Level 4 advice

I’m only a couple levels higher at 6. However, just in these last two levels especially, I’m noticing small but fundamental changes in how I perceive the kanji and their readings. You subconsciously start to look for the parts of a kanji that differentiate it from similar-looking kanjis instead of all parts of the kanji. Jukugo kanji readings come more naturally and you start to pull from past learnings instead of rote memorization. I’m still new myself but I would guess that as you keep practicing, your mind learns more techniques.

Also if you haven’t already, check out this script that tries to fix the issue of similar looks.


I looked at my post from a year ago where I complained how at around level 7 it becomes harder because kanji you learn become so similar to each other you can no longer recognize them at a glance. I can say it gets far, far worse later (the shellfish component/radical hits hard in the 30s, for example), but on the other hand you get proficient enough in learning kanji that you naturally adjust to difficulties over time. Give it some time and you will be fine. :slight_smile:

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Yeah, my lessons are currently on hold indefinitely until I can get some of this other stuff straight, but that doesn’t seem like it is going to happen anytime soon.

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Yeah, I am making an Anki deck using the Cure Dolly anki starter deck, gonna start putting words in there soon. Gonna get into Kaniwani as well, and I really need to try to use Kamesame as well, since that looked interesting.



At level 9, I can tell you it doesn’t get easier. I say this because it’s better to be slapped with a truth than kissed with a lie.

  • Never forget why you started learning or why you want to learn in the first place.

  • Don’t rush anything. If you have a deadline, consider re-evaluating it. If not, breathe.

  • Feel free to vent/post/discuss like this, we’re all in this together!


Another useful script is Confusion Guesser. If you get an item wrong when you’re reviewing it gives you a list of what you’re potentially confusing it with.

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I feel really bad, it seems like such a low level to hit a block on. But man I am strugglebusing. Getting into the vocab for energy, letter, life, substitute, and a few mixed others has me hitting some serious doubt.

First thing first. Do. Not. Give. Up.
While you may think level 4 is some low level thing and not an achievement, you’ve made it this far. Further than you’ve been before. You can do it because you CAN do it.

With the mandatory pep talk out of the way (and I am being serious; do NOT give up), my recommendation is, take it slow if you have to take it slow.

Take notes as you do the reviews you are failing at consistently. Write the kanji down. Write the vocab down. You don’t know stroke order (maybe you do?) but the act of just trying to write it absolutely helps solidify it in your mind. Write the mnemonics down as well. As counter productive as it may seem, just physically putting it on paper will help your mind keep it in place; you are telling your brain this IS important.

Will this help you get 100% every single time it pops? Probably not. I still struggle with the vocab for put down; I see it, but I struggle with the recall of the reading because, well I just do. Every time I miss it, I write it all down again and I am pretty close to just having it down finally.

And read the mnemonic every time you see it; think about it, feel it, taste it. Whatever that mnemonic says, just focus on really getting it. Most of them are easy to recall but sometimes when I have an issue really getting a word or Kanji down, I have to go this far to keep it in line.

Good luck!

That is fantastic! I’m glad to hear you have a plan and are moving forward. :smile:

Is Level 4 much harder than Level 3? I’m thinking a lot about subscribing after finishing the free levels.

My personal favorites are 識(しき), 織(しき) and 職(しょく). I also think that there later levels are a little harder but still doable.

If you’ve enjoyed you’re time up to the end of level 3, I would say go for it. They’ve done a pretty decent job balancing out the levels seeing as if it got exponentially harder each level, people probably wouldn’t survive to 60.

I heard the earlier levels are easier though to compensate for learning the system though.

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Thanks for answering! I’m just not sure whether I can keep up with the workload, as I’m also studying grammar and building up my vocabulary, and fitting Japanese study in with my schedule. I just wonder if I should instead focus on grammar as well as listening and answering quicker, then build on kanji later.

You can always just take the levels slower. I think it’s better to be consistent than doing it in bursts. In my case I do 10 kanji and 10 vocab, or 20 vocab when there’s no more kanji. This makes the workload the same and something you can keep up with every day.

