I am screwed

Personally, I’ve never been tempted at all by the re-ordering scripts. I’m similarly mystified by discussions of “skipping” vocabulary reviews or other tricks whose sole purpose appears to be to get to level 60 as quickly as possible. My goal has always been to be able to read Japanese. A WK 60 badge just doesn’t excite me.

But … I’m human and don’t want to go any slower than necessary.

I’ve noticed that I have started habitually applying a couple of tiny little “cheats” to the WK SRS system.

First cheat

I’m a fan of the Wanikani Item Inspector script.

I configure it to display the “current level SRS” in table view. This breaks out items into the Wanikani SRS “sub buckets” or stages (Apprentice 1 - 4, for example).

For the first several reviews after leveling up, I “cheat” the SRS slightly by reviewing the Kanji that are still in Apprentice 1 before starting my daily review. Sometimes I’ll look at Apprentice 2-4 as well, but mostly I just look at the pink items in Apprentice 1 and ignore vocabulary and even radicals.

Before starting the real review, I’ll test myself on the stuff that I’ve usually just seen once before. Quite often I’ve forgotten, so I just hover my mouse over the character and (usually) up pops a reminder:

[Occasionally I have to right-click on the character and open a new window when the WK definition isn’t universally agreed upon.]

Second cheat

My other “cheat” is arguably worse, but I have the self-discipline to only use it for “meaning” reviews when I feel I honestly know the meaning of the word but just can’t remember which English translation WK chose to use.

I’ve installed the Yomichan extension to chrome. When I come across a kanji or vocabulary word that I know the meaning of, but can’t remember which translation WK uses, I’ll hold down the shift key and hover my mouse over the character(s). Up pops all the dictionary definitions, which is usually enough to trigger my memory of the specific WK “meaning.”

Today, I was reviewing 装置. The word that popped into my head was “mechanism”, but I knew that wasn’t the English word that WK used or would accept. I find that “shifting gears” by trying to recall another “correct” English synonym knocks me out of my flow and actually detracts from my learning of Japanese. I’m thinking in English rather than thinking in Japanese.

So instead, I just hold down the shift key and hover my mouse over the characters:

Oh! “Equipment” or “device” or “apparatus” all sound familiar, I’m pretty sure that’s what WK used.

Final thoughts

I feel these little cheats don’t really detract from my goal of learning to read Japanese (unlike re-ordering scripts or the like).

In the first case, I’m just reviewing newly introduced lessons that can only be in short-term memory at best.

I do miss items that are still in Apprentice-1 less often by doing this, but the point of the “Apprentice” bucket is that those items are still in short-term memory. You’re still forming mental images and relying on other mnemonics. I’ll still see those items many more times, eventually moving them to my long-term memory and relying less on mnemonics as I move the item through Guru, Mastered, and Enlightened.

In the second case, I only do it when I’m confident that I “know” the meaning and am just searching for the specific translation WK uses.

This does take self-discipline, though. Occasionally I’ll realize I have the meaning completely wrong. Rather than entering what I just looked up when this happens, I force myself to enter an incorrect answer (I’ve developed the habit of typing “ke” or “ge” whenever I don’t know an answer – quick to type and pretty much zero chance of it matching the correct answer).


@vepveps, I recommend you to read my guide for WK. It will teach you some important info about the program that will make you feel less overwhelmed while teaching you how to learn more and better. Read mainly chapter 4 to 7 :slight_smile:

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I mean, makes sense but this is basically THE example of someone with good self-discipline and planning. The other example is the guy who started the thread and now has a backlog of lessons that he doesn’t know how to tackle. I can understand why you would want to use the script if it helps you space out the lessons more comfortably and go at your own pace.

I would like to say though that as tough as 70+ vocab lessons can be, it should almost never happen like that if you do the lessons soon after they unlock. The only way you’re unlocking all the vocab at once is either if you have perfect memory retention and actually finish all the Kanji at the same time (in which case 70+ vocab in one go should be ez-pez for you) or if you cheat (in which case you have no ground for complaints).

Plus, this is a pretty big exaggeration, you get roughly 30 Kanji per level which is split up into two sets of 15 (again, rough estimation). I would say that there is usually about 3 vocabs per Kanji (it’s more like 1 - 5 plus if there is 5 it’s often repetitive stuff like 台). So even if you finish all the 2nd set Kanji at the same time you’ll only get about 45 vocab at best. The 70+ number you see is usually vocab + new radicals + 1st set Kanji.
If I’m in this situation and aren’t very motivated I’m quite happy to do like 25-30 vocab lessons and then wait for next day to finish up the rest and get to the radicals.
That said doing 45 vocab lessons is not actually as intimidating or hard as it seems, plus if I get through the vocab then radicals are like an easy extra since they usually sink in butter smooth for me.

