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"Powering Up" by Testing Out

I have asked DL helpdesk on this 3 times with no response. When a DL subject has "powered down" to only one section, is there a way to test out like we did in the beginning? If you can "test out" before you even start why can't you "test out" later on to power back up? Why would you be forced to go through the lesson over and over again to power back up?

April 7, 2014



Oooh, yes ! I would love to be able to test out a lesson after having learned it. The strengthening skill function is really bad : you repeat several times the same super easy sentence and don't even get the skill entirely golden after that.

I don't know if duolingo really use an SRS algorithm, but if it does I don't think it is good at all. Too much repetition of easy stuff and not letting you go forward... so much repetition that you want to give up because it has become boring. If I need a reminder of one forgotten word, I need it ONCE if I paid attention and use mnemonics, not ten times. Ten times is rote learning, which is not effective and boring.

I am actually considering learning by only using the test out function (but I would have to reset all my trees for that), because if you look at the list, read the grammar explanations, and learn the vocabulary beforehand it's actually not that hard (most questions are multiple choice or typing what you hear for which you don't actually need to really know the words so...)


I agree. For various reasons I've not visited in quite a while so had a rather large number of lessons which I need to go back over. Being able to test those instead would be much more efficient.


I tried to test out of Spanish Science twice. I got no credit at all for passing twice. Instead, I was brought back to the tree. How many times are we supposed to pass "test out" before getting credit? (This was to bypass 10 lessons, I think? I already know the vocabulary; it's very basic.)


Yep my bad. I just thought it powered me up in one shot. It's so frustrating because I'm having to go through occupations like 5 times!!! It's not a true test of my skill when I've already passed and tested it out before. I think it has something to do with how many lessons there are. So, some of them have 10 different lessons for the topic, some only one or two. I must have powered up on a short one which led me to believe they had fixed it. Now, trying to do the same with occupations, I realize I was wrong. Still as frustrating as ever. PLEASE duolingo...help the ones of us who know this not to have to go through basic old vocabulary over and over just to power back up after a long dormant period!


i wish i could test out but i can't and i think it's sad


I'd say this has to do with the overall Duolingo repetition concept. Based on when you were last presented a word (or sentence, I don't know the details), and how you do in the practicing session, the algorithms try to keep record of which words and sentences you are comfortable with, and which ones need practicing. Only if you have really "proven" that you are familiar with the material, the skills become "gold".

Now the test out is for a) people who already know the material and don't want to do every single lesson, and b) generally for people who want to proceeed faster down the tree. The test out sort of temporarily shortcuts the normal repetition algorithms, i.e. the skills become gold, despite you have not really proven that you are familiar with all the concepts, and your performance on a lot of the words in the lesson haven't been assessed yet. So this can only be available in the beginning, as a unique exception, and then the regular repetition and gold-keeping regime must take over.


But their required repetition to keep everything gold is too often. I can't do 6 and 7 lessons or more per day to maintain that, which is what is required at this point, so I just get dis-incented, which is opposite of what I should be. I already tested out of these so why can't I choose to test out again. It's annoying... :(


That's strange. Do you do the "Strengthen skills" on the main page? This should be the most efficient way to keep everything gold. IMO, it should be possible with 1 practice session per day, if you know the material.

Btw, there is another user in the forum complaining that his tree is still gold after 1 week of no practice, so all this is quite mysterious.


Yes. I went through and got all lessons done w/ exception of 2. Now I have over 27 that are not gold and 12 of those completely powered down. That is why I'm asking for the test out because I know the material and I can pass an exercise in one shot usually. But right now I would have to do 27 lessons a day just to try and start to keep it all gold. I have a job and life LOL! Who has time for that? And doing 27 lessons a day wouldn't even keep it all gold because 12 are completely powered down so I would have to do 5 or 6 exercises per lesson to get those full gold again. Who can keep up with that? And as you can see I have a 78 day streak so I do lessons every day. It should be fun. But how can it be fun when DL has made it so I have no chance to ever keep up with the lessons? It gets me so frustrated. The whole thing is supposed to incent you to learn and I do LOVE to learn. But if you are an A type personality, and I've seen many comment on this...you want to see all gold. Grrrr... I turned in a request to helpdesk on Feb 21, ticket #167049 and have resubmitted it twice for no response but to date nothing. And usually the help is really good at replying. I know it's a free program and all-in-all it's fantastic. I recommend it to friends tell my classes about it, etc. I just wish I could test out and have a reasonable way to live my life, keep the tree all gold and still practice every day. That's not too much to ask right? :D

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