Ignoring simple kanji that you already know by testing out in the beginning (for the first levels)

I found a post of this from 2014 but I wanted to know, are you still updating this site? Is it possible this might happen in the future?

For people that aren’t beginners it’s a huge waste of time. I want to buy this (I haven’t yet) except I know a lot of kanji that are “easy” like 今 etc. already and I don’t want to waste my time with them (I do believe in the system WK uses, love SRS, but I don’t want to waste my time when I can read lots of kanji already).

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Yes, this has been asked many times. So far it seems that WK will never provide a way for people to skip the early levels. The reason is because there are radicals in the early levels that are used in the higher levels. For example the radical “enclosure” is used for a kanji in level 36. If you never learned this radical, then you can’t learn the mnemonics for the kanji in level 36. But you can always shoot them an email at hello@wanikani.com

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WaniKani also doesn’t follow a typical order when teaching you… and the first three levels are free. You may have a surprise or two that you don’t know… Although if you know a lot, that surprise new kanji may be out of the trial levels…


I have emailed them now, thank you!
I meant only for kanji and vocab, sorry for not specifying, you’re completely right, it’d mess up later levels!

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For future people reading this thread, wanikani replied and wrote it may happen in the future but that it is not happening anytime soon.

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You only need to answer an item correctly 8 times in a row and you’ll never see it again. That takes hardly any time at all!

So, speaking personally, I wanted to re-test my retention of material on early levels. I’m starting to simply resurrected all burned kanji one level at a time. It is easier and less time consuming than separating out the items I know from those I don’t. It doesn’t add much workload at all and has done a good job of revealing my weaknesses. This would be equivalent of someone experienced running through from level 1.


When I signed up for WK, I had already passed N3 and new more than 500 kanji really well. I didn’t mind the fact that I had to wait 4 months or so to start getting mostly new batches of kanji.


Same here. When I signed up, I had already passed N3. I still think it would be nice to have a sorta shortcut for items one absolutely, 100% knows, like a setting that allows you to burn the item at once. Sure, getting an item right 8 times in a row isn’t much but going through 300+ items 8 times (two times each, for reading and meaning) is a lot…

I guess the problem would be that you’d end up with endless vocab lessons all at once and even if you could also burn those you already know, it might be a lot of work to catch up with the remaining ones? But then again, that would be the user’s responsibility to decide. Everyone is responsible for their own learning, right?

Actually I didn’t mind the extra practice when I started; getting easy ones right was actually great positive reinforcement for me.

The main frustration for me was being limited to a set of radicals/kanji that I already knew and waiting for days without anything to study early on… It felt like a bit of wasted time, I was anxiously waiting to get my hands on new radicals and kanji so I could accelerate my learning.

Anyway those days are long past and I’ve plenty of WK challenges on a daily basis now! :slight_smile:


I think the review is important and at the very least wont do any harm. However I also understand the other side of this argument - i can imagine itd be quite a deterrent in purchasing a subscription if you are already at say, level 30 competency.

A simple fix that I can think of is make all radicals compulsory to learn, irrespective of what level you are and then let you select which kanji you already ‘know’ and then adjust your level accordingly.

For example if you are at level 30 proficiency then:

  • make all the radicals up until level 30 compulsory and add them to your lessons
  • select the kanji you know from a complete list of the 2k+ kanji
  • adjust your WK level based on some predetermined threshold for kanji requirement
  • add any Kanji from previous levels that you may not know to your lessons


  • based on the threshold, the system says you are at level 28 proficiency, so it starts you off at level 28 BUT
  • you have all the radicals from the previous levels, plus the odd kanji from earlier levels you may not know in your lessons, which will subsequently be shown to you first.
  • you end up with a huge number of lessons but that is still much faster than starting from level 1.

Ofcourse this will unlikely ever be featured because they lose out on months of subscription revenue.


When I signed up for Wanikani, I had already passed the old 2級. I started learning new words within 6 levels or so, and my ability to differentiate and quickly recall the meaning of kanji I thought I knew is increasing rapidly, as is my general reading speed. That’s not a “huge waste of time.” And how would you know anyway, as you are on level 1? What is your Japanese level? Maybe if it’s high enough, people will recommend some other study method than Wanikani. Otherwise, put your $ down and get to work. You will start learning in a few weeks.

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But what is the harm in excluding items from the learning process by burning them right away?
Wouldn’t that be an uncomplicated way to adjust the system?
You wouldn’t have to skip to a certain level just to be faced with another round of known and unknown items which poses the same problem once more.
Instead, you would get your lessons, go through the usual stages with all the new words but burn the basic ones right away. You’ll get way faster to those kanji and vocab that you actually have to learn and the system would stay intact (like, you could only level up with a certain percentage of items marked as guru+).
Also, if the system was adjustable to your own learning needs, people could finish all levels in a shorter time, which means less money spent. Even advanced learners would feel challenged by Wanikani right away, and everyone would be more motivated because their 500 reviews would not consist of 300 boring items, which makes it a chore more than a learning experience.

The only possible downside I see is that some learners would get lazy and burn items although they do not know them well enough but… there already are so many third party scripts that could be used to “cheat” the system and sabotage your learning process (like the Anki script, which doesn’t even require you to give any differentiated input). If you burn items you haven’t mastered yet, that’s your own fault then. Also, reviving is a thing.

All in all, an option to mark items as “known” would make learners progress faster, give them the items they actually need to advance, increase motivation and save them time and money.

Is there a reason not to add this option?


The question was already addressed by WK… it’s not impossible that they’ll add it, but they have no plans to. As you said, people can already cheat to their heart’s desire. They don’t need officially endorsed cheating.

Being able to get rid of hundreds of reviews that do not advance your learning isn’t endorsed cheating but individualised learning, which is the most effective way of learning.
Most people’s learning experiences would either remain at the same level (because they don’t use the feature) or increase (if they can use the feature to suit their learning). And yes, some people would cheat because they cannot regulate their learning process effectively. They already do.

I’m not here to demand such a feature. All I’m saying is that such an option would improve the general learning experience. Whether it’s added or not is of course up to the developers.
I’d still like to point out that grown up people who pay for their learning are motivated learners. You don’t have to treat them like reluctant, cheating middle schoolers.


The best thing about WK, at least vanilla WK, is that it forces you to prove something to advance. You can’t just add cards willy nilly or lie to yourself that you really knew the right answer. Obviously, userscripts dull that to some extent, but the stance of the WK team is basically “show us you know it” rather than taking your word for it. People overestimate what they actually know a great deal of the time.

Signing up for WK is kind of like saying “I can’t be trusted, you need to make me do it”. And that works really well.

And I wouldn’t be so sure, we have some reluctant middle schoolers here in addition to motivated adults.


Im not 100 % sure but i think some other togufu program allows data taken from wanikani used there like Kaniwani does. Maybe it could work other way too. Of course if you used other means to study kanji, it might be better just to continue doing so, because it will take long time to get to your level with this slow system.

Maybe there are not so many advanced users, that it would be worth it to make some skip function. Besides i think togufu is busy concentrating towards making new products rather than making old ones better.

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Absolutely. All the programs I tried before that allowed me to add extra or skip things - I ended up giving up on them. WK is the only one I managed to stick with all the way and I put it down to the fact that it was just a case of ‘log in, do what I’m told, then log out’.

I am clearly a child!

Thanks for this. Its hard figuring out how this site works at first.

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