Wow, 350 days! That’s amazing!
You know, my Wanikani journey has been a lot of ups and downs(at least, in terms of speed). Overall, I have enjoyed it, but I have had a few times where I didn’t do reviews for a bit and they piled up quickly.
(This post got really long so I put a TLDR at the end)
In the beginning, I was only doing it on the computer, and on the computer I often play games, so I wasn’t always focused on Japanese. The beginning levels were taking me like 20 days! I noticed there wasn’t an official WaniKani app so I think I just used the mobile website a few times. Eventually I realized there were some good third party apps. I didn’t understand why they didn’t have their own official app, but I saw that the community created some really good apps, and so I started using them. Doing reviews with the mobile app definitely helped me complete levels way faster. From level 10 to level 26 or so, I was finishing those levels in 8-12 days, except for the occasional longer level. This was great. Then from 27-36, I definitely started increasing my average time. As you can see in the photo below, I had several levels during this period that were above average. But after this period, it gets even worse. Level 37, 31 days. Recently hit a new slowest level, at 33 days on level 43.
Now, for anyone reading this that is worried about their speed, let me say something about that. I started this website with the idea that I could finish in about 2 years. Somewhere along the way, maybe around level 15-20, I realized, my average is about 2 weeks per level. It was probably a little less back then, but I used 2 weeks as an easy indicator. 2 weeks x 60 levels, is 120 weeks. That is already over 2 years. So along the way I knew it would take more than 2 years. But you know, I realized, that is okay. It’s not a race and I don’t have to finish in a year or whatever. I seriously applaud the OP for doing it in 350 days. If you are interested in Japanese and you like doing WaniKani, even if it takes you longer than other people, who cares. Unless you have some time constraint, the amount of time it takes should not matter.
Also, I should point out that the levels that took me longer to complete, I think most of the time it had nothing to do with the content on that level or anything like that. It was usually just like “I got lazy during level 37” or something like that. Honestly when I would not do it for a couple days, it was often difficult to get back into it. The reviews would pile and pile. I have had numerous times of 300 or 400 reviews, but there was specifically one time where I got to 1000 reviews, and man that was a challenge to break through. So sometimes taking a couple days off can make it difficult to get back into and clear out reviews.
Another thing I should point out, I think I have a bad approach to WK and even though I know about it, I still do this thing. Whenever I level up, I get all these new lessons, and sometimes I will just have a bunch of time to sit on my phone so I start doing all these lessons. When you do a ton of lessons at once, it can make your next days a little difficult. If you do, lets say, 70 lessons. Well then a little bit later you have 70 reviews to do, and if you get them all right, then you have 70 that will pop up again the next day or whatever. And when you factor that in with the reviews that are already piling up, it just adds up so quickly. So when I do a ton of lessons at once I always screw myself over for the next couple days. But sometimes I just want to get to the content for the level I’m on and so I just power through all the vocab from the previous level. I know there’s scripts so you don’t have to do all the lessons to get to the radicals for the next level, but then I’ll just end up with a backlog of vocab lessons, so I usually try to avoid that.
TLDR: Don’t worry about speed, its not a race. Look at how long some of the levels have taken me. I’m gonna be doing WK for over 2 years. Also, don’t do a ton of lessons at once, unless you can handle all the reviews at once.
This post got way longer than I anticipated but I hope someone reads it and can relate. We aren’t all hitting level 60 in 350 days. We all go at different paces.