JLPT N5 95%

Hey, I was checking out WaniKani statistics to look at my pacing, and I noticed it says JLPT N5 95% at level 10, and JLPT N4 at level 16. I know that has to do with grammar, but what does the 95% mean? Does that mean I would have learned 95% of the Kanji needed for N5? Or is it something else. Thanks.


Aye, that’s exactly what it means.


I might be wrong but I don’t think wanikani Statistics site has anything to do with grammar.
It’s just as you said, 95% means you have leveled 95% of the kanji at the given JLPT level to Guru or above.


Cool thanks. I’m assuming that is why Tofugu says to wait until you reach level 10 to learning grammar (which in my opinion I feel like I should wait, but I’m going at it anyways since people say it’s best to start now).


You know, I thought that too. In my experience however, I found that grammar came much more easily to me if I didn’t have to worry about everything else that wasn’t grammar. I actually stopped studying grammar for a while and focused entirely on vocab and kanji, and just recently I’ve started going back to my grammar resources. The pleasure of being able to read the example sentences without constantly having to refer to a dictionary or the provided 単語 (vocab) made studying grammar much more enjoyable and smooth than it was when I first started out.


Would you recommend, coming from your experience, to wait until I reach level 10 then? I honestly feel like it would help me a whole lot more knowing that I’m able to actually recall words from memory and use that to learn grammar easily. I have around 4 hours a day to study (which I have been religiously doing) so it’s not like I’m going to not have any time to study grammar if I put it aside until I reach level 10 or so.

With how essential grammar is to do anything with Japanese, I personally think it’s best to give it a go as soon as possible, but to be flexible about it.

I didn’t manage to start kanji and grammar concurrently right off the bat, because I had to get used to kanji-learning, and in general still had to find a daily study rhythm. Whenever I tried to add a royal serving of grammar on top of everything else, I could feel the first hints of impending burn-out. So I started and stopped daily grammar a few times over the course of a few months, until I was used to studying every day, and found the grammar resources that clicked for me.

If you have the time and the inclination to try it; do so, I’d say. You can always put it on the back burner again if you’re frustrated by lack of vocab / kanji knowledge, or if it’s a bit too much newness to be wrapping your head around at this time. If you can’t manage it all right now; don’t sweat it, it’s really not a problem. If you can manage right now, you’ll make progress even faster. :slight_smile:


Would you be willing to share which particular grammar resources ended up clicking with you? I would love to hear it.


Sure, no problem!

I’m not a native Engish speaker, and I am quite terrible when it comes to grammar. I can use language, but I’m bad at breaking it down. I’d probably fail an elementary school test where I have to name grammar constructs in my own language, let alone in English. So I personally struggled with sources like Tae Kim, which refers to quite a lot of English grammar in the explanations of Japanese grammar.

The big breakthrough for me was the youtube channel KawaJappa CureDolly. She teaches “organic Japanese” - Japanese through the framework of Japanese, and not through the attempted comparison to Western grammar. A lot of the basics that I struggled with clicked instantly when I watched her videos.

Especially this playlist.

I understand that many find the visuals and the audio off-putting, but I was feeling very dejected about grammar at that point, and finally understanding things was a breath of fresh air.

While still going through that playlist, I also started doing BunPro every day. It’s a website where you can SRS grammar by filling out example sentences. They give a brief breakdown of grammar points, and link to outside sources for more explanations of the individual point.

I was worried I’d never get anywhere with grammar, but lately I can say that I read native content on most days, and I’m now enjoying it, rather than just struggling through it.

It won’t work for everyone, but it was just what I needed!

Edit: Also! Hello @Nicholaswatts! Welcome to the community! ^^ :wave:


Awesome thank you. I’ll keep going at it then, and if I’m struggling to understand it due to vocab then I’ll slow down and focus on that point rather than just stopping all together. Now that I think about it, that’s much better because I’ll still be exposing myself to grammar even if I’m not going at it fast and spending a lot of time on one spot.



I want to comment but (1) this thread is public. (2) I’m afraid Imma derail this thread, so I’ll put my reply in a different thread later.

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What a great answer, and thanks for the welcome. I am someone who previous to now has been fairly comfortable learning foreign language grammar but absolutely woeful at drilling vocabulary. But in less than three weeks with wankani I have learnt more raw vocabulary than I would have done in three months at university (I’m only barely exaggerating), which has shocked me. So I’m pushing myself to ask veterans for different approaches to grammar, because maybe the ways of learning I thought worked for me aren’t actually going to set me up for success as quickly or smoothly as other methods might.


