It’s somewhat frustrating that I have learnt the kanji, radicals, and vocabulary and I am still being held back by WaniKani’s alogrithms. I have 10 kanji left all needing one more mark for review each, and the weather forecast gives around 10-20, yet for some reason, the algorithm has been avoiding the kanji I need and giving me unnecessary review for vocabulary, and sometimes is stuck on one word that I’ve repeatedly gotten right.
There needs to be a “Test” button implemented into WaniKani where if you feel you’re ready, then you can test your knowledge on all vocab, kanji, and radicals of the level you are on, and be able to move on if you pass. The test could also be once per day where you have to pass three days in a row to move on.
There also needs to be a custom study feature where you can pick and choose the radicals, vocab, or kanji you want to study, and be able to study the material you want to rather than only being able to study the most recent lessons or most recent mistakes. There also should be a feature where you can start studying the next level early if you are 80-90% close to finishing the level. It’s kind of tiring having to use Anki to study the next level when WaniKani is holding me back.
I feel these three things would benefit WaniKani greatly, especially if you are paying for WaniKani per month, or bought a lifetime membership
WaniKani does have a test like that. It’s called the reviews.
What it means, in WK’s terms, to know a kanji, is not to know it right now, but to know it after a period of time since the last time WK asked you about it. That’s the whole deal with SRS. Letting you “test out” of a kanji by asking you about it once defeats the whole purpose. What you’re suggesting is a system of teaching/learning that is entirely different from how WK is set up.
Now, it might be that that’s just not the way you want to learn. That’s fair, and that’s fine - but it does mean maybe WK is not the platform for you.
If you want that level of control over when to add new items, decide that you’ve mastered things, what you do and don’t want to study, etc. you’re probably going to find WaniKani frustrating and would be happier doing some kind of self-guided Anki study.
One of WK’s big strengths is that it doesn’t give you all the rope you want to hang yourself. Most levels won’t come faster than about one a week. You have to still know answers after a particular amount of time to move that item to a higher category and so on. If you want to do your own thing, go for it, but saying WK “needs” to give users more ways to shoot themselves in the foot is something I disagree with. There’s already plenty of potential to do that by abusing undo and reorder scripts.
I definitely agree with your point here! When I started my kanji learning journey, all I wanted was to move onto the next level! However, as I started experiencing the SRS and saw items I hadn’t seen in a couple of weeks, I realized that my retention was not even close to being perfect. SRS can be frustrating, but it’s about the long-term. Wanikani is designed not to help you learn kanji quickly but about making sure what you learn lasts.
I can see why you’d be frustrated. I know the feeling. When I was at level 59, I actually couldn’t hit level 60 for three days because I was one kanji short!
But you’ll discover over time that the stuff you don’t know has a way of piling up. It sounds to me like you’re at a stage where slowing your roll is in your best interests. The kanji and vocab that you learn in those first three levels show up a lot when you read Japanese in the wild. It’s worth the extra time to feel better about them now. I promise I don’t mean this in a condescending way, but you’re at a stage where leveling up too soon is like building on wet concrete.
If you continue with WaniKani you will soon see that you have too much to do. That being said, you can level up once every 6 days and 20 hours if you really wanted to. And then the fast levels, you can level up in half the speed. If you want to go fast, you can finish WK in 1 year.
Also you need to understand what SRS is. It will take 3 days and 10 hours to finish your radicals, and another 3 days and 10 hours to finish the rest of your kanji. Because the SRS goes, 4 hours, 8 hours, 23 hours, 47 hours. That’s how long it takes for it to show up until it’s Guru which is passing level.
Vocabulary is not useless, without it, you wouldn’t know how to read the other readings of the kanji, that’s the whole reason they give it to you.
If they let you level up when they want, you’d be overwhelmed, trust me. I’m going max speed so I’m doing around 21+ lessons a day, and doing around 300 reviews a day. You haven’t seen those types of numbers because you just started, but soon things will ramp up and that will be something you can do.
However, WaniKani gives you the options to limit yourself so you don’t have to face those numbers, because a normal person with school or a job cannot sustain that, most people end up quitting if they get too overwhelmed.
Once you finish 90% of the kanji, WaniKani already levels you up.
There are user scripts you can install that allow you to rearrange what you learn, like radicals and kanji first.