Lesson rate, things are a bit weird now

So I just freshly entered level 9, for a few levels now I’ve followed a little “coping rule” and i’m not entirely sure now if this was a good idea at all.

  1. 10 lessons Everyday.
  2. No lessons if my apprentice item count is above 100.

Now what just happened is that i still had 50 lessons to review, but I just graduated to level 9, which brings my pending lessons to 123!

I know most of these are vocabulary but I still try to assimilate as much as I can…

Am I slowing down the pace of Wanikani too much with the 10 a day thing? I used to do every single lesson as they came up in earlier levels, but I feel that it has become too much and my brain just refuses to take it after a while, which just increase frustration.

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Quick question: were you using the reorder script to do the radical and kanji lessons before all the vocab? If so, that might be what led to the lesson backlog if you leveled up. If you stick to a 10-lesson-a-day limit while leveling up all the kanji, then you might end up with a lot of extra vocab lessons not yet done when you level up.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a slower pace, and 10 lessons a day doesn’t even seem that slow to me. You don’t have to go through WK at lightning speed, just at a pace that’s most effective for you and your goals. :durtle_noice:

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If you have your lesson ordering set to “ascending level then subject” you will get all of that vocab lessons before you get to the new level kanji, so if 10 lessons a day is what works for you, you can keep taking your time. What will happen is that you will have a bunch of pending lessons every time you level up, but don’t worry too much about it. I know you can feel rushed by the number of pending lessons but as long a you’re not ignoring them you’ll be alright.

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No I purposely avoiding using any script that can alter the lesson/review ordering for this very reason.

I seem so weird that i’d level up with still 50 lessons remaining from the previous level that’s all.

The reorder script can cause extra vocab backlog, if you use it to over-prioritize kanji lessons, or it can help you avoid it, if you use it to make sure you get all lessons from a lower level before seeing kanji from your current level. Without the script it’s just random. It’s a use-responsibly kind of thing. You can still get reviews in random order if you reorder lessons too btw.

I seem to be in the minority here, but my advice is to do a lot of lessons at once. Focus especially on memorizing the radicals. Give slightly less focus to the kanji, and least of all on the vocabulary. In other words, do a little more than you think your brain can handle, and don’t worry too much about your accuracy rate. You’ll get them eventually and hopefully your brain will learn how to learn them.

The advantage of not slowing down too much is that the SRS system will give you less time to forget things, and as you may have noticed by now, a few days can make a big difference in your short-term memory. I don’t think I’m explaining it very well, and I know everyone has their own capacity for learning + available time for wanikani. But if you can, see if you can handle more than 10 lessons a day. There’s probably a happy medium between 10 and feeling overwhelmed with all of them at once. But I think the main thing is not to get stressed because you don’t answer reviews perfectly. Making mistakes is beneficial because it helps us learn.

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I go off my review percentage, usually aiming for 80-85%. 90+ means I can probably learn more and less than 80 means I should wait to learn what I have. If I’m having an off-day, I would rather not try to learn even more if I’m already forgetting a lot. Of course, I will also try to do more on days where I’m doing well.

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Nothing wrong with slowing down. I’m doing 12 lessons a day.

With the default ordering, that’s actually not that surprising, because it will give you all current level kanji before any current level vocab. To avoid this, but still level up consistently, I use the Lesson Filter script. I do 3 kanji a day and up to 9 vocab a day (if they are available). This lets me level up consistently, but not have this backlog of vocab that you’re concerned about.

I’m only (one percent away from) level 3 so my opinion is worth what it is but I agree with Sezme. When you have lessons and time, just do them. It doesn’t matter if you have too many lessons to retain anything, lessons are just an introduction and review are here to teach you. As long as you fail the reviews, they will pop up every one to two hours and in around half a day you will have memorized them all.
The only limitation is the number of apprentices depending on your login frequency. If you don’t login during afternoon, you don’t want to come back home to 100 reviews so limit this number.

The easiest way to fix a lesson backlog after leveling up is fixing the backlog before doing items from the new level :slight_smile: No need to complicate it.


I disagree. Making mistakes for the sake of making mistakes is not a smart move. Lessons are there to help you. You have to spend time on them, whether if it’s repeating the meaning/reading for yourself, reading the example sentences, checking the words on an online dictionary, etc. Quickly bingeing on lessons is not the way to go.

Why I am mentioning this if you talked about reviews?

Because 99% of people binge reviews. If you got one wrong, you either try again or you check for the answer. Either way, you quickly move to the next item, which gives you very little time to relearn the things you just got wrong.

rfindley is a famous WK user. He got around 50 mistakes in the entire 60 levels. One of his main recommendations? More time on lessons.


How dare you disagree with someone who says he or she agrees with me! :wink:

Actually I agree with you as well to a point. I stand by my prioritizing r/k/v in that order because your progress within a level depends on radicals, and your progress from level to level depends on kanji. So I make sure to memorize the radicals, but it’s fairly easy since they tend to be relatively uncomplicated and only have one association or meaning.

Memorizing kanji is harder so I spend more time on them usually creating my own mnemonics even if WK supplies a good one. It’s also very important to memorize the kanji, but making a few mistakes early in a level won’t hurt you as much.

The vocabulary words, I tend to breeze through because most of them can be read and understood if you know the kanji. For odd readings I’ll make a mnemonic but mostly not. I rarely use the example sentences, though I may go back and review them later. I don’t find them that helpful for now.

Making only 50 mistakes over 60 lessons sounds great, but I’m pretty sure my mind doesn’t work that way.

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I’m also on level 9, and I’ve followed a similar rule: 10 lessons a day, where I count a kanji or vocab as 1 lesson and a radical as a half-item. My average level time is about 15 to 16 days, which is slow, but not especially so. My apprentice items average somewhere in the 40s, which is a comfortable count (some might say too comfortable) for reviews.

I would echo the comments about learning the lessons as well as you can before taking the quizzes. I spend hours (actually a few minutes spread out over hours) glancing at the five items on my next quiz (I quiz in the morning and evening) before I actually do them. By that time, I’m pretty confident I’ll remember them pretty well.

BTW, rfindley’s method was to drill the readings until they came automatically, followed by the same thing for the meanings. I believe I read that he ignored the mnemonics. Then in the later levels, he started to drill one older level per day alongside his new lessons. This is kind of defeating the purpose of both the mnemonics and the SRS of WK, but it’s nice to know what worked for others. You should find out for yourself what method of learning suits you best.

Well, you described pretty much what I do. It works pretty well when everything is working towards you and you’re doing great. But what if it doesn’t? What if it changes all of the sudden? These same recommendations can’t be given to when you’re going well and to when you’re going worse than you wish to. There were several occasions where I could just skip quickly and get a 95% to 100% at the end of day and others where I would get an 70%. The latter asks for an extra reinforcement.

Nevertheless, this isn’t even related to the OP’s problem. My answer to the OP is in my first comment :slight_smile:

It’s funny this Wanikani … it’s a pretty intense experience seeing how much you can stuff in your brain. And we do it mostly alone but with a little guidance and encouragement from friends here. And we figure it out as we go along, but it changes from level to level. Personally, I found it got a bit easier after about level 11 because maybe I had started to figure out what works for me.

So to @Kyrah I say, everyone’s advice here is valid, but ultimately this is a personal experience, and the only right way is what works for you. At level 9, you may still need to experiment a bit to understand what that is. But keep trying and you may discover the perfect balance.

Good luck and let us know how it goes. People here have many opinions but we’re all here to support each other.


Oh couting radicals as half items is a good idea given how easy they are to memorise. Good idea!

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