https://www.duolingo.com/HelpfulDuo

Adjusting XP for testing out

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Hi all,

You might have noticed we are capping how many points you can earn when testing out of skills.

We anticipated that limiting those points would feel demotivational to some of you. However, this quick way to rack up points did get abused enough to warrant some attention. The original test-out experience wasn’t providing the right incentives: It over-encouraged test-outs, which wasn’t optimal for learning. Since test-outs are relatively rare in most users’ experience (when learning a new language), we reduced the points awarded when skipping skills. We’re trying to balance a lot of different factors with this change, and hopefully you’ll notice a payoff in the long run.

While many people wanted more fairness and asked us to please address the excessive XP abuse happening in leaderboards, assignments, and other rankings across our apps, many others thought the high number of points earned from testing out of skills to be motivational and found the change jarring. Additionally, although Crowns were designed to more accurately reflect your skill and real progress in the language you are learning, it is also the case that they are not currently what you see in forum flair, on leaderboards, or when visiting someone’s profile.

We are hearing your thoughts about this and understand the reactions have a lot to do with motivation and the feeling of progress, and we are taking this feedback into consideration when tweaking how XP are awarded. We apologize if this felt a bit too sudden, and are interested in your thoughts on this now and also over the coming weeks. We’re especially interested in the answer to the questions: How often do you test out / When do you decide to test out?

March 8, 2019

1058 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CloisteredSavant

Knowledge unlocks the mind and ability to test out. Without knowledge no test can be read or taken. I would advise you to keep that in mind when making decisions Duo.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Mod
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It's very easy to test out of skills without learning/knowing the material in them. I tested that out in some of the Dutch skills. I crammed a handful of words into my short term memory then combined those with some educated guesses (not selecting options I knew were wrong to bring my probability of error down, and guessed. It's an easy way to cheat against people on the leaderboarf who are genuinely striving to learn the languages.

In sentence discussion forums, since the introduction of test outs for Crowns, people with a badge level of 25 were asking questions showing they did not understand even minimal basics that were taught near the beginnning of the tree and repeatedly revisited by lessons throughout the course. Several of those people have been very rude about their language limitations after having "completed" the course. It is clear that some people get caught up in the rush of testing out and have unrealistic expectations of learning without studying.

Next, people are joining clubs and testing out to win 1st place in the leaderboard. 1. People who are studying a new language. 2. People reviewing a language. 3. People gaming the system. XP advantage goes to reviewers and gamers. The club leaderboards are there to motivate learners. To do that, a level playing field is going to better serve. Reviewers can put in minimal effort for a ton of XP as can gamers. This leaves new language learners being served the least because they put in more effort but gain fewer XP. A cap on XP can help balance things out so the leaderborads can work as intended.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Zbyna007

So make testing out harder. Force user to show that knowledge is really high and can be used quickly. Please consider length, difficulty and time limit for testing out sessions.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PotatoSanta
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They have clearly done this to make competing and games work more efficiently, as it doesn't consider how it would effect anyone who wasn't trying to cheat the system. I am starting to think Duolingo doesn't even want more advanced or experienced learners here.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alexbuenomoya

la veritat és que estem davant d'una decisió absurda. Jo vull tindre el nivell 25 de català i castellà. La setmana vinent tinc pensat en fer tots els tests... Si per cada test que faça solament obtinc solament 20xp vol dir que no podré arribar al nivell 25?

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/nnfarias

I don't even know what language you're using, but I was able to understand it when reading it very slowly in my head while focusing on the signs - is this catalan? sounds really cool!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MO0NSHINE
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I think he's talking Catalan, as it reads similar to Spanish, but with many unfamiliar words and spelling...

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SCP_079

The truth is that we are faced with an absurd decision. I want to have level 25 of Catalan and Spanish. Next week I thought about doing all the tests ... If for each test I only got 20xp I mean I can not reach level 25?

