Question: lesson+review speed

Hi everyone,

I only recently started my journey on wanikani and I’ve noticed that I can keep up with the lessons so far quiete easily. My question being now: Would doing half of new lessons per day (so a full lesson in 2 days) be a different speed then doing everything in just 1 day when it comes up?
I’ve counted it in my head and mathematically there shouldn’t be a difference, but I’m not sure how the srs system works completely yet.
Could anyone who understands my question give me an answer please?

Hope everyone is having a nice day.


There’s a lot of it depends, but the short version is that since leveling up is dependent on guruing kanjij for a given level it’s possible to prioritize the items on the critical path and do the rest while waiting for those to guru. The level ups get capped at about a week each, so it ends up being around 20 new items a day once you get past the first couple of levels.

Even without fast leveling I think the majority of the community prefers doing batches of lessons rather than doing them all at once. However, I have seen some with a preference for tackling them all in one sitting.

IIRC, the guide goes into things in more detail:


There is no purpose to doing everything in one go form a speed perspective. As long as you do all the Kanji lessons from your second batch of unlocks as soon as they are made available to you, you don’t lose any time by spreading lessons.


You’re still on the very early levels so you don’t have many lessons. I’m only level 15 but when I level up, I usually start the next level with around 50-60 new lessons (which then increase as I guru more kanji).

The trick to Wanikani is keeping the number of reviews manageable, while still maintaining accuracy. For me that’s around 150 per day, which means I keep my number of Apprentices at around 110-120, some people might find that a lot of work, others might do more. This involves about 10-15 lessons most weekdays (I do WK at work, ssshhh don’t tell the boss) and maybe jumping to 20 on a weekend.

As you level up more, you’ll need to work out exactly how much work you can manage. You’ll discover your pace as you get to higher levels with more content. (levels typically have around 180 lessons per). Don’t compare your pace to anyone else, by the way, as long as you stick to completing your review queues daily, you’ll progress.

If you find you’re getting through your reviews easily, up the number of daily lessons. If you’re getting swamped, slow down or even stop on lessons until you catch your breath. It’s a game of cat and mouse. Sometimes life gets in the way so you need to slow down, or you get ill and your accuracy drops, that’s okay. Just slow down on lessons. You may find you’re breezing through a level, you’re encountering kanji you’ve seen elsewhere, excellent! Do a few more lessons each day.

The generally given advice is keep the number of apprentice at 100 or apprentice + guru/10 around 150. Maybe aim for that level to begin with and see how you feel.

PS: nice avatar, I’ve been watching Bocchi this week :slight_smile:


Of course, there are some of us who choose to go even slower than this. I usually keep mine around 70 to 80, as I found 100 was actually a little too much for me. However, I’m also studying vocabulary and grammar from the Beginning Tobira book, so this pace is working well for me.

As others mentioned, a good gauge of how many reviews you’ll have down the line is the number of items you have in Apprentice. And, one other analogy might be to think of the Lessons as the handle to a (slow-to-react) faucet. The more you do at a time now, the more Reviews you’ll have at one time later. So, even if you don’t feel the effects now, you will in a couple weeks. :sweat_smile:


So if I understood that correctly,
when I get let’s say a 100 new items from a lesson in a given day, and I do 50 on the first day, and then 50 on the next day, then that’ll be the same speed as doing them all at once?

From my experience, this claim only holds if you’re using a re-order script to get your “Radical” and Kanji Lessons right from the start of each level.

(Preface: I don’t use order-affecting scripts.)

When I first started WaniKani, I did all of my Lessons as soon as they came available. But, when I got around Lv 15 or 16, I started to have Review piles that were several hundred a day. I ended up having to reset due to the stress it was causing, and the fact that so many Reviews per day did not fit my schedule.

This time around, I only do 10 to 20 Lessons per day, depending on my Apprentice count. By adjusting my Lesson intake based on my Apprentice count in this way, I find that I get fewer than a hundred reviews per day.

Now, this pace is somewhat slow, as it means that completing WaniKani will take somewhere in the range of 3 to 4 years. But, this pace is also what is working for me.


Correct. Since there are three and a half days between unlocks, you’re even better off splitting it into 3 batches.

Make sure you use a reordering script.


うん okay, thanks for the info, yeah I’m using the re order script so I think it’d work then.
The reason why I want to do it so quickly is because I don’t have that much money yearly, I got wanikani for 45 euro’s for a year rn, so it’d be awesome to finish it in just about a year.

