How to deal with 500 something reviews daily?

I really enjoy the system wanikani uses to help people learn kanji, but one of the downsides i’ve noticed is that it gets harder and harder to get through the review pile as It keeps increasing. I’ve gotten to the point were I dread having to go through all 500+ of my reviews each day. Anyone have any tips to try to make this manageable and less overwhelming?

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Stop doing lessons until your review pile gets under control. I’d suggest setting a target number of Apprentice items–100 is popular, I think; I use 150–and don’t do any lessons if you have more than that. Your Apprentice items are the largest part of your daily reviews, so by keeping them to a set number, you keep your daily reviews mostly the same.

500 is a crazy number of reviews. I usually have 175-200 per day, I think.


As @jaearess said, you should stop doing lessons until you get your apprentice pile under control. 353 apprentice items is way too many in my opinion. You should definitely pick a target number and try to keep it below that. What target number you pick will depend on what workload you’re comfortable with, but 150-200 is probably a good place to start (considering how many you have now) and then adjust from there.


Yeah, 500 is a lot. Figure out why it’s 500 a day.

  • Are you getting too many incorrect so they keep re-appearing?
  • Are you skipping days?
  • Are you doing every single lesson as soon as it’s available?
  • Are you skipping your 4 hour and 8 hour SRS intervals a lot?

There’s a lot of reasons why the reviews can get out of hand. Just figure out which one applies to you, and try to get it under control. At level 17, I think I had about 100 reviews in the morning, and then smaller batches of 20 to 40 at noon and afternoon (I almost never do evening reviews). It got a little bigger around level 25 or so when I started burning (or rather, failing to burn and putting more things in my review pile).

Anyway, don’t freak out. Likely this is something pretty fixable. Do the Toyota Five Whys, and you’ll probably fix it quickly.


Having started my journey back from 439 reviews, start on a Friday. Bang out the whole 500, it may take 6 hours. Over the weekend do the same each day. If it’s just inaction by Monday you’ll have dropped it to daily manageable levels. If you still have 500 daily items, then you’ll need to address why they aren’t getting remembered. I’m down to 200 daily reviews, 1 week after resuming (but I also added 153 lessons).

Ever since the start of WK, I’ve kept to the rule of my Apprentice count never exceeding 100-150 items. I’d say it works quite well.

38 out of 48 levels in 8 days or less, and the average daily reviews I have basically only ever between 150-250 a day. That has gone up a bit in fast levels, but looking at my review heatmap, I can see that this method means my average daily reviews is ~160, and I’ve never once had 300+ reviews show up in a day. It works great for me. :+1:


If you have an enormous amount of apprentice items, that’s a sign that you need to slow down. You’re not retaining enough of the current material to advance. You’re getting too many items wrong, and the system is trying to tell you that you need to focus your efforts on those problem areas. It’s only going to get worse if you don’t stop and take the time to get those apprentice items to guru+.

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