I'm slow at finishing levels... Maybe learning

Hi guys!
I’m in awe that many people manage to finish levels within 6-10 days…
I’m learning at level 4 for about 16 days and still not done yet. I have yet to unlock about 30 vocabulary words.
How do you finish a level so quickly? Or am I just so slow…:grimacing:
Thanks for your help!

I think this is a great community.


It depends entirely on the level. Sometimes it takes a week, sometimes it takes a month. You do you.


As the other person said, you do you! I’m personally not that far into WaniKani just yet but I’ve learnt that you should do it whenever you can or have time to.

Good Luck :b


Don’t worry about. Go at your own pace. Some people have more time than you do. To some, it comes easier. Most important thing is consistent learning - keep coming back, day after day.


I’m about 3.5 Months into the weeds now and I am still at level 6. Tofugu’s ultimate “learn japanese” guide says that one should need 2-4+ Months and I was like: yooo that’s almost impossible…but now I think it is possible, if you don’t have a lot to do other than studying japanese, which is not the case for me.

Also sorry for any mistakes i made, english is not my mother tongue.

If you feel like you are stuck just check out the numbers of vocabulary, kanji and radicals, sum them up and be impressed how much you learned. also you can see how the numbers shift more and more from apprentice to guru and master.
This is at least what i tend to do if i feel like I’m not making any progress


I use on avrage about a month on each level. Yes, it is much slower than most, but i am learning Japanese every day, and am currently able to read most manga without to big of an issue. You have to find the speed that works for you in the long run. This is a marathon, not a sprint. :running_woman:


Depends on prior exposure, current exposure, time available, and motivation (carrot and stick).

Try to focus more while studying or reviewing. Going slow (and actually retaining) trumps burning through levels and starting over after being overwhelmed.


No worries about your speed, since some skip vocabulary and learn only kanji, some use third-party scripts to fix wrong answers, some are living in Japan and using wanikani as fun place. 7 days per level - there should be some reason why he can go that fast.


I am 2.5 months in and almost at level 6. At the beginning I thought like you as others were finishing fast. But then with grammar learning, Irodori and now my tutoring sessions I do not worry too much over it. We are learning and spending time with the language so that’s all that’s important.


Geani, when I was going as fast as I could, it still took me 10 days to do a level. And that was when I was unemployed with nothing to do but study Japanese! A month is more reasonable if you have “a life”.

The difficulty is only doing few enough lessons every day to keep your study flow consistent and do-able. Especially by the time you get the longer time reviews from older lessons coming back at you… then you become very glad that you aren’t rushing through everything as fast as possible. Especially if English isn’t your first language!

Good luck, Geani!


Thank you for your very kind words!


Fret not! Work at your own pace and take a break when needed : )

I stopped taking lessons for a few months and I’ve resumed a short while ago. I’m about to level up! Don’t worry about time. Worry about learning :man_teacher:t2:


It seems like every response here is about pacing and not so much good things to do/habits to build or details to approaches that work for them.

Or, what is holding you back that you think you might be slow? It’s one of those “why is more important than how” situations. There are a lot of common pitfalls, so any answer you get is going to be a guess. Here are some issues I see frequently from new users:

  • Not doing reviews daily.
  • Doing all of the lessons at once when they unlock instead of in smaller daily batches (eg. 10/day)
  • Poor mnemonic usage (make up your own if the WK ones aren’t good enough).
  • Overexerting themselves. Find your own pace including non-WK Japanese study and immersion.
    • Popular metric, “don’t go over 100 apprentice items”
    • Immersion helps cement things WK teaches.
    • You do not need to memorize every kun + on reading, every definition, and every pitch accent pattern for every word as a beginner.
    • Using WK as 100% of Japanese study time is not advisable.
    • Using 100% of your available study time on WK is prone to “life happening” and getting review backlogs
  • Not putting in consistent effort. Both level ups and learning Japanese in general require putting in effort and getting rest. Cramming one day and skipping the next will hinder both.
  • Not having a basic understanding of Onyomi vs. Kunyomi.
  • Not having a basic understanding of Rendaku.

A lot of people see the guide or a “speedrunning” comment and flip tables, but that’s not the point. Fast is not the same as efficient. It’s hard to go fast without learning efficiency, that is learning how to get the most results for the effort you put in.


I’m very slow too. I started this year and am almost to lvl 3. I think what’s important is moving at a pace you can sustain for long periods of time. I only dedicate 15-20 minutes to WaniKani a day.

Your goals and why you are learning are important. Right now I’m not expecting to get very far. Learning Japanese isn’t my main priority. Eventually, once I get further in my other studies (like French), I plan on dedicating more time to Japanese. For now, Wanikani just a way to dip my toes in the water so that when I do focus on it, I’ll be further along and ready to jump into grammar.


pacing is important! language acquisition is definitely a marathon—I think the key is to find what works for you, then do that consistently. as long as you keep working, you’ll get there eventually.

plus, remember that the fastest you can complete WK is a year—which is already a long time. it’ll probably take me three at least!

and then there’s all the other Japanese learning resources—articles, anime, reading, textbooks, kaniwani. learning the material is more important than trying to “finish” it, as this is a lifelong process. dedicate a comfortable amount of time daily and stick to the routine, and you’ll see the levels coming soon enough!!


To answer literally:

  1. Do your radical and kanji lessons as soon as they become available.
  2. Do your reviews at least two or three times per day.
  3. Answer a very high percentage of your radical and kanji questions correctly for the first 4 reviews.

That said, like most of the responders, I also recommend finding your own pace. The above is if you value getting through levels quickly, but it’s not necessary if your goal is to learn to read Japanese (however long it takes). In particular, I’d strongly advise against skipping vocabulary: to my mind, vocabulary is the entire point of this site.

For what it’s worth I’m currently at a comfortable 19 days/level pace, only do reviews once per day, and only do enough lessons to keep around 100 apprentice items in my queue.


Thank you very much!

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You don’t actually have to do the kanji lessons you get from leveling up instantly, as you are still gated by the next batch that unlock from the radicals. Just finishing them before the second batch is enough.


Whatever speed helps you learn is the right speed. Your emphasis is on learnning, not speeding through.


@ccookf post is definitely the GOAT in this thread, especially the point about spacing out the lessons rather than doing them all at once.

Consistency is key if you want to move at a certain pace through wanikani.

I do believe that comparing you progress to others doesn’t do you any favours though, because it is their pace, not yours.
success here relys on motivation, and trying to go through at a certain speed won’t help that (unless you are one of the few that is driven by that kind of thing of course :sweat_smile: )


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