New to WaniKani, lesson filter advice

Hello all, I just created an account a couple of days ago. Later today, I should finally get the initial 26 radicals to guru, and unlock some kanji.

My question is, how many kanji lessons should I do per day just starting out? I’ve seen a lot of good advice, particularly one piece which recommended to limit lessons to a ratio of 3 vocab words per 1 kanji, and to limit the lessons per day to roughly 12 - 16 to prevent overload.

This makes a lot of sense to me, but I’m not sure how long I should wait to start following this approach, since at the moment I barely have anything unlocked to actually study (and I don’t think I will even unlock any vocab for a while).

Thanks for your insight.


I think you should do what feels comfortable for you. Sometimes I only do 5 lessons a day.

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Like what Baito said, do it at a pace where you are comfortable. Everyone has different goals, timeframes and circumstances so there is no real ideal number for everyone. Doing around 12-16 lessons per day means you would get through wanikani in about 2-2.5 years just to give you an idea; I think there are just under 9000 items to learn.

In terms of amount of reviews, you would see jumps in number of reviews in time with the srs lengths; so at 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month then 4 months. Basically at around the 6 month mark is where reviews should level off.

I don’t think it matters much for the first 5 levels, because as you said, there aren’t that many lessons there to begin with. I would say, once you start getting more sizeable review sessions, that’s when to start implementing a more strict lesson schedule, if that’s what you want to do going forward.


Another thing to keep in mind is that the first 3 levels are designed to be shorter levels. The fourth level becomes more regular in terms of timing. So if you want to start a routine that you can keep up with over the next 50 levels, I would say the 4th level is the place to start, because it is the first “normal” level.


I’m someone who follows this exact method, with a 3 vocab to 1 kanji ratio, equating to roughly 9 vocab and 3 kanji lessons a day, and I absolutely recommend it. I didn’t start out doing this, though, so I’m not exactly sure how to advise for the initial levels :sweat_smile:.

For the first level, you’ll probably be fine just doing the lessons as they’re unlocked, since you don’t have much content circulating yet. If you’re not sure about ratios, you could just pick a daily number of lessons and limit yourself to doing that number and just do them in the order that WK gives them to you for now.

It looks like from about level 4 onward, there’s a more normal number of vocab lessons (the earliest levels have fewer), so the 1:3 ratio will probably be easier to do.

What I did when experimenting with lesson ratios was keep an eye on the number of items per level on wkstats. If it looked like I was going through vocab lessons faster than I was unlocking new ones, I’d do 4 kanji a day (and one less vocab lesson) for a few days instead of 3. The main thing is keeping the number of daily lessons the same in order to cultivate a consistent daily workload.

For the radicals, the earlier levels have way more of them than the later ones. At the beginning, I would often do all of the radicals in one day because they took way less mental effort to learn, and it was simpler just to get them out of the way. If this is too much, you could always split them into multiple days, though!

But yeah, for the very first few levels, I don’t think it hurts too much to binge the lessons, since you don’t have older reviews coming back on top of that, but it might still be a good idea to try doing a consistent daily amount, especially if you’re new to Japanese and are trying to adjust to a completely different way of thinking about things. The early levels have a lot of easy kanji/vocab, but also have a lot of kanji with loads of readings, and vocab where all of the readings are exceptions (like the things and days counters), so if you start to feel a little overwhelmed by failing a bunch of them over and over (as was my experience… :sweat_smile:), it’s okay to leave lessons undone until you feel like you’ve actually started to wrap your brain around the stuff you already have in circulation.

Basically, don’t worry too much about your pace for the first few levels, but if you do want to establish some early habits, you’d be fine just picking a daily number of lessons (like 12 or 16) and using WK’s default order for now.


Ditto from me regarding the ratio; I was doing 9 & 3 but now that I’m reading more I’ve pulled back to 6 & 2 (+ 1 radical, which is easy to do at the upper levels as there are so few).

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Sounds good. Yeah, I think I will aim for roughly 12 lessons per day. I’m not in any rush to finish or anything and I think I’d learn better with less material at once.


You should use it from the beginning and just keep going as you unlock more items.

One thing to keep in mind is that in the beginning you don’t really know what’s a comfortable pace for you yet. Once you’ve been doing lessons regularly for a couple of months, then you can re-evaluate and see if you need to adjust.

Depends on how much new material you haven’t absorbed yet from lessons. The ganbarometer script will help you with gauging how much you are learning at a time by calculating your SRS levels. For the first few levels, around 15 per day should be easily doable. And regarding radicals, I always do every single radical on level up since those are usually pretty easy

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