Stuck on level 49

This isn’t a system issue it is purely on my own failure I believe.

Long story short I’m kinda stuck at what seem to be a brick wall at the moment. Because once again kanji reviews are starting to take too much time I’m trying to really deflate my review count.

Current apprentice/guru/master item count is 162/674/583, And i’ve been trying for a week now to drop apprentice down without success. Or rather, any progress is eventually negated the next day.
It has been going on for, I’d say a week now.

I know that with spaced repetition, it takes a while for any change in your lesson rate to have any effect on your daily review count, but does anyone knows how long I’m “most likely” to be stuch on this level until I can finally bring it down to 100 apprentice?

I’ve not had any new lessons in 12 days.


162 apprentice items is quite the pile, phew… Do you do all your reviews every day? And what is your rate of accuracy? Generally speaking, if you’re below 66%, you will not make progress (because each item gets demoted by 2 levels but only promoted by 1). If that’s the case for you, I can recommend doing additional studies of your items outside of WK (e.g. with something like Self Study Script or the like), or studying them in a different SRS altogether (e.g. Anki etc.). If you stick with it you will come out victorious :slight_smile:


As someone who regularly has 100-200 apprentice items I just want to provide a counterbalance :smiley: But I don’t have much in the way of advice beyond that - maybe get one of the leech plugins and figure out which of them you should focus extra on?

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But - I would say that part of this is that new apprentice items will come from Guru and Master items that are failed, so as long as you have fresh guru and master items I guess you can expect new apprentices as well?

When I overloaded lessons on Torii, it took several weeks to reduce the review counts to a point that I could actually start memorizing the individual items. Before then it was just a bucket of stuff I didn’t know that felt too large to tackle.
You’re at 12 days now, so a good way in already. You could also decide to use scripts to focus on a few items everyday (like re-lesson them) to try and get smaller subsets out of those daily review piles, one subset at a time.

One thing that also contributes to this is that whenever i fail to recall a vocab item (usually when i guess an individual kanji’s meaning improperly), i typically unburn the associated kanji if it was burned.

So there is that coming back too.

i’d probably try to do some leech squashing. if you’ve got items coming back again and again, extra work on them outside of the SRS is not a bad thing ^^

Just finished another batch (20 every hour usually)

Accuracy 41% the thing is, my accuracy RARELY goes above 60-70%
(one hour later)
Accuracy 62%

As for leech squashing outside SRS that just seem counter productive (messing with the timing). I also typically don’t like to treat leeches differently, they are just items that I forget after all, just gotta try again and again, and again. I do sometimes go check and update my mnemonics for them.

Good thing I’m a lifetime member, but sometimes I really wish Wani Kani gave me back my life, my schedule freedom, and my work productivity :stuck_out_tongue:


If you’re hitting 40% accuracy it couldn’t hurt to try and take some of these leeches that you’re really struggling with, put them in the context of a sentence (that you yourself have written it’ll make all the difference).

I know you said squashing outside of SRS seems counter productive (and you can just leave it to SRS it’ll work eventually i’m certain).

If you’re just here for the answer to:

but does anyone knows how long I’m “most likely” to be stuch on this level until I can finally bring it down to 100 apprentice?

Then the answer is until you get your reviews above 67%, there is no “hard” timescale as it’s different for everyone. Someone might do it in two weeks, for another it might take 5 weeks :man_shrugging: I’m not sure if anyone has the data to give you an average, but if anyone does it’ll probably be Kumirei they seems to be the person in the know from what I can tell, maybe ask them.

Another piece of advice I got recently was, maybe take a little bit of a break, if you’re really struggling and getting low % in reviews, maybe it’s a sign that you just need to give yourself some rest and then come back to it in a few days.

Which unfortunately you cannot do:
Stepping back means more pending reviews.
Vacation mode means massive cases of memory erosion and I am STILL being punished for visiting my family for 3 days on easter.

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In my situation a break meant taking on no new lessons (I have 70 waiting), but still doing my reviews.

In your case it may be a bit different if you have 0 lessons and are just trying to pass these reviews. In that case I would definitely do some leech squashing, if leech squashing means you can get back up over 67% faster than waiting for SRS to naturally do its thing the time save is probably worth IMO.

But like you said, you seem to prefer not to do that option, so just keep up your reviews and good luck, hopefully you’ll get these leeches to stick soon.

Just keep hammering at the reviews. One thing you may want to do is take extra time at the Review Summary and go over the items you missed a few times.

