How to get the most out of wanikani

What does a productive Wani Kani day look like? How do I best progress and actually absorb the information? I want to move at a semi-fast past but if I actually miss out by doing that then I don’t want to do that. Can anyone give me helpful advice or direct me to a post that has good day-to-day advice?


Also a lighter take:

But basically, do a set number of lessons per day, all reviews, try to maintain a reasonable number of Apprentice and Guru items that fits your personal schedule and pace and… don’t burn out in the process :smiley:


Set a minimum/maximum amount of reviews you are able to do per day. I recommend minimum for a possible bad day, and maximum for a good day.

Try to keep your apprentices under 100 and your gurus manageable, even if it means leveling up slower. Consistent and controllable number of reviews > fast leveling

Always do your reviews! Prioritize finishing reviews over new lessons.

After that, I wouldn’t overthink it too much. If you want more practice, look at bishbashbosh or the self study quiz script to practice stuff, but its not needed.

Also: health and real life > WK. Dont feel pressured to do any of this if youre having issues irl, use the vacation option if you need.

No need to go fast, but this wont mean you go slow either. Its consistent and manageable


My two cents. Try to not go above a certain manageable amount in reviews. I don’t mean “don’t have 200 reviews”, I mean, try to do as many review sessions as possible and keep the number of items you review at a time below a threshold.

My threshold from experience is around 50 items. After that my concentration will break. If you go above your mental threshold for a certain time, just do some amount of it and go away for a bit and once the next hour rolls around, continue. So if your mental cap is 50 and you hit a review of 80, do around 40ish, then stop. This way you’ve broken up your review session and you won’t have this same issue later on.

Keeping your number of review sessions high makes sure you don’t ever walk into the wall of death,when you have 300+ reviews and doing even just 40 is demotivating, because it won’t go away.


For a time based version of the above try Pomodoro Technique - Wikipedia


My advice is, to write the Kanjis and vocabulary you learn on WK in parallel.

It is not much more effort, but in the end you can write as well and by writing you also reinforce the memorization necessary for doing WK.


One thing I think is critical that isn’t really mentioned yet is keeping a high correct percentage. Mines around 96% or something like that, which I attribute entirely to this method. The first time I tried WK a decade ago my accuracy was way lower and having so many leeches was demoralizing, but I admittedly didn’t put much effort into the initial learning and instead just assumed I’d pick it all up eventually through spaced repetition.

For lessons, take your time to read through the mnemonic a few times and really try to internalize it. After a while you get a pretty good sense of whether the mnemonic works for you, and if not, then you can likely grasp where it’s failing (this is often due to hinging on a specific word in the mnemonic that you won’t always recall). Do a quick read through the example sentences as well, then move to the next item. Once you finish item #2, try and recall #1 from memory, and scroll down to see the word/radical/kanji in the bottom nav and see if that’s enough to jog your memory. Repeat this for each new lesson in that set.

Once your lessons are done for the day, use the self-study script to immediately run through them one or two more times, just really quickly. If you get anything wrong here, then you probably need to come up with a new mnemonic. After I go to bed I try and recall the lessons I did that day from memory for like 5 mins before I fall asleep. I can usually only recall maybe 60% of them, but I think it helps.

After that, let the SRS intervals do their thing. For kanji and radical reviews, draw them out with your finger (I don’t use pen and paper, but go right ahead). For vocab reviews, first recall what each of the kanji mean. If you get anything wrong, try and think back on back on the failed items throughout the day if possible. I find that once I can recall leeches from memory a few times throughout the day after failing them, then they aren’t really a problem anymore.


The first post that @FirstMate-san shared has a ton of good information.

The main things I would recommend are:

  • keep your Apprentice items under 100. Adjust that figure up or down if you want to go faster or slow down.
  • Limit the number of lessons you do per day. Anywhere from 10-20 seems to work for most people.
  • Do 3 sessions per day and only do lessons during the morning session. That will allow you to catch the first two reviews at the 4 and 8 hour intervals.

I did all that and finished in a bit over 2 years while spending only an hour total on WK per day.


If you do lessons right before bed, you’re missing out on a very important part of the SRS.

But won’t you just go through the same sequence of stages the next morning? It seems functionally the same.


Doing reviews and lessons every day, then complain on the forums after (it seriously helps!).

Adjust according to your desired pace.


But you haven’t lost anything if you forget them overnight as long as you also do reviews throughout the day.

To think of it this way, imagine if you always did your lessons at night and always got all of them wrong in the morning. Then you do your reviews 4 hours later and get them right.

The time it takes you to get through the entire WaniKani course in this way would still be exactly the same as the “morning lesson person.” Even in the very worst case scenario where you never got any of your first step reviews right.

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But you won’t be worse off restarting the cycle in the morning than you are starting the cycle for the first time. You might remember some of the new kanji/lessons though and push them further along the SRS. Nothing lost, but maybe some gained.


I think it probably depends more on whether you’re a morning person or a night owl than anything else. Personally, it takes me a while to gain consciousness in the morning so I’ve found that my retention is pretty low for material I look at right when I wake up. :sweat_smile:

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It’s functionally the same but why would you do the extra work of doing lessons and then having to re-review the entire batch the next day?

Besides which, if you do 3 sessions a day, the bulk of your reviews should be during the evening session. Not much time for new lessons.

Same, but you get used to it. Alternatively you could do lessons in the afternoon and have most of your reviews fall on the morning session.

I have much more time in the evening, so it’s easier for me to have that be the bulk review session.


Because my memory doesn’t work as bad as the imaginary person in the example I made and I usually do remember any lessons I do before bed the next morning.

Idk, I kind of just do lessons at random whenever there’s room for more (apprentice count under 100). I also do more than 3 review sessions a day. I’m a simple girl, I see review notification, I do review.


I’m the opposite. lol

I can’t remember anything I learned the night before.

The things I came up with are what helped me finish WK, but you have to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t.

If that works for you, then that’s awesome. :smiley::+1:


I think it might be better to think about SRS as testing. It’s testing to see if you still remember it. The interval is based on the shortest amount of repetitions that it’s believed will prove that you have reliably committed a word/concept to memory.

Additionally, it’s totally fine to see a word/kanji outside of review and hopefully you will see more and more of the vocab/kanji you learn in native materials.

What I’m trying to say is that the “intended” interval is based on testing in a sort of vacuum and if you intend to use Japanese rather than doing WK for the sake of WK, that it’s better to go at your own pace and not try to “optimize” it because you’re not necessarily trying to memorize something in a vacuum.


Well, if you review a word every 5 minutes I think you’ll definitely remember it pretty well, you just won’t have time for much else beyond bathroom breaks.

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I think you might have a common misconception of what SRS is. SRS is meant to be the minimum effort way of learning something, not the way to get something deepest in your memory.

If you review something an inordinate number of times, that’s better for your long tern memory, it’s just not efficient at all.

This is basically why immersion is so good, you’re just reviewing words crazy numbers of times as they pop up.


Yeah, that’s what I was trying to say, although imo it’s more testing if you learned rather than a learning process itself, but I’m probably just being too stingy with my definition of learn here

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