Stuck at Level 30 (Lack of motivation)

Hi, I’m currently at level 30, but after a heavy work season I stopped for two months and reviews started to accumulate 1736 as of now, I wanted to know if there’s someone in the same situation or if anyone has an advice as to how to continue. I’m finding it hard to come back to my previous review pace, and if I don’t do something they’ll keep stacking up
It seems a motivation thing, since I try to avoid the reviewing time with procrastination excuses


Well, I’m nowhere near that high and the most reviews I’ve ever seen is around 100 or so, but I would think that if you just plug away at a moderate pace that the number will go down. As you take things out of Apprentice and get them into Guru and Master you will see them less and less often, meaning that the daily reviews will also go down every day. So just set yourself a goal that you think you’ll have no problem meeting each day and then do it. Your problem will be solved in no time.

Hey there! I also got stuck around level 30 for a while. What helped me was, honestly, taking a break from Wani Kani and working on other aspects of Japanese.

At level 30, you should be starting to reach out and work on other aspects of Japanese or engaging with native material a little bit, which can help with motivation. I think starting to use the kanji you’re learning in other contexts might help motivate you to continue.

If the number of reviews it too high, maybe consider either tackling them very slowly over multiple days while completely stopping lessons or resetting a level or two.

Good luck!


I would honestly have expected someone to get into immersion learning long before 30. But yeah, if he hasn’t done that yet then that would be a good and valuable change of pace.

After reaching level 31, I took a “break” from WK. I continued doing reviews everyday, but I stopped doing lessons for 2 - 3 Months.

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Yeah part of the issue is that I don’t really know what content suits me best at this level, I’ve tackled grammar up to half way N3, and some non kanji vocab, but every time I try to read content I really like I find those N2 and N1 kanjis I haven’t learned yet
And now what really bothers me is that I can’t find the motivation,
With all this,I agree that resetting a couple levels can help and that I shouldn’t force myself but to keep learning with other material.
Thank you very much

Just getting out of this kind of situation, actually. I didn’t ever quite get up to that many reviews, but I lost steam around Level 12 and again recently (I’ve been on Level 21 for almost three months!). For what it’s worth, here are my recommendations:

  1. Step away if you need to. The first time this happened to me I felt really guilty about it, because I just got too overwhelmed to continue so my break wasn’t exactly planned. Don’t do this! If you’re aware you’re unmotivated, it’s okay to take a break! This time I realised when I was running out of energy, so I deliberately stepped away for a month. When I came back, I was a little daunted by the catch-up I had to do, but felt refreshed and ready to tackle it.

  2. Vacation mode is your friend! Particularly if you’re playing catch-up on reviews, use it literally whenever you want to. While I’m trying to manage the influx of old reviews, I activate it in the evening so that I didn’t get swamped with new reviews overnight. Sometimes if I know I’m going to busy, I’ll clear a few reviews in the morning and then switch vacation mode on during the day.

  3. Pace yourself. Don’t start new lessons when you still have hundreds of reviews to clear. Particularly if you’ve taken a break, there are going to be items that will haunt you for weeks and adding new ones isn’t going to help. Don’t do hundreds of reviews all at once - if they’re at the same level, they’re just going to appear together at their next review stage, and getting suckered with hundreds of items in one go (particularly if you’ve just managed to drop your review count) is going to be a serious demotivator. And when you do get around to doing lessons again, take it slow. Know your limits, and aim under them. You can always adjust your pace later, and a low and easily managed workload helps to keep you feeling on top of things, which can be a motivator in and of itself.

  4. If you have userscripts or an app (like tsurukame) that lets you, tackle your high-level reviews first. As long as you get them right, you’re not going to see them again for a very long time (or ever, for burns), which gives you space to tackle the <=Guru items which show up frequently and will up your review count.

  5. I haven’t had the courage myself, but if a significant number of your reviews are items from recent levels (25-30ish), maybe a reset would be a good idea. Clearing 1000+ reviews is definitely doable, but is going to take real patience and dedication. If you’re lacking in those, which I tend to be when motivation goes out the window, you can always vanish them in one go.

Sorry for the massive spiel, but I hope at least something here helps. Either way, best of luck!


There have been lots of us who take long breaks and are not motivated to come back - I’d just hit level 11 when I took an unintentional 2 year break - kept thinking I’d get back to it and putting it off - I did, obviously, come back to a lot of reviews (though not as many as you). A few things that helped

  • doing a set number per day, and using the wrap-up button to close out reviews
  • show highest level items (or most recently arrived reviews) first - as mentioned by amph1ptere above. Definitely helped with getting through those burns/enlighteneds that I probably knew and could just get out of the queue. I liked ‘newest available’ on Tsurakame because most of my ‘newest’ ones were initially the high level stuff. As I got down to the guru/apprentice, it let me actually have the SRS intervals when I had 300 apprentice items because I forgot all my guru stuff - I was re-seeing the stuff that I had reviewed and failed before seeing the other apprentice items that I hadn’t reviewed since I came back and also was going to fail.
  • choosing something fun to do in Japanese to remind myself why I was doing this hard thing

