Nedd some advice on how to proceed


I’m on level 36 at the moment. For the first 30 levels,I tried to keep the time I spend on one level to about 7-10 days. Worked fine for me. But now, I really struggle with that. My success rate has also gone down from 80-100% to 50-75%. Plus, the number of apprentice and guru kanji just won’t go down in a meaningful way.

What should I do?

I thought about taking it slower, but 1.) would that help with the number of apprentice and guru kanji? and 2.) how many days per level are okay, okay in the sense that I don’t just do this on the side, but as my primary goal?

I once took it slower and spent about 15 days on a level, but apprentice kanji didn’t really go down in number. That’s why I’m asking for advice. Thank you!


Probably just need to pause on the lessons and keep doing reviews until apprentice goes down to 100 (number can vary according to comfort but that’s what many people say and I recommend). I’m on level 28 btw and I take 7-8 days for each level.

I always do all the lessons on a new level immediately until I finish all the available kanji and radicals. There will be some remaining vocabulary which I leave aside until I guru the first set of kanji and my apprentice items usually go down (I try to keep them 100-150).

Then right before the next set of kanji come up in my lessons I finish up the remaining vocab lessons so as to not accumulate them when other items come up for lessons.

Hope I made sense!


WaniKani shouldn’t really be your primary goal. Are you learning kanji just for the sake of learning kanji? Or do you plan to use this knowledge for something? If the latter, then that should be your primary goal.

In any case, the right pace is whatever pace results in you making progress without burning out. If you burn out it’s all a waste anyway. So slowing down is better than giving up.


Yeah, that’s how I did it, too. Do all the lessons at the start of a new level, then keep doing reviews. I have stopped doing that, now I only do all the new radicals when I reach a new level and do a couple lessons every day to truck forward.

I guess I should slow down for a while and get my success rate up :_>

1 Like

I’m not learning Japanese to “beat Wanikani”. What I meant is that I’m not satisfied with doing it as a side thing and taking 6-7 years or so.


Yep your problem is most probably you doing more lessons while your apprentice count is higher than comfortable. That’s the only thing I can think of when you say the reviews are overwhelming.


If you spent longer on a level and found your apprentice/guru items weren’t going down, it’s probably worth using a script to look for leeches (items that you keep failing, so they keep coming up and clutter up your apprentice/guru queue rather than moving on) - clearing some of those out would probably help get your accuracy up and the size of your apprentice/guru down, which would let you proceed to new material faster again.

1 Like

That shouldn’t be a problem then. There’s a pretty wide range between leveling up at max speed and it taking 6-7 years.

Personally, I leveled up in 7-10 days for the first 30-35 levels of WaniKani, then after that I leveled up in 14-16 days instead. I still finished WaniKani in under three years with that pace. So you can easily slow down now and still finish within three years or so from when you started.



I’d you don’t do any lessons for some days your apprentice number should approach zero in theory. So all stuff remaining is stuff failing in higher levels. I use flaming durtles, an android app. There you can sort and see you leeches. I would recommend craming them on their own and for the harder ones writing your own mnemonics, as the wk ones, on those items, don’t seem to work for you.

Best luck on your journey


But then I wouldn’t ever learn those ;>

One example is 就職, I keep forgetting whether it’s “job hunting”, “finding a job” or “employment” or “occupation”. >_<

I guess I need to work on my mnemonics …

I don’t think you have much to worry about, I started some months before you and you’re already almost ten levels above me :blush: and even going slow, I foresee I’ll take only four years from 1 to 60.


I think things like that will become more obvious once you start interacting with the language outside of WaniKani more :slight_smile: .

Based on personal experience, I would use a clocking app like Clockify to time which aspects of language learning take how much time. Then, balance accordingly.

Remember that WaniKani is meant to teach you kanji primarily. If you don’t use them, that knowledge will eventually fade away. So even if you don’t speedrun through the levels like a WaniKani 選手, but spend that time on reading, listening, speaking in Japanese, isn’t that equally beneficial? :slight_smile:

Any recommendations on how to deepen the Wanikani-knowledge outside of Wanikani? I’m watching anime, but that’s only so-so, more entertainment. And for regular texts, my kanji knowledge is still to bad at level 36. Any good apps or websites that have japanese brackets for different levels of knowledge?

