Tips for surviving the Death levels?

Reviews are a part of it, but stupid words that don’t make any sense using the kanji meaning, those are a pain

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Basically what @Loglog74 said. It’s weird because we start having semi-synonym words or just vague ones, like another word for “duty”, the words for “matter”, another word for “plan”, the word for “examine” kind of looks like the kanji used in the word for “test” and they even have the same reading, but like a lot of times I’m seeing 3-radical kanji that share two radicals (or 4-radical kanji that share 3) and it gets CONFUSING

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I’m level 21 and I’ve been here for checks app 79 days. I’m taking N5 in December and so I decided to take a break from WK lessons so I could focus on grammar, and just do my reviews. It’s been really helpful because I’ve nailed some of my leeches, and a high proportion of my reviews are now burns which feels VERY good!

Reading a lot of these comments reminds me how overwhelmed I was starting to feel before I paused - when I start up again I will definitely be paying more attention to the radicals than I had done until now,and taking mnemonics more seriously…

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I’ve starting doing this for A4 -> G1 when I’m having trouble keeping up with reviews, but I let them bounce a round below that. It really does ease up the mental load a ton.

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Tips for surviving the Death levels?

Buy a lot of phoenix downs!

Joke aside, have you tried the Self-Study Script? Just take is slow with the kanji and do a lot of self studies with the script until you see those kanji in your sleep, then go tackle that vocab! You got this, you came this far so you’ll get to 60 with me and everyone else here!

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Ugh yeah, I also hate 加える… even got it wrong again just now looking at it - constantly misreading it as though it’s 増える. My mnemonic about including koalas never comes to mind when I need it…

To OP: The Death levels were absolutely the worst for me too - the true slog begins and the Burn reviews begin showing up. Suddenly leech management becomes as important as learning new things. It’s a big change. The Hell levels that follow are just long. Death is the true test of one’s mettle.

Since leech management is important, Leech Tables are a gamechanger - suddenly all my struggle points were there to squint at every day. Grab from [Userscript] WaniKani Dashboard Leech Tables - Notice your leeches (this stopped working for me though…)

The other thing I started doing is pre-reviewing - I grab a bunch of Locked kanji/vocab off WKStats by literally copying and pasting the little blocks into a text editor where they come out comma-separated like 使,苦,試,部. Then I try to guess their readings and meanings before I have to review them. By around Level 20 with enough Japanese under your belt, you can start to make some pretty good guesses - moreso once you hit the Hell levels, but you can get a leg up with the Keisei script at [Userscript] Keisei 形声 Semantic-Phonetic Composition - anyway, reviewing stuff before it becomes a lesson means the horrible surprises are taken care of.

頑張って!

A quick update from Level 55: After a point, the leeches just built and built and built… and tracking them all became a timesink in and of itself. So for the last few levels with hundreds of leeches to juggle I’ve switched my review style to high throughput mode - review often, review quickly and where leeches are concerned: bring it on. If the right answer doesn’t come swiftly, that item probably wants another trip through Guru (or even Apprentice) anyway. You don’t want to start doing that toooo early on though, otherwise you’ll be juggling leeches for a long time.

The “Reality” levels are about as grindy as the Death levels too… but by then at least you’ve already been through the Death levels so you have a precedent! :smiley:

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death has killed me twice.

reading a lot sure is great, but since it’s not targeted, it helps more in the general sense.
i tried working them on Quizlet, and that helped - but it still wasn’t enough, since i kept forgetting them again after a while.

maybe some kanji just have to be repeated a lot more/longer to stick. maybe writing them out by hand is great, too, utilizing muscle memory… but i feel handwriting isn’t something you can get away with doing a bit only when you think it might help.

i’ll give the self-study script a try this time around, while slowing down to keep my sanity. hope it helps :slight_smile:

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This thread has encouraged me, I just reached level 29 and I’m at breaking point. Been considering just quitting as maybe I am just not cut out to learn Japanese. But seems they don’t call it death for nothing. Now I’m going to slow down, and get my reviews under control before going to the next level.

