Knowing how Wanikani works is making everything way more stressful now

I joined Wanikani and didn’t bother reading any of the For Beginners stuff. I just did my reviews every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Basically whenever I thought about it and refreshed.

I bought my subscription in preparation for Lv 4 and because of that I noticed all of the beginner guides and scripts and all these other things I didn’t realize existed.

Now that I know how Wanikani works, everything has gotten so much more stressful. What I used to see as a failure to help me grow I now see as lost progress. Every single failure brings me farther away from my goal instead of closer.

I’m trying to make a schedule now because that’s what I was advised to do on the forums, and now Wanikani is getting way more in the way since I have to do it on the hour instead of just doing it whenever I notice I have reviews.

I used to be happy with my progress but now I can’t help but think about everyone else’s progress and am I going too slow? Too fast? Should I download self study so I don’t get the initial four hour reviews wrong (I always get them wrong) or should I download the ignore my wrong answer thing? Will I abuse it?

I’m almost done Level 2 on Pimsleur and I find myself thinking about what if I stopped and just focused on Wanikani so I stop doing so poorly. That’s a terrible idea, I know, but I can’t help but wonder what I’m doing wrong.

And now I’m in tears. Because I got less than 50% on my reviews when I reviewed them in four hours like the internet said to, and because of that I’m not doing things the way I’m supposed to be doing them. I told myself earlier that when I do them again today I’ll do them better, and I did do a little bit better but I misspelled three words I knew the answer to and now I’m going to be seeing those words for a long time apparently when before I didn’t even think about it.

I didn’t care about getting the wrong answer before and I just want to go back to learning without caring so much about my percentage or about doing things efficiently! I wish I didn’t know how the damn programmed worked, so that seeing a red answer and a downwards arrow feels more like a slap on the wrist than a slap to the face!


In all honesty, I think the problem here is that you’ve forgotten what your goal is. The point of WaniKani is not to reach level 60. It’s to learn Japanese. If you need to get something wrong before you can get it right, sure, that may slow down your progress to level 60, but it’s still a step on the road to learning Japanese. You don’t go backwards on that road by getting a card incorrect.


Step 1: Take a big, deep breath in aaand release
Step 2: Accept a virtual hug from me, 'cause my brain used to run like that, too.

Welcome to WaniKani and to the forums! :crabigator:

I read a lot before I started and during the first few levels, but still didn’t quite get my head around all of it. I was doing lessons and reviews here, there, and everywhere and it was all quite sporadic, and I started to do more poorly as the workload built up. If you are in this for the long haul, the ‘light and breezy’ approach that I expect many of us start with is probably not going to get you through, so a routine of some sort is the way to go.

Knowing how the SRS works is actually a good thing - you can do WK 3 times a day using the SRS timings (lessons, reviews 4 hours later, more reviews 8 hours after that; for me that is 8am, noon and 8pm) and then not worry about it in between times. That said, many folks just do a few here and there throughout the day as they are able - do what works for you.

I also do a set number of lessons every day, rather than doing everything available whenever it is available - it evens out the workload.

I’m concerned with the ‘I always get them wrong’ bit - it sounds like you need to take a bit more time during the lessons to actually learn the items (another advantage to doing a few lessons everyday). I always hit the ‘need more time’ button to go back over the lessons at least once more before taking the quiz.

WK only address one aspect of Japanese - learning kanji. If you are enjoying Pimsleur, keep going with it.

I’ve seen that Belthazar had posted while I’ve been writing, and I wholly agree that regular reflection on your reasons for doing this should work to counter any stress you feel about getting something wrong.


Keep in mind that the people who are generally the most vocal are those that went fast, had high accuracy, used a bunch of scripts, and so on. There are plenty of people, including many that don’t speak up, who go slower and need more time to learn the material. There’s nothing wrong with that. What matters is that you stick to it and learn the material, not that you do it at the maximum possible speed.


Take another deep breath!

