What is an average / good speed for leveling up?

I do 7 days per level now, BUT, big caveat, I actually reset and pretty much still know everything, so my correct percentage is really high, does keeping my workload low. Basically apprentice is a bit of vocab from the previous level, and current level items. Also, burns are only set to come in from early next month, so that’s helping, too. Mistakes I make at Master level are typically typos, or inattentiveness due to tv/people in the background. Or transitivity mistakes, I guess :sweat_smile: !

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Personally I also aim for 2 weeks per level, I’m currently doing a fixed number of 12 lessons every day. I usually have around ~100 reviews per day. The first levels took me 17 days (median).

But in general I can recommend to approach the right speed by starting out slow. Because you can start going quicker anytime later on, if it’s really too slow for you. But on the other hand, it takes time (several weeks) to slow down if you were too fast, and if you’re already burned out this can become really frustrating.

My typical time on level is 10 days and 23 hours.
I took level 6 slower to clear out the massive amount of reviews I was getting each day. That has really helped me during level 7 as I am moving older things to master or enlightened. I like to have (at least) the radicals of my current level at Guru 2 before moving on.

(I did not understand WaniKani when I first signed up and was getting frustrated at the words I knew but kept mixing up the on’ and kun’ = rage quit)

Unless the desire for competition or the need for speed is a truly important and/or motivating factor, the speed for leveling up is pretty much up to you.

There is nothing wrong or shameful with taking a month or few months to complete a level (especially if it’s a large or complicated level), and there is much to learn about the language outside of WaniKani including grammar, kana-only words, how to pronounce words properly and pitch, and getting used to reading and speaking. In addition to that, you may be working for a living or have many other responsibilities that need to be addressed and attended to.

The only really useful metric (if one wishes to call it that) is how well you are doing on reviews.


Master level typos kill me! :scream: :sob: :sob: :sob: :weary:
き & く are often mixed up because I am typing too fast and press enter before noticing.
I wish they were slightly more lenient with Japanese typos (especially when it is just copying the hiragana part of the word) but I understand why they can’t be :frowning:

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If you’re on desktop, you can use [Unmaintained] Do You Even Kana? Okurigana Matcher script to catch those mistakes. So you don’t have to go so far as the double check or ignore scripts to deal with this.


It’s possible to do it with scripts (that 3rd party users built - not on WK vanilla). Basically, only radicals and kanji influence the leveling up. When I mean vocabulary lessons, I mean the purple lessons indeed :slight_smile:

Basically, there’s a script that allows you to manage lessons however you see fit. You can choose to do radicals, kanji or vocabulary. The problem is that due to the fact that only radicals and kanji influence the leveling up (you’ll understand it better when reading my guide) and some people get too focused on just leveling up (over actually learning - gamification taken in the wrong way), they skip the vocabulary. Mind you, the vocabulary lessons are very important not only to learn the words, but also to learn the kanji, since those exact words use the latter :slight_smile:

My point in mentioning the vocabulary skip was that if one is skipping the vocabulary, one will have less lessons to worry about, so leveling up faster becomes much easier (though again, not good for your learning).

One of my big influences in me when it comes to always seeking to learn more :grin:

If you can remember them :sweat_smile: I do my reviews about 4 times a day yet I need about two weeks because I just can’t remember the pink ones. (Radicals and vocab are usually no problem for me).
8 days is pretty fast for most people.

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I’m not a particularly high level but I think the speed I am going at is aided by the fact that I’m not a complete beginner and keeping WK open all the time, so I can peek in and do a review every few hours when a handful of things come up.


Personally I’ve been doing all lessons as they come up and haven’t skipped anything. I have also been taking the time to write everything down (to try and really drill it in as well as practice) and, if I keep getting something wrong, write it time and again. I wonder, however, if L5 is the tipping point for this method since I woke up to 100+ lessons and have thus treated myself to 120 reviews in a few hours from now. :upside_down_face:

Jesus people are fast here
Yet here is me, one of the slowest snails in existence…

Poor memory is fun :[


The tipping point is usually around level 15-20. That’s when those lessons come around for Enlightened or Burned and you get hit several hundred at once.

Think of it like this. If you do 60 lessons in one day, that’s 60 items coming around again all at once.


yes, “bad” is the nearest English equivalent to 悪い but it’s not exactly the same.

