I'm studying or cheating?

I’m using a third-party app that allow to search/browse the items with certain conditions (level, learning step, next review time, etc).
Something that I do sometimes, when i clear my reviews, is to check/browse the elements that has a review for the next day.

But i suppose that this breaks the whole SRS purpose, because even if i quiz myself (i cover part of the screen with the solution, and then i check if i was correct) when i have the real quiz i have the elements fresh in my mind.

Should I stop checking kanji beforehand and only do the reviews as scheduled?

1 Like

You are only putting extra reps in. SRS timings are designed, so you do the least number of reviews necessary.
Obligatory graph:

If you bascially do more sessions than necessary, you are only increasing the time your retain the information (though only slightly)


Surely you’re not merely doing extra reps, because the external quizzing does not update the time-to-next-repeat if you get it wrong? So then when you do your “real” review the SRS thinks “oh, you can remember this after 6 weeks” but it’s actually only “you can remember it after 2 days”…


That depends on how they deal with incorrect guesses. If all they do is go “oh, got it wrong, doesn’t matter, I’ll get it next time”, sure, then it’s not very beneficial. But there are methods for solving this kinda issue.

1 Like

Like what? I’m struggling to see how you can make up for the fact the SRS is missing important information when you review items outside it. For the case of reviewing items you just got wrong in the SRS today, the extra information the SRS is missing is minor (and it’s probably a good idea to effectively restudy the item a bit). But for the case of reviewing items you know are going to come up tomorrow, that is the worst possible case of the SRS system missing information about your actual recall abilities, and it really doesn’t seem like a good idea as a general practice.

(Obviously the system copes fine if it happens occasionally - if you for some reason happened to see a word in a book you were reading the day before it came up for a review and you checked it in a dictionary because you’d forgotten it, that’s not going to mess anything up. It’s pre-study as a consistent habit that I’m suggesting is not a good idea.)


Yes, i think that the only correct scenarios are the ones that already cover wanikani by default:

  • review last sessions (that are items that have very low SRS value, so you’re not messing with the system)
  • review last failed (that are items that you just reviewed and failed, so you’re not messing with it.

But, for example, if i decide to practice my “enlightened items”, so i won’t miss when i burn them, i’ll be screwing with the system. So I’ll stop to reviewing my “review in 24h elements”, even if that lower my accuracy in the low-term.


“just let SRS do its thing”

that’s my motto since day one here.


I think this would be fine as long as you don’t do it for anything above Guru 1. If you are going to be using SRS you need to be able to fail. If you look up the answers beforehand you’re not going to fail when you need it


If this was “cheating”, then it would also imply that you’re not allowed to engage with Japanese content because you might accidentally stumble upon a word that is due TOMORROW and understand it from context.

SRS is not an exact science, it’s a tool. Memory is weird and not a perfect machine, you may have a temporary memory lapse even though you know something, and you can recall something spontaneously even though you mostly wouldn’t.


There’s a difference between “accidentally stumble on one of tomorrow’s words among everything you’re reading” (happens rarely, will even itself out in time) and “frequently systematically pre-review everything due tomorrow”, though.


I would personally avoid what you’re doing because cheating aside, it’s just extra work. Past the beginner soak everything up phase I see SRS as the extra reps, because you’ll be getting into words that are seen maybe a handful of times in an entire book. Doing extra prereview on top of SRS review on top of consuming native content is just getting excessive. I do think post-review for missed items is helpful if you want extra/concentrated study on your SRS items.

Going back to cheating, it’s a black and white label people seem to need to feel better about themselves. I’d recommend discarding the notion and looking at the situation for what it is. You’re now studying more on your own instead of just relying on a system that was supposed to make your life easier (and is paid). Congrats, you’ve played yourself.


IMO there’s a significant difference for “pre-study” of stuff in early SRS stages and stuff in later stages.

I and WK itself consider “pre-study” of anything in apprentice stages (or anything recently missed) fair game. Extra reps are hugely beneficial for anything in early stages.

Quizzes for stuff in the last three or four stages I consider “retention tests”. “Pre-study” for these items defeats the purpose of testing your retention.

Early stages are different, though. Anything you will review again within another day or three regardless of your response benefits greatly from repetitive drilling — you will see the item again within a day or two no matter how you respond, so “unnecessary” drills just further cement the information in your memory.


You know what, I’m gonna bite the bullet here and say its the opposite of cheating, if anything its gonna make you better than everyone else, because seeing a Kanji 365 days out of the years is gonna have a longer lasting impact than only seeing it 10 times all year. Yes, your memory can retain it to the same level doing less, BUT I am not gonna pretend you aren’t getting ANY benefit from seeing a character more often, the entire reason why burns happen after 6 months is because you’re expected to see the character in the wild at least once in the next year or so. So I encourage you to do it if it makes you happy and gets you off this site sooner (in a nice way of course, not like the forums, just the application part).


They’re not reviewing every item every day


I know. I’m just making the comparison if someone gets more exposure it’s a good thing.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.