My time here feels like it falls short of being useful

Hey everyone. So in summary, I’m a full-time med student. This means every day I have 10-15 hours or work between going to the hospital and studying apart from doing general life stuff like groceries, cooking, etc. For the past year, I have tried to do my reviews early in the morning and I think I might have crammed through some levels or the mnemonics just never stuck with me, but at best I get 80% on a review session. On average, closer to a 50-60%. I don’t know if I should reset or just quit on Japanese altogether. I feel like I have tried to read some manga to motivate myself (I also love anime) and then when I go into WK to see the vocab, all the vocab I need to learn to understand the manga or shows I watch are at such high levels it’s demotivating. Especially when I can barely get half of the practice right at level 10-11. I tried to take over a month to just do reviews and still get 70-100+ reviews a day because some vocab just does not stick. I don’t like that all my 30-40 minutes of Japanese per day feel wasted on vocab I never get to use and don’t even get right half of the time. Has anybody reset and felt like that helped? Or is 30minutes a day just not enough to do anything apart from WK? I wish I could just do reviews once a day like anki. Thanks for reading my little rant. Tips or motivation appreciated!


This is not a race.
Get a pace you can manage, but stays consistent. 2 or 3 lessons a day maybe?
I feel like to try to do too much at once. Set your goals lower.

That is, if medschool is your focus now. If it is Japanese, just abandon your studies. lol


The problem here may be that you’re a full time med student.

Vocab is not sticking because you’re probably mentally overworked from all the other studying you do. Also, beware that WK is not ideal for manga or anime. If your only intent for learning Japanese is this, you may want to look elsewhere! (At least that’s what I have read from other people on this community).

I was doing WK when I was a student and I was miserable. It may work for a lot of people but not for me. I stopped and came back once I graduated and now everything’s good. My advice is for you to do the same but this is just me. Other people may have other suggestions for you so stay tune :slight_smile:


One thing Iève noticed which worked for me:

Take the time to come up with a good mnemonic for words which won’t stick. I’ve gone from a 70%ish reviews to 90%ish since I take the time to come up with good stories. I also draw radicals to help me remember them:

It might seem like a waste of time but it’s one of those cases where I end up saving time as I never forget something I have a good mnemonic for.

I basically keep track of each mistake and then analyze why I forgot. 99% of the time it’s because I didn’t take the time to come up with a good story.

You’ll be slower but a ton more efficient. Don’t take my word for it, try it and see if it works for you.



As a former corporate slave (will be one again starting next week) who used to work 12-16 hrs a day albeit working from home before quitting last January, I highly recommend to just calm down, and slow down.

I got to the point where I just did reviews and had days where I didn’t have any, let alone take any lessons. But that’s fine because I don’t want to lie to myself that I can stress myself more.

You have lifetime subscription. You can even delay learning until you get your “me” times.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

Cheers and good luck!


Your horse drawing is the best thing that could happen to me today, thank you for that :nerd_face:

Sorry I’ve got not much to add, since the previous answers covered all I would have to say as well. Take your time and don’t rush. Maybe try Koohi for a vocabulary list of the manga you want to read (not everything is covered yet but I found at least a few quite helpful), so you can either pre-learn before you start reading or do something side-by-side stuff.

I can also recommend Lapis if you encounter grammatical sentences that you don’t get at all and may want to break down.

Gl on your journey and props to studying medicine.


That horse looks like Homer Simpson. I approve!


The only thing Japanese learning requires is time. It doesn’t take skill or IQ. The later you continue your studies/WK, the later you will finish (Assuming that you stop WK completely) your path to fluency, but, you will finish your degree with relative ease on the bright side.

Since you are a student, it is safe to assume there are lows and highs regarding your workload. When the next two weeks you have school off, you can press the pedal on WK. Reversely, if you have finals coming up, it would be smart to do a max of 5 reviews a day or less (perhaps even 0) until the hard times pass. A student can predict when the peak of the year is and the teachers tell you most of the time anyway, so make your schedule around that information. Over the course of 2 months (which is a little less than summer break for you), I leveled up 6 times! Yes, 6 levels for 60 days. You can conclude that you can make a lot of progress even with a moderate amount of spare time.

Lastly, I would like to address your low percentage. If I am reading correctly, you are saying that your schedule looks like this:
You have 30 mins daily and you
Do reviews and with the remaining time do lessons.

You would repeat this once every day, leading me to the conclusion that the items in your short-term memory (AKA Apprentice) aren’t well-rehearsed resulting in your low score the following day. This also means that you are doing just fine when we start talking Guru+. If what I just went over sounds like you, then I recommend doing BISHBASHBOSH after each lesson to make it stick in your short term memory (WK will do the long term memory). Simply press Apprentice 1 and drill them. Additionally, you can do the rest of the choices the site provides: Recently failed, Oldest apprentices, etc. to further drill everything into your memory. It doesn’t take long but it is extremely effective.

