I don't know if I'm doing this right

I’ve been on wanikani for 4 days, and I’m still learning radicals. I’m still at level 1. I’ve been doing the review and lesson every day, but I just don’t seem to be being given new material. I don’t really know if this is normal or not, but it will take me 10 years to learn 2000 kanji at this rate. I would appreciate some help.

Kanji will unlock when all of the radicals that they are composed from have been answered correctly 4 times in a row. So, for example, the kanji 上 will unlock when you’ve answered the radicals ト and 一 correctly 4 time in a row.

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The first 3 levels are slow, but don’t worry if you keep doing the lessons and reviews it ramps up quickly over time and you will be flooded with kanji and vocab. Give it a few weeks before you start to understand the structure of each level (Radicals → Kanji → Vocab)

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It should only take about two days to guru the first radicals, but that entails you doing reviews more than once a day.

Hey compmilan!

Welcome to WaniKani, and welcome to the forums too!

The first few levels feel a little slow but this is really to prevent becoming overwhelmed later down the line. As you can see in many of the Level 60 posts, it is actually possible to learn all 2000 kanji on WaniKani in just over a year, but it requires keeping a strict and consistent study routine.

I would say that on average most people reach level 60 in about 2 years, but this ultimately depends on people’s varying availabilities so the key really is to find a pace that works for you.

For now, what you need to know is how the SRS works, when you first do a lesson on an item, said item will need to be reviewed 4 times before it unlocks your next set of lessons. (radicals unlock kanji and kanji unlock vocabulary, when 90% of the kanji from one level are Guru’d, you can move on to the next level).

They key here is to make sure you do your reviews more than once a day as the intervals between reviews at first are short but increase the more you get an item right.

Here are the intervals for the first 2 levels (the other levels change a little but not significantly)

Review SRS Level Waiting Time For Review
0 Lesson -
1 Apprentice 1 2h
2 Apprentice 2 4h
3 Apprentice 3 8h
4 Apprentice 4 23h

If you focus on your review times for now, little by little you will get a better feel for it and find that pace that suits you.

While you wait for your reviews I would suggest starting on some grammar, you can check many of the articles that are available for free on Tofugu.

We also have a great database of other resources to help you learn you can check out here.

Good luck with your studies and don’t hesitate to get in touch at hello@wanikani.com if you have any particular issues or questions.

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The knowledge base also has some good resources on getting started.