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DuoLingo "Strengthen Skills Test"

Hi, I just wanted to know about this strengthen skills test. Is it like a unit test, where everything you learned is put inside, in random or even amounts? Or does it practice everything you learned one by one? All I know is that it helps increase my fluency.

Do I get XP after strengthening skills? Yes, right? I think it may be something like a unit test that improves everything you can improve in for a skill or lesson, although it may not improve to 100%, if you know what I mean.

Please comment below. Thanks!

October 11, 2017



The Strengthen Skills test is not really a test. It 'strengthens' your knowledge of your worst subjects. You do get XP, and it is just like any other lesson on duolingo, it just teaches you review instead of new subjects. So it's like every other lesson.


Thanks! That's what I thought it was...


From what I've seen, the strengthen skills reviews and extends vocab and grammar from that unit - if you strengthen a particular unit, rather than use the general "Strengthen Skills" in the right hand sidebar. I haven't used the latter, so can't comment.

Strengthening individial skills helps keep you tree golden (or gilded) and you get 10XP for each stregthening (at least I have so far...) and these count towards your leveling up. I think I went a whole level just by strengthening!!!

Extra practice is always good.

There's a very good post somewhere on the best way to use strengthening to keep your tree gilded and links to how the skills decay algorithm works...I think it's a sticky.

Good luck


YES, you do receive XP.
10XP for a normal excercise, 1-20XP for a "timed practice" for each correctly answered question (you may NOT handle it very well with that always counting down timer and portal/audio lags! I rarely get over 4-6 questions without the "DuoLessonsFix" script which successfully disabled the timer between questons on the old Duo (Python) web portal and which does not work anymore on the new Scala portal without an update).
Unfortunately the global blue "Strengthen skills" button is IMHO pretty crappy implemented right now, especially on the web portal.

Is it like a unit test, where everything you learned is put inside, in random or even amounts
I think it may be something like a unit test that improves everything you can improve in

HAHA! Well, we all would wish the system would work like this, and:

  • it would have something in common with the "progress quiz" test or "1st intro comprehension test" or "checkpoint test outs"
  • that the algorithm would pick e.g all "very weak words" across all vocabulary skills and randomly mix them into a bigger excercise, where it could strengthen all the time 5-10++ skills all at once.....
  • or where we could see e.g multiple tense grammar skills mixed into ....

However, it does not work like that, at least on the website, especially if the tree is non-golden :-(
It most of the time just strengthens only 1 single skill, sometimes (very rarely) it may be 2-3 skills (I may have seen 5 skills one time).
This "more dumb algorithm" just picks the very first skill which is not full strength in your tree (e.g 4 strength bars), from top to down. That is all. Very true if the tree is non-golden.
Other users have already pointed out differences in non-golden vs fully golden tree.

Best Way to Make Your Tree Turn Gold and Stay Gold: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6176795

The best advice is to ignore the global button and manually choose the skills you want to strength for yourself, one by one; this is especially true for grammar skills.

Bottom to the top in the tree makes IMHO more sense most of the time (short spaced repetition SR).

It is strongly recommended to install the user script(s) "Skill strength viewer" or use "Tree trimmer" with the duo.old_web_url_whitelist=["^.+"];old portal code workaround (also activates "progress quiz") to be able to focus on low percentage and low strength skills.
For more effective vocabulary reviews you really need to focus on a 3rd party external flashcard system with an appropriate (non-random) algorithm like Memrise (there are some cool user scripts), AnkiSRS, FlashCards Deluxe, SuperMemo, etc.....

Or use something paper printed with the Leitner index card boxes for yourself where:

  • you can further optimize what cards you put into what box and when you review those boxes (some suggestions are told on the SuperMemo website about this)
  • and when you e.g want to review randomly "long-term well-known vocabulary" (most SR software has a lack of features for moving well-known words into special registers, out from the standard review intervals).
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