Recommended number of Guru items


I’ve been wandering about the forum for a few weeks and often encountered the advice of always keeping the number of Apprentice items to somewhere below 100, but although my Apprentice count is below 50 most of the time, I kinda feel that the number of Guru items I have are a lot to deal with (I currently have close to 400 Guru). I have postponed lessons more than once although I have very little Apprentice items.

I was wondering if this situation has happened to other people and if there is a “recommended” number of Guru items where it becomes more interesting to focus on reviews for a while.


Guru items are usually not tracked but I have read about someone targeting a limit of 500 Guru items. If this is still too much for you feel free to lower this target.

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This is an interesting topic I’ve been thinking about for a bit. The problem with Guru items is two-fold. First, the effect of postponing will only be felt later given the latency for Guru items to come up again. Second, trying to postpone to give yourself more space can get quite boring when you’re trying to reduce the number of Guru items (for the reason above).

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Similar to @prouleau, I have a constant aim of 90 apprentice which seems to result in around 500 guru most of the time as well!

Like @VegasVed said, the time frame for Guru is just too long.

If you stop doing lessons, it will take about 3 days to significantly clear out the apprentice queue. It can take up to two weeks to clear a Guru queue.

People usually limit their apprentice/guru items to keep the daily workload in check. Most refer only to apprentice as that is quickest to govern and has most impact. When it comes to expected daily reviews, 50 Apprentice items lead to roughly 50 daily reviews (same as apprentice count). 400 Guru items lead to roughly 40 daily reviews (divide guru count by 10)

Most people aim for 100/500, but the following splits all lead to roughly the same workload (about 150 reviews per day)

Apprentice Guru
80 700
90 600
100 500
110 400
120 300

On top of that there are of course the higher stage reviews, but those are on the schedule so far in advance that it’s hard to influence by postponing lessons, and they contribute a smaller percentage of the daily workload. anyway.

*forgot to mention that when referring to the table - people will still govern the apprentice size by limiting lessons depending on whatever is in Guru.


I don’t really try to influence them. If there’s a bit of a build up, I just have some extra reviews on that day.

If I forget enough of them to raise my apprentice pile too much, I simply stop doing my lessons all in one sitting :sweat_smile:

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items stay in apprentice for 3 1/2 days, and in guru for 3 weeks. so assuming that you’re doing lessons at a constant pace and don’t make any errors, you’d have about 6 times as many guru items as apprentice items.

as errors are a thing, it’s probably more like 5 times for most people.

but also, it means that if you change your speed it’ll take 3 weeks for this change to be fully reflected in the number of guru items.


I have been thinking about the same thing for the last few levels, I’ve had about 100 apprentice 600 guru when I finished level 11. I think taking on all the new vocab and kanji for level 12 on top of my regular reviews is just gonna make me rush through and get a few wrong. So I think I’m gonna just stop lessons until I get down to 450 guru and in the mean time I’ll make some Genki 1 progress.

I’ve found that I make a lot of careless mistakes from rushing when I have review sessions over 100 items. So I think slowing down for a week will let me cut the apprentice and guru reviews by about 30%. I’ll likely try to keep guru reviews under 500 in the future. The way the system is structured it seems like Guru is always around 400-600ish. I would say if you ever go over 600 and feel like you’re getting more reviews wrong than normal it might be beneficial to clear some out.


Ah, nice list of how it all works. :eyes: I never thought too hard about the guru items myself. :thinking:

I’d say I had around 850 in guru and master for most of my WK journey. And around 90-160 in apprentice.

I think that’s fine, but if the reviewing burden is too much, it’s the Apprentice count that you can control by doing fewer lessons, not so much the guru count.

I’d be more concerned if there were lots of items moving between Apprentice and Guru and back again, i.e. leeches as that can take up an unfair amount of time reviewing. Doing something about one’s leeches can bring down the guru count a bit, but as been said, it will wake considerable time to do so.


If you are looking to balance everything out, I’d recommend just using this script

With these recommended settings


Thanks for all your replies. It seems harder to control the amount of Guru in your pile on a day-to-day or even week-to-week basis.

Maybe as mentioned I should focus on the leeches whenever I feel a little overwhelmed with reviews. Also, stopping lessons for a few days is still an option.



After keeping Apprentice items down you can look at upcoming reviews. If you see a large amount of reviews coming in the next day or two then you might want to hold off on new lessons. This is a better way to view your Guru or even Master or Enlightened items that come at you with a swift punch. If this doesn’t help then you can either take a look at your Guru numbers or lower your max for Apprentice. I typically look at Guru when I’m on the fence about taking on new lessons or not. 100 is a rough guideline, but some people they might need to go lower. I know there are times when I’m busy that I try to keep it below 70. Typically I try to keep my Apprentice below 100 (below 70 when I’m busy), Daily reviews below 80 (below 50 when I’m busy) and if my Guru items are above 450 I hesitate when taking on new lessons.

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I think your method is pretty smart. I will try to be more mindful of my review pile before taking additional lessons.

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