Wanikani is too slow and the Radicals are Useless. also Why Can't I just level up in one day instead of 7?

A hearty congrats to you @TamanegiNoKame I too have hit several vicious slumps from 2012 to last year. It’s painful to think of how much I could have learned in that time… and my slumps are always looooooong. I had Koichi do a soft reset for me some time ago, and I have been abiding by a routine for the last several months and sticking with it.

Tell me, exulted one: how are you going to supplement your studies now? How have you approached vocab and colloquialisms? I’m pretty good with Kanji but vocab and the little spices that make Japanese conversation so unique are what have killed me since, well, forever. Have a fun time in Japan!

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H-holy moly, a week per level is insane then. How many new items do you take on per day? I’m currently doing 15, and making sure to do the lessons for all vocab of the previous level before moving onto the radicals of the next. (So, you know, Wanikani Vanilla.) I’m looking at about sixteen days per level, give or take.

I mean, to everyone their own speed, going faster would probably burn me out (especially on batches of hard/new words), but it sounds like you’re hitting 30+ new items a day. Damn.

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Yeah, the slumps can be rough. My main advice on that is habit. Really try to make your WK schedule a habit at whatever speed you can consistently keep up.

In terms of studies, I am currently trying to read a lot. Through my time on wanikani, I tried to get in a lot of listening practice from various sources and read as much as possible. Both of those, in conjunction with WK are a decent base to work from. I still know way less vocab than I would like to, but I can understand a lot of what I hear and can read a decent amount without a dictionary. Basically, my plan at this point is to read even more now and start actively compiling an anki deck from my reading of new words and phrases. Personally, I like to pick up grammar/colloquialisms just from tons of exposure and context and it has worked ok so far, but eventually I will try to do some formal grammar learning as well. Besides that, I am hoping that everyday life in Japan will give me lots of opportunities to learn and practice while speaking to people. Also, don’t be fooled by the gold 60…it just means I know some kanji…I am still a long long way from knowing Japanese.

Best of luck with WK and with learning Japanese on the long haul. I am beginning to think it will be a journey that will last me a lifetime, but that is fine because I really enjoy doing it. Also, thanks for the congrats!

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Haha, so no, for the week levels it is does not have to be that bad. I would do the 28 or so kanji and the radicals on day 1. That was always the most tiring. For me, vocab sticks really easily usually if I know the kanji well so I felt comfortable doing those either in a few smaller chunks through the week or even all at once if I had a day that was particularly slow. I know for some people that is not the case for vocab though. @jprspereira can you chime in on how you do a 7ish day pace without burning yourself out?? One thing I would say is treat SRS as a religion. I always tried to follow the SRS exactly for new items at least for the first day.

Also, I agree with you. There is no rush. The biggest thing is being consistent and making it a habit. For me, this speed worked (though you can see, when life got busy I did get burned out a few times because I had not formed a strong enough habit). I think you can do around 15ish lessons a day and still level up within a week or so but I usually did huge batches of vocab all at once so once again, @jprspereira can you chime in here because I am pretty sure you are one of the consistent, reasonable amount a day, persons.

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Congrats on level 60, Onion. :smiley:

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By the way, the stats site gives you your average radicals/kanji/vocab per day:

image

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Congrats!!! I hope to see you soon at level 60 if everything goes ok.

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Congratulations!

This means you’re fluent in Chinese, right?

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Once I finish all the amazon reviews, yes!!!

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Way to go, Tamanegi! Glad to see you finally got to the end. Looking forward to meeting you there in the land of Gold and Cake (someday)!

And just so I can remember the days of yore:

9d0794432d8bd52813cf02f183d0951c

:heart:

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@bahooney @Fang and others that might be interested.

How to use WaniKani:

Obs: this strategy requires the reorder script.

