Scaling the 6583 review wall - Once more unto the breach!

This morning’s review session is a perfect illustration of why I keep saying that the SRS intervals are pretty much meaningless at this stage. I got 散らし, which I had no idea on, and then soon afterwards, 散らかす came up for review. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have known it, but I was able to guess it due to seeing the answer for 散らし immediately before. And thus, I burned 散らかす, a word I don’t actually know.


Wed Jun 09 2021:
Time spent: 32m
Reviews completed: 62
Reviews remaining: 6479
Accuracy: 46.77% (29/62)
Accuracy on resurrected items: 62.50% (15/24)
Accuracy on non-resurrected items: 36.84% (14/38)

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 3099
Guru: 1278
Master: 1141
Enlightened: 2938
Burned 476

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Review sessions today were slow and brutal, just like when I first started. I guess my luck couldn’t hold out forever.

Also hit a new record high in review count tonight, so I updated the thread title again. (Review count has obviously gone higher than that in the middle of the day before I do reviews before, but I only count at the end of the day).

Thu Jun 10 2021:
Time spent: 22m
Reviews completed: 34
Reviews remaining: 6521
Accuracy: 41.18% (14/34)
Accuracy on resurrected items: 53.85% (7/13)
Accuracy on non-resurrected items: 33.33% (7/21)

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 3107
Guru: 1278
Master: 1133
Enlightened: 2936
Burned 479

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Well, yeah, once you’re not longer actually using the SRS (having 6k review ls pile up), it sno wonder it’s no longer functioning as an SRS :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

But it’ll probably turn back into an SRS after all items are reviewed a few times.

Just looking at those review count numbers gives me high blood pressure! I recently made it down to 0 reviews from 1600+ after not reviewing for three and a half months. My goal was to always end each day with 100 fewer reviews than the previous day. So day 1, I got down to 1500. Day 2, I went down to 1400, and so on.

Of course, that meant that some days I had to spend multiple hours reviewing as apprentice items just kept coming back. What a nightmare! At one point, I had a full 220 leeches I couldn’t seem to get past. I had to make a whole bunch of new mnemonics, and now I’m down to “only” 95 words that I semi-regularly get stuck on.

Anyways, all that is to say that I feel your pain and I’m rooting for you!! You can do it! I know it’s exhausting, but just keep at it. :notes:

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@VegasVed I don’t think you understood my point at all. My point is that WK treats every item as independent, but having lots of closely related items defeats the purpose of the SRS, as shown by the 散らかす thing. This is true regardless of how and when you do reviews.

@saga Thanks! I’m amazed you were able to pull that off. So far, I generally haven’t been able to make a dent in the wall at all because most things you review just come back up for review again soon. The harder you try, the harder you have to run just to stay in place.

Oh, you are right! I did not understand your point! Thanks for clarifying :slightly_smiling_face:

Spent a lot more time on reviews than usual today, but it feels kind of futile.

Fri Jun 11 2021:
Time spent: 53m
Reviews completed: 115
Reviews remaining: 6491
Accuracy: 52.17% (60/115)
Accuracy on resurrected items: 76.00% (38/50)
Accuracy on non-resurrected items: 33.85% (22/65)

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 3115
Guru: 1289
Master: 1123
Enlightened: 2922
Burned 484

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Your hard work will not go to waste! I’ve been watching this thread for a while now. I usually don’t talk much, but I wanted to pop in and say that I’m rooting for you! You can do it!

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Wow! I’m impressed that you are powering through!

I had a few weeks where I wasn’t keeping up with my reviews and when it hit around 800+ and I realised that I wasn’t recognizing a lot of them, I decided to reset to level 5.

Good luck with your elephant! One bite at a time and all that :slight_smile: :sweat_smile:

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Sometimes I wonder how random Wanikani’s review ordering actually is. Yesterday morning, the radicals “convex” and “concave” both came up for review within minutes of each other.

Also, I sometimes feel like I’m cheating. Often, a word or kanji will come up in review that looks familiar and I’ll go “oh yeah, I know this because it came up for review recently and I missed it, so I’ll know the answer this time”, but then I put in the answer only to see that green “burned” message! I think this is probably due to the effect I mentioned earlier where when I miss a review, I usually look up not only that specific answer, but also all the kanji in the word I didn’t recognize, and sometimes related items as well, but they all have independent SRS timers in Wanikani.

There were also a couple items I managed to burn yesterday pretty much by guessing, although to be fair, I’d have to at least half remember them in order to even be able to guess it.

Sat Jun 12 2021:
Time spent: 62m
Reviews completed: 123
Reviews remaining: 6489
Accuracy: 51.22% (63/123)
Accuracy on resurrected items: 70.21% (33/47)
Accuracy on non-resurrected items: 39.47% (30/76)

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 3135
Guru: 1284
Master: 1109
Enlightened: 2904
Burned 501

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I have this weird thing happen a lot where I’ll get a sudden urge to look up a word that I haven’t seen in a while (on wanikani or reading) just to double check the meaning only for it to come up in a review within hours

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As another example, I just burned the kanji 闘, but the only reason I knew it is because I looked it up this morning after missing 敢闘.

