What is Your Wanikani Tactic? - Here is Mine!

Howdy y’all!

Maybe there is another thread like this but hey, whatever!

I was thinking that some of you might have a tactic that makes Wanikani more enjoyable for you? In that case, maybe you want to share it with others so that we can all share in the glory of our combined cleverness? :slight_smile:

Anyway, here is my current tactic!

“Always make sure to have a specific number of words in the Apprentice level” (for example ~100)


Well, we have all been there, the mountain of lessons pile up and at one time you say “I will do ALL the lessons to just get rid of them!”. But what ends up happening is that you get a TON of reviews that all comes att the same time.

So to get a smoother ride in the long haul I said to myself that I will make sure to always have around 100 words in the “apprentice” level. What this does is that you only do more lessons when other words get upped to “guru”. This, I have felt, gives me a smoother ride, more even.

With this tactic you can decide your pace yourself since you can set the number of apprentice words yourself. If you want to learn faster - Set it to 150-200, if you want to learn slower - set it to 50.

All up to you!

So what do you think?

Have any of your own tactics?

Share below!


Tactic 1. Do reviews before getting on forum.

I failed again…

  1. Remember well, drill if need be, before entering the SRS
  2. Rely on the SRS
  3. Don’t forget graded textbooks
  4. Listen, read and write (and speak if you can) a lot – apply your knowledge often.
    • I believe in strong passive skills more than active skills. Reading a lot is the best.
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reviewCount = currentLevelReviews

if (reviewCount > 0)
while (lessonCount > 0) {
	if (mentalExhaustion = "Too Damn High")

I should say that this hasn’t always been my tactic. But I’m kinda liking it now.


This is my technique for both learning and efficiency in terms of leveling up:

  • Keep Apprentice count to less than 150
  • Only learn new items when review count is 0
  • At the start of a level, use re-order script to get the radicals learnt first (along with however many other items)
  • Over the next 3 days do the rest of the items in batches of 10 (maybe a little more if you get a lot of easy items in a batch) - so 10 in the morning, 10 late morning, 10 in the afternoon, etc.
  • Usually I wait for the first review from my last lesson before learning new items - i.e. about 4 hours.
  • Never learning new items before bed as I want the first review to be after 4 hours.
  • When you Guru the Radicals, you’ve hopefully done most of the Kanji so far. Now you’ve unlocked the others you can learn those. This means you get to level up in the shortest time.

However, now I’m past the mid-40s the whole thing with the radicals isn’t necessary as those levels don’t require you to learn the unlocked Kanji before leveling up.

In terms of learning items, I always try and come up with a mnemonic that involves visualising something. If I’m struggling with an item (or distinguishing between two similar items) I’ll come up with a way of remembering what makes it unique, or different from similar ones.

With huge backlogs of reviews, I’ll just do them in small batches. Since I’m quite pedantic, I find it helps to aim to get my review count to an even number - so if I’ve got 236 reviews, I’ll whittle it down to 200, then try to keep it there. Later I’ll whittle it down to, say, 150, and aim to keep it there, and so on.


My tactic is:

  • Check reviews at least twice daily.
  • Do all reviews that are currently there
  • Depends on my mental capacity for the day: Do at least 20 - 30 lessons in one sitting.

That being said, I never managed to do more than ~200 reviews in one sitting, that’s why twice daily :smiley:

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I do all reviews as I’m eating breakfast. On weekdays, this is around 6:00-6:30. I’m not too worried about leveling up quickly, as I burn out easily.

For lessons, I do all unlocked radicals when I first level up, then vocabulary, then kanji. The first two are usually all in one go, but kanji is anywhere from 5 to 15, depending on how well I feel I’m going to remember (like if I’m thinking of other things I’ll only to 5).


Thank you for sharing! :slight_smile:

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For new(ish) students only

I add synonyms as I learn each new item. There is a user script somewhere that you can use to do this. I just add the first letter of the English meanings.

For example, acceptable meaning answers for 被害 (ひがい) are injury, damage, harm.
With the synonym addition, this becomes injury, damage, harm, i, d, h. This relieves me of the need to type out the full words and saves a lot of time doing reviews.

For verbs, “to go” becomes tg

For noun/verb phrases, I just take each of the first letters. “To look back at” becomes tlba; “natural disaster” becomes nd and so on.

If you are deep into the mix, it may not be worth your while going back through each item to do this, hence for new(ish) students only.

For all I know there may be a userscript somewhere that does this automatically. Please let me know if so.

Make liberal but honest use of the “ignore answer” userscript too.

Hope this helps somebody.

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Interesting - I’ll think about using some abbreviations where it seems like it wouldn’t affect my recall

I’m still in the speed train. I just do everything as often as possible. The most important thing is not letting the reviews hold back my lesson progress. I always do the Radicals and kanjis first and don’t allow any wrong answers on those to not obstruct my progress.

While I do cheat I put trust into the SRS. I do not cheat on vocabular or kanjis that are past Guru. That way no matter how I cheat I will learn it eventually. I see no point in getting stuck at single Kanji pronunciations when it’s easier to learn the kanjis together with the corresponding vocab anyway. I would have a much harder time learning if I didn’t cheat the first lessons.

So far it worked.

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Wow! You must have a lot of dicipline and time to do all those reviews each day? :3

How many reviews per day do you have?

I don’t know actually. Maybe 200? 100 on slower days. I’m actually not that disciplined at all. I do 90% of my reviews at work since I hate doing them at home. I basically only touch them at home when there are some nagging radicals that need to be advanced.
It’s actually not that much if you have a high percentage of correct answers. The thing is I’m basically on the clock. I want to reach level 60 about a year from now because that’s when I’m going to travel to Japan. It’s my personal goal and should be achievable if I stay at my average of 9.5 days per level.

So far it works for me but I’m also still encountering a lot of Kanjis I already know from my previous learning binge 2 years ago. Level 21 is pretty tough though. Soon I’m gonna have to check out all the similar kanjis again to be able to better disinguish them.

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Parse error: mismatched curly braces

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Runtime error: ‘reviewCount’ caused a buffer overflow error



I’m confused.

Ain’t that the truth.

I reread my comment and realized the reason why I was fired from my job as a compiler.

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Where are the mismatched braces? I would think you would get something like “line 9, column 1: looking for ; found }”

Yeah I write in AutoHotkey mostly, so, as it’s not Java, no need for pesky semicolons

Well… I kinda went all in.

Reviews I just did four times a day. Cleaning up the queue each time.

My strategy for lessons has mostly been as follows:

Long levels

(can be done in a week)
Day 1: New level: All radical lessons and a few of the kanji
Day 2: Rest of the kanji lessons
Day 3: No lessons
Day 4: Guru radicals → do the new kanji lessons that unlock.
Day 5: 30-40 Vocab lessons
Day 6: 30-40 Vocab lessons
Day 7: 30-40 Vocab lessons.
Repeat from day 1.

Short levels

(can potentially be done in half a week, but in practice took me four days, sometimes six)
Day 1 (start): New level: All radicals and kanji lessons.
Day 1 (cont): Fail a bunch of those kanji. This is why it takes four days :slight_smile:
Day 2: 30-40 Vocab lessons.
Day 3: 30-40 Vocab lessons.
Day 4: 30-40 Vocab lessons.
Repeat from day 1 if next level unlocked, else just chill out with reviews until it is.