Is my pace too slow?

I’ve realized I have been studying with Wanikani for around a year at this point, and I’m only at level 16. My average to complete a level is at around 20 days, but no matter what I can’t seem to break the ten days barrier, there are just so many reviews every day, and I only have time to study japanese during the evening after school. Is my pace ok or should I try to speed up?


No it isn’t too slow

Go at whatever pace is best for you, whatever allows you to properly learn the kanji / vocab etc & be consistent with your study. I am lvl 9 after like 2 years :slight_smile: because I keep taking breaks.

There is no point in trying to speed up and 1. either not learning the work properly or 2. giving up because of stress or feeling like you can’t manage the workload.


Your best pace is what you feel most comfortable with. If you feel overwhelmed with reviews, slow down on lessons and take more time on levels. Some people take longer per level because they want to ensure they have time for other study, or are just too busy. Other people like me are insane have too much free time like going fast for whatever reason.


I’d have to disagree with the two above posters.

I think the only way to determine if your pace is too slow is to ask yourself if you have any specific goals that you want to accomplish when it comes to the language and timeframes you would like to accomplish them in. Then, you can compare your current pace to those expectations and determine for yourself if your current pace is too slow.

So, the question is, what do you want to be able to do and by when? If you don’t care about any specific “when”, even if its decades from now, then I’d say the concept of “too slow” literally doesn’t apply to you. Otherwise, maybe one of the more advanced users who has achieved the goal(s) that you have in mind can help you out with estimating how long it will take to get there at your current pace.


I agree, but I would also stress the fact that for most people who are learning there is no point in learning fast a lot of kanjis, especially if their grammar or vocabulary use is still very basic.


Agree with @Vanilla . We can’t answer without knowing what your goals are. Do you want to be conversational, do you want to pass the N1, do you want to be fully fluent, do you want to be able to read native material comfortably? Do you have a timeframe in mind? Are you the kind of person who gets discouraged if you can’t see quick progress? Do you study using any other methods or just WK?

Personally, I wanted to get through the boring SRS stuff as quick as possible so I could immerse more comfortably, and that meant around 2 hours a day, every day. But that might not be possible for you. Other people were studying for over 6 hours a day. That wasn’t possible for me.

So all I can say for sure is, it depends.


I completely agree, and thats coming from someone who went full speed on wanikani themself!

I’ve met beginners who want to be able to do basic tourist talk before their vacation two years out and I’ve met beginners who want to be able to read books without a dictionary. One of those is achievable @ 30 mins/day with weekends off and the other one isn’t possible to achieve in your entire lifetime at that pace.

Really quite a broad spectrum when you think about it, so theres extremely little advice that works as blanket statements. I know if I just did the “most comfortable” pace like the above user suggested I would have never gotten to where I am today and had the amazing journey I’ve had.


Impossible to know, I don’t know what else you are doing japanese wise. I’d preferably spend three times as much time immersing as I am doing SRS.

I think that if you are currently managing your workload, and your post suggests you might become overwhelmed by further numbers of reviews, then your current pace if fine.

It’s more about what your other study goals are + how much money you can spend on this I think - and only you can answer those questions. I mentioned money, since you don’t have lifetime.

I think you could increase your pace a lot if you managed to squeeze in a morning review slot and not just do them in the evening. Once a day is the main reason for your slow going here.

But, ultimately, only you can answer the main question here - if this pace is suitable to your study needs.

my average is 30 days for lvl up, and just by doing the daily reviews without missing any day (usually 170 itens) and doing at least 5 lessons per day you can progress without any slow progress.

My max I spend on WK daily is 45min. That’s nothing actually compared to some speedrunner and immersed aggressively users around here.

I am comfortable with my routine and that’s what matters most.

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I think everyone has said the “assess based off your goals” point pretty well. One other thing I would mention is that, based off how you’re describing your overall workload, I would say that 20 days per level is pretty fair if you’re primarily doing all your reviews in the evening. It does limit the efficiency on the Apprentice 1&2 levels, and may make the SRS a little harder when learning, depending on how you value those intervals. It’s an irony how being a student can sometimes limit self-guided learning.

That being said, since you didn’t mention it, just be sure to diversify you’re studying at some point. Everyone has their own path, and I know I focused mainly on wanikani when I had a hard time using multiple tools due to how my life was structured for a year. As you do it, don’t be surprised if wanikani stays slow.


For me anyways, I bounced off of Wanikani my first time around level 10 or 12 and ended up resetting back to 1 when I came back to it.

The main reason for me was going too fast and burning out. I am deeply envious of people who CAN do that by zeroing out their lessons every day, however it just isn’t possible for me without feeling overwhelmed.

By slowing my pace down (20 reviews a day or 10 Kanji a day, whichever) my progress overall went way way up and I’d say I’m hitting a level every 2 weeks (or so) which feels good to me. I also don’t feel overwhelmed which is critical. Go at a pace you feel comfortable with and don’t sweat it.

The critical thing I’d recommend is starting to read and learn grammar if you haven’t already. I regret waiting as long as I did. Where you’ll really cement the Kanji you’re learning here is by reading them IN material.

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Are you feeling like you can do more or are you comparing yourself to others?


I agree so much. I regret spending a lot of time on wanikani some time ago and neglecting grammar. It would have been much better to start wanikani only after learning elementary grammar, and dedicating to it only a fraction of the time used to learn grammar and vocabulary. It is the approach I am following now and I am for the first time actually making real progress in learning Japanese. Wanikani is fun and all, but it can take too much time away from things that at the beginning are far more important in learning the language. Let’s not forget Japanese children can already speak the language when they start their kanji studies, and it takes them many many years to learn them and during all this time they live in Japan and have no problem communicating.

No, I’ve been doing it a few years. I don’t rush through it, I have other obligations, but i do try to do it daily and keep my reviews at about 100.


I think it’s okay if you can’t bring the ten days barrier. You can go as fast or as slow as you want. It sounds like you know based on your schedule what speed works for you. The question really is more of if you are using other resources outside of WK such as grammar resources.

You don’t want to study up to level 60 and never have looked at grammar before. If you haven’t studied grammar yet I’d recommend starting right now.

It’s not about going super fast, it’s about using WK and other resources as tools to whatever it is you are trying to accomplish.

I forgot I made this post my bad :skull:
First of all thank to everyone for the great advice, this legit may be one of the nicest communities I’ve ever set foot on. Below I’m goinf to give general replies to the questions asked in the comments

  1. My goal would be to reach the N3 proficency level in around 2-3 years. This includes reading, speaking and writing. I kinda just want to be able to enjoy japanese media and have a fourth language under my curriculum
  2. My doubt mainly stems from comparing myself to others, seeing how speedrunners can do it in 7 days or so and the average time is supposed to be around 15
  3. I don’t know how much free time I actually have to slot in a second review session in the day, as I’ll enter the final year of high school in a few months, but hey, summer just started so I should have more free time now
  4. I’ve only recently started to study grammar more seriously and attempt to immerse. It’s… difficult to say the least, it feels like even the most basic vocabulary slips out of my mind once I’m tasked to comprehend a conversation

Edit, I’ve just realized one of the main reason why I’m so slow may just be my terrible accuracy. I make so many mistakes it’s slowing everything down so much

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IDK what your current level in Japanese is, I only know a little over half N5 myself and thats enough I think. As far as Wanikani, its pretty hard to break 9 days per level myself. And sometimes new lessons flood in and it gets too hard to maintain that speed.

Additionally, I think its pointless to move on without practicing recall through Kame Same. You probably want to retain this vocab if you don’t already know it, so you’ll have to devote your time to that as well.