Trust the SRS. That's what it's there for

Hi folks,

I’m back on WaniKani after a hiatus of… several years. Three, I think? At least two.

I haven’t been studying kanji at all in that period of time (aside from casual reading of travel sites, menus, signs, and the occasional news article), and am working through a huge backlog of reviews. I’m not doing too well, but I do notice that there’s a definite pattern.

Three years on, I still have a near-perfect hit rate for the items that I got to Master and Enlightened levels before my break, and I’ve retained very few of the Apprentice and Guru level items. Those are about 50/50, and I think most of the ones I am getting right are words I was familiar with before WaniKani.

While my stats at the end of the review are really discouraging, what is encouraging is that my burn pile is increasing very quickly, and I have good confidence that the things going in there are really going to be retained long-term.

So if you’re feeling frustrated with the SRS or thinking about tweaking it, consider this as a message from your future self: trust the SRS. Let it do its job. You’ll thank me in three years or so.

-K

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Haha, I’m glad you shared that. I’ve just come back from half a year away, to a pile of 900 reviews (which I’ve now cleared) and I had a similar experience, burned off quite a few things that were on Enlightened, so they clearly stuck, and have been about 50% correct on anything that was at apprentice before I took the break.

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