SRS intervals and WK long time value

Hello everyone.
last weeks I’ve been thinking about my current goals in japanese learning and the actual role that WK is playing right now (maybe somewhat influenced by the posts of people leaving WK after level 60, and mostly related to time management in my own life).

So far I’ve kept an ANki vocab routine separeted from my WK routine, though I’m including most of the vocab that comes out in WK to my other routine as well, as well as all new vocab I bump into while reading too.
I have a vocab routine, now consisting in words in japanese with a sample sentence and the back side with an image and the japanese definition of the word (in japanese).

Besides that I have a sentence mining routine, consisting in sentences that use those new words in a +1 manner comming from different shows that I’m watching, I’ve posted about it in this forums. This is currently my listening routine, though I might as well read the japanese line if I don’t get the actual dialogue just by listening.

The thing is I’m mainly aiming at more and more immersion and I’m getting the feeling that: first, I’m overtesting myself by doing both vocab in Anki and WK, and then as I progressively read and listen more the time that I dedicate to WK it’s becoming something of a drag, specially since due to the early and hourly intervals of WK, I can’t get my reviews done once and then go to the next thing, they pop up again in the afternoon and the dreaded nightime reviewing… this is specially a pain in the ass, since my anki intervals are setted so for the most part the daily dose of reviews it’s very clear from the first hour of the day, so it’s much more managable, without extra wordload comming afterwards.

Anyway I would like to know, is there a script that allows me to change WK intervals, has anyone find a solution to this overload of reviews and overtesting; specially since once reading becomes an habit… the SRS part of the routine drastically changes to a time consuming activity without the initial benefits of the system.

I’m using this intervals and settings for Anki, though there’s some other post here about the same topic.

I’m currently thinking in only using WK for the kanji learning, but then exporting all the related vocab to Anki and just avoiding vocab rewiews in WK.
Someone else facing or faced this conundrum??


I have always adjusted my intervals, and adjusted my forgetting index on Anki. For me, I like to get more repetitions. From observing the code that people write for add-ons, I don’t think that what you want to do is possible.
If it were possible, all of those people who start Wanikani and say “This is too easy.” would be able to just download the code that would give them shorter intervals, and they would whiz through multiple levels in a day.
The crabigator is the only one who can fix this. :slight_smile:



sorry for the incoming wall of text! But here we go…

This is a bit of a confession now since what I’m going to write borders on blasphemy or just being a bit, fat phony. And I would not write about this in other threads of people asking for advice since most people here will think it is bad advice so I have kept this to myself. But I think you and I have similar ideas on a lot of topics and you are coming to the same conclusions that I came to. It all boils down to the “you are overtesting yourself” article in the end and some other stuff, doesn’t it.

A while ago, I realized that I am spending too much time on WaniKani and this is not a good use of my time. I’m spending so much time here that there is less time for immersion. And I was wasting sooooo much time on learning vocabulary that I was just not ready for because I had never encountered it in real life. I noticed that it was going much, much better when I had first seen a vocabulary item here and then encountered it in real life content. Everything before that started to seem like too much effort at the wrong time but skipping vocab was not an option for me either since I see the benefit of learning readings that way and enforcing the kanji.
But since I was spending so much time here, there was too little time left for other things like grammar andreading & listening. Yet I still wanted to get kanji out of the way. I’m guessing that is also where you are at.
I even tried RTK two or three times because I wanted something easier and faster but even though I disagree with some of the things that WaniKani forces you to do, I just like it more and came back here every time.

I think not all people here are comparable. Some seem to have a lot of free time (I’m assuming students and people with regular 9-5 jobs and without a ton of other responsibilities in their life) and others had a high level of Japanese already before starting WaniKani (people like Leebo and Naphtalene) which would make the whole experience significantly different. If you start WK right when you are learning Japanese and don’t have a ton of free time, I think it is easy to fall into the trap of spending most of your study time here, neglecting other areas of study, going even slower in WaniKani because you are not reinforcing the kanji & vocab you are learning here in the real world. Oh my, I’m sorry, I’m still at the introduction but I felt like I had to explain myself for my upcoming big confession :wink:

So, here is my “cheating my way through WaniKani but getting exactly what I want out of it” approach. There are multiple things I do and some rules I have set up for myself about it.

