Tinfoil 25s, Testing Out is too easy with Crowns
Mods have been noticing a trend of people with 25s on their language badges who are not understanding basic concepts taught early in the courses and repeated frequently throughout.
As someone with chronic memory issues from injury, I know that people can forget things. This trend we're seeing is not that. This very noticeable spike aligns with the release of the Test Out feature for Crown Levels.
If you are "racing the tree" with the priority of getting through the course quickly or otherwise gaming Duolingo for Owls, XP, or Crown bling, game Duolingo all you like.
If your priority is to learn as much language as Duolingo can teach you, I recommend not testing out of anything in the course that you didn't study before joining Duolingo and arrive already very comfortable with.
The test-out option for the Crown feature still needs adjusting. It is not an accurate judge that someone is ready to skip material. It only takes short term memorizing at best, and a mix of recognizing and guessing at worst, a handful of words to skip hundreds of lessons.
If you're here to learn the language, that 25 is going to feel levels of magnitude more rewarding if you put in the full effort to earn it. That's when it feels like gold.
PS Since I have you here, I'd like to invite y'all to read these tips on using the Sentence Discussion forums. Traffic in the SDs increases daily as more people join Duolingo. Millions of people generate clutter very quickly. We can all pitch in to keep things tidy by using the SDs only for their intended purposes.