Hi all. I started with WaniKani a couple of days ago, and just finished doing all of my first kanji lessons. The question I have to ask is: how many kanji do you learn at a time? Do you just do every lesson that’s available to you, or do you strictly limit yourself to say, 10 at a time?
I just listen to my body and brain. When I feel like doing more lessons, I’ll do it. And when I feel like I want to stop then I’ll stop.
In the first three or four levels I was so enthusiastic and impatient, I devoured all new lessons as they became available. Snowballing review loads have long cured me of that approach. Since I also learn vocab and grammar independently of WaniKani, using my own Anki deck, and try to keep up with KameSame, which also got quite out of hand for a while, I now strictly limit myself to 10 new lessons a day. I find that’s something I can keep up with permanently. Besides, fewer lessons per day gets me out of the frantic mode, allows me to concentrate better on memorizing those few, and thus improves retention and lessens the review load in the long run.
People will usually recommend keeping your apprentices under 100 as a general rule.
I do not do more than 7 kanji in a day ever I usually sick to about 14 items in a day here. I also don’t start Kanji on the weekends, I know better because of my routine, if I don’t get the 4 hour review in I’ll get stuck on them for awhile. I’ll do my reviews when I’m able on the weekends, and this keeps me in check on apprentice items and leeches as well.
I’m doing it slow, but I also had to reset after getting stuck on level 13. So, I am perfectly content to plug along at my pace and learn kanji. After all, I’ve learned…400 + Kanji which is WAY more than I knew when I started this. And Vocab! I’m not learning on any particular time frame (I’m taking the n4 in Dec, but…like I’m there on Wanikani in terms of Kanji, this isn’t for that).
I usually do all the lessons available to me, unless they’re either too much, or I have something else to do / am feeling lazy at the moment (which is fortunately rare when it comes to WaniKani).
I don’t mind getting things wrong later, so I just let the SRS work its magic, instead of making sure I remember every lesson 100% from the start.
Also sometimes if I see I only have 9 more lessons, I just do them if only for the satisfaction to see the big ol’ zero in my lessons pile
I usually do all the radicals and kanjis available that I have to do in order to advance. Meaning, when the level starts I do all radicals. The first three levels I start with the Kanjis of the new level (usually around 10 at a time) and try to finish the vocab from the previous level. After I guru the radicals, I do all Kanjis available again, and then for the rest of the level finish the vocab available. And sometimes I do 40 vocabs in one go, sometimes I do only 10. Really depends on time, my concentration, and the reviews that I still expect for the day. On a day with low reviews I will start many vocabs. If I except like 200 reviews already, I will not have many new lessons.
To summarize - I don’t do all new lessons at a time, but make it dependent on level advancement and mood/time available.
How many kanji you do at a time depends largely on what your goals are. Are you trying to go as fast as possible? are you going more for leveling up every 8 days? 10 days?
Check out the huge guide on this post: My Journey of 368 days (+ The Ultimate Guide for WK 📖 )
Particularly look at sections 4, 5 and 6, in which he talks about setting your schedule and finding a speed that works for you. He also discusses how leveling up works so that you can gain a better understanding of what things you need to do, and when to do them, in any given level.
Edit: as you get into later levels, your level ups will start to unlock 80+ lessons at a time, and it simply isn’t feasible to do 80 lessons in a day and actually learn something. So I would not recommend doing all your lessons as soon as they unlock. Even if you are only considering the Kanji, some levels will unlock 20+ kanji on level up, which is a lot to learn in one sitting.
I try to keep my apprentice count around ~125. Hard limit at 150. Sometimes 100 if I want to slow things down a bit.
One thing I recently realized only after literally years of using SRS every day is that the hard limit is not how many new items you can learn every day, but about the reviews you can handle. It sounds trivial, but for years I just limited the number of reviews daily (Anki does that), accumulating a huge backlog of undone reviews without really noticing. Of course, if you are unable to do all your reviews as they become available, you’re completely disabling the SRS algorithm …
I’m currently doing 10 WK lessons + 2 BunPro lessons daily, along with whatever’s unlocked on KaniWani. It feels fairly laid-back but I still progress at an ok speed, around 2 weeks per level.
At the early levels I had around a 8 days per level pace, but I personally can’t go at that speed when I study grammar because it completely saps my energy.
20 Every two days, ie; 20 one day and 0 the next.
I try to keep my apprentice items at around 50-70. I guess I could raise that number some, but suddenly I don’t have time to do my WK reviews for a couple of days, and then I don’t want to get overwhelmed. I try to do 10-15 lessons from time to time whenever the number of apprentice items fall below 50. I also do KaniWani and Duolingo, so if I max out WK and do KW and Duolingo at the same time, suddenly I have way too much to be able to grasp everything. Better to keep it slow but steady, in my opinion.
I do every kanji that’s available but I’ll slack on vocab words because the kanji is what determines how long you spend on a level. Typically this means I’ll do all radicals / kanji when I level up (just to be sure I get their timers started) and then not touch the vocab until the next day, and I might just take it slow (10 at a time or so) if I’m not really feeling it. The nice thing is that I think the kanji is actually pushed to the front of your lessons?
My routine right now is reviews + 10 lessons in the morning and reviews + 10 lessons in the evening which lets my apprentice count hover around 100. Of course sometimes life gets in the way or sometimes I do reviews during the day but generally that routine worked pretty well so far.
I have plenty of time to do lessons and reviews because I only work half time but still I prefer to not do all the lessons at once, I usually do all the radical in one go, then the kanji once I reviewed the radical once and then the vocab when I reviewed the kanji once or later if I feel like it.
It’s not the most efficient way but it gives me a good spread of reviews that I can do easily through multiple connections of 10-15 min around the day.
If you group everything then you get the reviews by batches of 100 and it’s tought, you need more time and concentration and it feels more like a chore.
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