1.) I use a modified version of the Anki mode script (and a modified version of Allicrab where I can use it but previously, I had it running on an Android device that I was using for just that purpose). My reasoning behind this is: even if I am learning things a bit less efficiently because I am not writing stuff out, I am still learning. After all, tons of people are using Anki without typing the answers and they are still progression. Not having to type also leaves me more time for other things. Instead of focusing on exactly what answer I have to type or adding synonyms, I take my time to repeat the mnemonic if necessary, look at the stroke order diagram and maybe even draw the kanji in my palm (or on paper but I rarely take the time to do that). This also resolves the issue of being a non native speaker of English and getting answers wrong because I couldn’t think of the correct English term (I’m here to learn Japanese after all; my English is good enough to get by).

2.) I use a script that shows me if an item is about to be burnt or not. I am 100% serious and not cheating about burning items but everything below that I take less seriously and I mark thinks as correct although.

For me that is a bit of a hack to simulate longer repeat intervals in Anki. Sometimes when my day is stressful already and I have 150 reviews piled up, I will just go through all the vocab items, read them, mark them as correct and move on. I still had some exposure to them: great. And I cleared my queue and have time for either new kanji or studying other thing.
On other days, I take more time with the vocab and really try and come up with the answer on my own. But even if I get it wrong, I just mark it as correct. There are only two exceptions: 1.) If the items is about to be burned, I mark it as incorrect so that I will see it again. 2.) If I got it wrong because I did not recognize one of the kanji, I also mark it as incorrect. My main goal here is to learn the kanji and get some idea of the vocab that is being used in. Learning the vocab perfectly can come later. If it is a N5-N4 level vocab then I will see it again in Anki in one of my decks and it will stick better.

For kanji, I always want to get the meaning right, otherwise I pass it. The only exception might be an item on the current level that would stop me from levelling up soon. However, I don’t care about the readings anymore. I still read the mnemonic and try to answer it but if I get it wrong, I figure I will just get it right over time via vocabulary elsewhere.

3.) For time efficiency, I even wrote a little script that will automatically fills in the answers during the quiz after some seconds. I never use it when adding new kanji but when I have a bulk of vocabulary items, it is helpful to just get them out of the way a bit faster. I still try to recall the answer on my own but if I don’t get it right, I still add it to my queue. For kanji, I don’t use this script.

Coincidentally, Matt just recently posted a YouTube video about RTK and some things he realized. He was advising beginners to do RTK (which also focuses just on the meaning, not on the reading; that is obviously where one of my inspirations is coming from; I’m abusing WK a bit to modify it into a “lazy kanji” format with some vocab knowledge sprinkled on top). BUT when he was doing RTK, he was already on a higher level and had tried to study kanji before. Of course, for someone like him getting through RTK and maintaining that knowledge was easier. For a beginner who can’t just sit down and read novel after novel, it might be a different story. Matt himself actually started with “Lazy Kanji” and I think, if I remember correctly, that was his new advice to people but he still seemed to think this through. I found it interesting that he arrived at a similar conclusion than I had.

So all in all, of course you can not really adjust the SRS times but I’m using mainly the Anki mode scripts and some rules I have set up for myself to reduce the workload here. My burn rates have not gone down yet since there is so much time between enlightened and burned that you can forget stuff anyway if you haven’t come across it elsewhere or it is easy. And I feel more like I’m in control of WaniKani know instead of it being in control of me and my schedule. My workload is obviously much more manageable and when I have a busy day and a long review queue, I just get the vocabulary out of the way in a few minutes since I know it will always come back later. No need to be hung up and stressed out by whatever WK thinks is best for me.

This leaves me more time for other stuff, I even started learning to write the kanji (there is a nice WK based Anki deck for that) and I have a WK kanji deck on Anki that I’m going through separately. It will show me the kanji only as the stroke order diagram which I like.

