What's a healthy percentage of Apprentice Items in your opinion?

Hi everyone! This is the first time I’m posting a topic here :partying_face:
Hopefully my question makes sense and will be usefull to others:
Being at level 5, I sometimes feel the need to slow down a little bit on lessons and just do reviews so that my brain can integrate what I’ve already learned.
But I’m wondering if maybe the percentage of Apprentice items could be a good indicator of if I should slow down or not (as opposed to just me being lazy :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:)

So for the time being, here’s what I’ve got:

So a percentage of about 12% of Apprentice items.

To me that sounds reasonable and I think I’ll continue doing lessons until it increases… maybe 20% is the limit?

What do you think? I would really be interrested to know your opinion on this :blush:

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Sounds good to me, but what’s most important is you need to find out for yourself what your ideal pace is and experiment. If you find your reviews are too few, you can experiment with doing more lessons, if you’re feeling overwhelmed you can experiment with reducing that. In the end, you decide your pace.

When I was going the hardest (or fastest) I was literally all day every day keeping an eye on WK and trying to make my lessons and reviews go to 0. I’d do all lessons as soon as they were available and all reviews as they came up, I was doing hundreds of reviews daily.

The problem with that is that I crashed and burned, cause if you miss even one day of reviews, the pile then becomes like a hydra, where you feel like the more you chip away at it the bigger and stronger it becomes.

I’ve seen people throw around something like keeping your apprentice items around 100 or less to not get overwhelmed, but that’s a subjective measure. In the end try upping your pace little by little and adjusting it immediately if you feel it’s too much.

Experiment with it, and remember to have fun. It’s hard to force yourself to do something that’s not fun for you, that’s basic psychology :slight_smile: . The subscription issue is a thing though, and many people feel like they have to go the absolute fastest, or else they’re wasting their money going slowly. I’m not saying that’s not a valid way of thinking about it. but if you go too fast and burn yourself, that’d be a waste too :slight_smile:


You can’t use a percentage because that will change radically once you have 8000 items in total (like level 50+).

In terms of raw number, I’m comfortable with up to 120, but that depends on how much you want to review frequently. 80-120 area can be quite a load every day and you may burn out.

EDIT: deleted my terrible estimate of target apprentice items


The guru pile is also full of kanji you’ll see relatively frequently. For example, after coming back from my 600+ days hiatus, while I do keep my apprentice pile low (it’s at 86 right now) to avoid the massive reviews, my guru pile is still huge, like 600 items, and I get hundreds of reviews every couple of days, which is still not a pace I’m comfortable with, but it’ll be a while until I get to more normal levels


This looks… familiar… I’d say, since your ratios are very similar to mine in the apprentice/guru range, that you are on the right track!

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For me, going over 200 is where things start to go wrong but really the issue is the leeches running in loops between guru and apprentice.

I’m lucky in that most days I can hit the reviews as and when they come up so them piling up is not really an issue. Although the last couple of days I’ve been in a clients office so no reviews till I get in the uber at the end of the day. My accuracy took a bit of a hit. I don’t think I could sustain this rate if I couldn’t hit my reviews most hours.

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It depends on how many guru you have as well, but as a general rule I would suggest staying around 100 and trying to not go above 150. If you’re going at max speed there might be times where you’re forced to have around 200 which isn’t fun, especially if you have a large guru pool. I think I’ve had as many as 300 before in the faster levels and it’s kind of hell.


It depends on how much time you want to dedicate to WK and whether you have a particular goal (level X by date Y).

In the first 10 levels there are an average of about 160 items per level, if you’re aiming at 8 day levels that means 20 lessons a day on average (prioritising kanji + radicals). Min time to guru is apparently 3.5 days, realistically 4. 4 x 20 = 80, so that’s kind of the minimum you can have at apprentice to progress at 8 days per level - if your memory is perfect.

I reckon at least 30% of my items get demoted back to apprentice at some point so 80 x 1.3 = 104 (Definitely into gut feeling territory rather than logic here!) Thus I’m trying to keep my apprentice count at 104 or higher.

That’s all pretty rough, someone else will have done these calculations properly, but it’s good enough for me for now.


I use this script to shoot for ~100 daily reviews, which is a reasonable workload for me:

My apprentice items tend to hover around the 50-60 range.


^ I do the same with 300 daily

Depends on the person. 100-150 apprentice items is a good number I think. Can certainly do less if that’s more your pace.


It depends on how much experience you had with the Japanese language before you started. I began using Wanikani after years of learning the language, so there’s basically no limit for me because I’m already fairly familiar with many of the words and kanji. For a beginner, I’d caution about having more than 50, though I’ve heard of people doing as many as 100 without a problem.


I keep mine right at 100 which works out to a nice ten day pace. I don’t have phone access at work so I can only do reviews at lunch or after.

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You’ll have to find your own strategy. And adjust as you go, and life changes. Although I have to agree with a few other replies that percentage of total is going to be too much in the future. Personally, I don’t do lessons if “Next Day” is above 100, or Guru is above 500. Right now, I am allowed to do 8 (or 10) lessons.

Once I make it to level 20 in a couple of weeks, I’m planning on taking a short lesson hiatus to bring my guru count down to 250. I’m not sure if I’ll let it climb back up - we’ll see how it goes once I get started on lessons, again.


I don’t like to approach 150. (but I do sometimes, especially if I feel like I’ve got more free time to devote to wanikani coming up) I usually dip to like 75 and then start doing lessons and climb to 120. I like hovering at 100. But I’m in no rush and I really dislike getting slammed with 150 reviews on random mornings (although it still happens)

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thank you @jneapan for your adivce! I’m not in a rush so what you say feels right for me :relaxed:

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I see what you mean @Sidcaiyar - my goodness, 8000 items seems unreal to me at this point :scream::joy:
Hope I’ll get there one day!

oh ok thanks @jneapan! I’ll keep an eye on my Guru pile too!

yeay :partying_face: thanks @TvXFaded!

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Best way to manage your workload is the “Next day” section on the dashboard, you can see there how many reviews are incoming. If you see a lot of them are inbound, you can skip lessons for the day.