https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jinagaa

New XP Awarding System: Another Stake In Duo's Side That's Encouraging Users To Leave

As a ton of people noticed, Duolingo released a new update. In the past, they have released some questionable updates, but in my opinion this is one of their worst. If you have ever tested out of a skill, you get a ton of XP out of it, depending on how many lessons were supposed to be on that skill level. However, with the new Duolingo update, you now get rewarded ONLY 20 XP. You could test out of a level that had 32 lessons, which would normally give you 320 XP, and only get 20 XP.

While I know that this is just a way to make users 'study', a lot of the users who test out of skills are proficient enough in that language where they do not want to force themselves to slug through beginner's material. A lot of these users are also trying to get their language trees to level 25, and this update makes it even more tedious than it was before.

Duolingo most likely won't read any of the complaints, and if they do read them they most likely will not reverse the update. Because of this, I think that it's only a matter of time until many users start looking for other ways to learn. I have been on Duolingo for almost 4 years, however the questionable updates is pushing me away to find other alternatives, and I barely visit the site now at all.

All in all, I hope the company takes our complaints into consideration, at least for the sake of their own future as the "world's best language learning website".

Cheers, Jinagaa.

March 5, 2019

66 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merkavar

I wonder how many people would be complaining about the change in XP if they were in a league with no possibility of getting to the top while learning a language in a normal manner.

My understanding is leagues are coming for us all. And the XP change was to make that fairer and competitive.

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ron775337

I agree. This is great for league play. Only problem is some people in my league are 5000 points ahead. So now I'll never catch up. I'll just have to wait until next week's league.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdsaxton

Indeed, I'm rapidly moving up the ruby League, but no chance of catching the people who go to 10000 in the first few days. Next week will be interesting to see the results.

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Memerose123

10000?! How is that even possible if XP is given fairly

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WinterSoldier.

Getting to level 25 is hard. 30000 xp. Now its next to impossible. I don't give a crap about leagues, and I think that this is really going to damage any chance of duo continuing as a helpful language learning source

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SandroSilv87901

Getting to level 25 is hard.

Actually with the current XP system it isn't "hard" at all in terms of intellectual effort. However it is extremely time consuming.

As someone else pointed out, you can do just the first lesson, and keep practicing it over and over until you get 30000 xp. Clearly it won't mean anything about your language fluency, simply that you spent (wasted) a ridiculous amount of time on the website/app.

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MorganVar60

I am at Level 25 after 9 months [edit; actually 13 months] on Duo. I only used the testing out feature very sparingly -- maybe five or six times total.

I was on Level 25 by the time I had finished the tree on the first level. I still feel I have a lot of work to do before I master the actual content here on Duo. I tried not to test out on the early lessons because after spending a lot of time on the advanced forms (like the subjunctive), I might actually feel confused about what the simpler forms are and feel the need for a review. I'm sure I will end up testing out for many early lessons, but I did not need to do so to get to Level 25.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanC798471

Must depend a lot on the tree - I have found that getting to level 1 on the whole tree happens in the 15-17 range. For French at least, getting to level 25 really took taking most of the tree to level 5.

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merkavar

Finished the tree on the first level? I’m on mobile so can’t see your flags, but which language is that?

Because all my skills are crown 2 with sone crown 3-5 and I still need 6000 XP till level 25.

Did you do other stuff like a lot of practice or duolingo stories?

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MorganVar60

Spanish Tree. I didn't notice exactly when I reached Level 25, but it was probably something like this: Finished on Level One, nearly finished on Level Two, 3/4 finished on Level Three, with Part One all gold and Part Two half orange half red. Completed Sets One and Two in stories. I did some practice but not a lot.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merkavar

odd

Oh well I’ll just keep on trucking.

Maybe you had more skills to crown 5?

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Magdalena288103

I have just noticed that and I don't like it at all. Getting points have been a huge motivation for me and the reason I would rather stick with Duo even when it is lacking in other areas. But I also don't want to waste time repeating some spelling lessons for 25 times to earn me some points. It is not fun anymore. Maybe it is time to change...

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nickadeee

I just noticed this today although I'm not sure how I feel about it. I suppose the update is bad for Duolingo because it's essentially nullifying the gamification aspect of the site, which is why many language learners are here. Let's hope they reconsider this one soon.

