Would it be a bad idea to sit on a level for awhile?

I’m about to finish level 10! I know its just a start but I am very excited. I was wondering if it would be a bad/good idea for me to wait a week or so before I start level 11. I have about ~50 apprentice items aside from the level 10 stuff, so I was thinking that I should cut that down a bit before moving on. Maybe I would do this every 10 levels. I only have three leaches but I still think there are some kanji/vocab that are having trouble getting past guru.

Also I don’t know what the difference between the “pleasant,” “painful,” “hell,” etc. titles are. Will things be more difficult starting with level 11?


This is nothing to worry about. I have 126 apprentice items and it doesn’t bother me. Most people can handle up to 100 apprentices items without problem.


It’s really your call. New levels mean new lessons mean new reviews. But if you feel overwhelmed, you can just stop doing lessons, which is what you’re thinking about. So no, there’s no real external factor here outside of what review workload you’re comfortable with.

Honestly, these “categories” don’t really mean anything. They’re just cheeky ways of grouping the levels by 10. The names just kinda reference the fact that it can get harder with the more complex kanji. Then by the end it’s “paradise” because presumably you’re comfortable with kanji by then.


I’m kind of doing that! I paused at level 11 and 21 to do all level 10/20 vocab first, and guru most of my apprentice. Usually when I level up I do radicals first and spread vocab out over the week. I reset from low fifties to 1 at the end of January. In the beginning all I would have in apprentice were the lessons I did in the past 3 days, and it would all steadily move up to guru and master, but now I’m seeing more leeches come back, so I will definitely have to do some damage control at level 31. But I’m not planning on slowing down before then.


The more you go on the more abstract the kanjis becomes, so yes, things will become more and more complex as you go on. This said there is not really a clear jump in difficulty from level to level, the increase of complexity is gradual (it is not like level X is super easy with only concrete meanings and level X+1 is suddenly super complex and abstract).

To answer your first question, no, it is not bad to stay for a while on a certain level if you need to/want to.
Pacing is quite personal and you should do whatever is better for you.


And then you reach level 51, and realize that there are still so many unlearned kanji, and enter Reality.


No problem whatsoever, in fact, I’m doing that right now. Life’s too hectic for me to keep up with an increasing number of reviews (150~200 a day), so I’m waiting for the count to dwindle before doing any new lessons.

You should take things at your own pace. That said, you also shouldn’t be held hostage by arbitrary measurements – 50 apprentice items can be a lot for some people and a breeze for others, and you need to find out for yourself if that number is really a problem. A good rule of thumb I have is to only do new lessons when my review queue starts getting too short for my study sessions.

About the level “tiers”, so to speak, I don’t think there’s a difference. I didn’t even find that difficulty increases with the levels. Level 21 to 25 has been the worst stretch so far for me, because of the particular kanji in that vincinity. I guess you could say that learning more similar kanji can be a problem, but still, the difficulty is in the workload more than anything to me.


Things will get more complex with introduction of new kanji. You may start confusing one with another and wanikani never cares to help with that. You may end up destroying your whole progress with some old kanji unless you re-learn them taking similar kanji into consideration and grouping them into some families. Otherwise each level’s workload is more or less the same. I would suggest going at full speed and checking out your limits. Try reaching 150 apprentice items at a time.

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I don’t think it would hurt you to take a week off of lessons if you felt the need to, and it could give you a chance to slow down and really see where you’re at.

That being said, I would just like to recommend being careful with taking time off because it becomes easy to just never get back to it. I planned on taking a short break from lessons when I hit level 20 so I could focus on school and work, but I ended up not doing lessons for a year. I regret doing that mainly because if I hadn’t I’d probably be nearing completion of WK by now, instead of still being at level 25.

It might be better to reduce the number of lessons you do per day instead of stopping lessons entirely. This way you can lesson your workflow without losing the habit of doing lessons.


If you’re feeling like the workload is getting heavy now, slowing down lessons is an excellent idea.


It’s not bad at all if you feel you need it. I’m doing that right now until I can get my reviews to what I feel is more manageable. Do what you have to do to get the most out of this.

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That’s actually quite nice to hear - that stopping every so often is quite normal…

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I think the most important thing is that you keep doing your reviews when they become available. If you’re going to sit on a level, it gives you time to look at the leeches and maybe some grammar or some reverse SRS like kamesame. I sat on 20 for almost an extra week because I could tell i was able to keep up only at the cost of pain and resentment. It’s just not worth it. I am on my 8th level streak in the 0/0 streak challenge now and I think if you space your lessons evenly and make sure you get to 0/0 once per level, the timing just naturally matches your capacity.

it’s great that you’re thinking of slowing down now. I’m sure it will give you the breathing space you need later.


Ah, that’s great to emphasize for others reading this thread. Keeping up with reviews while stopping lessons is the key way to catch up if you’re feeling behind.


As far as I see it, both options have pros and cons.

If you pause a bit, you will create some room for future reviews. Well and you get to some time off, that you might invest into grammar or pure relaxation.

However if you keep making pauses frequently, you’ll eventually come to a point where you’ll “forget” items that you’ve already burned. Of course it will be much easier to relearn them, but still you won’t know the reading and/or meaning the first time you encounter them again. And also you will be finished with WK later.

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Yeah if you feel like the workload is too much, taking a week to do reviews only is a really good idea. However, I think as long as you can finish your reviews every day comfortably, you can continue to do lessons. 100 apprentice items is actually pretty normal for most people I think

I’m actually taking a break right now. After doing 7 day levels for months in a row, I had around 200 apprentice and 700 guru and it became hard for me to keep up (about 250-300 reviews per day). I’m now getting down to about 100 reviews a day with 50 apprentice and 600 guru and I won’t do any lessons until I get those numbers down a bit more

Do whatever you are comfortable with, but make sure you always clear the cue or else the SRS doesn’t work properly

Good luck!


In my experience, I’ve only forgotten burned items if I never encountered them out in the wild. Provided you are doing study outside of WaniKani (which everyone should be!!! Kanji is not the whole language!!! Go study grammar!) and trying to read stuff in Japanese, forgetting burned items isn’t really an issue. If you’re concerned, the burn reviews script is nice for looking over burned items.

Also, I interpreted “slowing down” as “spreading out lessons more” not “spreading out reviews more.” The SRS will do its job of helping you memorize the items as long as you do your reviews appropriately. Managing lessons is how to manage workload.


That’s a great idea!!!

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If you study outside of WK, then I guess you are right.

Being a law student it has been pretty much only WK for me for quite some time. So I encounter burned kanji I don’t remember too well in vocab lessons fairly often. Then I regret not having gone through WK faster.

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That’s understandable. Maybe you can find some form of low effort exposure to Japanese such as listening to Japanese music. That way you’re not just learning kanji and vocab in a void, you get to see (well, hear) it used as well. Law school is definitely a ~little~ time consuming, understandable that studying Japanese is a lower priority right now.