Suddenly forgetting a lot

Hi! I have been using Wanikani for a while now and at this point this has happened to me twice so I thought I’d make a post about it to see if others have had the same experience. I’ll be doing WK and leveling up pretty quickly but not top speed (roughly every 8 - 10 days or so), and always getting 90%+ on my review sessions (normally > 95% actually). But then suddenly I’ll go to do my reviews one day and I can barely remember anything from the last 2 - 3 levels. My accuracy drops to around 50%. Last time I reset a few levels and was back on track, but I’m thinking this time I’ll let the SRS do it’s thing and move everything I forgot back into apprentice on its own.

I think it might be a symptom of going too quickly, but it just strikes me as odd how this has happened twice and both times very suddenly. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this or something similar and if so, did anything help?


You may find this post helpful. It sounds like your brain is telling you it’s temp folders are full. Give it some time to move things around between learning and having fun with the language.

It’s not you. It’s your brain!

Japanese Language


If I’m too tired of distracted I’ll usually get the vocab with unusual readings (like 意地悪 or 文字通り) wrong. But the overall accuracy it’s still good.

Do you usually blaze trough the lessons or do you take some time to digest them? I try to do no more than 20 per day, and always take a little break between the lessons. Specially when they introduce a new reading!

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My advice would be to not worry about the percentage you get right. Just do your best during reviews but don’t be too hard on yourself when you forget things.

Next, after your review session is over, when you get to the summary page, take the time to look at the items you got wrong and quiz yourself on them, making sure you know them before you proceed. Doing that a few times usually gets me back on track.


Yeah this is basically what I suspect is happening. Also I’ve begun using a lot more Japanese (got some manga from Japan, started a Japanese course at Uni, and joined the Japanese Society where I can speak with some native exchange students), so it’s not like I’m having trouble with Japanese in general, just the things I’ve learned recently from WaniKani. Thanks for the link though, my experience is very similar in terms of just feeling like “I don’t know” even though I knew it fine yesterday :slight_smile:

I’ve been dealing with the same issue. I struggle a bit in the beginning on some kanji, then I learn them, then struggle again when I haven’t seen them in a while. I just keep pushing forward and letting srs do its thing. I need to incorporate more study outside of WK though.

The feeling comes and goes for me, and yes it can be painful (like, actually painful in the brain, or at least uncomfortable) but just fight through it and then things seem to get easy again. Like others say, I think it does have to do with how our brains store and process information.

Not exactly the same, but when I had the flu in February I had no choice but to go into vacation mode for over a week (I literally could not look at the screen) and afterwards I was totally overwhelmed by forgetting and getting low percentages, regularly below 50% for the first time, but I just kept going and eventually, I think, I’m back to normal.


2+2=5 2+2=5 2+2=7 and then one day eureka 2+2=4 2+2=4 2+2=4 guru.
There are many methods. I use when I have a new list of kanji I stare at them 10 minutes (the first page) in the mornings noon and evening for a long period of time and try to see simplest kanji and some connections. After a while easiest get burn eventually and than come again new harder ones.
Learn to love it every day for the rest of Your life.


The cause could be due to not getting enough sleep, not keeping a regular balance (16H wake / 8H sleep) can really affect your performance and memory, for several days! The last part of your NREM-Sleep is really important if want you remember things in the long term.

Practice does not make perfect. It is practice, followed by a night of sleep, that leads to perfection.”
― Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams

(This book is an amazing read, for those interested.)

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