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"Strengthen Skills" doesn't seem to be working (Mac OS X)

Over the last few days when I've used "Strengthen Skills" it has not given me credit towards any skill when completed. I dismissed it at first but today I really gave it a shot and three times in a row I chose "Strengthen Skills" (English learning Spanish) and although I completed it three times with ALL questions correct each time (three hearts), all I get is a bit of experience and a lingot. I get no credit for any skills strengthened. None of the individual skill levels go up, nor does the generic "Strengthen Skills" bar go up, no matter how many times I seem to successfully complete it.

I love this site and I love that it's free but it's becoming a bit frustrating for me that having completed the entire Spanish course I am having to strengthen skills individually over and over again instead of being able to do so with the generic "Strengthen Skills" option.

Is anyone else having this problem or does anyone have suggestions as to how I can correct it?

Thanks for reading and thanks to DuoLingo for this awesome, free site!

March 7, 2014



When you strengthen skills, you get a practice including some of your weakest words in the tree. The session end will only announce "You strengthened x" when you actually change the bar of a skill's strength (ex, moving it from 3 to 4 strength). Therefore, when you're pretty far down in the tree, you might get 1 word from each skill (extreme example) that needs strengthening, and even though you strengthened the individual word, it wasn't enough to move the strength bar in each skill.

If you're near the bottom of your tree - or even just half way - it isn't going to be possible to strengthen your entire tree just with one or two practice lessons. If it were that easy, and could cover every word in your vocab in just 20 or 40 questions, learning a language would be much easier =P


Thank you for the response. I understand what you're saying but I had five bars in all skills a few days ago, then some of the skills went down to four bars and later a few have gone down to three, and since then I have not been able to get any credit for any skill with the generic "Strengthen Skills" bar. I don't expect to strengthen my entire tree with one or two lessons, but what I am saying is that over the past ~3 days I have tried (and passed) the generic "Strengthen Skills" exercise maybe a total of 20 times and NONE of those times has it ever given me a SINGLE bar in ANY skill.

I mean if I pass the generic "Strengthen Skills" exercise ~20 times and it doesn't even boost a single individual skill even one bar once... I kind of question whether it's working properly. That doesn't seem right to me.

Again, thanks for the response.


Have you tried practicing individual skills at all? Do they seem to boost your strength?


Yes, they do, as I have tried the generic "Strengthen Skills" maybe 20 times over the past few days to no avail I have started to just boost skills individually. It does seem to work when I do it that way.

All in all it's a minor issue as overall I love the site and it's been so useful but I'm just not sure if the generic "Strengthen Skills" quiz is working as intended for me, for whatever reason.

I could be wrong.


I have noticed this too. I think the program looks at individuals skills differently than it displays it. I have strengthened individual skills and not gotten an extra bar at the same time I have done the generic strengthen skills and seem no skills improve, one skill improve and two skills improve. The display is a rough idea of how you are doing but the program is more complex.


I agree, I don't think I completely understand the program. However, I think taking and passing it maybe 20 times without boosting a single bar in any skill is either buggy or just poorly designed (if working as intended). I have just taken to boosting individual skills because the generic "Strengthen Skills" exercise became demoralizing since it was never giving me any credit for anything no matter how many times I aced it. Not a big deal, but I just wondered if it was working as intended.


I think they are just giving you different ways of practicing what you have learned. I would say do whatever motivates you the most, practicing a language is the goal after all.

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