How Many New Anki Cards a Day?
The core of Anki revolves around 2 elements: learning new cards and reviewing old cards. How difficult can that be? Incredibly. I’ve touched on finding what number of cards reviewed works for you. When you let the reviews due number get too high, you leave yourself in the hands of pure evil with an uncertain fate.
Most people figure out how many reviews a day works for them after a little trial and error. Be lucky you didn’t live in the original Anki era where you didn’t have the choice to set your daily reviews.
But the other part of the equation is how many new cards to add a day. You can’t move forward without new cards, and while you would think the more the better, deciding on a new card count is just as important, if not more, than your daily reviews. Your daily learned new cards has a direct impact on your review count, so the more new cards you do, the more you increase your reviews.
I’ve been through all kinds of numbers over the years. There was a period where I was adding as high as 40-50 cards a day, and a period as low as 20 cards a week.
I feel like the numbers everyone works with can be great for seeing how everyone handles it.
So if you could, in the comments answer:
Daily new cards J-E:
Daily new cards J-J:
(Fill in which parts are relevant to you)
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
Daily new cards RTK: 25. I was reaaaaaly slow at the beginner phase (I started learning Japanese a month before finals)
Daily new cards J-E: I kinda skipped J-E because I already knew most of the basic vocab. Just skimmed the cards in 3 hours. So like 1000/day? xD
Daily new cards J-J: Started at 40 for 3 months. Then moved to 30 for 2 weeks. 10 for 1 week. 50-55 cards at present (omg, it has been a month since I am adding 50-55.). I am trying to reduce my new cards to ~33 though (I have taken the VN challenge at hardcore, so it’s a bit tough atm). The good news is that I have mastered branching i.e. I do not have to make any branches 95% of the time.
And yeah, if I miss even a single day, I am looking at ~1000 reviews.
Forgot one thing.
Japanese Level: 44 (6000 cards)
Daily new cards J-J:30-60
New RTK Cards: ~3-5/week
New J-J Cards: ~10-15/day
Since finishing RTK1 I’ve only been adding new Kanji as I learn new words that use them. This results in a pretty slow pace of new additions beyond the original 1900-ish.
On the Sentence side, I do 10 cards/day from the JALUP decks, and a big chunk of new self-made cards (30+) over the weekend, which over a given week averages out to ~15/day. I actually did just 10 cards/day throughout Intermediate, Advanced and most of Expert, but I’ve been trying to add words from immersion on a consistent basis lately, so it’s led to a bit of an increase.
Personally I think that while you’ll progress faster by adding more cards/day, it shouldn’t be done to the point that you exclude active immersion time. It’s really valuable to spend time applying what you’re learning, and it can help you get a handle on difficult concepts. Plus it’s a lot of fun =)
Japanese Level: Intermediate
Daily new cards RTK: 10 (If I go higher than this I fall behind real quick)
Daily new cards J-E: 0
Daily new cards J-J: 15
Im around level 40 and have just over 9000 anki cards. I dont do j-j, only j-e.
I dont do kanji cards. I usually add about 100-150 cards per day for a few days then take a break and dont add for a few days. I usually average about 1000-1500 cards read per day lately
Japanese Level: 23
Daily new cards RTK: 0. I’m trying to get a hold of RTK1 before attempting any more.
Daily new cards J-E: 0
Daily new cards J-J: 12 Just to stay on track for the sentence seige. I’ve never gone over 20 just because I’m scared to have review time go over 90 minutes.
Japanese Level: 40
Daily new cards RTK: 0
Daily new cards J-E: 0
Daily new cards J-J: 50
Level around 25
J-J: It depends on how I’m feeling that particular day, 0 to 20 new cards, (20 rarely happens, 0 is unfortunately quite common).
Japanese level: 60+? 12000 J-J cards
RTK: 0 (completed a few years ago, but I did 60 a day as I remember)
J-E: 0 (again, I graduated J-E a while ago, but I think I did about 20 a day back then)
J-J: 5 a day now, 20-30 at my peak, and various numbers in between. I’m think of moving back up to 10 a day, but I’ll have to experiment for a few weeks before I can figure out if have the time!
I always create more cards than I need and always have a backlog of sentences for cards I want to make, too. This means I can be flexible with my time and give myself days off from card creation, or even increase my daily new cards if I feel like it.
Japanese Level: Intermediate
Daily new cards RTK: 20
Daily new cards J-J: 10
Already completed around 2500 J-E + J-J Cards and almost finished Jalup advanced
But at the moment I’m currently on a RTK boost- but usually it’s 10 J-J cards a day
I have already completed RTK, so I’m only doing J-J cards now from Jalup Expert.
