Should I reset to Level 1 before N1 in July?

I have been getting wrecked since the new re-designing and refreshing of all the radicals etc.

I also think that it has just been so long and the sheer amount of words/kanji/radicals is starting to slip from my brain. I think that my vocab sucks and I have been trying to up it through native reading etc. in the last couple months. Not just Anki and WK.

I have failed N1 3 times now. I can see failing once or twice, but I have been bullshitting and really want to pass and get it over with. So Ive been studying much harder for this July 7. Is it smart to reset my WK now or should I leave it so I can keep hitting higher level kanjis I’m slipping on? (Been 60 since Aug 2018 or so). Fourth time for N1 is getting ridiculous.

I think my main problem is my speed. And the fact that when I hit a word I dont know I get so depressed about it. Especially on the vocab section. Because if you dont know the word- you’re fucked. There is no context or anything. Just guessing.

Anyway I dont want to rant but advice on WK and whether I should reset, if I can un-reset after I reset, and also JLPT advice would be greatly appreciated.


I would say go with the self study script before resetting. You won’t be able to study any advanced words easily if you reset.


You cannot do that. If you’re concerned about that, you might want to try self study instead of resetting.

Are you having a lot of trouble specifically with really early WaniKani content? So much of the stuff from the first 5-10 levels is super basic, and you probably remember a lot of it. What you could do is use self study to review each level quickly, and find out where you start forgetting a lot of the kanji. Then reset to that level instead of level one.

Keep in mind that you’ll only have enough time to complete 4-5 levels before the July JLPT, so SRS isn’t going to help you much for that…


I’m curious, how much Japanese do you usually read? Do you do extensive reading, intensive, both?

I personally wouldn’t reset now. There are only 38 left until the JLPT (yes, I have a countdown on my phone to keep myself in a constant state of mild panic) and WK would not get you very far until then, so I think it won’t be your most efficient use of time.

What I did for example was extract all the kanji and new mnemonics into a spreadsheet (not sure if I‘m allowed to share this but I’ve seen Anki decks like this and I believe this is tolerated?), including WK level and JLPT level info and I’m going through all of them and am writing my own mnemonics or am shortening the existing ones if they work well for me. This is for me a more efficient way of quickly reviewing everything in time for the JLPT.

I also have an Anki deck with stroke order diagrams, mnemonics and example words on it with which I‘m reviewing all kanji for my current level. This also allows me to progress as fast as I want and is more efficient than WK now that there is not much time.

I feel like you can still reset after the JLPT, I wouldn’t get distracted too much with WK now. Especially since your forgotten kanji will likely be spread up across a lot of levels.


and yet another confirmation that burning stuff doesn’t actually mean anything and that there should be the option to keep reviewing them at longer intervals (1 year?)

Yes, I know there are scripts, but the website should offer by default something so basilar.


Hmm, if vocab is your issue it sounds like your time would be better spent on drilling an SRS deck for that. That and maybe working on general test taking strategies so you don’t get so overwhelmed. You can’t think clearly or focus if you’re feeling panicked or upset so that could really impact your score regardless of your actual level of knowledge. Remember, if you miss something on one question, it’s not a huge deal. It’s just one question. The best thing you can do is keep calm and move to the next one. Tell yourself that you’ll come back to it later. Good luck!

I don’t know if this is really necessary, assuming that you start reading once you hit a comfortable level of kanji knowledge. Even though I take quite long breaks from the SRS (sometimes over a year long), I find that I’m able to burn items more often than not just because I’ve come across them in my usual reading. SRS is only a makeshift to get the memory established up to a point. Repetition through reading is what takes care of the rest.


Yeah I think your last sentence is spot on and probably better than simply trying to drill and stuff more flash cards in my brain. I’ve spent so much time making Anki decks and I rarely study them (trying to change that now) but the one constant over the three times I’ve failed N1 is that I have not read native materials. I have never at any serious level tbh. Like a newspaper etc.

I am half way through my first Japanese book ever but comparing it to the n1 dokkai book its way too easy. I think this book is aimed at middle schoolers though is why.

I have heard n1 is the same as Japanese classes high school students here have- from my Japanese friends and colleagues. I am debating reading Harry Potter hopefully it’s more difficult

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Give KaniWani a go if you haven’t. It does reverse… Shows English and you have to enter the Japanese. It is free and links to your WK account.

But KaniWani can also be super slow and frustrating. IMO, given the question, “read, and then read some more” is the better plan for N1.

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I would never use one resource, was just a recommendation that has helped me intermittently. Definitely don’t hedge your bets in one place.

I mean it more in a sense of time being limited (38 days to go) and a lot of material to be covered. I believe KW is not the most efficient use of time in that case. But then I was also never the biggest fan of E->J so I might be biased.

