I’m a newbie, and I want to know what everyone else is doing to level up in the shortest amount of time? Do you do your lessons all at once? Do your reviews as they come up? Many thanks from a lowly level 6
It is pertinent to remember that you are doing Wanikani to learn, not to level up your Wanikani level. You will never be able to use your WK level to utilize Japanese material, but the contents you learn will be useful, if you learn them well.
With that said, doing radicals and kanji lessons before vocab lessons, and doing reviews as soon as they are available, will speed your levelling up. Be sure, more levelling does not equal more learning.
And just to mention, even if you get every review right, after a while you will be getting 8 times as many reviews per day as you are doing lessons. So even if you do just 10 lessons a day, you will end up with 80 reviews per day, and so on. When you know how many reviews you can handle, you can work out how many lessons to do
I actually didn’t know this. I’ve been doing twenty new items a day, and I think I should pump the breaks on that now since I was beginning to feel overwhelmed with reviews.
Don’t do it. Take your time and learn.
Make sure you eat 9 bowls of rice every day. It is crucial that you consume only 9 bowls. No more, no less. Also between the 6th and 7th bowl you need to make sure you repeat the phrase “これはペンです” 3 times. It’s okay if you don’t know the meaning, since it is a quite advanced phrase. Then, when you go to bed make sure you say “おやすみなさい、ごワニカニ様。漢字を下さい。”. Doing these things exactly as described should allow you to blaze through your reviews at lightning speed, with perfect 100%'s every time.
For real though, people have already given great advice and I have nothing to contribute here.
Great advice everyone, I was curious if I was doing anything wrong and if it’s possible to go faster while still actually learning. I do go at it at a comfortable pace…I did do 120 lessons in 2 days but somehow, I am able to retain them while i do reviews, just that I have around 140 come up each day which I actually enjoy doing especially when I get it right!
I will take note about doing the kaniji and radical lessons first! Somehow the vocab is the hard part for me to get down right.
I went at close to max speed and survived.
Go at whatever pace works for you. If that’s as fast as WK allows, I see no reason to discourage it.
some people do well limiting the number of new items they take on per day, others (like me!) do better with a large stack. usually i keep it to around 60 new items per day, but i’ve done as many as 150 lessons in one day in the past. my only ways i ‘game’ the system at all (and you should be very careful with how you go about this, if you do so at all!) are to use the reorder script to do ALL new Radicals at the very beginning of a level. i do all of them in a single burst, because they’re both not essential to Japanese fluency and because i want a chance to review them for longer before the associated kanji come up if i’m going to use them for my mnemonics. my order of operations goes like this:
- hit a new level
- use reorder to learn all newly unlocked mnemonics first & do all of those in one sitting to get them all in the apprentice queue
- do ALL vocabulary lessons (at whatever pace i feel comfortable with that week) before taking on ANY new kanji. this helps reinforce the kanji you learned in the last level! and the goal isn’t to “win” at WaniKani by speeding through the levels– the goal is to learn & retain the kanji and pick up new vocab!
- once all vocabulary lessons are cleared, clear all reviews in a given day before learning new kanji on that day. again, retention is king.
- learn all new kanji, usually in one sitting (again, personal preference). by this point, i should have gotten enough of my new radicals to Guru to unlock all the kanji for the level at once.
- review new kanji & vocab at whatever pace is comfortable, and if i get a few wrong, i don’t stress out about it slowing down my progression.
i typically do all of my reviews in large blocks at the beginning & end of each day because that works with my schedule. it’s good to identify what works well for your brain & your schedule, and you’ll be less stressed that way than if you’re trying to follow someone else’s path exactly. learning a language isn’t a race– it’s a long endurance marathon that lasts your whole life.
also, if you’re like me and you like to do all your vocabulary in big chunks, if you start to get overwhelmed, just don’t unlock any new kanji for a little bit while you catch up! keep an eye on the number of Apprentice items you have & check in with yourself frequently to see how you feel.
also! i made it to level 18, then burned out on WaniKani (because of reorder script abuse & trying to go as fast as possible) and reset to level 1 two months ago. i’ll be level 8 again tomorrow, and i’m shocked by how much i’ve retained. i think i touched on everything you asked in your OP, so i hope this long post was helpful in some way!
TL;DR, always focus on what you’re learning, how much you’re retaining, and how you’re feeling above all! it’s never a race!
i truly believe you can achieve your goal! 頑張ってね！
as others said, go at a pace comfortable for you, if you can go max speed, do it!
to go max speed, doing radicals immediately is a must. after that, as long as you do your kanjis before you guru your radicals, and then do your kanji lessons immediately, the rest of the lessons can be done at your leisure.
if you do all your lessons at once, your reviews come all at once, which early on might be manageable, but later could be overwhelming. what i ended up doing for the last half of wk is divided the total number of lessons in a level by 7 (which is almost the lowest number of days to level up) and doing that many lessons a day, while prioritizing radicals and kanji. this way you do your important lessons first, but keep a consistent stream of reviews
I’m a computer noob and I tried to see if this would be in the settings. How can I reorder items and learn the newly unlocked mnemonics first? Seems highly efficient to do this!
