Slowing down at high levels

Basically Ive noticed that while Im spending similar amounts of time on wanikani mylevel progression is slowing.

Before I was at ~12 days per level. But these past three levels are more at >20 days.

Just curious what other peoples experiences are. I was planning on slowing once I hit 30 or so regardless to forcuss on reading more (already doing some outside and just general study).

Does it get even slower at higher levels?


As you hit the fast levels, it’s kind of natural to move at a faster pace. And many people seem to do that. Unless there are life stuff happening that gives you less time to devote to WK. You also feel that sense of getting close, which I guess also helps you keep it up during those last levels. ^^

that being said, other do slow down for a variety of reasons. One being that you should devote more time to grammar and vocab studies outside of WK, or just immersing yourself to practice listening and reading skills. Or you might start taking talk-lessons to practice production.

WK is only as helpful as you make it and you defo want to connect the kanji and vocab you’ve learnt to real-life experiences, reading, watching, listening etc. :slight_smile:


Are you using the lesson reorder plugin thing? My pace was maybe like >20 days per level for a while, then after that constantly around 8-9, then now about 4.


I think it’s normal because we are going into immersion so we dont want to spend that much time on WK anymore

my average lvl up is 35 days now and even keeping apprentice around 100-105 itens

at least I hope to finish wk in one year.

Probably worth asking what you feel the reason for your slowdown is. Is it because there are too many reviews and you don’t get through them? (at 12 days per level, you are about on the level where burn reviews become a thing). Do you mess up on reviews more often? Do you have way too many vocab lessons between level up lessons, so it takes several days until you reach those?

Each of these have a separate answer and a separate way to “solve” them.

If you have too many reviews, it probably won’t slow down much over time anymore, especially if you are burning stuff already. And you can improve the situation by having more review sessions with less items on each of them.

If you mess up more often, that’s one of those 仕方がない situations. It will probably slow down further, as lessons become more abstract. Changing how you study, concentrating on other parts of the items might help, but it’s all trial and error.

If you have way too many items between level up items (so you have 100+ vocab lessons to slog through before you can get to your radicals), then sure, reorder is one solution, though it very often leads to unintentional laziness and a gigantic lesson pile. If this is the case, I would suggest sticking to some daily lesson count. 20 or so new lessons a day should get your through any level in 10 days or so.


How do you schedule your lessons? - If you don’t mind me asking

At the start of each level, lessons would have about 35 kanji, 110 vocab and the radicals. The earlier levels have more radicals but the same amount of kanji/vocab so they’re a bit harder.

Right upon levelling, I would do the radicals. If my goal is to level all the radicals in 4 days, I would do 1/4th of the kanji each day, usually 6 or 7.
Likewise, I would do 1/8th of the vocab, never really more than 15 words.
When the radicals are passed and the next kanji are unlocked I would do all of them at once.

I think doing kanji and radical reviews as close to when they come up as possible is best, using the lesson reorder script is good because then these randomly timed review sessions only take a few minutes at most.

Also actually trying to recall mnemonics on ‘apprentice’ items during reviews, looking at them again and testing myself afterwards on the ones I don’t recall(even if I got the card right) helped my retention I think

1 Like

I installed lesson reorder but cant get it to only show my items i have already been presented in lessons and reviews. I tried level filter, but that doesnt seen to work for me. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I use this one for lesson reordering and this one for review reordering

1 Like

I haven’t started slowing down, but I am certainly working a lot harder to keep up the same pace, to the point that WK has pushed some other learning activities out of my Japanese studying routine to make room.

The kanji themselves get more complicated. More radicals jammed together to make a character, more complicated stories to remember them.

Interference becomes a big thing. Every level, there are more and more kanji/vocab that are are similar to the one you’re looking at, and you have to make sure not to get them mixed up. There are more and more kanji that are a only a couple strokes off, words that use the same kanji in a different order or with different okurigana, things that mean something close but not quite the same as what you want, etc.

The meanings of things get more abstract. Instead of simple concepts, you start getting into ones with more nuance, including some that don’t correspond to one or two English words so you have phrases to remember like “along the train line” or “to be in light of something”.