What I wrote above is probably more a starting point, maybe you can use some of these ideas for yourself. If you have any questions about the scripts I used then let me know. I haven’t posted all of my scripts since I don’t even want to know what kind of responses I would get on e.g. an “auto complete quiz answers” script…

P.S.: Anyone else who might have read this wall of text: you are free to have your own opinions about this approach. It feels right for me and I did not come here to be lectured about it and am not planning on defending myself. This is just a reply to @Ncastaneda who seems to be on the same page about a lot of other topics as I am. I’m not posting this as general advice for anyone (although I think there might be people who would prefer such an approach and have not even considered it yet but I know that the community will not agree with my blasphemy).
P.P.S.: Sorry, did not proofread and spell check any of this and I have not had coffee yet :wink:


Scripts, tampered apps?!?!:open_mouth: What kind of devices are those, messing with the will of the allmighty Crabigator :smile:

In all seriousness, thanks for that wall of text.:+1:
Actually my realization moment has more relation with me reading and progressively going monolingual in my routine than with the article itself.
I mean, I was looking the repeated vocab routine as a plus at the beginning, thinking that it could only cement things even more in my brain, but now I’ve setted a minimun number of pages to read daily, and I’m considering that goal as much or more important that any amount of SRSing. So It came to the point that I had to take care of any redundancy in my routine, and Vocab in WK seems the number 1 target.

My two considered solutions so far are either do all Kanji lessons and reviews in WK, while doing vocab lessons but skipping vocab reviews (exporting those to ANki as I’ve been doing so far). Or simply take all my routine to Anki, continue the order of WK kanjis and pickup the proposed vocab to included it along my new kanji lessons. :man_shrugging:

That would allow me to increase my vocab reviews in Anki and the sentence mining routine as well. As those are much more related to the vocab I encounter in reading, that coul also be increased.

In any case… I think I’ve set my mind about changing things.


I’ve tried doing that a few times as well but for some reason, WK motivates me to be a bit more consistent than Anki (it is a very successful example of gamification… ). But if that is not an issue, that seems like a good route to take.

In case you need a starting point, I had merged this deck: [Version 1.05 | 2016-01-31] Anki deck for kanji writing practice and I think this one: and I liked the result

Or maybe I am only using the ankiweb one and generated my own stroke order diagrams… something like that, it was a bit of a back and forth.

I hope things work out well, it sounds to me like you are on a good path. :+1:


Don’t do reviews when they are available. Do reviews when you are available.


Thanks, but I think you’re missing the point.

My predicament is more related with doing too much reviewing on the same items. I like to keep track of all my vocab, so I export all vocab that comes available in WK to Anki. That way I get to do sentences / listening reviews with that same vocab, and now recently I got to do some monoligual cards wih those new words too .
Besides that once reading has kick in, you start seeing the frequent vocab over and over … So the whole SRS reviewing starts losing its value.:confused:

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I’m only commenting because you mentioned me in your post

Looks awesome, to be honest. That’s way more advanced and thought out than what I did in the past, and, well, with immersion on the side, that was good enough to get me from N3 to N1.
The best method is the method you don’t quit, and this:

is exactly how I was able to keep going. It was not perfect, but it was good enough.


I’m sorry, I didn’t want to come off as all “please don’t comment on my post!”. I was just a bit nervous about posting my approach since a lot of people here some so strict and devoted and even the Override script is too much for some. I was thinking about posting about this for months now but never went through with it…

It took me a while to realize that I can’t measure my progress with someone who is already around N1 and I also need my own strategies that work for me.

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Don’t wanna give the impression that I’m being too pushy, but what about not doing anything at all, going to bed and waking up a little early (and with a fresh mind) to do those reviews? (:

Again, I apologize if I sound too “elitist” in my way of thinking.

Well, there were times in my life (especially during my PhD), when the first thing I had to do the next morning was to go to the lab and panic because my stuff was not working. I had negative amounts of time for Japanese, but since my working environment was 100% in English and French (even though I was in Japan, half the people in the lab where I did my PhD were French speakers), it was a case of use it or lose it.

