How to manage workload during Levels 6-10?

I don’t know that I understand what your method is at the moment, but if your schedule allows for it, shoot for the three review sessions a day and maybe like 50 reviews a session (not a crazy amount I don’t think) and that ought to knock your review count down, and once it feels manageable again start hitting a few lessons a day.

Or find your own system. But I think what tends to help is to just build yourself a routine that feels right and stick to it like glue. Once I found a routine that worked, I just kinda cruised through and it barely felt like effort really.


I think it would be a good idea to work out a schedule for doing your reviews and stick to it as much as possible if you haven’t already done that. You should only need to be doing reviews a 2-3 times a day. If you’re trying to go through WaniKani fast you can expect upwards of 100 reviews a day on average.

A schedule would look something like this.

8:00AM - do reviews and lessons
12:00PM - do reviews for new apprentice items from earlier lessons
8:00PM - do any remaining reviews

If a midday review time doesn’t work for you, this way could also work

6:00AM - do reviews
6:00PM - do lessons
10:00PM - do reviews

Setting up a schedule like this will make sure you are doing the first apprentice reviews as early as possible and help get the new items stuck in your head. I would also recommend spacing out lessons so you’re doing some every day. That way you don’t overwhelm your brain with new information on a single day and you spread the reviews out more through the week. Around 20 lessons a day would keep you near or at full speed.

Edit: Also if you haven’t yet read it. I recommend reading The Ultimate Guide for WK. You’ll find lots of useful information in it.


I think the fact that three of us said nearly the same thing at the same time is a sign of good advice.


The amount of people that don’t really know how the SRS works is almost scary. It’s like making things much harder that it needs to be.

8:00 Do lessons.
12:00 Lesson review 1.
20:00 Lesson review 2.
Next day:
20:00 Lesson review 3.

Hitting the 12 and 20:00 spots is important for remembering. So I’d recommend that you split it up throughout the day, atleast three times to hit them.


I don’t understand what you’re saying here. If you have 200 reviews then you are not “caught up”. Are you getting them down to zero and you have 200 items in queue, or do you have 200 reviews due?

Why would you get items wrong intentionally? This defeats the entire purpose of SRS. If you intentionally get items wrong they will be in your reviews more frequently. You need to input your answers honestly for the system to work.

If you start answering honestly and still find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of reviews you have, a good rule of thumb is to hold off on doing any lessons until your apprentice count is 100 or less. Having 100 or less items in apprentice means you will have in an around 100 reviews each day, which should only take you around 20 minutes to complete. Hope this helps.


Similar, except that I welcome the reviews. I’m planning on going to Japan in exchange for a year and Wanikani is one of the few things which I actually diligently study. Anki is kinda boring to me and I haven’t done it in a while, and I basically only do textbook work when I have lessons with my tutor. I wish there was Wanikani but for learning all the conjugations and other grammar related things.

My listening is very good for my respective level in all other areas, mostly because I’ve been listening to J-pop for a very long time, even during periods where I don’t watch much anime, so I have a lot of osmosis on that. As such, the vocabulary lessons are often quite trivial for me at my current level still and I use associated vocab to memorise kanji, as opposed to remembering through mnemonics. I also used to learn Chinese when I was a kid so I’m already unfairly familiar with Kanji than the average beginner.

  1. You have too many reviews, so stop doing lessons right now, you’ll make it to level 10 in no time, no need to rush.

  2. Don’t get things wrong on purpose that doesn’t really make sense

  3. Finish all your reviews everyday to 0. When you go to sleep that number should be at 0. You don’t need to do them in one sitting, chipping away at various points in the day is fine, but you need to work on getting a pace that works for you so you don’t have to do that anymore. Meaning, decrease the lessons you do daily so that way the reviews that come at a single time isn’t a high number that you can’t do it one sitting.

  4. You said 10-50 reviews a day is your limit. I’d say 5 lessons a day is probably what you need to do (When you have calmed down your review pile). I’d suggest building up your stamina for reviews though. Learning Japanese is definitely not a race, but if you’re only doing 10 of the reviews you have in a single day then you’ll be prone to forgetting the items that you’re leaving in the pile. It’ll be especially hard on new apprentice items that are important to review them at the first 2-3 times they show up.


I’ve mostly regulated this by keeping an eye on my total apprentice items.

I tried to have only about 100 apprentice items at a time. Doing WaniKani that way, at level 23 I have about 100-150 reviews a day on average.

I also try not to do all my reviews in one sitting. I’m not someone who wakes up in the middle of the night to do reviews right away, but I generally do reviews once when I wake up, once at lunch, and once sometime before bed. That way each individual session is usually only 30 reviews or so.

If my apprentice items are under 100, I add new lessons at the rate of 20 items per day. If my apprentice items are 90, I still do 20 new lessons (bumping the number of apprentice items to 110), and then just wait until they fall under 100 again before doing any new lessons.

When I fall out of this routine and I need to do a few hundred reviews at a time, I use an app called Juken to go through the reviews as fast as I can. It allows you to swipe left or right for answering whether or not you remembered an item, so as long as you’re honest, you can more quickly speed through the reviews.

