Timed practice is becoming ridiculous...
I've found that the sentences being fired at me for timed practice for French are getting longer and more complex. This is great, exactly what I need for my level of comprehension. However, timed practice still only starts with 30 seconds on the clock. It takes about 6 to listen to one, another 6 to repeat to get past the awful text to speech bot and another 10 to type. God forbid I make a typo else that's 22 seconds gone. I've resulted to forcing errors to quickly get past these. It also means I can't report errors or look at comments on topics because I can't waste valuable seconds.
I use timed practice all the time as it's the best way to practice a wider selection of topics, rather than just doing Adjectives 1 on its own just because that just turned back from being gold.
I hope someone, somewhere, sees this and starts cooking up a solution. With all the developments happening with Duo to increase complexity further, I hope that this something they're going to address.
I have complaints too about the timed practice, but of a different matter. Quite frequently I end up with timed challenges where the same phrase gets repeated 6 or 7 times in the same exercise, this being for the German tree. I agree that repetition is good, but spread it out rather than bunch it all up in the same timed exercise. A lot of times I'll get the same drawing thrown at me consecutively, even if I answer correctly.
I swear the time added for correct sentences used to be much more than what it is now, too. I used to finish timed practices with 2:20 on the clock (the limit if I’m not mistaken). Now I finish with anywhere from 0:00 to 1:15 (for the alphabet skills).
Timed practice is one of the only ways Duolingo truly emulates language learning by ‘conversation’, as it’s rapid fire and doesn’t give much time for pause. They really ought to leave it alone...
What a relief to hear this. And for me, the program freezes rather often lately. maybe it's been under repair.
It’s starting to freeze for me as well, not too long that it throws off my time (it used to though!), but still an annoyance since it’s only pulling content directly from the skills.. it’s odd. Hopefully they sort things out.
Just keep at it. You'll get there eventually. French used to be a language where I'd never reach the end of the question set. Now it's one I always finish with plenty of time and generally with 18-20 questions correct out of 20.
In my experience, failing out of timed practice meant that I didn't know the vocabulary well enough in the skill the SRS had chosen to drill me on, or else there was a key grammar element (the subjunctive and conditional constructions in particular were torturous for me for a looooong time) I didn't have a very good command of yet.
If you find yourself consistently missing questions dealing with the same vocabulary or grammatical construction, maybe instead do some untimed practice for that specific skill until it becomes something you're more comfortable with.
My only real complaint with the timed practice sets are the "choose the correct response from the list of three" questions. Very seldom do I find they actually test my knowledge of the grammatical structure of the language itself, so much as my ability to pick out one minuscule difference between three otherwise identical sentences/constructions, such that they become more akin to a game of Where's Waldo than a test of my reading comprehension in the target language.
The POINT is that it's a challenge.
Start at the top of your tree. When you get to a skill for which you can't make it through a timed practice, re-do the skill and try again. Repeat. How amazing you'll feel when you beat the clock!
Timed-practice isn't a gift. It's a recognition of your acquired knowledge, of your hard work. Timed-practice is looking you in the eye and saying, "C'mon, let's see what you've got."
Buck up, buckaroo.
buckaroo? the point is that people can only read and type so fast - which has nothing to do with comprehension - COWBOY
Keep in mind there might be situations in which the timed practices are not helpful, even if the vocab and grammar are mastered.
I'm semi-dyslexic and languages are really hard for me to learn. (More on this at the end.) Even if I get zero errors in the non-timed lessons, I need extra time to look at every word before I hit the commit button - so I will never attempt timed practice.
And that doesn't mean I haven't bucked up. I do it every time I use Duolingo!
That side note: For English business correspondence/email, I use TTS to listen to my writing before I print/send. I'm fluent in English, but that is the most reliable way for me to catch my errors. Interestingly, most frequently they are word replacement mistakes (for example, I've started to type 'Je' for 'I', 'et' for 'and'). I can stare at the sentence for 15 minutes and I can't see the problem until I hear it! Brains work in funny ways....
I think that a crucial factor is your typing speed. I think timed practice is meant for users who are able to type pretty fast and without looking at their keyboard. I'm not sure how advanced you are of course, but for people who never had much practice with this, it might be worth taking a course or just practising it on their own. I personally had the luck of being sent to take such a course when I was like 9, which was around 2003 when the importance of typing and the internet wasn't as clear yet, at least not to me at that time. Thanks to that I've always been able to type very fast and timed practice is usually quite easy.
People of older generations who haven't grown up with computers often still type by hitting each key one by one with just one finger while looking at their keyboard. Obviously it's not evident for Duolingo to bare all levels of typewriting in mind, unless they used some kind of algorithm that detects how fast you type, and adjust your timed practice to that.
If you think the issue isn't (partially) related to how fast you type, perhaps it's better to practise the skill without timed practice a bit more before moving on to timed practice. This is something I often do if I can't make it until the last question in timed practice, it just means I need more regular practice.
Best of luck.
Actually, being a person of the "older generations", we had typing in school. I learned on an electric typewriter. My parents in the '60s learned on a manual typewriter. My children aren't getting keyboarding in school, but that was something almost all of my classmates took back in the '80s. . I do agree with you that good touch typing skills make the timed practices much easier.
Ah wow I never knew that, I always thought I was an early bird, haha... In these 'classes' we also had to use electric typewriters instead of computers though, it was their way of making sure nobody cheated by correcting their mistakes.
Oi, less of the 'old', you! I find that extraordinary, I had to learn to type in my 20s, after university.
A. D., maybe turn the sound off if you are finding the text speak too grim? I have had to give up on some of the alleged 'English' after multiple listening attempts, so you have my sympathy on that one.
The computer defies me. As soon as I hand it to my husband, even the channel changer, it begins to work. I get within 5 feet of him and machines work. Me, it's the opposite. I have stopped clocks before tests when nervous.
The program stops loading over and over and over in the timed exercises lately. I get about 3/4 done and it quits loading on other items also and refreshing starts the exercise over. But the timed ones will get stuck. I just can't type that fast. My fingers doe not move from English to Spanish to French and back, that is for sure. They seem to need to memorized the patterns for an exercise. I used to get further in timed exercises, I think. I do this for hours until my hands get tingly numb. And end with 40 points only.
Thank you for bringing up that issue, I have had several problems with that too. I hope the Duolingo team addresses the issue because I really like using Timed Practice cause it gets my mind working