Is this really sticking?

I’ve been at it for several months and I diligently do complete my lessons and reviews daily without fail. I am currently at level 6 and drudging along. My concern is that with all of my consistent effort, and I am consistent…I usually score in the 65-70%. Sometimes I do a little better, but for the most part always in the same range. I’m waiting for the lightbulb to go off. I won’t quite because I have time on my hands and I am stubborn, but is this method sticking to m very non-stick brain. Thoughts?


I’m right there with you in the 60s club.


Yeah…but look at what level you are at. I guess I just “stick” with it right? How is your retention when you read kanji in a real world setting If I might ask?

Have you tried doing some grammar study in the meantime? It can be a bit more difficult to memorize vocabulary if you don’t know how it’s used.

Tae Kim’s guide is pretty good and Cure Dolly videos break things down in a very easy way.


Do you review what you get wrong after your review sessions? I find that really helpful, to take a couple minutes to re-read the explanations, lookup the kanji again, etc. Also if the mnemonics aren’t sticking, you should try writing your own.

last tip: understanding more of the Japanese language will help quite a bit with the vocab. Don’t only do WaniKani if your goal is to learn Japanese.


I have and I do. I am ashamed to say that I am in Japan a few times a year on holiday with friends and my grammar isn’t the worst in the world, but this Kanji is just killing me. I think I’m just lazy.

Yeah, but I’ve also been doing WK for 4.5 years now so…
Still reading pretty low level stuff, so unfortunately, a lot of straight kana or furigana in stuff. But there are lots of times where its more of a ‘crap… I know this…’ and either have to think too long, or cave and look it up. And then always feel like an idiot as it comes flooding back.
Having a full time job and a family, etc etc, doesn’t really leave me much in the way of time for studies, so I’m a lot slower than most around here (at all aspects, not just kanji)


It could be that you just need more exposure to the vocab. What I do (which is probably breaking some rule…) is copy the vocab that I have a lot of difficulty with into a private quizlet, that way I can practice it as many times as I want and get more familiar with the characters. You can also write out the characters ten times to make it stick easier. I realize that WaniKani has a set system for memorization, including long waiting times, but sometimes it doesn’t work for everyone! Adjust your studying based on your needs, the most important factor is to never lose motivation! Keep it up!

I do. My hira/kata are spot on and I spend quite a bit of time in Japan, but Kanji is so very difficult and it sets everything back for me.

Rub it in why dontcha. :stuck_out_tongue:


I concur. A post review analysis is a must to make things stick. My first apprentice reviews have a low accuracy. I systematically do the ‘what went wrong’ analysis and eventually accuracy rises in the 85%-95% range. Making my own mnemonics when vanilla WK ones don’t stick is also necessary for me.

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Well, when you get things wrong… why is it?

Do you remember the reading of a kanji but not the meaning? The other way around? Do you think you know the answer and it’s a swing and a miss? Or do you completely draw a blank?

Are you actually and earnestly using mnemonics?

Things don’t magically change by themselves. But I bet if we spent a little time figuring out where things aren’t firing on all cylinders, we could get you tuned up and 80% or better.


Do you follow the 4hr-8hr-12hr rule, and only do 10-20 vocab lessons per day? I spent over 100 days on level 6 because I would do as many lessons as possible and do reviews as soon as they appeared, all day long. Now I do reviews three times a day, period, and I’ve leveled up twice in the past two weeks.

Do your lessons every morning, then review at midday, then again at night. For me its 9am/1pm/9pm. That’s the space of time the repetition system actually works on because that’s when it’ll be challenging but you’ll still remember.
As a side note I do usually do all the radical and kanji lessons within 1-2 days, but after that I limit the lessons per day. Would highly advise the guide written by jprspereira

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The originial mnemonics weren’t working for me for the most part (they’ve since been overhauled for the better imo), so I made my own system and that is working much better.

I also use the [Userscript] WaniKani Lesson Filter so that I can study 3 radicals &/or kanji and 8 vocab each day, instead of getting the kanji in large bunches.

This might be a bit much, but I actually have created a journal where I literally write everything down as I do the lessons. It’s been proven that both reading and writing something (and speaking it too!) helps with retention. That way you also have a handy-dandy notebook to study with in the interim between reviews too! I started WaniKani at the beginning of the quarantine and I have been leveling up once a week since the beginning with my method. Not saying it’s right for you, but it’s definitely helped me with memorization! What kind of learner are you? Visual, oral, kinesthetic? Finding your learning style might help you figure out a better way to process the material. I’m a visual learner, so while seeing the material in the lessons does do a lot for me, writing it down actually creates a physical location in my brain where I can visualize the vocab word on the page, and also brings back the visual mnemonic. Hope this helps!

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Very helpful reminder about the learning process. Thank you much!

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How did I never tought about that

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