Perfect a level or go with the flow?


Should I perfect a level (review all items and have all of them at least at Apprentice) or go with the flow and advanced to the next level when it is unlocked ?

Will thank you for recommendation what works best based on your experience.

Thank you,



Levels unlock automatically once you get 90% of kanji to Guru 1


Go with the flow. The level subdivision is mostly arbitrary anyway.

Also I prefer to spread out the items for the same kanji for better retention. If a kanji has 4 associated vocabulary entries I’d rather space them out than do them all over the span of 2 days. It gives me more discrete opportunity to review that kanji later.


“Perfectionism is the enemy of progress.”

There’s a reason you only have to guru 90% of kanji to level up.


Am I missing something here? Yes, KanjiBB will Level Up to Level 4 when 90% of Level 3 kanji is Guru’ed and Level 4 items will then unlock. But no Lessons for Level 4 will be available until all Lesson 3 Vocab has been released from Lessons, i.e., must be in Apprentice status.

Isn’t this how WK works (unless you can modify this via scripts)?

You can change the order in the preferences, you have a few settings to chose from (I prefer “random order” myself).

There are also reorder scripts that give you full flexibility.


Even without extensions you can customise this. There’s the settings in the Wanikani UI:

And then if you want to get fancy there’s just a straight up lesson picker too:

But I didn’t quite get what you were asking. I guess you’re asking should you just take lessons in the order they come. I generally try to spread the vocab out amongst the level, because otherwise you’re kind of stuck between pulling all the vocab as soon as you start a level, or having to wait for a third vocab round of leveling up before you can start the next level. (And vocab are for me at least easier than kanji, since they’re often related to the kanji I just studied)

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I didn’t bother with the lesson picker before because I didn’t see anything beneficial about it. But I just clicked on your link and to my surprise, it allows me to start my radicals, kanji and vocab in Level 13 even though I haven’t finished getting my tons of vocab out of my Lessons in Level 12!

I’ll have to consider using the lesson picker because it’s frustrating whenever I Level Up to find a TON of vocab to get thru before I can start the next Level. So here is what I’m thinking I can do. Guru all the Level 13 radicals to unlock all my kanji. Then select Y amount of vocab to go along with X amount of kanji such that when I guru 90% of my kanji, I’ll have just a small amount of vocab left to do!

Sounds GREAT!!! BUT, how does this plan work along with the WK SRS? For example, if I do a set of lesson picker items, does that change my SRS timing for those items I did or do those just come along according to the WK SRS schedule just as though I didn’t do them in the lesson picker? In other words, is it possible to see some of the same items I just completed in lesson picker, a few minutes later just by SRS chance?

Are there any other pitfalls / conflicts I need to consider with using lesson picker?

And most importantly, if I’m at my Dashboard, how do I bring up the lesson picker? Aside from your link, I haven’t found any way to engage it. Oooops, never mind, I guess all I have to do is copy your link and enter it into my browser! :slight_smile:

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Doing things slightly out of order with the lesson picker doesn’t affect the SRS timings at all - it’s the same as usual. The main drawback is that if you’re not careful, you can end up with an absolutely overwhelming backlog of vocab, and you may struggle to remember your kanji as well, because you’re leaving behind some of the vocab that’s meant to reinforce it.

Personally, I go with this schedule, with a cap of 15 lessons a day and a schedule of ~10 days/level:

Day 1 of a new level, do all new radicals, 5 new kanji, and the rest of the lessons are vocab from the previous level.

Day 2-5, 5 new kanji, the rest vocab from the past level. By this point you should be running low on vocab from the previous level, so you can start mixing in new vocab as well. (I try to avoid doing more than 1 vocab word per day with the same kanji, to avoid mixing them up, so if I end up with a lot of vocab using the same kanji piling up, I try to mix it with new level vocab.)

Day 6-8: keep doing 5 new kanji per day if you still have any, switch to mostly new vocab.

Day 9-10: All vocab, prioritize previous level if you have any left.

It’s not full speed, but it’s been manageable for me and has avoided the pitfalls I think lol


Well, the thing is that you’ll have to do that vocabulary at some point and it serves to both reinforce the reading of the kanji you learned along with the kanji as well as teach you the readings you didn’t learn when first learning the kanji.

Since you’re at level 13 right now, let’s run a few numbers of what it would look like if you were to do that right when you hit 13 while making a few assumptions.

Level 12 consists of 40 kanji and 140 vocabulary items. You need to guru 36 of those kanji to level up. Then well over 100 of the vocabulary items are locked behind the kanji you need to guru at level 12 to unlock them. So, let’s just say 100 of them unlock and also that you do 10 lessons a day for simplicity.

Typically, the kanji is done in batches and thus, if you did of them the same day, they will mostly reach guru status about the same time. So, you would have a 4 day run unlocking new vocabulary while leveling up on the 4th day.

Now, even if you were to do those 10 lessons of all vocab during those 3 days leading to the level up, you would still have to get through 100 - 30 = 70 level 12 vocabulary items.