This program is not a competition. Yes, there are some “race” threads but those are meant to be friendly and help with maintaining motivation. No one actually criticizes anyone else for their speed.

There are lots of ways to customize and tweak this program, but if the regular system was working for you (like it works for the majority of users), then do what makes you feel comfortable and is teaching you kanji. It’s not a race!

I hope you stick around long enough for some cake at the end (level 60), but most importantly have fun and learn some kanji! がんばれ!


As others are saying, take a deep breath and figure out what works for you.

It turns out that many people talk about going fast on the forums because the very active WK users are very active in the forum as well and the less WK users are less active in the forums (for obvious reasons), so you generally hear from the more active people.

I go a full “modify your sleeping schedule to go faster” but that is just because I know I can. I would never suggest it to anyone that wouldn’t enjoy it. Go at your own pace.

Having a schedule is nice, but the schedule should just be there to make sure you don’t stop. If it’s stressful, slow it down or stop using it. If you aren’t a hyper user, don’t force yourself to be one. You should be enjoying your time.



I sometimes feel the same way about my efficiency. I know I’m not using WaniKani in anything close to the optimal way, having taken several multi-month breaks without vacation mode and going through reviews quite slowly. My projected lvl 60 is something like 30 years from now. I’m sure there are plenty more people like you and me who don’t try to go through all the levels as fast as possible, we just don’t talk about it on the forums as much.

I try to keep in mind that it’s not about how fast I level, and if this is the only tool I’m using then I’m probably not learning that much Japanese anyway. This is a tool, not the end goal. Take as much time as you need to get the value you want.

Hugs from a fellow perfectionist! :heart: 頑張ってくださいねぇ!


This is probably just reiterating what other people said but I need to say it too XD

I totally understand what you’re going through seqka711, because hey, I’m also at the beginning of this wanikani journey!

one important thing to remember is that you making mistakes is not failing, what i think is failure is giving up on something without attempting to work a bit harder on it. You making mistakes in your reviews is normal, i’ve also gotten 50% on my reviews :smiley:

Another thing you have to remember is that wanikani isn’t an app that will turn you into a japanese biz by level 60. Wanikani is a very helpful app that you need to use as a source of vocabulary and kanji, and use other resources to help you with your japanese learning (like textbooks, even considering to get a teacher, or if your self learning like me, consider alternatives like the busuu website and all that etc etc)

And the last thing tbh is that you shouldn’t be upset about this. You alone decided to learn japanese, and you alone also got onto wanikani and worked hard on it, and to me, thats all amazing! You should be proud of what you’re doing and be proud of your progress, because at least you’re putting in an effort to learn something new!

So as a sum, keep calm, love yourself, and keep going forward, even if you only learnt one kanji or word a day. Its not the speed that matters its the effort u put in that does :sparkling_heart:

And this is something that always inspires me to keep going forward, even after i forget how to spell things and i forget half my flashcards XD



Well I use it every day. Before I would just kind of do some Wanikani whenever the thought struck, and then at the end of the day after my pimsleur lesson, I would do any that built up. So I would always do it at least once a day, but most days I would do it around 3 or four times a day.

But the other day I read all this stuff and I guess I realized I should take things more seriously? Like I felt like I was shooting myself in the foot because I would do ten or twenty reviews whenever the urge struck instead of the 4-8 thing I was “supposed” to do.
I think i just over thought it. And stressed myself out over it.


I also do 10 to twenty reviews whenever i have the time to get on my device and i’m doing just fine

I honestly think that doing whatever suits you is good, just as long as its not something obviously incorrect like over studying and burning yourself out or leaving reviews for months at end.

Wish you the best of luck on this journey :wink:


You really don’t need to follow the "4-8 rule. " If you are already doing them multiple times every day, you are going to make good progress. Sure you can squeeze out progressing a few days faster, but making yourself miserable isn’t worth it.


