When to take advance/new lessons?

When do you take the new lessons that become available? Do you wait to be comfortable with your existing kanji first?

In level 1 I would recommend taking new lessons as soon as they are available because wanikani is slow in the beginning. Later you’ll probably have to take it slower to make sure your reviews don’t pile up too much.


I tend to always start the radicals and review them when they come up, and in the time between starting radicals and guruing them I will start the first set of kanji in a level. At the same time, I try to keep the amount of items in “apprentice” at around 100 and I average leveling up in just north of 9 days.

Take it at your pace, if you go too fast, you may get overwhelmed. Take it too slow and it isn’t engaging or you might find it boring.

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Some popular ways of working:

  1. keep apprentice < 100 and guru < 500
    this prevents your daily review pile from getting out of control (as items in these stages come back for review the quickest)
  2. spread out lessons by doing X lessons per day
    depending on what your comfortable with, doing X lessons per day eventually leads to a consistent pile of reviews every day
  3. do all radical/kanji lessons as they come up
    specifically for speed running WK - vocab lessons are usually spread out over the remaining days of the level, but some speed lesson the vocab as well. This causes massive fluxes in review piles at set days, but if you can factor it in to your schedule - some people make this work

Most important thing is to review every day - a backlog of reviews can be daunting. On top of this, there is no rule that says you have to follow the same schematic through all of your WK journey - you can adjust it based on circumstances.
In the early levels, go ahead and try some different schedules to see what works for you. The review piles will be small, so you can experiment.

Good luck and enjoy your kanji journey!

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I think “being comfortable” leads to stagnation, and getting a bit out of your comfort zone is what helps growth.

Personally, if there are new items I do as many as I can. If there’s really a lot maybe I’ll spread them out over a few hours, or if it’s late (and I won’t be able to hit the 4 hour review) I’ll defer them to the next day. I do this up to an apprentice count somewhere between 100 and 150.

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