Question for WK Vets - Burned items

I’m pretty new around here and just getting started in my WK journey and was wondering…for those of you who have burned items, do you find that they really are ‘burned’ into your memory? I know burned items aren’t cycled into the reviews anymore so I’m just wondering if there are any people who burned items and later forgot them down the road because of a lack of review or if they truly are pretty well stuck in your memory by that point.


It depends… But in general just because an item is burned, you can’t be sure you’re never going to forget it. I’d say about 20% of the items I burn I’m not 100% sure of, and probably about 2% of my burns are complete flukes. But personally, my weakest items are almost always vocab items which I can usually recall or guess from context if I encounter them in the wild, so it’s not a huge issue.


If you don’t transition to using words and kanji in reading, they will mostly all go away, a little more each year.
This simple learning theory. SRS is a great way to stuff things into your head, but you need to use it then.

This may not apply to the one in a million super memory human, but for the rest of us, it does.

Luckily, I think that the goal for all of us is to learn how to read. Every time you read, you are engaging in active recall, and reinforcement happens.


When I’ve reset which forces me to re-review items I’ve already burned, my accuracy was between 95-100% for those items. These resets generally happened as a result of not studying for 2-3 months.

I’m sure there’s a certain length of time at which I would start forgetting them, but I can say that Burned does really mean I remember that item. If that wasn’t the case, generally I wouldn’t get it to Burned, because I’d probably fail that last review. I’d say I get about 80-85% of Enlightened items to Burned. The SRS really does work.

Sometimes I get the feeling that I “don’t really know” all the kanji and vocab words WK says I do. A bit of imposter syndrome maybe, but typically the items I feel that way about are in my Guru queue and occasionally Master. An item’s SRS level really is an accurate measure of how well you know it. Trust in the system. As long as you’re putting in the effort, you’ll find it works exactly as advertised.


After not looking at WK for about a year and a half, I managed to burn over 100 of my 1500 reviews. Obviously, not all of the 1500 were in Enlightened mode, and I did fail a fair few and now they’re back in rotation, but there were some that I was incredibly surprised to remember. Some barely, some confidently, some by context of another review I’d already had.

As with anything, it’s gonna be a use-it-or-lose-it kind of thing. If you find yourself having burned an item you wish you hadn’t, you can always unburn it on the item’s page.


Particularly now that I’m burning items from the second half of levels, I’m finding that some of these words are terms I don’t often come across even in English, so burning them doesn’t feel like the end of learning them.

I also believe that you’ll eventually forget them if you never end up reading them or using the knowledge later.

My accuracy on Enlightened->Burned has been pretty mediocre lately. Especially so, now that I’ve been 60 for a long time and all the reviews I’m doing are for items I’ve failed before.


Not at all. I’m betting by the time I reach 60, in a few years, I’ll have forgotten roughly 105% of them.

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As long as you keep getting exposure by reading it doesn’t matter if you forget the burned items. You’ll remember it once you read it

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I have a few items that I had burned on my way to 60 that I never saw again in my reading/general exposure to the language, and now that I’ve started again from 1 they feel sort of brand new, but I also half-remember them so I’m not failing any reviews. I mean, they would be hard to recall on the spot, but if I saw them now after a few years I’d probably be like “wait, this looks familiar” and have a 50-50 chance of guessing it.


It’s been a few years since I actually did WK, but my experience is that when reading I sometimes have to look up kanji that I have burned, but it happens seldom enough that it’s not a problem for me.

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I burned like 700 items and quit for two maybe three years and I recalled a good portion of them.
However, it wasn’t immediate recall, I just ran through them all at least once, and I can run through them again as if I’d known them 100%.

But there’s definitely gonna be those easy ones that you knew with certainty, probably more than you’d think too.

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Thank you everyone! This has been some good perspective. It’s my goal to get fluent enough to the point of being able to read, so it seems like as long as I progress in that direction and continue to use them it should help reinforce them continually.


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