I’m preparing for JLPT N5 in July and I wanted to rely as much as possible on WaniKani for the vocabulary, mostly because… Well, mostly because I absolutely love it, especially compared to Anki and other flashcards apps.
I was pretty confident WaniKani would more or less be enough, because the coverage when it comes to kanji appears to be very high. For example, wkstats.com reports that by the time you finish Level 10 you should know 98.73% of the N5 kanji.
As I like to play with data, I scraped one of the many available (unofficial) list of words by JLPT levels and compared it against WaniKani’s. This time, the results appear much more disheartening: by the time you finish Level 10, you can expect to know only 38.28% of the words for N5.
I know that WaniKani only supports words that have at least one kanji in them (so that これ or きれい are excluded), so I ran a new test, this time excluding all the N5 words that were made entirely of kana. The numbers improved, but not by much. Now, by the time you finish Level 10, you can expect to know 51.20%* of the words for N5.
What’s your take on these results? I only started to use WaniKani a few months ago, so maybe this was a known thing, or maybe I made a mistake in my approach. In case you’re curious, you can find the coverage tables here, altogether with the data I used for the computation, sources, etc.
*The original post reported the incorrect coverage of 48.30%.