Level 6 and onwards

Hi there!
I know I have a big problem staying committed to learning things sometimes but I really am interested in the Japanese language sooo

How often do you get those periods where things just feel super slow or overloaded?

I have been putting in the effort to do my lessons and reviews daily and I’ve only missed a couple days since I started, but I feel like things are getting to the point where the workload really starts to increase and I’m just wondering if I’m the only one that started to have that problem around this time :grin:

I think the biggest problem is that right around the time I got to level 6, I also got guru on another few kanji. So when I passed on, I suddenly had a pile of about 125 lessons. And so for the past few days (up until yesterday) I had just stared at that huge pile of lessons, not knowing how I was going to tackle that at the same time as I would have to start taking on piles of 100 reviews as well (which mostly was because I missed a day, it’s not really that bad in actuality).

I think I’ve slowly gotten over that hump in the past few days but I wanted to see if others were struggling like me, and have those times when they struggle to get lessons done. If any of y’all have tips for helping with stuff like that, or just like a strategy to balance lessons and reviews once they start to build up in higher levels, I would be glad to hear them!

oh my what a block of text


As a general rule; the faster you clear your lesson queue, the more overwhelming everything will become.

You don’t have to stress about having 150 lessons waiting. The system wasn’t designed for us to rush to complete those. It was designed for us to do as many as we feel comfortable with at any given time.

This means, you can do 100 lessons in a day, if you want. As a result, you’ll be blasted with reviews now, and again later on when it comes back as Guru, Master, Enlighten, and Burn.

However, what most average-paced people do, is do about 5 to 20 lessons per day. Doing 20 per day is considered FAST, whereas 5 per day is relatively slow.

Some people don’t even do lessons every day, and thats perfectly OK.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing is that you do your REVIEWS every single day.

Thats all I got for ya. Let me know if you have any questions!


Well, first of all I’d say that you should never be intimidated by how many lessons you have - because you should settle on a set daily number that gives you the (smooth and consistent) workload you’re comfortable with :blush:

But also - yeah! I just hit level 55 yesterday, so you might think I’d be powering through to the end. But I’m feeling kind of overwhelmed by learning new stuff right now and work is really stressful, so I’m taking a nice break from lessons before tackling the last five levels :grin:

If I were starting WaniKani afresh right now, I’d build in month-long lesson breaks every ten levels, but that’s just what I know would work for me personally having already gone through it, pretty much.

Oh - I would say that it can be helpful to push yourself to complete lessons you were planning to do, even if you don’t feel like it. So I felt pretty bummed about the last set of kanji I needed to do to get to level 55, but I knew I had a planned break coming up so I forced myself to do them anyway. Otherwise it’s really easy to let yourself wriggle out of things all the time and it becomes a habit.

Pay attention to how you’re feeling overall (not just on one particular day), and make a deliberate and conscious choice to take a break.


I’ve thought about doing something like this. It took me 39 days to get from 5 to 6, and although I felt bad about that, I really had a solid understanding of nearly everything I’d learned thus far. My accuracy is over 95%, and my apprentice items were under 10 for a while. Felt nice!

On top of that, it would be a great time to study grammar and just enjoy what you’ve learned. A sort of built-in motivation booster.


Yeah - I did take breaks every now and then, usually aligned with actual holidays I was taking, and was a big proponent of breaks. But in hindsight I didn’t take long enough breaks. And I set myself this goal of getting to level 40 by the end of the year, which I then pig-headedly continued to pursue even once it was crystal clear that I was completely burned out. So that was pretty dumb.

A long break means you get to cycle through all your Guru and perhaps even Master items, so you can shift a lot more items up / deal with a lot more leeches.

I do intend to slowly finish off any outstanding vocabulary lessons as I ease into the break, because otherwise I’ll forget the kanji they’re intended to reinforce before I get back to doing lessons properly.


Something I’ve been doing is only doing lessons if I have low Apprentice counts. I saw in the forums to keep your apprentice items low (I’m keeping mine around 100-ish) in order to keep your workload light.
I just got to Level 6 today and have 77 Lessons waiting for me because of it, but I’m not even starting them until I get my Apprentice count down a little.