(Google translate)

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/EduMatOzone
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Independentment dels XP que et doni Duolingo, ja has demostrat tindre el nivell 25. Felicitats!!! :D

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/xFioramaster118
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It's amazing to witness the degree of intelligibility in written Catalan with other romance languages. I only know Spanish, but I could understand all of this without knowing a bit of Catalan. Spoken Catalan is a different story though.

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/simsegurap
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En una setmana, segur que no. Més encara si creus que obtindràs 20 xp per test, ja que això vol dir que bloquejaràs la possibilitat de guanyar-ne més si vas un a un. Pel que he pogut comorovar, només pots guanyar 20 xp en el primer graó ("Nivell 0"). A partir del següent , et demana avançar si pagues 9, 9 euros al mes. I, per més opinions que he llegit aquests dies, crec que ací està la clau de tot plegat.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AugustHThomsen

Ja, du har helt ret. Der skal noget justering til, når det kommer til XP, ellers går det ikke i længden. Adéu!

March 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/TheNecromancer10

@nnfarias @MO0NSHINE

(I'm replying here because there's no reply button showing for your comments)

Yes, that is Catalan. I copied and pasted the text into Google Translate, translating from "Detect language" to "English" and found that Google Translate had detected the text as being in Catalan.

March 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KevinShort9

Potato Santa has been clearly affected by it.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Cyrax84
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It makes me wonder too. Testing out allows me to move at a more suitable pace. But languages have been an interest since I was a child so by now I really know what works for me. I prefer to take a tough love approach with grammar at the outset then rapidly fill in the blanks with vocab. From there I conduct unrelenting reviews of words and phrases. If they kill off testing out it will really become a drag for me.

March 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bvanw
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"f they kill off testing out it will really become a drag for me."

There are things that are not useful in any language to learn for particular personal reasons to each person, and I do want to get past them quickly. It is a big demotivator that it becomes almost impossible to reach levels above 20 without the old text translation feature and now -- so hurtful and mean !!! -- the new super reduction of points for testing out.

March 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Emelia113197

You only cheat yourself if you don't know the material when you test out. I test out when I can because I'm trying to reach the level I was at decades ago in college and am hoping what I learned then will come back to me. However DuoLingo severely limits my ability to do that by forcing me to go through dozens of courses taught using the present tense. It makes me feel like I haven't progressed beyond where I was only a few months through Spanish one in 9th grade. Unfortunately DuoLingo seems to think expanding ones vocabulary is more important than really having all the tools you'll need to communicate properly. Although I will say that while i could read and write in Spanish, I never became fluent even after 6 years of Spanish in high school and college. So if learning nouns and sticking to the present tense will make it easier to converse later on, than I will keep an open mind.

March 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mia325i
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Yea I absolutely agree with this point. If users wish to test out of a section make the test harder to prove they have earned the knowledge to advance to the next section/level. Don’t just make it about earning extra points. I was excited about being able to earn large amounts of points but I only chose to test out after I felt I had learned enough content to do so. The thought to test out never crossed my mind on content that I wasn’t familiar with because what would be the point? I enjoy learning a new language with the possibility of being able to speak/read/interact in this new language. I’m investing in myself so I can expand my knowledge base but I do feel that testing out should absolutely be more challenging than it is; moreover I feel that decreasing points takes away some of the motivation with learning new content by reducing the excitement associated with that. We love our gold stars for accomplishments.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mei.D
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I learned Chinese years ago, but really skipped on learning to write characters. So when I test out I almost always write the characters, because I already know almos till the grammar and sentence forms. Because one wrong stroke can mean the character is wrong, and therefore the entry is wrong, and soon I have failed the testing out. When I get enough time to reschedule and try a testing out, if I get all the way through it is definitely anti-motivating to only get 20 points toward my next level. I bet it would be hard for duolingo, but I would feel better if I got more credit for writing the characters instead of just recognizing and selecting them.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MO0NSHINE
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The same here, an even better way is to associate the type of problems to the XP rewarded. With multiple choice it is easy to 'guess', but if it is answered with manual type-ins, then it totally a different level of task.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/maggimunro
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Good point Moonshine

