My reviews usually end in 60-80%

Have you considered making your own mnemonics? Some are quite counterintuitive. Perhaps after each lesson you could recap it afterwards, or spend more time in the lesson. Especially when you’ve just started to learn new items, before typing in the answer take a few seconds to check your answer with the mnemonic.

In addition, since you’re level 10, you could try to read some beginner’s manga with furigana. Everytime when you encouter a kanji in native material, reflect briefly upon the reading with the mnemonic you’ve learnt.

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I may suggest customizing all mnemonics, at least for kanji, verbs and odd reading vocab. I probably use ~10% of what wanikani provides and then change everything to something more lucid that only I identify with. Plus, the provided stories can get WAY too long and I needed something far more concise. Whether you write it or not, do a little of bit of studying outside the SRS system and don’t ignore the mistake reviews after lesson (read them a couple times at least).


I haven’t actually. I just tend to forget words I don’t use in English either, though. Like all the company words.

Which ones do I read?

I have a rather easy time with the kanji. The vocab is generally where I get tripped up on. Example vocab that use じつ or にち for 日. I always tend to mix the two up.


I just tend to forget words I don’t use

If you haven’t started learning grammar yet, at level 10 this would give you more context which might help you.

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jitsu and nichi are the ONE THING I keep on mixing up the most

Yeah, I kind of started learning grammar way before learning kanji

I do agree that outside study is essential. I guess what I meant to highlight is that specifically studying the items that you got wrong in WK reviews outside of WK is going to potentially slow down the SRS process. Otherwise, I think reading, studying grammar, and learning new vocabulary using other resources at the same time as doing WK are really important.

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Some mnemonics are easier to remember then other, but eventually you will grow pass it and just recognize it by it’s shape. The first review for the new items is the crucial one for me, so I will try to do it as soon as it come (~2 hours I think?) cus that’s the time my brain will be force to re-call the new item, but if you wait longer then that it just wont stick anymore. So if you feel nothing is sticking around, you probably should check your study-review schedule.

I just saw this video recently by Veritasium regarding The Science of Thinking, you might want to check out.
Basically your conscious thought need to build a strong relation with the new item before passing the task to your unconscious thought (when you could just recognize the kanji by looking at it, without having to think strapping a beggar to the floor before recognizing it as a ‘copy’ kanji).

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I just did a review a minute ago and I got a little over half wrong. I felt like every word was wrong and not by mistakes this time. I straight up couldn’t remember things I should know. It was kind of frustrating and a little discouraging. I know I’ll eventually move those words back up, but still. I understand the feeling.


+1 to this. I’ve been keeping a Journal Of Shame since I started WK. Every mistake gets logged with the reason I made it - whether I plain couldn’t remember it, confidently misread it, second-guessed, confused it with another character, etc. I will literally do lines with kanji, kana and definition reading aloud to myself when some pesky bit of vocab refuses to stick and the mnemonic isn’t working.

Side-bonus: I can write 年 super quick now!


Wow this is cool. I’ll try them out. First I need to buy colored pens.

In my case, I use self-study quiz extension, then add failed last reviews and leech and all combo.
New lessons are hard to stick for me, so I use this in multiple sessions whenever I had time.
So for new kanji, I just shoot the kanji to my head rapidly until it sticks.


Update; I took more time to think than I normally do on the reviews

I got 95%

Maybe I’m just rushing


I’m impressed by your Japanese handwriting. When I write in Japanese, I usually can’t recognize it afterwards, while I can read yours perfectly fine.

I should really practice handwriting as well.


Maybe you are just going through WaniKani to fast and need to slow down a bit.

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Something that helped me immensely was consuming more material outside WaniKani. I always used to have problems with things like きょ/きょう, renadku, usuage of small つ’s and the like, now I just got used to those “secret” rules.

