People who always do levels in 7 days or less, how do you structure your lessons

I’ve been (mostly) blazing through levels (7ish days) but I’m starting to have some trouble with the thousands of vocabulary reviews the crabigator is sending my way.

I initially prioritised radicals + kanji and did 30 lessons a day or so, but this just creates insane backlogs for every day I am slightly busier than usual. Doing all lessons in one go is a no go since I end up retaining less information and just making things harder on my future self.

How do you structure your time?


I do radicals first upon level up, then do vocabulary lessons before I start on the kanji. I’ll take the number of lessons and divide it by three and do that number every day, which means I’ll be at 0 lessons by the time I guru the radicals.


Yeah that’s basically where my 30 lessons comes from. But you really have a point with doing vocab before kanji, especially since it reinforces the previous level.

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Yes, it’s exactly that - if you do the kanji first you’re leaving at the high end a five day gap before you learn the associated vocab from the recently guru’d kanji.

I do a similar thing.

I do the radicals on level up.

Then I do 5 kanji and 10 vocabulary a day until all the kanji is done.

My reviews have been pretty bad recently though so maybe I’ll switch to your method.

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I also do the radicals first and then do a ratio of 3:1 for vocab and kanji but always try to stay around 80-100 apprentice.

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My schedule’s looked like this:

Upon level up, use the reorder script to get radicals and kanji done first. Within the first hour, I do all the radicals and then 10 kanji, next hour, 10 more kanji, and then the next hour, finish up the kanji. After that, I do 5 vocab lessons every hour, on the hour, and usually stop around 4pm. I only do my reviews at 8am the earliest. This makes my reviews only show up between 8am and 11pm. Give or take five or ten bc I answered them incorrectly.

This pace worked incredibly well for me up until the fast levels. Once I hit the fast levels, I increased the time from 5 lessons per hour to 10, this gave me more reviews in one hour, but I only had to do them during the afternoon instead of a lot of reviews in the evening. It’s really a push and pull kinda thing.

Just for reference, I’m a full time college student whose main hobby is learning Japanese. So while I do spend most of my time on classwork, the rest is spent on studying Japanese, so YMMV haha. But all in all, I’ve found this routine to work really well. I usually have to spend a half hour or so getting through around 150 reviews in the morning, but throughout the day I usually only have 35 reviews max.

Full disclosure, I do use the ignore script when I get a level specific kanji wrong before it hits guru. However, I only ever have to use it for the first SRS stage as the meanings/readings haven’t sunk in yet. And even then, it might only be for one or two kanji. The rest are for accidental typos.

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I found my best time to start a new level was on Sunday so my schedule has been radicals Sunday morning, then 10 kanji Sunday evening, 10 more Monday evening, 10 Tuesday, and then on Wednesday the radicals complete Guru 4 so I can finish the rest of the kanji for the level. The Kanji I start Wednesday evening then get reviewed Thursday morning, Friday morning, and finally completed on Sunday morning to unlock the next level and repeat the cycle. Vocab ideally gets distributed evenly throughout.

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One thing to remember is, this isn’t a race. There is absolutely no rule that says you must level up every 7 days. If you can keep that pace without a massive backlog of vocabulary though, go for it.

I do mine similar to @Joeni says above.

Generally you get 50-100 vocab on level up.

The way I do it is, as soon as Radicals are available, even if I have met my lesson quota for the day, I get in there and do them. I then spend the next few days Guruing those but doing 20-25 lessons each of the days between the SRS levels. By the time I flip the kanji out for availability on the level, I have 0 lessons or a minimal set. I always finish those out before digging into the Kanji though and because of this, my average level up is about 9 days which I am OK with. I would even be OK with 15 days if that’s what it took.

Find the pace that works for you and stick to it. While it feels good to level up quickly, if you aren’t finishing out the vocab you’ll just get to level 60 with 6000 lessons to do for the vocabulary. :rofl:

I don’t struggle with the workload on a per-day basis, it’s more like an hourly problem. I’m just looking at how to optimise the time.

Also, it is 100% a race for me :triumph:

For me, I try to do any new lessons in the 8-9AM interval, then they are ready for the first review 12-1PM (lunchtime), and then the second round of reviews is ready after dinner/a little before bed (9-10pm). I think sticking to these three review times keeps me going at a fast pace, while not being too overwhelmed during each session.

I’m more of an 8 day level up person, but it doesn’t require doing lessons outside of the normal daytime hours (7AM-11PM).

Make sure your apprentice items are under 100 before learning new vocab. I blazed through 10 levels full speed to level 20 because I felt I was progressing too slow, but then I ended up with 700 vocab lessons, I’ve slowly chipped away at some and now I have over 500 lessons of vocab to do so I’ve slowed down until that is clear I won’t move on to level 21, I do about 70 - 100 new items at a time and the wait till my apprentice items are below 100 to start the next batch of vocab. Also I understand spoken Japanese btw so learning vocab isn’t too hard since half the time I already know the words, just don’t know the associated kanjis.

Wanikani 2nd playthrough


Also, it is 100% a race for me :triumph:

I guess what I mean is, it’s not a race with other people.

If you want to get to the end as quickly as possible, you have to do what you have to do.

From an hourly perspective, maybe don’t do them every hour. Let a few hours go by then knock out a big block. Then next time they pop up, they’ll be in that same big block.

I try to do lessons and reviews around the same time every day so move tend to come up in 40-60 blocks.

Either way, good luck and keep up the great work!


I feel like a dummy for not knowing you could do vocab before Kanji. That is a game changer for me.

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At this point I just brute force everything as soon as it comes in. At my work I can multitask wanikani sometimes. But at the beginning of a level, I just go until the Radicals and give myself a break.

You can only do Vocab before Kanji by using the reorder script? I do most of my reviews on my phone using Tsurukame which I don’t believe would allow me to do that. Too bad it sounds like it makes more sense somehow… :smile:

You can do it with the re-order script, but I use the Lesson Filter when on PC and these settings when on Tsurukame



Thanks so much! ~ I had looked at the settings in Tsurukame but hadn’t seen that I could change the order. Will give it a go with that re-ordering. :smiley:

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