Reviews are overwhelming

Hmmmm, do you use the Mnemonics? Maybe creating your own would help. The only thing I could say is to really try and get those apprentice items to guru. You’ll continue to have a lot of reviews with that many apprentice items.

There’s also the scary option of resetting if things really aren’t sticking. I’m not sure if that’s something you want to do though. I’d really think about it before I did it.

I know wanikani should be interactive. Maybe I can start writing kanji again

I don’t have a set schedule for wk. I have lots of time so that’s not an issue.

I’ll try to set a schedule and do 50 at a time.

Have you tried KaniWani? WK will test Kanji to reading and Kanji to meaning, while KW will link the meaning and reading to each other. It’s usually harder than WK because there’s more to think about, so it makes good practice. If you somehow find KW easier, then your weak point is probably Kanji recognition, which you can improve by writing them or focusing more on radicals.

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This is coming from someone who has reset their account back to level 1 twice now.

The first time I reached level 23ish I think. The second time I think I got to about 15.

In both of those cases my reviews became overwhelming due to time constraints from other things in my life (including a couple deaths in the family) and I ended not studying for a few months (the first time I lapsed it might have even been a year).

This time I’m having a much better experience with it.

What I’m doing now, is making sure that I never do more lessons unless I get over 90% on my reviews.
One of the scripts I’m running estimates how many reviews I’ll have each day (I’ll give more info if you’re interested, as I’ll have to figure out which one it is).
I try to keep it around 100.
If I’m doing really well in my reviews and I feel it’s a bit too easy, I’ll push it a little higher each day (doing another 5-10 lesson items), until I feel a little pressure and then I’ll allow it to ease off.

Alternatively I may go the other way too, which is happening to me right now. I’m sitting at an estimated 80 reviews a day, but I only got 80% in my latest review, so no new lessons until I can get that number up.

To me, getting under 90% means that I need to spend time on actually learning what I’ve already got, rather than pilling on more.

So I’ll use the extra time to read through the ones I’m missing and figure out ways for me to remember them better, such as writing them down, developing mnemonics, etc.

I have a near perfect GPA at university, but I realized a long time ago, that I suck at learning languages. So I’ve stopped trying to force myself to go at a rate that’s beyond what I can absorb.

Good luck! ^ _ ^


It sounds like you have a lot of items stuck in or brought back down to Apprentice level.
Do you get any passive Japanese practice, such as watching subtitled anime or J-dramas?
How about grammar studies? Reading graded readers or N.H.K. Easy?
Each individual aspect of Japanese that you focus on improving will make the rest easier too.

Not every I thought I should wait to level 20 before reading a lot.

I’d say that reading doesn’t have to be everyday at this point, but frequent grammar studies and passive listening would be very helpful - at least, they were for me. Also, when I totally forgot something during reviews I immediately reread the mnemonic and example sentences. (I believe F+Spacebar is the shortcut to bring up the full info.) Looking through the list of missed items at the end of each review session could be a quick way to help reinforce them too.

Honestly the better I get at Japanese, the more I realize that it’s just about dedication and exposure. Yeah there are naturally talented people (and people who were lucky enough to be exposed to it at a young age when they literally don’t have to study and still acquire the language), but for the rest of us, the people that get good do it through hard work and determination. I work in Japan–I’m not very good at Japanese at all (taking the JLPT N3 next month)–but my Japanese is leagues better than the English of any of my coworkers. That’s because I’ve put a ton of time and effort into studying it both at university (5 semesters of Japanese, one of which was in Japan), and on my own by means of self study.

If I worked in a company and was in charge of hiring prospective employees, I’d take a hard worker with average intelligence over a gifted lazy person any day. Doesn’t matter how smart you are, if you don’t put in the work you won’t improve.


Since no one seems to have mentioned it, @Tenoch made a really nice web app that calculate your average review size based on your current accuracy.
Here’s the link:

Plug in your API key V2 (there’s even a nice link to that on the page), and then select how many lessons you plan to do per day. It will then tell you on average how many reviews that would be.

E.g. for me, 40 lessons a day means 335.21 reviews on average, with an average apprentice count of 165.66


Wooo, free advertising!
Glad to see it’s useful to someone :slight_smile:


I’m like 4 months away from a burn, so I guess I should substract those “E” reviews to get a more accurate total?

For now, yes, but I’d keep them in mind as those reviews will come.
If you aren’t fine with the total amount of reviews you get (including E) then your setting isn’t sustainable in the long run.

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Hey, @stuntman64!
I know I’m still way at the beginning and cannot say much about the way WK works. But I do understand the feeling of frustration when it comes to language learning. Sometimes it feels like we reach a plateau that’s very hard to get out of.

As many have mentioned, it does help to review and consolidate what you’ve learned. If your accuracy has dropped to 50-60%, then it might be a good option to review those items differently. Personally, what has been really helpful is KaniWani and KameSame. Everyday, I do my WK reviews and right after go to KW and KS. It’s like a triple review and it doesn’t take time more than 20 minutes to get all these three done.

My accuracy had dropped, but after doing this consistently, it has picked up. Take your time and focus on really learning those items that don’t let you move forward. After a while you’ll have everything under control :blush:


when my review goes bad and i feel i should have known that item, i react immediately. instead of pushing through, i plan the next review session and close the wanikani tab.

we’re not 100% at our best 100% of the time. if we’re sloppy or impatient or get angry and make matters worse, we need to stop, take a step back and think about it holistically. what’s wrong? am i preoccupied? tired? hungry? do i need something to drink, some fresh air, a nap?

maybe it’s just me, but i do have phases where i stare at the screen in disbelief, then i analyze my emotions. if i’m just confused, i force a reshuffle. if i’m annoyed, i reschedule.


Using cell phone for reviews is a bit of a pain in the お尻 because of the typos :angrymami:



created ad hoc on wk just now

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Sometimes but other times I actually prefer the cell phone because the auto complete gets smarter so when you have a long definition, it is faster with the cell phone than with a computer.

Just to echo what others have said, I would first try to get your leeches under control before proceeding with any more lessons. To do this, you could simply look through your apprentice items and read through the readings, meanings, and mnemonics as needed. You could also use the Self-Study script to review certain items based on things like item type and SRS level. Once you get rid of many of your leeches, your apprentice count will drop dramatically and your reviews will begin to lessen.

Did you say that you do any studies outside of WK? Grammar studies or beginner reading? I find that those tend to go hand-in-hand with WK because you’ll encounter a ton of beginner words there and see how they’re used in context. That will in turn reinforce your knowledge of them and ensure you’re more likely to get them correct in WK reviews because of general comprehension.

It may be a little while before your review numbers drop due to how long it can take to get items to Guru and beyond, but if you address those failing items, you will get there eventually.