Tips on accuracy and 700 reviews?

I set my WK to vacation mode for a couple of weeks (because exams and other stuff) and now coming back I’ve accumulated 700 reviews and am struggling to get above 60-70% accuracy, even though I used to consistently get 80-90%.

Any tips on whether I should try to get through the 700 reviews in a couple of days, go through them throughout a couple of weeks, etc.? I’m having trouble working out the best way to get through them when I’m working with a lower accuracy. Should I focus on increasing my accuracy by doing reviews more slowly / avoiding repeating mistakes by looking over incorrect items carefully at the end of a review session?

I’d appreciate any tips if anyone has any to motivate me to get rid of this mountain of reviews! :sweat_smile:

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From prior experience with a massive backlog due to a vacation with SRS systems in general (specifically Anki, not WK, but it’s essentially the same thing) for another language, I don’t recommend tackling them all at once because, as you’ve already noticed, you are going to miss a lot of them since it’s already been longer than the intended interval which means you will have mostly forgot many of them. That, in turn, means you’ll just end up with another massive barrage of reviews in a day or two and you will miss a bunch of those too which causes them to come back again in another day or two after that and so on.

This very thing nearly made me quit using Anki altogether back in the day until I changed strategy to the following which is what I personally found is the good way to tackle backlogs:

  1. Stop doing new lessons/cards until your backlog is caught up
  2. Do about 25-35% more reviews per day than the number of reviews you were doing prior to accumulating the backlog while ensuring that you’re doing enough for your daily reviews to trend down. It might even take a slightly higher percentage for the first few days depending on just how long the backlog has been accumulating (and hence how much you’ve forgotten).
  3. For the ones that you can almost remember, don’t really worry about studying them again too much, since you’ll very likely be able to recall them on the next SRS without too much issue.
  4. For the ones that seem to be completely gone as if you had never even seen them to begin with, take the time to study them a bit, as if you were redoing the lesson.

For a concrete example, let’s say you typically were doing 100 reviews per day prior to the backlog and now have have a backlog of 700 reviews. Let’s also say that you still have about 50 more reviews from before coming due every day. It should typically be much less because of the period you weren’t doing new lessons which led to the backlog.

The first day you would do something like 100*1.35 = 135 reviews. That would lower the review count down 565, but you’ll probably miss about 54 of those 135 reviews (aka 40%) which will come back the next day (or two) along with the other 50 coming due for a total of 669.

Then, on day 2, you would do another 135 reviews lowering the count down to 534, but again, you’ll probably miss roughly 40% again, so add that 54 back along with the other 50 coming due for a total of 638.

That would continue for another day or two and then from that point, you’ll start missing less because many of the reviews coming up will be the ones you recently missed and will be on the “correct” interval again, so the number of reviews will start going down more quickly until you reach 0. It’ll probably take about a week.

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->As long as you do them it doesn’t really matter<-

I’d probably buy myself some candy, some soda, set my ass in front of the computer, and tough it out for a few hours (perhaps switching it up with a youtube iceberg video). That’s what I did at level 11 with a similar-ish amount of reviews. Personally I wouldn’t care about accuracy, but I wouldn’t do any lessons either. I’d just do my reviews until the per day amount went down.

You could also set yourself a goal of doing 50/100/200/300 reviews per day and just do that until it goes down. Again, I would not care about accuracy. The point of SRS is that it doesn’t matter, just do it.

And if you need some cheerleaders, well, there’s always the forum or the poll thread. Keep us up to speed on your climb to the top.

You can absolutely do it. Don’t reset. Row row fight the powah. There’s many ways to skin a cat, and remember:

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Something similar happened to me recently when I started my semester in October, around the same level too (28).
I used to do a level per week (around 200 reviewes today) and couldn’t keep up, so I went down to around 50 reviews per day without leveling up for 4 weeks.
I hoped it would help my studying, but it just made everything MUCH harder for me.

In the end, I’ve accumulated ~850 reviews and 220 lessons. I decided to power through and did 300-350 reviews a day for a few days, plus all the lessons I could (probably 20-40 a day). I still kept getting ~200 new reviews a day due to my previous pace. I managed to “unclog” it in a week, and went back to one level per week. Once I unclogged it, everything became much easier and the natural flow I had returned.

Was my accuracy good? No. Did I get stuck on some of them? Of course. Did I have to work harder on them than usual? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
Dragging it for a few more weeks would have only made things harder for me because my memory would have weakened further.

That being said, this is a very personal decision and you should see how it works for you :slight_smile:

Good Luck!

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As someone who has worked through 1000+ review piles multiple times, you got this! Your biggest enemy, especially if your accuracy isnt super high, is the follow up reviews. Except for burns, every review complete means another review you will have to do later. If your accuracy is say 50%, then for every 100 reviews you do 50 of those reviews will be coming back in the near future. That can be demoralizing so I have two suggestions:

  1. Switch review order to “lower lessons first”. The option is listed under Settings>App. From my experience, if you have a big pile then your apprentice items can get “buried”. A new apprentice item can get added to the pile and you might not get to it for days.* By the end of the pile you can end up with a backlog of apprentice items that will come back over and over again, turning into a complete drain. If you use a fixed order with “lower lessons first” your apprentice items will show up at the start of all your review sessions and you’ll get through them at a much more managable pace.

*At least I’m pretty sure this is how this works. Maybe WK automatically pushes recent additions to the top but I never saw that from my experience. If I’m wrong someone can correct me.

  1. Go slow. I’d say you should focus on hitting goals each day. If you start at 700 reviews then perhaps try to hit 650 the next day and 600 the day after that. You should start by doing about half as many as you feel comfortable doing in a single day. This is to account for the follow up reviews that will start to hit. Hopefully by the end you’ll be doing just the right amount of reviews to not get overwhelmed.

I know you have the power within you. 頑張って!

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Thank you everyone for the recommendations, it’s definitely motivating to hear about others being in similar situations and getting out of it! I’ll try sticking to doing at least 150 per day for the next week (I usually would do 75-100/day) and see if that successfully decreases the pile of reviews - I’ve been putting off sorting this pile out for a couple of weeks, so it’s great to get some motivation to finally sort it out! :partying_face:

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Sorry for not answering your question. I just wonder what is the difference between vacation mode and just leave your account there, not doing any new lessons? I thought vacation mode is like a temporary break where your reviews don’t accumulate? :sweat:

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You’re right, vacation mode stops you from getting more reviews. My problem was that I disabled it after a couple of weeks but at that point still didn’t have time to do more than 20-30 reviews per day, meaning I quickly accumulated loads! I should probably originally have stuck with vacation mode for another few weeks and avoided that…

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I actually never used vacation mode being a 59 level user :joy: Though the price to pay is having to reduce my lessons to only 3 items per day, however painful it is, and taking as long as 2 months to level up. God. So i can’t really offer any advice to you, but hang in there and remember Japanese learning is a long journey and those who stick around will win :smile: :muscle:

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I burnt out once and came back to 1700 reviews. When I came back I ordered by wanikani level and started chonking at them one day at a time. Took me 1 months of around 100 reviews per day. This also helped me get back into the habit as well.

My accuracy is still not the best but from my experience 70-75 is fine as well. I think that’s how my accuracy was for the second half of my journey.

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