If nothing aforementioned works and you continue to struggle you can take it back to the forums so we can figure out a solution.


Seems like you have too much on your plate to rush through WK. I would suggest like other people, that you slow down on your lessons and just keep it consistent. I get that you’re ambitious, since you’re a med student and all, but I would just chill out on the lessons and try to come up with own mnemonics on leeches that you struggle with. I wouldn’t quit or reset, I would just take it slow, and eventually when you have more time you can start to ramp it up a bit. Another tip is to use a phone app and spread out the reviews throughout the day when you have some time (if you do that is), if you don’t, spread it out as much as possible and don’t rush it. Kind of frustrating and demotivating to have 100 reviews to do, sometimes you just say “fuck it” and just rush through a few that you could’ve gotten right if you just thought about it a bit more. I’ve consistently been at 75% accuracy, but that is mostly due to me not really focusing and just saying “fuck it” on a few that I could’ve gotten right if I just gave it some time to think about it.


Thank you so much for the feedback. Med-school and people will always be my first goal. However, Japanese is my learning escape. It’s something I don’t have to do. But I will take the advice to maybe reset but progress more slowly. It’s sometimes hard to not get into the mindset of it feeling like a race!

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I love this! Will probably reset. But will start again taking more time to try this out! I love drawing on my ipad so that’s a great idea to help some of these mnemonics kick in!

Yes! I feel that. I have about 6-8 years left of studying with residency and all so I have to work hard to get into the mindset of calming down and not trying to cram as if it was a test! Hope you keep it up yourself!


I recently reset from level 10 but my situation was different. I had hundreds of reviews after almost a full year of not doing WK and I felt really demotivated to go through them all, plus i wasnt remembering everything properly.

Resetting was definitely the right move for me.

Also to echo what others have said, just go at your own pace. Personally I’ve realized daily consistency is key. Your brain is a natural supercomputer, we’ve evolved to make sense of language so the longer you stick with it and the more you immerse the sooner you’ll see results.

Wishing you luck!

I’d recommend you to start doing two things (I use Wanikani Item Inspector for both):

  • After each review session quiz yourself with items you’ve failed during that review.
  • Regularly quiz yourself on leeches.

Don’t have any major tips to add other than what the others have already said, so as a fellow med school student I just wanted to wish you good luck on your studies, both Japanese and non-Japanese! Finding the right balance between studying WaniKani and going on your daily activities is really something that takes time, so I’d say to take it slow! If you really prioritize learning Japanese even for 1 hour or less in a day, it will definitely fit in magically with your schedule.

With that being said, as a med school student, I assume that you’re at least familiar with Anki. While WK prioritizes a strict schedule for learning intervals and set kanji and vocab that you have to learn to complete the levels, Anki can give you the freedom to learn what vocab you want when you come across some in anime or you can learn words which will definitely show up in most of the native material you consume with the core _K decks. You will learn kanji with a slightly different way compared to WK, however it may even suit your needs time-wise as you don’t need to type in answers if you’re using vanilla Anki. Plus, if you’re already using Anki for your studies, you’re definitely used to the app which helps a lot.

In the end, whatever method you choose, remember to have fun learning Japanese!

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It’s not a race, you’ll cause yourself to burn out in what is obviously more important. It’s a zero sum game.

Slow your horse power it’s not a horse race.

I noticed the photo is titled “Kanji2”. I can’t wait to see the full set someday!

Simply, no. But 5 lessons a day, well ordered, will have you leveling up at a decent pace with not too much overwhelm.

To improve your accuracy, say the meaning and reading out loud every time you see an item. If writing usually helps you, do that. For 13 bucks, you can set up the Kanji Study app to mirror WK levels. I’ve made the 60 levels of import files. I’m happy to help with that if you need some guidance with this.

Hell no. This is gorgeous. Your handwriting is excellent. Care to share the name of the type of paper and writing tools you use?

And what a problem that is :joy:. Perhaps @Navrik would like to remedy the situation?

Take it slow and try to balance whatever time you have between Wanikani and reading. You should expect to learn some words in addition to what’s in Wanikani when you read, but the good news is that these will be much easier when you do eventually get them in your reviews. For example, 魔法 is level 46 but I’ve had that drilled into my head from Magic Knight Rayearth so it’ll be an easy one to burn when I get there. Joining one of the absolute beginner book clubs would also help. Finally, you could pick up the Crystal Hunters manga for a fun easy read - it comes with vocab/grammar notes on their website to help you as well.

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@VegasVed Thanks sir. I think I googled ‘blank parchment texture’ for the paper background. I use a Huion graphic tablet for the rest.

@Travioli Keen eye! I do some daily in my blog:

@Navrik Looking forward to seeing the drawing. I rely on visual memory a lot so it might help me remember too.

@popetron I’ll let Ba the horse know. He’s self conscious about his proportions so every bit helps.