March 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/3Dmonocle
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@ Zbyna007 :) I don't think it should be harder to do a test out as one often loses a heart or two when there are errors in the program. Often it is the sound missing and then you cannot know what to repeat. If they correct the errors then I would like the test to be a bit harder. But the XP should follow the knowledge. More difficult = more XP

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Markle0
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I sympathize with the issue with errors. It's even more frustrating when you are doing one of the pick the right words exercises and your finger brushes past the submit button. That said, I was surprised at how short the test out was when I first did one to get past a section that was the same few skills over and over again with 35 more segment to remain. The testing wasn't as thorough as I expected for the possibility of racking up 350 points in five minutes.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ChandelierRentz

Excellent response... I test out because I can blaze through the tests due to having studied and practiced Spanish on and off for 8 years, I'm waiting to be challenged more, make it more challenging and adjust the points reward accordingly.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/GIjoeWEARSdiaper

i really like the idea of being timed. my friend is a native german speaker so he speaks fast and it takes me awhile to process what he says. i would get duolingo plus for the timed thing but i dont have the $$$

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/lone_star
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You know you can buy timed practice in the Lingot Store right?

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/smokey2022
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You can't use it until you get the skill to level five which requires either a long period of time doing the same exercises over and over again, or testing out, bringing us back to the testing out issue at hand!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Polygl-not
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So that's how to use timed practice! I bought it years ago but never knew if or how I could access it. Thank you!

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Markle0
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I am a fast(ish) typist in English, but not in a language with special characters. I cannot answer fast enough on the keyboard to get more than one or two questions correct. This makes timed practice useless for me as it is more a typing lesson than a language learning experience.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bvanw
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I use duolingo to practice speed typing, actually. And learn and relearn languages.

March 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Cyrax84
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Are you required to use special characters? I type things like say “mueller” for müller and that seems to work. Perhaps familiarization with keyboard tricks might help?

March 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/svrsheque

can't you just replace the digit with "practice" in the url?

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/martha349768
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I do that all the time! I haven't completed a tree, but I do plenty of review of skills that are already golden, and also very often do "practices" on skills of my choice that I have not completed all the way.

For example, I may choose "Verbs -- Past" to work on. I find that skill more challenging than some others, so I'm not ready to "test out" or to do all the lessons right now to make that skill "Golden".

But I can choose that skill -- with the URL https://www.duolingo.com/skill/es/Verbs%3A-Past/3 -- and just replace the "3"at the end of the URL to "practice", hence https://www.duolingo.com/skill/es/Verbs%3A-Past/practice

Makes it easy for me to practice any specific skill that I need extra work on. :)

March 22, 2019, 9:37 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Birdy582648
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Timed test outs are a great idea! Make it more difficult so the learner will prove their grasp of the language.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/3Dmonocle
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Adjusting difficulty and length of tests would be a good thing. I don't like the idea of time limits because I know people who cannot type fast and that doesn't mean they are without knowledge. I think of one more thing that could make the test harder.. More "listen and write the sentence" and more "listen and speak". That makes it harder to use a dictionary and just translate stuff. It also forces you to listen and speak/write the language you are learning. Often I think there is too much English writing in the not-english language courses. I really don't want to translate anything into English when I'm learning other languages.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jordenwithane

I don't like the idea of timed tests, either. If anything that makes me nervous and causes me to type too fast, causing more mistakes.

March 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bvanw
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Well, then both timed and untimed level up tests should be available, with the timed one rewarding more for completion in time.

March 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MorganR2D2
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^^^^

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JessicaDun8187
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THIS

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/pmm123
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In my experience, testing out does not require less effort. There are (rightfully) many more items to complete when you test out, and you are only allowed 4 errors before you are bumped out. There are no drop-down translations. Maybe I've been doing it wrong, but for me, it has never been "very easy to test out of skills without learning/knowing the material in them." I'm not questioning your own experiences, I'm just wondering if it's fair to make assumptions about other learners.

