I never thought this would happen to me, but

I took a month break from Wanikani (on vacation mode). Now my review pile is at almost 500 and I am just SUCKING at my accuracy.

My Apprentice pile is at 175 which is stressing me out.

I don’t know whether I should be focusing on older reviews (level-wise), reviews that are about to Guru, or… should I reset down a few levels?

I never thought I’d need a break from WK but I did, I was getting burned out and neglecting the grammar side of things.


Since you said you used vacation mode, I’m going to assume this pile happened due to low accuracy after coming back and built up over a little while. To decide whether resetting is worth it or not, I recommend looking over the items of the last few levels(wkstats can help). If most of the items are in apprentice and you don’t recognize them then it might be worth resetting. If you can still remember half of them then it might not be worth it.

After that, choose a number of reviews that you can reasonably handle doing within a day and do that. Remember not to do too many at once so they don’t all come back in a massive batch later. Don’t do any lessons until you’ve got this under control, and use the time you would have used on lessons to go over the mnemonics of the items giving you the most trouble. I would sort by oldest review (longest gone undone) if that’s an option.

Just take it one day at a time and you will get through it.頑張って!


I think the best advice I could give you is to calm down. WaniKani is here to take the stress of learning 2100 kanji away, not give it back and then some. Just remember, there is no pressure other than that which you place upon yourself. :wink:

Now, onto some advice on tackling the issue at hand:

The first thing I would personally do is go through the kanji rereading all of the meaning and reading mnemonics. Then, I would go through a few extra quizzes on those kanji using a script.

Alternatively, if you have 60+ apprentice kanji, it may be worth resetting a couple of levels back. If they’re new kanji anyway, they’ll just be reintroduced.

Anyway, I hope this helped. I’ve written essays on ways to overcome review piles like this on other threads, but I feel I’d just be repeating myself. It all boils down to the options I gave above; hopefully that’s enough.


I think resetting at least a couple of levels will take some of the heat off of my shoulders right away. I definitely can’t remember them as well (going off the WKStats charts) even though they’re mostly Guru right now – 99% chance if they popped up in a review they would just get knocked back to Apprentice anyway.

I was succeeding the most when I was writing the kanji and vocab down in my notebook as I learned them, a little bit of muscle memory. Once I hit the 30s I stopped doing that and it’s definitely showing in my retention.

I’m going to remind myself to be proud that I DO remember any at all right now after a month away; two years ago I didn’t know ANY kanji at all, so… there’s still something to show that my brain is still working. :stuck_out_tongue:


My advice comes in two parts. First, go through the kanji lists and do a quick, informal quiz of them. If you can’t recognize over half of them, reset back to that level. I wouldn’t go too far back, maybe only a level or two maximum. Then, after that, use the reorder script to do your reviews starting with the ones from the oldest levels, and give yourself a max cap of reviews to do a day. With about 500 reviews and the fact that the apprentice item count is stressing you out, I’d say about 100 a day sounds about right, but you’ll have to figure out what’s best. It’ll be a bit annoying to have to cut yourself off with undone reviews (I can say from experience), but it’ll prevent drowning yourself in a huge cluster of reviews further down the line.

You got this! I’d bet that you remember more than you think. :blush: 頑張れ!


I recently did a 1200+ review pile, and this is my recommendation:

Don’t reset. Don’t worry about what’s in apprentice, guru, etc. Don’t worry about your accuracy.

At all.

Do daily review sessions in 2 groupings of 50 reviews per group, so that you’re clearing through 100 reviews per day. You will get through this, guaranteed. Your accuracy rate will come back up again, guaranteed.

Know that you will have waves of “completely unfamiliar” kanji that will knock your accuracy back down, but that you will relearn each wave relatively quickly due to your prior exposure. Having large numbers of kanji back in apprentice is not a problem. This just means you get to have abundant exposures, which results in solid relearns over time. You won’t regret this.

I am super super glad I didn’t decide to reset. It would have been a waste.

The important thing is to know that you can do this, and know that the “low scores” you see are actually big wins for your recovery because you are “unlocking” the old kanji into learner mode again by bringing them back down into apprentice! :cherry_blossom: There’s no reason to add kanji to that stack that you already know, and if you reset to older levels, you will be doing exactly that. You will not be saving time. You will not be saving labor.

I feel you on the low accuracy. My accuracy was at 40% when I started chipping at my queue, and it dipped even lower several times as additional waves of “enlightened” items were unfamiliar to me. But I kept at the 100/day (Trunklayer’s advice) and when I was noticing that certain ones were staying down and not getting learned, then I would look carefully at the mnemonics again and try very hard to pay very close attention and before I knew it they were learned and I was getting better scores. My highest scores were in the low to mid 70% accuracy on old items, increasing to 80s when I was just burning and hardly had any enlightened unfamiliars. Then a new wave would knock that back into the 20-30% range. That didn’t really improve until the end, but when it did, when my accuracy was getting up into the high 80s and low 90s I knew I was very close to closing the queue!

