How to best use SRS?

Hello. I just realized that I’m not really sure how to work using SRS. All this time while waiting for my reviews, I would once again go over what I’ve “learned” before. Now that I think about it… it looks like I shouldn’t be doing it?

That made me think of something else. Recently I started studying with Anki, but what if in the deck that I am using, some vocab comes at a time that does not match with the time that I should be reviewing it according to the WaniKani algorithm? Will it undermine the progress on that vocab that I’ve made so far?

So far I didn’t notice such a thing but I am only at level 3 so there is not that much to remember. I worry that if I were to continue with my approach going to the higher levels it would have a negative effect.

Is it ok to study vocab and kanji with different methods at different times? Or is it better to stick to one resource? Even if I were to for example use only WaniKani for SRS - the vocab would for sure come up in books that I’m studying with.

English is not my first language so I feel like I need to give every single vocab more attention to make it stick in my memory for good. That’s why I would visit it outside of the designated time to read mnemonics and stuff like that.

I’m confused about how to proceed from now on.

Has anyone had similar concerns and/or can make it a bit clearer for me?


Generally speaking, it’s bad to purposefully study something shortly before it comes up for review, but it’s okay to naturally encounter it.

In the context of WaniKani, this means you should avoid specifically studying what you’ve learned at random points, as that would mess up the WaniKani algorithm. There are some exceptions though. It’s okay to study something extra right after lessons or right after reviews, as that’s the point you are furthest from your next review anyway. Many people do this to help reinforce what they just learned in lessons, or to reinforce items they just failed in the review session they just did. It’s also okay to drill items you’re really struggling with and are constantly getting wrong (called “leeches”), because sometimes you just need the extra reviews to nail it down.

It is different when you encounter a WaniKani item in other sources. The only way to completely avoid seeing something you’re studying in WaniKani is to only use WaniKani, and that would be a mistake. Seeing overlapping words in your grammar textbook or in a book you’re reading is normal, and will generally help you learn the words better.

I’d personally recommend avoiding more than one SRS, particularly at the beginning. You’re still at the early points in the WaniKani SRS, where the review load is lightest. You want to avoid getting overwhelmed while you’re still figuring out how to study in a way that works best for you. So for the time being, I’d recommend using WaniKani to learn kanji and vocab, and a grammar textbook to learn grammar and additional vocab. You can (and should) make adjustments as you go.

Best of luck in your studies!


If you want to do this in the future, see BishBashBosh: Cram Apprentice 1 items and recent failures.



You not only explained what I was confused with, but also answered some things that I wanted to ask, but didn’t quite know how to put into words.

Thank you very much.


I will be sure to check it out in the future - it does look very useful.

Thank you, as well.

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When I wake up I do anki cards in bed. After breakfast I do wanikani reviews. I study anything new in the morning and night time is for watching shows or extra things. I can’t concentrate very well after lunch.

@MegaZeroX has researched the scientific literature on studying outside the SRS intervals. They have found that the more you see an item the better the retention. So studying with Anki, Self Study Quiz etc outside of SRS intervals helps learning. The key is not to do it just before a review.


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