Why did I never do my reviews ASAP? Like oh my gosh

So, a bit of an embarassing admission.

I’ve been using Wanikani on and off for, oh I don’t know, at least 4 years? You’ll notice im only level 21. There’s been a few restarts in there, life issues that set me back in my studies, bad habits building etc etc yea you know how it is. These last few years have sucked.

Well, typically I have been approaching Wanikani where I only do my reviews once a day, typically at the end of the day. As it turns out; that burns you out really fast. Having all of these reviews to do in one sitting is not only mentally taxing but extremly time consuming.

This time around I decided to come back after a multi-month break, blast through my 1300 reviews in a few days (that sucked), and now I’ve decided to do my reviews almost as soon as they appear, or as soon as I can get to them.

And oh my good goly gosh this is changing everything. It’s only been 3 days(!!) and i’m already about to unlock the next round of kanji characters for this level. That would have taken me about 7-10 days. Full levels were taking me way way too long before. I’m talking like maybe 3-4 weeks per level. I never understood how anyone could finish this site in a year.

Now I know. I feel so stupid. This progress speed feels amazing and I feel like I am not only retaining information a lot better but actually also not being overwhelmed for the first time in a long time. Back-of-the-napkin estimates have me coming close to the upper levels of this site way faster than ever. For once this actually feels achievable.

Love this - I wish this site told you to tackle them more frequently. I really really should’ve been doing this earlier. This is so exciting!

Maybe by the end of the year I can finally tackle my first furigana-less book. Would love that.

So yeah - my tip? Do them as often as you can. Not even funny how much smoother this is feeling.


The more often you do them, it easier it is. I do about 8 sessons a day, satisfying to know that you have zero reviews to do.


That’s about how often I’m doing them right now - working very well for me. Defo going to keep this habit up as best as I can. I feel so much better about my general knowledge and retention as well doing it this way.


Yup! I too just came back after a few months now and doing this. It’s so much easier to remember things and I find myself be around ~90% correct in my reviews compared to my pre-break ~75-85%, when I would do it once a day. I feel like I’m going much faster, whereas I used to take 15-20 days per level before.

Related to this: Do you guys go through all your lessons asap or take a few here and there? Not sure which way would be the best. Right now I’m taking ~15 per day, because I’m worried doing all 40 or so that I had when I leveled up would be too tricky to remember at once.

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I bet that part of the problem is that reviews are so scarce in the first few levels, WK is actually training new users that they don’t have to check in and do reviews very often. Then it ramps up, and before you know it, skipping a couple days results in an overwhelming number of reviews.


Section Five of the Knowledge Guide, emphasis mine:

More information can be found on our Leveling Up page, but rest assured if you keep doing your reviews on time you can unlock kanji in 2-3 days.

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I definitely recommend doing a consistent number a day. I’ve been doing 3 kanji and 9 vocab lessons a day for almost a year now, and I’m super happy with the pace and the daily workload. It averages out to being about 130 reviews a day, leveling up once every 12-14 days, which works great for me. There are no unpleasant surprises, and it allows for really predictable level-up times. If I have extra energy on any given day, I spend it on non-WK aspects of study instead.



I did 3 sessions a day for all of Wanikani and that was a good balance of session time and review load. I would consistently do only an hour a day and managed to finished in a little over 2 years.

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The only thing I know definitely, is this is what Crabigator wants you to do.

Realistically, I am always on a frenzy side, doing reviews multiple times a day (and plus AnkiDroid). Still I don’t necessarily finish the review, using reorder script for lower level items first – then do only as many as time limits.

I also know very well about the notion of Apprentice < 100 and Guru < 500. Still, I don’t educate myself via WaniKani lessons only.

  • I cloned level+1 WaniKani vocabularies onto Anki, then remember EN=>JP in advance.
  • I use (1) 4 8 24 interval, so I aim for interval > 1 day (and AnkiDroid UI also shows as graduated).
    • This is not default Anki’s settings. I learnt this from WaniKani Community, i.e. this forum.
  • I might not start lessons (rather than even finish) before the actual level up. If so, I try to finish lessons properly in Anki before learning new items (Kanji and vocabularies) in WaniKani.
    • So you can probably tell how much I don’t trust WaniKani’s lessons as enough, not to mention mnemonics.
  • In earlier times, I don’t use Anki, but [Userscript] Self-Study Quiz which is different from the current built-in self-study.

Some other time recently, I recommended to others differently. But the truth is, I don’t know exactly what is better or worse…

I think I can recommend this one, but a little abstract – try to remember vocabularies well, in the order guided by WaniKani. And well means very well by both audio and visual.

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There’s something great about getting a handful of items regularly throughout the day, it makes you feel like you’re being productive throughout the day even if it’s the same amount of work

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I am happy you found a way to stick with WK and enjoy learning @Xyrax san :clap:

This of course totally depends on how many hours a day you have for WK. You can totally go much higher if you have a lot more time to handle the accompanying surge in reviews.

Same. I started out being “greedy”.

The minor drawback is that It ended up creating waves where there was a lot to do, reviewwise, for a few days, and then some days that were pretty sparse.

Then somewhere in the early teens I reached a point where I had ~140 items at apprentice and I realized it was about to suck up my life. I limited my number of lessons starting then.

I also recommend going just a /little/ bit slower than you can manage. Once you fail to burn some items, they accumulate alongside newly learned items. That day will come sooner than you think! And if you’ve got some slack in the system you can keep up the overall pace without burning out.

[edit to clarify] … The “greediness” I was talking about was doing lessons ASAP, and that set me up for some challenging situations in the future. Doing reviews ASAP has been great for me–I am much more typo-prone with a stack of 80 reviews than a stack of 20.


I do a first batch in the morning, then another (the reviews from the new Apprentice 1 items) at noon and then another batch in the evening.

I wish I had had a routine like that the first time I reached level 60. Makes it so much more relaxing when you don’t have to constantly check if you’re forgetting reviews and you don’t have to do reviews at night.

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Yup, I’ve created a cycle in which I must end up doing 500-900 reviews at a time whenever I don’t do them ASAP. I go in bursts of productivity and doing them whenever they’re available, but then as soon as I slip and miss just one day… that day turns into a week, etc, and I’ve got a thousand reviews again. Even with the great feeling of progress and efficiency from being on top of everything, I find myself going back to this pattern quite often… Learning a language should definitely be a more frequent commitment, I just need to be more consistent.

Congrats on keeping up with it all!

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Absolutely! It’s the same with me: If I wait more than 2 days, I hit anywhere between 60-75% accuracy. If I do them as soon as reviews are available it’s 95-100%. The brain works really really fast to shed recently studied material… Gotta do reviews ASAP or you’ll just end up doing them twice.

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This is why they become available when they do :wink:


These are good points.

But at the risk of burning myself out; I want this wanikani system done as fast as possible. I’ve honestly goofed off with my studies for too long (Going on year 3 of (semi)constant JP studying) and now that I’m making good progress I can finally “see” the day when I can read light novels and visual novels without a dictionary handy.

Hoping I can keep up this pace and get through at least the level 20’s at this speed.

Luckily; I work a desk job so getting in my reviews every hour is (usually) quite doable. So I think I got this. I’m fired up!!

Also - for those reading this thread. I cleared level 20 in 9 days by doing my reviews as soon as they came out. Nine. Days. That’s the fastest I’ve ever gotten through a level, maybe ever. They typically take me between 2-3 weeks each. Been riding this high for DAYS…


Awesome–Keep up the momentum!