Mega Slowing Down

Hi, around the first 25 levels I finished levels in under 20 days but around the last 5 levels everyone has seemed to taken over 2 months each time. Not sure how to get back into the groove of faster learning, whenever I stare at kanji lesson in the morning it seems like I’m too tired these days to really remember many, so I can only manage like 2 a day if I’m lucky. Any advice to get out of this overly slow rut?


Well I’m not where you are but I definitely have slower levels and fast levels. (Lvl 16 is going to be a slow burner…)
Some thoughts:
• if you’re tired don’t study in the morning. I tend to do my 1st set of reviews 2 hours after I get up. Time to eat breakfast, have a tea or two, and commute to school (or watch a few cartoons on the weekend).
• I do 12 lessons sometime after after I’ve cleared my reviews. But not on weekends. This helps me keep a good pace of leveling around 21 days, but space to only do reviews for two days.
• I write down all the new kanji and vocab. Then when reviewing, any that I fail I write down. If I have time, I write those failed ones a second time.
• exposure also helps. I live in Japan so it’s everywhere, but if you don’t, find manga or websites. Even if I can’t read/understand everything I can focus on picking out the meanings and sounds that I do know.
• i started making flash cards, but honestly haven’t used them. It could be an option to explore though.


Consider that maybe right now isn’t the right time for leveling quickly. Kanji is just one part of learning Japanese, and it’s a part that won’t do you a ton of good in a vacuum. If WaniKani has been boring you lately, don’t try to force it- At least not right away. Instead, take the time you’d spend on WK and focus on studying another facet of Japanese. Speaking, Reading/Listening to native material, or Grammar. Leave the lessons, and focus on keeping your reviews at 0.


Nothing wanikani specific, but I’ve used these motivation hacks in the past to learn things like playing guitar and go.

  • Small, easily achieved goals you regularly accomplish are way better than huge monolithic goals your rarely attain.

  • Positive reinforcement (rewards) and thoughts are great. Guilt and dread are terrible. “Hey, I’ve slowed down but I’ve managed at least two reviews every day for six weeks straight!” is a million times better than “I’m in a rut and haven’t finished a level in less than a month since who knows when .”

  • Small rewards help. “I can’t have my coffee until I’ve done 5/10/20/whatever reviews.” “No desert/alcohol/vice-of-choice until I’ve done X.”

  • “Don’t break the chain” is a great technique. Habit trackers like the heatmap script and phone apps are good, but I like the visceral feedback of a calendar on the wall with a big red X through every day you hit your easily achieved goal.

  • Decide the time of day when you’re most likely free and will feel fresh and motivated for the task. TELL YOURSELF THAT TIME IS FOR WK EVERY DAY (whether you actually use it or not). It can be 5 minutes or an hour, but it should be dedicated to WK every single day.

  • Possibly even more useful: decide the remaining times when you’ll NOT be in the mood for WK and tell yourself not to login during WK at those times (in other words, make it a rule you won’t feel bad about breaking).

  • Figure out the first step you need to perform and associate it with something you do regularly. Making coffee, checking the mail, washing the dishes, whatever becomes the trigger. The “first step” is probably opening your laptop and opening the WK bookmark or clicking the the app on your phone. Every time you perform the trigger you must at least think about the first step.

Good luck!


Do you have a lot of leeches? Everyone 10-15 levels I start to get bogged down with the ones I have trouble with and they eat up most of my WK time. Install a leech trainer maybe and try to kill those off before proceeding.

I’ve stopped doing lessons for about 5 weeks right now and gotten my apprentice items from 200+ to 50 and my guru from 700 to under 300. This and crushing leeches has reduced my stress and review counts. I cant start lessons again soon and should be more comfortable

Maybe stopping for a few weeks to deal with tough items will help in the long run


You could start doing your lessons between 6pm and 8pm instead, so you can do the first review before bed at 10pm or 11pm. Maybe that will help you. You will have to be dilligent about doing the second review in the morning, though.

It’s OK to go slower or even stop with new lessons - ditto to some of the above advice. Just go whatever speed works for you!

Joke Picture

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