I understand that some users abused the system and I share your concern about that. But for those of us who are not members of a club or a league, the only harm we would cause by abusing the system would be to waste our time in a meaningless activity.

It's unfortunate that the abuses by members of clubs or leagues could not have been dealt with in some other manner. In a way, I feel like a student in a class which has some classmates who misbehave, and the teacher punishes the entire class.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Dayco.
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I feel like a student in a class which has some classmates who misbehave, and the teacher punishes the entire class.

I thought the same thing.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ken482461
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Totally agree. With the correction that the classmates misbehaving are those that complain that others test out. Why should someone make it a problem that other test out?

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/milanezi
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@ alpha3099

We could make a separate poll just to see how many people using DL even knew that these app leader boards even existed.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

Your correction is wrong. There were people actually cheating in the leaderboards on Android. They were exploiting the rules, quitting trees, restarting them, and testing out of the easy categories for a lot of points. None of these people complained that you tested out.

No one that uses the platform seriously ever complained about a test out.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AminJK
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What about we just get rid of the leaderboard? You don't need to feel cheating anymore then.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

@milanezi

Considering they are still being tested on Android only, it would make a lot of people unable to know about them. It has been on the discussion board for some time, along with the cheating happening in them. The vast majority of users are not represented on the discussion board either. Discussion board users are vastly more invested and care more deeply about the product. Anything here is representative of a very small portion of users. And mainly why companies disregard message boards.

@Amin

I don’t disagree. Nor do I see a reason to have „levels“ „XP“ and „crowns“ all existing. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to have multiple scores. It makes much more sense to fully convert everything to crowns and throw out XP and levels, or to just not keep track of crowns. They are conflicting points trying to measure the same thing.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/NathanielW137190
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Story of my life!

