How to improve review percent

Hey everyone! So, level one was nice and slow and easy, but then I get to level 2 and I’m suddenly bombarded with 50+ vocab words that uses kanji I’ve learned but has completely different readings and it’s hard to adjust. I’m currently at 25% retention rate, and that’s just from 4 hours ago.

Do any of you have any tips to remember these faster? It’s hard to think most people get 70%+ on this. I can’t imagine remembering so much so quickly.

I understand this as you’re having problems primarily with the vocab. Are you using the mnemonics? Do you have a firm grasp of Japanese phones? These are key to being able to remember the reading and meaning. If you don’t understand the sounds of Japanese and how they come together it’s going to be hard even with the mnemonics.

1 Like

A tip that I use is to not learn all of the new vocabulary at once. Take your time spacing out the lessons so you aren’t as bombarded with new words. Once you start getting your retention rate up and start to feel more comfortable, you can up the amount of words you learn in one session. My retention rate for level 2 was ~88% using that method, so I hope it helps!


I know all the kana, and I’m pretty use to the sound of Japanese, but it’s just the sheer amount. The mnemonics help, probably keeps me from being at a 10% retention rate. But there isn’t a mnemonic for everything (maybe half) and not all of them make any sense or are memorable. It’s just so hard to learn 50+ words then try to remember them all 4 hours later when I only went through them twice.

1 Like

As @JadedWillow said, don’t do all new lessons at once. It’s not such a big deal now, but when you get to the higher levels trying to do all the lessons as they appear will overwhelm you with reviews, so you should learn now to set a pace so as not to get snowed under.

1 Like

In my opinion it’s important to do lessons in smaller quantities and dedicate more time to learning and really getting a feel for the words during those lessons, rather than breezing through them so you can get through 50+ at once. Read the mnemonics again and again, listen to the reading multiple times, say it to yourself, etc. When you finish going through your lessons and reach “quiz time”, select the “I need more time” option, then click through the items and recite the reading and meaning to yourself until you can do it without hesitation. This should all aid in retention.


Try to visualize the mnemonics in your head. Don’t just read them but act them out as scenes in your imagination. Also, learn the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs if you haven’t already.


Thanks everyone! I got my retention up to 95%! Now maybe soon I’ll be able to understand what’s being said in my dreams that are completely in Japanese.


These japanese dream happen to me more often these day. Not even sure my brain know how to speak japenese. I’m sure he just spout random japanese word/sound to fool me.

1 Like

I think it’s best to try to not get discouraged. Whenever you get a new set of kanji, radicals, or vocab unlocked unless you already know them you will probably have a low score for a while. But by the end of that level you will find yourself scoring highly again. Just don’t feel bad if you get a low score, study and try to beat that score on the next review.

Just to give you a heads up about the retention thing, there’s an accuracy dip that happens every new level, particularly in the first couple of days, and especially in the first day. It’s totally normal to completely mess up your reviews the first time around. Speaking personally, I usually fluctuate between like 60% and 88%, depending on recently I’ve learned new words, and I am a follower of @SleepyOne and @JadedWillow’s method of not doing all the lessons at once, reading each item aloud several times (usually trying to match the intonation in the recording), and even reading the example sentences aloud.

Just remember, a review is a review, not a test– it’s there to help you repeat things you don’t know or remember well, not regurgitate what you already have down.


Because you’re just starting, this may not apply at this moment, but I’ve been using the following method that I’ve picked up on the forums and have found helpful:

  • Try to keep the number of Apprentice items at around 100 or less.
  • Try to keep the number of Guru items at around 500 or less.

The previous two keep the number of reviews under control as long as you do it regularly.

However, inevitably you will have a bad run and a lot downgrades which bring your numbers above the aforementioned levels. In this case, I still try to do 10 lessons a day. You will get hammered in the reviews in the short term, but eventually they will clear out and keeping some lessons going will keep the pipe full and things should return to normal. If you stop lessons completely, then once the large reviews clear, then you will have some slow days because the pipeline wasn’t full.

Hope this helps!

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.