Japanese Level: ~30
Daily new cards J-J: 20
I did 30 cards per day when I was doing RTK and 20 per day for Jalup Beginner. During Jalup Intermediate I only did 10 new cards per day, because the load was too high, but I returned to 20 per day around 1900 cards (100 before end of Jalup Intermediate).
RTK: 0, but back when i was adding new cards it ranged from 20-35.
RTK ~ 25
J-J (Intermediate) like 3 on average in bursts of about 10 a day followed by 0
picking up to ~10 a day for the second half
J-J (Advanced) ~10 (12 most of the time, up to 25 at weekends or holidays, 0 if I am exhausted)
RTK:0 – Back at the time when I added cards was about 15-25 cards a day. I guess after you do RTK1 it is easy to get the other kanji to your head through pure immersion.
J-J: started recently,10 cards a day. I don’t know how you guys add so many cards. it seems dumb to me. immersion is way more important IMHO. You get so much from reading online and listening to news and dramas. And talking to Japanese people of course.
A lot of people are adding quite a lot of cards. I’m impressed you dedicate so much time to your Japanese studies, well done guys! My numbers aren’t quite as high as many of yours, but I’ll post them anyway :)
Daily RTK: 0, I went through the RTK challenge adding around 20 per day but have not added any since. My reviews are starting to get down to a reasonable amount again. I plan on adding kanji to my RTK deck as I meet new ones I the wild that I find useful, so the number here will probably not be very stable.
Daily J-E: 5, I do most of my anki time while commuting 2×40 minutes a day, and this pace works for me. It is not very fast but it is progress that doesn’t end up making me quit which is what matters. Tomorrow I will add my last 5 J-E cards, and I’m very excited about that! It means this weekend I will be starting on J-J and looking very much forward to it! I plan on keeping the pace, maybe doing a little more this weekend to really get a hang of how the J-J cards should be done.
RTK: When I was first going through RTK, I was moving at a pretty good pace as far as I remember, mostly adding 20~30 cards. Though, I certainly had a good number of days where I didn’t add any. Now, I’m beginning to add more to solidify some new kanji. No solid number to note there.
J-J: For my first few thousand cards, I was in Anki a LOT and moved at a pretty good pace, as high as consistently adding 35-40/day and even getting up to that 50/day mark at one point. It certainly shortened my time for immersion though, which I started to realize more and more that my time would likely be better spent there (somewhere 5000+ cards into my studies at that point).
Recently, I actually stopped cards altogether for a couple of weeks to get my reviews down. Now though, I’m back up to around 10, which I don’t really plan on going past too much. At least at some point, I think anki and reading/ playing/ watching/ talking/ etc in Japanese should switch a bit between primary and secondary roles with anki going into that more comfortable secondary role. Though, I definitely do not see myself giving up anki anytime soon. It is far too useful for that =)
The key message I am taking away here is that everyone does way more cards than me.
How many reviews do you have per day and how long does it take?
I have about 100 J-J reviews and 50 RTKs. The J-Js can take me a long time, 30s to 60s each. I find them so hard. It takes me about three hours on the clock to get through it all (Anki recorded time is usually about half that). J-E is very fast these days, but was slow initially. RTK a few seconds to physically write it out, but recall is fast.
With the J-Js, just about every card I am initially like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Then I manage to dredge up some fragments from my memory. Then I can piece together some of the sentence. This leads to further slow and painful recall of other elements. Finally I reach a vague understanding, with some niggling grammar points still unresolved. The killer is the kanji readings. Meaning is not too bad, but the readings… good grief.
Am I just getting old and slow?
Are you using the JALUP decks for J-J and J-E? I have only just finished Jalup Beginner and is a little confused as to why J-J is so much more difficult for you. In the end for each J-E card you only have the one English word and then has to piece together the rest of the meaning from previous understanding. Are the step between Beginner and Intermediate really that steep?
Some of the late Beginner cards I had trouble understanding some of the grammar points, so I actually ended up finding other sources explaining those same grammar points to get a better understanding. I have used Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese a lot for that. I guess grammar is somewhat harder to grasp if the explanation is in Japanese though.
For your questions I have 25-50 RTK reviews a day and 10-30 J-E reviews. I usually manage to get through them all in a little more than an hour including adding my 5 new J-E cards. But well, I’m adding very few cards compared to many others. I’m interesting in getting to know how much time is put into adding 30+ new cards a day as well.
50 cards a day from 8000 card point is 3 hours, maybe a bit more depending on how much I add and i if have to branch. 30 from one deck, 20 from JALUP expert.
