Questions regarding: Leveling Speed, Scripts and Apprentice item count

Hello there! I’m a relatively new WaniKani user and there are some things I’m confused about.

  1. Leveling Speed: I understand that this is dependant upon the individual and their needs. However, is there an effective/ineffective pace i.e. If it takes X amount of time to level then it’s not worth the time, or as long as you are learning then the time in which it takes you to level-up is insignificant.

  2. Scripts: I have heard from many users that certain scripts are almost a necessity, specifically Wanikani Timeline. However, I am uncertain as to whether or not I should use it i.e. would it be classed as cheating due to your ability to forsee exactly what items will appear in your review pile, meaning you can study before hand, whereas when it appears “naturally” you must recall it from memory.

  3. Apprentice Item Count: What is the maximum Apprentice item count you should have as to not become overwhelmed i.e. Should you do lessons when available regardless of Apprentice item count, or call a stop to your lessons once your Apprentice item count reachs X number. I say this as sometimes I feel I’m becoming overwhelmed by the amount of reviews I have, should I just continue doing lessons and allow these apprentice items to pile a top one another until I eventually Guru them or should I only allow a set number of Apprentice items to exist at one given time.

I apologise if any of these questions have been answered before hand, these are just a few things that I’m unsure of regarding my learning experience here on WaniKani. Thanks for taking the time to read this, any help is greatly appreciated.

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I have usually heard numbers around 100 or 150 depending on the user. Pick something that you can maintain without getting that dreaded burn-out. Generally, don’t do all of your lessons at once.

As for learning speed, see above. Do it in a manageable way.

As for scripts, I don’t think that all of the details of the Ultimate Timeline are necessary especially given the regular timeline exists now!

P.S. If you’re ever reviewing on a mobile device, I highly recommend using an app such as Tsurukame for iOS or Flaming Durtles for Android!

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Yeah I think maybe I should tone mine down to something more manageable for me. Currently I’m at 150 and it just feels like information won’t stick. Thanks for the reply.

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Personally I stay at around 80 items at once, and manage to get through a level a week so far with it.

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Note that the advice you saw about the Wanikani Timeline script is probably obsolete. Earlier this year, Wanikani added a builtin review timeline on the homepage, so you no longer need a script for this.

As for your other questions, it’s basically up to you - how much can you handle? Personally, I’ve decided to go full speed ahead, regardless of review load, which means that my apprentice count typically hovers in the 130-180 range (it’s currently 151).

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only if you’re worried about the cost. Everyone learns at their own pace, and you should stick to whatever feels comfortable.


WaniKani Timeline: it’s beautiful and helpful for planning out your lesson/review schedule. And regarding your concerns of “cheating”: it’s not. Even if you tried to use it as cheating, I’m not sure constantly pre-reviewing large stacks of items is even feasible unless you’re doing nothing at all with your life but WaniKani. Unless you’re going super duper slow, but in that case you shouldn’t be even thinking of cheating at all, right?

it’s not the same. WaniKani Timeline has hover info for every hour (which is what OP was worried about), in addition to a bunch of other features.

Other scripts: exist that improve quality of life (and others that can enable “cheating”, but it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to use them and how you use them). I won’t recommend any here as I’m sure you’ll find oodles of “recommended scripts” posts and the like.


Up to the individual, typically people recommend not going over ~150 and most seem to prefer it around 120 or below. To save yourself from depressing review waves, do not do all lessons at once. Force them into small batches (~20 per day still allows you to go quite fast) spread across your weeks. You can also watch your Guru items count, but you’re not quite at the number of items where I think that’ll be too big of a problem, for now.

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Thank you for the reply, this pretty much clears up all my concerns regarding this topic. And I can see what you mean about the timeline thing, that being said would you recommend studying your items prior to their appearance in your review pile i.e. using WK timeline to create a mini study plan? or just do your reviews without any prior study?

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There are a lot better ways to self-study before reviews than using the WaniKani Timeline (something like BishBashBosh or the self-study quiz scripts). Personally, I think extra-reviewing your leeches (items you keep getting wrong and end up stuck in your apprentice pile) and other low apprentice items are worth it and beneficial to both your studies and mental well-being, but I wouldn’t use it for more than that. It’ll also get extremely tiring to be doing double duty for everything.

also don’t review reviews that you’re just about to do. that’s not studying, that’s last minute cramming an SRS system. do the supplement studies inbetween sessions or after a review session (go over what you got wrong a couple times, etc.)

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I just do my reviews without any prior study (though I do occasionally brush up early on the level-critical reviews). I figure the SRS is there for a reason, and it doesn’t really matter if you miss an item, since it will get up there eventually.

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Sounds like what you said at the end of your post is what I need to be doing more of, which is spending more time going over what I get wrong. I’ll only ever gloss over what I got wrong instead of really spending time correcting those mistakes to make sure they don’t happen again. Thanks for all the help it’s much appreciated.

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That’s what I was thinking too, I don’t want to alter the SRS because it’s there for a reason. If I get something wrong I should just spend more time correcting it so that it won’t happen again, thanks for the reply.

I tend to maintain between 80 and 120 Apprentice items.

I then do 12 new lessons every day between M-F. On the weekends I do reviews but take a break from lessons.

Depending on my class schedule (I’m an English teacher in Japan and my schedule changes every day), I usually get in two review sessions every day. One in the morning (plus my new lessons) and then one in the afternoon (which includes the new stuff).

Right now, I’m leveling around every 20 days.

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