I wouldn’t do this just yet. You’re still lvl 1. There’s not much reordering needing to happen, if any at all.
I would suggest you to highly focus on learning how WaniKani itself works first. That will give you knowledge to make better decisions in the future. If you haven’t yet, read the FAQ and Guide. Around lvl 5 or 6, you can then start looking up for extra stuff like userscripts (things made by users to improve WK’s system)
Here’s how you get the reorder option:
Script: Wanikani Reorder Ultimate
Trying to think of something that hasn’t already been said. Hmm.
(1) It’s hard to time myself since I spread my reviews across the day, but those of us who go fast probably all spend a LOT of time on reviews every single day. Even if you’re good at not overthinking things and just zip through your reviews, you’ll probably need an hour a day by level 20 or so, more as you go along. And that’s just reviews. How fast you can go is strongly dependent on the amount of time you have.
(2) You won’t hit your peak reviews-per-day number until about 6 months in when you start getting your burn reviews. So keep in mind that your average daily review count will keep climbing until then.
(3) You can’t take a break. Ever. Slacking off on your reviews snowballs fast. Do your reviews when you’re sick. Do them when you’re on vacation. ALWAYS. DO. THEM. If you absolutely can’t finish your reviews at the end of the day, only put them off for one day. After two or three days, you’ll start getting overwhelmed by the build-up and lose motivation. If you know you’ll be unable to keep up for more than 2 or 3 days (maybe you’re out of town), use vacation mode (temporarily pauses WK). You’ll still forget things and temporarily add to your review pile, but at least you won’t have the snowball effect.
(4) I’m just guessing here, but probably most of us who go fast are also using things besides WK. That is, we’re reinforcing our WK items with reading Japanese or studying textbooks or whatever. Again, this is a time investment. I spend anywhere from 2-6 hours on Japanese every day. Seeing things in context will help you remember them much much better.
(5) Leeches will (eventually) be more of a problem with people who go fast. These are items that you get wrong over and over, so they clog up your review pile. I’m bad about dealing with these, personally, but there are ways to specifically target them.
(6) Use scripts wisely. Abuse of things like “ignore” scripts will lead to more problems down the road. For example, the reorder script is best used in a targeted fashion. E.g. you only have 15 minutes to do reviews during your lunch break, but you have a pile of 100 waiting. So you reorder to put your current level radicals and kanji up front and work on leveling, then save the rest for evening.
That’s all I can think of for the moment!
this is extremely good advice!! i made it to level 13 before i started monkeying with WaniKani with userscripts. it’s totally fine to go vanilla at first until you’re comfortable with the program!
Just today, I got back on WK and reset my account from level 58 all the way back to level 1. Why? Because I was one of those people who made leveling up as fast as possible a priority over everything, and made it to level up to level 58 in a year and 2 months. Sure, I did learn a lot of kanji and vocab in that period of time, but I didn’t take a break not even for a day. I was just that hung up on just leveling up to the point I would neglect to actually do some real reading and studying on how to use the words I’ve “learned”.
You shouldn’t be worrying about how fast you’re leveling up, but instead focus on if you’re actually learning the material and practice reading along with your WK studies.
Do things at your pace. Make time for reading and learning how to use the words in a sentence and or work on pronouncing them. Use them! Live the language! Make time for other things too! Don’t be a butthead like me who has to do this all over again just to learn how to use the vocab in action. I’m actually kind of excited to be doing this again to be honest. Tofugu can count on getting my $9/month again.
I know mostly all the radicals, vocab and kanji on here, but I don’t know how to use that vocab and that’s where WK will help me once again along with lots of reading. I’m going to take my time study WK’s vocab and as for kanji and radicals, I think I should be able to do them fairly quickly.
Thanks everyone, This is really helpful
Personally, I’m not worried about leveling up too fast but I was curious reading about scripts and it’s hard to wrap my head around them cause I’m still a computer noob. I just felt like I wasn’t using WK it’s full extent and figured there must be a way to study more efficiently. I got to Level 7 in three months but decided to reset to Level 1. As I was going through the lessons, I realized it’s better to create my own mnemonics and it’s helping me remembering those pesky vocabs and KANJI readings so Im going back to redo everything all over again!
Any links to free resources of furigana readers available on kindle? I love the Japanese graded readers that comes with audio but everything available comes in a hard copy form.
Many thanks for all the helpful responses
Depends how frustrated you get at failing reviews - you will personally absorb information at a certain rate so the review accuracy will go down as you try to remember more at once.
If you have an iron will just put everything on your plate and work through it. If you get easily discouraged by having to fail an item several times before it sticks even though your overall progress may be faster then limiting the intake of new items can improve morale due to higher accuracy even though your overall speed may be slower.
The SRS system doesn’t let you forget an item before it’s burned so the speed at which you intake new items is inconsequential to you eventually getting it through repetitive exposure.
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