Is early WaniKani supposed to be this dull?

Hi, sorry if this is the wrong section but wasn’t sure where this is supposed to go.

I’m currently at level 3 in WaniKani and feel like it’s going really slow. Maybe I’m feeling this way because it’s quarantine and I’m basically doing nothing most of the day, but did anyone else feel this way when they first started? Does the quantity improve eventually? Wondering if it’s like this for me because I do all my lessons/reviews as soon as I’m able to, so I just get everything slower but in larger chunks.

I guess this is a sign for me to probably focus on grammar some more, lol.

Yes, the first couple of levels will be slow. This is normal. It will ramp up.


Yes, the early levels are very slow. Don’t worry, it picks up pretty quickly. Soon you’ll be begging for mercy.

Also, make sure to do your radical and kanji lessons whenever available and focus on getting them right so that you level up as quickly as possible. Assuming you do your lessons on time and don’t mess up too much, you should be able to level up every week. (Note that this is the maximum, many people choose to go slower to avoid getting overwhelmed, but obviously you can cross that bridge if you come to it)


Cool, good to know! Looking forward to it.

Hah, honestly kind of looking forward to get into a position like that. Would rather have too much rather than too little. And yeah, I do stuff the hour it’s available. Basically been trying to level as quick as possible.

First, like, 10 levels were a joke to me because I started with some prior knowledge. Don’t let it get to your head, I’m nearing level 20 and most terms introduced at this point are new to me. At first I got a lot of review items incorrect, cuz of cockiness.

Though, the onslaught of counter-related items you get in the first 10 levels is something that’s commonly criticized, which I understand.

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Now’s a good time to understand what it takes to level up if you haven’t already.

In order to level up in Wanikani, you must guru at least 90% of the kanji for that level. In order to unlock a kanji, you must reach its level and guru all the radicals it depends on. This means that for most levels, you must go through two stages: First guru all the radicals on that level, then guru the kanji on that level that you unlocked after guru’ing those radicals.

For all levels except the first two, the SRS intervals are 4 hours, 8 hours, 23 hours, 47 hours (the later two can be approximated as 1 day and 2 days). This means that you don’t have to do reviews at every hour of the day, you just have to establish a schedule consistent with the 4 hour intervals.

Example schedule:

Friday 6am: Level up, do new radical lessons
Friday 10am: Apprentice 1 radical reviews
Friday 6pm: Apprentice 2 radical reviews
Saturday 6pm: Apprentice 3 radical reviews
Monday 6pm: Apprentice 4 radical reviews - radicals are now guru’d unlocking the last few kanji. Do all the kanji lessons immediately.
Monday 10pm: kanji apprentice 1 reviews
Tuesday 6am: kanji apprentice 2 reviews
Wednesday 6am: kanji apprentice 3 reviews
Friday 6am: kanji apprentice 4 reivews - level up and repeat the cycle.

That’s roughly the schedule I followed for a while. As you can see, it’s not so hard. You just have to understand how the intervals work.


I’m actually completely new to vocab, so this is all stuff I’m doing for the first time. Oh okay, guess I’ll see when I start getting close to finishing the first 10 levels! Should be fun.

Don’t worry, I didn’t know any Japanese before starting WK either.

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Yeah I’ve read most of the stuff for newbies so I think I have a basic idea of what it takes to level. But that’s a good idea, I should probably make a schedule. Still been adjusting to the slower pace after I finished the first two levels, probably better to get some consistency soon.

Four months ago, I was in your shoes (I started WK on Jan 1st). It seems like forever when you first start out, but time flies.


Ah, those were the days…


Heh, was learning vocab a New Year’s resolution? Yeah, I’m probably being too impatient.

Well you could say learning Japanese was a New Year’s Resolution. I don’t really make formal resolutions, but I had decided New Year’s was a good time to start, since it makes a nice easy to remember date.

Japanese has proven much more difficult than I expected, but I am making progress, slowly but surely.

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If you would like a graphical understanding of how much your workload can increase: take this time-machine graph of my WK stats:

Highlighted is the day I hit level 4.

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It takes maybe a month, but you will get to a point where enough is enough. Here’s a graph of my progress over time. The long plateau is when I got overwhelmed and did nothing for a number of months. You will get there if you stick through the “this is not fast enough” period. The vertical cliff is when I reset to level 2. The good thing about what I did is I’m burning items early. The bad thing is I lost about 4 months, which at my pace is 6 to 8 levels.


I nearly got Leebo’d.


Oh, how’d you get something like this? That’s super cool to be able to look at. And really helpful actually, thanks! Is the y-axis total items? Or items per day?

And Y-axis is total items.

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Yes. Y is total items. Interestingly enough tkyk started about where I did. Although I estimate I’d be in the mid 20s had I not taken time away. 45 is a pretty insane pace starting less than a year ago.