https://www.duolingo.com/electricdinos

Why does it cost to test out of levels?

@staff why does it now cost 400 gems to test out of one level of a language on the iOS app? This seems counterintuitive to your company mission, as it basically places a paywall over getting to the level you need. I've been frustrated anyway from only being able to access the easier levels of languages that I already have some proficiency in, and having to spend time working through rote practice to get to the levels that are helpful to me. Now it's even worse because it takes weeks of rewards to earn enough gems to skip one level (unless the goal is to make us pay money in order to access what we need). Please return it to how it used to be.

4 months ago

30 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

*Just stop using the app.*

Use the website on your phone.

Only use the app for clubs or anything else app related.

My guess is that if all the people annoyed by gems and health actually stopped buying them and started using the website instead, the metrics duolingo looks at might just force them to remove health al together.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
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using the website on the phone is very inconvenient tho

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scorbett
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The more I hear about the mobile app, the tighter I cling to my laptop!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

It is just some users in the iOS app. Android and other iOS users have no health issues.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sebecraft
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That makes sense. I have no idea what the OP is talking about. Yesterday I finished testing out of the Spanish tree, didn't cost me a thing. I had Plus and plan on resubscribing ASAP though.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Autrelle
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Congrats, now it's on Android too. Paying lingots to test out of the level.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lynn17473

Yeah. I hate it. If you know something already why do you need to go thru 20 lessons or else pay to move on? What happened to the goal of free language learning?

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mreaderclt
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The very fact that the app uses a different currency than the website is ridiculous as well.

But charging someone to test out of a section is essentially punishing someone for being a quick learner or having some previous experience/lessons.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MeLikesToRead

Yup they have to fix that.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MishaLavrov
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Wow am I ever glad I switched to the website version. (I mean, the health thing was a good enough reason for me, especially since it was the same health bar for all four languages I'm learning.)

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/electricdinos

Thanks for the input, guys. I'll switch to mainly using the site now. Crossing my fingers that they don't try to restrict site function as well!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
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why does it now cost FOUR HUNDRED gems to test out of one level of a language on the app?

because you're on iOS, just switch to android and it is free

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jetblackmoon

I'm using Android and I can happily say it doesn't cost anything to test out of a level.

Sounds like just iPhone users are getting screwed.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AWSMDEWD
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Can confirm, iOS DuoLingo seems like a pain - Source: also an Android user :]

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GinaJohnso13

iOS Duolingo is a pain. Also, do not have the underlining of text in the target language and a Google translation available in the club section.. My husband has an Adroid device and everything works great.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Autrelle
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Not anymore, and this sucks :( I used to like the website version slightly more, and now I'm seriously thinking to switch back

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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  • 1) Because you want to use the IOS mobile tapping app.
    This needs to (should) be punished in the one or other way, doesn't it? :-)

  • 2) The Duolingo company wants / needs to generate additional income and obviously IOS device owners are very fine with paying for GEMS (I read it every time in threads that Duolingo users spent real $$$ refilling their health bars); looks like their previous A/B tests are quite successful on IOS that they now setup a new A/B 400 gems test?!?

Think about it:
Is it your true opinion that you can really prove the system you know the skill content material well enough to be allowed to test-out single skills (L0->L1) or crown levels L2-L5:

  • without being FORCED into an "all typing" mode

  • system checking your verb spellings incl. accents/diacritics in the target language

  • listen->and type (instead of the newer app listen and tap word bank exercises) challenges on the web portal

  • translate into the target language (on a much higher 90:10/80:20 or 100:0 ratio) instead of being allowed to just translate into English, your native or second language

I once tried the Android app "intro placement test" for Spanish and managed to test out many skills and got to language level 9; I hadn't learned the Spanish language (only Portuguese for one year) and I was pretty much guessing in Spanish with all the tapping hints on the mobile app!

I failed two times on the web portal last year for Spanish and the Listen&write (in the target language) exercises were there IMHO much more complicated than the Android app test.

Q: What does the IOS app do any better than the Android app for tapping vs typing and listen mode challenges?

