I admit it: I abuse the Override script ("ignore" button)

I don’t try to answer the review first time - this is for when I know I’ve seen the answer but I can’t recall anything that seems right. So I skip the review and do some other reviews instead and come back to the reviews I skipped when it’s not holding anything else up.

And Ultimate Reorder already changes the review order so the order is already “messed with”.

i would instead just not worry too much about getting the review wrong, and type in an answer after a few seconds, even if you know the right answer is lurking somewhere in your mind.

If you can’t get the right answer after a few seconds, it’s not good enough for real life anyways (reading/listening), so you may as well review it a couple more times.
postponing the review slows down your (re-)learning process.

of course it’s easy to say you shouldn’t get frustrated, so if this spares you lots of frustration and a bad mood for other reviews, go ahead, doesn’t sound too bad.

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I do the same thing with Anki. Whenever a word comes up that I forgot, I go to another deck or sync to reshuffle the cards, because it is of course easier to answer reviews of words that you know, and it’s work to refamiliarize yourself with the meaning of a word you forgot. And then at the end, all the shaky words I review together (and mark them wrong), and then I put in more effort at once and really focus to review them.
It’s just a mental thing for me that makes reviewing more enjoyable, and I don’t see how it would be harmful. I don’t think it’s abuse since in the end you’re still doing your reviews, and that’s what counts, right?

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Honestly, the dumb thing is that they hide it on the item pages!! This script lets you add synonyms during lessons, though: [Userscript] WaniKani Lesson User Synonyms v2

P.S. Even in vanilla WK you can add synonyms during reviews (in the way the above script allows during lessons).


Sometimes I do that, but mostly when I can’t be bothered making the effort to remember anything and I’m putting it off instead of giving something its due struggle as required.

Also the other danger is that the correct answer is all but guaranteed to flash into my head half a second later once the pressure to remember is off. :slight_smile: The lag is still my memory working so I prefer to give my brain a fair chance rather than punishing it for performance issues that particular hour of the day.

That said, I do record my misses (with whatever I mistook them for), so perhaps I should take note of any struggles and lucky guesses too in order to strengthen those memories. Thanks for the idea!

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Here is my 1,314 word essay on the subject. :slightly_smiling_face: I would have cited my sources more than twice, but really, it’s mostly an exercise for my benefit.

Explaining SRS and it's core concepts.

With spaced repetition software (SRS), which WaniKani is a form of, we take advantage of a few things, but the main concepts here are: active recall, the spacing effect and desirable difficulty.

  • Active recall means that our memories are more efficiently consolidated in long-term memory by us recalling the information, as opposed to passive review which involves us being reminded of the information by reading or being told. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20804289]

  • The spacing effect shows that learning is more effective when study sessions are spaced out, rather than massed study (called “cramming”, also what most schools do in studying a new topic every day and never revisiting anything). Longer intervals have been shown to be better than short ones, probably due to increased difficulty.

  • Desirable difficulty shows that the more difficult it is a learning task is, the more effort required, the more beneficial it is to consolidating memory. Easy tasks could be said to give the illusion of learning, especially where it has been proven that the difficult way is better (re-reading notes is easier than using flash cards/SRS, and has been shown to be less effective), and so are a lesser use of time. Obviously, to be desirable it has to be complete-able. Therefore it makes sense to increase difficulty over time, rather than making 1 impossible task.

Combining these 3 things, we get the spaced repetition system (SRS), where we actively recall information over progressively longer intervals, thereby increasing the difficulty over time, consolidating the memory as much as possible. This is about as efficient as a fact-learning system as we can make with current research and technology.

There are other ways to improve learning, but they may be much more difficult to incorporate, and their benefits to memory consolidation may be tenuous, especially when we’re already improving efficiency with the above effects. This system is already pretty good, and still miles ahead of the typical educational system of “this is information, write it down 50 times, then we’ll review at the end of the year and assign your Human Worth Certifications”.

Forgetting an item, but advancing it anyway: bad.

If we cannot remember an item at a specific level, it is because the memory has not been consolidated to that level. Perhaps the interval was too long a jump (a 30 day interval to a 120 day interval is a big jump, 400% the previous interval). In any case, the item needs to be re-consolidated, by starting it again. (WaniKani only puts you back 2 levels, which isn’t very good. It makes it feel less punishing, but it’s actually cheating you out of rebuilding the memory and only saves 10% the time).

