I usually try to do my items at 8 am, then do reviews at 1 pm and 9 pm, but I often get reviews wrong, so they get placed in the afternoon, and when I do them, they get pushed into the middle of the night. So I have to do them in the morning, and it builds up when I get a lot done, now, I almost always have 50 reviews to do every morning and it’s starting to overwhelm me with seemingly no viable solutions. Any tips for this?
My only advice would be to do fewer lessons (idk how many or how often you do them but reducing that will for sure reduce your review load). You could also change when you do your lessons? if you do your lessons in the evenings instead then you’ll get your first review for them in the morning, and if you mess up you’ll encounter them again in the afternoon instead? just a thought.
If 50 reviews are overwhelming for you, I think you’re simply going a bit too fast. When you know most of the reviews, you’ll blast through them but if you get most wrong or have to think a long time it becomes a struggle. Maybe lower the amount of new lessons you’re doing until you’ve memorized your current reviews a bit better?
After level 20 or so I started to use Anki mode, not having to type saves a lot of time. I wouldn’t recommend to do that in the early levels already, typing does help to memorize things better I think, but after a while things simply get a lot easier to memorize.
Solution: don’t wake up.
Do reviews in Anki mode. I have seen very little benefit to typing input as long as you’re really being honest in Anki mode.
How to do this:
- Easiest way is to do reviews through a mobile app that has the feature (on Android, Flaming Durtles is really great).
- Set reviews to back-to-back with reading first.
- When a review pops up, say the reading out loud, and then the meaning out loud.
- If you got either wrong, make sure you mark the item as wrong.
What a morbid take.
I do this with the Flaming Durtles all for the meaning part.
I also have it set up so that the pairs come together, reading first, so for example for 光年 I still have to type こうねん, but then I don’t habe to type Light-year, I just think it (or a synonym or the translation in my native language) and check yes or no.
So I agree with the other advice, you can make better for you with two things, slow down with the new lessons + use user scripts if you do your reviews on WKs website or tune the settings if it’s in an app.
Good luck, it takes some trial and error to get it to be what works for you!
It shouldn’t overwhelm you.
If you don’t know the answer, just mark it wrong and move on. It’ll come back later, and you can repeat ad infinitum. You’re not expected to memorize everything on the first try.
Oh another unpopular opinion:
In order to get passed the artifical content locking that WaniKani enforces I do, occasionally, cheat. In rare cases where I know I should mark a Kanji wrong but doing so will hold me back from leveling up, I mark it correct, expecting full well (and being ok with it) that I will fail it at the next review in a week. If I fail it, great! If I don’t great! The only winner or loser on this journey is you. So you can way being treated like a child by WK against being able to unlock material you are excited to learn. I choose to be treated like a child whe it won’t block my progress (which is why I use WK and not some other platform that basically lets you do whatever you want) because being treated like a child does provide some structure, which I find comforting.
You know, it takes time to learn what suites you best. I’m level 18 and I think during the last month I’ve finally started to understand what works for me best (granted, I did a break of half a year before that, but don’t look at that little detail, haha…)
So really, I think you just have to learn how you work best through trial and error, and don’t give up along the way! It’s all going to be worth it someday.
What I do: I try to keep my apprentice level items below 100. If I have more than 100 apprentice items, I just don’t do any new lessons that day and focus on getting my reviews right. Self-study is really great for that, it helps me maintain a score above 90% (most of the time) in reviews. Also, I do reviews a lot of times per day. I find that I work best when I don’t have 50 reviews at once. So really, I just go on WaniKani (or Flaming Durtles when I’m not home, which is a great alternative, if you ask me) like 10 times per day. And when I get an item wrong in a review, I check the memonics again during the review to make it stick better. That’s what works for me, really.
You just have to try a lot of stuff, see what works for you. If you already have a lot of reviews in the first few levels, the later levels will be hard to go through and you will most likely give up. So focus on trying different techniques for now and see what works for you. And keep in mind that it takes time to figure that out. Learning Kanji is a journey.
Hope that helped in some way.
Honestly this is just part of SRS. I remember getting so frustrated by missed answers coming back. I would recommend just continuing normally, and then doing leech reviews. 50 reviews is only about 1/3 of the size your daily reviews would reasonably climb to. You’ll get faster at doing reviews and develop skills to improve your percent correct. Pretty soon you’ll look back at a 50 question review session and think it’s a cinch.
Morbid Take sounds like an awesome death metal band.
Thank you for solving this issue, I would have never been able to fix this if it weren’t for you!
Thank you for recommending Flaming Durtles, it solves almost all of my grievances with standard WK and since I do most of my reviewing on my phone user scripts were impractical.
Regarding the general issue of SRS reviews being frustrating, I’d say the main issue with standard WK is that if you remember the word but make a silly mistake (like use a synonym not supported by WK, or not remember one of the silly names for a radical) it can set you back and prevent further progress. IMO this is a design error, but obviously the site’s creators disagree.
If however you make a bona fide mistake, then it’s just SRS doing its job. You’ll get to review this radical/kanji/word sooner until you actually memorize it. That’s a good thing, not a failure. If you managed to pass SRS with 100% success all the time, it’d mean that you’re wasting your time and are not being challenged enough.
Never lose track of the real objective: to learn Japanese. Not reach an arbitrary level in WK. As you progress with your rewiews the words you know best will come less and less often, and you’ll be able to focus on the words you struggle with and new vocab. This is an opportunity, not a punishment. You’ve identified a weakness in your knowledge and you get the opportunity to patch it up.
If you find that you always get a certain word wrong all the time and it just won’t stick (the infamous leeches) then make sure that you spend more time studying it while you review. Find new mnemonics, look up the kanji/word online, find example sentences, find related vocabulary etc…
I agree with the others on just doing less lessons. Just cause you have x lessons doesn’t mean you have to do them all at once. Also are you using the extra study feature? You before doing your reviews again you can just do recent lessons a few times and then your reviews so you get less wrong too.
What I’ve been doing right now to keep things manageable is to set a timer for how long I want to do WK, and then I only do new lessons if I finish all of my reviews before that time is up. For example, just now I did my reviews in about 11 minutes, and since I’m just doing 15 minutes, I had 4 minutes left so I did a batch of 10 lessons. Sometimes I’ll go over the 15 minutes when doing lessons, but with this set up I basically don’t spend more than 20 minutes at a time on WK, which is hard to get overwhelmed by. I’ll usually do another 15 minutes of reviews in the evening too, but I only do lessons earlier in the day, and often I won’t even bother timing the evening reviews since there aren’t usually that many unless I skipped a day or something. It can go faster or slower depending on how easy the reviews are. If I have a ton of apprentice items that I don’t know very well I’ll likely get them wrong and have to repeat them one or more times, or even just take longer to recall the meaning, and then I might not have time to do lessons after, or I might not even finish all the reviews. And if I skip a day, then I just focus on doing reviews until I get them back to under 15 minutes before I start doing lessons again.
It’s not the fastest way to do it, but I don’t have a whole lot of time right now, and I don’t want to spend all of my Japanese study time just on WK. And I like to remind myself that language learning is a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re getting overwhelmed, just slow down and pace yourself. As long as you keep coming back, you will reach the finish line eventually, but if you burn out and quit, then it doesn’t matter how fast you were able to go.