Tips for catching up!

Long story short, I had a very upsetting thing happen in my family about a month ago, plus getting a very busy new job around the same time, and as a result I’ve fallen very far behind. Like 900-ish reviews behind, and I know those reviews are going to add some lessons, too. I’ve been able to do a little bit occasionally (at least I’ve gotten down to 900 reviews from a previous 1000+) but I’m having a hard time motivating myself to get back down to net zero. Doesn’t help that I also use Torii for vocabulary and I’m about 850 reviews behind there too… and 50 reviews on Bunpro… you get the idea.

Any tips, advice, motivational gifs? I’ve fallen behind and given up on the Japanese learning journey so many times due to mental health struggles and I don’t want it to happen again! I’m determined to make this happen!


Set yourself a reasonable limit each day, by which you want to decrease the amount of pending reviews, for example let’s say you want to get your review pile to decrease by 50 each day. Then every day, you need to look at how many new reviews you will be getting that day and schedule it out, so that by the end of that day, you have done that many + 50 reviews. This means a 900 review beast should fall in about 18 days. This will be simpler in the beginning, because if you have a lot of reviews, you won’t have many new ones coming up, that’s just how this works, but it will be harder as you start decreasing it, especially if your accuracy is a bit icky. But by then it will be easier to swallow a bit more reviews, because you’ll have a smaller pile making motivation easier to come by.
Also, stop doing lessons for a bit, think of this as a detox exercise, getting rid of leeches alongside your reviews somewhat. It’s okay to not level up for a month or 2 sometimes to make your future life easier


Use a reordering script to prioritize by SRS level - that way you review the most urgent items first. Otherwise, the time interval between reviewing weak items will get too long and you’ll get stuck in a loop of forgetting before reviewing again.


Don’t be afraid to reset. You might have forgotten items from the most recent level(s) naturally after a month of not reviewing, so it might be faster to have a lower review pile to clear out and just redo the amount necessary…

You can use this script to feel the impact of a reset on your current review pile.

Also, WK is adding right now a native feature to sort by lowest levels first. You could also take advantage of this & reset when you aren’t remembering anything anymore to the level of the items you’ve arrived at.


Here’s a post I typed out in a similar thread a few days ago. I think the same advice applies here as well :blush:

Good luck!


There is something being rolled out next week that’s a beta thing I believe that will allow you to reorder your reviews by the lowest level items.

That means you should be able to do all of those reviews, up until the last few, without leveling up and unlocking new lessons.

It should also make it a lot easier to burn through them quickly as you’ll know most of the lower level stuff already and so you can blitz through a few hundred really quickly which might make a lower number less overwhelming.

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Since you use so many things, I’d say you could reset about 2 levels. Going through the levels again is good practice, plus it could be faster, it’ll also help your mental view of looking at a normal review count, no need to stress unnecessarily

I think you meant stop doing lessons, right?

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I don’t know exactly how WaniKani team (of teachers) feels about official re-ordering as a part of overall journey. I agree that I would work well, but personally I don’t really like it. while self-study isn’t so bad at all.

Resetting is a safer option overall. Stop doing new lessons is also recommended.

indeed it was meant to say that :sweat_smile:

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I know, I mostly just know that by this point it really doesn’t matter and hope that people got the idea subconciously, though I went ahead and fixed it now

Just don’t do what I did and keep putting off chipping away at reviews after setting a goal for yourself. I fell behind long enough during level 27 and ended up with around 2000 reviews. After multiple attempts at getting into a routine of chipping away at the pile, resetting a few levels a few times, and a lot of general frustration with how much I’ve rusted, I finally decided to just nuke everything and start over all the way back at level 1. Could I have eventually gotten my huge review piled cleared with enough persistence? Probably. But in my case I let pile get so big that I just acquired too much of a mental block to be motivated to deal with it, but at the same time I didn’t want to just give up WK.

So I guess my tip would be: once you set up a schedule for doing catch-up reviews, do whatever it takes to make yourself stick to it. And maybe another tip that I myself should follow for the future: don’t binge lessons, because it’ll mean that you’ll get huge amounts of reviews dumped on you at once later down the line. How slow should you take things? I wish I knew the answer to that.

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For those in it for the long haul, resets are underrated. When I did my reset over 800 days ago, I had gone 4 months without doing a review. Looking at the pile alone was enough to continue procrastination.

When I finally reset, it was like a breath of fresh air. The first 4 or 5 levels were easy, I breezed through reviews every day. It was no longer a burden. And I’ve stayed on the wagon ever since.

The big thing is to get over the, “I want to finish, and this is going backward” thoughts. My perspective is, if I look at it as the marathon that it is instead of the sprint that WK sometimes markets it as, my head is easier to get screwed on straight.

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The way to get over that is to realize that you’ll get to the finish faster by resetting since you will never advance if you have a pile too big to clear

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This. It may seem counterintuitive, but resetting can kind of help clear your head of the burden of a huge pile that you don’t want to touch and help get you back on the right track. It has for me so far, anyway, even if starting all the way back at 1 might have been a bit extreme.

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