Time spent on level

Oh that’s also nice to know for the days I level up right? Cuz then I have to do guru reviews and lessons

The only thing I would say… is… it’s not efficient to have to complete all the past level vocab before starting the next level.

A script like this:

Will tell you everything that is currently unlocked. And then you can easily balance starting the new level, and completing the vocab from the last.

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I did the same as @amagi until level 21.
I found the kanji increasing in difficulty at this stage and tweaked it slightly:

On level up day, in the morning, I do all new radical and about one third of the new kanji. Depending on the number of kanji lesson, I do some vocabulary or not at all. If the new kanji feels difficult, I do slightly less kanji and more vocabulary.
The average lessons done are about 25.

Second day, I do the second third of kanji + vocab.
Same on third day. If there was not too many kanji on the level, I only have vocab left.
On fourth day morning, I usually only have a few (less than 10) vocab left to do. During the afternoon I level up the radical and first batch of kanji to guru, that will open new kanji that I do, all at once. As in the morning there was not too many lessons it is ok, but generally the average for this day is a bit more than usual (around 30 lessons).

Delaying the kanji that way will unlock new vocab each afternoon. The goal is to lesson everything the next morning, so I have no lessons left the evening preceding the next level up.
The downside is that I can not cut the vocab in equal parts, but it is roughly equally divided so far:


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For what it’s worth, I’d strongly suggest trying to get into the habit of doing reviews daily rather than every other day if at all possible. My learning pace seems most efficient if I drive my number of reviews to zero at some point during the day every single day. I inevitably miss a day here and there when life intrudes, but WK (and any SRS) demands a regular cadence of reviews and implicitly expects them daily.

Think of lessons as the control knob for how many reviews you’ll have weeks or months from now. If you do 80 lessons in one day, you’re guaranteeing you’ll have 80 additional reviews added to your queue on multiple days in the future — it’s usually better to spread them out.

It’s okay to be more aggressive in the early levels, but beware that your review queue can grow extremely onerous in a few months based on the decisions you make today. Personally, I’d find it tiring and demotivating if I had more than 150 to 200 items or so to review on any given day.

Personally, I’m more interested in learning things well than I am in getting through the levels quickly. I can’t help but notice people getting to level 60 then immediately restarting to better learn things they’d already covered. Nothing wrong with that, but I’d rather take my time up front.

To each their own, of course, but what’s worked for me so far is daily reviews (getting down to zero reviews at some point during the day) and doing just enough lessons each day to keep around 100 items at the apprentice level.

My pace has slowed down a bit recently (around a two-week/level average now) but I rarely have more than 150 items or so to review thus far.

If (when) I start having more than a couple hundred items to review per day, I’ll stop doing lessons for a while and focus on burning more items. About 150 reviews/day is my efficiency threshold for staying motivated and not getting bogged down (in practice, it varies quite a bit: some days 80, others 240). Others may have a different threshold.

One final nuance: I distinguish between “purple” lessons (vocabulary) and “pink” lessons (kanji). I’m a lot more aggressive doing “purple” lessons where I’m learning vocabulary to hammer home the kanji I’ve already “guru’d”. But I almost never do more than five pink kanji on any given day (the only exceptions are characters I already know). To avoid paying for it later, I rarely do more than 15 purple vocabulary lessons on any given day, either.

After following this regimen for a little less than a year, I’m already comfortably reading much, even most, of the Japanese material I come across daily (admittedly, I didn’t start WK as an absolute beginner). It’s mostly just email for work and social media correspondence with family, but to get to this point in just a year was almost magically “efficient” to me.

Sorry for such a long reply, but to distill it down to one point: Is your “efficiency” goal seven-day level-ups or learning to read (and even write) Japanese as quickly as your brain and motivational energy levels can handle?


Seconded. I’l planing to slow down majorly as I get closer to 20. I can see the leeches coming and I was to hammer them down before I burn myself out.

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Controlling your pace to prevent burnout is great, but such control shouldn’t be a goal in itself. I personally feel like those who slow down significantly, without any tangible reason to, are making a mistake. If you feel like it’s getting too difficult to handle, slow down, take a break, but don’t do either of those things preemptively.

Is your “efficiency” goal seven-day level-ups or learning to read (and even write) Japanese as quickly as your brain and motivational energy levels can handle?

This is very nicely put and I agree, WK level itself means nothing, which is why –

I can’t help but notice people getting to level 60 then immediately restarting to better learn things they’d already covered. Nothing wrong with that, but I’d rather take my time up front.

– there’s a lot of wrong with that, or at least I think so. You can read anything at any level, the difference is the amount of stuff you’ll have to look up. If you read native content regularly, there won’t be any need to do something as weird as restarting WK.

