To reset or not to reset?

I was keeping up with WaniKani well until a year ago, and reached level 36! I worked hard to get that far, but fell off the wagon due to a series of tragedies in my life. I’m still grieving and struggling, but I just re-subscribed and I’d like to start studying again soon. (I’m making my 6th trip to Japan towards the end of March.) But, I feel like I’ve forgotten a lot… I also don’t think all of my burned items are totally set in my memory, both because of the long time away and because I would occasionally look things up due to a bad case of perfectionism. (I mostly didn’t do this, but sometimes I couldn’t help myself…)

I feel like resetting would let me really establish kanji in my memory, and it would likely be easier this time because I did learn a lot! But on the other hand, I’m proud of how far I got and it’s a bit sad to undo that, even though I feel like it’s the best thing to do for the sake of progressing and continuing to learn.

Wondering what you would all advise? Has anyone else been in a similar situation?


Against resetting because unless youre mainly motivated by the levelling mechanism, youre better off just doing the reviews and if you dont remember the items will demote anyways. You may remember more than you expect.

There are ways such as scripts to review burn items.


The flipside to this is it can be like banging your head against a wall for weeks until things straighten themselves out.

And resetting feels good. :slight_smile:


For starters:

Sorry to hear you’ve been dealing with such heavy stuff, and great that you have a nice trip to look forward to!

You could try how you like it without resetting first. Whether you reset or no, it’s the same SRS sysyem straightening out your knowledge. Some might find the high number of red screens demotivating, though, and prefer resetting.

You can also try resetting by a few levels at a time, rather than back to 1 immediately.

You can reset to any point at any time, but you can’t undo a reset. It’ll become clear as you fiddle with reviews whether you prefer just wiping the slate clean, I think. :slight_smile:

Best of luck with everything, both inside WK and out. ^^


Thank you for the helpful replies! I might just give it a couple weeks to see how I feel. It’s true that I can’t undo a reset so it might be good to try sticking out first. I still feel like resetting might be the end result, but maybe I should give myself a chance to see where I’m at first. (Still appreciate input if anyone has things to say, though!)

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Well here’s one third option other than resetting or just enduring the pain.

I won’t say it’s a better way. I thought it was better for me, that’s all.

For me it wasn’t that, it was that I was failing so many trying to do hundreds of reviews and catch up, the reminders after failing weren’t sticking anymore. It was like trying to do hundreds of lessons a day - and that’s too much for my poor brain to digest at once without mixing them all up. I was getting nowhere, and taking forever to accomplish that.


Thank you for the info! I’ll definitely look into that option and see if it’s something that’ll work for me.

Go for reset, I was at level 26, maybe 27 and than had some problems…I just got back to level 1.

And I feel like I can just ease into Japanese back with some regular review, which feel easy.

It also helps beat leeches, cause now I know, which things gave me problems in the long run, so I am taking care to memorize them properly.

I gave up on spriting to level 60 and now I focus just on learning properly.


Oof - this is my current situation as well :confused: I took a break of like… several years? Lol, due to getting burned out and not getting up the energy to come back. I finally did in early December, and managed to get my 1000+ reviews down to almost 500 through a massive effort! But then the holidays happened and by the time I came back a couple of days ago, the review list was back up to 1,000 :')

I just did 100 reviews and my percentage rate was 55%… there are just too many new things for me to retain anything. I considered resetting and decided not to because I’ve managed to basically get all of the kanji on my level but the vocab is killing me… I might just do it anyway :confused:

But ahh, before my break I was getting percentages in the 60s and 70s so it’ll get higher as I get more used to it I guess…

NGL I’m pretty bummed atm and not really sure how to proceed. Maybe I just have to try and brute force my way through this issue but I’m worried about getting burnt out again. Hah.

Try the strategy I linked above. The good thing about it is it feels great to feel your progress, checking off level by level in the self-study. It makes you want to do more, not avoid. :slight_smile:

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I did reset from 20, and from my personal experience, it’s quite tough to get the motivation for the first few level, because they are probably the things that you remember very well already.

