How to build an efficient WaniKani schedule (level up as comfortable as possible): the guide

I agree and disagree with you. If WaniKani would force you even more into only doing so many lessons at a time, even more users would complain. Because there are those that would like to go even faster and those that feel overwhelmed and punished by getting even more lessons by having successful reviews. So it’s clear that Wanikani had to draw the line somewhere if they wanted a level based product. And I find it also fair that they aren’t as customizable as Anki, but rather have some very clear limits.
But I also don’t understand why they made the demotivating choice to only count Kanji as level relevant items. It’s just as you said; Vocab fills the majority of your time, but also gives the least gratification. It’s the Vocab that stresses your conscience by piling up while hindering you from leveling and therefore entices you to either do it all in one go or ignore it - both with unpleasant consequences.
Furthermore I agree that a bit more customization (instead of endless userscripts) and a bit more guidance really wouldn’t hurt. They tell you practically nothing about the mechanics of their website and how you should use them for your advantage and just a short article about recommended use and how certain rythms (many lessons, few lessons) work should be in the FAQ. They don’t even recommend you to try to get a new Lesson to App 3 in one day; those are all things where you have to make the connection for yourself.

So, while I disagree with some of your demands, just because they fall in the category of “there’ll always be someone who isn’t happy, you can’t serve a whole spectrum of demands”, you’ve talked about some things that properly irritate me as well and where I can’t comprehend the decisions of the staff.

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I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. As you’ve said, there’s very little handholding in wanikani, which they could do at the start for new users, and then take the trainer wheels off once you’re at level 4 and subscribed. It took me a whole week to try figure out the scheduling stuff, and even then I don’t know if I have it right, I need to level up a few levels still. This was time I could have spent on other things.

It’s all very good to have wanikani run of the optimal spacing of repetitions, but how many users are actually doing their reviews at these exact times on schedule? (To clarify, I understand how important the timings are and plan to stick to them as close as possible, hence why scheduling is so important).

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I just saw yours and we are the same! I also do 10 lessons a day and all radicals as soon as they open up. I do 4 kanji-6 vocab per day though, and then fill in with vocab the leftover kanji lessons (2 or 3 of 5), then 10 vocab while I guru the kanji. I level up roughly twice a month though, so a bit slower than your 12.

Like you, I found that with this pace, I am never blocked in kanji lessons while at the same time not being piled over by too many leftover vocab lessons waiting to be done.

All the best on your language journey fellow 10-lessons-a-day-WK-user!
:nerd_face::steam_locomotive:
keep chugging along!

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If you get vocab piling up. That’s on you. The system gives you lessions in the order of first level and after that type. Because you always unlock the last vocab on the previous level when you level up. The system except that you do them before you do the radicals. Only way to not follow that way is to use a script.

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I quite agree that, on lessons at least, there shouldn’t be an illustration implying you’re doing something wrong by not getting them down to zero immediately.

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I just wanna add that this “scheduling” thing people talk on the forums (doing WK at the same time every day, doing reviews 2/3x a day, not doing all lessons in one go, doing radicals/kanji first, etc) was not something that WK necessarily meant to develop. It was the community here that started trying to figure things out. When I joined in 2017, almost no one was talking about these things. This to say that I don’t blame Wanikani for not teaching them because it really wasn’t something they could predict to happen.

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I believe I have an old old old account somewhere with wanikani, if it hasn’t been deleted, because I’m almost certain I had a go at this many years back. But of course, if you don’t know about scheduling you either end up with all your reviews coming at once, or, what I think happened to me, having to check in once every hour, particularly without smartphones. For me this wasn’t a good fit with my life so I didn’t continue.

Anyway, long story short, I think they end up with customer churn if people don’t know about scheduling.

I guess I’m surprised wanikani didn’t consider it, because a big portion of wanikani is trying to optimize SRS timings, which you cant do well for months on end if reviews are coming in at 12, 1 and 2am.

Edit: anyway, I’m glad to be back now that there is a lot of community support around this, I’m finding it much more achievable.

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I do think they’ve considered it more recently, since they’ve implemented the Review Forecast. They also added the intervals of the 1-2 levels to the knowledge base. The idea of doing reviews 3 times/day only really got popular when I wrote my guide.

Tbh, the only thing WK really lacks related to new users is sort of a tour for beginners to explain things (it will work better than bumping it all in the knowledge base imo).

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agree :slight_smile:

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+1 for ~10 lessons per day.

Now that I’ve written up and shared my own schedule, it’s fascinating to see the other approaches people took to arrive at very similar solutions. Glad that the community is so open and supportive.

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What an honor to see you visit my thread! Just this morning I noticed your thread and had it open all day to read it in a quiet moment.

For me it is more important to have the exact same amount of lessons per day rather than days per level. The problem with that method though is that it requires an exact planning of the last 4 Kanji; meaning which ones they are going to be and when you’ll have to do them.

If you’re interested, here’s my level-up graph - in May I tried 10 lessons a day, after that I switched to a bit more than 15 in order to finish a level 1, 2 days earlier, once I got busier IRL (August) I settled for exactly 15 lessons every single day except for a few occasions where I miscalculated and didn’t have enough lessons or accidentaly did some too many the previous day:


Had I done 15 lessons every single day since the beginning, my level speed average would be at pretty much exactly 12 days.

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:raised_hands:

I thinks that’s great and I agree. First and most important is to establish a consistent daily habit around a pace that works. For most people this is the key. Simplest to pick a number of lessons per day and just do that.

After level 30, when I was trying to slow down, I had been playing around with the math when I noticed that I could line up the lessons per day with a 2 week schedule. Seems like a nice bonus that I could know that I would always start the level and finish the level on a predictable date. Not necessary at all, but quite convenient for scheduling.

  • 8415 total items (not including radicals)
    • Kanji + Vocaulary = 2055 + 6360 (counts at the time I looked them up)
    • Average of 140.25 items per level
  • 10 lessons per day → 14 days per level
    • Research shows that spacing out has better results for learning rate
    • What about 10 per day but don’t count radicals?
    • And do 15 per day when a level has more vocabulary
    • Huzzah! Let’s go for it
  • 12.5 lessons per day → 11 days per level
  • 15 lessons per day → 9.25 days per level

Here’s my chart so far:

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