Lesson question - clear the queue or space them out?

  1. Are there items due for review? Yes = no lessons.
  2. Are there more than 140 apprentice level items? Yes = no lessons.
  3. Are there more than 250 items for review in the next 24 hours? Yes = no lessons.
  4. If (1), (2) and (3) = No then do lessons in batches of 4 until (1) or (2) or (3) = Yes.

So this is super interesting. It definitely prioritizes review over new lessons, which makes sense to me since I’m not in a hurry, I just want to actually learn the kanji.

My schedule is pretty fluid, I’ll usually try to review often enough to not have more than 100, but often don’t review if there are fewer than 20. Since you seem to have a perry clear set of parameters, I’m curious if you have a rule about how many sessions you do in a day?

1 Like

The most important thing is to do your 4 hour reviews on time. I always did my lessons after work by 6PM so I could do the first review before bed. Worked well enough for me.

This is a great rule - I think this works for my brain too. Sometimes the next day I could swear I have never seen those before :smiley:


Thanks everyone for a ton of helpful ideas! Lots to pick from, and for sure I’m not going to carry on the way I have been doing. I probably will experiment a bit - there’s still quite a long way for me to go :smiley:

I basically signed up and just started working my way through without really checking out the forums and guides - so wrong! Actually I rarely get involved in forums / communities because they are often full of backbiting and sniping. This community seems to be a wonderful and helpful ecosystem! I may even try the book club!


I do as many reviews as I can since long reviews lower my accuracy rate but sometimes life gets on the way and I end up doing only two reviews (when I wake up and before I go to bed).


Nice but I imagine that when you start having more items to be burned unless you have a very good accuracy rate, the number of Guru items is going to inflate and so this rule will slow you down a lot. As long as my number of Master and Guru items are about the same or Masters > Guru, I really don’t care much about the number of Guru items, often they are in the 600-800 range.


Yes, absolutely - I do reviews three times a day, zeroing them out each time - you can have a look at my study plan here (at bottom of comment, WK in kanji-pink).

I see a lot of comments about keeping the Apprentice items under 100 or so, but I found that to be too high a workload for me - my current lesson pace keeps mine at under 60.

Woohoo! :books: :tada:


This is actually the intention for now. I hit a wall at around level 22 doing less than 10 days per level. After scrubbing through over 1400 piled up reviews, I had to come up with a better system to stick with long term that I would be able to accommodate within my lifestyle. I’m currently aiming for 15 days per level and for the last two months it’s been pretty sustainable and I’ve been able to keep my Guru items stable.

I may need to re-evaluate again in a few months and move closer to what you’re doing.

In thinking about it from reading this thread, I really think level plays a big part as far as pace and guidelines to follow. You’re at the same level I was when I burned out a little, and I think the way you’re doing it is something I should have done at that point rather than the flame out and recover method. :wink:

And @sergiop has a good point above about Guru items accumulating as you go.

That’s why I think the 20s are called the 死 levels and the 30s are called the 地獄 levels. At that point, you’re starting to feel the long tail of Guru/Enlightened and have to find a way to deal with it. By 40, though, you’ll have burned enough items and gained enough experience in the long term that it becomes more manageable.


Yay! You should join the わんわん探偵団 one that’s just about to start!


They might be on to something, it’s been nice and light up to now. I’ve legit been getting my ass kicked since level 19.


I always clear- otherwise you will get drowned out the higher you go (depending on your speed)

1 Like

I think it’s important to also look at where your items are in the SRS buckets.

Let’s say your general rule is to stay around 100 apprentice items, but you have 60+ in the bucket before guru. Well you want to make sure that you are already moving new lessons into the pipeline so when you do guru those 60+ that you don’t drop down to 40 apprentice items.

So I’d say pick a target number that feels comfortable. Get a user script that allows you to monitor what apprentice items are in what srs buckets. Then get comfortable with pushing yourself in scenarios similar to the above so that you can stay around your target number.

At higher levels if you don’t keep a consistent pace with lessons, you’ll get buried. It’s happened to me twice and catching up with vocab reviews will effectively eat up the same amount of time that it would’ve taken to get to the next level.


It becomes the new normal once you reach 22 or 23, just hang in there, its not any different from the previous ones at the end, just more kanji that kinda look like others so pay more attention to all the internal radicals.


I would prefer to split them… on my first attempt I always crushed them all as soon as they popped up and also I did not care about the time when I did them. Now I restarted and splitted the lessons and only do them in the morning so that I can review the apprentice item at the same day. My review score is way better than in my first attempt before my reset.

1 Like

Or you can gung ho like me at max speed, burn out twice, fight back through 2k reviews or more, then gung hi again as you have so many burned that the load isn’t too insane :slight_smile:

1 Like

I’m having so much time trying to figure out how to get the book :disappointed_relieved: I found a post last night about how to order books from Amazon.jp so I will try today. I will probably (um, definitely) get a late start but I think anything to get my toe in the water of reading will be better than nothing. Doing it with a community will definitely be helpful for me.


I’m glad that you’re joining though, the more the merrier! This is also my first book club to participate in (I’ve ghosted a bit of some old ones), but I’m of a similar mind that it’ll be helpful.

Sometimes to can see online the first few pages of books you’ve bought on Amazon while they’re being shipped to you, is it possible to do that on your end? Just a thought :slightly_smiling_face:

Edit: I now see that you’ve already asked and gotten an answer for this in the book club thread :sweat_smile: never mind all that above…


Wow, I just hit Level 11. There are now 84 items in my lesson queue and I feel so calm, knowing that I’m Not looking at them at all tonight, I’m going to spread them out over a few days starting tomorrow morning!

I think I’m going to first try just metering the lessons before trying to manage the buckets. I don’t have any experience with scripts yet because I mostly do WK on my iPad and afaik you can only apply scripts on a computer, right? So maybe I should shift to the laptop and explore some of those.

It’s a bright new day :sunrise: Thanks all for your help!


You can try reading some of the level 60 posts to see what the pros do:

20 lessons per day and your reviews, plus following a grammar routine will put you on the fast track.


I understand the logic to this, but I think I would rather remember 50% of 1000 new things than 99% of 100.

So after my last post here, I set a pattern of doing 20 new items a day. That started to feel like to much still, so I scaled back to 10 lessons a day. I am diligent about zeroing out my review queue a couple of times a day as well. Things seemed to be pretty in control until a few weeks ago when I started having enlightened items coming back up for burn. My percentage has not been so good. And, since all of those returning items are clogging up my queue, it is getting to be unmanageable again. A lot of late nights (I try to do morning, noon and evening) trying to get to zero. Some nights I set a line and stop after the ones that are in the 10 pm chunk. But if I look at the upcoming morning, I might stay up and do them anyway if there will be 50 in the queue in the morning. Ugh.

Right now I am at Level 20 with

  • 77 Apprentice
  • 590 Guru
  • 556 Master
  • 1541 Enlightened
  • 377 Burned

I did not add any new items today, and I think I need to just stop doing any lessons until I can get the get the queue to stop ballooning, and stop flunking and re-flunking items. I’m strongly considering resetting, since I thing the fact that I am flunking a lot of items above Guru means I did not learn things well the first time through. The highest level that i have burned items in in Level 5.

Maybe I’ll try a week of no new lessons and see what that does, and then pull the trigger on a reset if I still feel overwhelmed…