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It’s been said before, but I’ll reiterate.

  • Your short term work load is determined by the number of Apprentice + Guru Items. Keep that number under 400 to have about 100 reviews a day.
  • How many lessons you do directly impacts your apprentice count. About 10/day is considered a moderate workload.
  • Doing 2 review sessions per day is the most time efficient. If you are consistent, all your reviews will popup at those times. To maximize your lesson potential, the two session should be 4 hours apart, and you do your lessons during that first session. i.e. 7am & 11am, or 6pm & 10pm.
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I’m on the cusp of level 6, so I guess I feel the same. I have slowed down a bit and now am closer to 12 days a level. Which I am ok with.

But as others said, I keep my reviews at zero everyday and if my my apprentice words are over 100 (really closer to 75) I don’t learn anything new. I have 50 lessons in queue right now!!

But, I was wondering about your mnemonics. And I’d like to hear from others.

I work more like,

‘skin - kawa’ and I picture someone (ok, a naked girl) going for a wash in the kar wash. So much skin!! Ooooo!

or ‘white - haku’ Haku, the herald angels sing!! And I picture some blazing white bright angel. haku

or ‘winter - fuyu’ (I recognize winter kanji by the two little bits) - Most people say FU YU! to one winter…let alone two! (though I love winter.)

The mnemonics you posted…I can’t even understand. I mean, I’d probably do
‘go kou - behind, later’ I’ll go do a kould poo out back later.

And then just realize that behind and back are similar enough and later and after are similar enough. Then get more nuanced meaning later if need be.

I’m beginning Japanese, so I don’t feel like I have to memorize every meaning, as I’m sure they will come up again; in wanikani, or other studies, or real life. Your way seems like a lot of extra work. That might be slowing you down.

Anyway, curious as to how others approach it.

When do you plan to take the N5?


how is your apprentice count?

I keep below 90 now, usually I have 100 lessons in stock.

As a complete aside - if you feel like you have a lot of items stuck in the first few apprentice levels that aren’t sticking, you might need to do some extra study of those items to help get them in your short term memory to move up. Something like the WK leech training script (which exposes you to items you repeatedly get wrong, along with similar, easily confused items - once between reviews), or bishbashbosh (a webapp that you can use to drill items you just got wrong, along with a few other options) might be helpful. Once the vocabulary initially sticks, it will probably move through your review queue a little bit better.

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i use this exact schedule at two points during the week. so on the weekend i wake up at 7 and do my lessons for the new level, then do the first set of reviews at 11 , then at 7 . then the next day i’ll do the reviews again at 6, just once in the day, then after two days i’ll reduce the pile of reviews in the morning and then guru the items i learnt earlier in the week (at 5 pm) and then i’ll also do the new lessons. and then i’ll follow the second schedule that you said (but one hour behind). this allows me to get time to do all reviews between school and other work, and i rarely get overwhelmed. also allows me to do a level a week, which is pace i’ve kept up for quite a while now .
and i didn’t explain it very well but the main point is that if you follow that above schedule you can easily stay on top of your reviews and progress quite quick. and you can also occasionally take a week break off lessons if you feel reviews are too high


You’ve had WK for almost two years and are on level 6? It’s certainly not a race, I’m far from a speed runner. But that pace would indicate you aren’t doing this correctly …

Looking at your example mnemonic, it feels like you’re making this awfully complicated. Just a suggestion, but knowing the 1-2 most common pronunciations & meanings might be enough. Personally I don’t worry about every last detail on the page, but rather what is most likely to be relevant / listed first in the description.


For the record, even if you have a 100% accuracy and don’t include the time for lessons, at 50 reviews a day, it will take almost 4 years to burn everything. If you are your lower end of 10, it will take 20 years.

You either have to spend more time or adjust your expectation of how fast you will finish.

Is this your only source of learning Japanese right now? If so, then, personally, I highly recommend stepping up the time spent, because WK is far from the only thing you need for Japanese.


That’s so helpful! I started with Wanikani once during highschool and now during winterbreak. I had no idea how to properly pace my reviews since I’ll be at my uni all day soon, the two schedule models you suggested will help me a lot T T


[quote=“GalaxyNova, post:16, topic:55589, full:true”]I wish there was Wanikani but for learning all the conjugations and other grammar related things.


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Try spreading your lessons. If you’re overwhelmed with reviews, then you should see that as a sign to decrease your lesson pace. Maybe even completely stop it for a week or two and slowly build up to the pace you’re most comfortable with.

There’s not really anything special about these levels on their own, it’s just that you’re at the point where you have to start managing a bigger workload than before. You might have gotten away with doing all the lessons at once in earlier levels, but that will become a pain in the ass later on.

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For me routine is essential.
If my reviews get too much I use wrap up, go and do something else and then come back to it. Chunks of 10 I can cope with.
I also stop doing lessons so I can concentrate on remembering what I have already seen so I am not confused with new items.
I find I can speed through radicals and kanji but take vocab very slowly

So much this…

I’m old. I need extra practice for my practice.