Stuck in level 6

Hello everybody!

As the title already says, I am stuck at level 6 for a while now. Things were going fine until level 5, I had a pleasant pace and quite high accuracy, but since the last level up I am struggling with the sheer amount of daily reviews and new kanji and vocabulary. Before I usually managed to do all my reviews daily without investing a huge amount of time, but now it just got too much. I don’t have time to invest an hour or more daily, so the reviews just keep piling up and I never even see zero, let alone have time to get into the new stuff. So whenever I manage to add 5 or 10 new kanji or vocabulary, they get immediately buried in the reviews and it might take a few days until I get to review them. Which means the time between seeing them is way to long, so until they appear again, I already forgot them, which makes the review pile grow again. So because I can’t keep up with the rewies, also my accuracy dropped significantly, and the review pile increases mercilessly, with my motivation decreasing every time I see the numbers rising.

Any idea how to get out of this? Or how did you make it past level 6? And does it actually get better afterwards, or do you simply have to invest a lot of time daily to use wanikani?
And if nothing helps: any tips for similar programs, where I can actually learn at my own pace, without getting burned out and unmotivated?

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Just to check: are you using any User Scripts at all?

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My only unbroken rule for doing WK is no lessons unless reviews are 0.

Second rule: only do lessons if I can do the first and second review pretty much on time. This means I’ll do reviews and lessons before 8am, do the first review at 11am, additional review at 3pm (in case I failed some of the reviews at 11), then do the second review of the lessons at 7pm, and a final one before bed at 11pm. This ensures that I have got most if not all new lessons from that morning into apprentice level 3. I might do lessons at 11am, if I slept in that morning.

3rd rule. Always finish all reviews before I go to sleep. And lately I have been keeping really strictly to the 5 reviews a day schedule.

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The size of your review piles (while having high accuracy) is a direct correlation to the number of lessons you do - if you are overwhelmed, stop doing lessons until your daily reviews are down to a doable number.

I read in just that last couple of days that one user would take a month-long break from lessons (while still doing daily reviews) every ten levels in order to prevent the bulking up of review numbers as items came back for burns, and I am considering adopting this myself.

I use the Lesson filtre userscript that lets me do 3 radicals/kanji & 8 vocab everyday, because I found doing whole sets of kanji several days in a row to be too much high-density new material.

And play around with ideas - if one thing doesn’t work for you, try something else: it took a fair amount of tweaking for me to find a workload / pace that is sustainable. So, well done you for recognising your limits and seeking help instead of just burning yourself out.

Best of luck :four_leaf_clover:, and report back here on what you’re trying out and what ultimately works for you.

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Have a look here: https://www.wkstats.com/

It helps you keep track of how many items are going to be on a given level.

You will get a number of radicals and kanji lessons at the start. The radicals once guru’s will give you more kanji lessons. The kanji once guru’d will give you more vocab lessons.

One radical = 1 - sometimes 2 new kanji
One kanji = 3 - 5 vocab

So basically it never stops and it does not get lighter in terms of load. Each level has about 175 items to learn to get through.

Pace yourself with bite size lessons that match the time you’re willing to spend on WK. Good luck

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I’m in the same situation in level 14. My reviews are piling up and I can never start new lessons. That’s okay though! Just keep doing your reviews. Not everyone on here goes super fast.

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In addition to the great tips above, another pacing strategy many users adopt is to keep an eye on how many items you have in Apprentice. Since these come back for review most frequently, they have the highest impact on your review load. How many items you’re comfortable keeping in this range is a personal decision you’ll have to figure out on your own, but for a ballpark estimate, I’ve seen recommended ranges from 50 (low end) to 100 (high end).

In order to maintain this, just look at your Apprentice count before doing any lessons. If the count is too high for comfort, don’t add any more via lessons.

Resisting lessons is the best thing you can do to reduce burnout on WK. It may make you level slower, but as they say, slow leveling is better than getting overwhelmed and stopping completely.

(Note for context: I have indeed made it past level 6 in the past and intend to do so again now. My burnout occurred at level 11 and I’m using the above strategies to prevent it from happening again.)

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Just to be clear, I’m guessing you mean the “5 lessons a day” schedule?

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No I only do reviews at 7-11am, 3-7-11pm. So I meant review sessions, where I get reviews down to 0. I have one scheduled right now!

I do about 20-30 lessons a day.

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I’m on level 12, not on level 6, but other than than I’m exactly where you are. I went too fast on level 10, stumbled through level 11 and now on level 12 I have to slow down or I will burn out.

My rules are:

  1. Never EVER EVER do lessons if I have pending reviews. Never ever.
  2. Never break rule 1)
  3. Do my reviews throughout the day and try to get to 0 reviews before going to sleep every day.
  4. Only do lessons if I feel OK with my reviews. For the first 10 levels, I did 20 lessons per day and that was OK. Now I’m only doing 5-10 lessons per day and for now that’s the right amount
  5. It’s OK to go slow

I also try to keep my apprentice items low. For the first 10 levels, I kept my apprentice below 150. On level 11 I decided to lower my apprentice items to 120. Just find a number that works for you. The more apprentice items you have, the more reviews you get.

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Oh, I see! Sorry for the misinterpretation.

20-30 lessons a day is impressive!

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Thanks for all the great advice!
I haven’t considered the apprentice count before, will have an eye on it in the future. And probably I simply have to learn to live with the new lessons piling up. Doing new lessons only if I have time during the day to do the first reviews sounds like a great advice. I mostly have time to study in the evenings, due to work, but maybe that means I should review only during the week and do lessons (and reviews) on weekends, where I can have a few sessions a day.
Will try to consider all of this and see how it goes in the future.

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Awesome. Best of luck!

One more thing to note, in case you’re thinking of stacking up tons of lessons while you have time on weekends: the more lessons you do at once, the bigger the review pile will be each time that stack comes back to haunt you. You could end up with few reviews on some days, then big stacks on other days. I personally prefer to spread them out to allow the reviews to spread out in tandem. It’s up to you, but figured I’d mention it since the long-term effects may not be obvious right away. I’ve seen some people get hit hard when a giant stack comes up for burn all at once.