Sun Jun 13 2021:
Time spent: 37m
Reviews completed: 71
Reviews remaining: 6496
Accuracy: 54.93% (39/71)
Accuracy on resurrected items: 84.00% (21/25)
Accuracy on non-resurrected items: 39.13% (18/46)

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 3141
Guru: 1288
Master: 1101
Enlightened: 2895
Burned 508

Today was not a good day. I also had to update the thread title again with the new record review pile.

Mon Jun 14 2021:
Time spent: 9m
Reviews completed: 17
Reviews remaining: 6551
Accuracy: 29.41% (5/17)
Accuracy on resurrected items: 60.00% (3/5)
Accuracy on non-resurrected items: 16.67% (2/12)

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 3147
Guru: 1285
Master: 1099
Enlightened: 2892
Burned 510


I came close to giving up this afternoon. It just feels so pointless sometimes.

Tue Jun 15 2021:
Time spent: 37m
Reviews completed: 73
Reviews remaining: 6523
Accuracy: 46.58% (34/73)
Accuracy on resurrected items: 65.63% (21/32)
Accuracy on non-resurrected items: 31.71% (13/41)

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 3157
Guru: 1288
Master: 1088
Enlightened: 2884
Burned 516

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i mean, i don’t want to be harsh, but flailing at a wall of 3000 apprentice items is quite useless.

by having so many apprentice items, you can’t ever review them in a decent time, so you forget whatever you learned last time you saw the item.

i’ve got two suggestions: one would be to re-burn the previously burnt items (and thus massively reduce your apprentice pile, so that you can actually make some progress) and use a review sorting script so you can get the SRS timings to grip again.

the other would be to read. once you know a kanji, reading is probably the best way to reinforce it. and actually using the skills you’ve learned here will be much more enjoyable than flailing at an ever growing pile of reviews.

i’m saying this because i do believe that you can do it. you’ve got that shiny level 60 badge after all. but the way you’re going at it now does seem rather pointless.


One thing I really hate is how Wanikani is missing explanations for most of the items, even things that really need an explanation. For example, 90% of the reading mnemonics are just stuff like “this is just the onyomi readings, you should already know it”, even when the kanji in question have multiple onyomi readings and there’s no way to guess which it might be.

For example, 慶祝 just came up for review. I remember it came up for review once or twice a couple weeks ago. The first time of course, I had no idea what it meant. But this time, I managed to remember that 慶 was a high level kanji meaning “congratulations” and even managed to remember that the reading was “kei”.

I correctly guessed that it meant “celebration” and then for the reading, put keishuu. Turns out it’s actually keishuku. The reading mnemonic? “This is a jukugo word that uses the on’yomi readings of the kanji. You should be able to read this on your own.”. Gaaah!!!

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I don’t think the previously burnt items are a problem, because I already know most of them well and can easily answer them quickly, so it’s basically just a confidence booster without taking away much from review time. And of course for the ones I don’t know, it’s useful to review them again anyway.

Well one problem is that anything which uses the higher level items on WK would be way too difficult. The bigger problem though is that when I try to read something, I have no way to tell if I’m actually getting things right, especially the readings (unless there’s furigana). Any suggestions on how to solve that?

I have been (slowly) reading Yotsubato for a while, but that doesn’t practice kanji at all.

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how i do it when i read: Manga, Jisho, Google translate, DeepL all open at the same time.

as i read, look up kanji i don’t know: google is pretty good at identifying kanji when you draw them (there’s a “turn on handwriting” thing at the bottom left of the input side. jisho is decent for finding kanji by radicals. if i don’t get the grammar, type the whole sentence into google translate or deepl (or both, they have different strengths and weaknesses).

for most sentences, i only need to put 1 or 2 kanji into google, and i can figure out the rest. sometimes i need the whole sentence. sometimes, if i kind of twist the translations offered, i can make it make sense. and that’s got to be good enough. if the story continues to make sense, that’s good enough.

i’m not sure how i stand on furigana. it sometimes makes it easier, but it takes the focus away from the kanji. the reading i enjoyed most (あさがおと加瀬さん) only had furigana on names and difficult words. it didn’t feel more difficult than others with furigana.

if the uncertainty is too much for you, join one of the bookclubs. you can then ask questions about grammar and vocabulary, but also cultural stuff you might not get, in the bookclub.

read something you actually want to read. i tried よつばと, but it didn’t captivate me. instead, yuri romance manga seem to be my thing.

oh, and rikaichamp, best browser plugin. hover over a kanji word, short dictionary reading pops up. means i can take a bit of text and just start reading, using rikaichamp for words i don’t know. this might be particularly useful for you, as you do already know so many kanji, and you can use it for quick recall.

the problem is that they clog up your reviews, and make it even more difficult for the SRS to work properly. the SRS works well as long as you’re able to get through all your reviews every day. once your items start piling up, the SRS gets weaker and weaker.

with a sorting script, you could at least somewhat alleviate that overload. i’m pretty sure your accuracy would start going up very soon too. and with better accuracy, you’d actually be able to make process on this wall ^^

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