Tip for those on the fence about resetting after a long break (2+ years) but was at level 49

So I fell off the wagon during the pandemic and never really got back on. Now it’s been 2+ years an even though I made it to level 49 I just can’t remember enough of the radicals and mnemonics to make good progress on my current reviews and lessons. So the quesiton I’ve been struggling with for months is what to do to get back on track? I’ve tried kaniwani and some other tools to try to review old stuff, but I felt like I was still missing all the good stories that help me remember and that build on one another (“scaffolding” in instructional design speak).

Today I tried testing myself using the Self Study plugin on the kanji and radicals from levels 1-5, and this is what I got:

That’s a pretty poor score. I don’t think I need to go to level 1, but I think I need to go lower than level 5.

I’m writing this for someone like me in the future - my advice is to do the same, use the self-study quiz and create a custom template that includes the kanji and radicals from the earliest levels and work your way up. Use that to gauge your current ability and figure out where to reset to. Then keep going!

That’s my plan for the new year. Likely it may take me to the end of the year to get back, but I’ll do it.

皆 頑張ります!


Could you link to that self-study plug-in?

I’m only at level 12, have been in vacation mode for a number of months - and I’ve recently started with an N4 Anki deck to get myself back into the game before coming out of vacation mode and tackling a bunch of reviews, but that deck is not in sync with WK, so I’m thinking that something other than that may help me to get my bearings.

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Here it is [Userscript] Self-Study Quiz


Did you do any other Japanese studies or immersion during the break?

I was at level 40-something (43? 45?) when I took a WK/SRS break for almost 2 years, but I continued reading native materials … in fact it was because I was having more fun reading than “studying” that made me take a break from SRS.

When I came back, my reviews were still very poor, but I didn’t want to reset so I just soldiered on. I reread all the mnemonics on my mistakes, some kanjis I even resurrected from Burn status if I could no longer associate them with the vocabulary. When I got my Apprentice down to a reasonable level (80?) I started doing lessons again. This probably took me about 2 weeks of reviewing old material before I got back on track. I had Vacation Mode on during the break, so it wasn’t like I had thousands of reviews.

The constant immersion likely helped me have a better time relearning, though. If you are looking to reset, I’d recommend doing maybe a few levels back at a time and reassessing from there, instead of from zero.

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At level 49 you should have been able to start consuming real Japanese content seriously, in which case you can’t really “fall off” anymore. Of course that assumes that your grammar and vocab are on par with your kanji knowledge. Regardless of what you decide to do with WK, I highly recommend looking for additional resources to round up your knowledge.

I think maybe in your situation I would try to study Japanese through other means first (maybe going through Genki for instance) then after a couple of weeks you’ll probably be back in the “Japanese learning” mindset and you’ll have a clearer idea of what to do with WaniKani. And this way it doesn’t feel like you’re just going back in time, you actually work on new content.

I wouldn’t worry touch much about radicals, they don’t really matter overall. Mistaking “person” for “human” is a non-issue.

Confusing the readings for 作 and 近 is a bit more worrying because they’re very common kanji.