Level 19 and slightly overwhelmed

I was cruising along fairly easily till about level 18, but I’m finding lately that I’m getting a lot of vocab and kanji wrong, sometimes items coming up for burn, but I think it’s mostly items from my master queue. As a result I’m getting tons of reviews! I try to do them in several blocks throughout the day, and I’m holding off on starting my level 19 lessons till I get a few more burns. My accuracy is usually in the mid 80%.

My stats are: 50 apprentice, 517 guru, 432 master, 1167 enlightened and 712 burned.

Is it a good strategy to hold off on my lessons for a week or so?

I also tend to complete all my new lessons in one or two sessions. Any opinions on whether or not this is a good idea?


Im level 19 too!

I think its around about this level (give or take) that you reach the ceiling effect where you learn new items, whilst items from all apprentice, guru, master and enlightened begin to all come up at once for review! At least thats for me.

I think holding off on your lessons wont do any harm. If it reduces stress than why not? I dont recommend doing all your lessons at once unless you are prepared to review them all at once some time in the future.

I feel like you’ve answered your own question already :slight_smile: If you’re feeling overwhelmed then slowing down is probably the right thing to do! That said, you’ve not got much in your apprentice queue so maybe still try to do a couple of lessons, even if it’s just 5 each day or something like that.

When I got to level 20 I got pretty overwhelmed too, especially as I was focusing on improving my Spanish at the time for work so it was just a bit much, ended up taking like a 10 month break from WK, wish I’d just stuck with it even if it had been at a much slower pace!


As others have said, slowing down by not taking on any new items from lessons for a while is a great way to lower your workload and stop you from burning out. :slight_smile:

I’ve taken ages to get through my last two levels because I wanted to knock down my daily reviews and give myself more time for grammar study. I think some people (myself included) struggle at first to slow down without feeling bad, but you just have to remember that while it’s theoretically possible to finish Wanikani in just over a year, doing so won’t leave you with much time for other study and general life stuff each day, so it’s best to pick a pace that suits you and doesn’t stress you out. :slight_smile:

Also, remember, doing reviews is learning, so you don’t necessarily need to be taking on loads of new lessons to be getting better at Japanese every day. Plus, even if it’s slow, some progress each day is better than getting burned out and quitting.

Good luck! I’m sure you’ll find your feet again soon enough. :smiley:

I got quite overwhelmed at level 19 as well! Though I had an added effect of taking a break, which was supposed to be one week, but ended up being a couple of months and I really fell out of my WK routine and forgot a lot of stuff. When I got back I was taking it slow, trying to get my reviews under control before I even touched lessons and then I started having them in bite-sized chunks, 5-10 per day. It might feel frustrating when you’re not progressing as fast as you used to, but it’s much better than getting overwhelmed. If you feel like it’s too much at the moment, by all means give yourself time, it should get better :slight_smile: Good luck!

Spanish too? My brain would liquify and leak from my ears…

Thanks all, I think I’ll press on, but at a slower pace.

This is why it’s all coming at me at once, then! In that case it’s not going to go away in a week or two, I just need to suck it up!

One of the main pitfalls with SRL is that you can overstack your flashcard pile, leading to mental as well as practical barriers to learning. I recommend taking a review week every ~five levels in which you don’t do any lessons and just focus on reviewing your existing content.

As you’re past the early stages, you should have a reasonable pool of vocabulary to hand, as such, you could use essay writing, blogging chatting in forums (italki or Lang8 for instance) or even playing the dictionary game (a thread on this forum) to consolidate what you’ve learned thus far.

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I really like this idea of having a set period dedicated as just a review week :slight_smile:

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