Step 1: you need to define how many days you want to spend in each level. How do I do it? I make sure to know how long it will take me to do all the vocab of that specific level. I don’t care about leveling up faster, just so that I’ll end up leaving vocabulary unlocked from the previous level to do. If you want to level up every 8 days, you need to make sure you can do both the lessons of radicals and kanji and the vocabulary during that interval (lessons: 0 or close enough at leveling up) while maintaining a healthy accuracy. WK has on average around 120 vocab per level (higher levels have less). This means that if you want to level up every 8 days: 120/8=15 vocab lessons that must be done every day. Leveling up every 10 days means you do 12 lessons of vocab every single day. 7 days/level and you’ll do 17 vocab lessons. Choose a number that works for you. Remember that doing WK the fastest way is about learning efficiency, not about how fast your level increases :slight_smile:

If you intend to level up as fast and as effectively as you possibly can, there’s 4 things to worry about related to items:

  • Doing the radical lessons as soon as you level up. The sooner you guru the radicals, the sooner the 2nd half of Kanji will appear.
  • Doing the lessons of the 1st half of Kanji in the days between the unlock of radicals and the unlock of the 2nd half of Kanji. This establishes that most if not all of your 1st half of Kanji will be already Guru before you leveling up.
  • Doing the lessons of the 2nd half of Kanji as soon as you guru the radicals.
  • Doing the lessons of vocab available during the time you spend on that level (use the “total vocab/number of days” formula to know how many words you should learn per day to achieve this).

Now, let’s talk about reviews. I assume you already know the subdivisions of the Apprentice category, right?

Apprentice 1 => Guru 1 (3d10h, considering 4 correct answers in a row)

Apprentice 1 (lesson)
Apprentice 2 (+4h)
Apprentice 3 (+8h)
Apprentice 4 (+23h => consider this as 24h or 2x12h)
Guru 1 (+47h => consider this as 48h or 4x12h)

This helps you answer the question: How frequently should I do the reviews?

If you pay attention, you’ll notice that WK is divided by periods of 12h. Apprentice 1 (4h) + Apprentice 2 (8h) = 12h. This means that you need 12h after the lesson to put an item in the Apprentice 3. After that, it takes +2x12h for Apprentice 4 and +4x12h for Guru. Why should you care? It’s simple. This allows you to build your own schedule for WK.

For example, imagine that you do a lesson at 9am. This means that you’ll get the 1st review at 1pm (+4h) and the 2nd review at 9pm (+8h, considering you got it right both times). Did you notice the pattern? That’s right, 9 am and 9pm. It’s the WK’s pattern working. Now, think about the time it will take for the next Apprentice levels. That’s right, Apprentice 4 at 9pm of the following day and Guru 1 two days later also at 9pm. Can you see the magic happening?

In order to use WK to its full potential, it’s better to do the Apprentice reviews using the intervals of WK. Why? If you read the FAQ/Guide, you’ll see that WK shows you an item right before you forget it. By being loyal to their intervals, you’ll be able to be more successful in your reviews. Does this give you extra work? Not at all. Just notice the pattern again.

For an item which lesson was done at 9am, you’ll need to:

  • review it at 1pm.
  • review it at 9pm.

You basically only need to use WK three times per day. Forget about trying to be here every single waking hour. You don’t need to. Waking up at the middle of the night is also complete nonsense. Your sleep is way more important than WK and the cool thing is that you can do both right.

Now, I believe you already noticed that choosing the time you do the lesson also determines your schedule for the rest of your day. I’ll tell you more, it determines your schedule for the rest of your WK usage. Use this to your advantage.

For example, imagine that you know that tomorrow you’ll be able to use WK at 8am and 8pm (12h interval). Then, 8am is the right time for the lessons. If you do the lessons at 2pm, it means that the 2nd review will only be available at 2am. Little bit late, don’t you think? By creating your own schedule for the day, you allow yourself to use WK in a healthy way. No need to wake up at the middle of night, no need for more guesses. You’re fully in control.

Another schedule that some people might prefer following is doing the lessons 4h before your last review (aka around bed time). This means that you’ll do your 1st review right before going to bed and your 2nd one just after waking up. See how the 12h cycle works perfectly. Some people even do both schedules by dividing the daily amount of new lessons into 2 parts. Do the one that fits best in your routine.