If we instead “redo” the item, putting in the answer we’ve just been told, we’re no longer using active recall, we’re being passively reminded and our memory will not be strengthened as well as it could. Not only that, but the difficulty was dropped to 0 by having the answer passively reviewed, weakening the improvement in memory we could have had further.

Example: let’s say we get Guru-2 correct. We have a memory-strength of 7 days. We wait 14 days. Then we get Master incorrect, but advance it anyway. The system now has our memory strength for that item down as Master, and will expect Master memory-strength (30 days, which we don’t have. We have a memory-strength of less than 14 days. Also, without the active recall and difficulty, our memory has had less strengthening).

So the link between the SRS and our actual memory has been broken. We’ll need to be very lucky to remember it next time (the evidence definitely suggests we won’t remember it next time), and if we continue to progress an item beyond it’s actual strength in our mind we’ll end up burning the item and we’ll never actually get it deep into long term memory.

Even if we don’t burn an item we obviously don’t know: allowing the item to continue is a waste of time. Because by restarting the memorisation process now, you get it out of the way, it’ll be done sooner. By delaying it until the next interval, you’ve added that interval’s time to the time taken to relearn the item.

Getting an item wrong, but advancing it anyway: very bad.

Basically the same as forgetting it, but much more insidious. Because we did use active recall, and the difficulty was there, the memory is strengthened a lot… except our answer was incorrect. We’re consolidating misinformation into our long-term memory.

It is therefore of dire importance that we re-consolidate the correct memory by starting it again. The incorrect memory needs to be overpowered by the correct memory, and the only way to be certain of that is to give the correct memory all the consolidation we can (by starting again).

Getting an item correct, but inputting it wrong, still advancing it: good.

Valid times to re-enter an answer: typos and knowing what you meant to put in. Because your memory’s consolidation has no basis on what your dyspraxic/arthritic/actually-rather-girthy hand sausages jammed into the keys. That’s a motor skills thing. It’s based on what your mind put out in response to the challenge.

For example: for 上る I put in “climb”, rather than “to climb”. I knew the climb that I meant was the actual act of climbing (like you do with a ladder or hill), and so the memory I was consolidating was a correct one when I re-entered it as “to climb”. You’ll have to forgive the simple example: Level 3 and all.

If we count ourselves as wrong when we are factually correct, by not using the ignore/retry/etc script at all, we’re just wasting time (although we aren’t damaging our learning system). The link between the SRS and our memory has been broken, but will become in sync again when the item rolls to where it was before.

Getting an item wrong and having to relearn it isn't a punishment.

It is simply what has to happen to ensure your memory of it is 1) correct and 2) consolidated as much as possible. The SRS doesn’t care how much you’re getting correct, it’s simply doing what it needs to achieve it’s goal: to consolidate these pieces of information into your long term memory.

To be fair, WK doesn’t make it easier to swallow by making the downgrade red, the colour that leaks out of the user’s wounds. It clearly communicates “you shouldn’t have done that”. When you should have. You should enter items you misremember as what you misremember them as. You should enter items you forgot with “forgot lol”. So the SRS can do it’s job well. So it can teach you the correct answers in the way that works.

Really, the optimal system wouldn’t tell you if you got it right or wrong immediately, as a lag on knowing if you’re correct is supposedly better for consolidation (from Wikipedia, no citation though). Just the list at the end would be better. Perhaps allow the user to look through the incorrect answers explicitly to check for typos, very clear that only typos should be corrected if the user wants to learn efficiently.


If I were abusing the ignore script, I would say uninstalling it and wasting time on typos would be a superior choice to continuing to abuse it.

Because counting typos as wrong wastes some time on a few items, but counting incorrect/forgotten answers as correct makes all the time spent on the item up until that point wasted. And continues to waste time on those items until the user realises that they need to start the item again. And if the user doesn’t realise this, then they’ll be mixing up words because they consolidated misinformation into their long-term memory (or not have the item enter long-term memory at all).


There was certainly some kek-worthy material in here, like that one guy getting salty for no reason.

Abuse is bad overall, I think pretty much everyone is in agreement here, but I don’t agree with not having it at all. The amount of times the script has saved me is a godsend for many many times I’ve typed たう instead of つ because either my phone keyboard is tiny or my fingers are fat as fuck. It’s a powerful tool when used how it was intended to be used.

