Wanikani still slow...even at level 6 (the issue is 'balance and spread' within a level...not predictability, nor the rate of upleveling)

I got an email saying “Welcome to Level 6…Have you noticed that things are starting to get harder? That’s because you’re getting more reviews to do”

Well I’m on level 6…just did a review…which only had FOUR ‘old’ items. and when I completed it says…next review in THREE hours. so I have nothing to do until then?

I though it was meant to get harder. Wkstats says it’s going to take me 9 days to complete this level. Of course…if it keeps giving me reviews this slow.

I’ve got most of my Level 6 kanji saying my next review is in 2 days.

this is actually starting to annoy me. I get a good bunch of stuff to do in the first day or two…then it trickles down to barely a few.

Am I doing something wrong? Is getting the answers right, the wrong thing to do?

I have one radical (my last one, and it’s blocking some kanji to be release for a lesson) that just won’t seem to appear in a review…now it’s finally saying in 2 days. why?

Sitting here twiddling my thumbs…

SRS tends to space things out according to memory acquisition, which means that sometimes it slows down a bit if you’re conquering everything in big blocks. Generally, I’d just recommend enjoying the break before the two days of a deluge of reviews, depending on how your current levels are stacked!

EDIT: Also, generally I have noticed that the opening to levels is a bit slow, as generally vocab tends to come after you’ve guru’d most of the constituent parts. Usually, depending on how everything is laid out, older reviews fill in the space.


You’re doing it right. It just really does take a long time to get going if you already know some kanji or if you have a lot of time to do reviews. For me WaniKani stopped being super easy around level 10 and felt like it was going properly around level 20.


Use the self-study script and study ahead.


Real game starts after level 15.


This image gets posted in terms of the workload that you will have as you progess in wanikani. As you can see it will get harder until level 20 or so. So it’ll get about 3 times more intense. No one really complains that wanikani is slow once they get into it. Keep it up!


The fastest you could have gone is 6 days 20 hours, so there have been times when items were waiting on you, not the other way around.

Not trying to sound judgmental, just saying it didn’t have to be as slow as it was.


Study grammar or other stuff between reviews.
Trust me, you’ll eventually get to the point where you’ll leave it for half a day and have 200 reviews piled up.


Yeah that’s exactly what I don’t understand. I stop doing reviews after 11pm and I always do ALL my lessons AND reviews starting at 6am on the hour every hour. Only on a couple of days did I wait 2 hours a couple of times (due to work commitments).

So in that case WHY oh why do I get 4 whole hours with just 4 old vocabulary words at the start of it then nothing.

And now - the next review I have waiting is ONLY going give me 3 things to review.

I really don’t like these big blank blocks of daytime wait time.

I think the SRS needs to have a smarter algorithm to space things out…ie instead of 90 things at 6am one day then the next day it’s a desert.
Or at least an option to be able to more cleverly balance and spread things out.

I’m doing all my lessons and reviews as soon as I can.

I’m really wondering what I’m doing wrong as to get all these blank periods.
People tell me to not do the lessons/reviews all at once.
People tell me to do them fast so WK will take 6 days.

Neither of this advice works.

That’s why I’m frustrated.

Thx for listening everyone to my beef with WK algorithm.


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If you do all your lessons right away then all your reviews will show up at the same time. And if you do all those reviews right away and get all (most) of them right, they will show up at the same time again. If you spread out your lessons they will show up at different times.

You probably got a few items wrong, so you had to review those items again sooner.


Each item is on its own clock. The system can’t consider your schedule and decide to tweak something forward or backward.

The only thing that matters for leveling up is getting 90% of the kanji in a level to guru status. Doing all of your vocab items in one big block won’t improve your leveling speed unless you literally do everything in one big block every time.

So, to that end, you can prioritize “leveling-related” items like the radicals and the kanji, then spread the non-leveling-related vocab items out over time.

Doing this without something like the reorder script is a little annoying, but not impossible.

If you want to prioritize radicals or kanji in lessons, you would first need to set your order to “shuffled” in the app settings. Then when you do lessons, only complete the priority ones. You can “skip” the vocab in lessons by just getting them wrong intentionally, and then refreshing the page.

Or you could use the reorder script and do all of that with one click of a button.


As much as I can remember, level 6 was still feeling almost too easy. Things get tougher after level 10, because you already know quite a bit of kanji, and they start to mix. Also, that’s when you start reviewing items you haven’t seen in weeks.
About blanks, well I don’t know what to say, they’ll still exist. What you could do is start KaniWani and/or KameSame as a secondary SRS site. It really helps with vocab. You can do them on an empty Wanikani day. I have 150+ items waiting for me as I am writing.


Thanks. Call me crazy…but I WISH I had 150 waiting, instead of

  • only 4 in the last 5 hours
  • 3 in the next hour
  • 1 radical left - which won’t appear for TWO days! (I wrote tongue instead of fortune and got it wrong just that once a few days back)

I think the ‘system’ can be improved.

I’m asking the owners to have a good think about improving the balancing and spread. Beef up the algorithm. And it does know my behaviour, so there’s no reason why a good algorithm can’t improve the SRS. The data is there.
If this were not so, then there wouldn’t be a need for reordering scripts.

Really appreciate people chatting about this. Thx everyone.

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Can you explain what you mean by that. I don’t see the connection.

EDIT: In other words, I don’t see why a reorder script would be made obsolete by having a different algorithm. You still would possibly want to change the order of the items in the queue, no matter how they were spread out over the day.

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And yes I’m already doing kaniwani and samekame in the Wanikani Sahara Desert time

I don’t feel your pain.


There are SRS programs that throw in some degree of randomness in there (which WaniKani doesn’t do at all), but I’ve never heard of an SRS learning a person’s schedule and working around it. I’m curious what specifically you’re recommending.


there will be logs (data) in the system about our usage patterns, and our exact schedule (what we did and exactly when).
Good analytics algorithms can analyse those and see usage patterns, and can predict that I’m going to have large blank spaces and therefore bring future things forward (or even review past things again - or a This is pretty standard data science these days.
A user option (slider scale) could speed up or slow down these and therefore better and more smoothly allocate items.

The SRS idea is great approach to leaning. WK’s algorithms are quite weak it seems.

That’s my suggestion for improvement. Get a good data scientist student to tackle it as a project.

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Obviously I mean “the system as it exists right now” only adds a specific amount of time to each item once you complete it based on its current level.

I wasn’t saying the idea of algorithmically “smoothing” the distribution was impossible.

Personally I would find it jarring to not be able to predict how long an item would take to come back for review, but I’m used to the system as it is. I maintained max speed for about half of the levels the first time I went through WK.


That’s why I repeatedly suggest a ‘user option’.

I get that ‘personally’ you like it the way it is.

I’m not suggesting your personal preference is altered at all.

Apologies if you thought I was suggesting this data science approach was going to force everyone to have it the way I’m suggesting as an enhancement.

I absolutely see merit though, in an alternative additional option - a balanced workload that is predictable. Right now it seems very ‘lumpy’ and unpredictable.