Instead of doing formal grammar studies, if that feels too much at this stage, try doing simple sentences where you just try to understand what the words mean but don’t really worry about the nuts and bolts of it can be a good way to start getting a ‘feel’ for a language. Then, when you do start formal grammar, it will feel more like “Oh, that’s why that’s that way!” rather than “I don’t get it!”

One source that I’ve recently discovered and am liking is the Tango N5-N1 vocab books. They are vocab oriented (including kana vocab which WK doesn’t do), but the way they do it also starts with very simple sentences and progressively add complexity. Given how much time you have to study you can probably get through the first few pretty quickly and that would give you an intuitive foundation on which to build your grammar studies plus a lot of really common vocabulary which you probably want anyway. There’s high quality audio online for download and someone’s compiled anki decks as well.

Other sources are things like the core2k/6k/10k, which are just common words with sentences, but with high quality audio and images. I’ve been using those, filtered on my WK level to mine for sentences I know all the kanji for. This means I have a good understanding of most of the words in the sentence and am only decoding the grammar and kana words when hitting new cards. Well, a lot of the vocab isn’t WK too, but it’s great practice to reinforce your WK knowledge “in the wild”, so that’s still all good.

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I was in your shoes literally last month. Decided to start Genki I and learn everything except for the Kanji.

I do not regret that one bit, I was able to fly past some tricky vocab words and kanji just because I had already learned them. Since I did the workbook questions, I feel more confident about vocab I learned from Genki than vocab I learned on here since I’ve seen those vocab in context and literally had to pull them out of my head to use them in a sentence once or twice.

Even on the Kanji recognition front, and because I was typing the answers to the workbook questions using my phone, I ended up memorizing or getting a feel for some of the more common kanji like 朝、時、私 and many others before they were introduced on WK.

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I think @Omun’s advice is great. Whether or not you wait should depend on how you’re feeling regarding learning Japanese; avoiding burnout is key. If things seem popping there is no reason to completely avoid grammar starting out as I’ve done.

I also recommend using Bunpro, that way you get the convenience of an automated review schedule for grammar that’ll keep you practicing even if you’re not learning new grammar religiously. In fact, Bunpro was actually how I was able to slowly creep back into studying grammar.


From my experience it’s best if you start a little with the grammar. It eases the transition period. And as you level up on WaniKani, you get to notice how you can read some of the vocabs in the grammar. That’s how it went for me. But in my situation, it comes out a little forced since I’m studying Japanese to earn a degree.

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Right now I am learning my grammar through Genki and Bunpro. I’m also using a deck on Kitsun for learning the most common words (it has some 18k words on there). I think I just need to get a firm base in vocab since I really use my knowledge to understand stuff. If I can’t make sense of something then it’s difficult for me to learn it because I need the whole context of it if that makes sense. But, I think it’ll be good for me because it’ll force me to grow and help me in the long run with learning vocab too.

How did you go about learning the vocab in Genki? Did you just do the old fashioned memorization? And did you learn the vocab before going into each chapter? I was considering doing that since I want to be able to recall the things from memory instead of flipping through the book constantly.


Old fashioned rote memorization my friend. I have to admit that it is painful to do especially since we’re so spoiled here on WK with gamification and mnemonics.

Every chapter routine; read the narration on my own (or try for the first few, im at chapter 8 and I can now understand probably 50-70% of what’s going on without looking at the new vocab/grammar section). Then I listen to the audio playback of the files to get a feel for the pronunciation of the words. I do this a few times.

I then turn the page onto vocab. I don’t leave these pages until I can recall every single noun/verb/adjective. It’s probably not the most efficient way to do it but my reasoning is that instead of blindly looking up the vocab when doing the exercises, I’ll be recalling them and thus reinforcing them in my brain. The vocab takes anywhere from 1-2 days and then depending on my schedule, I can finish the textbook portion of the chapter in a day or two and maybe another day or two for the workbook. I’m on target to finish the textbook in under two months and a half.

I’ll add the Genki 1 deck to an Anki routine (currently don’t have one) after I finish this semester at university, it is my last and I cannot wait to get addicted to learning this language.


exactly my experience