A few thoughts on immersion/native content - there are a few options (this list is definitely not exhaustive):

  • go for content you’re excited about and slog through the hard stuff - this is generally a bit easier with something with more context and less text, like a manga - the casual grammar is a bit killer initially, but you get used to it and can use the pictures to guess stuff from context.
  • go for content that’s closer to what you can do without looking stuff up, but that’s maybe not as interesting to you - graded readers are often a step people like - I have no experience here, but it might be motivating for you to be successfully reading something in Japanese
  • find a medium - look for something relatively lower level, but still interesting - check out the book clubs for past choices - there’s usually great discussion about some of the grammar/sentences that can be helpful. Maybe consider joining the Absolute Beginner Book Club for the next book to have a really supported first read.

Get something with Furigana, at least on some of the kanji, to help you along. Obviously you want to practice reading kanji you know, but if you’re finding that you hit too many words/kanji you don’t know, the ease of look-ups from furigana is a nice stepping stone. Whatever you read first will be hard - the grammar in native content just isn’t sorted by N level, you’ll always see stuff you don’t know and need to look up as you step into the wild. The trick is finding a balance that lets you learn and isn’t too frustrating.

Not my most on-topic reply, but giving attention to something else can be helpful, and you mentioned not being sure where to start with immersion.

Good luck!

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Specifically in regards to getting through that stack of reviews: Just set a mark to hit each day, say something like 150-200 reviews per day, maybe that’s 100 in the morning and 100 or night, or 200 in a row, whatever suits you best. Do them as quickly as possible, don’t worry about getting stuff wrong. Do not do any new lessons until that review count is 0 (and I usually over around 50 apprentice items for a nice leisurely pace of 30ish minutes of WaniKani per day)

Eventually that number will make it’s way towards 0. 200 reviews per day should be somewhere between 30-60 minutes of WaniKani per day. If that’s too much, then just set a time limit of however many review you can make it through in 20 minutes or however much time you have. The important part is to carve out some time each day and do it. Don’t worry so much about how many reviews are left, just hit your daily time limit and move on with the rest of your day.


I’m not on level 30 yet. But what keep make me moving forward as fast as possible is. I can’t read anything comfortably… I need to know those kanji and vocab as soon as possible to be able to fully immerse with Japanese langauge.

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I recently dealt with the same situation - 3 months without reviewing, and 1600+ reviews to get through.

What I did was I tried to get the total review number down by 100 each night. So on day 1, I got down to 1500 reviews. Then on day 2, I reviewed until I was down to 1400, and so forth. It took me a couple weeks, but I got through them all! Though some days I had several hundred reviews to get through, so I did have to devote a good amount of time to reviewing on those days.

My advice is:

  1. Break it up into multiple review sessions throughout the day so you aren’t sitting there trying to do them all at once.

  2. Don’t do any new lessons whatsoever until your review count is down to zero.

  3. Consider using vacation mode so things won’t keep stacking up. I didn’t use vacation mode because I forgot it existed, but I think it’d be a good idea.

  4. If you have leeches that you end up just reviewing over and over, that takes up a lot of time an energy. Consider installing some scripts for review quizzes and leech training. Otherwise, paper flashcards or making additional cards in Anki works well for reviewing leeches.

  5. A reorder script is extremely helpful. This will let you decide whether to tackle newer or older items first, or if you want to do one category/card type at a time. Personally, I started with the oldest words from the lowest levels first, as I remember them the best and I knew many of them would be up for burn reviews, so I could get rid of them permanently. I also sorted my reviews by category, doing radicals first since I’m quite accurate on them.

Of course, if your motivation is just not there and the huge stack of reviews is making you even less motivated, there’s nothing wrong with resetting back a few levels! Especially if your accuracy low and it’s frustrating you. I reset about 3 levels at one point and haven’t regretted it!

All the best of luck!!

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For general motivation - what got you into learning Japanese in the first place? What’s your goal? What’s a tangible milestone or objective that you can set your sights on as a beacon to head towards?

As far as 1700+ reviews, it’s not as bad as you might think. You just have to pick away at it a little bit every day. Recommendations from my own experience are here:

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My motivation is always fluctuating, I have taken two very long breaks and still gotten back into it. A big change in my life will almost always cause me to faulter.

Right now I’m on a pretty good streak since January, but those blazing fast levels (compared to my previous pace) are slamming me in the face starting this week with burn reviews every day. I’m considering slowing down a little bit so that I don’t get overwelmed. I’m gonna move to another city and start university in August. Taking a break from WaniKani isn’t the end of the world as long as you pick it up later.

I can say this about taking a break though; when you pick up after the break you will regret taking a break. I can’t help but think how far I would’ve progressed if I kept up the pace instead of taking those long breaks.

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