There should be more test outs
I find it frustrating that I keep getting tested on things I already know, which wastes time. I have studied both French and Italian on the college level and I am learning Spanish. Whenever there is a test out, I succeed, but there aren't enough of them.
I feel your pain. I have been on Duoligo less than two weeks and I find it's really helping my German spelling and other similar details which have gotten rusty since I learned them 20 or 25 years ago, but it seems kind of dumb that I can test out on something (thus demonstrating that I learned it and retained it in the time before I came to Duolingo) and yet a few days later, I get a notification that I need to practice those skills. If I've tested out, why would I need to practice every few days? It doesn't make sense.
Either way, it seems reasonable that if they people the opportunity to test out - for example, when someone with some knowledge joins the site - they (Duolingo) should be clever enough to know that the person actually knows this stuff and not keep testing him/her over and over.
I do wonder, though, how people without prior knowledge get by on Duolingo. It doesn't seem like the explanations are clear enough for new learners.
I'm currently trying to learn French from scratch. I've learned a bunch from Duolingo, but it's obviously a lot harder. I don't feel confident about any of the grammar rules, but I'm getting the hang of it.
Of course, it's also easy to power through without actually understanding anything. I've passed through a bunch of lessons that I haven't really mastered, but hopefully I'll get better at them over time when I do strengthen skills.
Yes, perseverance is how anybody gets better - using any method.
Watching my wife work on German, there are times when it seems she'd be better off stepping away from Duolingo and learning a rote conjugation from a grammar-based course.
When my French gets better, I might start a new course and see for myself.
I completely agree! For Spanish it makes me "learn"things that I already know, when in reality I want to work upon what I don't know. There should be more test outs to skip over known material.