What if you don't remember right away

Sometimes I need up to 1 minute to remember a item.

I read that it creates stronger memories if you try hard to remember.
Did I read it on a tofugu article… can’t remember :hugs:

But I also read that if you can’t remember it after 10 seconds just show the solution and let it drop a level. < Reference >

What do you think is better?

You can experiment and find out what works for you. I’m the impatient type and if I can’t remember in 2 seconds I’ll just put in some wrong answer and open the item info panel.

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I enjoy the time where I suffer to remember something because I expect to remember it better next. YMMV.


You mean when you see the item for the first time in a lesson? I use the self-learning script to repeat the items a few times before and after lessons. Just looking at it for a long time during the lesson doesn’t help me. Trying to recall it a few times right from the start works better for me, especially because waiting for 4 hours to fail at the reviews a few times is not that efficient.


Wow this script is great, thank you for showing me the light :grin:

Specifically, I drilled EN->JP vocab many times before trying anything in WaniKani.

Sentence cloze might be equally effective, although better for reading. WaniKani context sentence is available as Anki deck.

There are quite a number of super-useful user scripts out there, you can search in greasyfork. The ultimate timeline is very useful to see when the next big batch of reviews will appear, the default one hour/one day information is too coarse for me.

The self-study script has a very “speedy” feeling, you can go through a level worth of kanji in a few minutes, perfect to gain some recognition speed for 5 levels or so at a time. Also check out its options, you can configure it so that you also study unknown items (after checking their WK detail pages) to get familiar with the next level in case you are bored.

I’m a fan of struggling to remember items. I usually wait around 5 minutes at most before intentionally giving a wrong answer. I find it the best way to make sure things stick.

Specifically, I drilled EN->JP vocab many times before trying anything in WaniKani.

Could you describe to me what you do in detail?

you wrote “anything in Wanikani”. Does that mean you drill that even befor you worked on the Mnemonics?

If it takes me longer than a minute and I know that I’m not really close to getting the meaning I give up and type an incorrect answer but there have been instances of words where it pops into my head after 20 seconds or so and I usually remember them well after that kind of brain work so I would personally not purposefully fail the word if I don’t know it instantly.

Yés, before the WaniKani mnemonic itself. Also sometimes I create my own mnemonic.

I use Anki, but it can be done with Self-study script and probably KaniWani.

I thought is always better to use mnemonics than to drill?

I rarely bother waiting more than 20 seconds or so when I can’t remember something, but will occasionally use something like a train transfer to think about an item rather than just kill it off. And sometimes I do remember by the time I get on the other train.

But I can’t imagine waiting 5 minutes every time I can’t think of the answer. No wonder some people complain that reviews take a long time.


I like to try and think about it but I don’t think I wait longer than about 30 seconds most of the time.

I believe that to be a common misconception. In my experience, drilling leeches (items that you keep failing within an SRS system) is extremely beneficial when done alongside SRS. Just make sure to drill as soon as you fail the item to make sure you stick within the SRS timeline.

`How do I drill items btw?

There are multiple ways to do this. Here are a couple:

  1. Anki. Build a deck of your leeches. One side has the item, the other side meaning. And then another card, one side item, other side reading.
  2. Write. This is my preferred way. Writing really helps me remember, especially if I force myself to learn the stroke order too.

Isn’t method number 1 another srs system?

I will try writing if I’m home.

Do you know more ways?

Yes, it is, WK doesn’t allow you to self-drill (and it shouldn’t), so you’d need something else.

Here are some other ways:

  1. Build a poster of your leeches. The creativity you will use when building it and adding items will help. Put the poster on your wall opposite your bed and make sure you glance at it very now and then. To make sure you don’t always glance at the same items, have a sheet over it which can be moved to cover lines you’ve looked at. Glance and move the sheet on a schedule if possible. This will mess with the SRS, but to be honest, for leeches, this barely matters as by the time they’re no longer leeches and you take them off the poster, you should still have a few SRS levels to go before Burn. Note, post-its are an easy way to do this.
  2. Build a mnemonic of your own. Repeat the mnemonic to yourself a few times. The shower works well for me. While you do this, visualize the Kanji.

I believe Self-Study script can drill. You can go for like 5 rounds. You just have to set the Settings right.

It can even drill before you unlock or take lesson on the items.