Wanikani プレースメントテスト

Let’s me first start by saying that I am certainly no veteran user of WaniKani. I used the application some 5-6 years ago, took a massive break, and now I’ve returned…for the 3rd time. What I adore about WaniKani is seeing soo many testimonials about how people have reached Level 60 in amount of time–I want to be that person, but studying Kanji that I have learned for several years now makes the process a lot harder; I get discouraged easily due to the fact that I convince myself that I don’t need to re-study the N5 and N4 level Kanji to any degree.

Which brings me to my point: Why is there no placement test or equivalent for WaniKani for the people who have studied Japanese for some time now? I’ve studied for about 3 and a half (going on 4?) years, and when I see the beginner level kanji, I want to kill myself. I’m sure this topic has probably come up tons of times, but I can honestly and wholeheartedly say that I’d be willing to dedicate ANY amount of money to WaniKani if I could focus solely on new content and content I often get wrong.


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The kanji and vocab are not ordered by any jlpt level or jouyou level or anything, so it would be hard to let people skip the earlier levels and miss kanji and vocab that are from the higher levels.

You can treat the earlier levels as a way to build a routine without getting a lot of items wrong, and then gradually adjust as more new items pop up. “learning” an item you already know well on WK doesn’t take up that much time, you can speed through the lesson, and spare only a couple seconds on each review of the word, and it takes only eight reviews to burn it, so all in all you only have to pay attention to it for less than half a minute, in the grand scheme of it (unless you make a typo). Of course those half miutes do count up if you have many “useless” lessons, but I reckon you can get something out of most WK items.

How come you’re level 1? Did you decide to reset when you came back the third time?


Do you really know all there is to know about the beginner level kanji?

You could use it as an opportunity to push yourself farther.

Can you read / understand these words?

土木 (どぼく public works, civil engineering)
小夜 (さよ evening)
一入 (ひとしお especially)
百足 (むかで centipede)
海星 (ひとで starfish)
山羊 (やぎ goat)

That’s just a few that come to mind.

Sure, you won’t learn them here, but you won’t be having a difficult time with WK’s main content, so you could use that time to study them more.

That is, unless you already knew all of those. In which case there are probably just more appropriate resources for you.


I had a WK account years ago, and I don’t remember the email or password (first attempt).

Under this account, I started using WaniKani last year again (2nd attempt), and I returned a year later—I just couldn’t bring myself to revisit the Kanji from level 1. I suppose these are useful tips, but I’m less motivated to study it because it feels like it’s taking forever xD


I’m hearing you guys’ advice, don’t get me wrong! I have every intention to give this a (4th) shot, I’m just trying to find a deeper motivation is all. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that WK has absolutely nothing for me to learn, I just think there’s very little to gain from the beginner levels for me, which makes it less incentivizing for me to put in the effort—if that makes sense?

How many levels do you think you’ll need to speed through before you start seeing value?

If it’s only 10, that doesn’t seem so bad but if you have to force your way through 20 or 30 levels before you start seeing things you don’t know, maybe you can try some other method of learning kanji (which may be cheaper / quicker).


I’ve been studying Japanese for quite a while so I’m having a similar experience right now with the low level stuff being shown to me… However, I’m honestly just forcing myself to believe I don’t know anything and “learn” things from scratch in the way the system wants me to, because I believe it will help me get into the proper rhythm/mindset for the harder levels.

Something I’ve done on my own alongside WK, is to set-up a study regiment that includes watching JP dramas/anime without subtitles, listening to JP audiobooks, reading graded readers, “shadowing” whatever I hear that somewhat makes sense to me, and keeping a diary/journal in JP. For the diary I make sure to try and use some of the Kanji/vocab WK is throwing at me at the moment. This way, even though it feels like I am rehashing old material, I am still using them in new ways to completely engage in the language.


i’d hazard to say most people that sign up for WK have some degree of this feeling at first. The kind of person who signs up here and hasn’t studied Japanese at all just seems pretty rare!

just stick it out and get used to WK’s style, even on words you already know IMO! It’s worth it.

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That would be me. I searched on Google how to learn Japanese and came across a Tofugu article. The first part was learning hiragana and katakana, so I spent a week on that using their visual mnemonics and worksheets, after that I immediately started with WaniKani.

Your words are so kind! I’m roughing it; honestly, it’s kinda entertaining!


Beautifully said. 頑張らなきゃ!

I think it would be an interesting development, and although potentially tricky, would be a benefit for a number of people.

How I could see it working:

  1. Tests are divided by level and don’t include radicals
  2. If a person clears a kanji/vocab - reading and meaning - in the first pass, it’s automatically moved to either Master or Enlightened. This way it’ll still pop back up at least once before burning.
  3. You can only challenge each level once

It would take a while to do all the tests but would save you time long term.


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