Question about pacing, as well as some strategies I use that have been helpful so far

I started WK in late January (I believe). I currently just hit 13 and I’m enjoying it so far. One thing I wanted to ask is for the higher level folk, how long is the pacing sustainable? I’m going at about a level every 7.5 days right now, and I’m wondering if I’m going to just hit a point where maintaining this pace is impossible due to the amount of new reviews daily and new lessons per level? I’m a little anxious each level about adding another 100+ items to my review queue. Am I eventually going to just hit a point where I have 500+ reviews a day and it implodes in on itself? Or is the system designed in such a way that you naturally move items to new tiers in the SRS at a rate where there’s a “terminal velocity” so to speak and you cannot go beyond a certain number of daily reviews?

As for some advice I wanted to share on how I’m going about trying to maximize WK at my current level:

  • I wrote a tiny python program that creates an anki deck given a few parameters. Basically I run a command specifying the level, and one of {kanji, radical, vocab}, then it spits out a deck labeled wk_{level}_{kanji, radical, vocab}.apkg. I do this near the end of my current level (usually when the last kanji are two days away from Guru). I study the new deck(s) for two days, then toss them and do the lessons for those kanji in WK (through browser).

  • I 100% avoid using the Tsurukame app. I tried for a bit for convenience, but I found I’m clumsy and have fat fingered a few things I actually knew, thus hindering my progress.

  • I don’t practice writing as a habit, but when I notice two kanji look similar such as 旅 and 族, I look up the stroke order and hand-write them about 30 times apiece. This helps me recognize the radicals more clearly and associate them.

  • I try to read all the daily articles on NHK News Web Easy. This helps solidify the vocab as a lot of it overlaps with WK.

  • BunPro connected to the WK api helps, too, as it hides furigana for Kanji you know and helps solidify them.

Overall I’m finding that WK by itself is not enough. I’d easily forget these in the months leading to burn if I’m not seeing them used in sentences. I can’t stress that enough. Even if you struggle like hell, you have to at least pull up something like NHK to practice what you’re learning.


The good news is because of the doubling of time per review at higher intervals, unless your accuracy is very bad, you will heat peak workload around level 20 if going full speed.

See this diagram from the ultimate guide

I do this near the end of my current level (usually when the last kanji are two days away from Guru). I study the new deck(s) for two days, then toss them and do the lessons for those kanji in WK (through browser).

This may have a negative impact on your longer term retention, as Wanikani will assess those kanji as having been remembered with a 2 day interval since last seeing them but actually it’s only been hours.

I think you are sort of confusing the system by doing your extra outside SRS in the run up to the final apprentice review, but broadly this point is true anyway.


Looks like we have a pretty similar study routine. I too go pretty fast (7d 0h per level), read all the NHK Easy articels every day, have synced my WK api with Bunpro, and I do handwriting practice (with all kanji, though).

I don’t think I can say that I’m high level yet, but I’ll still give you my opinion on it: It definitely depends on your accuracies. I currently have about 160 - 200 reviews every day, but I have 98% accuracy. I don’t want to imagine how many reviews I’d have if my accuracy was 90 - 95%, but I guess I wouldn’t be able to go full speed anyway because I would probably fail too many kanji reviews.

Again, you don’t have to fear anything if your accuracy is high enough. I currently always have about the same number of items in Apprentice, Guru and Master, and when I eventually start burning, in Enlightened too. One thing worth mentioning, though, is that leeches are unavoidable, and the more items you’ll add to your lessons, the more leeches you will. So, unless your leech count is also low, I don’t think you will have a lot of trouble.

Do you really do 100 lessons every day (until you run out)? If you want to go full speed, 25 lessons per day is enough, and you won’t be hit with a wall of reviews every third day.


So I think I didn’t communicate what I’m doing well. Say I’m finishing up level 12. My final reviews are in 2 days before leveling up; I create a deck for the level 13 (I actually only do this with kanji / radicals), then I study that deck for those two days, toss the deck (and never return to it) and focus on only WK for those terms from then on.


