Question? Please help. Thank you

Hey everyone, I’m new to WaniKani and I’m already familiar with quite a bit of kanji but I was given this website by a japanese tutor to continue helping me build my Kanji knowledge. I am having trouble understanding how this works. Right now it seems that its only letting me learn radicals and I can’t start learning any of the Kanji or the readings. I already know all of these radicals, I would like to focus on the readings of kanji more than anything. Is there any way to go to the Kanji lessons and study??

SRS Level Next Level Total Wait Review
Apprentice 1 4h - Lesson
Apprentice 2 8h 4h 1
Apprentice 3 ~1d 12h 2
Apprentice 4 ~2d 1d 11h 3
Guru 1 ~1w 3d 10h 4
Guru 2 ~2w 1w 3d 9h 5
Master ~1M 3w 3d 8h 6
Enlightened ~4M 7w 5d 7h 7
Burned - 24w 6d 6h 8

When you learn a new item (radical, kanji), you will be tested on it four hours later, eight hours later, one day later, two days later.

During the first three review steps, your item is marked as “apprentice”.

After the “two days later” (fourth) step review, your item is marked as “guru”.

When an item is “guru”, you are considered to have learnt that item well enough to receive new lessons based on that item. New kanji or vocabulary (words and phrases) based on that “guru” item then becomes unlocked.

If you make an error during a review, you will go back two steps, except when you are in one of the apprentice steps, where you go back one step.

After a radical (blue background) item becomes “guru”, any kanji which references that radical becomes available to you as a new lesson. After a kanji (pink background) item becomes “guru”, any vocabulary (purple background) which references that kanji will be unlocked.

After 90% of a level’s kanji items become “guru”, you go up to the next level. Many people call this “levelling up”. Any vocabulary related to the recently guru-ed kanji becomes available. A new slew of radicals and kanji (for the new level) also become available.

Every day, someone posts a new thread about this issue or they complain it is too slow and not worth using.

As the number of guru’ed items pile up, you will eventually feel very differently about the workload. For example: one guru’ed kanji can result in three new words / phrases. Each level has 30 or more kanji. If you stick with the system, you will get busy.


Hi there. These are very common questions. Please read the FAQ.

WaniKani teaches kanji by breaking them down into components (or “radicals”). Before WaniKani teaches you a character, you have to “guru” all of the radicals that compose the character. This means getting the name of the radical correct several times in a row. Once you have guru’d some radicals, you will start unlocking kanji lessons. At each level, you will unlock new radicals, characters, and vocabulary.

1 Like

Yes, you can not skip anything.

You have to wait 3 days for the first Kanji lessons, and 3 more days for the first vocab lessons after all.

Furthermore, at least 4 hours to do the first review.

1 Like

Hi thank ou for your reply, but I’m not sure you I really understand the answer to my question. So you are saying that this is programmed to always start from the beginning regardless of your current level?? I have to just start from the beginning as if I know nothing and wait till I get up to the level that I want to be?? There isn’t any way to start working on the Kanji that I am struggling with and I want to learn?

Thank you Polv, that is definitely a bit frustrating because I’ve been studying Japanese for a while, but if that is the way it is then I guess I can’t do anything about it.

Thank you for taking the time to respond ;o)

There are so many N3 and N2 level 1 here after all.

I was around N5, though.

Yes, people with prior knowledge (Passed N4 or N3) still have to start at level 1.

Once you subscribe, you are able to see the rest of the kanji and vocab. You can start studying the kanji you don’t know yet but you can’t be tested until you reach that level. It’s just open for looking.

If you know some kanji already, you can finish a level in 6 days 20 hours. The first three levels are accelerated.
I knew kanji up to level 19 when I started. I didn’t complain about having to go through the first levels because I knew they were easy and I could just level up fast.

1 Like

You’re not the first person to complain that they can’t just skip a bunch of content. Everything builds on itself, and no, you don’t already know all the radicals, because many of them are unique to WK (they are basically kanji parts rather than Xangi Radicals).

1 Like

On the bright side, it’ll be a refresher and you can confirm that you do indeed know what you think you know.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.