What's a normal level up time?

In my mindset, stats are just tools, not objectives. When I realize myself leaning towards I remind myself this. Stats are tools are not objectives. My objective is being able to read kanji fluently. I know that eventhough I skew my study towards stats objective, my reading will not improve, probably it will get worser. So in the end, I don’t care how long does it take to level up, how many mistakes I have, how many items I have dropped to guru from enlightened instead of Burn These are part of SRS system. I believe gearing towards stats, fast leveling etc, kills actual purpose of SRS and hinders it. For example if I drop from enlightment to guru, that is my failure. I should drop to guru in order to reinforce more with SRS.

Conclusion: stats are irrelevant. just tools to watch my progress. For example, I am planning to visit japan next year on April. I will be around lvl 40 which will cover 90% of kanji I need. I think this will help me alot. This is how I look at numbers given by statistics.


No, it’s extraordinary. It shows that you’re finding consistency in the speed of your studies and that you’re developing a habit around it. Most people struggle with that (because it’s obviously hard to create habits). I’d say you’re doing pretty good :slight_smile: The consistency is what leads you to learn the language, not necessarily the speed :grinning:


It takes you about 5 days longer than what is possible, which isn’t bad. I’d just say try to stay under 14 days to be efficient. If you keep your current speed, you’ll learn all the kanji on WK in about two years, which I think is a decent time for acquiring 2000 kanji + all the vocabulary. Other people can do it faster, so what. WK works and that is important.

I can tell you though that starting with 14, the levels get noticeably more comfortable in terms of pacing, since you’ll only get a handful of radicals and while you guru those, you can take your time with the ~25 kanji lessons.

I use mnemonics, but not the WK ones. I have set of my own (in my native language) from doing the meanings with Heisig’s method. I assume that once I start to encounter more kanjis whose reading I don’t know already, I might make my own mnemonics for sounds, if necessary. However, ready made mnemonics have never worked for me.

I pay for WK just to get a gamified SRS-system with no ability to cheat as well as for the structure. Oh yeah, and the community is nice.


There is no “normal speed” since this is not a race. There is something to be said for keeping a somewhat stable and efficient pace though, and I commend you for finding a rythm that seems towork for you!


Hi ^^
I had the same feeling as you when I started looking at other people’s statistics…
Then I read about their method, which consists in - from what I gathered- prioritizing Wanikani above everything else (or most of the other things anyways). Basically, people who level up in seven days build their everyday schedule around Wanikani.
I think it’s (very) impressive, but decided I didn’t want to do that, and I’m much more comfortable taking my time. I had a lot of answers in this post:

I particularly liked the comment where a user says that they don’t track leveling up, but rather consider it a pleasant surprise when it happens ^^
I don’t know if this helps ?
Good luck and have fun ^^
PS: here’s my chart:


I think I average something like 19 days per level but that’s the cost of two jobs and family I guess. In going to have to find a way to speed it up or I won’t finish until 2023! lol

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lemme say the same thing as everyone else, there’s no normality, it depends on you, I know I calculate every movement, review, lesson to optimize my time, (except that one time I took a 50 day break at 21 heh)

For example, I know that I can do my second wave of kanji tonight, letting me level up on the 6th in the morning, I also know I have 85 vocab left, and that I’ll have 35 vocab remaning with the 2nd wave of kanji, that’s 50 vocab for 3 days with the first wave’s kanji, depending on the difficulty/amount of easy vocab (hello 額) I know I’m good to go, I won’t run out of lessons or have too many when I level up (keeping numbers down)
This will grant me an almost 7 day level, but I really don’t care about that anymore, I care about not wasting time, if it ends up being a 10 day level, then be it, I just don’t want it to be because I didn’t plan properly
Sometimes the opposite happens, and I know I can delay the 2nd kanjis by a day.
It helps keeping you engaged, and it’s really not that difficult to do.

Then you’ve got people that are the opposite of me and just do and see what happens, those guys are weird

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For me it is around 10 days, but I think I’ll get slower with the next levels due to work overload incoming IRL :smiley:

Back when I started out with WaniKani, I tried to use the provided mnemonics, but quickly found I struggled because they’re pure nonsense. I image that’s the part that makes them work for many people, but if a mnemonic tells me something about, say, Gandhi, and (I know) it’s not true, my memory outright rejects it. It ended up being detrimental to my progress.

If I were starting WaniKani from scratch with what I know now, I would have created fictional characters to fill in the pronunciation mnemonics. For example, I can remember Mrs. Chou quite clearly, although she’s not the same Mrs. Chou everyone else knows; I’ve created my own mnemonics each step of the way for her to create mnemonics I can remember when I need to.