After level 10 though things start to pick up again, and I’m 13 at the moment. But anecdotally, I wouldn’t recommend reset. Just plough through the 1000s of reviews you have. Trust the system, they will do you good. And as SoraR said, you can review burn item with scripts.


Mm, I’m having a look at it now - it does seem like a better option than brute forcing.

I’ll be giving it a try!

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Another strategy similar to the one above is to use the reorder script to order your reviews by level. Do only the level 1 reviews on day one (or levels 1-5 or levels 1-10 depending on the number of reviews). Once the number of reviews for the first levels becomes manageable, add the next level. Always make sure that you do all the reviews of the current level subset and never do reviews of higher levels until the review count of the lower levels has lessened.

i have 2.2K reviews to clear.
have a year to complete…

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Well, look at it like this: that’s only 6 reviews a day (with like half a review left by the end because math)! You can do it! I believe in you!

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alternatively, go to wkstats and sift through the list of kanji. once you found one you can’t remember, reset to that level.
in case of a still big pile, do 2 review sessions per day, 50 each, to stagger the reviews for the future - because they will come back in similar size from then on.

lvl 3x takes roughly half a year, from zero, at max speed, with perfect accuracy. think about what you really “lose” by reseting. it’s really only the level. “and time”, you might add, but time is irrelevant. efficiency isn’t relevant for your actual goal (learning to read) either, only true retention counts.


Totally agree with the banging of the head against the wall. Lol. I’m really considering resetting myself right now as I am only level 10, but I already feel like I am destroying what I have already learned. My review accuracy has dropped from 80% usually to 60%, and I tend to find myself getting so caught up in my own frustration that I lack any motivation to relearn the item I have forgotten and that has become a leech. Urgh.

I was considering resetting too. I started in November 2019 quite intensely but went on holiday in Jan/Feb and got caught up in the COVID-19 situation and only just recently managed to get back on my feet. I was on Vacation Mode from Jan 01 to June 02. Now I have 80+ lessons and almost 200 reviews plus i’m back at work full-time and studying as well so i’m not sure whether I should bang my head against the wall or reset back to Level 1 since i’m not far off anyway. Seriously considering just dealing with it and get on with the banging lol.

Just wanted to add for anyone who might still be browsing this topic, wondering if they should reset:

I did end up resetting, it took a while but I’m back up to a few levels beyond where I was before (I was at 36, now at 38)! I think resetting was definitely the right option for me, as it allowed me to review a lot of material and now I have a better handle on all the kanji up to this point. It reinforced kanji I already knew and there were quite a few I didn’t recall that it was nice to relearn. It also helped with my confidence, because I was surprised how much I did recall and it was nice to have it easy for quite a while. Now I’m at the challenge point of learning completely new kanji, but I’m glad to be past the point I left off at previously.

I also advise not cheating at all, as painful as the low scores when you have a rough review session can be! :sweat_smile: Let the perfectionism go!

Good luck to everyone who hit some bumps along the way. It’s not easy, but as long as you can find some way forward (even if it means going all the way back and retracing your steps), you can do this!


I also reset about two months ago, and I’m so pleased I did it. (I was at about 35, and I went back to 10). This would be after a six month total break from Japanese other than watching anime for an hour a night, so very little reading practice.

I felt I couldn’t remember anything, not even the simplest things, because I’d hit a point where there were so many similar Kanji, it had just got overwhelming. Whereas learning level 11 (again), to start with, I’d be shown something, think “gosh it looks familiar,” and upon hearing the answer I’d remember it. Really remember it. Good for the ego! And now learning level 14, it’s going so smoothly, I’m (just by virtue of sticking my hand in again) remembering answers before the lesson teaches me, which is terrific, and I’m actually enjoying the experience (and not rushing my progress, like before).

Also retaking Japanese Beginner 2 conversational Japanese class at my local university, and it’s much the same feeling–I’ve forgotten quite a bit, but it comes back easily with practice.

Had I stayed at 35, with the giant review backlog, and entirely new lessons to get through, etc., I wouldn’t be feeling the confidence I have now. And by the time I get to 35 (again), I’ll be much better prepared for it!