Limiting time?

So Ive been doing WaniKani for almost a year now, but Ive noticed recently that WK is taking up a lot of my study time. On average I think I spend more time doing WK than studying grammar or learning non-WK vocabulary. My studying is totally unbalanced and it shows when I can read difficult signs in Kanji, but fail to be able say the simpliest things.

Does any one else have this problem? If you do how do you balance WK with other aspects of studying? Should I do WK less often, or do it everytime I have around 10 reviews? Should I do all 45+ lessons at once, or should I break it up into smaller chunks so I don`t get a flood of reviews at one time?

I really like using WK but sometimes its impossible to regulate it so I dont spend all of my study time doing it. :frowning:

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How come you’re only level 11 if you’ve been doing it for a year?
Exactly how much of your study time is it taking up?
Personally I stopped doing most of the vocab lessons because I see them as a waste of time and that obviously cuts down on lot of time for me.
I would suggest doing the same if WK feels overwhelming. Learning vocab is only really useful in context anyway. I think a better idea is using a separate SRS program like Anki that allows you to add what you want.

It’s possible that they started a trial many months ago, and only recently subscribed / picked it back up again. However, level 11 for a year of actual work would be very concerning.

I wouldn’t recommend removing the vocab- it’s all there to reinforce the kanji, and I am not certain you’d get as much out of WaniKani as you would otherwise.

I’d decide from your end how much time you want to dedicate toward WaniKani. Perhaps you want to spend 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening, paired with perhaps one round of lessons every day or two? Play around a bit, see what gets results.

Not just reinforce, some readings are only taught via the vocabulary. Seems a bit of a waste to use something like WK if you’re only doing half of it.

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Wanikani uses those vocab lessons to teach readings though… That’s really the only reason for their existence.

I see Wanikani as a supplement. Learning kanji is obviously important, but I’d say learning grammar and syntax are a whole lot more important in the overall Japanese learning picture. If you have trouble balancing your study time between different things (kanji, vocab, grammar, etc.), then you should concentrate most of it on the most important aspects, i.e grammar.

Also, your usage of Wanikani will depend on your motivation, learning method and available time. I don’t know what your strategy is, but if you struggle when you do all your lessons at once, then do it in small chunks. I do everything when it’s available, but obviously this varies from individual to individual. If that’s not the problem, then it might be an issue with the efficiency of your strategy. You’re the only one who can really figure this one out, though.

Based on what you posted, it sounds like your studying time is quite unstructured to the point that the amount of time you dedicate each day to studying Japanese. I think the best advice I can give you is decide how much time you feel is appropriate to dedicate to learning to read (WaniKani) and try to stick to that. Because you mentioned being concerned about your speaking ability, prioritizing grammar, vocabulary building, and speaking practice over doing WaniKani will ensure that you’ve covered essential parts of your studies. I wish you the best.

I should clarify.
I didn’t mean you should stop doing vocab entirely, just that doing every word isn’t necessary.

Almost a year. I think it’ll be a year in June or something, plus three months after level three I didn’t buy the subscription. so I guess it hasn’t been a year yet since I took time off between levels three and four. But it takes me a while to level up. I don’t understand how it takes people a week, when it takes me 3 weeks at best.

Do all your level critical reviews (current radicals and kanji) as soon as they’re available.

Yes, WK eats nearly all my study time. Which is why just recently I decided when I hit level 24, its no more lessons for a good while. Let my review queue slim down to a more manageable amount. Since I’m most likely only going to go after N5 again this December, I’m already well passed what I need from WK.

The double-edged sword of SRS.

If you can find a sweet spot for the rate at which you add new items, an SRS system will perfectly manage your time and effort, allowing you to make efficient progress in that area while still focusing on other things.

On the other hand, miscalculate that new item rate and find yourself a slave to the SRS system with no time available for anything else.

Faced with the latter, finding room for other study is a choice between a) stopping/slowing new items in the SRS to begin what can be an agonizingly slow, long-term process of decreasing the stream of reviews, or b) increasing your total study time in order to add other things on top of the time the SRS already demands.

The fact that you can’t just say “I’m going to do less of this SRS system today and work on something else instead” (you’d just be adding today’s SRS load to tomorrow, or this week’s load to next week’s, etc.) is (imho) why so many WKers have such a hard time focusing on other areas of study. If you have 25 hours per week to study Japanese, it is VERY difficult to predict what amount of new SRS items will add up to, say, 10-15 hours a week such that you still leave another 10-15 hours free for grammar, etc.

Not to mention: the gamification of leveling up, the community encouragement, and just how fun WK is in general all further incentivize over-committing to too-large a workload by taking on too many new items.

To answer OP’s questions: yes I had the same problem. What worked for me personally was to compromise somewhat in other areas at first until I got to the low 40s on WK. I was extremely motivated to do WK and also believe that learning kanji first makes everything else easier.

But if you feel like WK is taking too much time after doing 10 levels over a year, your situation is probably different. My advice would be to always do all your reviews as soon as they come up, and pick a consistent plan for new items (10-20/day for example), pay attention to the resulting workload (clock your hours if necessary!) and continually recalibrate until you have found an amount of time that doesn’t interfere with other areas of study (or with the rest of your life… whole other conversation…)

Just remember that it takes at least a couple weeks to see the result when you recalibrate your rate of new items. I stopped new items completely at 42, 49, and 51, and all three times it took over 2 months to really see much of a difference at all. You should see a difference faster but it will still take time (and depend somewhat on your accuracy rate).


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