I need help figuring out a sustainable schedule

I’m fairly new to WaniKani, currently working on level five, and I’m trying to figure out what’s the most sustainable approach for me, as how this thing works is now coming into focus. It seems to me that the best rhythm for my situation is new lessons at 6pm ish, so that’s A1, 10pm gets me to A2, around 8am gets me to A3, the following morning at 8 is A4, then guru at 8am two days later. So I’m always doing lessons early evening and reviews mostly in the morning (except for those 10pm A2 ones, plus any others I get wrong I let slip through the cracks and just do those reviews as they come up).

I got the lesson filter script, so I prioritize the radicals and the kanji. Now the issue is how to get the vocab into this schedule. I feel like I can do about 20 lessons per day, and I see a lot of levels have 130 or so vocab, so we’re close to 7 days just to get through those. I recently realized my vocab have backed up so much I’m going to finish this level while still working on the previous level’s vocab backlog. I think it’s also affected my percentage correct in the vocab reviews too (or maybe 20 per day is in fact more than my brain can parse right now).

So I’m thinking the new plan should be to stop focusing on the optimum way to get to the next level, and instead focus on the most sustainable way for me to get through all 60 of them. Much as it’ll pain me, I think when I unlock level 6 tomorrow morning, I’m not going to let myself do any level six content until I’ve spent the week clearing level five’s vocab. Then I’m at the reset point to start the new approach.

My schedule can then look like: day one of level, 6pm do all available radicals to A1, 10pm A2, etc, day two kick off all available kanji in the same way (max 20) (I seem to be able to cram a lot more radicals, probably because they have so little associated info to recall), day 3 through day X do available vocab lessons at a rate of 20 per day until they’re all underway, then day X+1 kick off the second batch of kanji. At the end of the level, when the last batch of vocab are unlocked, I won’t start the next level until those vocab are also in flight.

Does that sound like a) I’ve understood the way stuff gets unlocked and levelled up through apprentice, guru, etc, and b) a reasonable plan?

If I get through 20 things a day and there are 2000 kanji and 6000 vocab, that’s 8000/20 which is only 400 days, so I feel like I must have made a mistake somewhere; I thought my plan would make each level take far longer than that :woman_shrugging:

Any better ideas or advice would be much appreciated!


Sounds good to me :slight_smile:
Definitely a good idea to do all the vocab as well, and don’t overload yourself with reviews. Bear in mind that once the Master and Enlightened items will come up for review you’ll have even more. 20 new lessons a day might work for now, but there’s a chance you might want to scale that down in the future, so that’d affect your overall time estimate. (But maybe you’ll also be fine, idk you haha ^^)
One thing I’d do is to start the next level even while you still have a few vocab from the last level left. If you do ALL the vocab and only then start radicals and kanji you might have a day or two with no new lessons unlocked yet. So idk, maybe leave 40 vocab from the last level, then start new radicals and kanji, then continue with the old level vocab until they’re gone (there’s a scrips that lets you chose wich level items you want to do in lessons I think.)

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It sounds like you have a pretty good idea of the SRS intervals, and have chosen one of the two most popular schedules for hitting them on time. Your post makes me think you’ve probably already read this, haha, but just in case you haven’t, have you taken a look at the ultimate guide to WK? There are lots of tips in there for building a schedule that lets you accomplish your goals.

I think it’s definitely a very good idea to get through your vocab backlog before proceeding further. I absolutely agree that it’s wise to stop focusing on the optimum way to get to the next level and instead focus on a regular, sustainable schedule. WK is very much a marathon and not a sprint, even at full speed.

If you’re worried about your vocab lessons getting out of balance again, one trick that works pretty well for me is using the lesson filter script and aiming for a 1:3 ratio of kanji to vocab lessons every day (since there are roughly three times as many vocab lessons as there are kanji in WK). For me, this looks like 3 kanji and 9 vocab a day (for the radicals, I just do them all on my first day on a level, and if there are more than ten, I don’t do any other lessons on top of them). For 20 lessons a day, you could do 5 kanji and 15 vocab each day. If you do this, you shouldn’t fall too far behind on vocab.

Or if 20 a day is too much (especially keeping in mind that it gets to be quite a lot more work once your master and enlightened reviews start coming in on top of the guru and apprentice), you could do fewer. 12 a day means I level up once every 12-15 days, depending on how many items are in a level. But the pace is extremely doable, and I haven’t felt anything close to burnout. A happy medium might be 16 lessons a day (4 kanji and 12 vocab) if you want a slightly faster pace.

You definitely have some options, and it sounds like you’re on the right track with trying to confront these problems before they become real issues!


20 lessons a day is exactly how I do it. Your lesson schedule looks a lot like mine, except shifted by about 12 hours. With 20 lessons a day I find that I can finish almost all lessons (at the most I’ll miss <10 at the end of the level, but that’s negligible and I’m gonna cover those anyway in the next review lessons anyway). Apprentice items are always <100 this way, which is a pretty good size for not having a huge workload.

The most important thing about a schedule though isn’t min-maxing everything though, it’s being able to keep it every day. The most important thing about WaniKani is to be consistent about it. Any procrastination will inevitably lead to huge review piles, and nobody likes those. The first time I did WK, I definitely quit because of that a few times along the way.


I did the following and finished in a little over 2 years:

  • 3 sessions a day with no set times, just morning, noonish, evening
  • keeping apprentice around 100, this was my main metric for keeping daily workload manageable
  • max 20 items per day as long as apprentice was under 100
  • 150-200 reviews per day, more during the fast levels
  • I didn’t use any ordering for reviews or lessons

I’m sure a more rigid schedule would have cut that in half at least but I don’t think I would have finished at all without the flexibility.


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