I just started Wanikani, and I was wondering how to effectively make use of its SRS system. I only have time between 5 PM and 11 PM, with fifteen minutes at most in the morning (7 AM). When should I use WaniKani in order to do the lessons and reviews at the optimal time?
The time when quick reviews are most important is on your very newest apprentice items. Looking at them before 24 hours has past is very important for retention.
If you always do new lessons at 5-5:30 pm, then you can do your first reviews at around 10:00 pm. (The first reviews are at 4 hours. ) That way, if you don’t get a chance to do reviews until the next day at 5:00 pm, at least you will have done one 4-hour review.
Also (and this starts to get a little advanced, but don’t worry, we will help), you can use a re-order script, so that when you do a 7:00 am session, you are only doing apprenice items (your newest items), because they are the ones that are dependent on short review times.
Also also … right now, I myself only do reviews once per day, in the morning. This slows me down, and hurts my retention of new material. I just live with it. If I am adding important new stuff, I write it in a notebook, and look at it after work, and write out some kanji. That gives me “almost” one extra review session in the day.
The real speed demons here are really dedicated about their four hour and eight hours reviews. It will slow you down to not be able to do them, but you can still keep a reasonable pace of 10 -14 days per level, if you want to, and if you have the time.
Also also also, take your time to find your pace. If you stop doing new material, your reviews will lower quickly. If you do all the new material right away, reviews accumulate quickly.
That sounds good to me. If you do for example 5 lessons at 6pm, those 5 items will reappear at 10pm (4-hour interval), and if you answer them correctly, they will appear again at 6am (8-hour interval). After that the intervals are 23 hours and 47 hours until they become guru’ed.
I’m going to advocate the following schedule, which is not what the others advocate, but whatever!
Before bed (any time after 9PM): lessons
Morning (7PM): reviews (the 4 hours review)
Late afternoon + evening (5-9PM): reviews (the 8 hours reviews + any 4h reviews that you failed in the morning + 24h reviews from the day before + 48h reviews from 2 days ago etc)
Before bed (any time after 9PM): reviews + lessons
This way most of your reviews will align with your late-afternoon/evening reviews, with the morning session containing almost only the lessons you did the night before + some stragglers. If you do your lessons in the afternoon like @plantron, @RoseWagsBlue and @Saruko suggested, most of your reviews will align to your morning review session.
First of all, thank you for the quick replies. I’m not sure if I need to tag someone in order to answer them, so excuse me if I’m doing something wrong here.
Seeing these replies, I think KoneKush’ approach is the best fit for my schedule. Because I really don’t want to rush my reviews in the morning. How long do you think the 7 AM review would take in the later levels? If possible, I would like to reach level 30 in a year, but I’ll have to rethink that if it would require a lot of time in the morning.
I read the majority of the FAQ and jprspereira’s Ultimate Guide (and I installed most of the userscripts he recommended). Maybe I’m a bit slow, but I still don’t really get the whole thing with “Apprentice, Guru, Master, Enlightened, and Burned”. But I reckon it’ll become clear to me before I reach level four (at which point I’ll have to decide whether WaniKani is the right tool for me).
Thank you all again for the replies, it’s really motivating to see such a welcoming community backing this tool.
Lesson: item is in a stage called Apprentice 1
(4 hour wait from the hour you did the lesson on before item is ready to be reviewed)
Review: if an item is answered correctly, it advances to the stage called Apprentice 2 (but if answered incorrectly, it stays in Apprentice 1 and you have to wait those 4 hours again)
(8 hour wait from the hour you did the review on)
Review: if an item is answered correctly, it advances to stage Apprentice 3. (if incorrectly, it’s demoted to Apprentice 1)
(24 hour wait from the hour you did the review on)
Review: if an item is answered correctly, it advances to stage Apprentice 4. (if incorrectly, it’s demoted to Apprentice 2 from the hour you did the review on)
(48 hour wait from the hour you did the review on)
Review: if an item is answered correctly, it advances to stage Guru 1 and related kanji/vocabulary items will be unlocked. (if answered incorrectly, it’s demoted to Apprentice 3)
(1 week wait from the hour you did the review on)
Review: if an item is answered correctly, it advances to stage Guru 2. (if incorrectly, it’s demoted to Apprentice 3)
(2 week wait from the hour you did the review on)
Review: if an item is answered correctly, it advances to stage Master. (if incorrectly, it’s demoted to Apprentice 4)
(1 month wait from the hour you did the review on)
Review: if an item is answered correctly, it advances to stage Enlightened. (if incorrectly, it’s demoted to Guru 1)
(4 month wait from the hour you did the review on)
Review: if an item is answered correctly, it advances to stage Burned, and exits the SRS cycle; you will not see it again unless you (manually) resurrect it, upon which it returns to stage Apprentice 1. (if answered incorrectly, it’s demoted to Guru 2)
Heads up: if you answer an item incorrectly more than once during a single review session, it will be demoted one step for as many times as you mistook it until it hits Apprentice 1.
In table form, assuming perfect accuracy (which is impossible to keep for all items):
1w 3d 9h
3w 3d 8h
7w 5d 7h
24w 6d 6h
The Apprentice and Guru stages tend to make up most of people’s workload, so most people limit their apprentice items to 120 or so and their Guru items to 500 or so.
To reach level 30, you’ll need to have done lessons for 4728 items. A year has 365 days. 4728/365 = ~13 lessons a day. Assuming 5 lessons per batch, I’d try to average something between 10-20 lessons per day (2-4 batches), with 4 batches whenever you have some extra time the next day, and 2 batches whenever you have a busy day the next day.
