New to wanikani.Any tips?

I’m new to Wanikani,as you can see I’m still lvl 1.
I have to wait a day for my review to pop up,so I was wondering does anyone have some tips for new Wanikani user?
I just finished Genki 1,but I had some trouble remembering the Kanji,I don’t quite like how genki teach you the Kanji.
Can’t wait to start the climbing,lvl 60 I’m coming :slight_smile:


If you’re not in any kind of time rush, take it easy and enjoy, and take the time to really get the mnemonics embedded. If you can, try to not treat it as a race, as it will just make things less enjoyable and you won’t really finish that much sooner anyway. A rule of thumb that is often mentioned here is to only do lessons while your “apprentice” count is less than 100, which seems to give a manageable workload for many.

  • Go at your own pace,
  • Find a good routine,
  • Don’t let WaniKani be the only consistent studying you do,
  • Make sure to focus on grammar as well (I personally recommend Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide),
  • Have fun!

Welcome! Glad to have you here!

There’s not too much specific by way of tips that I can add that isn’t already covered either in the excellent knowledge guide - it’s on the help section of your homepage- or jprspereira’s stupendously good post from a while back My Journey of 368 days (+ The Ultimate Guide for WK 📖 ) - #2 by jprspereira

My only tiny additional advice is:

  1. it’s probably going to feel a bit slow for a while, so kick back and enjoy it, and don’t complain about wanting your reviews to speed up on the forums because it makes you look like a noob :slight_smile: Then the reviews creep up on you till it’s nearly overwhelming (there’s a heap of threads here asking for help with that problem too) - the trick is to find a pace that works for you where you don’t burn out.

  2. The book clubs are fantastic, and the absolute beginners book club reads things with furigana so not knowing kanji isn’t a barrier to entry. It’ll be tough but not impossible at a genki 1 level, and I really highly recommend them.
    Absolute Beginners Book Club // Currently reading When Will Ayumu Make His Move

Best of luck and hope you make it to the end of Wanikani at a lovely sustainable pace, and then onwards to a glorious world of further learning adventures.


install scripts, they are very useful! The New And Improved List Of API and Third Party Apps

  • If you are trying to go fast, make sure to get Radicals & Kanji into your review queue as soon as you level up. This can be done using scripts that other users have already mentioned. Vocab can be learned in between new ones popping up. If you are just chillin and taking your time, ignore what I just said and enjoy yourself.

  • Knockout 5-10 minutes of BunPro a day to supplement your Genki grammar studies

  • Read before you’re comfortable, since you will never feel comfortable as a learner. Here’s a pdf with some level 0 graded readers: LVL 0 (50) (848pg).pdf - Google Drive


It’s slow at the start, that’s normal.

  1. Keep Apprentice items below 100 to have a manageable workload. If you want more work, set the cap at 150 while making sure your Apprentice 1+2+3 items count is capped at 100.

  2. If it feels slow, increase the number of lessons. If it feels to fast, slow down your pace by doing fewer lessons.

  3. Grammar: Bunpro+Bunpo+Tae Kim+Lingodeer is a good combination. You don’t have to use all, obviously. I just like having many resources to get multiple explanations.

  4. Vocabulary: 10k deck on Kitsun. I’m happy to help you set it up if you need assistance. It’s really great.


Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide covers what JLPT levels?

I have seen here many people not recommending it. I wanna know why to balance the odds.

1 Like


There is only one tip that matters: DO YOUR REVIEWS (at least daily).

WK works pretty much automagically if you just follow that simple rule.

One corollary I’d add: It doesn’t matter how many times you get an item wrong. Eventually, you’ll recognize items you’ve failed many times in the past and remember the correct answer (though sometimes you’ll want to dig in and figure out why you’re missing it so often — some characters look an awful lot alike, for example). There’s obviously no reason to “cheat”. If you miss an item frequently, WK will show it to you more often: that’s the magic.

I like to get the available reviews queue down to zero at least once every single day. This is trivial in the beginning, but remember that you’ll eventually have thousands of items scheduled for review if you stick with it and work through the levels (only a small fraction of which will appear in any given daily review session, but all will show up eventually).

For various reasons, many here want to get to level 60 as quickly as possible. Personally, I find I learn the material better if I go at a moderate pace and keep no more than around 100 items in the apprentice bucket (the bucket of stuff I’m just starting to learn).

To me, “moderate” is my current pace of about 3 weeks per level, with no more than 150 or so reviews on any given day. For the first dozen or so levels it was pretty easy to finish a level roughly every week to ten days by doing all my lessons as well as all my reviews, but I slowed down doing lessons when it started getting harder. Find a pace that’s comfortable for you, though, this is just a suggestion.

Once it does start getting harder, remember that LESSONS control the difficulty of the workload (REVIEWS are the workload). Lessons contain brand new items you’ve never seen before. Reviews contain a mix of items, mostly items you’ve seen at least once before (but often not for several weeks or even months). If too many of the items are brand new, you’ll inevitably grow frustrated as the reviews become difficult. Personally, I find it frustrating and demotivating if I miss more than 10 or 20% of the answers in any review session (or if I have to spend more than a few seconds recalling more than two or three items).

