How to climb out of a massive hole?

I’ve been studying WK since January, and stuck to my reviews religiously for a long time. You can read my progress diary here: My WaniKani Progress Diary - #19 by clickysteve

Unfortunately, as I realised that my reading comprehension was improving and my regular language skills with Japanese needed developed, I chose to focus more of my time learning grammar, and vocabulary with Kitsun. This latter part meant that I opted to focus solely on kanji within WaniKani, and I think that has probably tripped me up.

While everything was fine for a while, I ended up with a growing list of items that I had to get through every day, and I fell behind. I’m now at the stage where I have over 600 reviews, and no matter how many I go through in a day, I am getting so many wrong that the list just gets bigger and bigger.

I’m pretty de-motivated at this point, as I feel like I have kind of thrown away a lot of progress, and not sure how to get out of the hole. I used to enjoy WK, but the pile is just too big. I am sure that focussing on the kanji without doing all of the associated vocabulary has contributed to this issue, but err, there’s not much I can do about that now, and I feel like it was holding me back a bit as well, with a whole host of words that I was just learning for the sake of it, rather than because they were seemingly useful.

Any tips or strategies for working my way out of this? I don’t want to reset as that would feel like an ultimate defeat.


You can reset to a specific level, not just 1. Reset down 3 levels and then work through the rest of your queue, if that’s still not enough, cut down a few more until it’s comfortable.

Resetting down 3 will cut out most of your Apprentice / Guru items, but leave the Master+ in-tact. That should kick up your accuracy and hopefully give you an extra bit of motivation without hitting your progress too hard.


Recently I wrote a bit about what I did when I was in a situation just like yours, and I thought maybe it might help you a bit:


That’s something to consider, but the last few levels are some of the ones I remember the most, as I’ve focussed on them most recently. The real problem are the levels in the middle.

Hey man, if you think you have a lot of reviews piled up, I’m coming back today after I had to take a ~6-month break from Japanese (thanks to college) with more than 2100 reviews piled up haha kill me

But we can do this! Let’s get through this together by doing the same amount of reviews we did before per day normally, but without doing any lessons, until we have no more! 頑張りましょう!

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Well, your options are either, work through your entire review queue until you can get caught back up or reset. You said you don’t like the first, so that’s the other option. can help you make a more informed decision, but I would bet that the “levels in the middle” are probably 2-3 down.

A normal, healthy SRS looks like Apprentice < Guru < Master < Enlightened. If it doesn’t look like that, then it’s probably because your accuracy is very low, at which point you have the two options above to solve it.

I say this as someone who recently reset. The resulting pileup of Guru is going to hit me in the face in a week.


wahhhh 2100… That makes me feel somewhat better. I was at 700. I’ve chopped it down to 360, but there’s 450 in the apprentice section. puke

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you need to self study and use reorder to bring the level you just reviewd to the front of the review pile. There are scripts for self stufy or the item inspector with filters but you can just go to that level in WK and go through the items, or even use the stats page

if you are happy with just the meanings

click if you want the full WK page

then use reorder ultimate and bring the level you studied to the front

you should catch up that way and be able to go back to normal

otherwise your accuracy means you’ll not progress.

good luck!


What Wanikani really needs for situations like this is an option to reset items by SRS level (e.g., reset all Apprentice I items to unlearned, or reset all items Apprentice IV and below to unlearned). That way you could clean up the ones that you actually still know through normal reviewing, and bring the rest back in as normal lessons when the numbers are back down to manageable levels.


I didn’t know about - thanks for that! I’ll take a deeper dive and have a look.

My Apprentice levels are pretty atrocious at the moment…

Ah well, I was actually on level 39 before and decided to reset because I had almost 4000 reviews LOL

But at least that means I have no reviews on apprentice level and very few on guru. I think reseting 1 or 2 levels would prove really useful for you to get those apprentice reviews down.

That’s a great suggestion. I wish there was a way to review the items that are right on the edge of levelling up… as that would psychologically help by cutting down on the numbers. As in, to just work through a stack of reviews that are on Apprentice Level 4.

make use of the filters to only see the pesky app items

That defeats the purpose at that point, they are basically apprentice 1 at that point if that’s what you do. All that will achieve is you failing them a week later when your guru reviews come up.

Oh I didn’t know re-order could… reorder in that way!

Is there a way to focus only on those items that are about to level up? As in, go from Apprentice 4 to Guru I? I think that would also assist.

Forgive me, but where is that config found? :o

I’m not sure I follow. There a number at Apprentice 4 that I’ve worked through and gotten back up there, but finding them among the huge pile is proving difficult.

config is at the top of wkstats

i don’t know how to re-order by srs stage… if there’s way someone will know.

Ah, thank you!

The typical recommendation is Apprentice < 100 for moderate speed, or < 150 for a higher speed. 450 means you will have a constant review queue of that size to work through every day or so. And with half of them being Apprentice 1, you will be getting 200 items every 4 hours.

Again, I would just reset to whatever level cuts out the Apprentice 1/2 stuff, since even without those, it still leaves 170 Apprentice 3/4.