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how to disable the timed practice?

I'm using the Android version of the app and for the 436 days I have had all the time in the world to complete each practice and that is good.

But this morning the app was different it will only allow me to do 60 second timed practice sessions and there seams to be no way of disabling this function.

I don't want to do 60 second sessions.

How can I disable this function?

I want my app to be exactly how it was before.

June 17, 2017



DuoLingo, PLEASE give us a disable feature. The timed practice on the app is utterly obnoxious.

  • 1553

I too have received this update, but I'm not so sure it's a wise move to force it. In theory, more experience can be gained in the same time it may take to do a normal review. Great. Timeboxing is supposed to be great for improvement, sure (unless a timer is nothing but negative pressure), but when the excercise is to construct a sentence via choosing words, which can be fast, but quite frankly, choosing the right word can be difficult, especially when it's short, which wastes time. Speaking exercises disabled? Good luck getting the same amount of answers in.

The speed of word-selection is often not comparable if one can type well, but of course typing isn't usually as nice outside of the website. Typing on a tablet or a phone can be a pain. Speaking of pain, and thinking of people that can't type for long or just need to give their wrists a rest, the app that should be giving them more accessibility is now potentially nothing but a frustration.

Sometimes, people just don't want or need timers. Maybe not enough people use them when they are available, but forcing it is not user-friendly. Sometimes, we need to pause mid-practice, or we may wish to check comments.

The timer does pause when checking comments, for a moment at least. Wait long enough and it seems to continue. It also just keeps going while you may want to look at the correct answer after getting it wrong.


please return the old practice,, or at least give us a choice to choose which one we want,, not all of us can text type that fast and can barely get more than 5 points,, hell,, i have a hard enough time using a full size keyboard with the timed exercises,, some of us old folk, like me,, who enjoy learning a new language are as tech savy and nimble as the younger generation,, old fingers move slow :)


Seems there's no timer if you practice a specific lesson. Just the general strengthening button is now a timed practice button, at least in my version.

Actually I like the addition of timed practice. Though maybe 2 buttons would be better, one for timed practice and one for normal practice, then you could just pick one practice method instead of going to a specific lesson to have practice without the timer.

  • 1553

Practicing an individual lesson is fine and all (if a bit clunky and time-consuming to navigate), but the general strengthening has the benefit of pulling from different lessons and strengthening them at the same time, which would be lost as-is if timed practice is unwanted.

I think it's good to have timed practice, just not like this. Two buttons is a fine suggestion.


Every time I have ever hit the "Strengthen" button Duo has gone to the first lesson that is less than 5/5 and had me strengthen that. The thing you're describing seems to have gone away a year ago. Perhaps it hung around in Android for awhile, or you were part of an A/B test?

The way you strengthen multiple at once is to pick one of your more advanced lessons, especially one involving verbs, because every word you translate will be strengthened and the advanced lessons use words from the more basic lessons.

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I feel like it happens less often now, but it does still happen for me, though I suppose it may indeed just be because the skills are near each other. Otherwise, yes, it seems to often just go in order. I haven't always kept up with announcements, but behavior such as that shouldn't go away. I just assumed the algorithm was tweaked. Generally the older skills decay first so it may not be that noticeable.


I agree with all the previous comments. I have a tendency to freeze up when I'm put under a time crunch, so timing it just makes me forget what I've learned rather than enforcing it. I sit there feeling stressed and awful rather than learning much of anything, especially because it doesn't give me the chance to slow down and practice saying the sentences.

It makes me WAY LESS interested in using the app.


VERY VERY MUCH AGREE I feel the same way!!!!! They should ditch the timer!! Or like others have mentioned at least give us the option of timed or not!!!


Yes, please! Duolingo, please give us at least an opt-out option to timed practices.

Nobody likes to be "forced" to use a "new feature".


Yes. Please allow us to turn the option off or on. I know that I can spend lingots to turn it on for the website, and it can be fun, but I believe most of the time I will remember more if I have a chance to study. On the other hand, I've been getting 4 and 5 answers in 60 seconds and it usually takes 4 minutes for me to complete a memory building exercise for 10 points; Regardless, don't make a major change like this, please without allowing us a way to turn it off.


I've tried to use the website on my andriod pad but then halfway through a lesson I lost the connection and it just quit the lessons.

The reason why I use the app and not the website is because I don't have a good internet connection and whoever designed the website don't design it for a bad internet connection, clearly the web designer was sat next to the web server.


