How to avoid review heaviness?

I just got to level 2. Yippee! My brain really hurts, and can’t wait for some of this to come more naturally. I have read a lot of posts of people resetting or getting overwhelmed with the amount of reviews. I am kind of scared to start the 48 new lessons I have seen when I’m still grinding through the first level of content, and didn’t know if there was any wisdom and further advice on how to get the most out of this while managing a good pace?


To have less reviews per day you have to reduce the number of lessons you do per day. You can set yourself a maximum number of lessons per day and if you want even limit the maximum number of cards in apprentice status and stop doing lessons altogether when you go past that.


Limit the number of lessons you do each day. Also set a limit to the number of apprentice items you have.

Example: I only do 20 lessons a day. I also keep my apprentice atems at 100 or less. If the apprentice number is above 100 then I do not do any new lessons until that number drops.

Some people do more or less lessons a day. Reviews only come after you do a lesson. Limiting those you can control how many reviews you get per day.


Awesome, that makes sense to limit the number of lessons. I think what’s harder than waiting is restraint. I see the button, therefore I must click the button ha.

As for the the apprentice items … is setting that limit something you can control by force? Or are you just keeping an eye on that count, and making sure it doesn’t exceed that?

Thanks for your input!

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yesss it takes a while to balance out how many lessons to do daily to get the right number of reviews for you, but it’s important to remember that you can reduce your overall workload by reducing the number of lessons you are doing.

To my awareness, people just watcht their number of apprentice items and don’t do lessons if it exceeds/would exceed a certain amount.


You keep an eye on the number of apprentice and stop doing lessons when you are over that limit. The bulk of your reviews comes from apprentice items. If you limit the apprentice you indirectly control you many reviews you have scheduled.


The main problem is that the only way to know what is the ideal pace for you, is to know yourself and where you are in life.
I’m doing 250-350 reviews per day, takes like 3+ hours, and I 'm fine. Should I have listened to some of the advice given on the forum I would have been way way slower. But does that mean the advices are bad? No, it just depends where you are in life, what is your motivation, how much free time do you have, how much are you prepared to sacrifice.
I’m sitting at like 5-6 hours per day of Japanese right now, 3+ hours of wanikani+ bunpro… Then immersion reading and listening. But if I had a family or was in a good relationship, I would not consider that a viable or even smart choice. It’s all personal.

Just know that whatever is the speed that you choose, as you keep going, the burden of reviews will only increase with time all the way into the high level 20’s.


I guess the biggest wisdom I can give you is that you have to use this stuff elsewhere. Vocab/kanji stick a lot better if you’re using them for something. Find something that you can read. I know that’s probably going to be hard now, but it gets better. Don’t be demoralized when it’s hard. Exposure when you don’t have full understanding is still exposure; just keep chugging.
On that note, if you aren’t learning grammar yet, you should probably start. You can’t use much of any of this if you don’t know about the language in the first place.

But most importantly, always do your reviews, every day, no matter what, even on christmas. Or else koichi will find you.


Interesting. Assume I’m at the basics of basics. I know hiragana, katakana, and starting the crux of kanji and general vocabulary. Would you still start attempting to read something, and getting that exposure in now? Def not opposed, but just don’t want to get more demoralized than not! Ha. In reading, would it mainly just be to expose myself and practice just the reading itself, and not really worry about the translation?

Dang. I’ll be sure to do that … don’t want Koichi to come find me.

You might still be able to find something that you can read, the problem at that level is finding something to read that’s interesting. It might be worth looking at some of the free tadoku graded readers. If the lowest level is truly like a brick wall, then just wait a while and come back to it later when you know more. Reading is probably going to be a hurdle no matter when you start it.

I think you should still be trying to understand what you’re reading, but even if you try and don’t make it very far, you’re still working your brain a little bit. The important thing is to not get demoralized, and to keep trying, even when you don’t fully understand everything. You have to recognize that it’s going to be hard, and that’s okay.

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It’s not easy. Finding something interesting to read as a total beginner. You’ll want at least some basic grammar before attempting to read, really anything.

I personally started reading at around lvl 23, I believe my bunpro level was closing to N4 at that time.
But the thing is, if you take wanikani slowly, you will want to start immersing before lvl 23. Spending 6 or 9 months just on wanikani without any sort of reading seems like a bad idea to me : )

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Sounds good! Yeah, my internalized plan was kind of doing a max of 3 months just wanikani and maybe some other SRS decks for vocab. At the 3 month mark I was going to just start adding grammar into the study mix then, while hoping to maybe pick up some super basic things to read. I agree with you though, that it doesn’t seem ideal to wait too long on getting my hands dirty somewhere.

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I would kinda suggest moving the grammar part a lot further forward, personally. That’s a long time to be spending doing nothing but SRS reps…


i’d also recommend starting grammar immediately. the WK recommendation to only start grammar at level 10 is honestly just bad advice.


avoid lesson heaviness.

Limit your new words to what you feel comfortable with 10-15 is modest if you’re not doing learning elsewhere. But yeah that’ll be decent paced. 20+ will probably get you overwehlmed pretty quick.

You’ll probably have an easier time starting the reading part of things after you’ve gotten some grammar under your belt, so I would either start grammar earlier or push reading back a little bit, rather than starting them around the same time.

Personally, I use bunpro for grammar, because it’s a similar SRS system to wanikani and SRS is the best way I’ve found to keep myself on good study habits.

Also keep in mind, once you start reading/immersion, that you’ve playing a balancing act of picking something within your skill level (so that you’re not burning yourself out trying to translate something too hard) and something interesting enough that you can focus on it (graded readers vs Crystal Hunter vs regular shounen manga/anime vs Let’s Plays on youtube, etc).

If something doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to try a different method. There’s tons of advice on the forums, but you have to find the techniques and habits that work for your individual brain and life. That goes for speed, study habits, immersion type – everything, really.

And yeah, like everyone said: control of your reviews comes from control of your lessons. You’ll get a feel for what’s a comfortable number of reviews per day as you go. Personally, I stick to about 100 apprentice items at any one time.


Thanks everyone for replying and giving me advice! This has been extremely helpful! :slight_smile:

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You got this :+1:

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Start grammer now. I wish I had started earlier.

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