Tips on how to do the reviews

I usually only do my reviews once a day at about 4 PM and find myself with a stack of reviews of around 80-130. I try to stick to 15 lessons a day. When my piles are this big I start to feel impatient and my brain starts to melt, and in result tend to speed up and get a lot of reviews wrong. On average I’ve been getting 7-15 wrong (mostly kanji and vocabulary).

I haven’t used any scripts or such.
Is there anything I can do to do better? Such as splitting my reviews up into two times a day so that the review piles don’t get too big, changing some settings, reducing the amount of daily lessons, or using some scripts?

I’d appreciate some tips, thank you!

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How is your apprentice count? For early levels I kept it under 100, if below 100 I would do lessons to maintain that number, otherwise I would spend days without any lessons, only reviews

otherwise you will have a pile for over 200 items in a day, I dont know how is your free time, but for me it was overwhelming.

Today I keep below 90 because I do bunpro as well, as soon as I finish my subscription with bunpro I will go back to 100 itens in apprentice.

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Usually it’s recommended to not do only one review session. Later on you’ll have 200 or 300 reviews a days, and getting through that in a single session is just mind numbing.

What I do is whenever I have any downtime, I would take out my phone and bang out a couple reviews. Maybe 5 to 10, however long I had (you can do a surprising amount in a short time). This happens more often than you would think and then I had a single big session (maybe 2 on busy days) where I only had at most 50 to a 100 reviews to do and did that at my own pace.

Of course for this you need to have your phone set up to do this on, and I do recommend stuff like back to back reviews (or even anki mode if you’re desperate) to speed up the downtime reviews. They don’t worsen the effect of the srs much, but they take the edge of reviewing.

Others do a 3 times a day system, it’s described here, but tl;dr, you do reviews in the morning at 8, with your lessons as well, then at 12 then at 8pm. This breaks up your reviews into 3 manageable chunks that fit neatly into the srs timings wk gives you.

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Two (or more) review sessions per day will let you go faster since you’ll be able to catch the four hour and eight hour schedules.

You’ll end up doing fewer reviews per session but possibly a few more reviews per day.

Arguably, catching the 4/8 schedules will also improve your retention.

You miss kanji and vocabulary more often than radicals because you must answer two question correctly vs. one.

Note that you won’t see your steady state workload until you start reviewing (and burning) enlightened items after about six months.

All of that said, I’ve always performed just one review session per day. My numbers at your level were similar. It will take me about three years almost exactly to complete all 60 levels.

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That’s the most important tip, imo.

There are two common heuristics:

  • apprentice <= 100

  • apprentice + guru/10 <= 150

Whichever you choose (I use the latter) slow down on lessons (or stop them altogether) if you start to go over the target.

Since you are only missing 7-10 out of 130, though, I think you are most likely doing this already.

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There is one script that automatically shows the next answer when you answer correctly. It also has the option to advance automatically when you type the right answer (no enter key), and if you make a mistake, it lets you go back and change it. It’s pretty much a necessity imo. Don’t remember what it’s called tho

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Shows the CURRENT answer when you answer INcorrectly, surely? :smile:

I’ve got my fingers programmed to hit the spacebar to show the answer and return to advance. Personally, this would seem only a minor nicety at most. I don’t think it would save me much time.

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Reviewing more often will help, especially with items that you learned recently (after you do a lesson, the first review is ready 4 hours later - waiting 24 hours is going to be a challenge unless you spent a lot of time on the lesson).

Also, one thing to keep in mind is that SRS is designed to quiz you on an item right before you forget it. Naturally, the timing won’t always be perfect, and you’ll get some things wrong. 90% accuracy isn’t that bad.

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Oh one more tip:

You don’t currently have an issue with accuracy or retention. Anything north of 85-90% is great. But if you ever do:

Counterintuitively, the solution for higher accuracy and better retention is MORE reviews. In addition to more sessions per day, the new extra study feature can be a godsend. Extra study sessions don’t count toward level progress, but they absolutely will help you to retain stuff better.

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Hard agree with the 2 sessions a day people are mentioning. Additionally, 2 “Extra Study” sessions a day helps as well if you have the time.

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I always do my reviews, but I never do my lessons all at once. I just go based off how I feel so there may be a week where I only learn 5 new things and another week where I learn 15 new things. After learning something new I do the recent lessons under extra study section several times and any recent mistakes I also do several times as well. I have 100s of burned items and can’t do them all in one day or else my brain melts so I do 50 burned items a day until the extra study section as well. The most important thing is getting your kanji and vocabulary into your long term memory. No point in speed running as the point is retention.

So from what you are saying if you are getting 7-15 wrong on average then maybe slow down and just focus on reviewing. If you are getting 2 wrong or less then you can start doing new lessons again. I usually get 100% right, but have gotten one or two wrong at times so usually I am scoring 90-100% in my reviews. So my advice to you don’t do any new lessons until you are scoring a high percentage and this will also help lower the amount you get so it’s not 80-130 in a day.