My 2cents

Best regards / Viele Grüße

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jam890908

Your point is moot. If the belief is that testing out is bad for learning, then just remove it. Charging a limited currency to do it is transparent grifting. It has nothing to do with learning in such a format. It is indefensible from that angle

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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BTW: No need to down-vote me as I have up-voted your thread! :-)

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/electricdinos

You have a good point: after trying the website, I now concede that it's much less frustrating than the iOS app, for several reasons. But the problem is not that I need to "prove" to anyone or anything that the lessons are too easy for me. Being raised in a house where my parents spoke Chinese, I'm pretty proficient at the first half of the Mandarin course, but I would have liked to reach the portions where the content begins to be useful to me without having to bother with gems/rote practice.

In the end, the system is only a machine, and at this moment in history machines are not as smart as humans at figuring out things like language proficiency. (This is why we still have language teachers instead of switching schools to 100% Duolingo.) The mission of Duolingo is to provide language education resources to anyone who wants it, not to test people to see if they're "worthy" of reaching higher-level content. Maybe another problem we've discovered is that Duolingo needs to update the complexity of its exercises on the app.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sebecraft
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I've never been allowed to use hints on DuoLingo's placement tests or when testing out.

I do believe if you are unfamiliar enough with the material to need to test out, you probably haven't mastered it enough to move on, which makes needing to buy health sort of a moot point. I haven't moved past the third module in Irish yet because I want to wait till I'm confident enough in the third that I can pass it on a timed test.

Maybe it's that I'm not using iOS but the only time I've seen "listen and choose the words with a word bank" is when there is a non-Latin alphabet involved. I feel like if you can't write it without consulting a word bank you're probably not familiar enough with the word yet.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/electricdinos

I don't necessarily agree with your and Thomas's point, but after thinking about it some more I do think that my frustration was poorly directed. You're right that buying skips is not relevant, because I can learn vertically (down the tree) instead of trying to level up fully in every module as I've been trying to do, which I now realize I did only to feel accomplished. In reality, leveling up fully in earlier modules like Spanish "Basics" is silly because it teaches you the exact same material five times, without going more in depth like the new tree system claims to.

However, it is not necessarily a sign that users are too unfamiliar with the material when they want to test out of a certain module level, only that they have learned the language at a different rate than the one-size-fits-all structure assumed they would.

In the case of Chinese, I took the placement test when the course was still in beta mode; it had docked me many points for not conforming to its then-limited range of translations, and consequently placed me in what I believe to be a lower level than I am capable of. Since then, the number of accepted translations has gotten exponentially better and it is my belief that if I had the chance to retake the placement test, I would be placed in a course that better reflects my experience.

Again, though, I recognize that this is not really relevant seeing as I can ignore the depth aspect of the tree in favor of building skills further down the tree.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ManjaM87

i have downloaded the app only for clubs, i don't really understand why clubs are only available on mobile, the mobile app runs very slow for me , really do like the website a lot more

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanni0604

Just go to the website. We don't face gems and health here. Duolingo Mobile has changed and lots of people hate it. Duolingo is being called money-hungry, rude, so many names. I think we can all agree the mobile layout is annoying, but I think the website is better for other reasons, too.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EpicRuler1414
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Yes. You can use the website on mobile.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jam890908

Just saw the appearance of testing out costing lingots on android. How in god's name is this supposed to help learning? Being able to swap between going all the way down the trees and testing out occasionally is an important part of letting me keep my own learning rhythm and stay interested. This may be the beginning of the end of my using this app, which is disappointing because I liked using it. Kill my autonomy in how I use the app and you leave me with no choice but to assert my autonomy by quitting using it. I'm not even being dramatic, it's just the facts of how this is going to play out. If you want to keep growing, restricting options is about the worst thing you can do. If you want to lose people, then by all means, treat us like algorithms to play experiments on.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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This is the current related thread to it.

"New A/B-Test: paying lingots for testing out of a skill": https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/30825520

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GiselleBro11

wow..i just now downloaded the app so thanks for this info

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Victoria_S9
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I also vote for using the website. It is more convenient than the mobile version. The only thing is the website does not give an option of communicating with the group members and completing additional activities ( forming sentences with the words given, writing captures and little dialogues corresponding to the images posted etc.).

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MeLikesToRead

.____. Agreed all true

4 months ago
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