Why should we do the reviews on time?

The question is stated in the title. I know that many people recommend doing the reviews (and even lessons) once they are available.

Benefits are:

  • if you repeat something often in short time intervals, it will stick better
    -apparently, you will level up faster

Well, the second point is what I dont really understand.

What I have noticed is that the reviews pop up on “full” hours…or even every full hour depending how (bad) you did.

But waiting up the time, there will “only” be a few reviews you can actually review, like 2-7 total, what I find pretty little.

Would it be better then to wait for 3-4 hours until the quantity has stacked up to “quite” an amount? I feel more comtable doing 20-30 reviews in a row in every 3-4 hours instead of, say, 2-7 every hour.

What are other benefits of doing reviews on time?
Is it true that you can level up faster? And how so?

Another question that intrigues me is when those reviews pop up. It certainly can vary but its a fact that they keep coming once the clock hits an full hour.
So, will it make any difference if I do my review at 10:10 am or at 10:50 ?

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The point of doing the reviews as they come avaiable is due to the way SRS works.
(You do a review when you are about to forget the item)

Also trust me you will get way more reviews than 2-7 every hour and I’m only level 5.


No that makes no difference. Any completed review time is rolled back to the top of the hour you do it.

Radicals and kanji items affect level up times, because you need 90% of kanji in guru status to level up, and you usually need some of the radicals guru’d to be able to access more than 90% of that level’s kanji.

If you desire to level up faster, then focusing on those is a way to do it. Vocab items don’t impact level up speed, except that based on your lesson ordering settings, they might prevent you from accessing other types of items first.

As for why people might want to level up faster, some people already know a lot of Japanese and just want to move through the system as quickly as possible. As well as other reasons.

Everyone should go at a pace they feel comfortable with.


haha, good to know!

Thank you, very informative!

I would say, yes, you should wait for 3-4 hours because that is the shortest SRS interval. By scheduling when you do your reviews, the items will come back for the next review on your schedule. You could do reviews more often, but if you prefer to have larger review sessions, you don’t need to do reviews more often than every 3-4 hours.

Here’s the SRS timeline from the Wanikani knowledge base:

Apprentice 1 → 4 hours → Apprentice 2
Apprentice 2 → 8 hours → Apprentice 3
Apprentice 3 → 1 day → Apprentice 4
Apprentice 4 → 2 days → Guru 1
Guru 1 → 4 days → Guru 2
Guru 2 → 2 weeks → Master
Master → 1 month → Enlightened
Enlightened → 4 months → Burned

As an example, if I do a batch of lessons at 8am, then the first reviews come at noon, the second reviews come at 8pm. The next day, I’ll do the same things at the same time, to get new items into the system and catch the reviews on any items that I got wrong. The first day’s items will come back for their Apprentice 3 reviews at 8pm the second day.

When people say that you should do your reviews on time, they usually mean don’t miss the Apprentice 1 (4 hour) and Apprentice 2 (8 hour) reviews. If you do miss these, it will take longer to level up, and it may make it more difficult for you to remember the items.


*laughs in 1000+ reviews backlog*

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Thank you! Very helpful!


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