What happens...?

… if you just do the amount of reviews that you can comfortably do each day, and not worry about them piling up? Is there any consequence to this? I work a full time job and have a lot of activities planned with family on the weekends, so I only have so much time and energy to devote to this. I’ve been putting it on vacation mode almost every weekend and also sometimes during the week when I do a certain amount but literally cannot will myself to do any more, all so that that review ticker won’t keep going up. But is there any point to doing this? Despite how the system is meant to be, is there any consequence to just letting that number grow (I won’t level up, etc.)? Anyone else doing the same thing?


I think it’s probably better to stop doing lessons for a while than to stop doing reviews. Especially since you are already level 30+, you’ve got enough good base kanji knowledge. Do as many reviews as you can and don’t add more lessons until your reviews are back down to a manageable number.


I recently reset to level 2 and am limiting my lessons such that I keep my review queue below 50 and ideally right around 30 to 40. That gives me on average 20 to 40 reviews each morning. More if slack off during the day, less if I keep up. I’ll speed up on lessons when radicals come up because those are relatively easy, slow down a bit for kanji, and then slow way down for vocab.

Probably way too slow for most people, but I’m enjoying the process much more. My accuracy is way up (ok, that’s really because I’ve seen them all before) but still makes me feel better about the whole thing.

I decided the second time through it wasn’t a race, and I have the rest of my life to complete the goal. I am much happier now.


Wanikani’s SRS is based a lot around you actually showing up to do the reviews, when they are ready (in an adequate timeframe like once a day ofc.). If you dont follow that you might run into a situation where the space is too large in the repitition. Generally I highly advice to go at your own pace, not faster or slower; and have your goal in mind (when oyu want to be done in WK, and if your progress satisfies yourself).
So as @timfreilly said, it’s best practice to stop lessons unitl you can keep up with your reviews again. Thus sticking to the recommended space intervals.

Reviews will slow down on their own if you stop with lessons. If your pace is slow, I would suggest not taking lessons if they would bring your Apprentice size too high. Not sure of a good number, maybe give yourself a hard limit of 50 Apprentice items (or less?) and only take new lessons if doing so wouldn’t bring your Apprentice amount above your set limit.

As @Hyva said, letting the SRS do its work is important for Wanikani working for you, so ideally reviews should be done soon after they come up, rather than, say, a week after. Otherwise you risk forgetting items you would otherwise have remembered and reinforced at the right time.

Sometimes I have to put mine on vacation mode as well, hence why it’s taken me three years to get to where I am. The only issue I’ve had with it is that if I take too long between reviews, I tend to forget more, which is normal, but frustrating.

Just like others have said, just stop doing lessons until you feel like your workload is too little. I’m at around the same level as you, and I’ve slowed down Wanikani in favour of grammar and sentence building. Even at level 36, I can read most Kanji I come across, so it feels like I don’t need to rush into learning more at the moment.

I still spend at least 20 minutes in 2 sessions per day here, but I don’t add new lessons unless I feel like it, which is usually every 3-4 days. When the apprentice count gets to around 80 and guru is around 450, the workload is usually too little, so I add lessons since my review will only take a few minutes.

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I think it’s probably better to stop doing lessons for a while than to stop doing reviews. Especially since you are already level 30+, you’ve got enough good base kanji knowledge. Do as many reviews as you can and don’t add more lessons until your reviews are back down to a manageable number.

100% this. If you can’t finish your reviews, just do what you can and don’t do any lessons. You’ll be happier in the long run. If the reviews are still coming in too fast, then supplement this strategy with your current idea of turning on vacation mode for a bit–but only when necessary.

I’ve seen lots of people set a goal of “keep apprentice below X items”; that is a good idea too. The apprentice level stuff takes time to knock down. Maybe limit yourself to 50-100 apprentice items?

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Thank you all for your responses!

welcome aboard
Welcome aboard the WaniKani train journey! Glad to have you here, I see that this was your first post in the forums.

I think the only consequence to this is the time it will take for you to finish it all. But that is not really a consequence at all if you ask me. Different users have different situations in their lives so one cannot compare the journey of a full-time student, to a part-time one, compared to a parent with kids and a job, to a retiree who is doing this for recreation/as a hobby.

Like others have stated above, reviews will continue flowing through until you burn the item. Lessons you can control by limiting how many you do. Some use the “apprentice count” method wherein you maintain the number of items you have in the apprentice level to a pre-determined number. I use this method and keep my apprentice items between 100-150, depending on how easy some of the items stick. Some use the “number of daily lessons” method wherein they set a number of lessons to do everyday regardless of other factors. I have heard some do 5 lessons a day, some do 10 and I have read of at least one person in the forums who only does 3 lessons a day regardless of whether they are all radicals.

If you need to turn on vacation mode because of things you have to do in the weekend, or if real life is preventing you from doing WaniKani, do not feel bad. My only suggestion is, if possible, do reviews at least once a day. This works well for me because despite what is going on with other aspects of day-to-day life, as long as I do WK once, I know I am making progress with the language. A small dent, but a dent nonetheless.

All the best on your language learning journey! Just remember that this is a not a me-versus-others setup but rather a how-much-can-I-push-myself-while-still-learning kind of setup. See you around in the other threads!

seconds needed to complete per item is a good parameter imo.
if you can complete a 50 item review in less than 10 minutes, you are fine.
50 items means 100 answers and 10 minutes means 600 second so 6 second per answer. 12 sec per item in review queue.
if it is longer than this, do not accept any more lessons.

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