If you stick to the times I specified above, you should mostly only deal with your new items every day. In case you end up with more items in the morning than you’re comfortable with, I suggest not doing any new lessons one night, and the next day skipping the morning review. This should realign all your items from Apprentice 3 and above to show up in the evenings from then on (unless they drop back to App1 or App2). That night after skipping the morning reviews, you can do new lessons as usual.
WK reaches its max workload point about ~2-3 weeks after your first burnt item (6 months after starting WK), and then stays at the same workload assuming you do as many lessons. If you keep to ~15 lessons a day, and with a good accuracy of over 90% (which is hard to reach, especially on the higher levels), at the minimum you’ll end up with having to review at least 140-160 items a day. A lot of people decide it’s too much then, and reduce the amount of lessons they do (which affects how many Apprentice reviews they have to do, which reduces the workload within 3-7 days).
Welcome and good luck!!
ETA: re scripts:
I would not suggest using the scripts Override and Reorder, and from my conversations with @jprspereira I understand he’s thinking to phase them out of his guide due to the high potential of abusing them. If you really feel you need their functionality, these are the less abuse-prone and just-as-effective alternatives:
I really recommend the following script for better retention:
With these settings:
(Trying to catch your own mistake before looking at it has a lot of value for retention)
Thank you for the thorough reply, seeing these different SRS Levels really emphasises WaniKani’s focus on the long-term. As you suggested, I removed those two scripts (I’ll look into alternatives if I need them) and installed WaniKani Fast Abridged Wrong Answer.
I currently only have a few radicals to review, but I’m assuming it’ll become obvious how to choose my own workload once I actually start learning Kanji.
If you want some numbers regarding the workload, I’ve been keeping the same pace I had suggested (10-20 lessons a day) and keeping a (self-updating) spreadsheet that tracks what I’ve been doing/what I’ve left to do. These are my details for the past 5 weeks:
Lesson + initial 4h and 8h reviews
6/7pm Lessons (Do however many you can guarantee finish reviewing the next morning)
10/11pm (4hr lesson review)
7am (8hr morning review. Use Script to do the items you learnt the previous night first)
Subsequent reviews you will just need to chip away at when you have time. Reviews will pile up regardless when the items from previous levels starting coming back so dont worry about always clearing the stack. Imo learning the lessons well and hitting the 4h and 8h review are most important.
Reaching Level 30 in a year
As long as you stay on top of the radicals, you will be in control of your levelling speed. You can go at about 10 day levels and safely but I would advise to go as faster than that if you can for the 5-10 levels and slow down as you find a pace youre comfortable with.
The workload of WK ramps up, around level 8-10 you start to hit more “normal” workloads so it will provide a better gauge.
Thanks for the stats, those are very useful. Is there any reason in particular why you reset at level 20?
And people keep mentioning “choosing” a workload, but WaniKani has been stopping me from trying to do any more work (probably because of the whole SRS thingy). Is there anything special I need to do to speed it up?
Since you mentioned studying grammar, are there any other resources I can use that won’t conflict with WaniKani? For now, I’ve just been following Japanese from Zero’s video lessons.
I almost forgot to ask: how flexible are the study/review times for the weekend and such? I wake up way later during the weekends, and I’d rather not wake up at 7 AM just to do my reviews (though I would be willing to do so if it’s essential).
The only way you’ll interrupt the WK SRS is if you manually view items on WK right before they show up in reviews; seeing them elsewhere outside of WK or other SRS apps (in the wild, in textbooks, or in dictionaries) has no effect on the WK SRS.
While it’s recommended to do WK at least twice a day at intervals of 4 or 8 hours, it’s actually more than okay to do only one review session a day. The only downsides are that you might forget some items and have them demoted, and having to slog through a large amount of reviews before emptying your review queue.
However many times you do your reviews, try to reach 0 reviews at least once every day. Of course that sometimes you just can’t, but that should be your goal.
I felt like I’ve fallen off the wagon, and wanted to reconsolidate my knowledge before moving on. In hindsight, I probably should’ve reset to level 8 or 9 rather than 1 …
At the point where you are, not really. Once you level up, though, you’re going to be hit by over 50 new lessons. A lot of newbies do them as soon as they come in, but most WK veterans are actually against that. If you keep to the 10-20 lessons a day routine (when those lessons are available), you’ll still end up with a good pace.
Pacing on WK means controlling how many lessons you do (all at once? one batch every hour? 2 batches every hour? half of the waiting lessons?), and as a result how many daily reviews you can handle without feeling overwhelmed.
Personally I make sure I always have lessons available throughout the level so I don’t get flooded with new lessons upon levelling up by changing my lesson ordering settings to ‘Ascending then shuffled’ (this means I’ll finish the previous level’s vocabulary before starting on the current level’s) and using the Lesson Filter script I linked to above like this:
Per 2 batches of 5 lessons (10 lessons total):
if I have any radicals to do, I’ll choose to do lessons for 7 radicals, 1 kanji, and 2 vocabs (or however many I need in order to hit 10 lessons). This is a max of 14 radicals + 2 kanji a day.
if I have any kanji to do, I’ll do lessons for 3 kanji and 7 vocabs (or 2 kanji and 8 vocabs, depending on the ratio between them in available lessons). This is a max of 6 kanji a day.
if I only have vocab lessons to do, I’ll only do vocab without any filtering.
Since it’s the radicals and kanji that unlock other items, by spreading them (especially kanji) across the level, I end up with items unlocking practically every day – it’s rare that I have less than 30 lessons waiting for me.