Your Kanshudo Japanese Mastery Level

Your Japanese mastery level is a measure of your current knowledge of Japanese. As you learn kanji, words and grammar, your level increases. Tracking your mastery level is a fun and rewarding way to improve your Japanese.
View your mastery level in your Dashboard. You can also visualize see your overall progress with your Mastery map.
1. What is my Japanese mastery level?
Your Japanese mastery level is a two digit number between 1 and 70. When you first start using Kanshudo, you begin at 1, and you progress through the levels automatically as you study. You can also modify your level manually, for example if you already know some Japanese when you start using Kanshudo. You can also 'test up' if you feel you know the material in your current level. For more information, see section 7.
Mastery levels are grouped into sets of nine (levels 1-9) or ten levels (10-19, 20-29 etc). Each set focuses on the kanji, words and grammar for a key stage of Japanese learning. For details on the study contents of each set of levels, see section 5. The first digit of your mastery level (0 for 1-9, then 1, 2 etc.) identifies the set. Each set also corresponds with a usefulness level (one of the rings) in each of the three mastery wheels (kanji, grammar, vocabulary) - for more on this correspondence, see section 6.
You can view your Japanese mastery level at any time by visiting your Dashboard. The Dashboard is accessible either by clicking the Kanshudo logo in the top left of any screen, or the icon.
2. Components of your Japanese mastery
Each mastery level measures four different areas of your Japanese progress: kanji, vocabulary, grammar, and experience. You will progress to the next level when you have achieved sufficient progress in each of these areas for your current rank. Our study recommendations focus on helping you to complete study areas for your current rank.
The Dashboard is the best place to view your current mastery. Your Dashboard helps you visualize your progress through your current mastery level in the form of a wheel with four sections.
At the top of your Dashboard, you'll see a circular display with four 'wedges', which looks something like this:
Each wedge shows your percentage progress through the requirements for your current mastery level. In other words, the example above shows the following:
  • Your mastery level is 24 (the number in the center)
  • You have completed the kanji requirements (the blue wedge on the left shows 100%)
  • You still have some way to go with grammar, vocabulary, and study points - to complete mastery level 24, you need to get each of these four wedges to 100%
In your actual Dashboard, you can click each wedge for details of exactly what you need to do to complete the requirements for the level.
3. Your mastery map
Your mastery map is a fantastic way to visualize your overall progress through Japanese: the different mastery levels are presented as a literal journey through Japan - its history, its geography, and its people. It's a great way to learn about the country in tandem with improving your language ability.
Each Japanese mastery level corresponds to a location on the map. Each location will provide you with a short introduction to some aspect of Japan - a physical location, a custom, a historical event etc.
You can visit your mastery map at any time here. You will be able to visit and read about all locations up to and including your current mastery level. Links are available in the top menu, the dashboard, and the bottom menu.
4. How to use mastery level to study
Kanshudo functions as your personal AI (artificially-intelligent) Japanese tutor. Everything you do on Kanshudo helps you learn Japanese, but it also helps us understand what you know and don't know, as well as what you're learning easily and what you need additional help with. Kanshudo tracks every aspect of your progress, and uses it to develop intelligent study recommendations to help you focus on what's most important for you to study next.
In general, we recommend that you study kanji, words and grammar in parallel. It's easier to learn kanji that you see used in words, and it's easier to see words used in sentences. To make this process efficient, you need to learn the grammar to help you understand the sentences that contain the words you want to study, and you need to learn words that contain the kanji you are studying. So, your study recommendations will often focus on the area with the lowest completion within your current mastery level.
However, you can study any material or play any game on Kanshudo at any time. Once you have found an activity you like, you can go back to it at any time. Any progress you make will affect your mastery level.
The most effective way to study is to use automatically generated Study sessions. Study sessions are generated by our AI based on your current knowledge, study activities, and rate of progress. You can create a new study session at any time from your Dashboard. Once a study session is in progress, you can access it directly from the link in the main menu.
Study sessions are composed of study tasks. Kanshudo generates study tasks to help you focus on what needs improving, introduce you to different parts of the system, and add variety to your studies.
However, as you discover the different activities available on Kanshudo and find your favorites, you can also work on those activities directly - you can study any lesson or flashcard, or play any game, independently of a study session. Kanshudo will track your progress, and your mastery will improve.
5. Requirements for the mastery levels
To progress through each set of ten levels, you need to complete the following requirements. Remember that the first digit of your level maps to a kanji ring or word / grammar usefulness level.
Mastery levels 1 to 9 focus on the first step in learning Japanese: hiragana and katakana (the innermost ring of your kanji mastery wheel). No vocabulary or grammar are required.