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonHopki4

Just noticed this today 20 points is no motivation to skip a whole level now. It just forces you to grind out each lesson tree with way to much repetition

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merkavar

What? The motivation to skip IS to skip doing 10-30 lessons.

So just because you don’t get XP you are going to slog your way through 20 lessons if stuff you know backwards and forwards?

Odd

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SandroSilv87901

not odd at all. If you accept the gamification concept at all (that users will be more motivated to learn if there is some sort of points reward as in a game), then they will react as the previous poster said.

If on the other hand you don't believe in or care about gamification, then why would you use Duolingo at all instead of some other language course that doesnt have any game aspect to it?

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merkavar

But with gamification in mind wouldn’t testing out for 20 XP in 5 mins beat earning 100 XP in 30 mins?

Your earning crowns quicker too while testing out.

So I still see testing out, even at the lower XP as the better option for a gamer, especially at higher crown levels where there are 15-25 individual lessons.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanC798471

Not necessarily, if you think in game terms, rolling up the easy parts of the tree 20 points at a time might be inefficient if you run out of them. If all you care about is league points, wasting 10x trivial 2 minute 10 point exercises doesn't make sense if it leaves you doing later content that takes longer.

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pinneleken

god, some logic. thank you

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthewGBr1

I personally think crowns are a better measure of how one progresses. What does the new version do with crowns on testing out?

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Judit294350

I don't think it has changed. Test out of skill - 1 crown - same as doing the lessons.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

I find it hilarious to think XP, Streak or Lingots increase learning a language. So would keeping a fresh rutabaga on your windowsill provide motivation. Then moving up to a durian as you complete a section.Puppy dogs are nice too, plus that would reduce number of motivation quote copypasta.

Too bad effort and expense of creating a truly gamified language program like Call of Duty and GTA is not made. Creating a virtual world like my real world of total immersion. Starting at home, learning names of all the rooms and stuff in them, eating meals, going out the door for an adventure, and expanding your universe as you gain knowledge.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/compsognathus

Songve - I lost it at your second sentence, let alone that whole first paragraph. Thanks as always for your meaningful (and entertaining!) posts!

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PannasOwen

Duolingo has been deteriorating terribly of late. Don't be surprised. It's only a matter of time before you will have to pay real money to test out

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daffodil2015

... Or leave altogether and find another site/app - I think that is what they seem to forget, there is a lot of choice out there.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ISpeakAlien

In my opinion, the best possible solution is to have all skills unlocked so that people can complete them in any order that they want.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yizla

YES, this is exactly what should happen.

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Memerose123

Don't you get excited when you unlock new content though?

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/susanstory

I bet they made the new update because they knew lots of people would post complaints about it. Each post has an ad on it, which generates revenue for Duolingo.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

Astute observation. That is absolutely true. I posit the next step: as Duolingo can show high revenue, the sale of Duolingo to a predatory corporation will make Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker billionaires. Amber and Skippy would not approve...

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PannasOwen

2020 - Duolingo offers the first few lessons for free, payment needed for the others. And you need to pay to cancel your account

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WinterSoldier.

@PannasOwen, agreed

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PannasOwen

You deserve a lingot for that observation

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Memerose123

What's wrong with believing that the crew behind Duolingo just wants to provide accessible education that's FREE! Even if they're money greedy, they've done something and continue to do something great

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hm437e

I can see two sides to this:

How much “gamification” do we want to engage in? It goes to what you think the XPs represent. I see XPs as being a reward for doing the work, so it can be frustrating for newbies who are trying their darndest to learn a language, working studiously and collecting points to be at the top of the club only to be shown-up in the club standings by a native speaker. How else could somebody rack up thousands of points in a single week in a single language? So the shift is okay by me; it makes it fair for the non-native speakers, for whom this site was intended.

Similarly though, how does this new scoring (which I, too, have experienced) affect the Level standings, as they are based on how many XP points are achieved. People who are adept at languages and find the constant repetition within the lessons tedious and therefore test out of them may find the question for Level 25 to be more arduous. How is that being addressed? Not fair for the quick learners.

