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Strengthen takes too long now :( Anyone has the same problem?

Hello fellow lingos! (Is this what you use to call people who use Duolingo?)

I have noticed that a few weeks ago, when I first started learning on Duolingo, strengthening skills allows you to test multiple skills at a time, thus allowing more time for learning. However, I am only able to strengthen one skill at a time now, and I've made no process on learning new french words for a week!

I wouldn;t mind if it tests me on words I am weak at, but it seems to occur over and over again for the same words I've strengthened just the day before! It's slowing my learning greatly since I can't ignore the fact that the skills aren't nice and golden like they should be.

Does anyone else seem to have this problem, or is it only me? :( Assistance, s'il vous plaît?

February 6, 2017



Okay, I have to ask a simple question. Do you make mistakes during this strengthening? It may seem like a stupid question, but it's not. Indeed, DuoLingo's algorithm calculate the time you "forget" a word based on the ratio of right/wrong exercises you did involving that word.

Let's talk less abstractly. Let's say that a course took 1 week the first time to lose its golden color. Then you strengthen the course and it becomes golden again. If you pass the test without any mistakes, it will stay this way longer (we can say 2 weeks), otherwise it will lose its golden color faster (we can say 3 days). The more you strengthen a skill without doing any mistake, the more it will stay golden. According to my experience, you can keep a course golden for up to 3 months.


I do make mistakes on the newer stuff I learnt, but not the basics like animals and such! They lose they golden colour DAILY, so it gets frustrating.


If you click on a lesson, the "strengthen" button will allow you to practice that lesson instead of random stuff.


I do that, however I want to strengthen everything at one go like before! Not one by one...


Good questions! I have said..DLers. Anyway, I think there is no one answer for strengthening. I originally started Portuguese and find myself reviewing categories that are full gold. As a total beginner, I enjoy learning something new that I "mastered" previously, but clearly do not understand completely. However, I then thought it would be fun to do other languages I know but stopped. I went through the German tree for example fairly fast, and it was entirely gold, but the level stagnated. The level looks at how much time you spend and does not reflect the knowledge or experienceyou may already have. I still wanted to bring up the level, but like you, the repetition of extremely beginner's material made me realize I was wasting my time. Let me stress - for me personally and with languages I already use quite well. I'd rather read the headlines and stories of interest on news sites or listen to podcasts in my stronger languages at this point. I have already read about the super bowl in German. So, it is tool. Do what you like!


Yes, it is rather tedious on the halfway to the completion. And then, when you had completed the tree long ago and had been keeping it golden for a while, -- oops, too few strengthening to achieve your moderate daily goal of 30.


Oh I see.. what a shame. Learning is so difficult now.


There really should be like a "strengthen all" option where it's like tests, you sit down for 20 minutes or so and gives you exercises from all the lessons you've done thus far. So if you get all of them right, all the skills are strengthened.


Yes, it's a waste of time. To strengthen your vocabulary try something with proper spaced repetition like memrise or anki ;-)


Yes, I agree that it sometimes goes over and over the same ground - very basic stuff - instead of moving on at a more logical pace.


I experienced the same.

The global strengthen button did not strengthen 2 skills in ONE session, just one after the other.
For one skill (Voce/Tu in Portuguese) even that was NOT working (tested ~2.3 times); I had to directly go into the skill and use the "Strengthen skill" button.

How many non-golden skills can the global strengthen button strengthen at the same time? 3-5? More than this? I had seen this once in my English tree a while ago.

So what are the circumstances that is is not working right now, and when does it work?
It makes IMHO more sense to randomly mix 3-5 non-golden skills words into questions, than to practice only one non-golden skill and including very basic words from the beginning (woman, man, milk, bread, water, etc.).


I think the strengthen is only meant to strengthen one skill at a time, but because some basic words like pronouns and articles appear in almost all sentences, it sometimes strengthens those skills as well.

I think the strengthen skill button should strengthen more than one skill, especially since a lot of the time it gives the same sentence more than once, which means they can pretty easily put more vocabulary into a strengthen session.


I hope maybe an admin can help.. I've seen it strengthen 3-5 a lot of times when I was learning French. It just suddenly stopped and I don't know why. Perhaps strengthening multiple skills is only for the basics.. But I do wish they don't take away my golden skill off daily, it's highly frustrating.


Well, I just learned something today. Lighting bulb moment.

I had a strengthening exercise that went on and on for about 60 sentences, because I made multiple mistakes.
The bonus was that at the end it strengthen 3 skills not 1.
Since a normal drill is about 20 sentences you can say it was 3 times as long.

