What is an average / good speed for leveling up?


I’m in level 3 and anticipating the level 4 - hence taking a paid subscription !

I have a few questions around the “pace” of study & leveling up.
Although I imagine everyone has a different experience based on his own motivation / available time / personal life / etc. so I know it’s a difficult answer to provide…

But I’m curious to get some views from people currently at more advanced levels :

  • what is an average / good speed for leveling up ?
  • did your own average speed increased or decreased when reaching higher levels ? It takes me already 20 days for each levels, and I’m just at the third, so cant imagine how long it will take me at level 10 :grimacing:

Here are my stats just fyi :
To be honest I wouldn’t know how to analyze them : am I too slow ? too fast ? Should I aim at a higher retention rate or increase the speed ?

I’m probably not the first with similar questions, so if there’s an existing thread with others’ experience, please share (I quickly searched but couldn’t find recent threads).

Tx for any feedback if you have time !



On average for me I take about a week a level, with 10 lessons daily. So far my levels have taken the same amount of time to pass but I am still a pretty low level.

If it’s any consolation I was a lot slower when I first started WK too, and I spent over a month on lv 3 :slight_smile:

Edit: Actually its every 2 weeks lol i dont know why i thought it was weekly


Takes me a couple months per level, and I did get slower the higher I got. But, it seems I’m one of the slowest here.


wanikani takes its time with us. thats the point of the SRS (system). just a few hours ago, i had been anticipating dearly a 40 item review, which would allow me to finally access the second half of the kanjis in the level. it porobably took me about a week and a half.

if you feel slow, then its because there aren’t many old kanji to rereview since you’ve just started. as you go on, it will pile up. piling up, youll get more reviews, and then it will give the illusion of feeling “fast.”

finally, if you’re updated with the time list for kanji question reviews on your dashboard, things will go smoothly. its gonna ba need to make checking the site a habit if you want reviews to not feel delayed or slow.

on level 5. not actually far from you.
wanikani would say “hey, answer this block A of kanjis and then wait for a while” and at the same time “oh hey while youre waiting for block A, why not answer block B of kanjis which were from level 1?”

i just saw the 3rd guy’s post. whoa, it can take months?! looks like here is nothing yet.


So, I once wrote a post on how to level up faster (and more efficiently) while maintaining the same amount of lessons every day. Ultimately it is important to fall into a rythm (every day the same amount of lessons) and to find an amount of daily lessons, that you’re comfortable with. I’d say 20 days isn’t bad, it was my level-up speed at first too, but it still felt too slow for me, so I looked for ways to shave of time without affecting my daily lessons. If you’re interested, you can check out my above mentioned post about that topic: How to build an efficient WaniKani schedule (level up as comfortable as possible): the guide. I explain everything that I did there, and you can apply the principles to customize your schedule. I now sit at 12 days per level.


I think around 8 days per level is ideal.

It’s not too fast so that you have to be on your computer all day. Just 2 sessions per day (I usually do one before work and one after I get back home) should let you level at that speed.


How many lessons are you doing daily?

@damlurker is a beast though, I’d say a more reasonable level-up is about 10 days.


I understand the desire for input, but this is basically asking how long a piece of string is.

How long you “should” spend per level is very dependent on how much time you have available, how easy you find it to learn the items, whether you have personal goals that influence the speed you want to attain, how many items you mind reviewing at once, how many times you can do reviews per day…

Personally, I spent about 8 days per level up to level 40, but I took relatively frequent breaks from either lessons or both lessons and reviews (typically when I was going on an actual holiday). In some ways that was quite a sustainable pace, but when I took my planned level 40 break it unexpectedly laster more than a year, which was a little longer than the one month I’d intended!

So yes, I was evidently rather burnt out. Since picking it back up I went for 12 days, falling progressively to 11 and then 10 days as the number of items falls in the highest levels. But if I didn’t have as much time as I do I would consider lengthening this to 14 days per level or longer.


Great, tx for the link, I will read carefully and take what I can from it !

Tx, and I do agree with you about the “piece of string:grinning:

Basically I can spend around 30’ per day, maybe a bit more on some days.
8 days per level I just can’t make it, all the more if I anticipate correctly that it will get more complicated in upper levels. So I tend to think I will only slow down my pace, unless I dedicate more time. Which might be hard - then it’s a question of priority of course :grin:


Good to hear, tx !!!

It really depends on two things
1)how much free time you have
2)If you are doing something else aside from wanikani to learn japanese.
You will have a pretty hard time if wanikani is your only resource for learning japanese.

In my case I try to level up every eight days and I can easily achieve that right now. But I use an online site to learn japanese, I have a teacher there and have homework to do, so I can use the kanji I learned right away. Also I spend lots of time reading manga in japanese which helps with retention.

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Then I would probably do a pretty small number of lessons per day, and not worry too much about your speed :slightly_smiling_face:

The number of reviews you get will ramp up over time, so you don’t want to be at capacity now or you won’t be able to finish them all on the day. What’s more important than worrying about your speed is probably finding a consistent rhythm; do a set number of lessons per day, and be strict about completing your reviews.

Are you doing just one review session per day? That will slow your speed down (and probably make your retention of newly-learned things a little worse), but as long as you’re okay with that it’s fine.

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I don’t really do a set number of lessons per day.

I do the radicals and kanji as soon as they are available by using the re-order script and leave the vocab for a day or so. After that I finish the vocab before the next set of kanji/radicals are ready.

So say I hit a new level, I immediately do all the radicals and kanji, which are around 30. Then do no lessons for the next day or so. Then finish up the vocab which is usually around 20-30 vocab per day.

I always clear up all the vocab before hitting the next level or the 2nd set of kanji in a level though.

btw the timeline script says I’ve been doing 20 lessons a day on average.

The lockdown and not being able to hit the gym helps… :sweat_smile:

yeah 10 days should be fine as well.
The reason I think going slowly isn’t that good is that items gets burned. If you are taking years to finish, and aren’t reading, then you’ll be in a position where you haven’t seen some kanji in years.

Still I guess that can be avoided if you keep reading. But then the problem is without knowing much kanji it’s hard to keep reading.

That being said the higher level you are, the less incentive I think you have to keep gong fast since you’ll already have learned most of the common kanji.
I’m thinking of taking a break at level 51 (100% of the most common 1K and most of the 2K covered) myself and focusing on reading.

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And how’s you accuracy going? 8 days is basically full speed and, as you said, it averages out at 20 lessons per day, but if I tried that many, I would fail probably a quarter of that after the first review.


I don’t think in those terms anymore. I try to keep my “Apprentice” words at 100 (+/-5) and my Guru around 500 words. That’s about the perfect activity level and pace for me. Anything less and I feel like its too slow, anything more and it can accrue quickly and feel overwhelming. This is my third attempt at this now so speaking from learned failures…



I don’t think accuracy is a big deal in the overall scope of things though.

I do use the self study script to review the kanji and go through the mnemonics at least once (usually the the first 4hr interval) for kanji in my current level. After that I just let them be and don’t study them (ie. after they have gone to guru stage for the first time).

As for vocab, I pay more attention to the readings than the meanings. The reason being is that a fair number of words cannot be really understood from one English word (悪い I think is a good example. WK says its “bad” but that’s not exactly the meaning of that word). It’s just that as beginners we have no choice but but to learn the nearest English translation.

You’ll eventually learn the true meaning by encountering the word dozens of times when reading, and by eventually being able to look up the word in a Japanese to Japanese dictionary.


I averaged about 10.5 days a level, but it was more like 8 days/level with big breaks in between to work down my guru/master piles. It feels so good to go fast, but it just wasn’t sustainable for me.