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7-15 out of 80-130 is still 80-95% correct, that’s pretty good.

Doing reviews in smaller chunks might help. There’s a little clock icon on the bottom left of the review screen, when you click on it it’ll give you ~10 more reviews and then wrap up your session. Then you can take a break and come back later.

(Personally I like doing them on the phone in 10-item chunks throughout the day, I spend too much time on the computer already. But not everyone enjoys thumb-typing.)

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yeah that’s a setting you can toggle
I used to hit enter twice before using this and many times I’d skip over something I got wrong by habit of pressing enter twice

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there’s many options for running WK, from very regimented speedruns with 20 lessons and three review sessions a day to very relaxed doing lessons and reviews in small chunks whenever it’s convenient.

what approach works best for you will depend on your available time, lifestyle, and how much you prioritise WK.

for me, i’ve settled on a relatively structured but not too heavy schedule. i have two study sessions with WK a day. in the afternoon, i do 10 lessons, and run through the recent mistakes in the extra studies. the timing on this first session is pretty flexible. then in the evening i do my reviews, averaging about 130 a day. this catches the pretty important 4-hour first review, and the recent mistakes gives me some nice extra reviews on the stuff which needs it most.

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Hoping to maintain near 100% accuracy will eventually frustrate you (possibly to the point of giving up). It’s not sustainable in the long run unless you go so slow that you aren’t benefiting from an SRS.

The whole point of an SRS is to give you more reviews of items you find difficult to retain, and fewer for items you find easy. With the Wanikani SRS, the only way it knows what you find difficult is if you answer incorrectly.

Never feel bad about incorrect answers. They are an important and necessary part of the process.

If you always answer 100% correctly, you are literally telling the system you find every single item equally easy.

Too high a percentage of incorrect answers (more than 15-20%) increases your daily workload, which can be demotivating. You should slow down with lessons if this happens.

Too low a percentage of incorrect answers (less than 10% or so) means you can go much faster and aren’t benefiting from the SRS.

It’s human nature to want to get everything right, but trust me, fretting over wrong answers is detrimental to your learning. Attitude is important.

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It really isn’t so much a hope to maintain it’s more of how I study results in high accuracy. Anything I have a harder time retaining simply goes until the recent mistakes under the extra study section and I spend a little extra time on it. I feel no guilt nor stress of getting anything incorrect I simply see it as something to practice a little more on the recent mistakes. Hence another reason why I have high accuracy because I take the time to study the recent lessons and recent mistakes more. The extra study section has actually played a big role in having a higher accuracy. Use to score 80-90, but now score 90-100. So it’s a system that works for me personally.

If someone is getting 80% accuracy typically, but feel good about their pace then they should keep doing that. It’s about taking the time to stop and question oneself on if they feel they have done enough or not. Then asking themselves questions such as What is enough? What is the limit? Being flexible and not overly rigid is important too. Perhaps one week a person is studying more vocabulary and the next week they are studying less. It’s about becoming the observer of oneself and retaining that flexible as a rigid schedule or mindset and/or not paying attention. A person’s mindset and the belief system they have about themselves plays a huge role in so many aspects in life including Japanese.

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Three times a day is minimum in order to keep up with new items. If you don’t do that, you’re wrong and your retention and accuracy will be garbage. Do what you want.

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Three times is only a minimum to hit the 4h and 8h reviews on a 24-hour schedule. But, it may not be a true minimum for some people in terms of what they can remember, or what they can do. And, the claim that “If you don’t do that, you’re wrong…” is, in my experience, far too strong.

I’ve met more than a few people who could remember what they learned for weeks after seeing it once. I’ve also met more than a few people who need to review anything for at least a few hours a day for weeks on end before they’d have an easy time recalling it.


That said, to the OP, I would say that if you’re considering splitting up your reviews so that you have more than one session a day, it will likely help.

Personally, I set my schedule up so that I get three sessions a day most days. But, real life can get in the way, and I don’t always get those three sessions—sometimes I only get two, or even one a day. There are, of course, even days that just don’t allow time for reviews.

The real key is to build a consistent daily habit that holds enough time for you to focus on those skills that will get you nearer to your goal. Missing one day, in the grand scheme, so long as the miss doesn’t snowball into another, and another, won’t slow progress by much, for most people.

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Ah. That makes sense. Yeah, extra study is awesome but I was ignoring the feature in my comments. I’m very glad they added the feature.

As long as you get more reviews in (formal or extra study) for stuff you find harder, it doesn’t matter how you do them. Reviewing “for free” (out of band, where incorrect answers don’t count) is every bit as valid as regular reviews, imo.

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