Review pile

really? that seems about the pace of the “durtlers”
my last couple levels took about two weeks each, and that’s already slow, apparently
my deadline is simply the length of my subscription, which is three months, tho there isn’t a specific level i need to hit

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Yes i totally agree, youve mentioned going at a steady pace dont worry about the other performance from other people. that really puts my mind at ease.

I think the majority of people are durtlers, to be honest. Anything over 7 days a level is classed as durtling according to that thread :slight_smile: There just seems to be two camps, those ‘speedrunning’ it and those going at their own pace. Neither are right and wrong but I can see how getting labelled a ‘durtler’ can be a bit discouraging. I know it’s supposed be a term of self endearment but even though I fit the definition, I don’t feel like I’m going ‘slow’ per se. I’m probably at about 80-90% capacity which is a high level of effort in my opinion.

I do all my reviews and a minimum of 10 lessons per day. That feels like a constant good pace (I’ve done 20 today because I got the radicals, but I’m at 117 apprentice so not above what I consider too much work), to me durtling would be doing that many lessons per week, maybe less.

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Im not really sure what those tags by your usernames mean

What is a durtle, or did they mean turtle?

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as you can tell im trying to plow through as many reviews as i can


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Don’t worry, I was replying to Staille, not yourself.

Although I’m not sure what you mean by tags next to my name.

for example [Joeni] has this tag “Helpful Durtle” so i am just wondering

cheers pal

Ah they’re just fun nicknames for people on the forum :slight_smile:

okay, thanks~
i mentioned on that thread that i would like to be a durtler, but i really want to make the most of these three months
i have been going at my own pace, except my last level when i tried to speed up, which only resulted in me getting angry with every mistake
i did either 25 or 30 lessons yesterday
(don’t remember if i started the day with 118 waiting for me, as i made note of that number the night before and might have done a batch then)
(i unlocked level 6, but i’m still working my way through 5)

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No these are not nicknames, these are “durtle” badges that you earn and you can choose to display one of them next to your name.


I think the mindset that you have is an important part of the review process. I’ve been speedrunning since day one. First 2 level 3 days and a half then 1 level per week. That kind of speed puts me at 200-300 reviews per day, every day atm.

But as long as you’re organized and understand the most important reviews: the 4 hours and 8 hours ones, everything else is about organization. I do my review first thing in the morning (usually 80-120 atm) because I always end every day at 0 reviews left, that morning session clears all reviews.

Then it’s about doing what pops during the day when I have the time, and finishing the rest in the evening. As long as you do not procastinate and do them at healthy intervals even my 200-300 per day is fine.

However if you started dreading it, hating every moment and hoping for anything BUT the reviews, and you can’t accept that it is now part of your life, even 50 will be unmanageable. I did that with RTK; and 50 felt like 1 billion before I gave up, twice ^^'.

So in the end, if you feel like you can only manage 30 reviews per day, then it’s your speed, better that then burning out and giving up.

As many mentioned it’s not a race : ) I’ll speedrun for as long as I feel comfortable and if at some points I need to slow down, that’s exactly what I’ll do : P

That’s because I’m helpful, innit!

Though not as helpful as I am nice, apparently…


I would say, in my experience at least, that, 10 is on the slow end, average is 15-20, and more than that is fast :person_shrugging:t2:

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you already are helpful, Iv slowed my pace a bit as well so i appriciate you stopped by :slightly_frowning_face: smile:

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Always happy to be of help :slight_smile:

As others have pointed out, it’s not necessary to do your reviews more than two or three times per day no matter how fast you want to finish. I think @rfindley or someone once did a simulation showing that the difference between doing reviews three times vs. twice per day is pretty negligible, too.

Speed is mostly gated by how fast you do lessons. Do more, go faster (and tax your brain more, risking burnout).

Success is mostly gated by doing all of your available reviews at least once per day, every single day if at all possible. My advice to anyone is to get the pile down to zero at least once every day (or at least as soon as is reasonable after falling off the wagon).

Note that speed and success can be measured in at least three ways:

  1. Progressing through Wanikani levels

  2. Completing all available Wanikani lessons

  3. Successfully memorizing (with “burning” as a proxy) all or most of the items on Wanikani

I am kinda middle of the road, and definitely not a “speedrunner” by any stretch, but I care a lot more about the latter two metrics than the first. It took me almost exactly three years to complete the first two metrics, and I’m still working on the last.

I did my reviews (and lessons) only once per day for the most part (twice per day became more common for me in the higher levels). Twice per day throughout would have made the task harder for me, but it would have gone by quicker.

“Three years” to me seems:

  • Moderately slow by the first metric (~2.6 weeks/level).

  • Modestly quick by the second metric (~8.3 lessons/day). Note that I almost never did more than 5 lessons/day early on levels when there was mostly new kanji, and often stopped altogether when I had too many early stage items.

  • A reasonable pace by my standards for the third metric. I’ve currently burned 6685/9087 items, or ~74%. So far I’ve been burning at a pace of 6685 items in 1154 days, or roughly 5.8 burns/day on average (it’s anything but linear, of course).

Nobody has mentioned them yet, but while I’m a huge fan of dashboard user scripts, and used a few “extra info” scripts during lessons/reviews, I’m slightly suspicious about scripts to reorder lessons or “doubletake” review quizzes. As long as you get the review pile down to zero every day, I don’t think it really matters that much, but, FWIW, I never reordered lessons or “took back” any of my incorrect answers, even silly typos.

To net it out: “plowing through your review pile” is never a bad thing. But “felt like giving up” might be a warning sign.

Just remember that unless you burn something, every review you do today is going to show up again at least once, possibly several times, over the next 120 days. The only ways to make your review load lighter is to:

  1. Slow down on lessons (if you find yourself in a hole: stop digging).

  2. Burn items (removing them from your reviews forever).

  3. Change the “shape” (pareto) of your review queue (more later stage, fewer early stage). Stage 1-4 items (Apprentice) will show up once or twice per day, every other day at best, while stage 8 items (Enlightened) have only a 1/120 chance of showing up on any given day. This is where the advice to keep your apprentice items under ~100 comes from, (FWIW, I liked the “apprentice + guru <= 150” algorithm.)

Note that 1 also makes 2 and 3 easier (it’s easier to memorize fewer items and progress them through the stages more quickly).

Good luck, and don’t give up!

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I dont know what this means sorry,

Youll need to explain this one a bit more to me

thanks anyway i understand most of what you said, i appriciate this

Lesson add reviews to your queue. If you have too many reviews, stop doing lessons for a while.

Sorry, it’s an old expression from my part of the world.

Another one in a similar vein: If you come home from work one day to find the kitchen flooded, the first thing you do ISN’T to go find a mop… :smile:

There are 8 stages (9 including “burned”) in the Wanikani “Spaced Repetition System” (SRS). As items are answered correctly, they are progressed to later stages (incorrect answers “demote” them to earlier stages).

Items in stage 1 will be rescheduled for subsequent review in 4 hours if you answer correctly, but items in stage 7 that you answer correctly will be rescheduled in 120 days (moved to stage 8).

So you want more master/enlightened items and fewer apprentice/guru items if you want fewer reviews every day.

You’re welcome. Hope it helps.

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So i can do all my reviews twice a day and a couple or lessons a day?

also thanks for your help wanikani senior :slight_smile: brillient tip i will take those into account for sure, pleasure to have stumpled accross this in my early stages

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