Thanks. I will try doing just 25 a day then and see how that works out.


Yeah, that’s definitely a better idea. I did 40 lessons on Fridays and Saturdays for some time, and I ended up having ~300 reviews on Saturdays for a few weeks because I did too many lessons at once. Since I started consistently doing 25 lessons every single day without exceptions, I have way less reviews, and my review count on Saturday is about the same as in the rest of the week.


Doesn’t it have an undo button?

Yes, it does. I use Tsurukame instead of my computer for the exact same reason @catagon uses their their computer instead of Tsurukame.

Assuming your accuracy doesn’t change significantly and you keep up the same pace, you end up at a sort of equilibrium after a while. This usually happens a few months after you’ve gotten your first burn reviews (around the time the burn reviews you failed the first time have gone through all SRS stages again).

For reference, I used to level up around once every 8 days until level 20, and my workload got to around 200-300 reviews per day at its peak. I eventually slowed down to lower the workload. Do note that slowing down only reduces the workload after some time due to how the SRS works, so if you think the load will become too high, it’s usually better to slow down long before reaching the point where you can’t keep up anymore.


You can use the Wanikani Estimator to estimate how many reviews you’ll get per day given your number of lessons per day.

Very roughly, your number of daily reviews equals your number of apprentice items plus 10% of your Guru items. I see that you have about 200 apprentice and 600 guru now, which means about 300-350 reviews per day. For me, that would be too much, but you have to pace yourself.

The one rule you should never break is this: Never ever ever do lessons if you have pending reviews. If you’re not able to comfortably get through your reviews for some reason, then adding more lessons will only make everything worse.

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Alternately, write a script to interface with AnkiConnect, so that a new model doesn’t have to be created every time.

I’ve had workflow as well. Rather than going along with the SRS, pre-study the level, and toss them away after a while. Though I specifically did it with EJ - handwriting; vocabulary-first, Kanji-second; and didn’t make a radical deck.

Being Anki, I can customize it on the front on the fly, and write notes. I split the workload on Anki too. Maybe over 2-3 days.

I did Kangxi radical deck too. I didn’t make one for RTK, but read it to about 500 or something.

Not sure if for the same reasons, but I type much faster on desktop. Even after I’ve found 12-key Kana flick keyboard, suggestions for English, and Undo button (on Flaming Durtles for Android), I still prefer to do on desktop.

Anyway, 500+ doesn’t matter as one you don’t get disheartened. Almost clear, but will finish it next time, and you will be delayed only by 1-3 days per level, as long as you intends to zero the reviews (in my experience).

Don’t you have vocab building up with only 25 per day? You might level up with 25 per day but you won’t get 0/0 before you level up. It’s a bit more complicated than just 25 per day if you want to maintain max speed without having a buildup of vocabulary.

I wrote a script that breaks down how many of what type of lesson you should do per day. The vocabulary is estimated since I don’t know for sure how many will be unlocked from the guru’d kanji

For level 6 for example:

You also get weird cases because of how items only unlock after being guru’d:

Level 17 (I slowed down to 8 days per level so that lessons can be done at the same time everyday):

Even with 8 days my reviews per day is usually pretty close to 25 so I don’t think 25 per day to level up every 7 days is enough

Yeah, I should mention that in the first 13 or so levels, one should do a bit more (like 26 -28 lessons per day), but it works out perfectly fine starting at about the level where the OP is. I managed to always hit 0/0 before leveling up. with 25 lessons per day.

Here is my heatmap since I started doing 25 lessons every day (about level 14), and as you can see, that works out so well that I sometimes even end up running out of lessons (which are the squares that have a lighter color)


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It’s also worth noting that you need to prioritize radicals > kanji > vocabulary with this approach. If on day 1, you do the first 25 lessons and they are all vocabulary from the previous level you won’t level up in 7 days


Yes, that’s exactly the order how I do it.

Was mostly pointing it out for others reading that might not know. I know you know how it works :stuck_out_tongue:

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