Practicing Weak Skills Not Working

I am having 2 separate issues with Practicing Weak Skills, as follows:

  1. Every day I do 1 new lesson and try to do a couple Practice Weak Skills lessons. I sometimes score 100% but often miss 1 or 2. About half the time (and sometimes more than that), when I finish the Practice Weak Skills lesson, I get a congratulations message for strengthening my skills but it still shows that I need to strengthen that same skill and have the exact same number of bars. One day, I strengthened the same skill 3 consecutive times, including scoring 100% and it never changed. Am I doing something wrong?

  2. I am set up to do a minimum of 10 xp each day. Every day, Duolingo updates my account with 30 xp of new Practice Weak Skills (e.g., 30 xp on day 1, 60 xp on day 2, 90 xp on day 3 ...). I want to learn new material but I can't even keep up with the new Practice Weak Skills. Is this a common issue or is there a problem with my account?

January 8, 2016


That doesn't happen to me I don't know what's wrong...sorry. :(

January 8, 2016

I can't help you because I don't know :-(, sorry!

January 9, 2016

Regarding #1, that's happening to me too. I'm looking around to find out why also.

January 9, 2016

It sounds like a few people are having this issue from time-to-time. If you find out anything specific, let me know.

January 11, 2016

I had the first problem with 3 skills in one of my courses. I discovered that redoing the lessons inside the skill makes the skills gold again.

Regarding the second problem, the system gives you XP either if you do a new lesson or if you do a weak skill. If you say you do a new lesson and a couple weak ones every day, it is 30 points.

I hope it helps,

January 11, 2016

When you say you redo the lesson inside the skill, do you mean that you click on the skill that needs practice and then complete the weak lesson? That's how I've been doing it and after I finish the lesson, it randomly gives me credit and turns the skill gold again. Sometimes I get the credit and other times, there is no change. If I was at 3 bars, I'm still at 3 bars.

The second issue is that every day, Duolingo shows that I need 30xp more of practicing weak skills. So, if I do my regular lesson, then I need to do 3 practice weak skills lessons to "catch up." If I only have time to do my regular lesson, the next day I have 6 practice weak skills. The following day, I would have 9 practice weak skills. It gets to the point that it takes several days of doing 5 or more weak skills lessons to catch up, and then it starts all over the next day. I get discouraged because then I have no time to do new lessons and I just keep practicing the same thing day after day, and sometimes the same lessons multiple times each day.

January 11, 2016

In my experience, what you've described is normal.

It takes a fair amount of effort to keep your lesson tree gold, especially as you complete more skills. Whether I keep my trees gold or not (mostly not) is simply a matter of my available time in any given period. If you don't have the time, you may have to choose whether to strengthen everything or move on to new skills. Regular spaced repetition is ideal, but in the absence of ideal circumstances, you can always go back and strengthen later. Or you can continue to do a bit of strengthening every day, and a new lesson or two, as you have been. Don't sweat it.

Often you have to strengthen a skill a couple times, and sometimes several, to bring it to full strength.

If you have the words tab, your other option is to do flashcards. That will strengthen the words, and the words strengthen the lessons they're attached to. I don't think you get XP though, if you care about that, beyond your daily goal.

Sometimes as soon as I finish a skill for the first time, it immediately needs strengthening. I think it's because you don't necessarily encounter every word linked to that skill in every lesson, so you don't get a chance to strengthen them all in one lesson. This should be more noticeable with skills that have a lot of lessons.

I would suggest you should be concerned if you strengthen a skill several times and there's no movement at all in your strength bars. But otherwise, just keep at it!

January 11, 2016

Thanks for your reply :) Is it normal to have a skill at 3 bars, practice it (missing 1 or 2 at most, maybe score 100%), and still be at 3 bars? Practice it immediately again and have it still be 3 bars? Practice it immediately a 3rd time and still have it be 3 bars? I totally understand that if I'm at 2 bars, then I practice 2 times to get back to gold. But, if I'm at 3 and I practice 3 times and I'm still at 3, that doesn't seem right. Also, it is mostly just a couple lessons that need to be repracticed every single day. This has been happening every day for the past 3 weeks. I also noticed that my proficiency numbers keep dropping. Is this your experience as well?

January 11, 2016

Hm. There are times when I've had a skill that just didn't want to strengthen, and I've had to do it a few times, and definitely more than three (even with few mistakes), and it eventually strengthens (and yes, sometimes it does just sit at the same strength for a couple of sessions). And there are times when the same skill has deteriorated for days in a row. This is more likely, again, with skills with more lessons. But I can't totally rule out a glitch for you, because I know that people do encounter glitches.

My fluency numbers have certainly gone up and down. Lately, I haven't been keeping up on the strengthening so well and my fluency numbers have surprisingly not moved around too much, maybe because I'm adding new skills at a decent pace. But the behavior of that fluency number is notoriously unpredictable for some. My understanding is that it has to do with the strength of the words you've learned as well as your total words, but I'm not sure it always works right.

I don't know everything that weakens a word. I've read other posts saying that if you hover over a word to get a hint that weakens it, but I have no idea if it really works that way, or if it's just time.

One thing to be aware of is that, fortunately, if you do encounter a word from an earlier lesson in a different lesson, that word should get strengthened. I don't know if you've noticed, but sometimes you can strengthen more than one skill at the same time because of this. I find that happens more in German than in French, though. I don't know if that's just because of the structure of the lesson tree, or because of something else in the different course algorithms.

Give the flashcards a try, though, maybe. See if that helps at all, and if you want to keep doing them.

January 11, 2016

Thanks. I'll give that a try.

January 11, 2016

I've had one particular Lesson, "Time", that just does not show beyond 3 bars no matter how often I've tried to "strengthen" it (which is at least 5 times) or whether on my computer or iPhone app. So far, it's the only one "sticking" like that, and Time is an easy lesson so I've not been making more mistakes than I have on other lessons that went ahead and achieved 4 bars. I'm going to ignore it for a while rather than go in and try to "strengthen" it any more. So definitely some glitches here and there, hope someone takes note...perhaps can fix it.

January 11, 2016
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