I am now a premium member!

I just became a premium member! I am excited and I can’t wait to learn more Japanese! I do have a couple questions however:

  • How hard will it get in the later levels?
  • How many reviews will I get in the later levels?
  • How well will I be able to read Japanese once I am done?
  • How many lessons should I tackle at once?
  1. Never gets hard, just time consuming. Depends on time really, not talent or memory. Also need routines.
  2. Depends on how many lessons you do, but if you do them all as soon as they pop up (full speed) 450 ish per day, will take about 1.5h if you type and recall fast, 2h if you do it slow.
  3. You will be able to read most stuff, but you also need immersion and you will learn alot from there. There are some archaic and weird kanji combinations sometimes though that you will struggle with. Hard to gauge, you would be satisfied though.
  4. Depends on you. Start slowly with like 5 lessons a day and do the reviews as many times as possible per day, but atleast three times per day when you have new lessons.

Start slowly and work your way up. Don’t quit ever, just dial back the amount of new lessons you do and dial it back up again when you have the desire to.


To add on to this, if you stop right after hitting level 60, you’ll forget some of the later kanji pretty soon. You should definitely spend most of your time on reading at that point, but a bit of review can go a long way

  • How hard will it get is summarized well in this thread… especially the points that over the two year minimum (a WaniKani construct) your situation is likely to change.
    WaniKani difficulty curve - #3 by Aralakh
  • How many reviews in later levels depends on how fast you run through things. I find that for me 10 new items a day fits with my setup. That leaves me ~125 reviews a day. Until level ~10 I was doing 20 new items a day, daily reviews were more like 175.
  • I can’t answer this, but because of WK’s goal (teach kanji) they even use it for words that are usually written in Kana. This is boon when you study else where and see where the kana word meaning came from. But it can also be a bit confusing. Also all the grammar points are in hiragana, which means WK isn’t covering them.
  • Lessons per day is a personal choice. But I would recommend the hint about the learning that WK provides a 4hr, 8hr, 1d learning cycle. So that trying to setup a routine that hits the new lesson reviews is worthwhile.

Bear in mind that WK teaches you only one and a half parts of what you need to read: kanji, and vocab only where it helps in learning kanji; so you also need grammar, and a lot of common vocab that’s not in WK (because it’s hiragana-only or just because WK didn’t need it as part of its lessons), and practice in the skill of reading comprehension. Conversely, you don’t need to finish all 60 levels of WK to be able to start reading…


\textcolor{pink}{\huge \textsf{WELCOME! ^-^}}

welcome gif - crabigator

Take the time to check out the FAQ and GUIDE if you haven’t already.

There’s also a lot of good stuff on the forum to help you, like:

The Ultimate Guide for WK
The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resource List
The New and Improved List of API and Third-Party Apps

I hope your Japanese learning journey goes well and that you enjoy your time with us on the forums.

  1. Difficulty is mixed, but not exactly harder. Memory is a complex thing; if you can immerse in native contents, you might not even need to try to remember, as you already just knew it before.
  2. The number of reviews per day depends your speed. If you go fast, it would come up a lot a few months later (like Level 20+).
    • Nonetheless, it’s never a requirement to finish reviews. Personally, I recommend doing a sizable amount of reviews everyday, but not too small, like at least 50-100.
    • Reordering, including native Settings, can optimize this further. But maybe you don’t need it if you aren’t in a hurry.
    • Similarly, Lessons don’t need to be done immediately. Also, can be done in a very small number, like 5.
    • Anyway, there is no need to push yourself towards 0/0. Though, reaching there might not be a bad idea. (Because you finished well what Wanikani wants to teach.)
    • Vocabularies are very important for learning Kanji.
  3. Nothing stops you from reading, as long as you are willing to look up. Nonetheless, some grammar and some vocabularies might be difficult to find in a dictionary. Also, consider that picking out vocabularies from sentences is yet another unique problem. Grammar patterns up to N4 might help get started with reading. Also some colloquial patterns.
    • If you remember vocabularies, you would eventually look up less and less; and knowing about Kanji might help with that. Or maybe you don’t look up at all, just guess and bare with the context.
    • Percentage of known Kanji is in wkstats. Native Japanese supposed know a little more than Joyo Kanji. However, be aware that even Kanji completely learnt in Wanikani might not yet be “known” enough.


I can answer those questions based on how I used to do things, i once hit level 60

Every single level here follows the same formula, you first learn radicals to learn kanji to learn vocabulary, this usually happens in two batches, once you level up you’ll have to deal with radicals and a first batch of kanji, then after guruing them you get the second batch of kanji (and the related vocabulary)

“fast” levels happen when there are so few radicals to learn you can basically unlock all the 90% kanji needed to go on in the first batch.

So, what makes things hard comes from outside, that is, if you only use wk to learn Japanese sooner or later you’ll hit a wall because it’s not enough to recall the insane amount of elements. that can be demoralizing at later levels because instead of burning items, they fall back again and again, not leaving your ever-increasing pile of reviews.

