Some newbie questions

Hey! I’m now into level 4, and just wanted to ask a few questions…

What sort of correct percentage is normal or ideal? When I do a large number of reviews, I usually get between 75 and 95% correct, is this normal?

Also, I know there’s some science to the spaced repetition method… do I undermine the system by creating my own physical flashcards and studying them on the train, or at work or something? By extension, am I doing myself harm by “working ahead” and making physical flashcards of stuff that the system hasn’t officially unlocked yet?

Finally, I also am using an Anki deck to review just the English meanings of kanji (without the readings), so I’ll be familiar with them when they show up in WK, and would then have one less thing to memorize. Good idea or bad idea?

Thanks for any help!

Don’t really know if it is normal or ideal, but in my personal usage, during large review sessions (60+), I can reliably get around 95%. For small review sessions (30 or less), I typically ignore the percentage.

As for whether you are “undermining the system” by doing extra reviews with physical cards, it’s not inherently a problem. The idea behind the SRS is to make your learning more efficient by minimizing the amount of times that you review items. However, the intervals they’ve chosen may not work for everyone; I have personally begun taking an extra, manual review session in between Apprentice 1 and Apprentice 2, and that has aided my retention pretty well.

One thing I would caution against, though, is using your physical flashcards for items that are Guru or above. Since those ranks are more about checking whether you can retain the information over time as opposed to learning the material for the first time (or learning it over again; it happens), you may do yourself a disservice by doing extra reviews in between WaniKani’s scheduled reviews.

I personally don’t see a problem with learning ahead so long as you learn things in the intended order (radicals, then kanji, then vocab). Just be sure to pace yourself and make sure you’re not overdoing it. I would recommend using something like Reorder Ultimate 2 if you wish to advance more quickly in WaniKani.

As for using an Anki deck to learn the meanings first, try it out and see if it works for you. Just make sure it’s a deck that only has the meanings WaniKani cares about. Otherwise, you would be investing time learning extra meanings that may not be useful to you.

Hope this helps!

I’m usually around 60-70%


I’m usually in the 60-70% range. Sometimes higher, sometimes lower. My percentages are lower than most it seems. You will see lots of people talking humble bragging about being 90+. But, I suspect there’s more of us lower %ers that are quiet about it.


I typically run in the 80 percents.

Same as @vnClJTUL, I also don’t see a problem with working from flashcards and an Anki deck per se, but WK can end up taking quite a bit of time, so I would just suggest that you take care not to burn out by adding the extra study.

I usually use rfindley’s Self-Study Quiz with seanblue’s Additional Filters to study outside of Wanikani’s standard SRS. I set it up to study Apprentice and Guru leeches with 75% of SRS time remaining. This is not too much for me to review every day, and probably doesn’t interfere too much with SRS efficiency. I’ve reduced my leech count significantly in the past month (it takes a while to work them down and for accuracy to improve).

Another thing I do is study my lessons 1 day in advance to cement them firmer in my memory before they go in the SRS queue. I should add that I’m a tortoise, not a hare, though, so if you study more than 10 lessons a day, you’ll probably have to adjust the pre-study interval.

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I think it should be normal.
The percentage you get i think it depends on several things, for example:

  • How good is your memory
  • How often do you do your reviews
  • how many new kanjis you learn per day.

As a rule, i’m trying to learn 10 kanjis per day and do all my reviews by the end of day (before going to bed it should be 0 reviews).
On average, i’m getting around 80% correct answers when i have more than 20 items to review (specially with vocabulary involved), and some days i had to lower from 10 new items to 5 because my brain was about to melt down (i work all day, so…).

I think the important thing when learning the kanjis is to use them, otherwise you’ll forgot them sooner than later. The best option for this is to use reading applications like Easy Japanese or TangoRisto, where you use the kanjis you are learning in real context ((and also get news and interesting articles from Japan!)

I think the percentages are quite useless. Your review sessions are not tests! They are merely tools to match the SRS position of an item with how well you remember them. Getting something wrong is not a mistake, it is merely the system at work for you. Don’t mourn those mistakes, learn from them and get them right next time. I find that focusing on percentages kind of defeats the whole point of SRS.

I mean they do give you that good, good Dopamine™ boost, but that should be about it.


My percentages are usually about 84%, but wkstats tells me everything is about 95%, so I dunno…

WK % counts both reading and meaning as one question, requiring both to be correct. I believe wkstats is more forgiving, using both reading and meaning as two separate questions.
@rfindley ?

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Usually the first review after lessons are pretty low for me, like maybe 80% of the new items, but otherwise it’s around 95%. It’s nice to see what other people are averaging to know I’m within the normal range.

For me:
90%+ is great. I’m really happy with the review.
80-90% is good. This is usually where I land.
70-80% is also fine, progress is still being made.
Under 70% is a little concerning and suggests I need to pay more attention to my mistakes.

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