Pace too Slow for Intermediate Learners (?)

I initially thought the pace was too slow, but I think around my level it’s around the pace I want, doing it three times a day. I’m slightly terrified it’ll start going too fast (and have already considered steps to avoid that) but I think the initial pace slowly easing you into it is a good thing and probably stopped a lot of drop outs

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The reviews being ‘blazing quick’ is kind of the problem. Today, when I woke up I only had 1 review session on my forecast and it took literally only like 5 minutes to get through. I get some review sessions that literally only have 5 items that I can do in less than a minute so its kind of a pain because it feels so little. I think that is my complaint if you get me? I sort of want to be able to invest more time in to progress faster but kind of can’t. I’m doing WaniKani daily, as soon as they arrive if I’m sitting in front of my computer when they become available. I think I may have had some typo problems on a couple in the most recent level which seem to have really gotten me behind on this most recent level (and the lack of review frequency causes that to really slow the progression it seems - there’s no chance to redeem the typo).

I do have plenty of other language learning tasks that I’m putting my time into outside of WK, it’s just that I feel like my kanji specific studies are a little neglected and receive comparably less time to say my grammar, vocab, reading and listening practice. It seems for my requirements I’ll just definitely need to use WaniKani as a supplementary revision tool and not a primary one is all and its just a little disappointing because in general I really do enjoy the experience of doing the WK lessons and reviews and just want to be able to use WK a little more.

I think I will definitely be doing that (sticking with WK for the long term and treating it as a supplementary resource whilst using other methods to reach my summer revision goals).

I will read the 2 articles you’ve linked me to and I might look into the accelerated pace thing (sorry if anyone sees it as a dick move but it’s only my own learning it affects, right?).

I’m doing plenty of other things where I’m encountering Japanese in a more organic way, but I’m just trying to find something to help me polish up my kanji knowledge and retention in a more formal manner (it’s what I’m most concerned will place me lower in a placement test atm). I do really enjoy the testing function of the WK reviews for that very purpose, just wish I could do more of them.

I think I will probably use both :grin: In the long run WK will be great I just need to get up to the levels where its more helpful and I’m getting enough reviews. For the short-term I will just have to self study for my placement test.

Several others have been mentioning the different scripts so I’ll look into them. I kinda enjoy seeing the vocab though and I don’t feel like they slow down the reviews of the kanji do they? So I don’t really mind doing them tbh ^^

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the pace eventually gets much much faster for the reviews. I get about 200 a day and I’m literally not even a tenth of the way done with the program.

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You’re only level 2, give it some time. I’m working on level 11 and in the last 24 hours, I have had almost 300 reviews. As your level goes up, you will get more content to review.

Also, as someone pointed out, if the minimum level is 7 days (and a bit), and it’s taking you 8 or 9, the problem is you. Either you’re not doing your reviews exactly “on time”, or you’re making beginner mistakes that push back your reviews, which means you’re not as advanced as you think you are.

I actually like the speed of WK. It’s designed to follow the time at which knowledge is properly stored by your brain. It’s too easy with things like Anki to consume a gigantic amount of content fast, but then quickly forget it after a short while because you can fiddle with settings to review stuff “early”. WK makes you wait, and I like that.

Sure, there’s kanji and vocab I know that are above my WK level, and I do think the order they teach stuff in is a little weird. For example, if I grab my Genki book, the kanji used in day of the week (曜), is the 25th kanji you learn. It’s learned by 2nd year elementary school students. But in WK, you don’t learn it until level 16. That’s how they’ve chosen to do it, however.

If you really feel that stifled by WK then it’s not for you.


In my suggested topics, the first thread is titled “Just can’t keep up.”


Just wait until you get in into the high 40s and 50s. If you remain going full speed you’ll be getting hundreds of reviews everyday. You will yearn for the slow pace of level 2 :slight_smile:

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To give you an idea of the pace, I did a reset from level 60 on January 25. 4 months later I’m level 18 and get an average of 200 reviews per day. Looking at my stat using the heat map script, this average of 200 reviews per day started around level 7 (reached the 2nd of March) By level 4 I had an average of 100 reviews per day.

So I kind of enjoyed the low levels this time around, I knew it was a breathing room before the real grind start.

If you want to progress fast to catch up with you knowledge, you should read the “Ultimate Guide for WK” linked above to understand how WK work. The most important part is to install double check script (or something else) and be sure to never fail radical or kanji review until you unlock them (get to guru at least once). A single radical failure at the worse moment, just before guru, can delay your level-up by a few day. Also check how the SRS system is designed to be sure to not miss the first 4h and 8h review.

One of the nice thing about WK is that the vocab selection is focused on reinforcing the kanji, so it’s not always just beginner vocab. Even at intermediary stage, you will be probably surprised to learn new vocab fairly soon. (maybe you already did!)

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Yeah I think I will stick with WK for the long term and supplement with other methods to revise for the short-term goals of my placement test.

