Review pile

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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sorry i try not to take up too much of your time.

but thank you anyway

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Yes, reviews ~2 (or three) times per day is ideal. You can choose when to do your lessons (during either or both sessions, or at a different time.

There is a famous guide by @jprspereira that describes optimal timing if you want to be efficient and progress as quickly as possible. Personally, I never bothered with that though, and just did all my available reviews and between 0 and 25 lessons every morning with coffee in a single session (which is NOT the most efficient way, but three years was fast enough for me).

How many lessons I did depended on several factors. I always did my reviews first. If I was tired or the reviews seemed particularly difficult, I’d often do no lessons at all that day. If I was later on a level and only seeing vocabulary (which seemed easier to me since the characters were at least somewhat familiar) I might do 10, 15, or even 25 lessons. Early on a level when it was all new kanji, I almost never did more than 5 lessons/day.


Thanks for breaking that all down to me, You guys are my key for motivation.
and 2 pile reviews per day. sorry for waffling XD

Thanks so much for your help. Bless you :slight_smile:

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Without repeating what the others have said, always ask yourself whether you would rather progress slower or give up entirely.

Browsing the forums, I see a very large amount of older posts of people talking about how fast they’re going, how they’re doing all their lessons and reviews the second they come up etc… And they will usually be between level 10 and 20 even though their posts are over 2-3 years old.

There is no point in burning yourself out. It’s always better to go at a slower pace than to give up entirely.

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Two weeks is perfectly fine, it’s just going to take you 2 years to finish WaniKani, which is pretty reasonable.

But the water… :frowning_with_open_mouth:


Dont worry about that please XD I already understood what he ment

Take the number of guru items on your dashboard and divide by ten. Add that result to the number of apprentice items.

If the result is greater than 150, then stop or slow down on lessons until it is back in range.

You can pick a lower number than 150 if you feel you still have too many outstanding reviews each day (or a higher number if you feel you can do more). Either way, this should prevent your number of daily reviews from growing out of hand.

Make big changes while trying to find the optimal target, not small ones. Halve it to 75 if you still feel overwhelmed. Change the target slowly, maybe once per week, until you find a comfortable target for you personally.

Can you do the math for me i dont understand what that means.

i have 367 apprentice items and 590 guru items

thanks again :slight_smile:

actually i think i understand it now, Dont need to reply, thanks for all your help master :slight_smile:

Ouch! That is a LOT of items you are going to see almost every day.

I’d definitely suggest stopping lessons until you get your current 367+59=426 items at least under 200 or so (preferably under 150).

Even if it takes a month to get there, you’ll find the process a million times easier once you do.

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I’d quit doing new lessons and do the reviews as often as possible throughout the day. Do this until you get to below 100 apprentice, then you can keep it at 100 and do more lessons as you go. Then increase the new lessons as you go. Unless you know what you’re doing and having a deeper understanding of how the SRS works.

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