I do not like being timed on the questions; it is actually not that helpful for me. I can learn Swedish far better by having time to think about the questions be that for a second, or ten seconds or whatever is needed, but without the added pressure of a timer. So we should have the option to choose general strengthening with and without a timer on the app, just as we have the option to on a desktop or notebook using the website.


Duolingo, it's really obnoxious to force a feature removal on people with no announcement, and leave us to resort to the discussion to determine that it's probably an A/B test.

Please revert this ASAP


I concur with the majority of these comments. The timed practice is most definitely <not> the way I wish to practice what I've learned. It is obnoxious to the point that I'm considering cancelling my monthly subscription. To be clear, it's not a problem that such an option exists. It is, however, a problem that I do not have the option to turn it off.


Your monthly subscription? Isn't Duolingo free?


The monthly subscription is a relatively new option and probably also an a/b-test (or whatever they call it). I am part of the group that gets frequent pop-ups asking me to subscribe to Duolingo for a monthly fee of € 10.99. That's not what I'd call a bargain, since the only advantages are offline lessons and no ads. But for the time being, Duolingo is still free.


That's a huge amount of money! There's no way I'd consider doing that. I'd just return to Memrise. I have some other app that suddenly wants $30/year and I thought that was extortion.


I've recently subscribed to Memrise for € 23.50 a year (about € 1.96 a month), when they had a special offer. I like the videos with the native speakers and the difficult words section, so that's a reasonable price for me after all.


I agree. I think DuoLingo is very helpful in learning a language and I would gladly pay some amount for it. But € 10.99 per month is a bit too much.


It is generally free, but I opted to sign up for a subscription so that I could support their efforts monetarily. I haven't regretted it at all - I've really enjoyed DuoLingo. But unless something happens to address this update, I'm very seriously considering cancelling. I have a 500 day streak and almost don't even care about breaking it because I find the new approach so unhelpful.


I think that a timed test is e very good addition, but a very bad substitution for the practice.

The timed test doesn't allow for the time needed to let e sentence sink in, or to type a long response. For me it's easier to get more XP point quicker, but I don't have the feeling that I have learnt much. In the end, I get fewer XP point per day.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. Give me back my normal practice exercise!


I agree with those on here who DO NOT LIKE the timer. I wanted to add my voice in the hopes that Duolingo will hear us and fix this..... I HATE the timed program. I had completed all my levels and was just hitting the dumbbell to get my lessons each day. This is great and works perfect for me. HOWEVER suddenly that dumbbell has changed to a stop watch and now I am expected to play beat the clock for my lessons. It gives you increments of 60 seconds to answer as many as you can. i hate this, I did look forward to my lessons each morning, it was relaxing and casual, now it is a freaking rush. I can not find where to change it back to what I was doing and to block this timed version. I sent an email to the android team because I do the lessons on my phone and I could not find any other way to contact anyone. How do I permanently turn off the timer and go back to the normal dumbbell lessons? If you don't know how to do that, does anyone know how to contact customer support?

Thank you Malorie


You need to find a copy of the old version and install that and turn off updates. Apparently some have more than one setting to get them turned off, I don't. I just took off the new version, which I had backed up the prior version of, found that back up, installed the old version. Since I do not have auto updates allowed for anything, I've been fine now. The other alternative is to use the website.

Discussion here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23122697


Where would you get an old version? My preference is to do it on the phone, it is more mobile, making it easier to practice. My phone (I am assuming since I did not manually update it) does it automatically (which I will go in and shut auto off now...but that is kind of like closing the barn door after the cow got out) ..is there anyway to still retrieve it?


There are sites that have old versions. Whether they are "safe" or not, I wouldn't know. I back up mine to another directory on my tablet. The version you're looking for is 3.49.4. Google "Duolingo apk 3.49.4" and see what comes up.


Thank you donnymayhem for telling me which of the numerous sites was safe to use for the download. I have found it and downloaded it. Thanks for your help :-)


Thank you for telling me the version :-) I have downloaded it now. I just need to figure out how to keep it from updating and I am all set. Thank you for your help!


Totally agree that forcing timed practice on us is dreadful. Doesn't allow time to reflect, look things up outside Duo, practice saying words aloud, read feedback from Duo on things like missed accents or spelling mistakes. I sent a feedback email via the app but had nothing back. I'm looking into alternative apps currently as this has ruined Duo for me when I was only a few skills short of the bottom of my tree.


Can I have timer as optional, I don't like it currently and will probably stop using the app if it stays. I completed the Welsh course so just do a small amount each night to revise.


