hour or minutes away etc. means I won’t know whether Wanikani works for me or like I’m cheating myself.

How much time needs to be between a study session & an upcoming Review to see the full benefits of theWaniKani system?

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The system is set up, that you shouldn’t study in between. The review comes up just before you would forget it.
I don’t do anything in between (except I’m trying to do grammar).
Trust the Crabigator!


I’d say wait a couple months and then start practicing writing the characters you learned at the start. That’s what I’m planning at least. I’ll practice writing characters and vocab as I get them into mastered probably.

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I review mistakes and new lessons immediately after failing or learning. It’s worked well for me to do that.

Ahh, it’s that special time of the week again, where we answer a question about reviews from a new wanikanier.
I would say you wouldn’t necessarily need to study in between, except maybe from enlightened to Burned items. There is so much time in between that I’d at least look at the items ONCE halfway to Burned. Then again, I have yet to burn an item…

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What level are you on? How is possible not to Burn yet cause I just started level 2 & have 11 Burns already.

Doing so will undermine the whole concept of SRS learning. The point is to have a long gap where you do not study the items up for review, so that you will be tested on IF you have retained them long-term. If you do self-study, that breaks the SRS, which makes burning an item pointless as an indicator of if you’ve mastered an item.

There is no need to study anything on your own except for leeches. Let the SRS do the rest.


But when can I learn to write characters? I use Skitter to learn to write cause it has a built-in Wanikani deck.

I would do writing practice at the same time of lessons to make the most of the SRS system. That way you don’t disrupt the SRS needlessly. Writing isn’t really part of WK, so you’ll have to figure out a good way to strike a balance here on your own.

But in a sense, there is nothing wrong with practicing extra. That obviously helps. It’s just not time efficient compared to just doing the reviews when given to you from WK.

What I strongly advise against is doing any form of self-study for items in master and enlightened as that just breaks the SRS. It’s not great to do it in guru either. Apprentice matters less.


I know a lot of people are concerned about the sanctity of the SRS but… just do it whenever you feel like? Sure, don’t intentionally figure out what’s coming up for review soon and review all of those specifically, but I also really don’t think “accidentally” reviewing things is anything to stress about.

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Burning an item just takes time, and about 7 reviews per item. If you don’t do any new lessons you won’t progress, but if you are still reviewing the items you already learned, eventually they will reach burn stage after ~6 months.

Also, the point of the SRS is to let you learn a lot of items, while not reviewing them too often. The items you get right you don’t have to see again for a while, and the items you get wrong you’ll see more often, because that’s where you have trouble. It is an attempt to optimize your learning efficiency. But if you want to review more often, then that is up to you. Everyone has their own preferred way.

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The question of whether one should study outside of the SRS schedule arises often. @MegaZeroX has searched the scientific literature on this topic. They have found that the more often you see an item the better the retention. Sticking to the SRS intervals does not yield any particular benefit outside of minimizing the amount of work dedicated to studying. The key is not to do the extra studying just before the review is due.


my writing app & grammar app has srs too so it gets complicated cause i want to learn various areas of japanese but it does overlap with wanikani sometimes.

it takes 6 months to burn an item? strange i started officially doing lessons only this month but had signed up for an account last august…:thinking::face_with_head_bandage:

Waiting years to start handwriting seems a bit extreme, but I guess I’ll at least burn my items before writing anything then. I’ve just started so I’ve no idea how long it will take me to have a decent amount of vocab in the burnt category.

But thanks for the advice, I’ll try to follow it :grin:

It sounds a bit difficult to control how this works, so maybe just let them both do their respective SRS thingy. In the end, getting to use your Japanese in various ways is helpful to retain what you learn. So, doing more stuff is of course great. Unless it gets too much and stressful. But, only you know how much you feel you have time to do for your Japanese studies. Ganbatte! :slight_smile:

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Well, you’ve been reviewing your radicals all that time, just didn’t do your kanji lessons until about a month ago.

If one of your goals is to write Japanese fluently, just start whenever you feel like it. The sooner you start, the sooner you learn.


That’s not what my advise was about at all. You can certainly do handwriting if you want to.

My point was just that, you said you were planning on intentionally doing self-study when the SRS is in long-term wait for that final burn-review. That’s just undermining what that final review is about.

So, the time to do self-study is when items are in Apprentice. Not when you are just waiting for the final review. Then it’s better to just let them be. Or you won’t get to test if you have long-term retention.

I guess it was a misunderstanding but you specifically responded to me talking about practicing handwriting by saying that doing so would undermine the SRS…

I just said I was delaying handwriting practice until it was less likely that I would accidentally be practicing a character close to a review.