I know when I get frustrated with reviews I don’t spend enough time on that screen. That will help with the next review session.

When I hit the late 40s, many of my longer levels were mostly lowering the apprentice count and only 7-8 days of actually leveling.


I’m stuck on level 22, but otherwise right where you are. I haven’t done any lessons since the middle of February, focusing instead on leeches and reviews and getting my numbers down. I suspect it will take at least another week before I can start doing lessons again.

Just keep doing reviews, forget about lessons, and your numbers will come down. How long it will take, noone knows. But if you want to get to level 60 I really recommend taking a break from lessons now and getting your numbers down before the last sprint from level 50 to 60.

if you do leech-squashing just before you do reviews, that might be counterproductive as you might then still have the answer in short-term memory.

besides that however, the data seems to be pretty clear that seeing items more often helps them stick better. so look over the items you got wrong in a review, and squash those leeches. it won’t hurt the SRS ^^


Apprentices now down to 124, work work work :stuck_out_tongue:

Thought I would give everyone an update and a thank you for all the suggestions.


Things I’ve tried that seem to help: Doing reviews on my PC rather than on my phone. It’s quicker, and I don’t fall asleep on the couch. Waiting 10 minutes between learning my new lessons and taking the quiz (I set my phone alarm to make sure I don’t forget to take the quiz). Reviewing twice per day instead of once per day, although I don’t always have time to do that.

I don’t study outside the SRS any more. It just takes too long, even though it would probably help bring my apprentices down. I just want to put in just enough effort to slowly progress. I have a bad attitude, maybe.

So I figured that I would post an update to this.

It is not going well. At all.

I am now level 50.

I have been on level 50 for 146 days now and there is nothing that I hate more than my reviews at this point, I am seriously considering never opening wanikani again because this takes so much of my time and energy it is actually impacting my ability to work efficiently.

I have 2000+ leeches aparently which is about half of my review queue at this point.
Maybe I’ll just stop this entirely or return to lvl 1, I’m not sure.

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Based on the previous responses it seemed like an accuracy issue, but if you entered a vicious cycle and are just overall demotivated by WaniKani, I would recommend the following:

  1. Turn on vacation mode to stop the stream of reviews.

  2. Go through your Apprentice, Guru and Master (these too will drop to Apprentice if you fail them) items slowly, in batches of 10-20.

  3. Identify which ones cause you the most trouble and work on why that is the case.

I think what you might be experiencing is a long-term issue which just piqued at level 49-50 :frowning:

Yeah it does look like that, too bad i can’t just have WK ignore leeches and just throw them in the trash for me until i decide to get back to them.

Figured I would also post my wkstats as an example of what you shouldn’t do.

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you are being entirely too hard on yourself.

  • You made it to level 50. That would have meant “finishing” wanikani a few years ago.
  • Why would you unburn a kanji because you got one of its vocabs wrong? The vocabulary will still be in the srs for you to practice it.

To me it appears it is time for you to step out of the wanikani tunnel. Why did you start wanikani? Where do you want to go with your Japanese studies? Play games? Read books? Talk to people? Go do that. Kanji will be a minor obstacle for you at this point. Even though you seem to feel like your kanji studies aren’t going well.
Take a break from WK, and then if you ever want to come back, approach it from a distance, look at what level it would make sense to reset to (don’t overdo it because you’re too hard on yourself!) and start using it again. Or don’t. That’s fine too.

I think a lot of the culture here on the boards centers around people who are very good at tackling wanikani. But none of our goals were to be good at wanikani when we started using it. We all wanted to learn Japanese. And sometimes we get so caught up in WK we forget it’s a small part of the road we’re on.
This forgetting is what I see when I read your posts in this thread. I might be wrong. In that case I am sorry for assuming.

I think you are admirable for making it so far on your trip towards learning Japanese. Most of us are nowhere near your level of kanji knowledge. Now go use that knowledge for something fun. And don’t be disappointed if you’ll need a dictionary from time to time. You will be able to use one. Thanks to your time spent on wanikani.

Again I’m sorry if I overstepped or assumed things. And I’m sorry if this comes across as patronising. I just think it’s something that isn’t stressed enough on these boards in between the ULTIMATE guides to KILL WaniKani and LEVEL UP yesterday CHECK THESE STATS posts. (with all due respect to those nutters. I use a lot of the tips that they write about.)

Congratulations on making it to level 50!

You rock.