I WANT a SLOW WK schedule - tips and help wanted

No, I don’t want to move faster through WK!

Has anyone set an intentionally slow pace of studying through WK? Any tips for setting your own pace? I want advice on being able to go through WK on my free time and not be overwhelmed by the amount of reviews piling up.

I put my WK on vacation mode in 2020 and am scared to take it out of that mode. Any advice from people who have experienced that before, I would also be curious to hear from.


The easiest way to slow down your pace is to limit the number of items in Apprentice stage. If you stop doing new lessons once it reaches 50 you will go at a leisurely pace. You can limit it even further if you want to go really slow (I would not go below 25 or you will really take forever).


Can I ask you what’s the slowest you yourself have gone through it? I guess I’m asking if what you’re suggesting allows you to take huge breaks at a time without going into vacation mode.


In my very early levels there was a time where I went slow intentionally, I think I got my apprentice to 20. I stopped doing lessons and only reviewed things.

That’s basically the best type of break you can get.


not really. Taking breaks means you’ll increase the difficulty of answering items correctly during reviews. That’s both what vacation mode means and the result of you just taking a break without using it.

You can however plan ahead of taking a break, which means to stop doing lessons for several weeks to a month to get rid of your apprentice and guru items and so making it easier to handle them once you get back to it.

the best is to do as @HaseebYousfani suggested, to keep on reviewing no matter what, but just stop lessons for periods of time to make it very manageable.

Otherwise, as suggested, just do very few lessons and keep apprentice number way low and you’ll be going at a very leisurely pace.


Do you remember at what level you sped up again?

What made you change from going at a slow pace to a faster one?

How long were you going slowly for?

From a look at my chart, I can guess around level 12 was when things got really bad for me. Obviously you can see I immediately tried to go fast again but it didn’t last long. I was always dreading doing lessons. I was very inconsistent early on, lack of motivation I guess. But once I got level 25 I grew tired of not being able to read kanji while reading manga and stuff, forced myself the rest of the way, still hated lessons though.

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Thanks for this. Were you taking any Japanese classes at the time too? I’m surprised how quickly you went through it.

I don’t think I’ll go quickly. But I like being able to imagine how people work through WK on their own time - so I appreciate you sharing this.


No, I never had any formal learning. The only thing aside from this was that I was reading and translating a manga. It’s relatively tough so I had constant reminder at how much I sucked at kanji. I haven’t learned any proper grammar either, to this day it’s mostly just naturally picked up and I’m fine with that. Basically, you can learn with whatever works for you, I don’t have the capacity to bother with learning terms like intransitive or passive progressive, so I didn’t.

Yeah, I definitely don’t recommend this pace to anyone. It’s very easy to burn out with, I ruined my sleep schedule over it. Only reason for someone to do this is if they decide it themselves without the influence of others.

Well whatever you decide, it doesn’t hurt to try out some different things people recommend to see if it’s something you can do. Doing your own thing is kind of tough in its own way. Good luck!

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Don’t know if it’s slow or moderate, but I’ve been studying for 2,5 yrs on WK and it looks like I’ll hit level 60 on 3-4 year mark. No major breaks or resets so far. My usual routine is doing all reviews every day when I wake up (and maybe in the evening too), don’t care that much for Apprentice I-IV intervals. I set my lessons batch to 3 and I do 9 if it’s kanji / radicals and 15 if it’s vocab, I do lessons maybe every other day, give it or take (although I can skip doing lessons and just do the reviews, if I’m starting to feel overwhelmed with real life tasks or if I’m on vacation).

So far it’s been manageable with studying for a job, developing various coding projects, having other hobbies to sink time in, doing daily chores, Bunpro and having some time to immerse myself in real world Japanese (games, YT videos, etc). The only nuance is that doing reviews daily is a must to prevent build up (but that shouldn’t take a lot of time).

Ideally I’m planning WK routine around the logic “if it’s going to be a part of my life for several years, it should be as less of a hassle as possible”. It should withstand waves of high and low motivation, possible tough life situations, etc. I think to myself, “What’s wrong with doing Japanese for 15-30 minutes daily if it’s my dream? That shouldn’t take a while. I can even do it in the bathroom, or while taking a short break from something else”. So I tested out some things and that was the routine I found myself arriving to.

Maybe experiment with various Apprentice counts, lesson batches, lesson frequency and so on. Maybe incorporate short review sessions over the whole day, like, 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there and it doesn’t feel like you’ve spent time at all. I sometimes just limit these review sessions to small chunks of 20-40, and by the end of the day, all the batch is done, even though you don’t feel like you’ve done anything.


the main thing has already been said: limit your daily lessons and/or your number of apprentice items, do your reviews every day.

i’d add a userscript to reorder your reviews by SRS level. that way, on days where you can’t get through all reviews, you’ll at least get through the most important ones. like, if you review your guru2 items a day or two later, that doesn’t change the likelihood of you having forgotten by much. if you review your apprentice 3 item a day late, that’s significant.