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Can’t say I’d recommend that.


Oh okay, I guess I’ll do that then, because doing everything at once for a whole 2 hours in the morning is not that fun haha, thanks for the information!


heard that from a lot of people, but I’ve done some other crazy stuff in the past.
I also study psychology and do research on memory and learning in my spare time, so that’ll probably get the trick done more easily too.

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That’s definitely understandable. The only thing I’d be concerned about is whether the effort you’ll have put in will have been worth what you’re hoping to get out of it. Though,

I’d have to agree with this statement.

I think most people don’t recommend it because, whether you use a re-order script or not, going at such a speed does mean that you’ll be piling the reviews on hard. To the point if you don’t have an eidetic memory, you’re likely to spend hours per day on reviews as you get past the first 20 or so levels.

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I don’t really have any expectations set so maybe that’d be a good thing in the end?
I’ll let you know how it goes, if it does get harder later on and takes a toll on me, then I’ll listen to your advice. Thanks a lot for the help, I really apreciate it <3


I understand the frustration there’s a big clock looming over your Wanikani experience but could I offer maybe a different perspective to this?

I also don’t want to come across as though I’m judging or assuming anything about your progress/ability. You may be one of these 7 day level up phenoms, who knows. But I’m just making this suggestion based on my own abilities.

Just proceed WK like you don’t have a year only on the platform. Make sure you really learn the kanji and vocab as if you had all the time in the world, and get maybe 25-30 levels in this year (a level every 12-14 days). By that time, you should have a good understanding yourself how to learn kanji and you can then go off and utilise free resources to continue your kanji learning.

WK is very convenient for what it does, but you can create your own wanikani experience outside of it using anki and either downloading or creating your own decks.

I’m not claiming either method is right or wrong, I’m just plodding along at my own pace as I’ve alluded to above. But if I knew I only had a limited time with wanikani, I’d rather maximise the quality over the quantity. In my opinion, having a stronger, but narrower foundation you can build on your self is much better than having a wider but ultimately weaker base to work from.

Personally, I’d rather get through 25 levels in the year and know those 25 levels VERY well than rush and get level 50 but have a lot of issues with recalling and using those 50 levels, if this ramble makes any sense.


That’s a completely valid argument, but, how could one pass through levels without knowing the information well though?

Just for reference, I’ve been going at max speed since the beginning and generally spend about an hour and a half a day doing reviews and lessons with an average of about 300 reviews a day.


There’s plenty of ways to cheat, for a start. Which could be tempting to do if one’s goal was to hit 60 before the subscription runs out.

Now people will tell you that WK isn’t a vocab tool, which it isn’t, there’s still a lot of value learning a lot of the vocabulary available but using a reordering script, you could just skip every single bit of it.

The main thing I mean is that you near-instantly recall the reading and meaning of the word in Japanese. The idea of mnenomics and an SRS is that the first few recalls, you’re just doing pattern recognition. You break the kanji down into it’s radicals, recall the mnemonic, and then from there you derive the meaning in English. As you do more recalls, the links in the brain start to move the kanji into a learned thing, you no longer break up into radicals, or recall mnemonics, and ultimately don’t translate into English. You just understand that kanji is read x and means y.

It’s very easy, in comparison, to do the first thing but you don’t actually know the kanji at that point. You know how to decipher the kanji but you don’t know it. Only with repeated correct SRS recalls and ultimately reading the kanji in native material will you truly learn them. I can’t do that if I rushed through it.

As a very simple example, 犬 is a kanji I knew before I started WK. I’ve encountered it so much in textbooks, and on forum posts here, and obviously have reviewed it lots of times in WK that I don’t go oh that’s that kanji, it means dog, etc etc. I immediately read いぬ and can visualise a little 4 legged companion. I can think of 犬 in Japanese.

However, a recent kanji I’ve learned is 信, but I haven’t learned it well (yet!). The radicals are leader and say, what should you do with what the leader says? Believe him of course! If you don’t believe him, he’ll kick you in the しん! (not the official mnemonic from WK but it works for me) So while I can parse this kanji, if I encountered it in the wild, I’d have to break it down into the mnemonic and translate it. I know the kanji but I haven’t learned or understood it.

I hope this makes sense.


Don’t worry, I won’t skip the vocab, every vocab counts in my opinion, even if it’s ‘useless’.
Also, your understanding on how learning association works is pretty good, I have to give you a complement at that since it’s something quite difficult to grasp.

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