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Keep going buddy! All that work for nothing??
I plan to take a 3 month break at 30 and just doing reviews while focussing on reading, listening and grammar. Burn as much as possible and killing them leeches in the progress.

Death is hell. I‘ll tackle 31 and onwards in April.

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I just wanted to follow up on things. I slowed down. like way down. didn’t help that I took two trips in between but oh well. I did no new lessons for two weeks, and slowly the queue became less daunting. once I got my apprentice items down to like, 30 or 40, I started doing lessons again, 5-10 at a time at most. I took them REALLY slowly. I always ran through the initial lessons in the past, but I really gave each one a couple of minutes, did my best to work through the example sentences each time, as well as using the sentence search on Jisho. My accuracy has gone up and I feel like I’m getting a better sense of what to do. I’ll survive Death, I think :slight_smile:

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Deathlevels yaaaaaaay.
I for real also spent 5 times the amount of time on lvl 23 that i did on most other levels :+1:
partly from slacking but nvm that.

Its settled down since and all im doing is just to keep on grinding, and reading the mnemonics for the stuff i get wrong.

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Good for you! Death is really hard. Just keep going in your own rhythm and you‘ll get out of it eventually.

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well done…keep at; I did much the same but try to do 20 lessons per day. The workload is so much more manageable and WK does not feel like a chore anymore.

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Well done! I’m in a similar position, re-started my lessons after sitting N5 at the start of the month (after no new lessons for 3 months) but I’m just sticking to 5 per day now. We can do this!

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Happy cakeday!

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Why did you reset? I still hope that after having 60 Kanji I can manage with vocabs, reading and other stuff than WK. In the end being able to read Japanese web novels and manga.

Take one level at a time, and take your time :slight_smile: Maybe you could have a goal too, mine, as I did the death levels one year ago, was: “Hit lvl 30 before christmas”. And I kind of latched onto that whenever motivation was low. Afterwards, I rewarded myself with about two months without lessons, just to get review count under control.
So, my advice I guess would be, take your time on these levels, but keep a goal too, something to keep you going when motivation is low, and to ensure progress. And give yourself rewards for your hard work! :wink:

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I reset because I forgot at least 30% of the content and was not properly pairing my WK study with native Japanese content. I wanted to refresh all my kanji knowledge while actively using it in the wild. So in an attempt to rectify my past mistake, I am maintaining exposure to native content while using WK. Hopefully I’ll be persistent enough to maintain it for the longrun.
Now that I have gone through it once before, everything is easier now and much clearer.

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my tip: start writing more of your own mnemonics. it pays hefty dividends, even if it’s a bit more work, and the process of coming up with them often makes them more memorable. kanjidamage’s mnemonics are a good help here too (you can even mash them up with wanikani’s when writing your own, adding your own twist).

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after having been at 31 once, i’m familiar
with a lot of the kanji on the way and basically everything up to at least 20. the shaky ones, like 放 vs 別, are what i’m now doing in slow motion. the difference between 席 and 度 is another thing that’d been bothering me on a subconscious level, and i’m sure there’s a few that fell through this time, too (or will, on this lap), but now i’m going “backwards”.

if you’ve read @jprspereira’s guide, you’ll be aware of the most optimal order to learn new content, if the purpose is to level up quickly:

  • radicals
  • kanji
  • vocab

now, the order for way worse efficiency, but maximum effectiveness, is the same order, only backwards:

  • vocab (because the first vocab batch will be based on last the level’s kanji)
  • kanji (based on last level’s radicals)
  • radicals (to finally move on)

i also believe that wk burns items too early, so i’d recommend stopping lessons every x levels (whatever you’re comfortable with) and unburning x levels worth of vocabulary (nothing else), backwards from the newest burned items.

yes, this is slower, but it’s thorough and ensures you’re actually remembering what wk taught you.

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