After following this regimen for a little less than a year, I’m already comfortably reading much, even most, of the Japanese material I come across daily

It works both ways though, learning and reviewing things with SRS helps you read faster, and reading helps you reinforce things you’re learning through SRS.

Ultimately my point is that purposefully slowing yourself down and abstaining from making progress (be it in WK or in any other area of the language) is just as harmful as speedrunning with no regard to actual improvement in proficiency. Taking your time to do things because you legitimately feel like you can’t go any faster is great, and as everyone is different, that limit is different too. Some can’t go any faster than 1 level a month, some feel comfortable doing one every week, there’s no “too fast” and no “too slow” as long as your pace is not arbitrary.

At least that’s how I personally feel.


Yup. I think we are in almost complete agreement.

My only caveat is that the optimal pace isn’t a constant.

My pace varies for three primary reasons:

  1. Life intrudes occasionally.

  2. Some levels are definitely harder for me than others.

  3. My energy/motivation levels have an ebb and flow.

The nature of an SRS is to reintroduce any items you struggled with previously: I’ve given up trying to predict whether I’ll have an easy or difficult day of reviews. But I’ve learned to do my reviews first, then my lessons. That way I can choose to not compound my difficulties by adding too many new items when I’m struggling with my reviews.

I think your point is to not let yourself slack off and stop making progress. I certainly agree with that, but I “purposefully slow my progress” all the time.

My unscientific method with poorly quantified metrics is to slow down on doing lessons when I feel like I’m struggling, but work through more lessons than usual whenever my daily reviews start feeling easy. I pat myself on the back every day when I get my reviews down to zero, and give myself some more substantial reward whenever I get my lessons down to zero (a far less frequent event).

It’s worked for me so far, anyway.


I can agree with both of these. What I do is use WKstats to keep track of my pace. So while I do slow down at times, it also helps me get back on track with my regular pace afterwards.

Overall, I tend to slow down every 5 levels or so to catch up with Master and Enlightened items.


It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to restrict your learning to current level and below items - you can peruse higher level items (but they won’t be part of your ssrs yet).

Perusing ahead lets you get familiar before it’s time to do the lessons for real, and I find that this makes lesson time much less intense - I’ve often found myself rushing through to get them done before the next hour has passed, so that I know I’ll still be awake by the 4 hour interval, but that’s just proved impractical and a time waste.

The trade off is that you’re spending time on items that aren’t feeding into your ssrs yet, but you do get a comfortable lessons session :smiley:

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Ah yeah, I might do that the night before I start a level, just hover over some of the radicals, kanji and vocab so I can get a gist of what’s going to hit me!

Thank you for the tip! @mcheung0, I sure do hope I’ll be able to keep up with my school work AND WaniKani at the same time haha, but for now it’s going fine!

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Great! Yeah, do try and keep on top along with school work - sounds counterintuitive, but if you can get the reps in first thing in the day and last thing at night, you’ll feel set up for the day having achieved something straight away and restful at night knowing you’ve cleared your plate :slightly_smiling_face:

Just realised I typed ‘ssrs’ - sorry, I meant SRS - I use ssrs at work so bound to get muddled :laughing:


Yeah, it feels great doing it that way, I feel accomplished all day haha; but sometimes the vocab becomes hard, as I also have to learn 2 chapters of Minna no Nihongo hiragana to English vocab as well, and learning that way is kinda weird haha so I learn maybe around 250 words a week for my study, and then also WaniKani haha. In my free time, I sometimes do KaniWani though, as my study does require me to “recall” Japanese as well through conversation and writing practice :slight_smile:


Ah yea I think that’s going to be my strategy as well, if I have that many leeches (which is going to be the case i think haha)

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Just curious: solid state relays or something to do with genomics? :slight_smile:


So…are people that manage 7-10 day levels just letting Vocab from previous level stack up, or do they just do all previous lessons in a day? I used to average ~10 days/lvl but now that I do all the previous level’s vocab before any new kanji, I’m at about ~13/14 days/lvl.


You can use the reorder script to first do the radical lessons and then space the first wave kanji over the next 3.5 days. Vocabulary from the previous level and the current one can easily be spaced out over the course of the week


I am using reorder script and doing radical and kanji lessons first. Every day I do 20 lessons sometimes slightly more that way I can easily do levels in seven days,


By upping levels every 7 days, don’t you always increase your number of reviews per week ?

Currently I’m at around 600 reviews per week, cause I lowered my pace from level to level. I’m sure if I kept my pace at 7 days per level, I would be at more than a thousand per week :thinking:


@Rrwrex Haha, nothing that exciting sadly :laughing: - Sql Server Reporting Services - for software development


Yeah the number of reviews goes up over time. In my case it did plateau somewhere between level 30-35. It may increase during the fast levels.
If people wonder I did 1613 reviews in the last seven days.