This is what they have on memrise but it is only words for the classes I take. This makes it extremely annoying because it is now a race instead of trying to learn the words. They need to have an option like 2 blue buttons 1 on the bottom left with the stupid race and on the bottom right with the strengthen.


Fortunately, I back up my Android apps before installing new versions. I ripped off the new version and put the old version back on. Problem solved.


Just want to add my voice: I very, very much dislike this new forced timed practice feature.

It is punishing instead of it being rewarding. It forces people to type or combine quickly, which is a horrendous idea let alone on a phone keyboard. It brings about situations where you know the answer of the last exercise but you do not have the time to write it down etc.

I have absolutely no idea how and why somebody thought learning a language would be more effective under stress. Duolingo had a great idea by rewarding progress with streaks and achievements, with clubs etc. These are all REWARDING and are thus POSITIVE MOTIVATORS, while this timed exercise is nothing, and I do mean NOTHING like positive motivation for learning.

I could not be more disappointed with this change, especially because I loved this app prior to it. I hope they revert it soon, or I will just move on.

By the way, I found that one of the most effective way learn a language is to try to translate the sentence before looking at the word tiles (on the phone). This is incredibly helpful, because it involves and activates one cognitively. The new timed feature is clearly a move against such learning. To shame.


This is stupid. I use timed practice quite regularly on the website, as I can type the answers quickly with the keyboard/shortcuts.

However, input on my mobile touch screen is painfully slow. There is no way in hell I would ever enable timed practice on the phone - yet I have no option to disable it.

Duolingo, whoever is making the decisions about what mandatory features (health, timed practices, etc.) users get SHOULD BE DRAGGED OUT INTO THE STREET AND SHOT.

The mobile app now has reduced functionality for me, so I guess back to the PC and no ad revenue for you.

I had been considering purchasing the sub... but the price point is wrong, the hearts debacle on iOS has me scared, and now this.

Definitely A/B as my wife doesn't have it on her app.


Just to add my voice to all the others on this and other threads - please re-enable the old strengthen button in the same manner as before.

Having the option of a timed practice on android is great and when I have the time or inclination to use this I actually quite enjoy it. That said however, I practice at work in between calls, while making the dinner and a whole host of other points where I do not have the time to focus for extended periods of time.

I realise that this means that I learn slower but at least I'm learning, which is why now in my early forties I am finally making progress learning a language I have tried multiple times to learn in the past. Please don't do anything to make this harder.

I used to be able to keep on top of my practice (I like to keep the all my topics aorange and full) but cannot do this and make progress anymore, which is demoralising.

You can have all my lingots but please can we have the old button back, or, even better - both?!

Thanks for a fantastic app either way.


And today the barbells are back along with a bar along the top for timed practice - THANK YOU!!


This is on the Android app? Because the one on Google Play now, 3.51.2, I'd already tried and removed. It had a barbell, but wouldn't (I didn't think) let me turn it off.

Edit. Reinstalled the version and now Timed Practice seems to be gone entirely!


I too reinstalled the app (version 3.51.2) just now and I can confirm, everything regarding the ”timed practice foo” is back to normal. So, now I can practice, without being time pushed, again. :)

Lesson learned: Now I will always have a backup, of an older version of the Duolingo app, on hand.


Arg just opened the app and the timed practice is gone entirely now, seriously what is going on? It was perfect yesterday and would surely have pleased everyone by giving the option to do either? If it has to be one or the other then absolutely yes I choose the non-timed version, but yesterday both were available?

  • 1553

So now we have regular practice back. That's good. Yesterday I saw a "Sunday timed challenge", which, as I feared, is no longer here on Monday.

Frankly, I don't see the point. Two buttons, always available, as with the web interface, is just fine. Simple, effective, everybody wins.


Does anyone know how to get BACK to the blue timer button? I had it before, and I really liked it. I've tried installing version 3.50.2, but it now has the barbell for me. Anyone know the trick?


OML i hate timed practice. i use duolingo for my homework at school, i have no choice, its hard to get gold when i have timed practice!!!


My Android phone is up to date and doesn't have any way at all to get the timed practice. I think it's a new A/B test.


If you were about to say "do you want a medal for that??" ... well I've also got the achievement badges section, so sure :-) (A trial as well I guess)

What's weird is that I don't have any way of even getting the timed practice which implies it's there in the app, just turned off for me.


Seriously, I envy you for still having the former/better version of the app... Since the update, it is only possible to do a timed practice (at least for some of us), because the former practice button was replaced. It's tedious to work against the clock.


You can use your phone web browser to go to the mobile version of the Duolingo website which looks very similar to the app. But doesn't do timed unless you ask for it.


Not if you have a slow and unreliable internet connection.

You'll get halfway through a lesson and it'll just loose the connection and forget the lesson you've just been doing.


Well, as additional data, I had paid for the Timed Practice just slightly before I got the new app version, so initially I was afraid it was an A/B test, but when I ripped off the new version and replaced it with the old version, it went back to "normal". So, apparently you have to have the 3.50.2 version to be subjected to it. I have auto update turned off and back up what I have before I allow updates for every app I have. It saves me from some horror at least monthly. I'm hoping they stop this A/B soon or TAKE ME OFF IT. There are times I get one answer only before it times out due to swipe typing getting the word totally wrong. I can do it WHEN I WANT on the website. Also, the male voice in the app I frequently need to listen to multiple times to make out what he is saying, and of course he's part of the times exercises. I'd never get my quota in for the day if I was subject to that. I generally don't do the individual lessons as my tree is gold, I just do strengthening, which still gives me new words. So, if I update again and the timed stuff is not optional, I'll rip it off again.


OK, so I've been converted to the timed practice, and by converted, I see a lot of merit to it, which I didn't at first. First off, when I want to do non timed practice, I still can go to the website version which, also oddly enough, seems to allow spoken testing as well, which my Android app never has even though I've allowed it access to my microphone. The timed practice, however, is really good to assist with the type of conversation you will have with native speakers. It forces you to think on your feet and not worry too much about being wrong. Having written that, I'm averaging many more XP points per 1 minute sessions than I would in the equivalent amount of time for the non-timed practice (non-timed would take me 4 minutes on average and I'd be able to get 10 points. Non timed, even if I only get three correct per minute, over 4 minutes I'm getting more XP points). On the Web based version, you can turn on timed practice, although it costs you some lingots. And I agree. The timed testing needs to have a way to be turned off or allow folks to turn it on for 10 lingots and turn it off as well.


The web Timed Practice is paid for once. I didn't know that for the first two years, but it's to turn on the OPTION of having it, then you keep the option. I would have turned it on far sooner if I'd realized that. I thought it was a test I was paying for, used and done, sort of like the bandaid for your streak.

As for the app, I normally get close to all of the strengthening correct the old way, meaning to get my fifty XP for the day took roughly 20-25 minutes. With the timer, I was sometimes (on the app, not the website) unable to get a single answer during the one minute timer because of the length of the response that needed typing. The verbal was a gift, because I can talk way faster than I can type accurately on this tablet. But, theoretically, it would have extended the daily practice to a MINIMUM fifty minutes at that rate!! Plus it got me wound up right as I was going to bed (normal practice time). I started doing the old lessons (which meant old words, not the new words I got in strengthening) just to avoid the stupid timer. After a day at most I removed the app.


New version (3.51.x) just came out, the blue button was a barbell, but still only gave me timed exercises. Have reverted back to 3.49.4 again.


Timed questions in app just stopped working yesterday for me in the app. The blue button now looks like a barbell. I have version 3.51.2 currently running. I have actually been getting used to the timed questions over the last few weeks even though I did not like them at first. So now I am doing hundreds of these timed questions per day and have been kind of enjoying it a little. Still would be nice to have a choice. Now timed questions don't work on the app, at least for me. Anyone else have this sort of thing going on?


Yes. After I had already tried the new version (see above), I installed it again after reading that it had gone away for others and this time it was gone completely. So, it must not have been just the version, must also have been an A/B test.

[deactivated user]

    Disable timed practice, please - though I see this issue was abandoned about two years ago?


    They got rid of it. Unless they are testing again.


    I bought timed practice because I had nothing to spend my lingots on. Although I still have a choice between timed and not timed (I'm using the computer version of Duolingo) the default is timed, which I hate. I really want to turn this off, give it back. You can, keep the lingots. Just let me give the feature back, please! I learn nothing when I'm forced to work that fast.


    When I payed to turn on the timed practice option, I didn't know I'd have to choose not to use it EVERY TIME I DO A LESSON! This is ridiculous and counterproductive. Please give us the option of giving it back. You don't have to refund the Lngots, just TURN IT OFF!


    You must have something odd switched on. I bought the timed version years ago and don't get the speed version unless I specifically ask for it.


    Same here. But I remember one A/B test where I couldn't turn it off. And I removed and reinstalled and it stopped.

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