Review often or one long session?

Hello WaniKani! This is my first post here so please point out if I have done something incorrectly.

I am a high school student interested in learning japanese. I’ve noticed that even in the first level, WaniKani does take some time off me. I have some time during the day which are split between many times (basically, in between my classes), and I also have a long free time after school. Do you think it is better for me to do my reviews/lessons during the small free times or do it just once in the long one? Thanks!

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I think it depends entirely on you, the only consistent advice I hear is that it’s better to do more than one session per day, to help retain new items, but many people also only do one and it works just fine.

I have the type of brain where if I don’t do reviews on a pretty set schedule (morning, and a smaller session in the afternoon) then I get really fixated on always checking if I have reviews and I can’t focus on other things. But if you want to do a few here and there when you have free time and your schedule allows it, that would certainly work.

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I am pretty sure it is better not to do too many times per day. The point is leaving attention to other Japanese-related activities.

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Throughout the day is best if you can afford it.

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Welcome!

If you can, I think try out both! You might find you prefer one way over the other. As you get deeper into your studies, you might end up changing things again. The most important thing is to stay consistent and be flexible. :grin:

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I think they both have their pros and cons.

Having less but longer sessions can lead to a lot of anxiety when you see a ‘massive’ pile ahead of you (you’d be surprised how fast you can get through them once you get the hang of it). This has the benefit of a kind of ‘forget about it’ attitude. You are gonna do a session when you wake up and when you go to bed. The rest of the day you aren’t thinking about WK.

On the other side, if you’re doing them all throughout the day, you are constantly checking your watch to see if it’s time for more reviews; like a constant shadow over you. But then generally you’re maybe doing a dozen reviews at a time which take a few minutes at most. Pretty handy if you have a few minutes waiting between classes/lunch break/waiting for a bus.

I’d try each of them and somewhere in the middle, of course and see what suits your personally. I’ve seen success stories for both methods so you aren’t limiting yourself by choosing one over the other. Your preference matters more.

Personally, I kinda do a hybrid.

I’ll get up and do the reviews I accumulate during the night, normally 50-70 ish. (maybe 100 if I have a little sleep in), then during the day I’ll chip away at any reviews I get when I get some free time (coffee and lunch breaks at work). and then every few hours when I remember (normally when I go to grab another drink of water or pop to the loo or something like that). And then one final one before going to bed.

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That’s a question that honestly comes down to you and your schedule.

I think it’s good to also consider whether or not you can keep the schedule even if something in life comes up that you can still manage to make it happen.

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Personally I tend to break my reviews in batches of 20 to 30, but it can vary a lot depending on my schedule and level of tiredness.

I also set my review order to SRS, meaning that I get apprentice items first, then guru, then master etc… I find that it helps because it’s generally more important to get low SRS reviews in a timely manner, while higher tiers can wait for longer.

For instance a new Apprentice I item will be up for review after 4 hours. If for some reason you decide to batch all your reviews 8h later instead, you’ve effectively doubled the SRS interval. Meanwhile if you have an Enlightened item coming up for a burn review after four months, you can even delay it by a couple of days if you’re super busy and it won’t matter much (although I generally try to clear my reviews daily, too easy to let reviews accumulate to an unmanageable level otherwise).

So basically my strategy is to do a few small review sessions through the day to tackle all Apprentice and Guru items, then in the evening I take care of the Master/Enlightened reviews that have accumulated.

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You might find that you need to slow down your lessons, if reviews are piling up and becoming a drag despite you keeping up with them daily. Otherwise, I find batches of no more than 50 help me to get through while still having fun. If I try to power through a 120 review pile, it’s so much hard work that I end up avoiding Wanikani for a few days in fear of experiencing that frustration again.

tl;dr to deal with lots of reviews, I think you should either batch them into manageable sized sessions, or reduce your lessons so that your pile stays smaller

Thank you for all of your reply!

I will try to do a hybrid style as many have pointed out, especially experimenting during my free levels.
Thank you especially to simias for pointing out you can change the review order!

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You got it. Find what works for you. And, what you enjoy. If it feels like work chances for burnout are higher. If it is fun, you will stick with it.

Also, one thing I would add to all the other great advice, is regardless of what sort of method you find is best for you, life happens. Don’t sweat having to change things up here and there once in a while. If you have to (or choose to) miss a day, no biggie. Just continue on the next day. The number of things to process may be a bit higher for a couple of days, but it will very quickly sort itself out.

One more thing I would add. If you do have a busy period and need to cut back, stop doing new lessons but try to keep up with reviews.