Lessons vs Reviews

I’ve had a period now of Lessons < Reviews. This leads to reviews being on track, but lessons suffer backlog.
I don’t do Lessons unless Reviews = 0. I’m considering Lessons > Reviews instead.
I know many also do Apprentice/Guru items not over X

What is your preference?

I always seem to have lessons available, but i try to stay on top of my reviews.

If I have lessons to do, I do 15 each day, no exception. And I do them before my reviews. That way I’m not overwhelmed, while at the same time ensuring that I’ve completed all my lessons in time for the next level.
With lessons done, I try to empty my reviews once or twice a day. I don’t really have time for more :blush:


I always tackle my reviews before I touch my lessons. Except radicals. I take those lessons no matter what.


I favour reviews over lessons and am a “no more than X amount of Apprentice items” person.
I recommend 60-80, but most people say 100-120 is fine for them. I also like to keep my Guru in the 200-230 range at the same time.

I also do a certain amount of lessons a day. Right now it’s 10-15, but it used to be a consistent 20. (I’ve been very busy). Hope you figure out a better balance for you!


depends on where my apprentice radicals and kanji are.

  • If there are R/K in yet-to-be-studied lessons, I do them ASAP.

  • If there are less-than-guru R/K in the review queue, I do them first.

  • If I have both, I do lessons first, but just until I’ve gotten all of the R/K handled.
    Then do reviews, with the absolute minimum requirement at going through all of the less-than-guru R/K. I can then continue with more reviews and finally switch to clearing out the vocab lessons.

I have no upper limits to how many items I have at apprentice or guru. :3

Currently 4 vocab lessons and 3 reviews in queue. d_


I only do lessons when my reviews are at zero. I normally do 5 or 10 lessons/day, but I can do more (or less) depending on the number of “next day” items. I try to slow down when it’s above 100-110. With a full-time job, a family, many other things to do and other Japanese materials to learn from, I definitely do not want to be overwhelmed by Wanikani!

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The dashboard has conditioned me so I don’t like seeing a 42+ backlog for my lessons. I try to take 10-20 lessons a day and finish all my reviews on time. Basically, I prioritize learning a few kanji first, then progressing after I feel like I’ve got the hang of them. Then again, I’m still in the pleasant level right now…

I do it kind of like like anji. I use reorder so i do just kanji and radical lessons first day at level up. Then i have about 4 days to do rest of lessons before i get more lessons. I do kanji lessons first again and vocabulary before next lvl up.

So i always do reviews first unless i have unlocked new kanji/radicals. I use reorder to do just them new blue and pink guys.

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On my side I will do all my reviews everyday, but also all my lessons. I don’t want to have them waiting in my list. If I have 80 lessons, I will do 80 lessons, not all at once but at least in one day, two at the worst.

As a result I have around 100 apprentice at all times (below 150 when I just start a level) and currently a guru list of around 500. This leads to a perfectly manageable daily review list of 80-200.

Edit: I don’t use any reorder script as I believe the vocabulary also helps remembering the kanji, plus I’m in no rush since I took the lifetime account. And finally learning vocabulary is maybe what’s the most useful in the end, to express myself, so I want to learn them.

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I’m using the reorder script, which is how I managed to get 300+ lessons in no time since I tried prioritizing the reviews. I always do new radicals/kanji as soon as they become available (bot lesson and reviews when it comes to current level)
I’m doing 7 day levels and hope to stay there. I have to work down my backlog. Managed to do all of the lvl 10 vocab in one sitting (over a hundred) the morning of the day I finished lvl 11, so I’m not too far behind. But I hope to reach a zero and be able to do them as they become available instead of a level and two later. I always do oldest level first on vocab lessons, to avoid “you learned that reading earlier” when I have not =P
I do sorting on reviews too, as I find it more manageable that way =^_^=

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I always do reviews first. I’m not really in a rush to do new lessons, because I prefer establishing my knowledge on items I’m still learning. I only do new lessons when I have no reviews waiting around and if my number of apprentice items is something between the 40-60.

I do a similar thing. I wonder if this is a different mentality because we are lifetime member vs yearly subscribers.

I feel like the inverse is more likely to be true… how we learn has affected our decision to get lifetime.

Hmm… very interesting thought. I did have yearly before I upgraded to lifetime.

I have settled on doing lessons before reviews. In the morning I do one session where I do all available kaniwani reviews, then 8 WK lessons, finally all available WK reviews. Then I do two sessions later in the day of review only. Yes, I have a backlog of lessons, but I don’t to try to cram in more new items than I can actually remember. Also, with the limited regular lessons I don’t have to monitor the number of apprentice/guru items; that takes care of itself.

For the first 7 or so levels I did all lessons as soon as they became available to get to the new radicals/kanjis. This meant 100+ lessons in one sitting, while only focus being “Common, go away vocab, I want the radicals”. This made me fast, but honestly the vocab got way too little focus. But after I found sorting I got… lazy…on the vocab. Mostly as a result of overdoing it first, and getting a less than positive feeling about the vocab lessons. Now I need to overcome my negative feeling against vocab to better get to them. I think I’m slowly getting there =)
I still have 121 new lessons, but it used to be 300+ and still a few days till I get new ones (started my current kanjis yesterday). My goal is to reach zero before end of level 13, before finishing lvl 12 if possible (but this week is pretty busy, it’s our national holiday on Wednesday (17th of May, Norway =) ) and some preparation with visiting my mums grave the day before. So will keep the more realistic goal of making zero within level 13)

To make time for the lessons I have neglected the reviews instead. It’s not THAT many, only 234 as we speak. But most of those I would have had to repeat several times over had I done them once available, so in reality they are more like 600 neglected ones ^^;
I do some each day, focusing on oldest items first, as they get bumped farther. Once I’m down on my lessons I will have more energy to do all the reviews and keep a steady zero again. But had I kept doing reviews down to zero before lessons my lessons would still be a staggering 200-300 items =/
Once you get a backlog it’s hard to get it away. So it is very important to constantly stay on top of it without fail.

Slowing down my pace is not an option though. I’m unable to stay motivated if I’m allowed brakes. If I allow myself one small brake I will keep taking brakes and inevitably stop completely. I always do ^^;
This is why I went for lifetime, even though I know I can finish in just over a year. If I fall off I will not feel guilty about not doing it a few months, can set it to vacation mode and return when I’m better. I do get heavy depressions at time. With my current speed I might finish by May next year, and I started February of this year. And honestly, I just hate monthly payments, if lifetime exists I always pick lifetime if I can afford it :wink:

I’m planing on making a post soon about just how scatterbrained I am, hording all the Japanese material and finishing none XD (well, some, but very very few =P )
I really love WaniKani though! The gamified method and quirky mnemonics really keep me motivated! I have Aspergers and ADD so way to go WaniKani :wink:

Thanks for sharing your ways =)

I just do whatever lessons/ reviews are available at the time.
Is this wrong?

Not at your level =)
At that time you have so few it is better to get them done. When you get higher up there will be much more, and you will have to find what pace is right for you then =^_^=


I feel weird now, I wait until all reviews are over and I have a few hours until my next batch, then I do like 10 reviews per hour over maybe 2 days (if its 30 or so I do it in a day) purely because I hate outstanding lessons or reviews .___.