Look up the additional resources and the user scripts thread, and properly make a plan for your studies.

going fast, the average is 400-500 reviews per day.

Fairly well

But, this also depends on how diligently you studied with other resources, and when you call quits from here. It’s usual for people to get to level 60 and go to sleep, you still have tons of items to burn you know? It makes a difference between just hitting level 60 and positively burning those items

I believe someone at kitsun.io made an “infinity” set for levels 61-70 I never checked it out myself, but to keep going forward and keep practicing, immerse yourself and so on after hitting level 60 it’s something I believe it’s not talked about enough here, and it should.

As much as you are comfortable with. Normal pace is about 2 years, fastest possible is just a bit under a year


I noticed the higher levels so have more complex looking kanji and the workload can go up so how hard something is depends on how fast you are going through the reviews. How many reviews you get will depend if for you going through all lessons as you get them then the review count is going to be higher. In my opinion it’s better to take things into bite size pieces. Unfortunately WK doesn’t teach grammar so you are going to need to use a different resource for grammar such as MaruMori. How many lessons you tackle per day is going to depend on how you feel. So if you are feeling overwhelmed then you know you need to back off and do less lessons.

Immersion is going to be very important in aiding you with solidifying what you are learning to your long term memory on top of the SRS. Game Gengo is a youtuber who goes over Japanese vocabulary and grammar from video games. Crystal Hunters is a manga that teaches Japanese and their free guides teaches vocabulary and grammar. Immersion kit website you can type in the word you are learning and see it in context in anime. Just anything you can do to immerse yourself is going to be very helpful.


Dude dame let’s gooo

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You really shouldn’t wait until level 60 to start studying grammar and reading real Japanese. If you do you’ll probably have forgotten a lot of the early level content by then.

I’m only at level 20 right now but I can already read quite a bit of simple Japanese with some effort. By level 40 you can expect that you’ll know 90+% of the kanji in day-to-day Japanese.

You can get a rough idea of the curve here: wkstats

At level 20 I should be able to read around 3 of every 4 kanji on Wikipedia. Of course this is a bit misleading: 75% of kanji knowledge doesn’t mean that I understand 75% of what I read. To read a text comfortably you need to aim for 95+% kanji knowledge + grammar + kana-only vocab.

Japanese grammar is very hard and very easy. It’s hard because it’s very much unlike English/Indo-European grammars so you need to relearn everything from scratch, it’s easy because it’s very analytic/agglutinative and you don’t have to memorize complicated conjugations or declensions with thousands of exceptions and irregularities.


How hard it gets depends a lot on how you approach it. If you add every card as soon as it unlocks, your workload will get fairly hard, though you will finish it minimal time. If that isn’t for you, something like “add 10 cards a day” might be better, or “keep the number of cards in Apprentice under 200”, which has the advantage of slowing down the amount of new material when you’re struggling with what’s already on your plate. It’s up to you, find what fits your style.

Besides speed of adding cards, another big factor in how hard it gets is how well your brain can keep the thousands of things you learn in WK straight. You’ll have kanji that are annoyingly similar looking, lots of transitive/intransitive pairs (“this one is to BE stabbed…”), and weird exceptions (“this kanji is read ‘sei’ unless the vocab word is…”). Some people remember these things right away, others need them to cycle through the SRS a lot of times before they stick. Nothing wrong with either, just retain the material at whatever pace it clicks for you.

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From my experience so far if you attempt to do each level in 7-8 days then you’ll have roughly 150-250 reviews to do daily by level 9. I actually had 326 reviews one day last week which took over 2 hours. It’s only going up since I’m still a few months off from burning my first item. I’ve heard that by doing this it will be 400+ reviews almost daily in the death levels.


Since every item has to go through 8 reviews, in the steady state the daily number of reviews will be 8 times the daily number of lessons.

If you learn 5 new items per day, then eventually you will face 40 reviews per day.

5 lessons per day → 40 reviews
10 lessons per day → 80 reviews
20 lessons per day → 160 reviews
50 lessons per day → 400 reviews
100 lessons per day → 800 reviews

So another way to approach this question is to ask yourself how many reviews you can handle on your worst day. Then divide that number by 8 to determine a sustainable number of lessons per day over the long haul.

This is just a first approximation.

It assumes that you always do exactly the same number of lessons every day, you always remember every item perfectly, you never fail a single review, you never take a break from WaniKani, and you never, ever fall behind in your daily reviews.

We’re talking perfectly elastic collisions on frictionless surfaces here.
In other words, allow some elbow room for reality.

You may think that 400 reviews a day sounds doable, but if you skip doing your reviews for just 5 days, you’ll face a backlog of 2000 reviews, which could be so overwhelming that you lose hope and quit.

The number of daily reviews will be much smaller at first, because the later review stages are still lying in wait for you, preparing to pounce on you six months from now, on a day when you are busy at your new job, moving into your new house, starting your new exercise plan, training your puppy, falling in love, or whatever else people do that they didn’t know they were going to be doing six months earlier.

Plan accordingly.


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