In other words, what I’m really saying is not that mnemonics don’t work for me personally, but rather than WaniKani’s mnemonics (mostly) don’t work for me personally. And as I get into later levels, if I find that I’m struggling to remember new material, I will probably start created my own characters for pronunciation mnemonics.

As for radical mnemonics, so far I’ve coasted along by thanks to kanji I already know. When I already know a kanji, then it’s easier for me to recognize a radical for it, and other kanji that use that radical. This may hurt me in later levels, but so far it’s working out.

It’s a valid question to ask. I’m sure I could just as easily find a WaniKani deck for Anki, or another SRS system, and skip the mnemonics completely. But at that point, I’d be simply be using the WaniKani material sans mnemonics, and I can do that at WaniKani as well =D I like the WaniKani interface, I like the userscripts available for it, and the Flaming Durtles app for Android only improves upon it.

Two or three years back, when I first tried WaniKani (and didn’t stick with it past level three or four), I saw the potential in the system, and the amount of content that had been created for it. Even though I didn’t expect to be using the service myself, I paid for a lifetime membership to help support the site’s growth. That means my continued use of WaniKani going forward is effectively free (in that I’m not making monthly payments).

In the end, everything outside of (most of) WaniKani’s own mnemonics are working out for me, so I’m definitely benefiting from it. I’ve made more progress with kanji in the past nine months than I did the 22 and a half years before then. Progress =D


Your pace is about what I would guess for myself once I get to those levels.

Besides the first level (which I really didn’t start the first week I was signed up on the site until after a week or so), the levels have been about 9 or 10 days. Level 2 was fast because it’s a faster level. But 3 and 4 were about 11 and 9.5, respectively.

I’m guessing I’ll average about 11-12 days for most levels if I maintain this pace… but I’m guessing it may (will likely?) slow down as my review backlog builds up.

I average around 11 days per level.

And this is graph of my past workload (Highest review count in day is 591 reviews)

That’s reassuring coming from a level 60 haha. Thank you very much for the input!


I’m using nihongo shark at the same time as WaniKani, and Niko claims that using mnemonics can actually hinder your ability to read kanji quickly (when first starting out). Similar to how we can read entire sentences in english without having to read each word, Japanese natives can read sentences without analyzing each kanji. By remembering kanji as an image and not remembering something attached to each kanji, apparently, it’s possible to learn as a Japanese person would learn. Albeit at a much slower pace. Basically, if you use mnemonics, you will have to learn to not use them eventually anyway. He also says, though, that it doesn’t matter which method you choose as long as you learn them all haha.

I guess mine is average. It took me a while get a good grove going after levels 4 & 5.


I use mnemonics when I need to but eventually drop them as I get more familiar with the vocab. This does bite me in the butt when some items come up later on, or so I’m finding out now. Will see how I do when items up for burn come around next month.

My average level up was about 10.5 days. Still made it to 60. :slight_smile:


You’re definitely not stupid! Just go at your own pace! WK is all about learning, so don’t feel like you have to race through the levels. You’re already on level nine, so you must be really dedicated! Just keep doing what you’re doing! ファイト!

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I read each word when reading in english :sweat: and even in my native language(I don’t read each letter). Am I doing it wrong?

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What I have found is that not taking a long break is the most important thing. Do WK regularly, try not to skip any days, and if you can get two sessions in a day, you will retain more. The key is just being consistent and you will progress at your fastest rate.

Not everyone learns at the at the same speed (in this or any other learning task.) The older you are, the slower you will probably be. The more distracted/busy you are, the slower you will probably be. These are just facets of your learning environment, and you shouldn’t compare your learning speed to others because they aren’t in the same situation as you are.

Also, for me the biggest hurdle for WK was, ironically, a fear of failing. Read the kanji, and give the first answer that comes to ming and if it’s wrong, take a moment to review the help then move on. The SRS system is designed for this, and it will bump the priority of the failed item so you will see it again soon. Gaming the system won’t help you in any meaningful sense, just roll with it and it will all work out.


No, you’re not! I know people who read the shapes of sentences rather than words, but as a fellow word-reader, it’s a prefectly normal/right way to do things. I think the better analogy here is that you read a word (as you’ve said) without analyzing every letter - and likewise kanji can be recognized as having the right shape without checking all of their pieces, once one is sufficiently familiar with them. I’d personally classify the shape of sentences as another thing entirely.