Studying Above My Level

So I’ve read that studying the same materials outside of WaniKani can be detrimental to the learning style of spaced learning. Right now, I do my lessons daily and it’s been very good.

However, I’m nearing the end to the “easy” part, where I’m getting into levels where I don’t know most of the kanji.

Someone was nice enough to put all the vocab on, another site I’m a member in. I was considering studying level 8 vocabulary to get a head start on the material I don’t know. I figure that as long as I’m not using spaced learning for the same material I should be okay.

I’m trying to figure out how to best use my time if I want to study outside of WK to reinforce the material.

Anyone have any thoughts on that?

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There are some advocates of pre-studying… however, I think if you have extra time to study outside of WK, it’d be better used in the other areas of Japanese (grammar, listening, etc)


The only thing I would recommend to have a head start on would be Kanji because if you get your Kanji right, the vocab becomes very accessible. How much of a head start do you need? Not much.

Personally, I use the [Wanikani Self-Study Quiz Edition] script right after I do Kanji lessons. That works very well.

Also, you need to define what studying the same materials outside WK means. Is it adding the same vocab to another flashcard system? Then yes, you’ll be losing your time. Why? Because WK is already testing you on that. Is it making sentences with the vocab you’re learning? Then, that’s a lot different and actually a good idea.

It really isn’t true. It’s a fundamental (and annoyingly common) misunderstanding of what SRS systems are for.

The more you study, the greater the number of contexts you see the same material in, the better you will retain it. SRS is just about efficiency.


I am not familiar with scripts. I’ll have to look into that. I normally just study on the website every day as my lessons become available. That’s been working very well so far.

What does the script you mentioned do?

Here’s what I mean. Right now I’m WK5. Someone posted all the vocab for all of the levels on So I would be studying say, level 8 vocab using spaced learning, then stopping when I “catch up” on WK. Sort of a pre-study session to get familiar with them, then hit them for “real” on WK which I use to gauge my ability.

The email you get at the beginning of WaniKani suggests that hitting you with the term just before you are about forget it is the best method of getting you to remember.

I’ll google up the science some more. Do you have any good links to something like that?

yeah, the claim in that email is misleading. This is the claim:

The idea is that you make the largest improvement in memory if you recall something right as you’re about to forget it.

It’s really conflating two separate ideas:

Active recall” (i.e. pulling something out of your brain rather than passively “studying” it) is what’s “effective.” Flash cards, by nature, are an “active recall” method.

SRS (i.e. scheduling that active recall exercise to be right before you forget it) is efficient. The space between reviews gives more time to learn and review more items.

But the space itself isn’t causing you to more effectively internalize the item. The more you encounter the item, and the more contexts you see it in, it will only help, not hurt, your ability to retain it.

I’m speaking from my own experience, and from the experiences I’ve seen people share on these forums over and over again in the past couple years, which is that if you actively avoid studying certain things outside of WK because you are trying not to “mess with the SRS,” it does more harm than good.


So it sounds like the best thing to do is probably increase the vectors you learn the material (i.e. the more times and methods you see the kanji the better)?

I’m trying to figure out a strategy of what to do if I want to study outside of WK. So far, I’ve come up with “read more Japanese” such as comics or stories.

Scripts are “little tools” made by users to complement a website/program. In this case, there are several scripts on this forum made for WaniKani.

Here’s how to install:

Here’s a list of the scripts available for WaniKani:

Correct. Your argument seems to be very convincing :slight_smile: By doing that, you’ll expect to get an higher accuracy in your reviews, correct? Here’s the thing: people using WaniKani already have a high accuracy. I would even dare to say that everyone has a 85%+ accuracy. If you were to study the vocabulary beforehand, by how much do you think your accuracy would increase? Not much in my opinion.

I truly believe your time would be better spent on learning other things. Grammar for example, gives you a lot more possibilities to express yourself compared to knowing vocab a little better.

Also, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that WK should be your only source for the vocab that exists in it. I’m saying that doing the same process twice is not as beneficial as other options available. You could be building your own sentences with the WK vocab for example. You would still be practicing it, but in a different and more complete way.

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I’d generally agree with that – mainly I’m just speaking up to discourage anyone from actively trying to avoid seeing their WK items in other contexts.

Sure, the sooner the better. Everyone has a different routine based on their own goals. For most people’s goals, WK won’t get you there by itself, and thus an overlap of material is inevitable and (imho) should be encouraged.

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This is excellent advice. Thank you for taking the time. Building sentences with the materials is a good idea. Examples on how to use the new words is a good thing to look at, too. “How do I use term X in a sentence”

I’ll look into some of these scripts! I was (mistakenly) under the impression they weren’t available for Firefox (my preferred browser).

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Every time I study a new grammar rule, I always write my own sentences. It makes understanding the grammar point easier and the vocabulary sticks better :slight_smile:

Do you already know about KaniWani? If not then you should search for it in the forum :slight_smile:

KaniWani is the practicing the Japanese from the English, I’m guessing?

Do you actually write them on paper?

The only way that studying outside of the SRS hurts is when you do something like check items that are coming up for burn reviews or something, the day before they arrive.

If you reach Enlighten on an item, let it sit for 3 months and 29 days without seeing it, and then look up its item page on WK right before the burn review, then burn it, that’s not an item you really earned the Burn status for.


KaniWani takes your WaniKani progress and instead of giving you JP => EN reviews, they give you EN => JP. This definitely helps with better learning the WK’s vocab.

Ups, sorry. I type it. Not yet training my JP handwriting xD

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If you want to study Kanji separately, you might as well study Kanji by School Grades. Kanji-in-the-wild learning pattern (outside WaniKani)

Otherwise, you can just study the vocab by focusing on the reading only, not caring about the Kanji, waiting the studying of Kanji until later.

Thanks, I’ll take a look at those links.

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