Is it important to keep lessons at zero?

It seems every time I do a review 5 or 10 more lessons pop up making it really hard for me to get them down to zero.

I’m currently stuck at 20-30 lessons all the time because of it.

Is it important to keep lessons at zero and to just power through them all in one sitting to get them there? Or does it not matter as long as I’m doing the lessons regularly.

I don’t think there’s one right answer to this question. It depends on your learning style and your goals. I think it’s pretty normal to have lessons waiting for you until you have time to do them, or because you prefer to do them little by little.


Entirely psychological. Makes no real difference in theory but personally I know that if I let lessons and reviews get out of hand there will be a great temptation to stop doing WK regularly. So I always try to go to bed with no lessons or reviews outstanding. I know it is stupid and I should be flexible but I also know myself (if at first you don’t succeed…prevaricate!)


Just go at a pace that’s comfortable for you. If you feel you can take on more, do lessons. If you’re getting overloaded, let lessons sit and focus on reviews. Unless you need Japanese for work or something, there’s no rush.
I’m sitting where i am ignoring lessons to focus on general vocab and grammar at the moment, and I’ve pretty much always went at a slow pace.


It’s very important to space out your lessons and reviews accordingly so you don’t feel overwhelmed. If you ever dump too many lessons in one sitting or a stack of similar SRS level item reviews at once, they will all just pile up very quickly later on.

If you have some lessons to do but you have around 100 Apprentice items and your next day has 200 reviews coming up, it’s best not to throw more lessons on top of that. The Apprentice items (and especially newly learned Lessons) will keep coming back within 3 days and pile quickly. Even if you didn’t have so many Apprentice items, it’s best not to do all 200 reviews within a span of a few hours (unless they vary in SRS level enough), otherwise the same 200 will just be pushed back and slam you all at once again. It’s best to space out how many reviews you do in one sitting, too. That way you can keep a spread-out income of reviews.


I try not to go to sleep at night with reviews in the docket (because I know more will be waiting when I wake up) , but for lessons I go more with how I’m feeling at the time, my enthusiasm, mental state, alertness, etc. I don’t mind letting them sit for awhile because I’m not in a rush and they appear more predictably, less likely to get out of control that reviews. Reviews are a weed that must be poisoned at least twice a day or it grows exponentially.


In my experience rushing to zero out lessons can overload your apprentice stack and lead to impractically large review sessions (150+ reviews per 8 hour period) and If I haven’t learned them well enough (because 60-80 new items at one time will divide my attention) they just stay in apprentice and add to the next review session. That can be very demotivating for some. I recommend experimenting to try and find your daily tolerance of new information and how much it contributes to your review pile. For example I find an apprentice basket of 100 or fewer items to be manageable if I do reviews twice a day.


At the beginning of a level, you usually have 50-100 lessons just from the new level’s material. That’s too much for me to tackle in one day, so I’ll spread it out over a few days.

During that time, I’m doing lessons faster than new ones become available, so the number will go down over time.

I’ve never failed to get Lessons down to 0 at some point during a level, but sometimes only very briefly…and I’m still early on in my studies. It’s the exception and not the rule for me.

1 Like

The general rule I’ve found is try and keep your apprentice at around 100. I tend to go over when I get a block of lessons that very simple and repetitive, but go back to 100 when the the lessons are new or very challenging (like with lots of non-standard readings).

1 Like

Personally I always try to go down to 0 lessons before I level up that way the lessons don’t keep building up to a point it becomes a huge hassle to deal with them all. As long as you can deal with them just do whatever works for you.


Having the reviews at 0 is a reward to me. I don’t mind having a bunch of reviews and missing some new stuff, but knowing there are more lessons waiting for me drains my energy.

It took me about 8 levels to figure this out. Aka, do whatever you feel is right. Play around with the formula.

1 Like

I try to drain my reviews, but I am pacing out my lessons. The reason is that if you do a burst of lessons, it’s going to result in a burst of reviews later on, which means it becomes easier for reviews to back up later. I’ve set my pace at 8 lessons a day, and I only do those once I’ve drained the review queue. If I don’t have time to complete my reviews, then I don’t do any lessons for a day.

I switched to this approach because I was spending too much of my time in the app, instead of reading or doing other things. I also went on vacation mode for over a month, and it took me a while to come out of that backlog. My goal is to continue making steady progress, but not try to cram it all in as fast as possible. (Also, I invested in the lifetime membership so I wouldn’t feel the pressure to “get my money’s worth” and overdoing it.)


I currently have 60 lessons, down from 120 last week :grin:

You’ll live


I generally wait until I’ve zero’d my reviews queue (over a few days or whatever), before I take on another set of lessons.

However, if the review session went terribly then I wait a bit longer before moving on.

Not much else to it for me.

1 Like

I had 225 lessons when I currently leveled up. Had a mental block and a period I should have put on vacation mode, I can assure you it’s stressful just looking at it.

If i’m struggling with reviews on any certain day I won’t do anymore lessons otherwise it just becomes harder for me to actually take anything in!

As said above, you do you!

1 Like

Radical and kanji lessons are what control me levelling up, so I focus heavily on those. Vocab might float around for a few days until I feel like chipping away at them. As long as you don’t let them discourage you, you’ll be fine.

1 Like

If you get your lessons and reviews to 0, you can take a screenshot and post it in the relevant thread, where people will give you internet points, so I think that’s pretty important.


Personally at level 29, I constantly have a pile of 70-100 lessons and I usually get them down to 10-20 left before I level up again and have another huge stack added to my lessons :sweat_smile:

I feel like it’s good to find a balance where you’re not rushing to finish the lessons in a way where you won’t absorb the material since it’ll just come back to hit you over and over in the SRS system. Like everyone else said, I think it depends on the person but finding your own pace is good.

Sometimes I do 50-60 lessons at once when I know I have the free time to follow up on the apprentice reviews, but I usually avoid doing a heavy amount of lessons when I know I’ll be busy over the next few days so I don’t forget them.


I keep ontop of my reviews by doing them whenever they get past 30. Usually a big review in the morning and one or two later that day.
As for lessons I do 40 a day whenever I have them. Keeps me going at a good pace but it’s about what’s right for you.


Personally I try to. For a little while I was pushing to just get Kanji and Radicals done in order to “progress”, but I found that my knowledge of the Kanji from the previous few levels degraded very quickly.

Without doing the vocab for the previous level I found that I was not really learning those Kanji; just going through the motions. I don’t think it’s as important in the earlier levels, but after around 24 I noticed that I was failing to retain the information for some of the more recent Kanji.