Option to intentionally delay levelling-up to avoid getting overwhelmed


Not sure if this should go here or in the feedback section (or even the script section).

I’m back again after a long break.

I kind of stopped everything last year after successfully taking N5 but then getting too busy with life and work and then this whole sanitary crisis… I’m now back to studying Japanese again, but since I’m also working on my private pilot licence on the side I have to be really careful not to get overwhelmed this time.

And getting overwhelmed is I think one of the reasons why I got a bit discouraged last time. Overwhelmed not by the reviews but by the amount of lessons that showed up on my dashboard.

I’ve decided to reset to level 1, and now I remember that once I got closer to level 10 last time round, I didn’t feel as happy when I leveled up because I’d feel panic as I’d see 50+ new lessons show up on my dashboard when I wasn’t nearly done with the vocabulary of the previous level. It’s entirely psychological, because it doesn’t actually have anything to do with the pace at which I do the lessons. But I feel like it never gives me a break. I’d love it if I could just take time to do most of the vocabulary lessons of one level before I could move on to the next, and have the satisfaction to clear out my lessons log.

That’d really put my mind at ease and help me feel the satisfaction of leveling up again. And that feeling of satisfaction is a reward that really helps motivate me to go on and learn more!

It’d be great it if, for instance, once you get to 90% guru on one level, it didn’t automatically put you to the next level but offered you the option to level-up once you feel ok with it, perhaps through a button on the This way I could take my

Again, I know it actually doesn’t change anything about the amount of lessons you have upcoming, but not seeing those lessons until you feel ready for them would personally really help. And yes, I’ve tried and I can’t just ignore them.

Is that something that they’ve considered implementing on the dashboard? Is there a script that I don’t know about that does this? I know I could use the reorder script to hold of on 2-3 kanji lessons but maybe there’s an alternative.

Have a great day!


Just use the lesson order by level. And do as many lessons as you feel comfortable.


The funny thing is (which is why I believe it is tougher to learn a language as an adult) we do not like to “fail” or make mistakes call it ego or the desire to achieve perfection, but in reality you have to, that is the ONLY way you learn. you’re not perfect, you will make mistakes, many of them, don’t let that overwhelm or discourage you. Just go on and do your lessons, no one is judging you, the system is designed to show you the words you’ve made mistakes in multiple times until they “stick” with you.

By the way, this is something I need to tell myself as well because trust me, I get what you are saying, but don’t underestimate what your brain can do. I have a very bad memory but somehow I’m surprising myself everyday by how much information I can store or how many kanjis I can memorize with consistent practice.

I wish you the best of luck,


Thanks for the support!

It’s not really about failing the reviews though, it’s more about motivation.

When I level up because I got 90% guru kanji, I feel overwhelmed by the new lessons because I sometimes have 30+ vocabulary lessons still to get through (including lessons in the current level that I’ve just unlocked because I just gurued the corresponding kanji). It’s just seeing the lessons number very rarely get to 0 that is draining my motivation.


You could definitely write up a small browser extension to hide the number, you would have to update the extension each time the Wanikani developers touched their UI code though.


I felt exactly the same around the same time. I was level 9 too. I didn’t reset though.(that level took me almost a month to complete)


Why? That’s just an unreasonable expectation to have 0 lessons all the time.

A few years back WK wouldn’t write the number of lessons on reviews on the dashboard if it’s over 42. It just said 42+. It doesn’t change the fact that you have over 9000 lessons, it was just annoying, so they started putting the actual counter over there.

But in the end, it’s just a counter. Don’t mind it.


So to answer the specific question you asked at the end of your post, I am unaware of the WK team ever thinking of implementing such a feature. I’m also unaware of a script that does this, but there are tons of scripts out there so it’s possible that with enough digging you might find something.

I don’t think there is a super clean solution to this unfortunately. It’s definitely possible to hit 0 lessons if your pace is high enough, but if you do Radicals → Kanji → Vocab, then unless you are clearing your lesson log in 4 days it will never be empty. The only suggestion i can make is that when you hit a new level, do all the kanji and vocab lessons first, and then the radicals. Once you Guru the radicals and the 2nd set of Kanji open for that level, do all the vocab first. This will make your levels take a little longer, but it will definitely help you get your lessons number to 0 (or as close to it as possible).

Hopefully you can find the motivation to keep going. The grind to 60 is definitely a tough one! Good Luck!


Hi there!

I know exactly what you mean, I find this really difficult as well. There’s something about having a lower number of lessons that just makes the study feel more achievable. I’m finding it quite tough to find the motivation to trawl through the lessons when I have like over 50 waiting for me. It kinda just feels like I’m hardly making a dent in the amount of stuff that I have to learn. And then as soon as you level up - BOOM - another hundred or so lessons waiting for you before you’ve even cleared the ones from the last level!

Anyway sorry I don’t want to be overly negative, but this is something which has been annoying me as well! Other than this I love WaniKani and the way that it teaches and how much I’m learning.

Also I’m working on my private pilots licence as well! :airplane: What stage are you at at the moment? :slight_smile:


Thanks for the tip, it sounds that this would make the “leveling up effect” look a bit more manageable!

Indeed I tend to get all the kanji guring over just 1-2 days, which means I get the corresponding vocab + all the new level lessons at the same time.

Thanks for your sympathy haha.
Regarding my licence, I’ve done a couple solo flights so far and I was due to have my first short solo nav before we had to go into lockdown again in France. Covid has affected my progress this year, but I’m going to use this opportunity to focus on studying for the written exam which I haven’t taken yet.
What about you ?

I believe there is a script: [Userscript] Lesson Lock See if you can set it up the way you want!

