Completed Spanish Tree, But Still Only at 50%
The initial placement test allowed me to skip over a good chunk, but I completed the tree today. I'm rated at 50% fluency. How accurate is that, and how do I get that to 100%?
Also, I have trouble understanding people when they speak Spanish. Is there a way to practice recognizing the words they say?
Congratulations on finishing the tree. Listening comprehension only comes with consistent practice. Try listening only to Spanish radio stations, watch Spanish movies, and best of all find Spanish speakers to practice with. I use "mylanguageexchange.com" and have met numerous people via skype from several countries, it really is a lot of fun.
The maximum Duo fluency rating is around 60-ish%. I finished my French tree at 50-ish% and it went up very slowly as I maintained my tree using the website for three months. If you still feel that you have more Spanish to learn on Duo, I'd continue to maintain the tree and see what happens.
It's debatable how accurate the "fluency" rating might be in a real-world context. I've just heard that one or more of the apps don't support the rating, so that would have an effect too, which would have nothing to do with your abilities. You can try the Duo progress quiz, and there are also some tests online that will tell you A1, B2, and so on. Of course, those tests are only written recognition, so it doesn't test writing, speaking, and so forth.
For speaking practice, there are some good online services that you can use. Lang-8 is good for writing practice, and that reinforces speaking skills also. Personally, I like conversation classes even though I get embarrassed sometimes when making mistakes.