Personalized guidance for balancing reviews and lessons, please?

I know that there’s already been some discussion about balancing reviews and lessons in a general way, but what I’d really like is some personalized guidance, so hence this thread.

Anyway, having entered level 6, I’ve got the usual lesson dump, but although I’d really like to jump into some new lessons, looking at my review timeline, I’m not sure I should… Any feedback at what I should do? Should I wait until Thursday, before going hardcore into the lessons? I still tend to do around 10 lessons a day, even with a bunch of reviews.

Am I just being really wimpy not wanting to have more than 40 reviews at a time? (´‿ `)ゞ
I don’t really know what is normal to expect for the reviews you need to do each day. Maybe I just need to man up and jump in? I don’t know.
The more I think about this, the more lame I feel I’m being… but I still want to know what you have to say, so…

Depends completely on how fast you wanna go! Think you have too many reviews? Slow down on the lessons :slight_smile: personally i dont mind having a lot of lessons every day, but everyone’s different so…


I made this script that tells you how many reviews you should expect to do in any given day given your current SRS distribution (number of apprentice items, guru items, and so on). It helps me decide when to do lessons. If the expected number of reviews is larger than what I feel like doing in a day, then I don’t do any lessons, since that would only increase the number of reviews.



Oh, this looks really helpful, thanks!

Anyway, having entered level 6, I’ve got the usual lesson dump
I remember entering level six it was like I hit a wall because of how many more lessons you get from the first few levels. So, take it easy for the next few levels and get used to the much heavier flow of reviews.
During this time is when you need to figure out at where you want to keep your Apprentice count. This is important because it controls how many reviews you get. If you blitz your lessons just to get rid of them, there will be a ton of reviews waiting for you. Saying that, there are a lot of people who just like to clear their lessons and tackle their reviews head on. It’s up to you to figure out what works for you.

Am I just being really wimpy not wanting to have more than 40 reviews at a time?
Right now you have 50 Apprentice items and it looks like you’re getting about 75 reviews a day. I like to keep mine at 100 and I get about 200 reviews a day. So, if you like the amount of reviews you do now, stick with it. If you think you can do more, up you Apprentice count.

Since you just started, it’s important to take things slow and get a feel for everything. Everybody does things differently. I take about two weeks to level up while some overachievers like to do all 60 levels in 368 days. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Find your sweet spot and then stick with it. If you do get overwhelmed with reviews, stop doing lessons and let your Apprentice count drop. Just make sure to keep doing your reviews! Otherwise they will pile up and you will get behind and then go into a deep dark depression that only your reviews will cure.


Thanks for the detailed response! I’ll try to keep this in mind.

I get that people can move at their own pace but… 9 burned at lvl 6??? I’m at lvl 9 and I haven’t burnt one (and I have 100% on most of my starting radicals) I got 3 months till my first burn! Anyway I’d go somewhere in between 10 and 40, I try to do less then 42 lessons because the 42+ can be scary

I don’t know if this explains my burned items or not, but I started WaniKani a year ago, did it for awhile, dropped it for pretty much a year (eheh), and then finally returned.

And if you don’t like the ambiguity of 42+ you can download this userscript that I personally consider essential:

Wanikani Anki Mode Userscript plus ultimate reorder script.

With ankimode, you don’t have to enter word manually, rather, you just press reveal and then check if you got it right or not. With ultimate reorder, I have set it to ask me reading, then meaning of the same item. This way, I can do up to 150 reviews in half an hour.

You can use the same scripts with Firefox on Android by having the violent monkey add on. Same speedy experience on the go.

It’s the best thing I have done to lessen the impact of WK on my learning schedule. Also, I always enter radicals as correct. You learn and repeat them through the kanjis often enough, no need to waste time on them.

Oh yeah, I also try to do all lessons at once. This means I can concentrate on reviews for the next couple of days.

(i am reset from ~level 20 so i’ve had more time to think on this than my level indicates)

It really depends on your ability to go through reviews in a timely manner. i try to keep my apprentice items below around 100, so it doesn’t get too overwhelming. if you’ve got lots of reviews it’s ok to hold off on lessons for a bit.

if you really grind it out, i find it’s possible to do a level per 8ish days. that will probably lead to burnout if you’re struggling with 40 reviews/day, but i’ve seen other people manage it the whole way through and reach level 60 in less than a year and a half. it really depends on what you can manage.

my advice to you would be to try and push your number of apprentice items up until you find the point where it’s overwhelming. i always use apprentice items as a guide since they will pop up most frequently/consistently

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The year gap explains it, enlightenment to burning is 4 months, also thanks for the script

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Hey Greya.
You’ll have to find what works for you. My strategy before level 10 was clear reviews down to zero, then do all my lessors - as soon as they were there. After burning myself out (not entirely WK’s fault) then coming back four years later and taking 6 months to clear my huge review queue (level 10 for 1605 days :scream:), I created a few personal guidelines to keep it from ever happening again.

  1. No lessons ever if my review count is not 0.
  2. I do not have to do more than 25 reviews at a time (that being said, I usually drive it down to zero several times a day - use the phone app whenever you can steal a couple of minutes)
  3. No lessons if my “Next Day” is higher than 100.
  4. No lessons if my Guru count is higher than 500 (haven’t ever hit this, so I may decide to tweak it, if it ever occurs)
  5. I usually don’t do more than 10 lessons at a time or more than 25 lessons a day (sometimes not counting 熟語 that I can pick up instantly from knowing the individual kanji)
  6. Regular reminders that I’m here to learn kanji and vocabulary as well as I can, not to get to level 60 as fast as I can.

I also stay away from any scripts that change WK’s behavior, like the “oops” or reorder scripts. The only script I use is jitai, which is awesome. I’ve thought about similar kanji scripts, but, for me, it’s better to go look them up and compare side-by-side if I start confusing two (my current bugbears are 便and 使)

By my guidelines, from your screenshot, right now it’s OK to do 20 lessons. But, as I said above, this works for me, maybe not for you.

Good luck


Oh wow, thanks for those pointers! This is probably what I was looking for really–some simple, clear rules to follow so I can stay on track.

Another habit I accidentally found helpful is to take a lesson break after three levels. I stayed at level three for a week after reaching level four because I did not have a subscription. During that time, I got my apprentice count down and squashed leeches. During level 4-6 my reviews were never more than 150 and it was cool because I had the old stuff down pat. I held off doing lessons on level 7 until my apprentice count was in the 30s (about a week). Now level 8 feels slow which is fine with me.

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That’s some really good advice with regard to pacing, but holy smokes – I was feeling bad about my worst level and it was only 99 days! I would have either given up or reset to level 1. Good on you for pulling yourself out of that pile.

I didn’t completely ignore WK in those 4 years, but 1500 reviews was completely demotivating. I tried a couple of times, but felt completely overwhelmed and went away, again. It wasn’t until I decided “25/day - that’s all I have to do, day after day” that I kept up the motivation to get rid of them. It also helped that, as far as I can tell from spot checks and Wanikani Speed (the app), the stuff that I burned years ago is still there in my head - proof that WK works.

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That’s an interesting tactic, thanks!

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