And of course, as others have mentioned, if you’re not too worried about leveling up quickly, you can use [Userscript] WaniKani Lesson Filter to spread out your kanji lessons. As long as you save 4 kanji in your lesson box, you won’t be able to level up. As soon as you have 3 or fewer kanji left in your lesson box, you will be on track to level up within 3 days at the soonest.


Have you tried just deliberately missing some of the kanji reviews if you’re not ready to level?

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Here’s how I have handled leveling up; maybe it can help you?

Install the reorder script (there are instructions for everything you need to install in your browser and it is fairly easy).

On a level up, I learn all the radicals right away. Very, very few exceptions. I have waited until the next morning twice in my 15 levels before getting them, but they are what I focus on. You do this using the reorder script. Set it to only show radicals and for the amount of radicals, input the full list. The area at the top of the screen tells you how many Radicals, Kanji, and Vocabulary you have lessons for:

Once you have the reorder script, you will have this at the bottom of your lessons:

First box, the orange, is the batch. I do my reviews in batches of 5 because that’s the default and what I am used to. If you want 1, 15, 35, 200 in a batch, put that number in there.

The blue box is radicals. As you see from the first image, I don’t have any Radicals to learn. In this case I put in 7 to just give an example. ON FIRST LEVELING UP I look at the top, see I have say 10 radicals. I will put 5 in the orange box, 10 in the blue box, and 0 in both the pink and purple boxes (pink is Kanji, purple is Vocab). Press filter and start lessons.

After I have started the SRS process for these, I look at the total number of lessons I have. I know that from this point I want to move up a level in 7-8 days. I will then take the total number of lessons, 120 the last level up I had if memory serves. In this case I know I need to do at least 15-20 per day of new lessons, as when I level up I want ALL of the last level in SRS.

The first 4 days after leveling up, I focus on vocab; I reorder to avoid learning new Kanji until my vocabulary is in the SRS process.Once the vocab are done usually in the first 3-4 days, I will start in on the Kanji. I will look at the total Kanji to learn, say there are 30, and split those lessons over 2 days. In this case, I will do 15 of the available Kanji in lessons, EVEN IF there are 26 open. Once the SRS level goes up on the Radicals, I do the remainder of the Kanji I had open and the new Kanji so everything is in SRS process.

This has allowed me to keep my Apprentice items below 100 (was up to 200 one time - it hurt). Sometimes I fluctuate to as much as 130 Apprentice items if the vocab seems easy enough.

With this process, I am able to level up on 7-10 days consistently, and when before I level up, I ensure my Lessons are at zero new lessons available. Of course, I then level up and it blows up with new lessons which always causes a small panic, but because I have a plan and have stuck to it, the panic is a fleeting feeling at best. I have managed to study 125 of the last 125 days and will stick this out to burning the world of Kanji down!

Hope this helps. It can feel like a lot but what you need to do first is figure out your overall plan for WK. If you want to be done in 2 years, figure out what is comfortable, but just painful enough to keep you moving. Finishing in 2 years, by the way, requires 2.5 level ups a month which isn’t too bad in my opinion. But MY opinion means nothing; it’s about what is good for you, works for you, keeps you motivated, and keeps you learning.

Sorry for the novel!

Good luck and whatever you do, DO NOT GIVE UP. You can do this!


Seconding this, it allows you to just block out the number at lessons, so you won’t feel stressed.


First time i suddenly got 100+ lessons because of remaining vocab and new radicals/kanji i felt totally overwhelmed. I got the feeling that there’s now way I could ever stem those numbers.

Someone made the great analogy that this here is a marathon though and not a race. Doesn’t matter how fast, you just got to finish. So I try reminding myself of that.

Also there’s a joke-script which gives you the 42+ back: WK Fake Numbers (userscript)
Maybe those numbers might seem a little less overwhelming. After all 42 is the answer to everything. :wink:


I had this problem before, too, so I made the 0/0 Challenge to keep myself accountable.

Just to weigh in on this with a strategy I haven’t seen explicitly mentioned above, although it resembles that outlined by @slerched:

I have overcome the “too many lessons” issue by always having lessons ready, and by strictly limiting the number of lessons I do per day to a sustainable amount. I use the lesson filter script to reduce the number of available items to something like 4 radicals/kanji, and 10 vocab items, mirroring approximately the ratio of total rad/kan vs voc items per level. I never do more than that. As a result, my review load is very balanced, both in terms of total numbers, and in terms of item types - there’s always a good mix of a few items requiring “pure memorization”, and a bunch of vocab reinforcing already learned readings/meanings.

Finally, if for some reason I did run out of lessons (towards the end of a level, if the last few kanji didn’t stick), that’s when I start to panic. Keeping that rad/kan vs voc balance can be a little tricky at first, because the control surface, if you will - i.e., the daily lesson batch - is relatively small, and the system has a huge amount of inertia. I guess steering your Wanikani workload is more like ships than like airplanes in that way…

Anyhow, fly safe and don’t panic!


I really like this idea. Does this exist? If not, I can probably make a quick Tampermonkey script that will.

That’s what I’ll try to do, yes!
I think I’ll use one of the methods mentioned above to block 4-5 kanji lessons and focus on vocab first, thus making sure that I can’t level up just yet and have enough time to work on the outstanding items. I don’t feel like failing some kanji on purpose to avoid being 90% guru.

Thanks for all the advice folks!


After trying out a few options, I think this is excatly the method I’m going to use, it’ll achieve exactly what I’m looking. This way on top of all the new level lessons, I’ll only have a couple vocabulary items related to the last 3-4 kanji from the previous lesson that I can get out the way immediately. This will help a lot, thanks!