I’m currently reading a book from Aozora Bunko by Edogawa Ranpo called 怪人二十面相 (The Fiend of 20 Faces) . It’s a children’s book so the amount of kanji is disastrously low, but I had to start somewhere. Here’s a thread which ranks the Aozora Bunko books by WaniKani level depending on the kanji used: Here, Have a List of Aozora Books by WK Level

They’re not really sorted by different levels of knowledge, because even the simplest books would assume one knows quite a bit of basic vocabulary and grammar. The grammar in 怪人二十面相 is roughly N4 level from what I would say.

This is also a fairly good page to get started: NEWS WEB EASY

With level 36 I would say one can do quite a bit already :slight_smile: .

I had a look at the list from the linked thread again and several hundreds of books can be read if being over level 30 in WaniKani. Not sure I would have enough time to read all of them myself :joy:


Thx a lot. I’ve been googling some and I can’t find any store that sells the Fiend of Twenty Faces-book in japanese. Do you know a shop that ships worldwide? I usually buy books from cdjapan, but they dont have it.

1 Like

A physical copy? I read it directly in the book reader on Aozora Bunko, but I think you can also download it and read it on an e-book reader. I wouldn’t know where to get a physical copy, sorry :frowning: .

1 Like

I had pretty much the same experience as @seanblue

Around 30-35, my pace became much more dependent on Apprentice count and I would hold levels for a week or more to clear it out.

It may be better to just take a month of just reviews and see what that does to your Apprentice items.

1 Like

We are at almost the same level (I just leveled up to 35) but for what it’s worth, I’m going much slower. I haven’t had a sub-two-week level since level 16, and I currently average around three weeks per level (or even longer if I miss a review day or two for whatever reason).

I find it horrifically demotivating if my success rate falls much below 85%. It must feel brutal to only get 50% to 75% correct!

Every now and then a bunch of old, poorly memorized items will fall into my daily review pile so my success rate drops considerably and it really feels like a grind. On days like that I put lessons on hold until reviews start feeling easy again.

As others have stated: just slow down and stop doing lessons for a while until the reviews start feeling easy again (with higher success rates). That will absolutely help with the number of apprentice/guru kanji.

The reviews will still suck for a while, but eventually you’ll start seeing some items so often that they’ll automagically move out of Apprentice — they’ll eventually become so familiar after seeing them so many times that you won’t even have to think.

What’s worked well for my blood pressure is daily reviews (just once a day), but try hard to get the number of reviews down to zero every single day. Only at the end of my daily session do I do lessons.

If I feel exhausted after reviews because I missed so many, I may not do any lessons. If I’m new on a level and still getting brand new kanji, I rarely do more than 5 lessons. If I’ve been on a level for a while and it’s mostly vocabulary to hammer home pronunciations, I might do fifteen or twenty if it feels easy.

My breakdown looks like this currently:

It honestly still feels pretty effortless. I get about an 85% to 92% success rate on most days. TOO high of a success rate means I’m not pushing myself enough and need to do more lessons. Too low becomes a grind so I don’t do any lessons.

Just let the SRS do its magic and don’t compound your problems by stuffing more and more into the Apprentice bucket.

15 days on a level is NOT slow! Keep doing reviews and the number of items in Apprentice will absolutely go down. Patience is a virtue.

1 Like

Oh wow, we’re at about the same level, but your burned kanji are double mine :smiley:

Yeah, I will do reviews only for the next 2 weeks or so. Maybe one lesson per week or so to make some progress.

Okay, everyone, thanks. My goal now: More reviews, less lessons, and think about better mnemonics for difficult kanji


Honestly, sheer repetition is sometimes more valuable than trying to come up with better mnemonics. The latter will let you guru items and move through levels faster, but repetition might be better for long term retention even if it takes longer.

1 Like