Next, level 13 consist of 17 radicals, 37 kanji, and 132 vocab. You need to guru 34 of those kanji to level up. Similar to the previous level, well over 100 of those vocab are locked behind the kanji you need to guru to unlock them, but again, for simplicity, let’s just say it’s 100, meaning the other 32 level 13 vocab is also outstanding at that point.

Then, you go ahead and decide to use the lesson picker to do all the radicals for level 13 first (doing more than your 10 lessons per day even!). You still have those 70 level 12 vocab, and 32 level 13 vocab items looming. Only about half of those kanji are unlocked until the radicals guru, so let’s call it 19 of them. So, the next 3 days while waiting for your radicals to guru, you do your 10 lessons per day using the lesson picker to do the kanji which means you did the 19 kanji and 11 of the outstanding vocab leaving 59 level 12 vocab items and 32 level 13 vocab items.

Then, the next day your radicals will guru unlocking the other 18 kanji. The next 3 days you do your 10 lessons per day using the lesson picker again to the kanji first which means you did the 18 kanji and 12 of the outstanding vocab leaving 47 level 12 vocab items and 32 level 13 vocab items.

At that point all of the level 13 vocab locked behind your initial 19 kanji you did at level 13 will unlock. Let’s say it’s 50 of them for simplicity. Now, you’d have 47 level 12 vocab items and 82 level 13 vocab items.

Over the three of days, you do your 10 lessons, reducing the counts to 17 level 12 vocab items and 82 level 13 vocab items.

Then, your other 18 kanji have gurud and now you both level up to 14 while unlocking the other 50 level 13 vocab. Thus, your counts are now 17 level 12 vocab items and 132 level 13 vocab items and 23 level 14 vocab.

So, in other words, you will be level 14 and you won’t even have finished your level 12 vocab yet.

That means, you basically only have a few choices:

  • Do a whole lot more lessons per day
  • Take longer on the levels
  • Ignore the vocabulary and other readings essentially until you eventually reach level 60 and then spend the next year doing them when the kanji is no longer fresh in your mind
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WOW, now I see what you speedsters go through to figure out how to reach Level 60 asap (within your individual compromises to finish in 1.5, 1.75, 2 years…)!

But I’m the one who will break the record for taking the longest to finish Level 60! So all this time I simply made my way thru the WK SRS taking one step at a time (finish radicals, finish kanji and then finish vocab, before finally getting to the lessons for the next Level). So:


Already do!!

Not for me!!!

All I want to do now is to finish a current Level without having a ton of vocab left before I can start on the next Level. :slight_smile:

Thanks to your template that you laid out and to @araigoshi for bringing up lesson picker, I can come up with my own schedule to accomplish this! :joy:

EDIT: I have NO idea how that second quote (Take longer on the levels) ended up like THAT!!! I tried to delete it and reinsert the quote but it’s still MESSED up…sorry! OOOPs, now it’s okay…don’t know what’s going on :innocent:


Thank you all for the fast and detailed answers (-:

I think I will go with the flow and will use the lesson picker to optimize the learning (thank you for this @araigoshi).


Nooo, my secrets have been revealed! :scream:

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According to my heatmap, 25 lessons per day is enough to go at the fastest speed possible while also doing all the vocab.

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Yep, it is. As I posted in another thread a bit ago, the number of items per level is roughly the same (pretty much ± 40 items). Then, you can see from wkstats that there are a total of 9226 items to learn.

Thus, in order to calculate the average number of days you can expect a level to take based on a consistent number of lessons per day (up until you hit the point WK won’t let you go any faster, that is), you can start by observing that there are \frac{9226 \text{ total lessons}}{60 \text{ levels}} \approx 154 \text{ lessons per level} and then use the formula:

\frac{154 \text{ lessons per level}}{x \text{ lessons per day}} \approx \text{number of days per level}

So, if you do 25 lessons per day, you can expect:

\frac{154 \text{ lessons per level}}{25 \text{ lessons per day}} \approx 6.16 \text{ days per level}

Which is indeed the max speed.


Note that this won’t work without reorder though, because in order to reach max speed you need to do the radicals and kanji first.

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So apparently they heard you - it now has a button as of today, lol


Well, i gladly welcome this update. I was limiting the lessons myself (not more than 5 per 2 hour). Figured smaller batch per day makes me remember more.

I always try to perfect a level (Apprentice 4 +) every lesson per level before i proceed to a new level, eventhough it has been unlocked.

Lesson pickers also allow me to clean out the easier vocabs first before the harder ones.

WOW!!! How’s that for perfect timing! :slight_smile:

Not only have I NOT pasted the lesson picker link into my browser (and don’t need to anymore), but I’m thinking I don’t need to make any of those calculations that @MikeyDC65 so kindly provided for me!

I checked out my Level 13 status and I already have some radicals, kanji and vocab all activated and ready to go even though I still have tons of Level 12 vocab to finish! I’m just going to let this ride thru Level 13 and see if I need to use lesson picker to achieve my goal when it comes time for Level 14. :slight_smile: