Recovery Efforts

Hey all. It’s been quite some time since I picked back up with my lessons and reviews on here. Life sort of took over and to be honest WK took a back seat. I’d like to pick up where I left off but I know it’ll be difficult. I’m looking at about 300 lessons and 1800 review items here at level 17. For those that took some time off, what’s the best way to recover? Is it better to power through the reviews, get back in the groove of things, and begin the pain again, or should I reset back to a lower level and rebuild?


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I think everyone’s advice will be different for this, but it really depends on you.
If you think you can get through all those lessons and reviews without burning out, you maybe could. It’s less likely you’ll remember everything and you’ll probably set yourself back further by continuing to get things wrong. My biggest worry is you’ll try this and get discouraged and quit again.

If you reset it may feel like youre losing something, but in the end it may be more manageable and beneficial. but again this is all up to you. You can always drop just a level or two, and if that still feels like too much, drop a few more. you dont have to go back to lvl1 at the start.

Personally i reset a level, then decided to completely reset my account, and its been great for me. I think it was my best opinion and made me excited to start again, instead of bummed out. Thats just my view on it.

Good luck~~!


Just from my own experience, I had ~8 month hiatus and returned to 1500+ reviews and had 260+ lessons and I took time to first do all the reviews and not worry about all the things I couldn’t remember, I let the SRS take care of where the items needed to be in my queue for me, and I didn’t touch my lessons until I finished all the reviews. I did it at a manageable pace and didn’t worry about rushing through or doing everything all at once, I didn’t want to get overwhelmed. It took me ~2 weeks to fully get back in the groove of things where I was doing manageable batches of reviews and lessons, and I haven’t slowed down since :slight_smile:



I’m hoping that’s what I can do. About half of the reviews I have are enlightened so I’m thinking maybe I’ll recall enough to burn quite a bit which should help the load.

Yeah I’m torn between resetting to a lower level and just grinding out the reviews for a bit. I may give myself a week to review and jog my memory again. Maybe picking up Genki again might shake the cobwebs off a bit too. I’m headed back to Japan in 2019 so maybe that’ll be enough motivation to kick myself in gear again :smiley:

I’ve read of some people using the reorder script to go through their reviews by level order. It might be beneficial to spend the couple of weeks just going through a level or so a day. The benefit of this is the confidence boost from all the kanji you can recall.


You could maybe give yourself a time limit for trying to get through some reviews and see what that’s like. say a week, and see how far you get/how you feel. Then at the end of that week really think about how its going and decide then.

The worst thing you could do is waste time trying to decide whats the right thing, instead of just trying one of them!


I wasn’t at level 17, but I did come back to >1300 reviews.

Way I did it was 1) have a WaniKani app on my phone, 2) do WaniKani whenever I was bored and would’ve refreshed Twitter again, 3) try to get reviews down to 50 or 100 less than the number I had the previous day (so from 1300 to 1200 to 1100, etc, which actually meant doing more like 200 a day). I think doing it frequently in chunks of 10-50 throughout the day helped a lot, and I could do a few on the app when I was out, and go through a large number quickly when I was back at a computer.

Lots of luck!

ETA: I did do mine without going to a lower level; it’ll probably be different for you (I’m at level 9), but I think after a week of missing a lot of the reviews I did climb back into recognizing or re-learning a lot of the kanji.


Last I heard, that part of the reorder script was broken.

It certainly works during lessons but im not sure about reviews. I don’t have any right now to give a test.

There’s a 2.1.1 update that appears to work. However, it’s not helping me remember my on’yomis from my kun’yomis :smiley:

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I had 600 lessons and 700 reviews after coming back from a busy period and what I did was focus on reviews before starting with lessons. Now after some final exams in uni I have 1300 reviews again and intend to work them off in the same way I did before. My method is just doing about an hour of reviews every day, ordered by type and level so that I get through them radicals first, then kanji, then vocab.

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I’ve been in a similar situations a few times. What I’ve discovered is that If you just start doing items randomly 100 a time for example, you’re going to get some 50% correct, exhaust your brain and get those same items back the next day anyway. You’re going to be drained mentally.

The way I do it is basically a mix of the suggstions you’ve been given:

Order all the reviews by srs in a descending order so that I can burn whatever there is to burn, and do some master items too. These are easier after a long period of time since you already have them in your long term memory (things you can burn you should know by heart anyway, in theory at least). You get to clear the pile and feel like you’re advancing.

After doing the easy items (those shouldn’t come back in a few months unless you got them wrong), I would order the items by level using the ultimate reorder script, and go through the levels one by one from lowest to highest. This is kinda like resetting your level, except you don’t have to start from apprentice with most items.

Just keep doing as many reviews as you like. Lower level items are easier anyway. Before you know it, you’ve “only been doing easy items” and you have 100, 200 items left. Those you can just power through if you feel like it, and start doing some lessons again once you have your apprentice amount low enough.

My biggest question to you people that left for a long while because of life etc, why didn’t you put your account on vacation mode? If I ever need to take a longer period of time off from WK it would be the first thing that crossed my mind, that way I can just get back on track from where I left off. I have already had small pauses like this, when I was at the brink of burning out.

For the majority of people, they don’t plan on taking a break from wanikani. Life just happens. Also until i restarted my account this year i didn’t even know it was an option, maybe other people don’t. You can’t always plan for life…

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That’s true.
But I would suggest using it if you ever burn out again. It’s a life-saver :slight_smile:

I was just curious to know.

For me, it was more of a slow burn out. I was pushing about a level every 8-9 days. Then after my third child was born, free time just started to slip. I’d do a few lessons/reviews, tell myself I’d get back to it. Eventually went into a death spiral of sorts and now here am I. Sort of like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

To be honest, the only reason I even started picking this back up was because WK began posting daily photos on Facebook. When photos were saying (You can read this at level 15), I thought to myself, no I can’t because I started slacking. Glad to see WK engaged on FB.

I’ve been going level by level and so far, while frustrating, it feels as if things are coming back slowly. I’ve been able to burn quite a bit so at least that feels pretty good. Once I get through this, I’ll post a graph of the events. Thankfully (or not) I have that google docs script enabled since I first started, so it’ll be interesting to see the progress.

Since you are just getting back to it and must have a busy schedule, it might be good for you to try work out a routine (actually it’s good for everyone). If you have a partner, try organising with them a daily time when they take care of the kids. You could even make it into leisure time by running a nice bath, burn some incense and do your reviews as you are relaxing with no other responsibilities. Actually I think I might do that, sounds nice!

Anyway best of luck catching up and with your future studies.

Slowly but surely getting there. Trying to cover about 100 reviews a day and while a bit frustrating seems to be working.

Wanted to post this graph for fun though. At least I still remember some things, hah! :smiley:


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Resetting isn’t all or nothing anymore. Check and if your higher levels are mostly apprentice items it might be worth going down to Level 14 something.

If you’re stubborn like me and decide NOT to reset (don’t be stubborn like me, dude, but if you are)…

  1. Like other people said, use a level sorting script to compartmentalize your reviews. Clear out one section at a time, and keep that section clear every day. (This also lets the SRS do its thing while you catch up.)

  2. The number of Apprentice items is more important than your overall review number. Those are the ones that will slow you down, so if you hit a level with a lot of items that you’ve forgotten, slow down and re-learn them properly before going on (I did not do this and a review session of nothing but 300 apprentice items is Not Fun At All!)

  3. Pace yourself and remember, even while you’re catching up you’re still making progress learning/burning the lower-level items.

  4. You can always reset later if it gets overwhelming.

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