At the end of the day, this isn’t like school where someone is grading you for these or holding your hand. Instead, everyone here is doing it for their own interests/goals. Basically, everyone is different and you hold yourself accountable and do what you think is best or most effective for yourself. If you cheated into Enlightenment and four months later, you can easily Burn that same item, then all the more power to you; clearly what you’re doing is working as intended and so just keep at it.


Is it though?



I know you are speaking of just basic fundamentals but this assumes we are doing SRS in box. Presumably we are (or should be) absorbing native content in our surrounding SRS sessions. Also noted is that SRS is completely out of context so we may fail Master/Enlightened items but in real world context, the meaning/reading may be just fine. I’m not saying to override this, it’s just a limitation of the system. We also know even burning an item the honest true way, without any outside exposure, has limitations as well. So what is encouraged is actually somewhat contradictory for spaced repetition for long-term memory testing…and I think that’s fine; SRS helps real-world and real-world helps SRS. This is only a tool for a higher purpose anyways.

I wish WK would have the self-study script as a native feature for leeches I struggle with and don’t frequent with outside studies. Right now, I exported my leeches into a separate SRS system so I can continue to get exposure (just a personal preference compared to self-study script). I don’t care that this or any outside exposure breaks the SRS cycle, I just want to learn it well.


Unlocking every level to use KaniWani is possibly a use for this. But then again you could just get an Anki deck. Or even grab all items via the api. Meh, I don’t get it.

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I end up using it too liberally from time to time, so what I did was to make it so that I literally can’t use it on burn items, so either way I will have to get the burn review correct on my own. Works just fine for me.


I agree that all this is SRS in a box, and that it therefore has limitations in it’s interactions with reality, and that can’t really be helped. (With the stipulation that while perfection is impossible to achieve, it is in attempting to achieve perfection that we manage get to “pretty good”). A lot of things are also not quantified, i.e. how much does spaced active recall vs spaced passive review help?

Thing is, OP didn’t display any understanding of the fundamentals SRS at all, never giving any hint that they understood why WK is the way it is in any of their posts. Then displayed doubt that changing the system (by counting incorrect answers as correct, regardless of context) could have any negative effect at all. If you don’t understand something’s fundamentals, of course you’ll feel whatever way about it that is most convenient to you and ignore all reason, because you haven’t been exposed to the underlying reason. I felt that explaining SRS would be constructive. There’s just no evidence that their method will do anything but hurt, with basically no gain (not having to spend 5 seconds for 6 days relearning something you were just given proof that you forgot?).

Part of the issue may be using WK when the user is clearly more advanced than WK’s target audience. At that time, the user is much better identifying their specific leeches and putting them into Anki or HouHou or any other system.

One thing about SRS being out of context, this study suggests that it may not matter:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20804289: “This finding indicates that the mnemonic benefits of test-enhanced learning are not limited to the retention of the specific response tested during initial learning but rather extend to the transfer of knowledge in a variety of contexts.” I believe that could mean that SRS usage through typing in would extend to aiding verbal usage. I think real world contexts are more difficult than SRS, and require quicker response, so it’s much more likely that we’ll fail in conversation than the SRS.

Unless you were referring to where WK is just flat out wrong, which is valid (though synonyms are addable). I have issues with words not having any of their nuance explained. 大いに and 中々 are entirely interchangeable according to WK. I’m reluctant to use WK because I feel it’ll teach me a very dumbed down version of Japanese, and I’ll have to relearn everything later. This is partially because it’s goal is to teach Kanji rather than Kanji and vocab, which it might as well do, but doesn’t.

I would also like to tweak some intervals: 14d>30d>120d feels bad. Less intervals reduces reviews, but that feels like such a jump. I’ve demonstrated that I forget basic concepts in that last 120d interval, such as the り exception for 一人 (and I felt like I’d never forget that. This also shows that feeling like you’re learning doesn’t mean you are, it’s impossible to gauge when you’ll forget something). So, I feel like a 60d interval in-between would be nice, even if it increases the amount of reviews.

Ideally, we would be able to set a different interval set for items we find difficult (marking them as leeches), it would take more overall reviews and work, but would offset deficiency in that item.
1d > 3d > 7d > 14d > 30d > 120d WK standard
1d > 2d > 4d > 7d > 12d > 21d > 37d > 65d > 114d for leeches, as an example

Sorry for the second essay. :slightly_smiling_face:


That’s going to be handy when I am advanced enough to start including synonyms for myself. At the moment my trust in WaniKani is absolute :stuck_out_tongue: Thank you.


