Tips or plugins to get back on my feet?

I wasn’t able to do any new reviews for two months due to burn out, work, and general lack of motivation.

I’ve 500+ reviews piled up now. What’re some good tips or plugins to get me back at it?
I don’t want to drop WaniKani, but stuff like this is so discouraging:


Just do a little bit each day without touching your lessons. Go into it with the mindset that you will take care of the pile in the course of two weeks or so rather than two days. Maybe even a month depending on your time.

Just makes sure to end each day with a little less than what you woke up to, maybe 30-40 lower and you’ll be there soon.

Also, try not to go over that count lest you burn out and just give up doing WaniKani.


Lightning mode will save you a few button presses.

Don’t think going down is a bad thing… I mean whats wrong with WaniKani making you do a few more reviews on something you forgot? YOU FORGOT IT!!! So what do you do? You go back and review it! It might be a lot of reviews but just don’t learn new things and cement the old instead for now. Even if you get a red bar with a downward angle, that doesn’t mean you arent putting another foot forward. For every answer you got right, HURRAY! For every answer you got wrong… well regardless of whatever method you use to learn, forgotten is forgotten, so you go back and relearn it.

Ive been struggling with my bad learning abilities when it comes to language, so even tho I am only level 3 and haven’t taken a long break, everyday kind of feels like what you are describing above… Until recently I was loathing the red bars, but now I just embrace them as part of the learning process.

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I did 404 reviews today over the course of about 8 hours (not recommended) after letting things pile up for a week or so. It’s painful, but doable.

But as a more sane approach, the best thing you can do besides (a) not panic, and (b) chip away at the reviews, is not to create a bigger mess by doing new lessons. I’ve been on level 25 for 20 days already, after never taking 20 to do any of the previous levels – discouraging, but I’ll live with it, and by the time I’ve mastered this dumb language I’ll have forgotten most of the pain.

Hang in there, you can do it.

As someone who’s battled back from a similar backlog: prioritize accuracy over speed.

The tempting thing to do is to try to rush through the reviews to get as many done as fast as possible, but I’d resist this urge as much as possible: every time you make a mistake and bump a Guru or Master word back down to Apprentice, they’re going to quickly come back around and end up right back in your review queue.

At one point, I got to 0, only to have the number jump right back up to 200-300+, both because I had exhausted myself (and so ended up taking a day off) and because of all the words I had knocked down to Apprentice in my haste.

As for speeding things up, the reorder script in single mode (where it always quizzes definition and reading together) is an option.

I wouldn’t generally recommend it in most cases, as the interleaving effect from the mixed order is apparently better for retention, but it’s definitely faster for reviews and won’t hurt your accuracy, so it might be a “emergency measure” to get that review number down.

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If you haven’t interacted with the language at all in a while I suggest you warm up first by reading, watching, or listening to something.


Some people won’t like this idea, but I would highly encourage cheating to a moderate degree. Open a second tab and abuse that copy and paste button for kanji and vocab that you forgot. In time, it’ll be refreshed and you won’t have to cheat. I do this when starting new levels, thereby avoiding getting things wrong in their first stages, to boost me past in the minimum amount of days (only done with radicals and kanji).

Don’t think of it as something evil, think of it as a sane way of coping with that many reviews. Don’t punish yourself for wanting to get back into Japanese. Reward yourself, cheat a bit, and get past that first hurdle so you can keep the motivation to review and get back into the swing of things. I’ve found cheating occasionally to not really have negative effects on my memory, either, so long as I’m diligent enough to review the pieces after the fact.

Really this strategy is used to minimize the stress of restarting. Don’t worry about it too much, or all those red buggers from a couple levels (out of 60) will come back to haunt you in a couple hours.


@PlatypusPerson, that’s how I maintained my speed while leveling.

I would highly recommend just cheating on Apprentice items. I found that letting myself miss things over and over again with brutal honesty does more harm than good; I lose incentive to genuinely try to remember, and the trouble items waste tons of time.

After cheating on Apprentice items enough, by the time they resurface as Guru items there’s a high chance you will remember them by that point.

You don’t have to clear your whole backlog at once either. In fact, that’d probably be bad because all your reviews would come back in massive clusters. As long as you knock out more reviews per day than show up per day, you’re moving forward!


For what it’s worth, I’ve been in Japan for close to a month now and I can promise you my WK methods have worked wonders for me. I got myself exposed to almost all 60 levels of kanji, and am able to read almost anything I look at here (or, I can at least recognize the kanji and do a lookup very quickly).

Cheating on items beyond Apprentice probably does more harm than good though. Make sure you don’t cheat yourself out of actually learning!

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I would maybe tackle it like this:

  1. Make sure you’re not tired even before sitting down to do the reviews
  2. Set a timer for maybe 30 or 45 mins in which to do reviews. i find the longer I go on, the more I get wrong. Maybe twice a day
  3. Use that review batch limit button. It makes sure the reading/meaning of the review are not too far apart. Also it gives you a natural break to review your answers, and maybe study an item page, get a cup of coffee… Also you won’t see that high number of wrong answers :wink: Psychologically beneficial. There is also a userscript that allows you to modify the batch limit
  4. Take advantage of dead time, like on the bus or train, waiting for an appointment…
  5. Definitely do not do new lessons. I might even recommend you to wait with new lessons until your apprentice/guru piles are close to 0/150 respectively. That way your reviews won’t pile up too quickly afterwards. You’ll reach that next level eventually, and hopefully by then you can get back into a nice rhythm

Good luck!

As someone that regularly pulls myself out of 500+ review queues, I highly recommend using the reorder script to reorder by level, and then the batch-limit button to do them in batches of 10 at a time. It’s way more encouraging to start with the words from the earlier levels that you remember well and build your way up to the apprentice stuff you can’t remember at all.


Fully agree, but I paste into jisho instead, because then I get a better understanding of what is going on, and can practice the stroke order of kanji too.
Also sometimes into my RTK pdf search function.
I also have a link to www.wkstats open when I am working on reviews for new material.
Since I once had a functional set of Japanese vocabulary and about 300 kanji I find that I mainly need reminders to settle things back into retrievable memory…

If you think getting a good score is the point of wanikani you are going to fail. You are trying to learn japanese, if you fail a review, thats a good thing. It means you don’t know something in Japanese and, since you are trying to learn Japanese, you now have a known unknown and are even closer to achieving mastery in a foreign language than before you failed the review.
Wanikani is not a game to be beaten. That mindset only takes you so far. The goal is to speak another language.
The advice already posted here is correct: do a little every day. You should be able to do fifty to one hundred reviews a day; it feels much longer than it actually takes. Sit up straight when you do the reviews, do not do it laying in bed or slouching. Don’t watch videos in the background or listen to music. Make it an activity that deserves your full respect. Cultivate the motivation.

Write down your end goals. WRITE down your end goals. No typing.
-Speak Japanese for when you go to japan or when you order takoyaki off an insanely complicated handwritten menu
-Read your favorite manga in the original
-Get a hot japanese lover or life partner

These (and many more) are the goals that will push you forward. If you have no end goal, and you are doing it for the ‘level ups’ you can probably find a better use of your time elsewhere. Don’t let yourself get sucked into the ‘game’ aspect of this website. That is a small bonus, not the key to learning a second or third language.

Sorry if i sound mean :smiley: just giving my two cents (sense) (scents).

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