Leveling up very slowly, am I doing something wrong?

Hello everyone! I’ve been very demotivated seeing people on the forums leveling up in 8-10 days, while it takes around a month for me. image

At this rate it will take me around 4 years to get to level 60, and I really think I can go a bit faster. Does anyone have any tips? It’s making me very sad.

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If you feel like you could be going faster and aren’t slowing down due to being overwhelmed, then yeah, there are things you can do.

However, one month per level is making me think that maybe you don’t do all of your lessons particularly quickly. Can you tell us what your typical usage of the site is like? Like… how many lessons are you doing when they’re available. How often do you do reviews. What percentage of correct answers are you getting, etc. Then we can target what is causing the level up speed.

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Hello! :slight_smile: I often do my reviews as soon as school allows me, like in breaks etc. I do lessons quite slowly, because I’m very bad at memorization. I usually get 80 - 95% right on my reviews, should I be doing all my lessons in one batch?

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Well, you shouldn’t go faster than you can comfortably absorb the material.

But level up is a factor of getting 90% of a level’s kanji to guru status. So if you spread all of your kanji lessons out over a long time, it will take a long time for 90% of them get to guru, because they spend a lot of time just waiting to be done.

Again, I would stress that if the reason you aren’t doing more now is because you feel like you’d struggle to learn the items if you did more, then for now that’s the pace that is probably best for you.

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If you still remember it, how did you go about reviews/lessons when you were around my level? And what would you say is a ‘‘Good’’ level-up time?

I try to keep my apprentice items around 100, which means for me I can do all my lessons once I get them since I’m rather good at memorization. I level up usually within 12 or so days.

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I came to this site after I already knew about 500 kanji, so for the beginning part I just did lessons and reviews as soon as they were available, because I wasn’t actually “learning” them at that point.

There isn’t really a time one can say is “good” except whatever is best for a given person.

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Okay, thank you for the response, I really appreciate the help :slight_smile:

8-10 days per level is still pretty fast and not sustainable for a lot of people. How many lessons do you do per day on average? Would doing 10-15 lessons a day be too much for you?

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Ah, I usually keep them under 50. I should move up to 100 haha, thank you a lot for your insight! :slight_smile:

I usually do around 5-10, but it really depends on how much studying I have to do for my exams. I often have trouble remembering vocab, especially. The kanji/radicals are honestly fine for me.

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So in days you have kanji or radicals, you can do 10-15 a day, and then 5-10 a day for vocab until you run out of lessons and wait for more to be unlocked. Would that work for you?

You can also change lesson ordering to Ascending then Shuffled, which means the harder vocab lessons would be interspersed with easier radicals and kanji.

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80 - 95 isn’t that bad, especially if you’ve just learned the new items. And remembering vocabulary will become easier too since there are many who have an obvious reading/meaning.

That being said, there are a number of memorization techniques that could help you to go faster. Here’s a link I found after a quick search that seems reasonable. Maybe it’ll help :slight_smile:

https://blog.toggl.com/memorization-techniques-professionals/

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How fast you can go depends on how much time you can spend on wanikani everyday. If you can’t spend the required time to memorize all your items, then going too fast will probably overwhelm you with too many reviews.

If you do have the time for it, there are some things you can do to optimize your speed and go a little faster, using the mnemonics, doing your reviews 3 times a day (morning, noon, evening), using scripts to learn the radicals and kanji early on the level etc…

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I’m not sure how to change my lesson order. Also, if I did change the order to Ascending, would it hurt my process?

Thank you! :slight_smile:

This is about how quickly I’ve been leveling up as well. Like others have said on this thread, it depends on how quickly you’re doing your lessons and how long you able to spend on WaniKani every day. I can only normally do about 3-6 lessons every other day, so I’m going pretty slowly. But I’ve noticed that a lot of the newer vocab that I’m getting has obvious readings/meanings or have the same readings as the kanji. So once I get past the kanji, the vocab portions tends to speed up a bit, despite it being a lot more than the kanji.
Just make sure you’re at a pace that you’re comfortable with. If it begins to get overwhelming, don’t be afraid to slow down a bit, maybe adding in a few lessons every other day or so.

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I’m on mobile so it might not be exact, but there should be an icon on the top right of WK to get to the settings page. The option is under account - > settings - > app.

You can choose to shuffle every lesson in your queue, order by level then shuffle, or keep the default you probably have it set to now.

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I haven’t seen anyone address this like I would, so I just wanted to propose a level routine for your comparison. Keep in mind, the best thing to do is find the pace that matches you, overwhelming yourself is no good either. Also, I struggle to maintain this ideal myself, but it can serve as a guideline. I’m more comfortable with the idea of 14 day levels. If we take that as an example, I’ll break down how I’d approach level 4 if I reset tomorrow.

Radicals: Normally I’d recommend doing all the radicals in one day since they’re relatively more memorable and generally unique. That’s fine and dandy for me, from level 7 onward there’s usually only about 15 radicals or less, save one or two exceptions. However, level 4 has 33 radicals, so since that’s a big number it’s fair to split that across a few days. Say:

  • Day 1-3: 10 radicals per day
    *assuming lesson batches of 5 or so.

Kanji: Level 4 has 39 kanji. I’d also split that into four blocks of 10 lessons.

  • Day 4-7: 10 kanji per day

*Using this template, the earliest you could level up is on Day 10, after guru’ing your final set of kanji. Assuming you fail a kanji or two, it could vary by a few days (Day 14, etc).

Alternatively, if you do 5 kanji a day (because they’re harder/take more time than radicals, imo:

  • Day 4-11: 5 kanji
    *With Guru/level up being Day 14-18.

Vocabulary: Level 4 has 112 vocab which unlock once you guru all the kanji required to read them. As you may know, vocab aren’t level sensitive but skipping them is a very bad idea xD I read that you find vocab the hardest part. That’s the opposite to me, I find kanji harder and vocab the easiest. For that reason, I binge my vocab in blocks of 20/30 per day when they become available. Because of the way I plan out my lessons, that typically can coincide with the level up, in which case I prioritise vocab lessons before next level radicals or kanji. This can have the effect of adding 1-3 days onto my next level, since I might have already levelled up by that time.

Since you find vocab the hardest, and you are time-limited with school, you may prefer doing more kanji lessons per day and taking your time with vocab. In that case, it’s a little more awkward timing wise since you’ll probably be 7 days in before you guru your first kanji, thus unlocking vocab.

Regarding motivation and having long level up times, take a look at this:


I’ve been in my final year of uni, so WK has been very slow going. I haven’t leveled up in less than 29 days since level 9. There’s plenty of us not achieving 8-10 day levels, so don’t think you’re alone =P.

And if it’s any consolation, imo the workload gets easier later on. There’s less radicals in later levels, without any real increase in vocab or kanji. Take a look:


I hope this was helpful, and feel free to ask if you need anything :slight_smile:

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Don’t forget, that you always have like 40-50 vocab lessons before the first new radical will appear. At least if you don’t use the reorder script. That way your schedule might end up being a bit longer.

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