Hi. I really have no idea if it is cheating? I am so scared of making a mistake so i do extra study before doing the reviews and i REALLY have no idea if its good or bad…

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You are wondering if checking the answers before a test is cheating? The answer would be yes.


I think you should relax about getting things wrong. This isn’t a test; nothing will happen to you if you get things wrong. In fact, getting things wrong is part of learning!

Source: disappeared from WaniKani for three years and am trooping through 400+ forgotten items.


People take getting things wrong during SRS too seriously. Failing is a part of the process and makes you remember it better next time, it reinforces it.

The things that bothers me with SRS is when they don’t have undone functionality and get things wrong because of typo or getting a synonym wrong, but it’s another topic.


I think it’s fine doing the extra study before the reviews. As for making mistakes, mistakes is part of learning and growing on your Japanese learning journey. If babies were too scared to speak cause they were afraid of making mistakes we’d all be mutes. So just know that mistakes is part of the learning process. Nothing for you to feel bad about it.


I think it is OK to get things wrong; but at least try to remember better for next time.

Not meant to take significant time and energy. Maybe read the mnemonics, create your own, or research more on that vocabulary. (And gauge yourself whether this might be enough to memorize.)

Anyway, simply getting thing wrong usually doesn’t make you get right next time. Maybe there is that shock effect, but not necessarily that much.

Anyway, I think it is good to be scared of making mistakes. Nonetheless, you aren’t studying for Wanikani; you are studying for yourself. – So interpret the meaning of studying by yourself.

It’s not OK to study exactly the test for the test, otherwise the test would lose its purpose.


I thought extra study was supposed to be used after you finished the review to practice the items you got wrong.

I think it’s alright to make mistakes but I understand the pain of getting radicals wrong when you are trying to unlock more content, typos, brainfarts, etc.

No one is going to perfectly remember all items and if you look at the big picture its better to fail a Guru item soon than to fail an Enlighten one months later.


It’s not a summative exam. It’s formative, so just do whatever you want.


I think you need to address this misunderstanding about what SRS is good for. Doing lessons isn’t when you’re doing the learning bit and reviews are not “tests” for you to nail and get correct: they’re the learning time!

Failing items is natural. Getting those extra repetitions from them going down the SRS is how you learn them properly. Just let it happen.

It’s just not time well spent doing extra studying before reviewing. The whole point with SRS is to make your studying time more efficient, allowing you to rely on the short time of doing reviews as your main path to learning.

As for cheating, no I don’t think it is. You’re doing hard work trying to learn stuff here. You’re just doing more work and spending more time on that than is strictly necessary, that’s all. But, in the end, how you choose to go about learning Japanese is up to you.


Failing items is a necessary part of SRS. If you study beforehand to avoid failure, you might as well just study from a list of kanji without using WaniKani. Nothing wrong with that if it better suits your needs.

It’s not that studying beforehand is “wrong,” but I know that I wouldn’t wanna pay for WK if I wasn’t utilizing its main selling point (SRS).


I usually do the “recent lessons” extra study before reviews, when I have time for it! It literally says, “Prepare for their appearance in Reviews,” so I think that’s what it’s meant for (and thus not “cheating”). But I only do this to help get the new items get into my head, I don’t study items that are beyond Apprentice because I want reviews for Guru (or higher) items to be accurate assessments of my knowledge


Looking at answers before doing a test is the definition of cheating, anything else is mental gymnastics.

It’s not cheating regardless of what some people say.

Everyone learns different, and the more reinforcement I can get on something the better. The SRS system is great but not everybody learns the same and if it works for you to help get it into your memory, then do it!

I like to look at anything I’m currently semi-struggling with (in the 50-60% range or lower) and devote extra time to them outside of my reviews. It helps, and I remember them far better in the long term.

There isn’t one way to learn, so if it works for you then keep doing it. Definitely don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but if you feel like you need extra work on stuff, then ignore the SRS and just do it.


Items in stages 1 and 2 will be rescheduled for the same day whether you answer correctly or not.

Don’t be so dogmatic.

Memorization is aided by repetition. Lots and lots of repetition of new items for a few days after they are unlocked is beneficial for most people. Extra study of early stage (apprentice) items (extra study of recent lessons) can be a huge benefit, whenever you chose to do them.

I think of early stage item reviews as repetition drills and only later stage items (master and enlightened) as “retention tests”.

Seeing the answers for master and enlightened items before you do a formal review could be considered cheating and harmful to SRS scheduling, but misses for master/enlightened items fall back to at least guru2 anyway, so “recent misses” are also fair game for extra study in my opinion (and WK itself, or they wouldn’t have added the feature).

But you do you.


My observation tells that SRS sometimes doesn’t help that well with lower Apprentice, so yeah, maybe it could help.

But not exactly just before next Review.

Maybe new Radicals and Kanji also. Without vocabularies to support, they are quite fragile.

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doing reviews is not a test. No need to be so dismissive. Doing extra memorization is how you build better recollection for items. it is however probably not a good use of study time. But that’s for each user to decide really.


I used the self-study script for items in stages 1-2 (sometimes 1-4) immediately before my regular reviews from about level 35 onward. Not every day, but quite often, especially early in a level with lots of new kanji unlocks.

I found it quite helpful.

The extra study feature for “recent lessons” is roughly the same thing (but I preferred the script).

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Maybe it could work, but that’s as much as what I feel SRS works well or doesn’t.

Otherwise people would get trapped in new Apprentice with no gain.

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I’m surprised a lot of people, while not saying it’s down right bad, didn’t fully support OP’s way either.

Now I’m saying this as a level 45 and a language learner for life (up to now), extra study outside of Wanikani is beneficial and will do good things to your memory only, and in no way is cheating!

I’ve stayed on WK for a year and a half and it’s an excellent tool to gracefully and cleverly transfer Kanji to our brain. And doing reviews will make it stick through time. BUT, only relying on reviews is a feeble way to help you retain Kanji and its meaning in the long run. Around the 30 first levels, it was working really well on my brain and i could tell different Kanji apart precisely. However, later as you learn more, it easly becomes confusing and that’s when you’ll realize you need extra study!

My method has been writing down the items i got wrong, and also all the new items i learned in a session. Plus, reading any kind of materials outside of WK’s example sentences also counts as extra study! It puts you in a different environment other than WK, where your brain was trained to realize characters in a very familiar setting (the WK website itself).

So in short, it’s completely harmless and good for you :blush:


I don’t follow. As long as you pace lessons so you aren’t overwhelmed with too many items in apprentice, more repetitions HELP to move things to higher stages.