You can do this. You don’t need to reset – just keep reminding yourself: low accuracy is a win for each of those kanji that you don’t know because you’re going to get the chance to relearn them through exposure.

I wish you the best with this! Don’t give up! :two_hearts:


I did just that! Once I reset to level 31 (not even two levels since I hadn’t gotten far into 33) I reordered and did my Level 1-10 reviews first which was around 55 items. I got 60% which… well, it’s not GREAT but I burned a few and bumped less than 10 down to Apprentice. My review pile is now 300 so tomorrow I’m going to tackle Level 10-20 if it’s a managable size.


Ahhh, wish you had posted this two hours ago LOL! I only reset 2 levelsbut I was already struggling now that I’m in the 30s so… well at least I can say I’ve experienced a reset at least once and it was just a small one. I started out by reordering my reviews to isolate all from Level 1-10 which was a managable pile of 55. I’ve got around 300 left so I think if I break it down into levels I’ll be able to focus on improving the earlier items and get them back into Guru or even Master. :smiley:


Ah sorry !!! Resets are completely valid!

You did great!!! You will definitely make it! Don’t worry, and misses are good! :blush:

I think that the whole reset/don’t reset argument boils down to philosophy and also how deeply demoralized one is by low accuracy scores. It was hell of demoralizing for me at first. But I broke through that by realizing that there were kanji I just didn’t know anymore. And getting those missed, quickly and repeatedly, though it would bring down accuracy, was a total win because they’d come down to apprentice and I’d get exposed to them a lot more! I’d never get them until they got down to apprentice, and I could pretty much bat them aside with a “fu” for an answer when I realized that they were unknowns. The truth: kanji you know are kanji you know, and a 40% is just a 100% combined with a 0% in a specific ratio! :rainbow: Knowing that, no one can take away that feeling of success anymore! xD


Personally, I wouldn’t recommend you reset but considering that you went back 2 levels, I would say to push through it. At level 50 I’m starting to really feel it where cards from level 30 to 40 are popping up and it feels like I have no clue until I look at the mnemonic and really think things through.

Your accuracy will get worst here and therebut with more natural exposure (grammar, reading, watching videos, music etc) the harder things will eventually stick. Its a common saying here but let srs do its thing.

You should try to not do lessons / do less lessons if you feel that your apprentice level is too high.

Best of luck.


I have no issues pausing lessons for a while! Going forward I’m going to try and balance more between vocab and grammar so I can take it more slowly. :smiley:

I feel ya. I’m almost done coming back from a pile of over 2000 reviews (it’s taken SO LONG), and for a while at the start I had 40%-50% accuracy, which was VERY disheartening. But just keep in mind that that’s the WK system working! Soon you’ll be back up to a higher accuracy, don’t worry :blush:

Just remember, all those 1-10 ones you missed will be coming back! So you might not be able to knock out much of 10-20 without doing a lot more reviews. Just keep that in mind, and don’t get down if you aren’t able to get as far as you wanted. (But it sounds like you have a good review limit in mind!)

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a common recommendation is to keep your apprentice items below 100 to not overwhelm yourself on reviews, so to stop lessons when it reaches 100. Maybe try to keep it like that in the future? Of course a higher number might work for you.
But other than that others have given good advice, just know that every review pile is conquerable.
I had a review pile of around 2000 once, and i conquered it. Took a couple weeks, but if you consistently do enough reviews, every pile vanishes eventually!
(in my case, reordering to get the lowest level items helped. i.e. all apprentice items first)


My Apprentice was around 125 when I went on vacation and it went up to 165 attempting to tackle the huge pile this morning – this was before I came and posted here. I generally try and keep them in the lower end of 100 when I can even if it means my pace slows down some.


WK Comeback Day 2:

  • Lessons (On Hold until back on track): 69 (nice)
  • Apprentice Count: 178
  • Pending reviews as of 9AM: 254

I think I did around 100 reviews this morning, sorted from Level 1-21. The bulk of the reviews are for later levels so I feel like I’m just skimming off the top, but progress is progress…


Next time this happens, I would advise not resetting. It just costs you more time in the end. Can definitely come back from worse:


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I think ultimately it’s a personal decision and no one person can dictate what will work for everyone.

I could never do new lessons with that rule, because my retention is apparanently so bad, that higher items always come down :smiley:

Haha, that was my idea, to focus on items you have trouble with, otherwise if you just review them once in a while (well after schedule), you keep having trouble with them. Well, it worked for me, even though my correct answer rate wasn’t great :smiley:

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I tend to only REALLY remember items, when I see them in context. So I try to force myself into more real Japanese, which hopefully helps with the retention rate in Wanikani, too…