How to get back into WaniKani after time away


So I’ve logged in for the first time since September last year (though last year I think I logged in once, got overwhelmed and left again) just because I’ve been so busy. I started university in October studying Japanese and Global Politics, and on top of that I was working 40 hours a week, so I lost my way with WaniKani a long time ago!

But since I’m studying Japanese at uni, we’re being introduced to 5 kanji a week (I only have one lesson per week) and I wanted to get back into WK since when I was doing it everyday when I started I found it incredibly useful since we learn kanji alongside vocabulary and so the readings make sense.

But since it’s been so long, I have 552 reviews stacked up and it’s quite overwhelming since I’m pretty sure I won’t remember the readings to 90%+.

So I’m asking for advice here - has anyone been in this position and can let me know how they got back into it? or is it just worth resetting the entire thing?


Welcome back!

I’ve been in the same position. There was nothing else to do but learn how to pace yourself, make the mistakes, slowly bring your reviews down and let the SRS do the work for you. If you still feel overwhelmed and still want to continue to reset, do so. I’m sure the senpai here will have better advice on when to do that.

Good luck and keep us updated on your progress cause we’re all rooting for you!

Don’t even think about doing your lessons unless you zero out your reviews and are at an apprentice level that you’re comfortable with.

Resetting might also be a good idea if you stopped before the mnemonics/radical overhaul.


Thank you! And don’t worry, taking lessons until I was all caught up was something I did not even entertain the thought of

Oh, did they change all/most of the mnemonics?

Mhm, just checked when (December ‘18). At this point, resetting may not be a bad idea after all.


omg thank you for telling me that, you have saved me a lot of time being confused! I’ll reset today and get started properly tomorrow since tomorrow is a new month :blush:

Also, this is kind of topic, but do you also learn the stroke order at the same time of learning new kanji?


No, but I wish I had!

Although, you might want to learn the stroke order by joyo kanji order instead of WK order? That way, you can always access material made for ES students!

coughs うんこ漢字 coughs

I took the hit the other day and reset to 1 from level 17. I have to say, it wasn’t as demoralizing as I expected! I feel like anything you truly knew, it’ll go by quickly. Anything else was probably a leech item anyway and you’ll benefit from having the new mnemonics :grin:


This might be just my own opinion, but I never see the point of resetting. Like, you’re gonna end up in the same position anyways (especially on level freaking five). If you forgot the mnemonics, just read them again when you make a mistake, instead of resetting and doing the lessons again. Maybe the only reason for resetting might be if you feel like your motivation is gonna suffer less that way. Since motivation is important.
I wouldn’t even reset when I’m lvl60/all burned. Seems a better use of my time and money to just read native material and remind myself that way. If there’s something that I really need to drill into my brain again, I’d just add it to an Anki deck and drill it that way.

I think there are user scripts for stroke order, look around for them. Or just, like, have jisho open in the other tab.


That seems fair–I think I let my lifetime-sub-privilege cloud my judgement a bit. Of course, studying all comes down to preference and personal experience :slight_smile:


You do you. I feel the same way. If you feel like you wanna review the material again, then do it. It doesn’t hurt to learn things over.


I was in the same position beginning of July. Except for that I got stuck in Lvl 4 for several years. I just reset everything and started from Lvl one all over again. No big deal at Lvl 4 or 5. You will catch up in a month in very logical order.

Of course that’s only if you really think you don’t know 90%. Should you think that you can at least remember 60%, I would give it a try and do the reviews. Chances are high, that you might not remember (100% accurate) but that you can guess or have them right in the second run, as you will remember most of it after one error.

Yeah I think I’ll learn stroke order as I go along as I need to learn it for uni classes anyway and I think I’ll save some time in the long run! I picked up this kanji book from the library last week as my Japanese teacher recommended it as it has the history of the kanji in there which I really enjoyed from her lessons because it gave them a more a ‘3D feel’ to them rather than just lines for me, and I use Japanese dictionary app for the stroke order because the feature draws it line by line which is great!

That said, I also have this workbook because it’s the one we use for kanji in class

I’ll take a look at those workbooks too, thanks!

I agree in general, but it’s really tough to learn a leech if your review pile is so big that you can’t keep it cleared out so you hit the SRS at the proper intervals. I’d try to do the reviews first, but reset is an option.

1 Like

Ok great this is good to know haha, thank you! Here’s to our future consistent studying :pray:

1 Like

I have the second workbook!

I didn’t like it so much which is why I resorted to ES material. But yeah, if you will learn it in class then I’m sure you’ll have an easier time than me.

I thought this too but I feel like I’m past the point of saving it now :weary: I think, just say in theory, with consistent study I get back to level 5 in a month. Realistically, with 552 reviews it’s probably going to take me the same amount of time, if not longer to clear them all, but for me I think I’ll get really disheartened/frustrated with being wrong all the time. So I can either start from L1 in peace and quiet, or try and get through my reviews with the fear of looking at my review count! That’s how I’m seeing it at the moment, I think resetting would make it much more manageable


If it’s any consolation OP, I just reset my account about 2 days ago after finally coming back from a long time away. Back in 2016 I was roughly level 35 or so and doing fairly well. Then my wife and I had our first child in August of 2016 and I found that I just didn’t have the time to dedicate to studying Japanese.

Fast forward to today and I have two kids and have decided to give WK another go. It’s tough having been up in the mid-30s and resetting my account back to level 1 but I think it’s better than slogging through thousands of reviews that I’ve long-since forgotten. You’re not alone!


The workbook is ok, but in class we only use it to practice the stroke order and I haven’t really taken it further than that in my free time. I think since I started learning kanji with WK, it makes much more sense to me to practice readings alongside vocabulary since that makes more sense and from what I’ve seen the workbook doesn’t really incorporate that, but I was planning on going through the exercises so we’ll see!

Recently I got back into it and had a stack of 2000 reviews waiting for me lol. I just did a few hundred everyday until it was at a comfortable level to start doing lessons again


Ahh welcome back to you too and congrats for the family additions!

I think maybe the reluctancy to reset is just a pride thing, but I know it’s better for us in the long run and it can’t be helped when life gets in the way of things. Also sounds like there’s quite of few of us resetting at the same time which is a coincidence haha, but best of luck with your studies! We can do it!

1 Like