How should I manage my lessons?

Hello all! I’m still pretty new to this site (I am on lvl 2) and I just did 5 vocab lessons today because I was able to learn a lot of radicals and kanji from lvl 1 easily. But, I found out that 25 new vocab is tough to remember in a day so I’m thinking that I should lower it, but not sure how much.
Should I keep doing 5 lessons a day (assuming there are 5 new kanji/radicals/vocab per lesson) or should I lower it? Tell me your thoughts, I don’t want to overwork myself!


Hi, some guys would probably welcome you with great anime gif,
but I just drop the link for the guide here
it was written by an experienced user and had helped many people.
long post but worth the effort.
Have fun wanikaning.


I like to keep my Apprentice count around 70 to 100:


This helps keep me from having too many reviews in a day. (I usually have about 80 to 140 reviews per day.)

Check the review forecast as well to see if you have a deluge of reviews on the way before adding too many by doing more lessons!



The question you ask is one everyone doing Wanikani must face. The difficulty is that the rate at which someone should study the lessons varies wildly from a person to another. This makes it difficult to use other persons experience to determine our own conduct. Who will you use as a reference? I know someone who always binge all the available lessons in one go and never feel overwhelmed. Will you use her as a reference? This clearly doesn’t suit you. The only way to find your best number of lessons is trial an error. If you feel you should reduce because you can’t keep up then by all means reduce and see how it goes. If you are still overwhelmed reduce again. If you feel you can take more, augment it a bit. Eventually you will find the rate that makes you confortable. This is the only way you can answer your question.


It’s not entirely trial and error. There are ways to approximate workload and build a schedule off of that.

One such way I’ve described in a comment here: Level 4 advice - #39 by sclu1034.

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I would use the lower levels to play around with the amount of lessons and reviews you are comfortable with. If come the third review most of those vocab seem to have stuck, then they weren’t too much, but WK is accumulative. All the lessons you do today, will still be coming back for review in six months. Last night I was pretty tired, and wanted to be in bed by nine, but I had burn reviews from level 9 coming in, where I had apparently done a big batch of lessons. So I stayed up to do them. Now I usually limit myself to 20 new items per day, because I feel that us about what I can comfortably handle in the short term, and in the long term as well.


You don’t. Your lessons manage you.


Talking about people behind their backs! :eyes: :joy: Lol. Seriously though, I think you make some sound advice there. :+1:

@donovan_vg Don’t do what I do (all lessons at once). It all comes down to how much experience you already have of Japanese I feel. If you’ve been self-studying for years or taking Japanese classes, you can probably handle a quicker tempo. You might also not feel overwhelmed with a lot of new items, since it builds upon knowledge you already have in some form.

But, if WK is the first thing you’re learning: take your time to feel what tempo is right for you!

Like @prouleau suggested. Do some trial and error testing and see what suits your learning need and abilities. There is no wrong way to use WK.

I wish you good luck with your studies! :slight_smile:

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Honestly I feel like getting things wrong is ok. As long as you’re trying to build new connections when you get something wrong, you can just let the SRS do it’s job. Usually I find that I get vocab wrong when I forget the small details, or when I was too tired to digest the mnemonic when learning the item. I’m pretty new too, though, so I’m not too sure lol

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Vocab is often frustrating trial and error until it sticks. At least for me. It works just as well as superhuman accuracy.

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I am an example of busy person with a job and family trying to study Japanese. I found I set my new Kanji at 3, and only do new kanji every other day, sometimes less. I do my reviews everyday, but by not taking on too many new Kanji, it keeps the reviews and a lower number that I can deal with daily. I have been overloaded in the past. Do less, get less reviews. but will take much longer, but I am on the turtles path to win the race!


I stand by my comment.

These methods are about planning review workload. OP was talking about how many lessons they can handle with their ability to learn. This is a different thing. There is no way to plan for this.

The method you have linked to requires a target apprentice count. How do you choose the apprentice count that suits you? This requires trial and error.

In my opinion the question of “how many lessons can I handle?” is directly related to the current review workload. And so is the speed at which one can learn.
A lesson will be the same for any item, regardless of whether I’m having trouble with the item or not. But if an item sticks immediately, it’ll breeze through the reviews, whereas a troublesome item will generate two extra reviews every time a review is failed. And that effect will only be amplified for a person for whom WaniKani’s SRS intervals are too fast in general.

I do agree that some trial and error is required for someone to find their own pace. But just saying “It needs trial and error, figure it out yourself” doesn’t really help anyone. Users that have no experience with SRS won’t be able to properly judge or predict the effect of whatever change they make. And it takes weeks for a change to saturate the majority of SRS stages, so “wait and see” isn’t that great either.

I’ve offered a way where you only need to guess/estimate a single number and can approximate both your lesson count and the workload up to Burned from that. That number also happens to be displayed prominently on the dashboard, making it easy to compare and track.

OP did say that they struggle within the first day of learning specifically, but that doesn’t really change anything. The impact of failing an item early might be lower, but failing once or twice on day one still means it’ll stay in Apprentice a day longer, thereby directly affecting that number above.

You do need trial and error to find an Apprentice count that works for you, but I believe it’s a lot easier if you have a framework to go with than just saying “it’s different for everyone, no one can help you”.

This is where we disagree. If you have to do trial and error anyway you might as well do trial and error on the lesson count. Then the apprentice count and review workload will be automatically taken care of because the lesson count is under control. This is much simpler than your procedure.

If you and/or others think that, that’s perfectly fine. As I said in the beginning, my method is only one of multiple possible ways. But for me my method definitely works better than when I tried to get along just by adjusting lessons on the go and I’m happy to share it as an option for someone else.

However, my main point is still that I offer at least some level of predictability, whereas your advice merely states “Adjust the lesson count.”, which OP can figure out by themselves, I would think. It would have been helpful to add some points about what to look out for and what to expect from it.

From my experience it seems that doing 15 lessons a day (I do them twice: 10 in the morning and 5 in the evening) is a perfect number to never run out of available lessons. Since I started at level 7-8 in January there were only 12 days when I wasn’t able to do 15 and did 12-14 instead. Also, this pace makes you level up in approximately 9-11 days.
You can also try doing all the radicals in one day on the earlier levels where there are more than 15 of them.

This is not true. The target apprentice count is unknown. You can’t predict anything by your method without figuring out your apprentice target first.

To know what is the correct apprentice count you need to vary your number of lessons until you get an apprentice count that works out. In other words you need to find the correct number of lessons by trial an error. Once this is done you already know the correct number of lessons. There is no need to predict anything.

My main point was this is not possible. Individual circumstances vary too much.

I do them at once, even if they are 80. I remember 85/90% of the stuff the following day… if I have no time I split them in two days

I think you will have to find your pace, I’ve tried doing 20, 15,10,5 lessos per day and found out that 10 seems to be ideal for me, I don’t have a crazy good memorization skill So I still have to use the self-study 2-3 times a day to review previously failed reviews. If I’m constant I get 130 - 150 reviews per day if I skip a day it feels like a week and I easily get 200+ reviews :sweat_smile:

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