My 2023 Study Strategy

In 2023, I decided to step up my Japanese study. The best way I know to improve at something is to track stats around it.

With that, I started a spreadsheet at the beginning of the year. I kept it simple first. I just added the kanjis and vocab I had reached. In these first months, I was probably doing around 10 or so new vocab per week. I always found it hard to know how many items to add in Wanikani.

After the first months passed, I started tracking the load of new items I added each week.

I noticed that instead of adding new items daily, the best thing was to add all items in a single day and then practice them for a week. So, instead of doing 3 new items daily, I would do 30 on one day and then study those. This helped me find what amount per week was maintanable to me.

This worked marvelous for me. Even when I had to go away for a week due to work or when I got COVID, the fact that I could look at the stats and see how much I progressed really motivated me.

For the most part, what worked best for me was adding around 30 to 45 new items on Monday and then studying them throughout the week. Usually, Monday through Wednesday was a bit tough. But from Thursday on, I was already used to the new items.

Another advantage is that when you add so many items at once, you get more vocab that uses the same kanji. I found that helpful because it would reinforce a reading I was learning on a new kanji.

So, to sum it up my 2023 strategy:

  • Created a spreadsheet with each week of the year.
  • On Monday, I would do “new items”. Around 30 to 45.
  • On Monday and Tuesday, I would review the items as soon as they were ready.
  • From Wednesday on, I would review twice a day. Once in the morning, and once in the afternoon.
  • At the beginning of the next week, I would go to wanikanistats and add the values to my spreadsheet.
  • Repeat the steps and adjust.

Important

  • Take into account life events. Have weeks with 0 new items or very few.
  • You will get sick at some point, so adjust the workload.

Results

  • I went from level 10 to level 16.
  • It used to take me 11 weeks to level up, but I managed to reduce it to around 5 weeks. The shortest level-up is 4 weeks.
  • With Kanjis, I went from 301 kanji to 525. Which is a 74% increase.
  • With Vocabs, I went from 891 to 1672. Which is an 88% increase.

Based on Wanikanistats, a level 10 Wanikani accounts for 49% of JLPT N3. While a level 16 accounts for 69%. That is a massive increase. It reinforces me that I am on the right path.

Overall, I am happy with this strategy. I plan on continuing it. I want to maintain a steady pace as I aim for the N3 this year.

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