Is there a peak hellish level after which it gets easier again?

I’m up to Level 5. I went from complaining about how long it took for new reviews to come to dying for it slow down lol. What I wanted to know is does the difficulty and word county continue to accelerate at this rate or is it like a bell curve where after a certain peak it levels off or even declines?


Level sixty. Once you’ve done all the lessons there are to do, it’s just a matter of mopping up the remaining reviews. :stuck_out_tongue:


At about level 20, you’ll start burning things, so that’s about the peak of reviews. And it levels off there.

Until you get to the short levels at the end, assuming you do them in less than a week.


Peak reviews are reached when you start burning old stuff.

If you kept answering correctly, you get your first burns after about six months. If you’re one to do lessons in bulk, that means you’ll get big bulks of burn reviews to layer over your regular reviews.

For most of my WK journey, I kept my Apprentice count between 100-120. This has made my review loads pretty steady as well.

For reference, at level 40, with the majority of my levels being 8 days or less with attempts to spread lessons; I have around 200 reviews a day. It’s been like that for a few months and will likely continue until I hit 60.


For a visual representation: darkest colour green present on my heat map is 200+ reviews, and the one shade lighter is 100-200 reviews (but were mostly in the 150 range).


It doesn’t get harder after you start burning items… so that’s a plus. I think I started burning items at level 15, so you can look forward to that.

But, well, it doesn’t get easier. It gets harder and never goes back, you just get used to it.

I regret ever complaining about how slow it was in the beginning


I think it can still get harder even after you start burning stuff. Depending on how your accuracy is, it may never truly level off. I know that was the case for me at least.


If you want it to go slower, do your lessons slower. Keep up on reviews and limit the number of lessons you do.


I just hit the 200 items a day level. It’s tough but I can keep up with this if I have to. I was worried it would eventually be 400 a day and even more as it proceeded.

You might have the odd day of 400 as a wave of burn or enlightened items comes through, or if you miss reviews, but I’d say ~200 reviews a day is probably where you’ll be at for most of the levels. You can always slow it down by doing fewer lessons a day if that workload becomes too much.

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It definitely could happen, if you keep doing lessons as soon as they come in. You don’t even have any enlightened items, which will increase your workload, and later you’ll have burn reviews coming in and also increasing the load. Depending on your accuracy, you might be looking at 300 reviews per day for nearly a year.

If the pace is already pushing into discomfort territory, I highly recommend slowing down with lessons.

It always gets harder, but you also get better at it (if you nurture good WK habits like doing your reviews 2 to 3 times a day).

In terms of actual difficulty in levels, I felt that the 40s were easier than the 30s, but then the 50s were harder again.


In one of those level up e-mails from wanikani it says that the lvls 5-9 are are somewhat hard on people:

Hey, that’s pretty impressive, actually. It means you finished the hardest group of levels, which (for most people) is levels 5-9. If it didn’t happen earlier (it all depends on how you do your Lessons) Level 10 is about where things begin to even out.

I’m kind of curious in which way he means that. Maybe it’s based on the statistics of people who quit?

Between level 7 and 8 I had hundreds of leeches and had to slow it down big time to get things under control. Ended up just cleaning up things I’d guru’d and above but didn’t actually know for over 30 days before I could focus on pushing for 8. My problem ultimately turned out to be I wasn’t using mnemonics properly, but I didn’t know that till things piled up. Before 7 it was easy to accidentally “learn” things by rote. Now I’m doing no more than 10 lessons a day, and focusing heavily on mnemonics. I could see people who don’t deal with this well getting overwhelmed.

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I always believed that it’s because of the sudden change in item counts. After level three it jumps to an addition 50% of items that you have to learn.
Lvls 1-3: 357
Lvls 4-6: 562

I think part of it is that at those levels you are still trying to get into a rhythm but then you get bombarded with reviews so it takes several more levels to catch up and get used to it.

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Is that because the actual content is harder or because they’re short levels? I can imagine it being the first, since 50-60 are all kanji that weren’t part of the original Wanikani (and so are probably less used, harder to learn, etc.), but I imagine the second also hits people hard if they don’t specifically prepare for it.


I originally quit at level 8 because my reviews just piled up too much and I kept getting wrong answers on items I felt like I should know because I felt like I had review fatigue. Came back (years later…) after I realized I could reset my level (down to 2!) and try again. I’m learning I really only have time for one review session a day and keeping my apprentice around 50 is what is manageable for me. It’ll take me longer to hit 60 this way, but I’m hopeful this method will help me stay on track better (more master, enlightened, burns vs tons of apprentice and guru). I don’t expect it to get easier, I just hope I can manage it better this time around.


The 50-60 levels have less vocab than usual, so the general load is lower in those levels, mainly from 55-60. However, I’ve found the vocab from the 40s more accessible/more objective than the vocab in the 50s.

I also felt a similar thing between the later levels of the 30s being harder than the first levels in the 40s.

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Heat Map? from where?