Pace Too Slow?

Hi everyone,

I’m leveling about once a month, taking time to learn all vocab before moving forward. I realize this is an ambiguous question but am I going too slow? My concern is that I have a lot of items burned (see dash below), therefore I’m not seeing them much anymore. Is that a problem?

I’m starting to really hunker down on learning the N3 material in time to take a stab at it in December (passed the N4 last year). I work full time, have a wife (who is Japanese hence the learning) and other interests so I don’t have hours and hours a day to study. Even at this pace I find WaniKani can take up a lot of time. 100 - 150 reviews a day tends to take me around 45 minutes to an hour with around a 75% correct average. My memory is slow.

I get that the point is to encounter all this information in the “wild” but lately I’ve been feeling frustrated with WaniKani as I know it’s taking away time from grammar study and reading native material, which is the whole point of all this. God forbid I miss a day or two then I’m spending two or more hours catching up. I know WaniKani is working though. I’ve been in Japan the last two weeks and its very noticeable how much more I can read since I was here last year.

Any advice, experience, etc here?

Thanks and sorry for the long ramble,



You only have 71 apprentice items, so how does that happen?

Don’t tell Leebo I once had 37 apprentice items. :eyes:

I think only you yourself can tell whether you’re too slow or not.

Other than this question, I’m not in the position to answer your other questions.

1 Like

I’m not trying to judge, just asking where those hours of reviews are coming from.

1 Like

If you don’t have any particular problem with it … where should be the problem?

It would probably be nice to have 90–95% of the N3 kanji (level 30–35) for December, though?


Kowaii kowaii. I didn’t imply Leebo-san trying to judge. All I saw was Leebo-san asked olsonm24-san. Nigeteru…

1 Like

How are you accessing WK to do your reviews? I intially used a tablet, but when I switched to PC w 10 finger typing I was able to do my reviews about 4 times faster (100-150 reviews would take me 10-15 minutes on the outside with at least 90% accuracy - I also make fewer typos on a keyboard).

Also, how focussed are you able to be when studying? Quiet room, undisturbed for a set amount of time?

That said, if you are pleased with your progress with your JLPT studies, perhaps WK just needs to take a backseat for a while.

100 reviews in 15 mins seems pretty impressive for me. lol Not sure how long I would take because I never timed it but last time did take awhile.
But ya wanikani is far better on a pc, though I do reviews on my phone here and there.

1 Like

100 reviews in ten minutes is 6 seconds per item - if you actually have a second counter and time that out, it’s a fair amount of time for (usually) half a dozen keystrokes.

Thanks for all the quick replies.

@Leebo I tend to try and stay at or just under 100 apprentice items. I use the ultimate timeline so I can see reviews coming and about every other day I’ll get a couple large chunks (40+ at a time) a few times per day. Some days are less. I don’t know, I get things wrong a lot so there’s a lot cycling around.

I’ve rarely been able to power through reviews extremely quickly, like just instantly recalling and typing. I have to think for a few moments on many of them sometimes. @Rowena you must have really good recall. You’re also pretty early in this process with far fewer old items coming back around (or perhaps you’re on your second round through?). I don’t know, everyone is different. I’m the first to admit that my ability to memorize vocab out of context has never been amazing. I review on PC, usually in fairly quiet environments but not always.

@acm2010 you are correct, it would be great if I could hit that mark by December but I’ve been at this for a long time, I know how WK has worked for me. My fear is that in order to do that I’ll have very little time to work on the other very important parts of the test. For example reading comprehension of long passages (not just single vocab words), correct grammar interpretation/usage, and listening skills all quickly enough to beat the clock. If you’ve ever taken it you know it’s a race against time almost above all else.


I guess you can never be too slow as long as your making progress, espically if you also work full time and have other responsibilities.
I take around 20 days a level so Im likely one the slower people here but I try to focus on really learning the kanji and vocab the best I can.

Im in no hurry anyway, plus having to work full time and also study other subjects for college, exercise and living on my own, wanikani is important but I know it would be really difficult for me to pull off 7 day level ups

So i suggest just keep learning kanji, other Japanese resources and just try your best and not worry if your leveling up quick enough or not.

i hope that gives some insight and wish you the best of luck.


You will need vocab anyway for the test, just not knowing one key word in a sentence can completely kill my comprehension. If you don’t get the vocab from WK, are you doing other things for that in parallel? You will have to do it eventually anyway, and it will take time.

1 Like

For sure possible but sounds like you have a pretty good recall and memory which is awesome but for me its sitting there staring for a little trying to remember the readings, the mnemonics and etc.

Some are easy ya I just type it quick in a few seconds, other can take little remembering and sometimes too I just have to put a wrong answer and read the info and mnemonics again.

1 Like

I also have an Anki deck where I’m recording JLPT and other vocab/example sentences as I encounter them in other studies. I try to do around 50 - 100 cards a day out of that while I’m out and about / commuting to work and such.

I reset from lvl 17 less than three weeks ago, so I have experienced review sessions of 150 items, I have items in each SRS level from apprentice to burned.

How much exposure outside WK and your JLPT studies do you get? Are you in Japan? What is your main language of communication with your wife? Anything that supplements your studies, especially real language, should make recall easier in the long run.

As someone who has a Japanese girlfriend, I find it fairly easy to incorporate Japanese into my everyday life in ways that aren’t “studying” but they definitely count toward improving my Japanese.

How much of that are you able to do? Conversation in Japanese, watching TV together, etc?


@Rowena @Leebo

Great questions. My wife is Japanese and we try to use it at home. It’s requires discipline on both parts so we tend to waiver a little depending on our energy levels after work and whatever else we have going on. We watch a decent amount of Japanese content on Netflix and YouTube. I should mention that she speaks English fluently as a second language. It’s all too easy for us both to fall back on that.

We do not live in Japan but travel here about twice a year or a little less. I’m in Japan as I write this though, heading back to the states Sunday. Being here is awesome for all things language related.

While I have your attention can I change the subject slightly? All these folks who are leveling every seven to ten days, are they doing this and learning/reviewing all the vocab? Or just powering through the Kanji and ignoring all else? I don’t get it…

1 Like

I don’t know of anyone who admits to letting the vocab sit, or if they do they post a huge “don’t be like me!” thread after several months.

I always did everything, but just prioritized the time critical items to keep the leveling up quick.


I was able to level every 8 days from lvls 10 to 17, but I was only really doing WK. I’m going slower this time (still juggling to get the numbers right so that I’ve reached lvl 51 / 100% N3/N2 kanji well before next Dec.) while also using Genki, readers and more.

I have read some posts by super speedy types confessing to basically dumping the vocab on the way, but I personally don’t see the point.

I’ve been in a couple of ‘bilingual’ relationships, and had lots of bilingual friends so I can completely relate - together with some friends we had a habit of each speaking the other’s language - odd looks from those overhearing us :face_with_raised_eyebrow: - with an agreement to switch to each speaking in our own language after 10pm (too tired to concentrate!).


I don’t understand why you believe that your pace is a problem.
You have a job, a family, and already putting effort into Japanese every day. Is there a reason you need to go faster?
If you want to put extra effort, I would rather put the extra hours into talking to your wife in Japanese rather than levelling up. I think it’s a much better way to avoid burnout.