One thing to help get your review times down, especially after the first 1000. Go easier on the ‘marking’, think of it more as review times. No point hammering the same word or grammar piece day after day. Better off spacing it out while other pieces of branches and immersion help it settle. Similarly, don’t spend too much time searching cards while reviewing. Pretty much only do this when you’re learning the card, or it’s something on the tip of your tongue (brain?) and you just want to remind yourself. This should get your reviews down a lot in both time and numbers, use this extra time for immersion, not patting yourself on the back.
One thing to look at is your lifestyle. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating properly and not drinking alcohol. Also, are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person? I think attitude goes a long way as well. Everyone’s situation is different, so don’t be too rough on yourself.
Don’t forget, every second you spend on Anki is a sacrifice on immersion. Kind of contradictory of me to say, since I spend so much time with the SRS. That said I do immerse a lot, though my ratio is probably less than ideal.
Short term, people that immerse more than SRS are going to notice more tangible results in regards to comprehension/output. However, I think that long term this balances out either way you swing it, as long as you eventually make that time up. For me, when I hit a 10000 words I’m going to spend very little time with anki and the vast majority with immersion.
What I’m getting at is, you’re better off setting the amount of time you want to study, rather than worrying about anki and immersion volume ratios. Eventually things will balance themselves out, just do it the way that suits you most.
If we all have to complete 10,000 hours, 10,000 cards (just for a tangible example). As long as we are attempting both at the same time, it doesn’t matter which goal we reach first. So long as one half isn’t completely neglected.
So yeah, overall study time is the focus, the rest is balancing immersion and Anki. There’s no right and wrong here, just do what suits you without completely neglecting the other.
Try and not worry too much about the rest, but a little bit of pruning of techniques and methods doesn’t hurt from time to time.
I am 600 cards into intermediate. At the moment it takes me 10-25 min to review 90-120 RTK cards a day(I don’t write them) and about 10 min to add 10 cards.
J-E I am reviewing about 10 a day in like 3 min tops.
J-J It takes 30 min to an hour to review 60-100 cards a day. Adding 15 takes like 20 min unless I really struggle to get some of them. Early on in J-J it could take me up to 2 hours to review and 40 min to add 12 cards, so it definitely gets easier.
Look at the unknown word. Give it like 10 sec to pop into your head. If it doesnt: flip the card, read the furigana a few times, read the top sentence (the front) a couple of times without the furigana focusing on the problem words kanji(RTK super helps with this), then mark it wrong. Repeat this process for each problem card every day and they will eventually stick, usually a lot sooner than you would think.
Don’t stress it too much. I would say the readings are the least important part of this process because Anki will eventually iron that out. Its excactly what it was made to do. :)
Eh, I dunno I always thought it was pretty normal to fall in the 10-20 range. I wouldn’t stress it too much.
There’s also the matter of how you approach cards. Some I spend mere seconds on. Others several minutes. I read every single card aloud to practice pronunciation, and if I’m struggling with that on a card I’ll keep doing it ’til it sounds right or I get sick of it. I find this not only helps my speaking ability tremendously, but also helps me remember readings and meanings. I don’t let it bother me that other people review 200 or 300 cards in the time it takes me to do 100, because I’m doing what works for me.
You’re also going to get a lot faster over time as you get used to doing J-J – this is an ongoing process. The first few hundred will make the biggest difference in the shortest time, but even going forward from there your speed and confidence will continue to improve. By the time you’ve done 2000-3000 J-J cards, you’ll wonder why it was ever difficult for you.
I think there’s value in looking at how others do things and trying to pick up on their tricks to improve efficiency. At the same time, don’t feel like you have to match the pace of the most hardcore people. Even at a mere 10-cards a day you can hit a very high level in just a few years. No need to rush it =)
I’ve been doing a consistent 14-16 new cards a day for the last few years. Now at about 12,000 J-J cards (learned the basics in a couple years of college). My reviews per day have stayed at around 120-160 per day, which takes me about 50-60 minutes to review.
Compared to everyone else this sounds like I’m going pretty slow, but the reviews just got too out of hand when I tried to go beyond, and I got stuck with many cards that I just would NEVER remember. I also had no time to actually learn how words are used through reading, writing and speaking. With this pace I am able to understand and remember the words pretty easily, but also have time to really learn how to understand and speak, and toENJOY the language rather than just memorizing words. It took me a long time to find the right pace!!
Good luck everybody!
Japanese Level: 25-ish? Maybe higher now, I’m not sure…
Daily new cards RTK: 0 now; 20 to 25 while still adding new ones. This was fine for a while but toward the end reviews got pretty nuts. I don’t think I’d add 25 new per day unless my deck had a clear end point like RTK does. Or unless I was doing another Jalup challenge :D
Daily new cards J-E: 0 now… or really, I still sporadically add J-E cards that I’m “migrating” from single-word cards into real sentence cards, but that’s kind of beside the point here.
