What WaniKani levels took you longest?

The question is in the title — what levels took you longest in WaniKani, or what category (pleasant, painful, etc), retrospectively? I’ve only just begun and I’m intending to eventually reach level 60, and I’m only asking this out of curiosity.

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It’s been 21 days already and I haven’t started level 14. I was making many mistakes with similar kanji and vocab so I decided to take a break.

My apprentice was up to 140 I think and overall I was just exhausted from everything in doing at the moment (wk and other obligations). That’s why I haven’t done any lessons for 21 days and I’m just doing reviews. I’m still getting the same things wrong over and over but it’s only a few of them now.

My apprentice is currently at 57. I might continue to hold off from lessons the remainder of December and probably all of January as well depending on how hectic my life gets :slight_smile:

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First of all Welome! I see this is your first post.

I’m only a day away from level 5 myself, so I really only have a tiny sample size. I think level 2 or 3 was longest, once I got to level 4 I had a better idea of how things worked and how my brain needs to use the WaniKani approach specifically. From what I can tell, just stay on top of your reviews and lessons, other wise you might find yourself in the midst of a VERY long level :slight_smile: Again, welcome!

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I’m out of likes until a few more hours but I just wanted to say good advice!

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16th level. It’s the one after which you’ll know all the N5 kanji. I’ve had the “bright” idea to speedrun wanikani until it, so I will know all the basic kanji and will be able to make most use of the N5 materials, and then stay on this level for a while catching up with lessons and reviews. That “a while” lasted for more than two years.

I’ve speedrunned learning kanji (and skipped most of the vocab in lessons), so I was crushed under the number of kanji and vocab to learn/review. Also, at that time I was majoring in Japanese (I’ve got my degree now), so I also had a lot of kanji and vocab to learn for exams and the order of learning kanji was different, so I’ve started learning kanji via anki and had no time for Wanikani (even though I’ve recalled way more words with Wanikani than with Anki). Because of the amount of studying that I’ve needed to do for my university, I’ve also experienced several burnouts and couldn’t even look at Japanese without getting nausea.

Lessons Learned:

  • Pace yourself
  • Finish vocab lessons before you start learning new kanji
  • Do your reviews every day, even if you review only one radical it’s better than reviewing nothing at all
  • If you don’t do any reviews in a month or so, consider resetting (I didn’t do it and instead of “wasting” half year I’ve wasted 4 times more)
  • Stick with only one order of learning kanji (if you’re doing Wanikani, then only use materials with Wanikani kanji order if you want to learn things like handwriting)
  • Don’t compare yourself with others
  • Accept your past mistakes instead of dwelling on them
  • Learn other parts of Japanese too instead of focusing only on kanji
    And the most important:
  • Don’t major in Japanese
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I zipped through levels 1 through 13 at 9 to 11 days each, but working on level fourteen I just felt like I hit a wall - so many similar vocabulary: plan, schedule, estimate, anticipate, hypothesis, supposition, preparation - which aren’t that clearly segregated in my mind to begin with. My reviews were topping 200 per day, real life demands meant I missed most my reviews every Friday and Saturday, and I had a backlog of leeches building up. Suddenly I felt overwhelmed.

So I stopped new lessons and spent forty-nine days just whittle down the number of projected reviews, and improving my statistics. I started burning my first vocabulary which felt good. Then I started up lessons again, and the following two levels I’ve gotten through in 12? and 14? days each. It felt good getting things under control again, and I’m planning to do the same in another ten levels.
Now, the most important thing to me isn’t the time to complete a level, but what the numbers look like in my apprentice, guru, master, and enlightened levels.

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Lol, that last bullet point though xD. Oooof.

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hell levels, out of nowhere, became too long I dont know why. Is the vocab that is too many now?

I am doing the same as always since early levels (it was a 12 days level up) keeping apprentice below 90 and doing all reviews everyday.

Since level 31 it has been 23 days for level up. Now on 35 It has been 8 days already that nothing from level 35 even started.

No idea what I am doing wrong.

