I’m a relatively new user. So far, at each session I tackle reviews first. But I’m never sure how often or when to add new lessons. Lately I do only reviews until I seem to be getting all of them right. This might take several days. Then I do a lesson which has five items. Then I do only reviews… etc. Is this the right approach?
@MaryH If you feel comfortable with it then stick with it there is no right or wrong way to do them. Now if you want to level up quicker then you might want to do lessons more frequently.
While going at your own pace is generally fine, going too slow can have negative side effects. For example, if you go too slowly, you’re less likely to review similar looking kanji and words in quick succession (because you’re more likely to burn earlier items before doing lessons for the new, similar items).
I’d recommend experimenting a bit. For example, try doing 5 lessons a day, unless you get overwhelmed by reviews. Another common approach is to keep your apprentice queue below a certain amount (e.g. 100 items) and to only do lessons if you are below that. In this case, I think striving for perfection will likely severely and negatively impact how much you can learn.
There’s also the approach of doing all your lessons and reviews every single day (even 2x a day). If you start off like this and stick with it, the review queue for a given sitting (assuming one in the morning and one in the evening) is generally pretty manageable (<100 reviews) and the lessons are also fairly manageable, even if you do get a heap of them on each level up.
Bear in mind things will ramp up in intensity as you go so you may need to adjust as you go along. Right now keeping the apprentice items between 120-130 is working well for me. I spent some time with higher levels than this but it got a bit frantic and my recall went to pot.
Basically I don’t do new lessons if I have. 125 or more items at apprentice lessons.
Do what works for you and be prepared to change as you go along.
I would also echo @seanblue and say go as fast as you can comfortably manage so you get the most from the reinforcement as you go up the levels.
What exactly is the apprentice queue? There is a row of colored boxes across the dashboard labeled Apprentice, Guru, Master, etc. Is that what you mean?
Thanks. You bring up issues I hadn’t considered.
That is correct. Items that are apprentice level are the ones that are reviewed most frequently so keeping them under control keeps the number of daily reviews under control.
For almost all of my time on WK, I kept to the rule of keeping my Apprentice pile around 100-120 items. This has the added benefit that your reviews are automatically spread in very manageable ways. My average reviews have been very steady around 150-200 a day, which I have found to be extemely manageable. I had to get used to it of course. When I first reached those numbers, it felt like a lot, but not anymore.
During the regular speed levels (a lot of the last 20 or so levels are fast levels) I did 24-30 lessons a day. This is also a number I built up to over time. I do one batch in the morning - often split up over 07:00 and 08:00, to also spread reviews out more. I do another batch at the end of the afternoon, at a time slot that I know I’ll hit the +4 hour review mark, and the +8 hour review mark then falls quite nicely within my early morning reviews.
One of the things that got me to speed up the amount of lessons I do was when I looked at my projected end date in wkstats. I’m on a year subscription and I will only be purchasing one more, so I needed to speed up from the 2024 projected end-date that I had when I did 5-10 lessons a day.
In short; get your footing with WK and kanji learning, and I think you’ll find yourself naturally able to increase the load over time. ^^
So far I found that learning ~12 kanji or ~30 vocab per day is my comfortable pace.
I adjust it depending on how much I already know or if vocab items are very similar (e.g. 右側、左側、西側、東側…).
And if I follow my 3 time a day review schedule then the review number is quite tolerable.
@MaryH I’d recommend finding a number of items you can memorize well and don’t go beyond that. But overtime you’ll start having an easier time learning new items because of the previously accumulated knowledge and experience.
Thanks for all of the replies. This has been very helpful.
If you have some Japanese under your belt already and can handle clearing out all new lessons at once in earlier levels, no reason not to do so.
At later levels though, regardless of your overall experience (unless most of the kanji and vocabulary truly are reviews for you), here is the best advice I ever got, and something I generally follow:
Keep your apprentice queue as close to 100 items as possible. (A little over or under is fine. This keeps your daily review load manageable while also maintaining a reasonable pace.) This means doing or holding off on new lessons accordingly.
Do no more than 30 lessons in one day. (This helps with retention. But if it’s mostly easy compound vocab, or you only need a few more to get all the new kanji for a level into rotation, it’s not a hard and fast rule.)