I am adding cards every day since some days now and the numbers of cards in my deck has grown to 1688. Not bad for almost a month, if I do say so myself. It starts getting harder now to remember every word, and I started mixing up readings, しょう, しゅう, じょう and じゅう for instance. I guess this happens to everyone with at one point, so I should not worry about it too much. It helps to drag along and space out those cards instead of failing them many times. I space them out for 7 days at most, and if they still don’t stick, I fail them instantly. I should try to do this with hard cards as well. Having many cards due in 1 day because I rate them hard does nothing for my vocabulary retention. There is also no reason to waste time and get booged down on a handful of words, because they will come up so many times in the weeks and months to come, that they will start to stick.
In a previous article I mentioned that I deactivate sentence cards, and review vocabulary beforehand when there are many difficult words. This worked in the beginning. Difficult words to me meant having a complicated reading. Three days ago I had many words with several different readings to memorize and tried to review only vocabulary. I had to fail as many as 39 cards during the first review. When I activated sentence cards it became easier, that is why I stopped reviewing vocabulary before reviewing sentences. What I also do to help my retention outside the SRS besides reading as much as possible is to add those hard words to Sticky Notes in Windows. When there are many notes floating around the desktop is cluttered and starts to look ugly. And if there is one thing I hate then its a cluttered desktop! This is all the motivation I need to commit the words into memory as soon as possible.
Currently I am doing 20 or 25 Kanji a day and yesterday I stopped at number 265. In the beginning I expected to finish Level 1 in about 4 or 5 months. Right now I have good reason to believe that it should be possible to finish it in less than 2 months. By doing 25 Kanji from today, and 290 Kanji still to learn, it would take 11 days and even with 15 Kanji a day it would only take 19 days. This is faster than I ever thought would be possible. However, my next big goal is reaching kanji N°300 in two to three days, and I am looking forward to reach it.
Here is something for you to read in the meantime. Have fun!