If my math is correct, then I will have N1 completion near the end of 2022

Doesn’t that seem a bit odd? To go from N5 to N1 in only a year when people go to college for 4 years and barely are fluent if at all?

Maybe I’m doing the math wrong but right now I have completed N5 (did it in a week since I was finished 3rd year in college and knew most of it already.)

I am doing 3 new grammar points per day because 5 was burning me out a little on top of all the reviews I had. And I am currently at 51/176 items of N4 learned.

So, I subtracted 51 from 176 to get 125. Next, I added all of the grammar points I have left to learn: 125 + 219 (N3) + 210 (N2) + 165 (N1) to get 719.

With that, I divided 719 by 3, assuming that I will do at the least 3 per day, and got 239.96666666666 which can be rounded up to 240 days I guess?

Which is November 20th 2022 from today. What do you all think of that?


Congrats on your speed so far. It is nice to have a goal, just make sure to not burn yourself out and adjust your goal when necessary.
(Personally I can only manage to do 6-9 reviews a week, so I’ll take a while longer)
Wish you best of luck!


i woudlnt be surprised if the N1 and N2 grammar points are much thougher to learn, then the basics, but thats just a guess. It also makes a difference if u practice writing aswell.


I hope for you it goes as smoothly as you calculated. And it very well might.

But don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t.

For me it didn’t. I reached a bit of a saturation point with wanikani and bunpro, where I accumulated too many leeches (and ghosts on bunpro) because I kept the tempo too high for too long. I’ve slowed down adding items tremendously (almost came to a standstil) for a couple of months. I hope to pick up the pace again in a few weeks, when leeches and ghosts are down. (Which de facto would mean I know the kanji and grammar that I know a lot BETTER.)

It is important that you don’t get discouraged, and don’t burn out. Learning a language is a lifelong endeavour. It’s not even a marathon. It’s a journey. Even if you race through Bunpro in 240 days, it will still take you a while before you really know how to use all the grammar you learned.

Good luck!


Doesn’t that seem a bit odd? To go from N5 to N1 in only a year when people go to college for 4 years and barely are fluent if at all?

Perhaps contrary to popular opinion, universities teach things at a relatively slow pace–at least in my opinion. Now more than ever, curricula are oriented to a certain lowest common denominator. That’s inclusive not only of ability, but also motivation. For a highly motivated learner, you can easily outpace most university programs.

But also keep in mind that a university student studying language will also be devoting a lot of time to other things, too. They have to satisfy general education requirements, and language programs often include other prerequisites, like humanities.

That being said, your pace matches mine pretty closely. I smashed through all of Bunpro N5 in two days (which I came to realize was a mistake when I saw the huge number of reviews it produced). I then switched to just five new items per day at N4, and then have only been doing three per day since N3. That helps to moderate the number of reviews. I’m early in N1 right now and expect to finish it in 50 days (for 270 days overall to get all items into review). Perhaps the key difference for me is I started Bunpro after I was already 18 months into studying Japanese, so maybe half (or more) of the items that have come up were not new to me.

Just keep in mind that studying grammar alone doesn’t mean you understand the language, let alone would be able to pass the N1 exam. You also need vocabulary. A lot of it. Tens of thousands of words worth. You also need to spend a lot of time and effort speaking and listening to Japanese. Those things are by far the bulk of the work. The grammar is easy, comparatively speaking.


As an example of a university course, versions of the MIT Japanese courses are available online here OCW Course Index | MIT OpenCourseWare | Free Online Course Materials I - IV and the two advanced courses. If you look in course I they start getting people to record themselves and compare it to the teacher only a few weeks into the course L-A Drills. Likewise with practicing writing HIRAGANA WORKSHEET: a ~ ko.

Whereas I could probably pass N1 but am essentially useless in any circumstance that requires Japanese output.


That course looks really good. If other universities actually taught like that, people would probably have a different impression of learning Japanese in a classroom.

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i just finished n1 and i also did 3 grammar points per day on average, since june last year i think. i missed a full months of lessons in december, so for the last 2 months i did 4 lessons per day to catch up.


that said, i haven’t practiced speaking/writing, since my only goal was to learn the grammar patterns in order to recognize them easily when immersing. i’m not sure i’d be able to pass n3, let alone n1, lol

still, i would say it’s definitely doable if you can dedicate 1-2 hours every day (on average). unless you’ve started wanikani 3 months before, because in that case you’ll get both srs 11 reviews in bunpro AND the short levels in wanikani (levels 48-60 i thinks).
if you’ve started both at the same time i think you should be ok tho, but you’d need at least 3h daily on average to keep up this pace


The attention to detail is nice as well. For example requiring people to use 相槌 more than an English speaker naturally might.
Interview Test 1

  • Your performance in Japanese is evaluated based upon fluency, accuracy, pronunciation, intonation, communication skills, and cultural appropriateness.
  • Try to use Japanese fillers such as えーと, あのー, そうですか, そうですね, そうですねえ, etc. as much as possible.
  • You are not allowed to use English during the interview.

