Does hovering count against you?
Maybe this is part of the secret sauce, but does anyone know if hovering over a word to see the translation counts against you? And, if so, does it do it before AND after the question? Sometimes I'll hover over a word I know to review it's gender. If it's counting against me, maybe I would be better off writing it down for review later.
It depends on how you define "counting against you." If you mean that hovering will trigger Duolingo to have you practice the word more often if you peek at the definition, then yes. That's not such a bad thing since all of us do need to practice a word if we can't remember it or important aspects like gender.
As for myself, I write down every time I make a mistake or if I peek at the hints. That's a sign to me that I need to study it more outside of Duo. When I continue to make the same mistake or don't understand something, I listen to songs, print and cut out pictures, and write down whatever I need to review and remember. This works better for me than relying solely on Duolingo.