Kanji become less likely to have one clear meaning, and more often have a couple of vague concepts they’re associated with. If you’ve studied them before, higher level kanji start to have different definitions than you may have seen before. The last character in “kabuki” is now “deed” as opposed to “performing artist” (RtK definition).

Also, that mental checklist of oddball readings that are irregular or use kun’yomi for no apparent reason or mean something completely different than the kanji imply or whatever gets longer and longer, so if you’re going faster than those are getting internalized, it starts to add up.

I’m sticking to my level-up schedule, but it’s definitely taking me more time and mental energy than it did earlier on.


Basically I just go in the order the app shows me and keep aprentice below 100, but recently its gone down to 60 aprentice due to number of other reveiews.


This was my reason for slowing down as well, I do WK on set times during the day and whatever happens happens. The rest of my 勉強 time is spent immersing or other types of studies.


I really struggle to absorb more than 5 completely unfamiliar kanji a day, but I though reorder fans usually did more than that typically. I didn’t realize it only works out to around 6-7 (until the last batch is released).

Without reordering scripts, I basically have several days of nothing but vocab from the prior level immediately after leveling up (typically doing 10-20 lessons/day) followed by several days of 5-kanji-lessons-per-day (and nothing else). It’s put me pretty much exactly on the three year plan (which works well for me).

Even at no more than 5 new kanji/day, I use the self-study script to get as many out-of-band reviews of new kanji as I can until they stick. I rarely review vocabulary out of band unless my apprentice queue seems to be getting a little out of hand.

I’m curious if you ever have days where you only do vocab lessons? I actually relish a few days of reviews without new kanji after leveling up. Feels like a bit of a respite.

[I’ve heard others claim that they find vocabulary more difficult than kanji, but this seems very strange to me. The characters should be at least somewhat familiar, which at least provides hints both for reading and meaning. With kanji, there are _some_ clues to meaning and reading but it’s not nearly as direct as with vocabulary.]

1 Like

This is the only benefit of learning more items quickly. You get days off from “learning” new items.

In reality though, you’re just moving the real learning onto the SRS. You’re making it do the heavy lifting a bit more if you do lessons quickly and in mass.

I have plenty of experience of doing that and what I think might get lost in all the discussion of it being “too much” is that, no it’s not. I have played new games and learnt hundreds of new things with little problems to use in my short-time memory. This is no different. But also, it allows you to see the WK levels from a distance as well, as you’ll immediately connect which kanji are related to which vocab, you see any differences in readings, but also see the scope of the current learning task - and can mentally compartmentalize it as a task to start working on as you dig into the reviews coming.

It’s not for everyone - but I just wanted to put it out there, that doing your lessons rapidly, within a day, is not all bad. Just don’t do then all in one sitting. That’s just silly. ^^; Take mental breaks as you need them and continue learning when you’ve ready for more. :slight_smile:

1 Like

That’s a good point.

I guess as long as your apprentice queue remains in control, it doesn’t really matter how quickly you do your lessons or in what order.

I just know I struggle when I have more than 10 or so kanji in stages 1 and 2. If I have more than that, my accuracy suffers so much that it feels like I stop making progress on anything.

1 Like

There are number for that for sure. I forget the exact cut-off point, but I think if I you’re steadily getting 70+ on your review sessions your perfectly fine.

Look less on the numbers unless you’re creating leeches. If so, take 2-4 weeks to tackle them as it takes a minimum of that time to do any king of dent in apprentice and guru numbers. Depending on the severity of it all, do it longer.

But, yeah, everyone’s process is a bit different I feel. And it’s perfectly find to suit your learning pace to your needs and IRL requirements. Keep those first and centre and only then think on how to make time for Japanese. Find balance inn your life I think. :slight_smile:

1 Like

on the normal levels, I would have only vocab lessons on the last 4-5 days. nowadays on the short levels, I do all the kanji the day they come out, then the next 3 days I do only vocab lessons(about 20ish per day now). these days are for sure more relaxing.

I think the hard part about learning lots of vocab with the same kanji all at once is similar words can be confused easily and become leeches. It’s certainly a big problem for me.

I’ve made a script that lets vocab cards be turned into sentence cards and hopefully that helps me reduce my leeches. I’ll make a post for it when I publish it.

1 Like

I find Reorder Omega has the most features, works the best (for me), looks the best (IMO)…

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.