User scripts are cheating

I feel like user scripts are basically cheating. Having a script that displays exactly what kanji will show up right before your srs review feels like it defeats the entire purpose of SRS. Does anyone relate? I think I might stop using user scripts because of this reason. It’s improved my scores but I feel like just getting passing scores is like studying right before a test in a class. Sure, you pass the test, but did you actually learn?


Cheating implies something that’s “against the rules”, for me. Everyone has their own learning experience and goals, so I’m fine with whatever works for everyone. Everyone can make their own rules. Use scripts allow people to customize their learning experience to what works for them. If they don’t work for you because you think you’re learning less, by all means don’t use them.


My goal is to learn. I don’t think that studying a minute or two prior to taking a test is “learning.” That’s just cramming. It’s cheating. Whatever the semantics are that you want to use, that’s fine. However, the reality is that studying just prior to a test means that you do not know the content. It is cheating. Against the rules or not, it’s the same.


I think that overall even this “cheating” kind of studying is still much better than no studying :sweat_smile:

I think there are a lot of ways of learning, some are more effective but require more effort… Overall, everyone needs to find a way that works best for themselves :sweat_smile:

That being said, some userscript do feel a bit like cheating. I don’t think that way about the script that show what items would be on the review session, but, for example, the undo script does feel a bit like cheating :sweat_smile:


Yeah I feel the same way. What I’m concerned the most about is whether or not I am actually learning and improving my recall of kanji and vocabulary. If my recall and learning are not affected then I see no issues with this. Do we have any way of testing if it’s negatively affecting our learning?


Is this script even a thing? I’ve never heard of it, and I don’t think any sensible person would ever use it. That specific script aside, no, I don’t think scripts are cheating. Userscripts are here to enhance your experience: they can help manage your workload, help you work on leeches, and show you the phonetic breakdown of kanji. They also do silly little things like make your burns gold instead of black. Sure you can use them to cheat, but that’s up to the individual to decide; at their core, they’re here to help you. Double Check and Undo are very easy to abuse, but most people are responsible enough to know better. You can even cheat in vanilla Wanikani by giving everything the synonym ‘a’ Some people will always cheat, userscripts or not. They’re only hurting themselves.


These are just fine. I’m just concerned about how these are affecting our learning.


This is a very good question…
I think that overall only time can tell. You try various methods and decide for yourself which work better for you… It’s very important to find your own pace and studying methods.

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Y-you’re cheating!


I’m not familiar with the script you’re talking about, but at the end of the day if you are not failing items that you actually can’t remember when they come up or are not struggling to recall those items before you look up the answer then it will absolutely negatively affect your long-term retention and largely defeat the entire purpose of using an SRS to begin with.

Memory retention studies have been done that very definitively show that retention is significantly improved the more you have to struggle to recall something when you’re learning it. The act of actively recalling and trying to remember is essentially what is creating the neural pathways that lead to learning. Bypassing that in some misguided effort to game stats or speed run faster than you are realistically able to memorize things (which is evidenced by the need to cheat!) is only cheating yourself.

It’s one thing if you’re being forced to take a test about something you really don’t care about and don’t want to learn. However, if you are voluntarily spending your time on something that you actually want to learn, it makes no sense whatsoever to do things that actively work against that goal.

I’ve been doing SRS-style learning for a very long time across many domains and the reality is that failing cards is a good thing. Those are precisely the items that you need to spend more time with to learn. Sure, it can be frustrating to miss things, but a quick shift in perspective to realize that it’s very natural and exactly what you want to happen in order to properly learn things will help mitigate that frustration.


That’s exactly what I thought would happen so that’s why I am probbaly only going to use quality of life user scripts and nothing that shows me what I will be tested on.

The problem with scripts like the timeline, or the progress bars is that they tell you what you will be tested on. It’s like how kids in high school used to ask “Teacher, what will the questions be on the test?” It’s the same kind of issue. If the teacher tells the students, they will not be able to properly test their knowledge.


Are you a teacher ? Because I am, and this a kind of test teachers use to practice some special skills of the students and create self-confidence in themselves. We sometimes tell them what precisely will be evaluated in the next test. This makes them work and review more and they… progress !
This is the same process than when a student makes a cheat sheet at home and ends up… learning their lesson :grin:

As for the undo script, it’s really frustrating to fail on a typo. I hate that personnally, so I use the undo script without any remorse.
But I use it too when I know I can remember something. I do various tries. Then, when the word comes up again, I remember my failed attempts and what is the right answer, so yeah it helps me learning, so I’ll still use it.
Call me cheater if you want, I don’t mind because “cheating” helps my leaning :yum:


I would less care about if scripts are “cheating” and more about how to make use of all the explicit information that people try to burn into their mind. If you use those “cheating” scripts and read a lot, effectively minimizing the time you spend on SRS and spend the time doing something very useful for your actual implicit knowledge, isn’t that cheating worth it all in all?
Or does it still make you a cheater, just one that gets fluent a lot faster. :scream_cat:
Almost a philosophical question, astounding! :smiley:



This meme is gonna be so useful in my future, thanks for it :pray:

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lol im not here just to complain. i’m just trying to open a discussion


I agree with @Till above. I think this post comes across a lot more negatively than you intended it to because of the word “cheating”. I think most people (and the dictionary) would agree that cheating is when you do something unfairly to get an advantage. As you say, if you abuse an undo script or something, you’re not really “learning”. So, where’s the advantage? Getting to level 60 faster? That’s not the goal. If the goal is learning to read Japanese, then it’s basically the opposite of cheating: you’re actively disadvantaging yourself by abusing user scripts.

I never used any, but I have nothing against it. Most members who use scripts are probably doing so fairly because they want to learn. If someone wants to blow through WK in a year by forcing their mistakes to be marked correct, that’s fine with me. In any case, I wouldn’t consider it cheating unless there was some tangible reward they’re unfairly earning as a result of the script abuse.


Oh, I’m glad you did. I’m glad you did. I hope it stays open for a long time


There is no discussion. Learning types are different. Life circumstances especially are different and incomparable. Use what works best for you, don’t what doesn’t. Claiming that they are cheating is really just an entirely subjective and ultimately meaningless moral assertion.

Personally, to me, I think it does defeat the point of SRS to preview it right before the review itself. But you could say the same about the little bar showing you the current level kanji, or about reading a manga in your free time and seeing the kanji there before it pops up on SRS. And in some cases it can make sense to just get a kanji or word that gives you a lot of trouble out of the way, so that you can focus on the rest.


Yeah, I think the cheating language is what causes some of the more argumentative replies. Wanikani is not a certified exam, it’s not a contest, so it’s hard to call anything cheating. (This is also why I don’t get people who’s reaction to hitting 60 is “let’s reset to 1 and speedrun”).

Even for stuff like reading, you can apply different standards. e.g. is it sufficient that you understood the gist of what the character is saying, or do you need to explain what every grammar structure is doing in that sentence?

I do use the undo feature, but that’s for stuff like “Oh, it turns out I can’t spell onomatopoeia in English, even with Wanikani’s forgiveness”, “No, PM’s office is the same thing as prime minister’s office” or “Oh, the trash talk word specifically wants Trash-Talk” (or there was something weird about that one, it’s burned now so whatever).

That said, I do think pre-reading all the items before a review cycle does break SRS a bit, for that example. But then so does non-SRS studying at all to some degree or another. If you remember a word in a review because it was in the book you read yesterday, is that the end of the world? I don’t think so.