Is it normal for progress to slow down at level 10+?

I’m working on level 14, and my review accuracy has dropped significantly to the low 70s. It used to be in the high 80%s.

It looks like I’m failing on old vocab. I frequently get them slightly wrong.

Is this expected for level 10+?
Is this why it’s classified as painful?


If your review accuracy is in the 70-s, that’s usually a bigger problem than the slow speed. Try to find ways to push it up above 80%, and it will be much better in terms of painfulness. For example try the extra study feature, or try somehow using the words, whatever helps you remember them. Or just take a break from lessons, sort out the outliers and get back to it.


Not studying enough.

Do reviews more often and slow down on lessons.

My review % was fairly consistent throughout WK. Because I was.


Wanikani is really good at training recognition but lacks in production (the other half of your memory). Try using a Wanikani production companion app like Kamesame – that should help!

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I’m guessing that you’ve started burning items. The last stage tends to be the one with the lowest accuracy because you haven’t seen the items in about 4 months. You can combat this symptom by practicing more reading, where you’ll encounter items in the wild.

It’s perfectly normal for accuracy to drop once you’re burning items. The other posts have some good hints, because items that fall back down also increase your review piles and large review piles can also hurt accuracy.


I find that using the “extra study” options are really helpful and I try to do a burn review on a monthly basis - if I have time. I also read stuff in Japanese, even though I don’t have a clue what is being said most times. It’s mainly to try and pinpoint kanji and make an educated guess on what is happening.

I have also found that doing a sentence a day is super helpful. You can use apps for this or do it here - there is a thread for it - try to assess what your leeches are and try to fit them into a daily sentence or statement - it doesn’t matter if its a sentence you wont use in real life either, sometimes the wackier they are, the better you will remember.

Also, be kind to yourself. A lot of people want to be fluent in 3 months but its not possible. You just have to go at your brain’s pace, and if you are struggling to retain then its a sign to take a step back and access your study methodology.

Final point, I totally agree with getting KameSame. It’s a lot of work to clear the backlog at your current level but it’s totally worth it. It’s a free app too.

Good luck :slight_smile:


I’m still at 0 burns right now.
Anyways, I don’t think there’s much I can do other than to extra study them when I get them wrong.

There’s a lot of nice helpful troubleshooting here, but I’m going to be real. 14 was a problem level for me. Some people not so much. Moving forward you will have a lot of ups and downs and it’ll suck. Something a lot of people seem to ignore, but 14 is what I’d also consider a major breakpoint in WK as the radicals per level get cut down dramatically. Level 13 had 17 radicals and level 14 has just 7.

This is also where pacing can get rough. Depending on your setup getting a big stream of new kanji is always painful and with a lower radical count more are unlocked off the bat. Speaking of batches of new kanji, the painful levels are still kind of easy, but are you used to reading a writing system with 8+ strokes per character? Probably not. The kanji will gradually get denser and start to look more similar which is something everyone kind of has to struggle through at some point.

Level 14 is also closing in on completing 25% of WK which is great progress. Congratulations, but take some time to think about how much you’ve had to learn to get this far. It’s a lot for new learners, many of these items won’t even see use unless you’re actively reading native material. Most beginner textbooks have a smaller kanji pool too.

As you’ve already seen by now lots of people here are offering advice to help identify and take action on your study woes, but I think it’s also nice to point out that yes… WK does get harder. It’ll feel painful. It’ll feel like hell. At some point your might go insane and think it’s paradise. It’s normal. Just keep on moving forward one step at a time and remember that self-improvement requires effort. You’ve got this. If you feel like you’re struggling be sure to stick around the forums. There’s a lot of great people who can make the journey feel more pleasant. Gl;hf


Not studying enough could be the culprit. I say this because since hitting level 10 I’ve come to the realisation that;

If I do reviews every day including weekends: 1 Level = 6-10 Days
If I skip my reviews at the weekend and only do weekdays: 1 Level = 20-25 Days

Those 2 days of skipping my reviews at the weekend cause absolute chaos on my memory and accuracy.

I don’t think my problem is with not studying enough.
I do sessions every day.

My main problem is that I keep getting errors in the answers when I don’t see them in a while.

Example: 辺り
Mistake: あとり
Correct: あたり

Anyways, I think there’s not much we can do here other than to practice it again.

Do you use any redo scripts? Such as either something like Double Check or the same feature on the phone apps?
When I had this kind of problem, the cause was that I accidentally abused the system at a point (good old “eh, good enough, I’ll remember the next time”).

At least three times a day hitting your correct intervals for new items? How does your Japanese studying look like other than WK?

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