Why do we try to keep our apprentice items under 100?

Hello, I am but a simple user on WK, and I’d like to ask why many people suggest keeping their apprentice items under 100. I currently have 162 items in apprentice, so how do I reduce that? And a final concern is someone mentioned that your guru items shouldn’t be too high, but I have 417 in it, so is that bad? I don’t know if that’s a lot or not (I’m sticking to the idea that 400 is not that much for higher level people), but some clarification would be appreciated.
Edit: I usually do MASSIVE lesson dumps, which many people say is bad, so should I do less? (When I start a new level I just do all 90 lessons).


It’s just a threshold that some people use for where they stop doing new lessons. New lessons are what become new apprentice items, so if you don’t do them, your apprentice items will fall over time.

If 162 isn’t causing you any difficulty, then there’s no particular reason to change anything.


i used to do massive lesson dumps, but then they would come back all at once so four hours after the lesson 80+ reviews would show up, then again 8 hours later, etc. it was never-ending


Well, to be fair, after the 4+8 hour break it’s up to 23 hours and then 2 days of waiting for the next review. So, you’ll quickly be done and over with the lessons! :wink:


Another thing to mention is that as apprentice items are the items with the lowest downtime in-between reviews, those are going to be the items that make up the majority of your day-to-day reviews, especially given your lower level right now.

As you continue to level up, you’ll inevitably end up with older items that you don’t quite remember all that well, or multiple items that are similar to one another that trip you up a lot when they come around. Get too many of these items falling down into apprentice without finding a way to differentiate them can end up inflating your review times by a lot, so it can help to spend some extra time on them when you notice that happening.


but then you gotta do it again

Only you can answer that question.

Also try answering these questions…

  • Do you feel overwhelmed by the reviews as they get back to you?
  • Do you retain what you’ve learned during lessons?
  • Do you have previous exposure/studying/knowledge of Japanese or are you starting from scratch with WK?

Basically, whether what you’re doing is fine or not, tend to hinge on those things. With enough previous immersion learning/exposure to Japanese in the wild, lessons binging can work out for you. But, for new users that usually means too much new information to process at once, so it’s better to spread out lessons to retain them better.

As for review workload, again, only you know how many reviews per day you’re able to handle without burning out. If you’re fine with what you’re doing right now, there is really no need to change anything.

You just do your thing and let others do theirs, is my tip.

But, IF you start to feel overwhelmed, the easiest way to slow down is to cap the number of new lessons or stop doing lessons all-together. And yeah, the 100 apprentice item number, is part of that formula for workload management.

It’s really up to you to decide whether to go fast or slow in the end. WK can accommodate both.


As the others already said, if you can carry on consistently without burning out, then go! But if there comes a time you do end up burning out and getting disappointed with your accuracy, missed burns or whatnot, just slow down, don’t stop.

(You may also spend time here in the forums durtling instead of in case you end up in the latter. No, that’s not me skipping lessons right now. Ehe…)


I have strived to hold off new lessons untill I reached >100 apprentice items. But then I would do the entire batch of lessons at once, bringing my apprentice to +/- 200 with the larger batches (untill the last few levels, where my mindset was to reach 60 rather than managing the numbers, haha).

The most argued reason for keeping apprentice below 100, is to not be overwhelmed should you have a couple of days break. As a rule of thumb, you can add the amount of items you have in apprentice and guru to get an indicator on how many reviews you would have if you did no reviews nor new lessons for a week. As you have 162 apprentice and 417 guru, you would have +/- 579 reviews after not doing reviews for a week, which can be rather overwhelming.

But again, as others stated, you should find the pace that suits you the best. Good luck on your journey :slight_smile:



It’s generally a pretty good rule of thumb of how busy you’re gonna be. The advice is usually to try out 100 Apprentice, and see if you can handle that. If you feel like that’s easy, increase the limit, if you feel like it’s too hard, decrease the limit. At some point, you’ll be able to get a perfectly managable amount of reviews daily.

Some people have busy lives, some have time to spare, so it’s very personal what that limit should be. 100 is usually just a pretty good average for people.

Also keep in mind, you’re at level 6, so I think you are only just getting Master items if I am correct. That, combined with Enlightened items coming in the future, will cause the workload to start increasing more and more, so keep an eye on whether stuff is still manageable.


I came back after a big break and did 1400 review in about 3 days. You should have seen some of those review bomb waves months down the line. Quite brutal when mixed w/the new lessons.


at level 06 its really not going to be a problem how many you do. Its when you have 900 + enlightened with a looming thought of “these are gonna try to burn when I least expect it.” So on the days you’d rather actually be interacting with real japanese content you’re stuck doing wanikani reviews instead. But at level 06, you dont have the fear of too many master reviews suddenly going to enlighten or enlighten reviews suddenly burning that it becomes a huge issue. Just don’t get burned out is the key.

1 Like

i did this. feel this. deeply. the pain.

1 Like

Aye, those do tend to pile up. :wink:

Nah, Guru has an effect on your weekly load but it’s spread out over enough time that it’s not too bad.

Apprentice however, is the baseline review number for today, tomorrow, and the next day. That’s why it’s a good metric for keeping load under control on a day to day basis.


Controlling the number of apprentices is a trick to control your review workload. The idea is that the bulk of your reviews is from apprentice items. If you keep this number low you reduce your workload. When the number of apprentice is high you stop doing lessons because every lesson you take generates more reviews. When the number of apprentice is back under 100 you may resume doing lessons. This way you have a more level review workload.

Whether this trick is useful depends on how many review you can take. You may adjust the 100 target upward or downward depending on how many reviews you can take without feeling over whelmed.


I was having around 160 on apprentice until level 10, it was quite fine by then since the kanji were not complicated

but then on lvl 11 forward it became a nightmare for my peasant memory brain to keep all memorized

I just reduced to 93 and I have 31 new lessons pop up, probably I can do only 10 lessons to keep those below 100

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.