Daily new cards J-J: 10 to 20. 10 from Jalup deck, 10 from self-made cards. If reviews get too high though, I’ll go a day or two of adding no cards (or just fewer cards). I also don’t always have enough self-made cards to add 10 new ones every day.
All that said, I just got back from a 2-week vacation during which I added zero new cards per day… so I might go a little crazy this week to make up for it!
My advice to anyone having trouble is to just find your own rhythm (as many here have already said). If you’re adding 5 new cards or 50 new cards, just keep moving forward. I personally would rather be sure to zero out my reviews every day, feel great about that, and spend the extra time reading native material… but there are folks here who are serious power levelers and have crazy mental stamina. Don’t go crazy trying to compete with ’em… unless that’s your thing :D
RTK: 30 cards a day only because I want to get it over with by the end of march
J-E: 30 cards so far until I finish Jalup beginner (feb 29)
J-J: I plan to start with 15 cards a day and see how that goes, might increase if I see it easy.
I am bilingual already after all with english being my 2nd language, but strangely my stronger language due to it being the language I use more on average (school and outside the house) I am not too sure being bilingual can help me with understanding Japanese, but I am sure it will help with the mind partition and thinking in a language and grasping grammar and different ways of speaking since arabic and english are crazy different already. I’ve started a A-A deck to help improve my reading arabic because I barely do much of it and the written language is completely different than spoken language.
I’m at 3000 cards, learning 60 new cards a day. I have to review anywhere between 200 and 300 cards a day. After I add you deck to my list, I will be studying 75 cards a day and will likely have to review 250 to 350 cards a day. I have two separate decks for Grammar. The grammar decks are taking up most of the reviews because I have been able to whiz through them in the past.
Japanese Level: 4(ish?)
Daily new cards J-E: At this point I’m thinking 20 new cards a day is solid. I do 20 with the sentences, and 20 with the Kanji. It’s so easy with JALUP Next, so I’m tempted to do more, but I don’t want an insane amount of reviews the next day that it may start to feel overwhelming. I think the best way to handle it is to pace oneself, just like in any race.
My Level is currently somewhere around 12, i guess.
Currently I’m adding, in NEXT though, not in Anki:
Kanji Kingdom: 8 Cards/day
Jalup Beginner: 12 Cards/day
Sometimes it is more because I keep failing at keeping the count while learning.
And honestly, I have no idea how you guys manage to do anymore than that, with the reviews hammering down on you. :D
As soon as i finish Jalup Beginner in June with this setting, I’m planning on setting my Jalup Intermediate Card input to 5 Cards/day, as I’m completly overrun with the reviews, though I manage to go trough all of them for the day, even if I just finish at 10pm.
With more experience, as your reading and comprehension speeds increase, both new cards and reviews take up less time.
I’ve just started with Jalup NEXT. Current level is 2 ;P I’m doing about 9 per day each of Kanji Kingdom and Jalup Beginner. I’ve got the goal set to finish the first 100 cards of each by the end of the month.
I find it usually takes a couple of days before the kanji starts to stick.
I think that is a fair pace. Not too fast, not too slow. You get a sense of progress learning that many new cards per day that you might not have as much of if you went at a slower pace.
5. 5 new cards a day. 5 Kanji, 5 sentences. Slow and steady wins the race. 継続は力なり.
Why burn out?
How do you find your Japanese level? And does J-E teach grammar or should I learn from Tae Kim’s website?
You could try this post: https://japaneselevelup.com/what-level-are-you/
Not sure what you mean by J-E. Do you mean Jalup Beginner? If so, yes it teaches you grammar.
Tae Kim is also a source many people find useful :)
I’m Lvl 28 in XP navi.
When I did RTK (I used kanji damage) I did 20 new cards per day, and 30,000 reviews over 3 months.
Adding: 20 JA JJ cards/day in the settings, actual average is 12 over the past 2 1/2 years (903 days).
I double side all of my notes, so it’s 5-10 notes per day. – not alot
After I did jalup situations I made an audio card type, with the audio on the front and the reading on the back for the rest of the Jalup cards.
I have some self made cards. They are mostly a re tool of a leech card. For example I kept getting this RTK card wrong, so I took the Jalup sentence for it:
状況：移り変わる物事の < answer is the hiragana on the otherside
I have learned 2000 JE, 1740 KD and 1605 JJ notes.
I'm gonna add a mix of Expert and Master cards once I finnish advanced in 2 months at this rate.