To restart or to not restart

Hello! :blush:

I oficially came back after almost a year of the vacation mode. Last summer I came to a point in my life I just couldn’t focus on studying and I chose to freeze my account. I didn’t quit learing japanese though. I still attend private lessons once a week. Recently, I’ve been trying some N5 tests with my teacher and it’s quit ok but I really need to revise the kanji I’ve learned cause I don’t remember them well or at all… I think restarting to level 3-5 would be beneficial. I don’t think it’d be a waste of time, I would revise all the forgotten vocabulary and kanji with the readings with no pressure to keep goin forward… but I’m not sure… When I look at my actual material to revise it’s like completely new to me, same with a few levels before 13th… That’s why I’m hesitating. I don’t have pressure to complete all the levels as soon as possible. I just wish to know those kanji well enough to push my learing experience forward. Recently, I’ve been watching some stuff in japanese with japanese subtitles on yt (no english subtitles) and it really frustrated me, not because it was obviously beyond my level but because I knew I learned some of those kanji before and I just coulnd’t remember their meaning/reading. That’s why I must revise all levels for sure but on my own it would be way too difficult than restarting my account to some previous level…
I need your advise guys. I know this topic is nothing new here but every situation is different. I’d really with to hear some people with greater experience than me. I don’t want to blow it… :disappointed_relieved:

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Well, I have not reset, so I’m probably not the best person to give advice on this matter.

Nevertheless, well done for returning to WaniKani! That’s always the first step :wink:. Race ya to level 60!

It sounds like you feel most comfortable with resetting. Trust in your own decision. :hugs:

Welcome back my dude. Its an achievement in and of itself just coming back. That being said, if I was in your situation, I would look at the radical / kanji / vocab lists starting from level 1 and skim through it. Do the kanji / vocab / mnemonics look familiar? Even if there is the smallest hint of your brain still able to make a connection to the radical, kanji or vocab then I would say to keep trucking on and let the SRS system do its thing.

By doing this, you will definitely be getting some hideous review percentages for a month or so but keep trying. The items you don’t know will show up sooner when you get them wrong and you can take pride in the items that you have gotten right after not seeing them for 1+ years. Just remember, you likely still need to study grammar (via Textbooks, videos etc.,) so these kanji will be reinforced passively in your studies.

Its fine to be discouraged by your mistakes and not be able to recall something you thought you knew. In 2 to 3 years time if you keep trying, you will be able to look back on this very moment and reflect on how much you improved. Best of luck.


I feel ya. I was hard rushing the levels 1-20 and stopped around 18 when I went to Japan and then took a 1.5y break as full-time University + job was too much (or I decided for myself it was too much).

When I re-started again, I also hesitated to reset, but could easily recognize most words or kanji by revising burned items with an extension or using the site Wanikani stats, so I decided not to. Although there are some words I completely forgot or some kanji here and there, I knew that the important ones will eventually come back automatically once you start reading source material (well, it did for me) and you will remember more once you are more exposed to the language.

There is no 100% perfect way to learn Japanese, it’s usually a jumble of a bunch of resources and a mess. You might repeatedly do errors too and that’s ok, I still do basic grammar errors every day in my own native language (French). Whether you reset or not is your decision, if you want to be more precise I would advise going to WK stats, reviewing all your burned kanji quickly and selecting the ones you REALLY had trouble with, and individually reset them one by one (the ones you struggled a lot with), which shouldn’t take too long. For the others you kinda knew but forgot a bit - if they were important - you’ll recall them once you expose yourself to more native material and review them as so ;).


I have reset twice. Once for going too fast, second time for keep pushing when I was sick using scripts abuse (“do the vocabs when I get better”, but took a few months, so ended up all useless effort, reset back to 1 cause first two levels are done in one week, so worth it! )

I later had a burnout where I just left it for almost a year, and getting back to it took me another year!
I wish I had reset again when I had that burnout…

Honestly, with a year of I would recommend a full reset. It will be about a month to get to 5, and that month is worth it. A “slow start” to help ease back in to it and make sure all are properly learned =)
Some mnemonics might have changed, making it confusing not to restart.

I reset in the early 30s just under a year ago. Genuinely one of the best things I’ve done for my kanji study, because I’d taken long hiatuses and not established a routine of doing WK every day. The slow start was frustrating but it’s helped reinforce the kanji later on that got pushed out of my sieve brain.

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Had a ~ 6 month long break after level ten. I often wanted to come back but wasn’t shure where to start. 2 Weeks ago I decided to reset to 1 instead of wasting any more weeks just thinking where to start. Was a good decision so far. Never had so high percentages xD But I understand the struggle, when having more than 10 Levels in your pocket.

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I’m a proponent of re-starting, or at least going back 10+ levels. I think there’s something to be gained from recognizing that you don’t feel secure in your learning and going back to go over it. There are very few things that are straight lines, and your WK journey doesn’t have to be one of them.

I was at level 55 and just felt like it was too much. I could have powered through for another month just to “finish” but that’d just be an achievement on paper. I stopped for a few months, suspended my subscription and everything, and went back to level 20 when I returned. I thought about a total reset, but that would have been overkill. Things feel so much better. I feel way more confident about what I’ve learned, which shows me that it wasn’t a waste.

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I recently reset from level 15 to level 10 after a 6 month break and now kind of regret it. Once I had finally worked my way through the backlog of reviews I was surprised by how much I remembered, and almost all the lessons that I add now are for kanji/vocab I already know. It’s frustrating that I’m still weeks away from unlocking anything new.

If I were to do it again, I think I’d probably reset by only 2 levels - that would clear most of the Apprentice and Guru queues, while leaving most of the stuff I have a decent chance of having retained intact.

My experience seems to be different from most of the people in this thread so I’m not sure it constitutes good advice - but if you’re having doubts, maybe reset by fewer levels than you initially planned. You can always reset further if it doesn’t work out, but you can’t undo once you’ve reset.

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I recently reset from level 7 alll the way back to level 1. I’d say definitely be careful how far back you go, I was surprised by how much I was able to remember so I’ve just been very bored (though I’m finally getting back into things that are slightly less familiar). Resetting in general though I think was a good idea, it would’ve taken me a long time to try and slog through all the unfamiliar kanji and vocab I had in the queue.

Thank you all for your feedback :blush: I’m still considering a few levels reset but I tried yesterday to do some reviews and I was surprised how much I remembered! One person suggested to simply refresh whole material and just make further reviews. Maybe I’ll try this way first and see how it goes. I’m just worried about holes in my knowledge and risk with too many errors and tones of reviews as a result. This is my actual status, kind of depressing:

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Some people at higher levels do 200+ reviews a day. I have 170+ daily reviews even though I’m pretty slow and sometimes cheese my way when the answer is “close enough” to get stuff out of the way (wk thinks I have 97%ish accuracy). That amount of reviews should be managable in several days, especially if you don’t do new lessons. I don’t know about you, but I would certainly try to get used to doing at least 100-150+ reviews every day if you’re not planning on spending several years on wk.

I’m not very far in WaniKani, but feel confident that the SRS would do it’s job in bringing you up to speed. Much like any other activity that requires frequent practice like an instrument or martial art… Your brain’s muscle memory will eventually kick in.

Well, as you are not under pressure, I’d recommend restarting. It certainly be more comfortable than trying to move on while having a lot of forgotten items behind you.

Anyway, welcome back and best of luck to you!

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