You won’t have more than 100 items to review for quite a while, but I’ve found my personal sweet spot in terms of difficulty is when I have no more than 100 or so items in the apprentice bucket. Beyond that, it gets too difficult and I find it difficult to stay motivated.

Just to give you some idea, I’ve been following these suggestions for the past year and a half on WK, and here’s my current breakdown after doing my reviews and lessons (in that order) this morning:

[Not shown: I brought my reviews queue down to zero but left 68 items in the lessons queue.]

That means I’ve got 2,297 total items that will be scheduled for reviews eventually (everything except “Burned”). 99 of those items are pretty new ones that I’m just starting to learn (and am more likely to get wrong).

The result is that I’ll only have 128 items to review tomorrow as long as I finish before 10 a.m., but I’ll struggle to get the queue down to zero if I go more than a day or two without doing my reviews:

Anyway, this is far more info than you need right now, but you may want to consider all of this when you get a bit further along. Remember: **DO YOUR REVIEWS!" :slight_smile:


for the fastest leveling always do the lessons for radicals and kanji as soon as they are available. Vocabulary doesn’t count toward leveling, it just reinforces the kanji.

On the topic of scripts to add, I personally find Wanikani aggravating without a way to ignore/change wrong answers ([Userscript]: Double-Check (Version 2.x)), but there is a big caveat. Only get this if you can trust yourself to not get tempted to cheat. You spelled a Japanese word wrong (including something as small as forgetting a long vowel?), you were wrong, be glad the extra lessons will fix that. Mix up the meaning? Wrong.

That said, while Wanikani checks for typos in English answers, that isn’t perfect, and if you aren’t super careful, a Japanese typo can happen too. Real typos can get ignored and fixed. Or sometimes you’ll know that you knew the English answer but your mind was swirling around the meaning and didn’t latch exactly onto the specific English phrasing Wanikani wants – make sure you were REALLY right and not “close enough”, but it sure does happen. User added synonyms exist to somewhat alleviate the meaning issue, but that’s a retroactive fix and I personally like not having to worry too much about adding them vs just recognizing I entered something I might have considered a synonym anyway. That doesn’t even happen that often, but I’ve gotten things like “to whisper in the ear” (might have been slightly different phrasing, I don’t recall what I typed exactly) or something marked wrong because it wasn’t “whisper in ear,” or I got lazy and typed “cow meat” instead of beef and wanikani didn’t like that.

Just be disciplined if you do use this, don’t let me ruin your learning by sharing it. I just know some people find the incorrects that should actually be correct to be really frustrating. I certainly do.


Make it a rule to finish reviews before logging into the forum :crabigator:


I heard only 2% of the users made it to level 60 :sweat_smile:

1 Like

That’s because most people want to know a language but not actually learn it. The other fraction is probably gettting by by not knowing all kanji wanikani offers. I’m willing to bet a large portion are not reaching 60 due to the fact that they are doing other things and looking up kanji as they go.

Or the very moment you wake up, or well, close to it. And use a phone app to do reviews throughout the day, would recommend doing routines such as doing reviews as you take a dump or something to that effect. Doing 150 reviews in a sitting is kind of a nuisance. However doing 6x25 sets throughout the day isn’t.

1 Like

Uh? Why? I think Tae Kim’s only controversial statement is about the distinction about は/が. As far as I know part of his job is an editor for Japanese grammar books so he probably knows what he’s talking about.

I think it’s a bit about how he presents stuff. There are many ways in which Japanese grammar can be explained, and I don’t think his is necessarily the clearest one (I found Cure Dolly a lot clearer, for example). So it’s not that he’s wrong, just that the approach might not work for some.


Ah ok yeah. Everyone has different tastes about how content is explained. I read the previous message as if Kim’s Grammar guide is flawed in some way which I think is detrimental to say to someone starting out as it’s a pretty comprehensive guide and it’s also free.

1 Like

I find bunpro is a good app to use for grammer. Also, as others have said try to go at your own pace.

1 Like

Do your reviews EVERY day. It might seem like missing one day every so often wouldn’t be so bad, and it probably isn’t, but if you’re anything like me the one day becomes two, which becomes three, which becomes a week, and before you know it there are thousands of reviews piled up to look at right now and chipping away at them seems impossible.

As others have said, doing too many lessons while you have piles of reviews will just give you more piles of review. You should only do them if you can manage the workload.

Also, be aware of how real life stuff will affect your workload. This is probably easier to manage if things are pretty steady. If you’re in education however, even though you might have plenty of time to speed through reviews now in the summer, that’ll come back to bite you once October rolls around.

Lastly, even if unfortunately something goes wrong and you can’t handle the workload anymore, it’s okay to go through the reviews more slowly, or even to reset like I did this morning if it gets that bad.