Is it really better to push radicals to the front?

I am currently on level 5 with 27/27 radicals active and 43/43 kanji active. Everything from levels 1-4 seems to be active. It says I have 105/124 vocabulary items active. I have 39 lessons remaining, and 19 locked.

If I use the reorder script for level 6, will I just end up preempting the vocab from 5 and 6 to the point where I will be in position to level up again and still have vocab from level 5 to learn while I progress to level 7?

I’m just not sure if Tofugu’s pacing might be best left as is. What are your opinions and experiences?


I just use the default wk order that ensures I learn all vocab before moving to next level’s radicals.

But within a level I make sure to do all radical lessons asap so that I can unlock the second batch of the kanji.


Only reason to do this is if you want to be a speed demon. Nothing wrong with that, if it’s your thing, but you didn’t really bring it up.


If you just want to learn Japanese, stick with the default WaniKani order of reviews and lessons. This is what’s recommended, as WaniKani isn’t a race.

If you want to speedrun WaniKani, of which the only prize is the ability to buy a bigger ruler, then you can get a re-order script which allows you to prioritize the latest level’s radicals and kanji.

In order to get the second set of Kanji for your lesson, you need to Guru all the Radicals. And in order to unlock the next level, you need to Guru 90% of that lesson’s Kanji.


Depends on how many lessons you plan to do per day. I personally do 20 lessons a day, and mix kanji and vocab together in the batch. I have never had vocab in queue from more than a level previous, and I usually finish all those before I guru the radicals I frontloaded upon level up.


Same here. I’m surprised the Reorder Script has this much bad reputation :open_mouth: . I personally think it helps or hinders depending on how you use it, and it doesn’t necessarily make you a WK speedrunner either.

I’ve been using it for a long time to divide what I learn evenly and not spend more than the necessary time on each level (not only to be efficient with my learning, but also because I’m not lifetime). For that, it’s kind of dependant on how many lessons you do per day, though. I also do 20 a day, and I always reach 0 lessons before leveling up, except once, when I had to take one or two more days learning vocab before new kanji.

And even then, if you go by whatever pace, I think the ability to reorder is still very valuable. It means you are not forced to learn so many kanji at once when you level up if you don’t want to. Maybe learning 20 new kanji at once is very overwhelming (I know it is for me), but learning 10 new kanji and 10 vocabulary is very doable. I use the script to take advantage of that and it has worked amazingly.

To answer your question more directly OP, it depends on what pace (lessons per day) you plan on having and how strict you are with not letting yourself advance unless the oldest vocabulary you have pending temporarily is from last level and no more than that.

Details of my process with the script

What I do when I level up, is do the radicals first. Depending on how many they are, I do more or less kanji. For example, if they are only two, I do those two + 8 kanji, and then I do 10 vocabulary; if they are 6, I do 4 kanji, and 10 vocabulary; and so on. The vocabulary I always sort it by level, so it picks items from the last level first if there are any. Next day I do 10 kanji + 10 vocabulary. The next one, 10 kanji +10 vocabulary. 10 was normally the max number of kanji I would do in one day unless I felt I wanted to do a couple more, especially in the last levels I’m currently at.

Once the kanji were all done, the lessons would be 20 vocabulary. And eventually, even if some kanji you did the previous days are entering guru and unlocking new vocabulary, it isn’t enough to pile up, so you eventually hit 0 lessons between level and level. Once levelled up, I repeated the process.


This has a lot of issues.

No one recommends this for everyone. And why do people always manage to misuse “wAnIkAnI iSnT a RaCe”. Rarely do people go fast to “beat” someone else. Get over the fact that some people will learn faster than you already.

Of which the only prize is learning faster. Which…is a pretty damn good prize for people who…get this…want to learn as fast as possible.

Its crazy to see some of the mental gymnastics of some people. They’ll come up with every reason why their pace is just right and anyone who goes faster is wrong somehow. My favorite one was a person who said speedrunners don’t actually learn the material. I went through their posts and found a screenshot of their stats that had a 70% accuracy rating…I speedran with ~95% and so have many others. Like…?


Lol, seems I hit a sensitive nerve. All I meant was that people should find the pace that works for them. It’s easy to burn yourself out if you try to speedrun WK. You didn’t, good for you. Someone else might. And WK wasn’t built for speedrunning, it was built for efficiency. If people have a harder time going through WK, then you shouldn’t shame them by looking through their post history and celebrating that they aren’t as good as you. That’s legitimate crazy behavior.


