How to go about learning in Wanikani?

Normally, I more often do reviews than learning new Kanji. As a result, I am slow on levelling up, but have a high percentage of enlightened and burned Kanji (almost 85%)
Is this a good method? I am trying to understand which is the best method. 40-50% enlightened and burned and faster level ups or 80-90% enlightened and burned and slower level ups?
Thank you for your kind inputs.

I did new lessons every day. Around 10 at the start, 20+ near the end.

I personally don’t think WK intends for you to get a high perentage of items to Englightened or Burn before continuing with lessons.

If I would have done it that way, it would have taken me very many years to finish WK. I would then also have forgotten a vast majority of Burn items due to not progressing fast enough. Even things at Burn will be forgotten if not used.

You need a certain amount of kanji knowledge to start reading, and reading is necessary to retain items. WK assumes you are also doing grammar study, and around level 20 at the latest is when WK advises to read as much as possible, to make sure items aren’t forgotten due to lack of use.

Slow level-ups aren’t bad, but it wasn’t until the level 20s that my kanji knowledge was at a point of putting reading into practice with more ease. If you can use your kanji knowledge, it’ll stick. But if it had taken me 1 or 2+ years to get to level 20 without being able to actively read, I would have forgotten all my Burn items already, and my WK efforts would have been wasted.

I personally think it’s important to find a balance between the maximum speed that you can reasonably sustain, and progress that is quick enough in order to begin using kanji before you start forgetting all the things you learned.


Ultimately it’s up to you to decide what pace you’re comfortable with… but to be honest, I don’t think focusing on a high enlightened or burned percentage is a good approach. I suspect it would literally take well over a decade to get through the course content if you’re waiting the months and months it takes to burn every batch of new material before moving on.

I think it’s good to find a workload that challenges you but is manageable, and Apprentice count is a good indication of that. At least 50, probably closer to 100, and less than 150.

I take on new lessons as soon as they’re available - provided it’s under my Apprentice count limit - and it will still be more reviews on any given day than new cards.


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