I’m good at this!! (not anything else)

Too much so, I started saying えーと around the house, to the dog, on work calls, in the supermarket…

My brother-in-law is Italian, the first time we met him we went for a meal. The whole meal, he nodded, ahuh, yes, that’s right - used all the english fillers all night. We thought what excellent English he has… (we did drink a bit too!)…
Years later he told me that he hadn’t understood a word of it and just bluffed his way though the night.
Don’t underestimate the power of fillers!


Congratulations! All progress is progress. :+1:


Is that the classroom experience if you take it at MIT? I had looked through those course materials a couple years ago and found most of it is just Genki–at least for the first few levels. They use kana deep into the program, too. It seems like you’ve only been exposed to around half of the 常用漢字 by the time you finish the first couple of years. I was able to learn words containing all of them and more (about 2500 total) in 18 months. Granted, I didn’t bother learning how to write them (it’d be a waste of time for my learning goals) and I probably couldn’t name every 漢検 meaning off the top of my head, but I now have access to thousands of words written in kanji you simply wouldn’t be able to read going through a program like MIT’s. And that’s a top school.

But I’ll grant my impression might be distorted. My #1 goal is to be able to read the language first, and understand it spoken second. Being able to produce it would be nice, but that takes a backseat to comprehension for me. (I do understand that production helps with comprehension, but not as much as learning new words and grammar you don’t know.)

Seems to be. They have an interview test every 8 weeks or so and require people to be able to write at least some of the kanji they cover. It doesn’t cover the content as fast as someone with a pure interest in comprehension could, but they’re making trade offs for output so that’s to be expected. The people who are really invested are probably doing work outside the course requirements anyway.

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It actually doesn’t sound too different from my high school Spanish class (without the kanji, obviously). :sweat_smile:

I think the great thing is these days it’s never been easier for people to learn the way best suited to them. For those who thrive in a classroom setting, the MIT courses seem like they would be great (and with distance learning, it’s never been easier to obtain that). For others, there’s never been a greater wealth of resources (like our own beloved Bunpro) to learn what one wants to at one’s own pace. More sources of knowledge and more ways to access it are only good things, in my opinion.

That being said, if I could go back to university right now, I’d love to be able to take classes like the ones MIT offers.

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I second that. There is a significant focus on output, and they really are graded like this. I’ve heard some of the assignments, and I was very impressed with how well they could output in their first semester of study. Those students have to work hard.

As far as I know, all the top programs put a strong emphasis on having the students not only consume the grammar, vocabulary and kanji, but also produce it both speaking and in writing. Some programs then have an optional kanji-intensive class in the third year that then focuses on the reading comprehension.


That’s quite impressive! I just started N2 grammar points with a similar type of workflow for immersion too. Have you noticed the later grammar points from N2 and N1 in your immersion a lot?

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Well, learning and mastery are two completely different things. Assuming that you will learn every grammar point in a year is assuming that you will understand every grammar point very quickly and get very few reviews wrong. For most learners, the grammar starts to get quite complicated at N3 and will take longer to learn. But if you can learn it all in a years time, then more power to you.

Seeing that the global average for reviews is 85% for N5, but around 75% for the rest of the levels shows that people struggle with those more. So yeah, it just depends. If you’re a savant, have incredible language intuition, or dedicate a long time to it every day it’s very possible. Otherwise, it’s likely going to take longer.


Certainly possible, but please remember (like others in the thread mentioned) that you are making a huge assumption that you will never get overwhelmed by reviews, a tricky grammar point that you don’t get right away, etc. For me personally, I only learn 3 grammar points a week because I want to make sure I understand what I’m working on before I move on. I do around 30 reviews a day, sometimes less - but I also do around 80 anki cards a day, take time to input, etc. I would personally advise against holding yourself to doing 3 a day if that’s not what’s best for you.
And remember - Darkest Dungeon - Remind Yourself That Overconfidence - YouTube :wink:


N1 grammar is one thing.
N5 requires about 600 words, N1 needs 12000.
N5 kanji 80, N1 kanji 2200.
N5 requires understanding very literal textbook Japanese, N1 is intentionally complex metaphorical Japanese.
Congratulations on the grammar, but remember that that is 1/4 of the distance.


This does not work like that. You just mastered the fundamentals, which is the most important part in every skill to learn. But from N4 and after N3 the difficulty kind of become “exponential”, because you start to learn a lot of different same grammar points but with different cases of use!
Learning japanese is a marathon, the most important thing is not to burn out and let your brain get accustomed to the language.
Anyway, congratulations!