For example if you would think 掃除したのが悪かった would mean “I was bad at cleaning” if you thought 悪い is exactly equal to “bad”, when it means “It was wrong of me to have cleaned”, or “It was a mistake to have cleaned”.

I should say this is kind of alleviated for 悪い since 悪かった can be heard while apologizing almost on a daily basis if you watch enough Japanese. 例えば、「ごめん、悪かった!」 :laughing:

I remember a friend of mine recently said IRL ゲームを遊びました trying to say he “played a video game”. This is because he had internalized 遊ぶ as “play” and did a direct translation of what he would have said in English to Japanese, resulting in an unnatural sentence.

In fact just today I came across 襲う in my immersion. After I had learned the word I just checked in WK to see if it would come up in later levels and it did, and the meaning said “attack”

However the definition in the Japanese dictionary reads as following:

おそう オソフ [0][2]【襲う】⁎
(一)〈だれ・なにヲ―〉 〔油断している所を ねらって〕攻めかかる

The 〔油断している所を ねらって〕part tells me it’s more of an assault or ambush rather than a regular attack.

In short, learning the meaning solely from Wanikani is a bad idea. I treat the meanings more as a “hint” or a “mental hook” to knowing the real meaning and try to learn the actual nuance from immersion or looking it up in a Japanese dictionary.


If you watch Haikyuu, they say 悪い a lot when they miss a shot or something. Honestly, it’s probably equivalent to something like, “my bad”.


There is a difference of opinions out there. Fact is that speed is something highly personal. It depends on so many factors: time available to do lessons and reviews, and individual capacity to memorize the readings and meanings for example. One has the task of finding out what speed is good for him, and it will vary from other persons’ speed. Trial and error is the only way to go.

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Yes, different opinions & the experience is highly personal eventually !

I think I’ll keep doing it my way and see in a few weeks where I stand. I still lack experience & understanding to decide upon a “learning strategy” :grimacing:

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Ok indeed after reading the guide (impressive, by the way :+1:) it’s more clear.

I will give a try to some scripts - but in honesty I feel like just following the system is good enough for my case (no time pressure, no real objective in mind).

I also noticed that sometimes I can remember some vocabulary (purple) more easily than some kanjis (pink). So the vocabulary helps me in remembering the kanji :slight_smile:
For instance I was having difficulty with “king” alone, but after learning “prince” & “princess” & “queen”, well “king” suddenly seems obvious !


Yeah indeed, my kids still come before my reviews :joy:


Same for me, I just understood recently (2 days ago) why sometimes the system was expecting a different answer depending on the card type (blue/pink/purple).

This seems to be what most people say on here, suggesting one should spread out the lessons.

But, I thought about it like this: regardless of how many lessons I do at once, not all of the new items will pass through to Guru at the same speed, the items will spread about naturally as you get some on the first try, but also lose some.

I still haven’t had it too bad with reviews I feel, and in the few instances when that has happened - there is still no demand on me to do all reviews at once! I can simply adjust my reviewing tempo to something manageable and spread out the items more evenly, i.e. do them in chunks of <50 items or so, until the reviews are gone again.

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I’ve noticed that a lot of the active forum members are the “faster” group and many have a considerable amount of prior Japanese knowledge. So I wouldn’t get disheartened that everyone is saying they level up in 1-2 weeks, there is no “right” speed as long as you feel you are making progress.

Remember why you are using WK, and pay attention to the advice about setting a sustainable pace FOR YOU.

My advice from the first 6 levels:

  • Try and get 80%+ in your reviews. If you can’t hit this, slow down.
  • Get your reviews to zero before you take any new lessons or the pile will keep growing.
  • Do the vocab - it reinforces the Kanji and teaches you the readings (this is one of the best things about WK for me over something like Remembering the Kanji 1). Skipping it to go faster is only cheating yourself. (The only exception I make to this is doing the radicals first when I level up using the re-order script. The radicals are much easier and unlock the rest of the Kanji for the level.)
  • Don’t overload yourself before you start getting burn reviews (6 months in) - only then will you see your peak daily review count
  • Control your workload by limiting the number of apprentice items. I’ve found 100 is about right for me, so if I have more than this I won’t do new lessons.

Using this, I’m currently at about 10-12 days per level, which feels quite fast to me! I have no intentions of doing a “speedrun” as my focus is on learning the language and retaining as much info as possible. Language learning is a marathon, not a sprint!