Yeah I overburdened myself as well, at level 11 I burned myself out, 286 days later I came back and reset to level 8 and decided to put kanji first and not worry too much about vocabulary and so far it’s working well.
I currently have 450 vocab lessons, and that number is only going to rise slowly because I’m only letting vocab lessons trickle in while I’m leveling up every 7 days, at one point I’m sure I’ll have to stop and take care of the vocab overload but in my mind this current system is much more sustainable than the previous one.

Be careful: I’ve seen at least a few sob stories from people who’ve neglected their vocab (and haven’t seen a single success story, but maybe that’s selection bias). The vocab tends to be pretty crucial for reinforcing the kanji, and without it people seem to have a lot of trouble remembering the kanji after a month or two.


That’s how you devour a whale… one bite at a time.

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I do my reviews every day. I usually do new radicals immediately. New kanjis the next day from radicals, and the second batch immediately. Vocabulary lessons I do 5-30 per day BUT usually not at all on those days I do radical or kanji lesson. The amount I do vocabulary depends on 1) How much stuff I have on apprentice-guru levels, and 2) How many of these are already familiar to me. If it is completely new vocabulary I do less, if it is already familiar word I do more. This way I get to new levels every 7.5-10 days depending on work etc.

I am sure the same can be utilised in a slower manner, for example dividing kanji and radicals also for several days, doing for example 5-10 lessons every day and reviews.

This is not a race, it is about learning. If you get to the level 60 with slow pace you will learn more, than if you go quickly 10 levels and burn out.

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I don’t do lessons everyday. Every so often I may do ten or twenty a day for a burst when I’ve finally broken through the vocab after leveling up. My apprentice ones are often below 50, and I’ve burned more than half of everything they’ve thrown at me.

I level up less frequently than some, but I will get there.


I’ll second this - it doesn’t seem turn out well. As much as you may not want to hear it, there’s a reason WK was built the way it was.


Join me in the slow lane. My goal is to do my reviews every day. Sometimes I can get to the lessons. I just can’t learn that fast.


I guess it also depends on whether @SilverGoffer is using other resources in conjunction.

Just doing WK kanji would of course not help if you want to read or understand, since then you don’t know any kun’yomi for verbs. But as long as someone is going hardcore on an additinal vocab source, it can be fine.

As a personal choice, I would never learn just on’yomi kanji first and everything else later. Since I wouldn’t be able to properly use that kanji knowledge with regards to native reading and listening, so a lot would slip from my mind while I try to get vocab knowledge up to a usable level. Doing kanji and vocab meant I could start using the language. WK kanji sans vocab skills wouldn’t have gotten me far.


Just one more tip from me in addition to the other really good ones!

In order to not get overwhelmed, a set amount of lessons per day works quite well. Another possibility a lot of users use is to limit the number of items currently in Apprentice stage. If you have over 100 apprentice items, you gotta have a lot of reviews the next few days, so 100 is usually the long term recommended limit for Apprentice items. Only do lessons if your apprentice items are below 100. Depending on how many reviews you would like to have, maybe even a 50 item limit could work. Just remember that it will take a few days until your lesson “habits” show in the amount of reviews you get.

My “golden rules” are:

  • Do your reviews as soon as possible, and aim to have 0 at the end of every day
  • Never do any lessons if you currently have reviews
  • Limit your current apprentice items to a number X (50 - slow paced, 100 - fast paced, 150 - you have nothing else to do besides WK in your life)

Good luck and happy studying :slight_smile:


I think when you level up the important thing is to do new radical lessons first. Then you have them in rotation.

The rest is up to you, it might be a good idea doing the first batch of new Kanji then, to give you a chance of learning them via screwing them up repeatedly, without slowing the leveling process. Then you still got plenty of time to do the new vocabulary lessons whenever you feel like doing them in the next days.

I think the really critical lessons are the second batch of Kanji. I try to really get them right and spend a long on the lesson, because I don’t want to cheat, but I also want my level up chance.

For vobac, I just skim through the lesson and learn them by failing :joy:

How do you even skip vocab but do radicals/kanji? I totally agree it’s not a good thing, but I’m surprised it’s even possible.

Through user scripts that let you reorder your lessons.

Ah, didn’t know that, thanks! Good, then I’m not in danger of accidentally missing vocabulary lessons.

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Yeah, I only use the reorder so that I can do the kanji before the vocab, but I still do the vocab in the same sitting (or at most a couple hours later if I have a meeting or something). I think thats really the only responsible use of it.