I understand the basis behind SRS just fine. I’ve read plenty about it and have spent a good deal of time with Anki and other SRS like Memrise. I understand the theory behind SRS.

I am not counting incorrect answers as correct, as you stated. I am using the ignore button to give myself a second shot at typos (the vast majority of the time I use it), and giving myself a second chance to memorize any that I truly got wrong or didn’t rememeber. This simply makes it more enjoyable for me to do.

The point the other commenter made about this happening again the background of other exposure to Japanese is a good one. I’m going to be here to level 60 and am going to be enjoying reading and consuming Japanese content throughout that time and beyond (probably while you guys are still passing around studies to determine whether the ignore button could theoretically affect the outcome of your studies). This immersion enhances my learning here, and I think is a much bigger factor in my success than the ignore button.

Remember the that you don’t need WK. Many learners have become literate without it. It’s a great tool, but let it serve you - don’t serve it. If a script makes it better for you by making it more enjoyable without too much trade-off, go for it.


Thank you for the thoughtful response, happy to discuss. I think the study you referenced may exploit a weakness in JCAT which may be an indication of improving test performance rather said improved ability.

Productive input with something like KameSame is built more for this IMO. I’m taking new words into conversation from WK but there is that transitional zone from reading/listen towards writing/speaking for many other words.

An example of my reference, today I failed a burn for 撮る. I’ve seen and used it a bunch of times without issue but in isolated context I missed it. If I saw 写真を撮る, it’s no problem. So real-world ok, SRS failure. So unless I’m reading single word billboards, context can often save the day. But is it essential that I know a word or all words out of context? Yes and no I think. The opposite is also true, if I didn’t do SRS grinding I would be entirely loss since context also has limitations as well.

One thing I forgot to mention is time given per SRS item which is not talked about as much. I generally lose patience and don’t want to be doing an extended mnemonic song and dance to reach a correct answer. It’s also a failure for both real-world and testing condition so I’d rather get it wrong, refresh if I have rebuilt the radical knowledge (or not) and then move on.

Was it the vocab specifically? Ironically, the major of the system is vocab even as a kanji learning app but I’m supplementing outside vocab SRS and I believe many others do the same. But to say it’s dumbed down version of Japanese and would need to relearn it elsewhere, that sounds harsh. Despite all the beginners, a product of Tofugu marketing I suspect, I see a fair number of advanced users here and I don’t think anyone would stay if it wasn’t challenging or useful.


In your first post, you said if there were a script that simply shows the correct answer after getting it wrong, you’d use it. Which would be the same thing. Sorry if I’m misrepresenting your method, that’s how you represented it.

I don’t understand why accepting that you are incorrect, and putting in the work to sure up that memory is unenjoyable for you. Being marked wrong isn’t a punishment, it’s investing 30 seconds in exchange for making sure you don’t forget the memory.

You’ve said before that you put “extra effort” into learning the ones you need to try again, but downgrading the item is the extra effort, it causes you to review it more. If you’re not letting it downgrade, you are by definition not putting in more effort for that item.

My argument was that there is a trade off, you lose memory consolidation and gain mere seconds. SRS’s point is spending a little more time in exchange for a better memory. So there’s nothing to gain by not downgrading incorrect items.

Nice hyperbole. Good substitute for a logical argument, if you just want to belittle people you disagree with. Citing reputable sources gives an argument validity, even if you don’t think so. Spending time making sure the system is as functional as possible is better than using the system and then finding out, 3 years later, that it was less effective than you wanted because you didn’t do enough research. That’s why these studies matter. A “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure type” thing.

So you interpret WK telling you you’re wrong on an item and you believing it and acting on it’s advice as you “serving” WK. That it’s trying to establish dominance over you? Saying that we’re “serving” WK like a religion is another nice way to avoid having to come up with a logical argument as to why you aren’t reducing WK’s efficiency.

And don’t get me wrong, I don’t really care how you’re using WK or what you get out of it. I’m not trying to tell you what to do or belittle you. I just would like a logical argument as to why your way works, why it doesn’t reduce WK’s efficacy as a learning device. I would love to have less reviews to do and put in less work for the same result. So far you’ve given hypothetical anecdotes (“400 vs 700”), “feelings” of learning (which are illusions of learning, learning can’t be felt in real-time), and suggested WK is exerting control over us, which we must fight back against. Also I don’t want your support of this methodology to be heard by new users without them also hearing why it, most likely, according to evidence, is a bad idea.