Summary:

  • Define a number of days per level that doesn’t interfere with your learning of radicals, kanji and vocab.
  • Taking point 1 into consideration, think about the 4 rules related to items that I mentioned above.
  • Then, define a 12h schedule (0h, +4h, +8h) based on your routine that allows you to use WK.
  • Protect your learning: while doing the lessons, make sure to only focus on it. No TV, no people talking to you. Those 5 to 10 minutes should only be yours to use. The better your lessons go, the better your reviews will too.
  • Sleep well, eat healthy and exercise. Unfortunately, our body doesn’t work with magic.
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I just became a subscriber ! But I just saw a video that threw me a bit off
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How long to level up check
Konnichiwa! :sparkles: An intro (and Questions about why Leveling is so slow? also, how to Unlock more lessons?)
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My Journey of 368 days (+ The Ultimate Guide for WK :open_book: )
Starting WaniKani for December N2 prep/review?
I want to believe
I want to believe
What has been your slowest level?
WaniKani Routine Thread
Unofficial FAQ
Question regarding speed
Wanikani screenshots :camera_flash:
How long need wait for new lessons?
Are those who are completing in 7 days really learning everything?
Will KaniWani just fill my mind with word I don't need to know yet?
Will KaniWani just fill my mind with word I don't need to know yet?
"Okay" and "rip" number of pending lessons/reviews
You know you’ve been WKing when
How can I level up faster?
Waiting system sometimes excessive
Starting to feel the burn!
My Journey of 368 days (+ The Ultimate Guide for WK :open_book: )
Focus on Reviews or Lessons
New WaniKani Knowledge Base
Question on Lessons
Forecasting Reviews on the Dashboard
Kanji are getting harder
What does your Christmas study schedule look like/Christmas goals?
Wanikani levelling up
Wanikani "hump"?
Does anyone know how much progress I will make in 3-4 months?
How long did it take to get to your current level?
Do you prefer a big pile of reviews or small ones?
Making no progress on level 3 but getting reviews mostly correct
HELP! Can I finish WaniKani in a year? 😰
Why is WaniKani so slooow OMG LEVEL 3 I'M DROWNING IN LESSONS/REVIEWS

Thanks @jprspereira this really clearly explains what I was failing to find words for.

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I feel like I have seen your name around a few times. Thanks! Good luck keeping up the pace. See you around.

Also, @BK-201 and @raephe haha, got you! @BK-201 see you here soon. The cake is to die for. Thanks guys!

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Good stuff, this is. Now if I could just find a way to apply this to my 12h working schedule that rotates days and nights every six days and constantly leaves me exhausted. ;-; Also break times are by no means guaranteed!

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You can change your 12h schedule though. You can go for lessons in the mornings or in the evenings. You can even do 50/50 or whatever ratio you want. You might be tired during x morning so you end up doing only 20 or 30% or lessons or whatever. It’s all about balance and making things work for you, not against.

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Yeah, I think jprs was giving the ideal world method. That stinks. My older brother works 24s a lot and is constantly dead tired. I almost never get to see him now because when he is not busy he is recovering from his ridiculous work hours. Are you in medicine?? Or some other field where there are annoying, random, irregular, sleep schedules? I hope I never have a job like that. Regular sleep is too important to me…

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If you can’t find an interval to breathe during 12h, it’s not WK that you need to fix. It’s your life :frowning:

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I think sometimes that is just life unfortunately. If you really love something, sometimes you are willing to sacrifice even a regular sleep schedule for it. I have not yet found something like that, but I can understand why some people would.

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Sure, passions are great, but just burning yourself out easily will only lead to you not being able to give your best into your passion… so what’s the point? Of course it’s comprehensive once in a while. I was talking in a regular basis situation.

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I guess my point is, for example, my brother who is a doctor really loves what he is doing on a regular basis. It exhausts him, he never has a regular sleep schedule, but he loves it and does a lot of good for people, so if he has to sacrifice regular sleep for that, I think that is a good thing. It would be even better if he could do that and still sleep regularly, but that is not an option for him in his current position. All I am trying to say is, different people have different life circumstances and that is not always a bad thing.

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