I just know now when a word is likely to use any of the above mentioned methods, all thanks to reading more. Yes, reading, not watching subbed anime. :wink:

Also, if you haven’t already, start studying grammar, sites like BunPro should help you remarkably with your issues. 1. You’ll read a lot of example sentence for the grammar you’re studying and 2. Your brain will eventually make the connection. Brush up on your grammar so that you can read, then READ.

Reading is so ridiculously useful when learning a language and I’m quite certain that it will help you quite a bit in your Japanese journey, the beginning is difficult but it WILL get easier.

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Wanikani doesn’t train writing at all. I wouldn’t take that as a bad sign for your memory. When I was practicing writing regularly I could do it but now that I’m just focusing on reading I can’t write any of the new Kanji I learn.

When I get stuck it usually means I need to start doing the reviews more often. Like, right when they pop whenever possible. The extra exposure usually does the trick.

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For me the great majority of mistakes in reviews are indeed typos. For that you either use a script (i.e. [Userscript] Wanikani Override ("ignore answer button")) or you simply slow down and make sure to double check your input before submitting it.

Local Ice Climbers who reach the summit of level 60 usually share here their story with WaniKani, so you can see how they did handle the humongous number of incoming lessons and reviews.

I am nothing more than a beginner, but when it comes to mistakes that are not typos here what does the trick for me:

  • if the mnemonic for a specific kanji doesn’t help you, try to make your own mnemonics. I find this particularly helpful when english is not your primary language;
  • if this does not help either, use one of the example sentences as a reference, a title of a manga/anime you know ecc… this helps me when I get a kanji wrong so many times that I always get used to input the wrong answer (i.e. you see 三月 and you still are 50% unsure if it is さんがつ or さんげつ);
  • if you mistake a kanji for some other kanji write both down many times, by doing so you’ll point out more easily in what the two differ; be sure to write them down with the proper stroke order.

Whenever I hit a rough patch in terms of accuracy I have two approaches:

  1. Do the reviews more often. As soon as they show up and it’s possible to do them, hammer them out. Don’t worry about getting them wrong, since you’ll just keep seeing them and get more familiarity.

  2. Start writing. For me, writing down everything slows down reviews a ton, but really helps solidify everything much faster.

Don’t worry about your numbers too much, just keep at it. My level up reviews tend to be around 70-80% overall, but more like 30-50% when it comes to the new kanji. General rule of thumb is that I’ve got to botch them about 3-4 times each before the retention jumps a bunch.


Maybe you’re going too fast ? I’m like a snail when I go through new lessons, I take around 1-2 minutes per word (sometimes more for brand new ones, sometimes less for easy ones). I repeat everything a few times in my head, and pay special attention to the mnemonics. They’re all really stupid, but they work really well. I don’t just read them, I imagine them, react to them, form new ideas around them so that they can stick longer.

Then, when I’m done with lessons, especially big ones like 50+ new items (yesterday was 150 … that was hard), I go back to each one in the summary and force myself to remember them. Usually I’ll have forgotten around 10-20%, so I think double checking is useful for me.

I double-check what I got wrong after reviews, analyze why I got it wrong (usually it’s either that I got too cocky and reckless or that the mnemonic didn’t work for me), and repeat everything in my head, especially mnemonics or if it’s not good enough for me I make my own. Like I had trouble with 主人 (nin and jin are really annoying to me), so I thought “okay shunin sounds too much like shounen so it’s a no-go - a boy can’t be head of household !”. It’s stupid but it works. Mnemonics are really overpowered.

Exceptions like 太字 are the hardest for me now. And stuff like nin/jin. 村人 人気 万人 主人 those types of exceptions haven’t really had any mnemonic apart from “oh yeah … you just have to remember that this one’s nin, good luck”. Maybe this could be improved, but in the meantime the best you can do is recognize what’s going to be difficult to remember and spend extra efforts on them ideally before you fail 3 reviews in a row (so that your progress isn’t slowed too much).

Edit : my stats show 98-99% accuracy total with the lowest being 96.78% reading for vocab. I usually end reviews with 97+% so that sounds about right.