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I need help with the Strengthen Skills

I am currently 22% fluent in Swedish. I am eager to learn more. But every time I leave duolingo, and come back, there is always something to strengthen! I am having to do it in the morning and at night everyday, and am busy with school. That gives me little to no free time. I don't want to be learning more on duolingo if I keep having to follow this schedule. If a solution doesn't come up soon, I will leave and find a new way to learn Swedish. But I don't want to do that! If anyone has any suggestions as to what I could do. Please share them with me. Thank you.

September 20, 2017



You do not have to keep your tree 100% golden 100% of the time. In fact, you do not have to keep it golden at all. You can continue learning new content even if much of your tree is in colors other than gold.

I suggest doing no more review on any given day than seems reasonable to you. Once you have finished, either go on to new material or stop for the day.

Hint: If you review the degilded units from the bottom of the tree first, you will also review some earlier content.


In addition to the other suggestions you've received: Some people don't realise that making mistakes and checking hints will count against you in strengthen skills. If you look at a hint to get a word right, that word will decay more quickly than one you don't check.

This may seem obvious to you, but I know from experience that some people don't realise this, so it's worth mentioning.


What I like to do is make my tree perfect in one day (If my tree isn't very big and it's on a Saturday so there's no school) and the next day when I go on, maybe only my latest lesson is down. I then strengthen it and continue on with my lessons. As you're tree gets larger you'll realize that it's not as easy to keep everything perfect I feel like that's when you just make sure everything is at a good level, even if it's not perfect. I hope this helps!


Workaround suggestions:

  • Use the DuoLingo portal website and just ignore those skills, which are not gold anymore.
    Strengthen them when YOU want it and when you have time.

  • Find your own "forgetting curve" (there are some suggestions on the Memrise Wiki for a standard SR algorithm).

  • The user script "Skill strength viewer" may give you some hints what skills are below 50%.

  • Use a 3rd party flashcard program to train and review all learned words, e.g Memrise Swedish DuoLingo courses, which has a more transparent spaced repetition algorithm.
    Further explanation:

If one DuoLingo skill has 7 x 10 = 70 words, you have to strengthen it multiple times, if there might be e.g 7/10 or 15 words which you can strengthen in a single session (I am not sure about 15).
I think that is the main problem why skills lose strength - because of the **quantity of words associated to it (adjectives, adverbs, verb1-3, etc.).

The Duo system logically has to work against you the next days, once you have strengthend those 7-15 words in the first review session.
You have to strengthen the skill multiple times (and some words may not be linked to the right / all related skills anyways)....

With a flashcard software the words move up into the next review cycle and you ONLY review those words daily (4/12h++) which you really do not know and which questions you repeatedly answer incorrect; the rest will not be presented the next days.
That makes (to me) much more sense. Wouldn't you agree?

Sadly to say, DuoLingo seems not to able to focus strengthen excercises on "(very) weak words" :-(


I am almost fed up having to strengthen those ~7 special grammar tense skills.

I do them almost every day since a short while and once they (multiple) are gold, they suddenly lose their strength the same or next day or the day after that....(even I got most answers right, and did not use hints too much).
So far "Timed practice" vs normal (full) review" makes no difference.
My personal solution since the early Duo registration weeks has been to ignore the DuoLingo strengthen algorithm but to focus more on Memrise SR including the usage of better Memrise user scripts (e..g all (L2 target language) typing,....to even be able to fix well-known Memrise problems in their web portal).

If a SR algorithm is not 100% transparent to me (and Duo is not transparent!) and I cannot see those words I need to review daily in a list ("Words" reg list is not very reliable!), I will not trust it.

As a developer myself, I still think it is a (not really a single) nasty bug at only one code line; my feeling is the same backend code has not improved from the old to the new portal (probably it is still the same business logic service or it was cloned 1:1), as the "last practiced" column is still NOT correctly updated or words are even NOT added to the "learned words user database" even new lessons have been started (incl. redo).

All these well-known problems were on the old portal already!
All previous complains and opened threads have been ignored :(
Every single thread from the past weeks talking about these issues on the new Scala portal has been ignored as well. Not a single staff (admin or developer) feedback :(

I can clearly see it e.g in the "Verbs Future Phrases" skill; neither strengthen nor "redo lesson 3" helps in any way to correctly update my words list.
Some words (Verbs) from other skill may be already in the last, but are not updated correctly.
Sorry to say, but if we can not fly with a sponsered ticket to the Duo HQ and change / fix it ourselves in the code: We either have to love it - accept it, ignore or leave it.

I can not imagine that any developer has recently / ever looked into the backend business or service code (wouldn't that be fun for a 2-4 days "special weekend"?) analysing / debuggint those blocks, what the problems may arise in and what out-of-boundary side effects could be further stress tested.
It is really not too difficult to reproduce them.

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