“Just go at your own pace.”

Easier said than done, but as long as you do lessons, you’re gonna get reviews.

If you don’t wanna get that many reviews, don’t do more lessons, or just don’t do the reviews until you want to. Though it might harm your accuracy, but still better than nothing.

Though doing the same reviews all the time and getting them wrong because of time between them sounds like a worse problem to have.

If you mean going months without doing reviews, then vacation mode is necessary, why don’t you wanna use it? If the alternative is having a pile of reviews instead of just picking up from where you left off.


Definitely slow way down on Reviews - I whole-heartedly agree with that advice. There’s also a “Let’s Durtle the Scenic Route” thread that’s filled with people (like me!) who want to take WK slowly and are not in a rush to get to Level 60. You may find some solidarity there! :smile:


Vacation mode doesn’t magically pause your forgetting, though. If you spend months without doing any reviews, I think any SRS is not going to work very well…


This website is really useful if you want to manage how many reviews you can expect on an average day. The website makes an estimate using your (recent) accuracy while doing reviews, and is fairly accurate in my experience. Just decide how many reviews you are willing to do every day, and then tweak the number of daily lessons until you hit that number.

But note that it’ll take some time before you actually hit your target number of daily reviews using this method, since previous piles of reviews will result in too many reviews for a while it and since it takes time for new reviews to work their way through the SRS stages, which means fewer reviews for a while.

By my pace, I think it’s

  • Reordering to do lower levels first, not necessarily clear out the reviews. (Making zero is optional, but not a bad thing to do.)
  • Keep Apprentice, and probably Guru count, low. Don’t add lessons until then. Also no need to clear out lessons.

Be aware though, as time passed, without or with vacation mode, it would be less of rote memorization via mnemonics, but rather, reconstructing from various experience – English meaning might come out differently. Kanji reading might switch, and thought out second On’yomi instead of the first one. Radical name is just… remember or not. Reviewing isn’t the same as learning anew.


How slow do you want to go? I’ve been doing about two weeks a level for almost my entire WK career, which is a slow pace for some, and a fast pace for others (in total, it will have taken me about 2.3 years to reach level 60). According to the heatmap script, it has averaged out to about half an hour of work a day. That’s with doing WK every single day, though, without taking breaks.

I agree with everyone saying that it’s best to review every day no matter what. The way the SRS works, your study decisions will come back to haunt you hours, days, weeks, months later, so I personally recommend doing a consistent number of lessons each day that results in a manageable daily review load that you can plan for and clear every day without too much trouble regardless of what else you have going on in your life.

For me, that was 12 daily lessons for the majority of WK (I ended up reducing that number in the later levels because there were fewer items per level, and I have more leeches now that take up more time). I used the lesson filter script to mix the kanji and the vocab lessons for even more consistency (1 kanji for every 3 vocab is a good, stable ratio).

If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend taking a look at the ultimate guide to WK for tips on scheduling. Even if you aren’t trying to speedrun it, it’s helpful to know how the SRS works and how to fit WK around your life to achieve the pace that you want. It’s easy to adjust the number of daily lessons down and still make good, steady progress.

Definitely get your reviews down to zero again before taking more lessons, though. I recommend doing that gradually. Reorder your reviews (by SRS stage is probably best, which you can do with the reorder omega script) and choose a target number to do every day (like 100), and gradually chip away at the pile until you reach 0. That way, they won’t come back in huge clumps later down the line.

If the pile is too large, you could reset back a few levels to reduce it. Anything that was at guru stage or below is almost certainly gone from your memory and will need to be relearned anyway, and probably most master stage items and many enlightened stage items as well.

Good luck!


Just do less lessons (5 or less) and you’ll be at a snails pace in no time (or a lot of time…).

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For me it’s about 20 days per level… keeping my apprentice count at around 70-80. Sometimes more when I have more time such at weekends. For me enjoying WK (And learning japanese) is a big part of it, if it’s not fun anymore and becomes a chore, why bother?
I went really fast at the beginning, doing all the lessons as soon they came up, this led to having 100+ reviews in the morning which really started to drag and I started hated doing it.
But now I found a pace I can work with, since I also use other sources (DeerLingo, Bunpro etc) to learn japanese and it’s enjoyable. Sure it will take me years till I reach 60 (If ever) but it works.

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