I would like to get Duo’s side of the story, as to why this change.

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/.YoSoyMarcos.

I agree with the affect that rewarding XP for testing out has on Club leaderboards. I love my Club and so I never test out when it would put me in the lead. So for me I like the lower XP reward for testing out; I can test out and not impact my Club standing much. There are so many ways to accumulate XP in Duo that it does not have a lot of meaning to me. What I would love to see would be Tree Level. I am at tree level 1.7. But I have 23,000 XP. Based on that information, what can you deduce about me? Well, for one, much of my XP comes from outside Duo standard exercises. I enjoy the Stories feature and Timed Practice. And I comment a lot in the Clubs. At this point most of the XP I earn is not from Tree exercises.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

I'm not leaving-leaving, but I am taking a break.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bDjzxY2Tsk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bDjzxY2Tsk

I'm still going to use Duolingo for other things, so I'll be around.

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Jinagaa. I lingot you for your polite and measured response to the update.

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ron775337

I think this update is great because the leagues were ridiculous. Someone who tested out of section would get over 200 points and would score much higher than someone who did 10 lessons and actually learned.

My biggest complaint is that some people in my league got 5000 points on the first day. I'm assuming they did not do 500 lessons in one day. So now they're too far ahead for me to catch up.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daffodil2015

Why didn't you test out then? By the way, I do one lesson in less than a minute, so presumably I would be able to do 500 lessons in one day (never tried it, but I did have periods when I spent more than 10 hours a day on the site). The leagues were only available for Android users, this change impacted users that are not even involved in this travesty of learning.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mbkozlowski

I was using test outs daily and am very annoyed by this update. I use Duolingo to learn Spanish for work and this is slowing me down needlessly. I use other language learning tools in addition to Duolingo, which allow me to work through the material quicker. My form of adaptation to this is simply to lower my daily goal to and rely more on other language learning tools. I don't have the time to spend on this site gaining three crowns a day just for 60 XP. It's not worth it.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/compsognathus

Finally, a calmer post. The Duo forums are, literally, exploding.

I completely agree with you Jinagaa - motivation is a huge factor in why people are upset.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryAshwood

I have to confess that the points were a huge motivation for me. I am learning Polish through Duolingo and it's painful using this method without grammar explanations. While reviewing the languages I have already studied was a great reward to see the points racking up without "killing" me. I don't need to go through lesson by lesson. I just needed a reminder, but at 20 points?!?!?! Really hate it.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RowanM.1

I am definitely not a fan of this. I use the "Test Out" feature when I feel confident enough with a particular skill, especially when it's in the early stages of a language. For instance, I don't particularly need to slog through a skill containing variants on "I am a man/woman/boy/girl" and not much else 30 times. So it was nice to be able to test myself and get full XP reward for that. Only giving 20 XP means you basically have no motivation to test out. Which means a lot of tedious and needless slog to get the full XP before carrying on to more complex and interesting skills.

I am firmly of the view that this is a disastrous move on Duolingo's part and should be reversed ASAP.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iron_bun

Does it actually matter?

If you want, I can whip you up a grease monkey script that'll tell you you got a thousand XP every time you complete a skill. No fuss, no muss. If that's what you want to see, we can definitely make it happen.

I have no idea what my XP is in any language, but I am knocking lumps out of my classes. On the other hand, when something better comes along, I'm off.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stefan5339

What other good options are there for learning languages though?

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Judit294350

A nice old fashioned grammar text book with examples.

You need a structured course to make the most efficient use of your time. DL is great for beginners in that regard.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SandroSilv87901

There are too many to list, here are a few:

  • Use a primarily audio based system (such as pimsleur)
  • Attend language meetups in your area
  • Watch movies in the language
  • Skype with someone who speaks the language
  • Travel to a country that speaks the language
March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kmpres
  • 1568

Lingvist and Memrise are both better than duolingo, I reccommend both!

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SandroSilv87901

Thanks, I'll check them out.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Judit294350

Pimsleur is good - but has limited languages available and for many those are only at a basic level.