Additionally, I think I would have had a crazy review count the next morning. That’s entirely my fault, since I was pretty aggressive with my “new lessons per day”, but at the same time the sense of making progress kept me motivated. Also, I still wanted to have some time for immersion, like @Ncastaneda (well, it was mostly reading manga in my case)

Speaking of which, I took a “short” break after passing the N1, and my number of due cards when I tried to come back is the main reason why I dropped my anki decks :upside_down_face:


I completely understand that you just want to help and give good advice and thank you :slight_smile: But so far my experience has been that the low stress/pressure approach works better for me and gets me further overall. For me, that means getting my Anki or WaniKani reviews down to 0 every once in a while, even if it means just looking at them without putting in too much effort. On another day, I will have a smaller review queue and go through it slowly and in a more focused way. If I have 300 reviews staring in my face and a 12 hour work day ahead, I have to make a compromise somewhere.

And I’m always putting in the effort for the kanji reviews. It is just the vocab that I’m slacking on. I think there is too much vocabulary in WaniKani that I’m not ready for yet and my time is better spent elsewhere. But skipping the vocab entirely would be a shame too. I do at least want to see all of them so that I can have a “oh, I’ve seen that one already!” experience a bit further down the road.

So far, I’ve started from scratch in Anki 3 times. Super refreshing and relaxing…
And every time I get better at adding only decks that I really want to review. Not just stuff that I feel like I should be reviewing it but as time goes on it is nothing but a stressful obligation.

But at the point where you are at I think there is not that much use for Anki anymore and you can learn things more naturally. I hope I’ll get there one day.


idea of the srs is to give you some space to digest given material. This leads to reduced number of reviews.
i would suggest you to lower your work load.
Work as you feel comfortable…

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Learning is like seasons. One season you learn x, then y. At the end of the year, you’ll have rain, snow, sunny days, cold, hot. At the end of the year, you’ll have balance. Learning also needs balance. If you think you need to go slower on your kanji learning/WK/etc, just do it and focus on other stuff :slight_smile: :v: Just because others do it (me included), it doesn’t mean you should too.

Sorry for derailing the thread @Ncastaneda :v:


I am curious, what did you modify?

I can relate a lot to you and Ncastaneda, I am too struggling with WK time, time for other stuff and time for Japanese in general (I had more than one fight with my SO about me needing to do that third review at 7pm and not having time to go out/clean/cook/whatever). Thank you for the insights and creating the thread, respectively.

For some this is just not a possibility. I e.g. already rise at 6 am and prepare breakfast/lunchboxes for myself and my SO, feed the cats and do my morning WK lessons.
Same in the evening, there is cat play time, feeding time, time with SO and time for other chores, so I cannot just go to bed earlier.
My SO would kill me for rising even sooner and my sleep schedule would be destroyed too.

…And ofc the WK review schedule would totally be destroyed too and that only creates further chaos down the road.


And what about not doing it ?

If you don’t have a deadline, there is no legal obligation to reach 0 review every day.

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Funny enough that’s the solution I reached, but with a twist. :sweat_smile:

I’ll be doing kanji lessons as usual, same for reviews; I’m ok with the pace of those in WK (and frankly its something less to care about), and while I’m not super keen on the mnemonics, I’ll occasionally look for those if having trouble remembering. But more important than the previous I could count on the phonetic-semantic composition script still (one of the most helpfull tools WK related :star_struck:).

Thanks to the reorder script I’ll be able to do first radicals and kanjis and then I’ll do the lessons for vocab, but most likely in one or two seats per level, so It doesn’t take take any time during weekdays.
After that I’ll export the vocab to Anki and simply add those to my regular vocab and sentence listening routine, as then I’ll be able to review a fixed amount daily (with Anki intevals that are much more suited to fine ajustments if needed), and won’t be repeating the routine on the same items.

I’ll see the vocab reviews pile up in WK but I’m ok with that.

My post was by no mean I nag regarding how difficult or troublesome were those reviews or the aim of zeroing them, more on how efficient is reviewing, since I’ve perceived that’s something that changes over time as the language becomes more and more part of daily routine and connections with given words extends beyond SRS apps.

Some of the links I’ve shared explain more about Anki (but can be extrapolated to other SRS tools) and the way it works . I think reading a bit about that it’s a must for people using these tools :wink: … blindly sticking to a (yearly) routine could not necessarily be the best time investment.


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