Reordering doesn’t make you learn faster, it just changes the priority of the items that you learn.
If you actually want to cram in more information in a shorter period of time you just have to do all of the lessons at once when they arrive, which can be accomplished without reordering.


Exactly. Thats what WK is not a race means.

Go at your own pace and don’t mind others. Yet the ones who seem to not respect that are the people who go slower and try to tell other people that they’re wrong for going faster.

WK is just a certain order of items and you’re still preserving that. At the end of every level, a “speedrunner” will have learned the same stuff as anyone else.

If people have a hard time going through WK and shame others for going faster then them…thats legitimate insecure toxic behavior.

The actual reason I and many others used it is because at our pace, you would have a few dead days with 0 lessons with default wk. Reorder allows you to have a steady pace of like 20 items a day.


You’ll have to forgive some typing errors. I meant that you shouldn’t shame them. As you seem to have done when you celebrated the fact that the person you referenced only had a 70ish accuracy score and were pleased that you were higher than them.

I’m pleased about a lot of things, but my accuracy definitely wasn’t anything noteworthy. The point was people like that talk outta their ass

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I agree with this definition. It’s important to know the pace you’re able to follow with a high retention rate, and that’s unique to each person’s nature, current situation in life and priorities. However, I think “speedrunning WaniKani” means a different thing for many people. I personally wouldn’t be able to keep the pace that some people have managed, and I think those were insane (in a good sense) to have been able to finish what I couldn’t in less time. I see that with amazement rather than anything else. But then, I have been able to keep an average of 8-10 days per level, which was perfect for me (and impossible without the script), and this pace is still seen as insane to some other people that go slower. Those same people will look insane to people that go slower, etc. At the end of the day, everyone of us have to choose what works best for us, but I personally dislike the concept of “speedrunning WaniKani” unless they have very poor retention rates or they are skipping vocabulary. My accuracy is +96% according to wkstats, but I think I read the way they track is not very accurate, so it’s probably a bit lower.

Another perk in favour of the reorder script is that for anybody that is able to learn faster, it avoids very steep spikes in reviews. When you start getting burnable items, it’s quite a pain to have days with +80 items than your usual workload. I still regret doing the whole batch of lessons in the early levels when I could have just reordered it, and I’m currently on Lv59, even if my spikes are of around 40 more reviews :joy: .


I push the Radicals to the front the moment I level up, once they are done, I proceed with the normal WK order. I recommend this, since Radical are easy.

And wow. 27 Radicals? :astonished: I forgot how many Radicals there are in those lower levels.


I only filter the lessons to be able to start doing the vocab related to the kanji that I already now, while I’m still learning some new kanji. With the regular WK configuration I always ended having almost all the vocab left after I leveled up (that’s because I do few lessons a day) but I find my current approach more balanced and when I level up I don’t have as much vocab left.

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For me? Yeah. I have Military Conscription to go for in July that will last for 2 years, so time is of the essence for me at the moment. I use the reorder script to do Radicals first, Kanji second and then Vocabulary third so that I can do my radicals and Kanji ASAP. So I guess I can call my current Kanji learning pace on WaniKani a ‘speedrun’.

To add to the other comments in this post… I agree with @Vanilla in that I dislike the negative stigma that a speedrun has attached to it. It’s perfectly fine to speedrun if you want. I personally find that speedrunning while reading tons of NHK articles as well as various 小説 that I’m reading now helps to reinforce whatever new Kanji that I’ve learnt. It’s also perfectly fine for one to spend a month on a level or two. As a community, let’s not gatekeep each other on how fast one ought to go.



I forgot too.


I have been trying to maintain 15 lessons a day. When I finished level 4, it took 3 days before the first level 5 radical showed up. It may have been the last slot possible in my batches of five, so I carried over 44 vocab lessons from level 4 using the standard WK system rather than reordering. I remember thinking, “Well, why move me to level 5 if I’m so far from completing level 4?”

For level 5, I’ve been doing 15 lessons a day and using Tsurukame to keep on top of the hours when stuff pops up, but I’ve been using the standard WK order. I may try reordering for level 6 to see how that goes. It seems there’s a pretty solid split. I’m not trying to rush per se, but I am looking to keep it to around 2 years max, which means I would need to maintain around 12 days per level. I was at about 15 days per level before 5 (minus the level 1 outlier of like 3 years).

Thank you all for your replies. It’s really helpful to see your thoughts on all of this.


I knew the radicals were limited, but I somehow hadn’t considered the fact that they would have to drop off like that.



Level 50s spoilers

Some levels don’t even have radicals! c: