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What are the benefits of "Testing Out"?

Thank you, WoogaGirl.

September 6, 2017



Personally I think it's better NOT to test out, because you miss the benefit of several lessons. But basically, 'testing out' allows you to skip a certain number of skills - however many are between you and the test-out point - by taking a test to show that you know them already. It's great if you're already knowledgeable in a language, but for ordinary learners it's best to go in order.


I would add that if you test out, you'll get a much faster decay rate for the skills you tested out of. You might not care, but it annoyed me enough that I never again tested out of anything, even if I have prior knowledge of a language.

  • 2263

That is a great question! In the case of the Duolingo feature, it depends on the course/tree and the stage of the course you are in. If the course is not put together very "well" and/or if it is in early Beta stage, you would have to be a masochist to go through some of the tests even when your knowledge of the tree content is very good! On the other hand, by design Duolingo has some kind of "standard" built in (all the trees are fairly similar in presenting grammar and language topics) so "mature" trees (that have been well thought out and have been around for awhile) would allow a person to "easily" skip portions of a tree. Skipping portions of a tree can be done for several reasons:

  1. The material is well known, hence it would be boring to go through it

  2. The user is interested in getting an idea about the language rather than the details. The details could come in after the tree is finished. That is, going from level 10-12 to 25 cannot be done by "Testing Out."

  3. The user wants to show off that he finished the tree. Yes, some people find satisfaction in numbers!

  4. Add your own here...

Disclaimer: Please don't ask which tree is which, as I am not interested in bashing any specific work. In general, I think that Duolingo staff is doing a great job in making DL available for free! Regards, Daniel.


5 . The user doesn't want to practice the first skills in exactly the same order Duolingo allows them, and prefers to skip around.

For example, someone who tests out of English for Spanish speakers at the first checkpoint can then practice by doing the Amigos skill without necessarily doing the Intro skill first. ;)


That's by far the highest amount of level 25 languages I've yet seen. Kudos!

  • 2263

Are you a #3 type of person?-) But I do thank you for the Kudos! Btw, how many level 25 trees did you count?


I don't think I've seen anyone with more than four or five languages at level 25 so your ten stand out a bit.

As for #3 type, I did write a forum post when I completed my German tree but that only means "completed" in the sense of having gone through all the lessons once. When I refresh them now later I still see new words and phrases so I'm still a bit from seeing all the course and yet another bit from actually knowing it all. But at least I feel it's useful enough now to be able to use outside of Duolingo so hopefully I can use that to get further. I guess I'll start working a bit more diligently on some other tree once I feel I don't get more out of the German one. Whether it'll be on level 25 by then or not? We'll see.

  • 2263

Well, 10 flags means at least 10 trees. There could be more than one tree under each flag. In my case, there are! There are other people with more than 10 flags at level 25. BTW, when Immersion was around, it was relatively 'easy' and more fun to get to level 25! I do use Memrise to enhance my vocabulary for languages of interest...


I haven't thought of that but it seems natural that all "English from <some language>" courses would appear under the same English flag, etc.

As of now, the combination of available courses and the languages I know don't allow me to do multiple courses for the same language. Hopefully, that will change in the future.

  • 2263

@hanspersson, You said:

"As of now, the combination of available courses and the languages I know don't allow me..."

Are you saying that you cannot do English from French, German and Japanese? You can also do En-De, Fr-De and En-Fr, De-Fr...


I am doing English from German. I don't know enough French and Japanese to do English from them. I have also just started French from German (and French from English before), so I hope to get better in French, but I think those are all the courses that are realistic for now (as well as anything from English, obviously).


If you are new to a language, then there is no benefit to testing out. However, if you already know some aspects of a language well and would like to continue to the lessons where you need more practice, it might save some time. However, I don't use the test out feature that often anymore. Part of the issue is that when you test out of a skill, Duolingo gives you extra practice later, so it doesn't seem to save all that much time if you want to keep a skill gold.


There are many answers to that. Suppose you already know most of the lesson and don't want to do it, Testing out would save time. But, You could miss a thing or two. I think we should practice even if we do know everything.


Holy Mackerel....you have 12 languages!! That's massive.


If you are relearning a language you used to know. When I did this and didn't get through it I would go back and do every lesson. Only did this with 2 of the languages which were ones I had learned earlier.


I sort of inadvertently ended up testing out of a skill, having done some research on other websites that related to it. I didn't realise it would test me out of the entire skill, not just the first lesson in it. However I found it quite a fun challenge to see if I was able to figure out the answers based on the little that I knew, and this also helped reinforce the knowledge. So in a weird way it turned out to be a good thing. I did, however, go back over the lessons anyway, to practise it a bit more.


There are some skills with many lessons of (well, for me) uninteresting stuff like professions, household, animals etc., so testing out (with the help of google translate) is a means to skip these for the moment and get to more interesting topics, like grammatical concepts. Later you can come back to the skipped skills and finish them.

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