I'm I supposed to review before.. the review?

I’m still at level 3 so I’m pretty new here and wanted to ask this, I’m I supposed to go over stuff that I expect to come in a review soon or not ? at level 3 stuff that I raised to guru are coming back in the reviews and I’m getting a lot of them wrong and it’s really frustrating so I was wondering if I’m doing anything wrong

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Howdy friend!
I’m pretty new to this as well. Speaking from my short experience here, it seems that a little review before the reviews goes a long way towards memorization. Specifically, it helps me to write down the ones I get wrong often in a little sketchbook that i carry with me everywhere. That way, I can casually look over them during idle time out and about or at work. I hope this helps you. It really helps me to write them down. Yes, it takes longer this way but the physicality of the action can really help memorization. Plus, kanji is so artistic and fun to write. Keep at it! You can do this!! Getting the kanji wrong is part of the way the SRS system will help you. You’ll see those kanji more often and have them down before you know it.

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It’s totally normal to get things wrong. It simply means you haven’t memorized the material well enough. This is an indication that you should review and study those you get wrong more. There’s no need to “review” before a review, but you should study what you got wrong in a review, after the review session.
This is my suggestion.


I suppose you can review things as much as you’d like. At the same time though, probably shouldn’t be necessary… and as you get further into WK there will be so much content in the mix that I think it’d be really difficult to manage extra reviews on top of what WK is already expecting!

I think the best thing to do is to diagnose what you’re getting wrong and why. Is it completely random? More one thing or another? (Meanings vs readings, radicals vs kanji vs vocabulary). Are you using mnemonics?

That last bit really makes a huge difference and is the key to this whole thing. The little stories that go along with a meaning or reading or whatever it might be. Sometimes the one that WK gives you make everything stick. But if they’re not and you get the same thing wrong a few times, it’s good to take a step back and try to come up with your own one.

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With the key word being “soon”, the answer is a definite no. As you said you’re still early on, but when you get items to Master you’ll have to wait a month before the next review. When you get to Enlightened you’ll have to wait four months. If you review those items hours or even days before the intended review time, you haven’t actually waited the one or four months, have you? Instead of proving that you still remember the item after months, all you’re proving is that you know the item after hours or days. It defeats the purpose of the “spaced” in “spaced repetition”.

Now, that doesn’t mean you should avoid the language outside of WaniKani or anything like that. It’s beneficial to see words in “real Japanese”, whether from grammar study or reading or something else. Just don’t go out of your way to study something right before it comes up for review in WaniKani.


in “the real world”, people know japanese before they learn the kanji. when they then start to learn to read and write, a lot of the work is already done, and they can immediately use these new characters to read (to recognize at first, while the number of kanji they know doesn’t permit them to truly read yet).
since kanji are everywhere here, kids will see them again and again, and it might just so come to pass that they see them a few minutes before writing a test at school.

i’d work on my general japanese ability, then read as much as possible. reviewing these kanji directly is probably not gonna be the most helpful way to memorize them.


I think it’s a bad idea to pre-review material. It kind of defeats the advantage of SRS in that you’d always be bringing content back into your short-term memory. So, in the actual review your long-term memory would rarely get tested.

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I previously achieved a higher level and had to restart. I was not doing reviews consistently and accidentally spaced my reviews far longer than I meant to, and I started getting 60% correct scores and stuck on kanji for really long just to end up getting them wrong anyway. Instead of dealing with the frustration, I reset my level, and I don’t intend to do that again.

Basically, I figured out that if you coddle your early reviews,
and don’t verbalize the readings (auditory learning)
OR don’t write the lessons down (visual + kinesthetic learning)
– which all depends on your preferred learning method–
you’ll have unrealistic difficulty on mnemonics alone.

You’ll knock out the first several rounds of reviews for a set of radicals and kanji, completely ignore the vocab since you don’t need it to level, and then when they come back for a review months later you’ll have dropped them from your memory.

If I’m too lazy to write them down or I feel I’m getting to arrogant and I stop reading them out loud, I try to slow down my process and really study the lessons for a bit longer. I need one good study imprint per kanji for my own OCD.

But, to each his own.

This might be the real problem. Mnemonics are not meant to be the only things helping to learn the Kanji. Vocab is a core part of how WK helps reinforce both reading and meaning, I’d say at least as important as mnemonics. If one skips them, it will make things much much harder.


Hi there! I am also new to this (just started early-mid November last year), but as seanblue and StudentHaruka noted, pre-reviewing kind of defeats the purpose of the SRS. It’s kind of like cramming for a test: you may remember the things you crammed come test time, but after a little bit of time those things kind of evaporate from you memory.

I used to pre-review (I think in levels 5-6 or so) and I was progressing rapidly, but I really knew that this was a shortgap solution, so I gave it up. Yes, things are much more challenging (and I am indeed starting to slow down) but that’s okay! It’s okay to get things wrong, but, as others have mentioned, diagnose after the session the things you didn’t remember. For myself, some of Wani’s mnemonics really stick, others don’t. I haven’t implemented it yet, but I plan to start creating my own mnemonics for those mnemonics that don’t stick as well. It’s honestly an experiment, language learning, and it’s really fun to learn how we learn. Keep at it!


Don’t take this as criticism, but that shouldn’t be happening. I see two possible reasons for forgetting the kanji:

  1. you go too fast
  2. you don’t use mnemonics

For 1, just slow down. Don’t do all lessons as soon as they’re available.
Regarding 2, mnemonics are the whole point is WaniKani and a very effective way to memorize anything. Take 1-5 minutes to really picture the mnemonic in your head, then you won’t forget it. If it still doesn’t stick after a couple of times, make your own mnemonic (WaniKani let’s you note then down too.)

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