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Ah yes the workload.

In all seriousness like Rever said, you can go at any pace you want, you don’t have to do a level every 7 days, some do 1 a month.

(Also the workload picture represents how many items are in your queue each day, not how many will pass through the queue and into your review section so don’t worry, also the pic is from My Journey of 368 days (+ The Ultimate Guide for WK 📖 ) - #2 by jprspereira)


Wow, I was literally just reading that :joy:what a coincidence!
I’m actually amazed at how people customise their WaniKani schedule…all that calculating :sweat_smile:
Well, I’ll definitely think hard about subscribing. I do enjoy WaniKani a lot. Although I’m definitely not going to finish in 368 days, so if I do, I’ll have to go for the lifetime subscription.

As far as I know, every past winter there has been a sale on lifetime (however it is not officially guaranteed annually) which is what I’m personally hoping for. (If you get a 1 year and upgrade they subtract the difference which is what I want but it’s also a slight gamble)

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I’m reading the guides…too…much…info…:exploding_head:Well, thank you so much for being so helpful! Rever too!

I got lifetime during the most recent sale, it coincided perfectly with me starting wanikani so I thought the stars aligned and I had to get lifetime while it was 200 USD. I set a new year’s goal that I wanted to make it to level 30 by the end of the year, which I have already achieved and really thank wanikani for making the kanji learning experience so easy. I was really dreading going the textbook route just to be able to read the alphabet of the language.

@e_w0205 Yeah that ultimate wk guide by jprspereira was the most helpful resource when I was starting out, I cannot stress that enough. I honestly don’t know why it isn’t pinned at the top of the forums yet. It would halve the number of questions that get asked here.

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You can start quite simple, actually:

The first concept to consider is the number of items currently at Apprentice level. This is seen by many as an abstract number of your current workload, because A) these items are still fresh and B) it indirectly determines how many Guru/Master/Englightened reviews you will have later on.
The second concept to consider is the number 4. Every item you finish a lesson for will appear four times in Apprentice reviews (assuming an accuracy of 100%).
The third, and last, concept to consider is your actual accuracy. This one is hard to get an actual number on, so you have to eyeball it and adjust as you go.

To put these together:

  1. Pick a target Apprentice count (i.e. target workload). I usually see 100 - 120 on the forums, I use 100 personally. This is your “budget”.
  2. Determine how much of your budget you want to reserve for failed items. In my case, it’s 20%.
  3. Divide the remainder of the budget by 4. This is the amount of lessons you can do per day to stay within your budget. In my case, that’s 80 / 4 = 20 items.
  4. If your Apprentice count at a given day doesn’t allow for a full set of lessons, you only do as much as your budget allows.

And that’s all you need for a basic lessons schedule:

  • 20 lessons per day, which amounts to 80 Apprentice items at any given time
  • 20 “reserve items” for anything that failed a review

You’ll also need a review schedule:

(The first 2-3 levels are an exception to this, as they have faster SRS intervals than the rest of WaniKani)

  1. Pick a time of the day X (e.g. 9am). That’s where you do your lessons. Some items that fell back to Apprentice 2 or lower during review will also end up here.
  2. The first review will appear at X + 4 (1pm). This one is really short, as it only includes the items from the lesson earlier.
  3. The second review will appear at X + 12 (9pm). This is the time slot where the bulk of your items will stay.
  4. Reviews that appear in between these slots are ignored until the next planned time slot. Otherwise you’ll end up with a schedule where you have to do reviews for 5-6 items every other hour, interrupting pretty much everything else in your life. (There are people that do this and I did this when I started WaniKani, because I had the time for it, but I don’t recommend it as a regular schedule)

You only need to determine X so that these three events fit into your daily schedule. Another popular one is something like [5pm, 9pm, 7-9am]. Usually it’s fine to stretch the second interval (X + 12) a bit, but you’ll need to experiment, if it works for you.


Thank you so much for the reply! That makes a lot more sense now!