Anyway, the point is you’re not getting 70+ vocab lessons at the end of the level unless you’ve been slacking on doing the lessons throughout the level.
Other than that I do agree with what you said.

That isn’t necessarily true. If you’re going at a slower pace (like, I did 10 lessons per day for a good chunk of level 4), you won’t complete the first half of the level’s vocab lessons by the time you guru the radicals and gain access to the second set of kanji, so by the time you bring the second batch to guru, you’ll get suddenly 45 new vocab on top of some leftover vocab from the first half. It was not uncommon for me to start off a new level with over 100 lessons in the pile, and it would take at least a week of going through them 10 at a day before I even saw the new radicals. I don’t think doing 10 lessons a day is “slacking” at all. It’s quite a lot of work to learn 10 new items a day through SRS!

The lesson filter script in my case (and in the case of many other users, including the creator) basically allows you to restructure your levels so that you can go slower and actually have the material you’re learning line up with the level you’re on instead of not even touching half of the vocab until you’re technically on the next level. This is actually better for retention in the case of the kanji, because it’s helpful to get to the associated vocab fairly soon after you learn the kanji (which is why reorder script misuse can cause so many problems, if you put off the vocab lessons for several levels or never).

It’s great that you’re able to split that 70+ lesson number into two sessions and get them done, but you should understand that this is a lot of work and as such, it is very hard for many people, especially when the reviews from the earlier levels start coming back when you have hundreds of other reviews on your plate. I’ve seen countless level 60 posts where people went nearly full pace, and by the time they reached 60, they were spending upwards of 3 hours a day just wading through hundreds of WK reviews. Some people have the time/energy to do that, but I would argue that most people using the program cannot keep up with that pace, and should not be encouraged to or expected to try.

As I mentioned earlier, many of the problems that result from reordering are actually problems that are caused by trying to go too fast. If you’re progressing at a slow and steady pace and are covering all of your lessons, using a reorder script won’t hurt you at all. Going too fast, however, can hurt you whether you use scripts and “cheat” your way to level 60, or if you simply progress through vanilla WK at an unsustainable speed that causes you to burn out before you reach the end.

No matter if you use scripts or not, getting through WK at all takes a lot of self-discipline and motivation. The program requires you—by default—to plan out your own schedule as you work through it. Concepts like limiting the amount of lessons you take to save yourself from having too heavy of a review load are often lessons that people have to learn the hard way, because the program itself won’t stop you from doing it or warn you that it might be a bad idea.

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I’m not sure, even if you’re to do only 10 lessons a day it seems hard to get leftover vocab unless you have literally perfect Kanji accuracy and even if that happens you can just slowly catch up to vocab at the start of the next level, you’re not really gonna go any slower or faster even of you reorder the lessons. There is very little difference between you postoning learning all the Kanji until you’ve done the vocab or postponing them one by one since in the end it’s the time you do your last Kanji that’s gonna dictate when you level up.

That said you could just up your lessons per day to 15 from 10 and that should almost gurantee you wont have leftovers. I don’t think this is some unreasonable workload, you can do 10 in the morning and 5 in the evening or something if you don’t want to in one go (just make sure you don’t do it too late so you can get at least the first review in). I mean I just passed 4 Kanji today and that unlocked 13 lessons for me, that’s not even 3 vocab per Kanji, obviously this varies based on Kanji and WK level but still.

i just did, it gave me some great advice :smiley:


I don’t know how to convince you that this is possible if you don’t believe me, but trust me, slower WK users are frequently greeted with a massive backlog of vocab lessons to work through upon leveling. Once you’ve cleared all of the previous level’s vocab, WK (by default) is programmed to give you the new level’s radicals first, then kanji, and then the current level’s vocab. If you unlock the second batch of kanji before finishing the vocab so far (this is very common if you do just 10 items a day), then WK will give you the new kanji immediately. Because you don’t have to guru the vocab to level up, by the time you guru the second batch of kanji, even with making a few mistakes, you’ll unlock all the vocab from the second batch pretty much all at once and still have some vocab from the first batch of kanji that you’re only just now getting to.

It is true that there is no difference in total time spent on lessons if you don’t reorder them, but there can be a great deal of difference in terms of motivation to do your lessons if you feel like you’re making regular progress on learning kanji instead of taking a week to finish up stuff from the old level. I also learn to write all of the kanji that I learn through WK, and it’s way easier to practice writing three kanji in one day instead of trying to cram a whole bunch at once.

