I want to believe

This is gonna hurt when you get into painful. Good luck though!

Thanks, that looks interesting. I will do that.

I’m not sure it will make a difference; I do reviews instantly and rarely make an error. So all I can do are the ones given me in the reviews, and I would have expected to level up faster. But maybe I still just don’t get the system.

Well, I would say that if you are sleeping normally you cannot hope to break about 8 and a half days on average. Sometimes it’ll work out nicely and you’ll get a timing that allows for close to 8 days, and sometimes it’ll be just perfectly aligned to waste maximum time during sleep.

Using the reorder script and ultimate timeline script will allow you to plan it out better, but under 7 days requires a strange sleep schedule (at least once per week).


There is no magic in the level up system, you do all the radical correctly until guru, then complete 90% of the kanji, level up. If you do that directly when the reviews come up, you will take less than seven days.

If you need longer there must have been mistakes on item in the critical path, either late radicals --> late second wave of kanji, or more than ~3 kanji wrong which block the 90% rule. You only need to get a few items wrong to get a delay if they are critical items.

[Vocab doesn’t count for leveling, you can relax there.]

With the script you can see what causes the delay, and on the next level you can work to get all critical items right after you know what is critical in the first place.

With my full-time job and sleeping normally, and maybe missing an opportunity or two, still I find myself leveling up a bit faster than I expected to.
Everything here is a matter of time, and people get overwhelmed moving into the 10-20 levels from what I hear.

Indeed: “Vocabulary doesn’t mean anything for your level.”

Like others are suggesting, just prioritize Radicals and Kanji, and then learn the vocabulary on almost a completely separate timer and urgency.

I like to take my time with Vocabulary because they often have completely new readings and strange nearly unrelated meanings to them, not to mention I don’t want them to replace my knowledge of the kanji itself.

In fact, I get Vocab wrong all the time, at least two per set of reviews :open_mouth: and I just shrug because I’m happy to review them and their sentences more often than Kanji.


Thanks for your help.

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I understand about the vocabulary; I do find them the most difficult.

Through these early levels, I find mastery of the radicals and kanji to be pretty much ho-hum easy, and review them at 99% accuracy (I realize that this won’t always be true). Hence my bewilderment when my level doesn’t move, and my impatience at not being able to get on with it.

Obviously I’m not doing something right, but I can’t figure out what it is. Really my pattern is simple: do the reviews fast, get them all right. It does seem like there’s some magical incantation involved that I don’t know.

I still don’t really see much evidence that you should be achieving faster times, given what we know. It wasn’t my intent to make the max level speed sound easy. It’s simple, but not easy.

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That’s because you chose to ignore my first post here ^^

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I get it. Thanks. I’m not bewildered by the time factor, but by the fact that I’ve clearly (and I keep careful records of my own) met the benchmarks and still see no movement.

But I appreciate your help. You’ve given me stuff to think about.

Sorry, not on purpose. I can’t seem to find it.

All magical incantations welcome.

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Can you put a screenshot of your progress with the script, like this:

In an unfortunate worst case a single wrong radical at Apprentice 4 might cost you several days, if it happens to unlock several kanji.

Also, did you by chance not do the second set of kanji that became available in your lesson queue asap?

Max speed requires 3 things.

  1. Doing kanji and radical reviews as soon as they come up. If they come up when you’re sleeping and you do them when you wake up, you lost time.

  2. Doing all kanji and radical lessons as soon as they come up. You dont have to do the second set asap for some later levels, but dont worry about that now.

  3. You never get a radical review wrong, and you can only get a couple kanji wrong, but it has to be in the first set of kanji on that level and (usually) before you start working on the second set of kanji.

You positive you did all 3?



EDIT: Like Leebo well said, leveling up every 7 to 8 days is not necessarily the best choice for everyone.

He probably didn’t, as he has 28 kanji in Apprentice.

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Oh. Then yeah, if it wasn’t clear, the reason the radicals are time critical is because they unlock the second wave kanji, which are what push you over the 90% barrier in the vast majority of levels.

Hmm, well he could have still and just guru’d some of the earlier kanji.

Just because something works well for other people, doesn’t mean it will work well for you. Plenty of people on here tend to forget that; hopefully you don’t join them.

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how many days passed for level 4 ?

Hey, OP! (@taiho7777). I’m happy to see you’ve made it to level 6. When I was first getting used to Wanikani, I was like you, just doing lessons and reviews as available and wondering how the leveling system works.

Hopefully you’ve figured it out now and read jprspereira’s amazing post on the subject of timing and levelling.

Here’s my “simple” method of levelling up in 7 days. First thing is to find a schedule that works for you and works for the Wanikani system.

The WK system goes like this:

Learn…review in 4 hours…review in 8 hours…review in 23 hours…review in 47 hours: guru!


You level up when 90% of the kanji for that level are guru status. But you can’t get 90% to guru (for most levels) until you get most of the level’s radicals to guru (because the second set of kanji are unlocked as you guru the radicals that they use.)

So here’s my 7 day level method (actually it’s probably the same method for anyone who levels weekly):

Learn radicals as soon as you level up and follow above timing making almost no mistakes.

(Meanwhile, learn kanji and vocabulary, but the timing and accuracy for those isn’t so important at this stage in the week. Just know that you’ll need to get almost all of those kanji to guru level (4 successful consecutive reviews which takes minimum 3.5 days) by the end of the week. )

Once the radicals have reached guru level, the second smaller set of kanji is unlocked. Learn these and treat them like you did the radicals in the first part of the week. If you can get them to guru along with the first set of kanji in 3.5 days, you’ll have reached a 7 day level up (really, you only need 90% of the total kanji, so a mistake or two is fine).

Now, how to fit this in with your schedule? Up to you. In my case, I level up Sunday afternoon at 5pm. Review at 9pm. Monday morning at 6am. Tuesday morning at 6am. Thursday at 6am (and then learn the new kanji). Review at 10am, again at 6pm, Friday at 6pm, Sunday at 5pm. Level up!

Personally I like to do all my lessons at once so that I have slow days during the week ( for example I don’t have to touch WK on Saturdays). But others like to space them out little by little. Whatever works best for you.

Hope this helped and good luck! The reorder script helps too! And as others have said, you certainly don’t need to go this fast, but on the other hand some people enjoy it.


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