Time per level and Kanji/Vocab dependencies

Good day folks,

I know this topic has been addressed before but having seen some conflicting information, I wonder if anyone would be able to provide a detailed explanation of how long each level might take and how they get to the number.

This is what I have currently read:

  1. 7d20h
  2. ~8 days
  3. 9 days
  4. Radicals and Kanji take different amount of time to level up (what?!)
  5. Some levels are shorter (presumably because the Radicals necessary for the level’s Kanji have been previously unlocked, so you might start with Kanji from the start of the level). I gather that these might be 50-60. How does the calculation for these levels differ?

Calculating this based on the Guide is trivial. But with point 5. and the differences in responses I have seen, I wonder if I am missing something.

Finally, has anyone found a way to get the list of Radicals a Kanji depends on and the list of Kanji a Vocab item depends on through the API or any other way?

I’ve been developing a tool I may or may not turn into an Android app at some point is this lays the groundwork for it.


Also, hi everyone, this is my first post :D.

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Have you been reading threads for a year ago? Those numbers are mostly outdated. Radicals and kanji no longer have different level-up times. And when that change was made, the fastest level up time for most levels became 6 days 20 hours (since the kanji level-up time was shortened by a day).

Basically, any item gets to guru with 4 reviews spaced at these intervals

4 hours > 8 hours > 23 hours > 47 hours = 3 days 10 hours

Since you usually need to unlock some kanji to get to the 90% of the level, you need additional an 3 days 10 hours for that.

Short levels, like 46, 47, 49-60, don’t have enough radicals to stop you from reaching 90% if you do all the kanji you unlocked at the beginning of the level.


Thumbs up to everything Leebo said, plus three caveats:

  1. If you are a human being with metabolic needs for things like food, bathroom and rest, there’s a high chance that the item SRS schedule won’t perfectly align, since the first two levels span 12 hours and most people won’t stay awake until 4 am to apprentice 3 an item they unlocked the previous afternoon. When you take this into account, the fastest realistic timeframe for completing any given level is around 7 days 4 hours, since you need to account for about 8 hours of potential breathing room in case levels don’t aling with your sleep or work schedules

  2. These level up times assume that you do two things:
    a) do all reviews every day and twice on the day you unlock new level items
    b) learn every lesson as soon as it pops up.
    BUT that however is also a little sketchy, since a new level typically unlocks about 35 kanji, 3-15 radicals and about 60 vocab items on the fly, so what it means is that to keep those fast level up times, you’d actually have to put in 3 study sessions a day once every 8 days– once to initially “learn” the items, then again for the level 1 review, then once again for the level 2 review 8 hours later. As you can imagine, This is a grueling study schedule, which because of the not perfectly aligned 7 days means even if you start off level 1 on a Sunday, will have you eventually needing to do a triple study day on a Monday.
    This is why even the most steadfast folks tend to take 8-9 days, and to vary slightly– it’s not that the speed is impossible, it’s that SRS alignment isn’t on a pure 24 hour or 7 day cycle so people have to work around that.

  3. Even the level up times I mentioned assume that you have a constant level of motivation and time to devote to WK which is statistically speaking, rare and unlikely, not just for all user but for any given veteran user across their WK subscription.

Speaking personally, I managed to maintain that sort of schedule (time for me were 8-11 days on average, with the median being 9 d, 9h about) for about 18-20 levels, but after that point, because it was 7 months later, my work and school schedule had changed and also I started seriously studying for the N4, at which point WK took a backseat to studying grammar so that I could fill in the grammar gaps I had for the test, since I already know all the N4 kanji. The end result is that my last four levels have each taken like 20 days, and my current level is just hitting the 17 day mark. Now that’s not permanent for me, since after I take the N4 tomorrow I’ll re-align my studying time in other directions, with probably a renewed focus on WK in conjunction with a focus on reading fluency– while I won’t be pushing for 9 day levels anymore (my daily review count is already in the hundreds), given the time I’m budgeting it’ll probably be more like 15 days a piece.

All of which is to say, VegasVed, that if you’re trying to budget time, keep in mind that finishing WK is a medium (not short) term goal– from where you’re at you could theoretically finish WK in 1 year, but I would venture to guess realistically that you won’t get it done in less than 2 years, and that the average is probably somehwere around 2.5-3 years.


I have and was unsure what the most updated estimate would be.
So thank you for the through response! :slight_smile:

Is this list exhaustive?

Thanks for the thorough response! I have no qualms with taking time on this, the purpose of the question was only to determine how I might include timings in the tool I have been developing. Thanks! :slight_smile:

Does anyone have an answer to this?


Off topic, but I’ll point out that Leebo is one of those monsters that maintains if not the, close to the minimum level up time.


I’m pretty sure there are no other levels that fit that “not enough radicals to stop you” style of short level.

Levels 1 and 2 are shorter than normal, but it’s because the intervals are shortened, not because of the balance of the items.

Thanks, do you know the interval for levels 1 and 2?

There is no way to do this via the API that I know of. The sample data on the API page doesn’t include any of the prerequisite data. I’ll just ping @rfindley here as he’s one of the WK scripting gurus and might know where to find that kind of data.

If you don’t mind doing it manually or writing your own script each of the pages for the kanji/vocab show prerequisite items. For example: https://www.wanikani.com/kanji/電

If you mess with scripting, ect. on your own However, I'd like to point out a vocab term will only display up to 4 kanji in it's composition during lessons. For example the term 留守番電話 ( https://www.wanikani.com/vocabulary/留守番電話 )has 5 kanji that show up on the item page, but during the lesson only 4 will be displayed. This is a known issue they're looking to address in the future.

Finally, the API is pretty easy to dig into, but the staff are looking into upgrading it so keep your eyes peeled on the API forum subsection if you want to mess with that.

@ccookf @VegasVed,
The only way to get the dependency data is via the individual item pages.

I’ve built a database with all of the info, though. I’ll ping you directly from a non-Googleable thread to give you my email address.


With a recent radical level move, I believe level 26 may be a short level as well.

You’re almost level 26. When you (or anyone else) get there, would you mind confirming if 26 is back to being short again, and post here? :slight_smile:

The three remaining radicals on that level only block one kanji each, so it should be short. But after I confirm I can post here or somewhere on the forums.

Thanks everyone for all your help! Thanks @rfindley for your assistance.

Posting here in case anyone stumbles across this thread and is wondering.

SRS Level Next Level Total Wait Review
Apprentice 1 4h - Lesson
Apprentice 2 8h 4h 1
Apprentice 3 1d 12h 2
Apprentice 4 2d 1d 12h 3
Guru 1 1w 3d 12h 4
Guru 2 2w 1w 3d 12h 5
Master 1M 3w 3d 12h 6
Enlighten 4M 1M 3w 3d 12h 7
Burned - 5M 3w 3d 12h 8

For simplicity we keep the chart this way. Subtract 1 hour off for any “next level” with a day.


Thanks for the table, but what does this mean?

All wait times that are 1 day or longer are actually 1 hour shorter than shown. So, 1w is actually (1w minus 1h).

Technically, this is not exactly true anymore, though it’s close.
Read more here:


Yeah… that makes it even more convoluted.


Ikr, it’s always scary coming to the forums and finding that Leebo is like 4 levels higher than he was last week. I’m pretty sure he was level 49 yesterday and 48 the day before that.


Only a few more weeks of this…

How are you 51? I’m not being sarcastic now, I thought you only became level 50 today. Are you bribing lord Koichi or the mighty Crabigator?

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