You seem to be assuming that everyone uses reorder scripts in order to cheat and go fast, but that’s not what they were created for at all. They’re just a tool that can be used to manage your workload in a way that allows for more flexibility. They can make it easier to go fast, as jprspereira’s guide attests to (not by letting you skip vocab lessons, but just by letting you spread them out a little more), but they can also make it easier to go slow, too.

Also, upping your lessons per day to 15 from 10 is a lot more work for people. 10 a day is already quite the commitment. Most people here are working on studying grammar/other vocab and immersion on top of their WK workload, and the vast majority of people have jobs and/or school and other commitments in their lives that limit the amount of time they can spend on Japanese daily. I often spend two hours a day working on Japanese, and that’s with doing 10-13 lessons a day. I can’t increase my WK pace any more than that or I would have to start cutting out grammar study and immersion.

It’s awesome that you’re able to keep up a pace like the one that you have going for you, but what you’re doing isn’t necessarily achievable for everyone else, and it can actually lead to burnout for many people. Please try to be a little more understanding and considerate of the fact that your circumstances might not be the same as everyone else’s, and some people might benefit from using tools that you yourself don’t need.


I already said that I can understand how using the reorder script can help you pace yourself when going slower and you should do what works for you, I just also said it ultimately doesn’t really matter in terms of raw progress.

Of course, I can’t relate to every single person’s circumstance, but I don’t think I’m being inconsiderate when suggesting doing 5 extra WK lessons a day, it takes roughly 5 minutes to cover that, maybe 10 if you’re a bit slow or add some notes. You probably spent more time writing replies to me then it would take you to take on those 5 extra lessons. If you claim that it’s too much for you and that it would burn you out than that’s fine, no pressure and no need to rush, but I really don’t think it’s an issue of not having the time.

I also work full time and spend extra time studying JP grammar on other sites. While I’m definitely more relaxed on other life commitments (or that is to say I don’t have many) other than motivation and mood swings getting in the way I don’t think the actual daily time commitment to keep up with the lessons is that much.

Talking to people in a forum takes a completely different kind of energy than actively studying, which can be very draining. It’s also something that I have the time to do today, but I might not have time for next week, or a few weeks from now.

But the way WK works, when you learn extra lessons, you’re also committing extra time four hours from now when those reviews come back, then eight hours later, then a day later, then two days, then a week, then two weeks, then one month, then four months (and that’s assuming you get every single review correct). It’s very, very easy to accidentally let things snowball by taking on too much work early on and then suddenly finding yourself completely overwhelmed when all of those reviews come back to bite you six months later. I’m very conscious of the time I put into studying because my schedule is likely going to change a lot in the coming weeks, and if I set a pace that’s too fast now, I’ll have to deal with the consequences of that then. It’s better, in my opinion, to go a little slower than I’m technically capable of going so that I have more flexibility if I end up needing it later.

I wish you luck with your own studies and commend the fact that you’re able to keep up that pace, but you’re still pretty early on in WK and haven’t experienced the full workload yet since your burn reviews haven’t started coming in yet. Many people are able to go fast early on, but struggle with the consequences later, and that’s why many of us opt for extreme consistency and going less than full speed.


Yeah I can agree to that, though for me the former can be just as draining as the latter if not more lol, interacting with people is though stuff.
Either way it’s late now so I think it’s best we agree on what we can agree, and agree to disagree on what we can’t and leave it at that.
Have a good night and good luck with your studies.

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But a lot of people here “need” that ego boost and to brag :sweat_smile:
I don’t even look at stats or SRS stages anymore. I even turn off toasty up/down. I found that I was less anxious than usual.

If you feel overwhelmed with the number of reviews, just slow down. If you can do more, speed up. That’s a very simple rule and less stressful.

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Actually you don’t need perfect retention per se. If you condense all the mistakes to Apprentice 1 and 2 (which have short review cycles) and don’t do reviews the second they become available (which lets the A1 A2 failures catch up) it’s very feasible to guru everything in one go

I know this because this just happened to me on a fast level (no reordering)
i have 170 apprentice items
this is a cry for help


Unless you’ve changed some kind of setting or have been using scripts that alter the way it works or something, you won’t unlock lessons until you have done the radicals and the kanji. So there’s literally nothing to worry about, just do however many lessons you are comfortable with doing a day even if that’s just 1 or 2 (5 item each) and then keep on keeping on.

Content will come and go in your head, but when that happens just make you don’t cheat. Get the things you don’t know wrong, and it will make you do it again until you’ve relearned it. Feels bad, but that’s just how it works, just don’t be so hard on yourself.

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You can get “unlucky” with the timing though. I somehow managed to get a lot of Kanji to finish at the same time and went from 20 lessons to 120 lessons, obviously majority of them being Vocab.