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This one lol

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Levels 24-31…

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I think for most people it’s not the level itself that trips you up, it’s life events or choices you made about how to use WK that causes you to hit a wall.

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I’m not TOO much further along…

But it was ~ lvl 5-8 when things started to click for me. The whole on’yomi here, kun’yomi there… It is said this way when it is a vocab word, but that way as a kanji, etc. That really threw me through a loop for the first month or two, but at some point I began to understand the how and why.

Things were much more difficult to remember until that point because it all seemed random. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some vocab words that have out of the blue pronounciations, but understanding how the vocab is derived from the kanji made it much easier to remember. I feel like learning the vocab now is more about learning what it means and when there is an exception rather than learning the pronounciation of a word separately… if that makes sense?

Anyways, keep it up!

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My level 15 is tough to beat :wink:

Barring that, 1-25 doesn’t have any levels that are significantly more difficult than others IMO. Early on it’s a bit tougher when you don’t really have much exposure to Japanese, a few levels have a lot of really similar vocab, and some have terrible mnemonics, but there are no huge barriers up to this point.

I imagine that’s going to change in the latter levels when you get some bizarre kanji and super niche words.

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Thanks for your reply, and yes it makes sense!

I just got to level 5 this morning and the on’yomi and kun’yomi general usage is just starting to click with me to the point where I can double check if I am confused. The “exceptions” of course are pretty tough. I think I actually do a bit better with vocab because hearing the answers over time helps my memory, whereas the Kanji have no automatic voice. I think I need to spend some more time “relating” the on’yomi and kun’yomi for certain Kanji… some just come naturally and others constantly confuse me or trip me up.

Thanks for your encouragement! :slight_smile:

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That’s why a large part of my WaniKani experience is done in private: I like to read the kanji out loud every time I see it on the screen. This doesn’t matter if it’s vocabulary, or just the individual kanji. I will say the reading(s) out loud, and then the English translation. I noticed that when I started doing this, I had much better retention than just by silently reading it or listening to the audio.


As for the OP’s question, looking at my WK Stats, it looks my 3 longest levels were 12, 13, and 21, ranging from 21 days to 24 days spent on the levels. I do know that it had nothing to with WaniKani, though; I had some major life events happen around the time periods in which I was doing those levels that made it so that I couldn’t properly focus on lessons. I just did the reviews and hung out on each of those levels until I could properly focus and learn.

I’d say that my only major frustration with WaniKani itself came in the form of all the baseball vocabulary. I personally could care less about baseball, so it took a bit more effort to learn what those terms actually meant in concrete ways when I came across them, since I didn’t have much frame of reference to go off of. Lots of looking up the English terminology to make those connections. It ultimately didn’t seem to slow me down all that much, though I know I have at least one or two leeches floating around that are baseball vocabulary. Hopefully I’ll get those cleaned up at some point in the future. :stuck_out_tongue:

While a lot of these later levels have had a lot of visually similar kanji, or perhaps some more obscure kanji, I’ve not had as many issues as I may have originally anticipated. By this time, I’ve been doing a lot more reading, so I’m getting natural exposure to kanji that way (often either right as or just after I run into the kanji on WaniKani), and I’ve figured out what works for me, what doesn’t, and what I need to do to keep visually similar kanji from tripping me up (the answer that’s worked for me is when it reminds me of a kanji I’ve already learned, I put them side-by-side, do a comparison, and if it’s seeming especially confusing, doing a bit of handwriting of the two kanji to cement the differences a bit better).

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I do this sometimes but I think I’ll take your cue and do it all the time!

I just recently started doing this! It did seem to work on the Kanji I was mixing up. I will also do this more! Thanks for the suggestions!!

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Yep… level 25 is taking me a while because I have not been able to consistently zero out my reviews and do new lessons. Far too many no review days, or under 50 reviews. I’ve got the radicals and kanji of level 26 waiting for me, I just don’t have the time to get to them yet.

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My bad… It takes me forever in level 11 now :sob:

Level 60. I ran the whole time on wk, but once on 60 it took age before I did its items:

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Honestly all of them so far i think its really hard to get into wanikani….:joy:

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