Mastery levels 10 to 19 focus on kanji, words and grammar with usefulness level 1: the first 80 kanji, about 500 words, and about 80 simple grammar points. Completing mastery level 19 covers the requirements for the first JLPT exam (N5).
Mastery levels 20 to 29 focus on kanji, words and grammar with usefulness level 2: 170 kanji, about 1000 words, and about 100 grammar points. Completing mastery level 29 covers the requirements for the second JLPT exam (N4).
Mastery levels 30 to 39 focus on kanji, words and grammar with usefulness level 3: 370 kanji, about 1500 words, and about 90 grammar points. Completing mastery level 39 covers the requirements for the third JLPT exam (N3).
Mastery levels 40 to 49 focus on kanji, words and grammar with usefulness level 4: 380 kanji, about 2000 words, and about 80 grammar points. Completing mastery level 49 covers the requirements for the fourth JLPT exam (N2).
Mastery levels 50 to 59 focus on kanji, words and grammar with usefulness level 5: the remaining 1136 Jōyō kanji, about 5000 words, and about 80 grammar points. Completing mastery level 59 covers the requirements for the highest level of the JLPT exam (N1).
Mastery levels 60 to 69 take you to expert level Japanese. For kanji, go beyond the Jōyō to the 862 Jinmeiyō kanji (used in names) and about 1000 Hyogaiji (unclassified) kanji relatively common in modern Japanese, and work on vocabulary and grammar with usefulness levels higher than 5. Reaching mastery level 70 will bring you to the end of your journey to Japanese mastery!
Level 70 is the highest level of mastery in Kanshudo. To reach level 70, you will need to demonstrate kanji knowledge well beyond the Joyo level, as well as advanced vocabulary and grammar.
6. How mastery level relates to the mastery wheels
Your mastery level shows your overall progress with Japanese, looking at a combination of kanji knowledge, grammar and vocabulary. Your current mastery level represents your current Japanese level.
In contrast, the mastery wheels for kanji, grammar and vocabulary illustrate your progress with one dimension only, from beginner to expert. For example, the kanji wheel shows your knowledge of all kanji in the Kanshudo system in one chart.
The first digit of your mastery score (i.e. 0 for levels 1 to 10, 1 for 10 to 19 etc.) maps directly to the usefulness levels shown in the kanji, grammar and mastery wheels. For example, there are seven rings in the kanji wheel - the innermost ring, which covers hiragana and katakana, corresponds to mastery levels 1-9 (i.e., 01-09); the next ring, which contains all kanji with usefulness 1, corresponds to mastery levels 10-19 etc. For grammar and vocabulary, there are six rings (because there is no vocabulary or grammar requirement corresponding to kana). The innermost ring in each of the grammar and vocab wheels covers grammar points and words with usefulness level 1, and corresponds to mastery levels 10-19 - and so on up through the rings.
For more information on the kanji wheel, see How to use the Kanji Wheel to guide your Japanese studies.
You can also view one more visualization of your knowledge of Japanese: your mastery heatmap, which is available on your Dashboard. Like the wheels, your mastery heatmap shows your progress with all usefulness levels, but instead of a wheel format, it shows your average mastery of all kanji / words / grammar in each usefulness level in the same chart.
7. Adjusting your mastery level
Kanshudo is designed for students of all levels. It contains tools for absolute beginners, but it also contains a wealth of material for the most advanced students (such as games and quizzes for advanced users, sophisticated dictionaries, and more). The flashcards alone are a huge benefit for more advanced users. If you already know some Japanese when you start using Kanshudo, you have several choices.
If you want to jump immediately to a suitable starting point, one of the first recommendations that will appear in your study tasks list in your Dashboard is an option to set your initial level on Kanshudo. Use this option if you want to jump immediately to a higher level. You can also modify the setting at any time in the 'Starting Japanese level' in your Account page. This setting will set a floor on your mastery level, which in turn will affect your study recommendations and other system settings. However, it will not affect your kanji / word mastery wheels, which require 'evidence' that you know the material.
Alternatively, you can 'test up': there are various ways to help Kanshudo understand quickly what your current level is. The best places to start would be by taking a Kanji Quiz and a Word Quiz. The quizzes will help Kanshudo get a sense of where you are. You can then follow those up by working through Flashcards for any material you know and want to tell Kanshudo you know. By this point, your mastery level and kanji / word wheels should be a reasonable reflection of your knowledge. If you need additional customization help, please contact support.
Kanshudo is your AI Japanese tutor, and your constant companion on the road to mastery of the Japanese language. To get started learning Japanese, just follow the study recommendations on your Dashboard. You can use Quick search (accessible using the icon at the top of every page) to look up any Japanese word, kanji or grammar point, as well as to find anything on Kanshudo quickly. For an overview, take the tour.