Your other methods are great supplements but are not the most efficient way of learning which is a course with structure. I tried half a dozen different courses before DL. One was excellent; one was very good; but I keep coming back to DL because it is easy.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SandroSilv87901

The MOST efficient method of learning a language has been proven to be full immersion (at least above a beginner level). Meaning, you are dropped into an environment where everybody else speaks only that language. However, this is often not practical :)

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Judit294350

No - I tried full immersion without formal teaching and it was a complete waste of time (I'm talking months not days). Unless someone - or something - explains the language so you can get a toe hold you can learn nothing while being surrounded by your language. There isn't a magic fairy that connects the words in your head (and no, babies don't just absorb language - they are also actively taught by others). On the other side, I have meet immigrants who have "full immersion" for years - decades even who speak poor or no English.

However, with teaching full immersion works. My first year I spent two months immersed in Hungary (with Hungarian speakers except at school) with 130 hours tuition with English as an intermediate language. After that I was able to study in Hungarian (no English). Last year I even gave up the crutch of my non-English speaking relatives (it helps to have people who care enough to take time to try and communicate) and rented and lived in a lakas. But the living in a crumby flat isn't what improved my Hungarian - it was attending 4.5 hours of classes every day.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanC798471

Frontloading with a few months of structured instruction, then going into full immersion, is probably the fastest way. Then having the support of ongoing instruction, as you did, becomes really useful.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisa199568

I have studied various methods for years. Living in a foreign country has made the biggest improvement but also good old fashioned studying has helped the most. Repetition and study study study. I am not fluent but I can follow and participate in Spanish now. We have lived here for nearly 3 years.

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

Don't know if this would meet approval of many parents, but the popular and realistic computer war games their kids play behind their backs would be an option. They come in different languages. Imagine a scenario where learning the language is a life or death situation. They could make t-shirts in the chosen language: "Learn fast or die!"

But a kinder, gentler use if augmented reality is in my post above...or below, given time to attract some downvotes.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daffodil2015

Since I see you are learning Spanish, I recommend Clozemaster. It uses the same gamified approach, people cheat on there too, but nobody is making a fuss about it. It is not really for beginners, but more for intermediate learners, but it is pretty helpful. Spanishdict I understand is another interesting site (haven't checked it out myself). HTH :)

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kmpres
  • 1568

correct statement Jinagaa!

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MilesCraig3

Hey at least its not as bad as the mobile version where you have LIVES SO YOU CANT LEARN ANTHING UNLESS YOU WAIT OR PAY LINGOTS

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RegeneRegetta

Is it true? The app on Iphone has LIVES? When I opened website on my iphone, I didn't see LIVES though.

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/3Dmonocle

That problem is only on iPhone. I use an Android phone. I use both the app and the mobile friendly web page. The app has the clubs and a better profile view and the web page has test out skills.. That is why I use both.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheSplixte

I didn't know that. That would SUCK I'm trying to finish my tree with a level 25, and I'm not very close, but I'm getting close, and because of this update, I may not get to level 25 in this tree, and I'll have to start over again. :(

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterPan173079

Level and xp are both pretty meaningless with the exception of 1. some self-feedback about how much you've been learning and 2. get some motivation from the competitive aspects

After the change, 1. works better than before even. So there's no issue here at all. 2. should work fine too, but it can't, because duolingo doesn't remove the levels and xp of people who earned it before the change.

I suggest, they "freeze" all formerly earned levels and xp and give everyone a blank slate in duolingo season 2.

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/diego201978

free site and all whine whine jajajajaja

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Howie493017

I really wish they had at least made a sticky post detailing what would happen in the update, rather than springing it on us.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabriel_Hale_

No, the cheaters will leave only, the ones who are here for learning will stay. All members have to understand XPs are for !learning! a part of the curse (of a new language), and not for something you already knows. Be happy you even get some XPs for skipping parts. I was so fed up with the cheaters who gains physically impossible amount of points within short time, completely ruining the dun and inspiration and game (league) part of the Duolingo. They're always gaining so many points that trying to keep it up with them just burned me out. They went impossible ways to earn thousands and thousands points by resetting and filling out skill tests on languages they are already know, repeating the whole process as many times they just wanted. Thank heaven they finally stepped up to stop them! This site/app is for learning languages not a playground for cheaters who ruins the hard works of the real students here.

March 11, 2019
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