In terms of a JLPT Qualification how effective is Wani Kani?

Hi guys,
I’ve been using WaniKani for a few weeks now and I’m currently working through the second level. I’m aiming to achieve a Level 2 JLPT by the end of 2022 so I can work and settle in Japan. In order to achieve this I will need a Level 2 JLPT in Japanese Language, Will WaniKani teach me what I need to know for the exam? I like the app and if so will definitely purchase a permanent subscription. But first I wanted to see if any of you have gained any JLPT Qualifications from what the course taught you and if not OR even if it did, what other resources you’ might suggest?
Kind regards Steven


Very no. WaniKani barely touches on vocab, and doesn’t cover grammar or listening at all. But when it comes to kanji, WaniKani’s the place for you.


Wanikani will teach you part of what you need to learn - how to read and interact with kanji.

But only this one part.


While WaniKani is a great tool for learning Japanese radicals, kanji, and some vocab, I would probably try to pick up some of the learning tools (textbooks etc) that’s aimed exclusively at clearing the JLPT exams.

I’ve only ever done the lowest level, and that was many years ago and with little to no study beyond hiragana/katakana and vocab. But, JLPT really is a highly structured exam, with a pre-determined number of kanji you’ll need for each level. Not to mention the listening part of the exam. WaniKani alone won’t be enough to nail it.

If JLPT is your goal, I’d get the JLPT-textbooks for the right levels you need and do WaniKani as a side thing. Because it is helpful in what it does well!


WaniKani is not a Japanese course. It’s a kanji learning app that also teaches vocab. If you get to lvl 60 you shouldn’t have any issues with kanji even at JLPT N1.

But everything else (grammar, reading, listening) will be a huge problem.


I got my N2 qualification this past December. I was at WK level 51 at that time. This meant that I had little to no trouble with the kanji section of the exam (the first 20-30 questions). But WK will not help you with grammar or reading speed.

I am sure it helped with the reading section somewhat, just in terms of being able to understand unknown kanji based vocab at least a bit. But for reading speed and answerkngvthe questions you need to be able to read and comprehend a text at a good pace. Which means, read a lot, and read the right things, like columns from newspapers and such.

Also, grammar. Also, vocabulary. Also, listening.

I think with some dedication and time to spend on this, N2 should be doable in your timeframe, depending on where you are starting from.


If you’re looking for more free, interactive online resources for studying Japanese, I suggest you take a look at Kanshudo. It seems pretty decent, and even if you don’t feel like signing up as a user to access lessons, you can still use their dictionary of grammar points and expressions. That aside, I guess you can look around at things like Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese (for grammar), Maggie Sensei, Cure Dolly (her explanations are pretty good, but the synthetic android voice is a little grating), NHK News Web Easy (for reading practice; you can try to read along with the recordings as pronunciation imitation practice) and various JLPT prep sites that you should find easily by googling.

In my experience though, none of these free resources beat a good textbook or a teacher (or at least a fluent friend), at least at the beginner level, because textbooks bring together a lot of information at once, and it’s mostly useful information. I’d recommend Tobira: Gateway to Advanced Japanese as an intermediate textbook. Other people are probably better placed to give you advice on beginners’ textbooks, because I used one written in French that doesn’t have an English equivalent on the same level. Honestly though, I rarely use my textbook (Tobira) at the moment. Instead, I just read or watch whatever interests me while looking up words I don’t know. (You can use dictionaries like or for that.) That’s probably not as productive as a beginner though, because there are too many things to look up. Much easier to have a textbook feed you basic words with explanations in the initial stages.

I can’t comment on WK’s efficacy because I’m a Chinese speaker, so I knew kanji before I started Japanese, but it seems that it’s helped quite a lot of people here. Whatever it is, here’s wishing you all the best!


pretty effective. To pass jlpt you just need to know 1000kanji+ 5000-6000vocab words+ grammar.

1)wanikani for kanji
2) torii for supplementing essential vocabulary
3) grammar- plenty of resources. Imabi for example, its free and covers literally everything. Or bunpro. Bunpro is best supplemented with something else. It can be a textbook or Youtuber like cury dolly that specializes purely on grammar.
If you are consistent, you can easily pass n2 in a year from zero.


Fab to hear from someone else who got the qualification, sounds like WaniKani is definitely helpful for at least learning the Kanji which is great to know. Thanks for your input and motivation.

1 Like

Awesome, I’ll take a look at torii and lmabi, thanks for your input.

Thanks for your kind words, I was thinking of looking into some text books and will have a look at Tobira, and maybe invest in it once I’ve gone up a few levels. I thought I was a little weird reading and watching Japanese things that interest me to learn some of the language, glad i’m not the only one, however I’ve been using Google Translate which isn’t great, so I will look into jisho for that. I’ll have a visit at Kanshudo too.


I think that Wani Kani is only a tool to boost your learning path in the Japanese Language, cause since you master the kanji, the barrier between the writing system and you is torn down. So, I guess it indirectly hits the aspects you’re interested in, which are writing, reading (above all). and grammar.