Learning with SRS (Is this cheating?)

Hi everyone! I’m new with learning with SRS, and so far, I am enjoying level 1 of WaniKani

Normally, I would learn something by writing it down, and making notes at one side to reinforce my learning. I used to have a vocabulary book when learning english. I recently unlocked vocabulary on WaniKani and also started a new vocabulary book. My question is: will this interfere with the SRS and count as cheating? Say, if I review my vocab book between the 2 months when I’m supposed to review a vocabulary.

As an extension to this question, is the point of SRS to recall after a specified period of time purely out of memory in that duration between review?

Thank you!

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I think SRS is just meant to be the most effective way to learn compared to time spent, If you review in between these points spending more time it won’t make you learn slower, just less efficiently. Maybe find other things besides the wanikani kanji and vocab to put in your vocab book? I’m not an expert on SRS or learning in any way though.

edit: I don’t understand the second part of the question.

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As long that you didn’t review the item in WaniKani purely… it should be OK.

Phase 1: New lesson.
Remember well before relying on SRS, and use SRS to test if you have remembered well.
I would extend to say that reviewing before Guru is OK. Reviewing after Guru is a waste of time.

Phase 2: Leech (beyond Guru…) Leech Squashing
Expose to things in Nature, IRL and outside WaniKani. Remembering does not come from purely review, but from Usage.

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I suggest using the forum search tool. There are countless topics on this. I’m sure you’ll find your answer and more rather than everyone repeating it again :stuck_out_tongue:

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What I’m trying to ask in my second part of the question is: I understand the nature of SRS being able to recall after a “spaced” amount of time. However, does that mean in-between reviews, (say for example in a period from 1 Jan to 1 Feb), I am not allowed to “review” these items by referencing to my notebook (say I just want to recall sometime in 15 Jan)?

But seeing your response to the question, I think it somewhat implies this! The SRS becoming less efficient and all. Thanks :slight_smile:

Thank you very much! :smiley:

I was very eager to ask this! I tried looking at the FAQs and the beginner guide to using WaniKani, and none answered my query. I’m rather pressed for time too this week so it led me to asking this question directly. Apologies for not taking due diligence in prior research! What I hope to achieve is simply a response that is suited to my context as I am still not sure.

Thank you for your advice on using the search tool though. I will try that next time :slight_smile:

One of the recent threads about this topic, maybe you find it interesting:

Ah, yea, I didn’t mean FAQ or About section. I meant prior threads on Wanikani that have lots of good info and insight on the topic.

Thank you!

Yep, I understand! Thank you again :slight_smile:

I encourage everyone to avoid speaking, reading, listening to or even looking at Japanese (or a Japanese person) outside of the SRS method.

Doing either of these would greatly impact (positively) your Japanese skills. Don’t do it !


I am brand new to Wanikani too, but not to spaced repetition. I have been using it for about fifteen years, maybe longer.
Probably your question has been answered in some other threads, as others have suggested, but if you don’t mind I will humbly share some of my personal experience.
Extra studying absolutely does not interfere with spaced repetition. For one thing, your spacing will adjust to how well you remember things … so, if you know things already, or you are remembering them very well due to extra studying, they will zing off into the future with months between repetitions.
The theory of spaced repetition tells us that if we want to remember the absolutely maximum amount of stuff in the absolutely minimum amount of study time we should adhere exactly to the schedule. But life and even learning theory tell us otherwise. I notice already that there are a lot of serious SRS people here at Wanikani. If they are anything like me, they create tons of cards while they do their reviews. The act of creativity is largely missing from a strict adherence to the learning schedule. Yet it is an essential part of study. For me, I rely on physical exercise for learning as well, which is obviously difficult while in front of a screen. So I create audio stuff that I can do while swimming or whatever. I also enjoy drawing kanji with a brush, which is missing from these tutorials, but is a extra reinforcement for those who enjoy it.
None of this contradicts SRS theory or its implementation here.
Another great thing about reviewing and learning in other ways is the positive reinforcement that you get when you recognize something that you have learned in lessons. For me, I am starting to read signs pictured in passing on the street on NHK, and also starting to pick up bits of conversation. This excites me inordinately. I start raving about how I am really learning Japanese, to whoever will listen (generally my dogs and cats and spouse) . I am sure that this is tremendously effective, in any theory of learning.
When I started with SRS, Supermemo was all that was out there. I still keep a version of Supermemo on my computer, for old times sake. It was so hard to learn, although the hardcore Supermemo people would deny that. However, I think that it would be worth your time to go to the supermemo website and read about SRS.
Here are the supermemo rules for formulating knowledge.
As a person who is a long time believer in and pied piper of spaced repetition, I would say that it may be worth your time to download Anki (a popular, open source, well maintained SRS system) and spend some time learning it. But it really is a whole project into itself.
Best of luck to you.


I was very confused as I was reading this, but I caught on after reading the last line! Thank you :joy:

Thank you very very much for sharing your experience! Your response is just exactly what I seek to know about the SRS. I will try downloading Anki in the near future.

Once again, thank you! I really appreciate it.

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