Also: why pay for a system you want done differently? Why not just use Anki? You won’t even need to type with Anki. Just add new words you come across reading. No need to SRS words you know. It won’t tell you you’re wrong, you tell it how right you are.


Thank you for thoughtful responses as well. :slightly_smiling_face:

It didn’t use JCAT, it used “prose passages” without any other information on the items studied. It also had the final test a week later. To be fair, these things do exclude it from being fully relevant to our learning scenario: wanting to learn how to read/write/speak Japanese preferably for the remainder of our existence

I actually completely forgot that almost all vocab would have context, so for reading (and reading-only is a valid goal for a lot of Japanese learners) reality is almost always going to be easier than SRS.

That said, I think when synthesising writing or speech, we don’t have any context at all, because we’re creating, we have to put the context in there ourselves. In that case it’ll be more difficult in reality compared to SRS, so if we fail our SRS we likely won’t remember correctly it when trying to use it in a sentence. Also needing to recall that word fast enough to speak a comprehensible sentence is much less time than we have for SRS.

I think that’s a bit of hyperbole on my part as well. It’s just specific pieces of vocab that have given me that idea: 大いに and 中々 being fully interchangeable, 迚も not existing at all (although I guess it’s because it’s written as hiragana? I still need to learn とても, though! Not just choose 大いに or 中々 at random).

I can’t add words to WK, so I need another application for all these outliers, and oh frack I forgot to do Anki for another 2 months… it’s so much easier to have everything in one place.

There is also the issue of only 1 reading/meaning being required to be counted as correct, even if I need 2 or more readings/meanings to actually have sufficient knowledge of the kanji. WK also obscures on’yomi and kun’yomi, reducing my technical understanding of the item. I suppose I could make a script that requires all the items separated by spaces, but then the English synonyms would all need putting in, which is redundant.

Example: 左右: Left and Right, Both Ways, Influence, Control

Left and Right and Both Ways are the same, no need to put both of those in. Influence and Control are different enough that I want to be drilled on them, but WK only needs 1 put in when I want to learn all 3.

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I said, “If there were a script to automatically mark it “ignore” and display the correct answer when I get it wrong, I’d use it.” In other words, a script that automatically presses the ignore button for me so I don’t have to click it every time. I still get to review the answer and am required to input it in the correct answer when it comes around again in that session.

Sorry if I’m misrepresenting your method

No problem.

I don’t understand why accepting that you are incorrect, and putting in the work to sure up that memory is unenjoyable for you.

I’m not asking you to understand it. It’s just the way I prefer to do it - it’s more enjoyable to me. I’m not here to convince you to do things the way I prefer to, or to suggest that you would enjoy it more as well.

If you’re not letting it downgrade, you are by definition not putting in more effort for that item.

Surely you see the fallacy in what you just said. There is more than one way to put extra effort into something. I hope I don’t need to elaborate on this point.

So there’s nothing to gain by not downgrading incorrect items.

Yes there is, and I know that if you re-read the thread or just reconsider it, you’ll see that there is. Maybe there isn’t anything to gain for you, but people have different approaches and experiences.

That it’s trying to establish dominance over you?

You are reading waaay too much into this. I use a button sometimes. I am not suggesting it’s exerting control over you in any real way, so please chill out. I am suggesting that having flexibility when using some systems can sometimes serve them in a positive way (please understand that “serve you” here is not speaking of dominance and submission like you are suggesting).

Also: why pay for a system you want done differently? Why not just use Anki?

I like WK quite a lot, as I have explained before. The curriculum, the interface, the accessibility, the leveling, etc., etc. It’s a great resource. I don’t find Anki nearly as enjoyable.


I feel I am of the group who do not abuse it and only use it on typos, my last review section I just got 40 percent I will learn them eventually!


I use use override/ignore to get all current-level kanji to “Guru 1” so that I can level up as quickly as possible, because I am trying to get in the most Japanese that I can as quickly as I can. Once I pass a kanji block, I will stop using override on them and let them fall back down even to “Apprentice 1” if necessary, so I can be sure that I am learning it. I don’t use override for vocabulary.