My conclusion is that you will be strengthening multiple skills primarily if you make mistakes.
For each 20 sentences you do, you will strengthen 1 skill.

If you do everything correct, but there are also common words which are shared with other skills, you can strengthen them too this way, even though you didn't made mistakes.

Hope this clarifies what is happening.


These are my detail global strengthen skills tests from Monday:

English-German (reverse tree):

  • 11 skills
  • 5 skills x 1 strength bar
  • 2 skills x 3 strength bar
  • 4 skills x 4 strength bar

.1. Global Strengthen: Places2
.2. Global Strengthen: - (made errors)
.3. Global Strengthen: Medical
.4. Global Strengthen: - (made errors)
.5. Global Strengthen: Verbs Present 2
.6. Global Strengthen: Verbs Future 1 (3 strength)
.7. Global Strengthen: Dates 2: 4 strength (3 strength)
.8. Global Strengthen: Dates 2: 5 strength (4 strength)
.9. Global Strengthen: - (made errors)
.10. Global Strengthen: Feelings: 4 strength (3 strength)
.11. Global Strengthen: - (made errors)
.12. Global Strengthen: Feelings: 4 strength, Dates2, Verbs Future 1 (only Feelings was non-golden/4 strength)
.13. Global Strengthen: Feelings: 5 strength/gold
.14. Global Strengthen: Time: 4 strength
.15. Global Strengthen: - (made errors)
.16. Global Strengthen: Time: 5 strength/gold
.17. Global Strengthen: Verbs-Modal: 4 strength (1 strength)
.18. Global Strengthen: Verbs-Modal: 5 strength/gold
.19. Global Strengthen: Frequency: 5 strength/gold
.20. Global Strengthen: Adverbs 3: 4 strength (1 strength)
.21. Global Strengthen: Adverbs 3: 5 strength/gold (43 questions)

German-English (forward tree)

  • 12 skills
  • 6 skills x 1 strength bar
  • 6 skills x 3 strength bar

.1. Global Strengthen: Relative pronouns: 5 strength/gold (3 strength)
.2. Global Strengthen: Infinitive 2: 4 strength (3 strength)
........more tests to come next days

One time the global button really showed that it strengthened 3 skills (the other two skills had already been strengthend before but where shown again in the dialog), all the other 20 times the dialog showed at most one skill only.
You are right....this takes ages and sometimes it is monotonous that questions and words (especially your 1-2 bar strength weak words) are not inter-mixed from multiple skills (like in the quiz), as the words list was not updated accurately before (leaving words un-strengthend, un-practiced).

BTW: This pushed me to my 240XP day record :-)


Am I the only one that mostly ignores the strength of skills I've already passed? I almost never click on old skills or the "Strengthen Skills" button.

As I continue taking new lessons the olds skills get strengthened anyway. Some new skills throw in stuff from an old skill and I get a message at the end that the old skill was also strengthened.

Most of my old skills sit at around 50%, but I just keep moving forward. I plan to redo the whole course again after I get to the end.

I guess I should point out that I create flashcards on a separate website and review vocab from time to time. So I am reviewing, but duolingo doesn't know that.


It gets really tiring if you wait until the end to strengthen all the skills, you'll need hours of strengthening for a few days in a row at least.


I personally use the degilding mostly as free recordkeeping of how far I've gotten in "actually" doing a tree. I tend to go through trees quickly, particularly for languages closely related to ones I already know. But then as I go back through them with more focus I find myself needing generally to redo the lessons and then a handful of strengthenings before the words seem to be sticking in active recall for even the few minute duration of the exercise. So I spend easily half an hour on a skill. I tend to switch among languages in this process, so overall it's certainly on the order of months to finish, yet almost nothing degilds that I've really gone over.

I'm personally quite skeptical (as Thomas.Heiss has pointed out with greater detail) that the spaced repetition algorithm on Duolingo has a high enough frequency for optimal learning. Memrise (depending on how the specific course is set up) will have a word pop up every 11 hours indefinitely until you have the relevant grasp on it. Duolingo will let things stay gold for weeks just based on being able to recognize it.


But why do I have to strengthen all the skills if I'm retaining what I've learned as I continue moving forward? I want to actually learn, not keep some arbitrary gauges filled up. I guess I'm missing the point.

It just sounds like people feel obligated to keep their skills at full strength and are frustrated that it's tedious. And it's keeping them from progressing. I feel no such obligation. I'd rather review as I feel necessary and ignore the levels of the old skills.


I am having the same problem


Yep I have that problem to. I just got most of my old things strengthened

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