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At that level I would avoid it. I am trying to climb the ladder from N5 to N1 and have already passed N5 on first attempt, doing N4 in July and plan to do N3 in December.

The biggest grievance I had was how slow it was dealing with fake radicals, missed synonyms and things I had to correct to get to the level I am at now to at least cover all of N4.

I think by going back that far you would be setting yourself back not forward.

Just out of curiosity have you passed the other JLPT levels as in all of them?

I saw no need to take n5 and n4 personally. I studied my ass off and went straight for n3. Then n2 six months later. I passed both on the first try although scores were very low

If I were you I would add something new into the mix to give you the edge you might need to pass.

I got a relatively high mark for N5 first attempt. I was sure I could pass the N3 if I attempted but I knew my knowledge of Kanji would not be enough hence why I am here. I picked up a lot of Japanese simply by working with them in person.

If you have already passed N2 then resetting scores would be going back and covering stuff you already know.

I am confident my Japanese would be able to get to N3 but for me personally I think it could be some years before I get to N2 or N1. I know my goal for N3 by December is realistic. I would not set a goal for N2 until another year after N3.

For me starting this course as a beginner level was just torture. I would imagine going back would be the same for you.

You’re probably right. I don’t know what your lifestyle is like at the moment or how much time you have but I passed them fairly quickly. My goal wasn’t to get high marks though. It was to get as high of a JLPT as possible to help my chances on paper of getting a job and staying in Japan. You could probably pass N3 now.

I decided to work on practical use improvement after the fact. Pros and cons to my approach. I live alone and don’t drink so my chances to speak Japanese are limited as my colleagues surprisingly speak ok English.

I had some basic knowledge of particles and sentence structure (from like ten years prior) but I basically studied 2-3 hours a day for 3 months and passed N3 by about 8 points. I left a few blank too so could’ve been a bit higher. I was only level 18 on WK at the time.

I passed N2 by like one point (luck definitely helped). What I mean by luck is if one or two questions had been different words or perhaps a space of vocabulary I had zero idea about I probably could have failed. So 9 months from no jlpt to N2 but I did have some Japanese super basic knowledge.

I don’t want to say I wish I didn’t pass but I think one huge negative to this is that I eased up after N2. It had been my goal for so many years. I got it first try (although it was a hard and stressful test) but I should have had N1 as the forever goal. Then I would’ve kept the pressure up. Also it left me unprepared for the huge jump that n1 is.

I have sat for N1 three times now and know what the test is about pretty well now. I’d say an honest assessment for me is my confidence is a huge hinderance and my inability to let shit I don’t know go.

You can study all the flash cards in the world but on N1 there will always be words you don’t know. There will always be a reading question that presents you with something you have no idea about. The ability to grasp the wider picture and try to develop understanding, letting the unknown shit go, that way is a massive skill to develop and super important. And also improving speed.

Be confident!! That’s my advice. (Although Find practicing what I preach hard) Good luck man

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I definitely wouldn’t reset to level 1 now, unless you want to repeat the first 150 or so kanji and nothing else.
I have never used the self-study script but it sounds like the better option.
It must be really frustrating to fail 3 times, I can imagine you really want to pass this time. I wish I knew how to study more effectively but I’m also having problems with how to review (grammar…)

Goooood luck!!!

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Along with the chorus of others on this thread, resetting isn’t really going to change anything unless there’s a purpose to relearn all that content. Taking the N1 alone isn’t really a strong justification. I believe that not practicing your reading (through reading extensively and intensively) might be one of the reasons why your kanji knowledge isn’t as strong as it should be. Frankly, you need to be supplementing your reading with more academic subject matter such as science, economics, politics, and so forth. Visiting online news sites, blogs, and other sites that cover a variety of subject matter, will help to prepare you for the register you need to be comfortable with. Wish you the best with your studies!


I think you’re right. That’s the biggest thing I wish I could change. It’s just I see those large Japanese writings and I get a headache just looking at them. I mean I like the language alright but if I’m being honest I dislike the sentence structure and it’s just a headache parsing through all the round about speech and run on sentences with a dozen clauses. With respect to kanji the exception readings and random readings etc.

I’ve come this far and I’m not stopping. Japanese is the language I’ve chosen and at the very least I’m building damn good resilience and my gaman skills are high level. But I really wish I enjoyed it more. Now it just feels like a grind. Years long grind.

To combat this and start reading I started reading a book about a high school gyaru who began serious and got into Keio University. 学年ビリのギャルが1年で偏差値を40上げて慶應大学に現役合格した話. but this book is too easy and I think middle school level. N1 Kanzen master readings are far harder.

But not reading is not good and if anyone is reading this thread please start reading as soon as possible.

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That’s a shame. Do you at least enjoy reading in general (in English or another language you’re fluent in)? Hopefully it can become enjoyable in Japanese eventually.

You could always try reading 新世界より. :wink:

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