Thanks. I’m almost done Pimsleur’s level 2, and I have Assimil with Ease on the way (if Amazon’s shipping delays don’t stop it from getting here) so I’m pretty happy with my Japanese lessons as a whole.

I got into Wanikani because I found out it was better to learn Kanji at the same time as learning instead of after. That GIF reminds me of something I realized during college.

What I struggled with in my first year, would’ve been easy in the second. So what I struggle with now will someday be easy, and if I need a confidence boost, think about how hard addition was when I first learned it. Now it’s the easiest thing in the world. If you keep doing it, it doesn’t matter how stupid you might feel in the moment, eventually you’ll understand it.

Thanks for the GIF btw, I was worried everyone would tell me I was just complaining or something, but everyone’s been super supportive. <3


Haha welcome!
See thats the good attitude we all need to have :smiley:
And don’t worry, all of us here in the wanikani community are here to support each other :wink:


Hey, hang in there and calm down. Here is a thing, if you answer something wrong, maybe don’t remember it in the moment, then you don’t actually know it. The more you practice it, the better you will know it. If you get one wrong, now you will know it for sure next time. I have made a few stupid mistakes, but now I am completely sure that next time I will get them right because I looked it over again. Also with reviews and lessons, don’t take so long on them, a good idea is to do 20-40 lessons a day, or more if you feel like you are ready. Its ok to take a day break so that way you are just reviewing and not adding more to your workload. Four hours seems a bit much, and if you are getting stressed with that timing, then lower the time to what feels comfortable. I am pretty happy just knowing "OH MY GOSH I AM LEARNING A THING AND I AM SEEING IT IN MORE AND MORE PLACES " remember why you joined, why learning it makes you happy, and slow down, and you can get through it. This comment section is here for you.


Well as for always getting them wrong, that was a bit of a misnomer, I don’t get them ALL wrong. I just usually end up forgetting how to spell them or I remember the nmenonic but not the important part.
My strategy before was “The faster I get them wrong the faster I’ll eventually get them right” so I would read the lessons a few times over and then forget everything in a few hours because I have a squirrel brain but getting them wrong would reinforce WHAT I was forgetting, if that makes sense? Like I’d remember what I forgotten instead of just reading it again?

But then reading the forums made me feel like my approach was dumb and that I should be doing it more optimally. so when I got a really bad score it hit my self esteem instead of my desire to do better. Which is why I started to get upset and cry, lol. I’m a cry baby.

Thank you for the encouragement by the way. That deep breath came at the perfect time.


You are ‘supposed’ to use it in the way that feels most natural and fun for you. This is especially important on the lower levels, when you are working on building a routine. I would advise you to keep using WK in the way that you were using it previously. Don’t worry about leveling up as fast as possible.

There are guides that explain how to level up quickly, but keep in mind plenty of people come to WK already knowing some Japanese. They want to zoom through the earlier levels because the already know most of the content. If you’re a beginner you shouldn’t feel pressured to go the maximum speed. If you look around on the forums you will see plenty of people who tried to go the maximum speed, got overwhelmed and burnt out. If they continue studying at all it’s usually after resetting back to level 1. Burning out and resetting to 1 is a lot more detrimental to your progress than taking some extra time to level up.


You can actually disable this progress notification on user setting


Lol I had that feeling for the first time 2 weeks ago!
I had just learnt the kanji and vocabulary for counting the days and months and all that, and while i was watching an anime (Detective Conan) a little sign popped up that read 三日 and I just sat there like

I felt so happy ngl, but my mum and siblings were just staring at me like “whats wrong with her . . .”


Kouichi has an article on exactly this philosophy (quantity over quality), so there you go - you are doing it the way the creator intended!


I used to be fine with getting them wrong. But then after I read the forums I started thinking that I shouldn’t be getting them wrong. So when all the answers left my brain, I took it more personally than I had previously. Plus getting a worse score than I ever had on top of that was just too much for my poor emotions and I got frustrated and cry baby-y, lol.
Thank you so much for the encouragement!