I can’t say where I’m at JLPT level wise, but I’m guessing I’m about lower to mid N3 level atm? I’ve formally studied around 630 kanji at uni (though I won’t claim to know them all) and am trying to use WK to reinforce those kanji which I’ve already learnt. I feel that if I knew 100% of the kanji I’d covered on my course I’d actually be closer to an upper N3, ready to move towards N2 content.

The beginners level at my partner uni seems to cover content from around N5-N3 inclusive, with its intermediate class going from end of N3 to beginning of N1. So I’m aiming to be that late N3 level I guess?

I totally find that I still learn some new things/or things I’d totally forgotten even at the beginning levels, and I definitely find those the most fun and motivating things that make me want to stick with it. I guess I’ll get to the point I want to be on WK eventually, so it’s just about sticking through the doldrums :sweat_smile:

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I hadn’t heard of KameSame (or only in passing on reddit the other day where I didn’t pay it much mind). I’ll look in to that. Looks like a great thing to use alongside WaniKani so thanks so much for sharing ^^

Haha yeah I don’t think I’m like upper or even mid intermediate but more of lower intermediate. Until quite recently I had been calling myself a beginner because that’s what it felt like but I realised that its kind of quite inaccurate and misleading to still be calling myself a beginner. I have classes in Japanese and have mostly learnt the Japanese I do know in formal class settings/through my class related self study (homeworks/tests/writing personal statements/letters/articles/preparing for giving presentations in Japanese etc.). We’ve used textbooks like Genki 1, Daichi 2, and Dekiru Nihongo Intermediate 1 and our university’s own kanji and oral skills coursebooks.

I definitely feel like textbook learning often isn’t the best for improving actual reading and speaking ability though. If you struggle with those things I wouldn’t say its unusual and doesn’t mean your dumb at all. I think language learning is similar to art development where just as you feel like you’re drawings get better your perception advances and then you feel like your own art is rubbish again (even though you’re actually progressing).

Keep up your studies, I’m sure you’ll do great ^^

And thanks for the beats :grin:

Ah no, you’re fine. I worded that a bit poorly. I was referring to some other bad behavior I’ve seen with people abusing services to save petty amounts of cash. Best of luck with your studies!

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I really wish that this was a feature.

A button to tell WaniKani “I already know this one!”, but the trouble comes with WaniKanis unique radicals and how they kinda make a story and a lore within WaniKani that strengthen eachother. For example there are characters that you get introduced to in the beginning that get reused later but if you didn’t get the introduction it doesn’t make any sense.

So you are not only studying kanji but also the WaniKani world to make other kanji easier to stick, if that makes sense

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how dare you call me out like this

(my speaking and listening is abysmal help :sob:)

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I’m honestly not really following the complaint… that being quick and easy is a pain.

But in any event, this comes up time and again. “There isn’t enough workload [as I’m just getting going in the WK system]” Trust me, the workload will continue to increase steadily until it’s very challenging to keep up with at maximum pace. Just stick with it.

IMO it should give you the choice to push through if you are confident enough to do so, maybe even having the ability to choose which levels to study or include a level bypass mechanism.

As someone who probably only knew 200 kanji when starting WK I appreciate the “slow” speed, but if you knew 1000-1500 kanji already this might be frustrating, as you want the benefits of the WK functionality but can’t get to the stage you like in good time.

One thing to consider is that Tofugu would have to spend money to make a BIG alteration (they’d have to cross-reference all the mnemonics, too!) that accommodates for these types of users, and those users will spend a lot less money than the beginners.

A lot of users burn out and/or quit at early stages with the current functionality, although impossible to know why in all scenarios I wonder how much money is being lost from use cases like this? Very hard to know the numbers.

Until there is good financial reason to make these changes, and one that does not come at risk to the existing model, I don’t think there will ever be a change. Right now the best case scenario for the company is to have a beginner user who has a monthly subscription that takes aaaaaages to learn everything they need to, and those users are very likely in much higher quantity than the user who is at intermediate to higher levels that just wants to refine their existing body of knowledge.


End of August, max level is around level 13.
End of September, max level is around level 17.

If it’s critical that you reach level 20 by your deadline, then WK is likely not the best tool for you.

Edit: pretty funny that this topic is also getting attention at the same time.


Yeah that happens all the time. Many infrequent posters kind of silo themselves to their own posts.

Not saying it’s a bad thing. Just funny, as you noted.

I get the whole WaniKani world thing and I do think it makes it silly and fun although if you review it once and get the meaning and reading right first time round (then it would be nice if there was a ‘throw to guru pile’ function or something ^^ That way you’d have still seen WKs mnemonic for future purposes but wouldn’t have to do so many reviews for things you yourself know that you know :ok_hand:

Tbh I skip past reading quite a few of the longer mnemonics for some that I already feel that I really know, with the intention to go back and read them if they get referenced in later kanji that I need the mnemonic for, which isn’t really difficult or troublesome to do :smiley:

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