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LongHenry
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look i dont want to disagree with anyone. or offend anyone. but @usagiboy seems to be painting with a broad brush. there is no longer an immersion section, where people can abuse it to gain xp/cheat the system/ruin duolingo's translation business. honestly if you think someone is ruining your fun in a group by always winning the leaderboard. LEAVE THE GROUP. find a group that doesnt allow testing out. but i find it very infuriating that some admins, and decision makers at duo make huge assumptions/decisions for everyone else. yes in some sense duolingo is a community. but it is NOT a chat room, and there are no chat functions/ proper forums/discussion panels. any community that happens - happens mostly outside of duolingo. therefore trying to prevent xp cheats doesnt actually do anything. it pisses off users who arent doing anything wrong, and if there are really determined cheats, you can be ASSURED that they will find a way to get lots of xp anyway. polymorphism is an example of this. they programme their computer to do duolingo exercises for them the whole day. limiting normal users who abide by fair play doesnt fix the problem (nor does big government ever fix a society). the reality of this decision like many other poor decisions by duo as of late... has discouraged rather than encouraged users. many have left/give up/felt ignored. incentives and tweaking the methods used to teach will improve things, but punative measures WILL NOT. how can we know this? if people are using duolingo to rank up xp as quickly as possible: they wont stay on the website longer even if now they have to stay on longer to get the same amount of points. they will find another website that does what they want. users who were formerly rewarded for testing out which is HARDER than doing each lesson are encouraged to do each individual lesson instead of testing out of a skill at say level 3 when you have covered most of the needed skills. (PARROT LEARNING/REPETITION doesnt work for everyone) why? because: why would anyone want to do level 3/4 level tests and only get 20 xp? and if tests no longer seem worth it. i can assure you that many will not be motivated to ever try get a golden tree. who after all wants to spend days tring to finish a 40 lesson skill out 70 or so skills. because the reality is: duolingo is NOT a university language programme. it is not school. it teaches basic grammar and listening skills. it cannot teach you more than the most basic conversations. and is no replacement for real life learning. therefore to try and make duolingo so strict that people treat it like a university/school level class is pointless and frankly stupid. duolingo has always been using gamification. why are they trying to take that away? at that point duolingo no longer becomes fun. and becomes as interesting as any other language learning system. if people really wanted to master a language they wont stay on duolingo very long. i would think most users see this as a form of leisure activity. a fun way to spend their time. if they are the majority of the user base then you have just turned most of them away. if you want real commited language learners, then they wont stay here long because duolingo cannot make you fluent. and if you are worried about xp cheats. then im sorry to tell you. they will be on every internet learning site you can imagine. duo needs to be honest with itself. it isnt a top level language learning institution. it teaches people the basics in a fun friendly format. trying to make it something else, shows that the developers no longer understand the basic vision of the service. and makes them seem pretentious and out of touch with the majority of the userbase.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LongHenry
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and as others have said before. if you are using testing out to cheat. you will not do yourself any good. and cheats WILL WILL WILL find other ways to make themselves look impressive. and you cannot ever make a system cheat proof. Why even try. again this isnt really a proper language club. if you are using the website and not the app. YOU NEVER NOTICE THE CHEATERS. there is no immersion that would piss you off with crap translations, and unless you check the leaderboard. you wont ever notice if someone is an xp cheat. as for the dicussion forums: i am not sure what the problem is there. if i have big grammar question about a language, i will ask a native speaker/proffessor. someone who actually knows the language. that is what gives you the authority. not 25 level 25 badges. so what if a person asks a stupid question in the forum. so what if they have level 25 but are still asking basic questions. like i said, if they arent taking learning seriously, making things stricter wont help them - they already dont care - and will make serious learners unhappy.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulG0348
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I agree with the sentiment express LongHenry. Duo should be one of the tools for learning a language but not the only one. Duo is pretty basic - but that is its attraction for me. The distraction is the childish presentation of all versions of the app and the emphasis on XP, lingots and competition against others. It may (and I stress MAY) suit the school-age learner but the impression that I get is that most users are adults. Do they need to be subject to trivial graphics and 'tricks' to encourage learning?

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DeborahMac561708

I'm not sure I would agree that Duo only provides basic learning. I speak French fluently, but living in Australia don't get to practice much. I'm finding that the practice exercises provide a lot of idiomatic expressions which are very useful to know and fill in little gaps very nicely.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DeborahMac561708

Loved doing the stories by the way. Please put up more.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sesquinoctua
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"who after all wants to spend days tring to finish a 40 lesson skill out 70 or so skills. because the reality is: duolingo is NOT a university language programme. it is not school. it teaches basic grammar and listening skills. it cannot teach you more than the most basic conversations. and is no replacement for real life learning. therefore to try and make duolingo so strict that people treat it like a university/school level class is pointless and frankly stupid."

Yes, this!

Also, in my experience level 5 of any skill isn't harder than level 2, it's just endless iterations of the same very, very simple sentences and very, very limited vocabulary. A total, frustrating waste of time once you've mastered the material.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/duonks
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@LongHenry: Eggs, actly!!!

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JC110104
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I find a very similar situation, and being in middle school myself, I can tell you that your last comment really drove me, and I had to give you a lingot for that. It really is the sad truth in all of this. I only really test out if I'm bringing it to level 4 or 5 because I've already done 10 lessons of it and I don't want to do another 30 if I already mastered it. But lowering the system I don't even bother anymore because I feel like it's such a waste. I only do 20XP a day at this point. It does feel like a class, and I have experience being in classes where I hadn't done anything, but I still got punished. It's sad how awful some people are that people in power have to take that away from the good people. :(

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Cyrax84
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You got a lingot from me for this post! I was where you are now about 20 years ago. There are people in the comments above requesting that tests be altered without considering how it might impact other users. It hits close to home for me because I felt so severely limited by other students in high school. It forced me to supplement my learning in my summers. Once I made it to university it became apparent to me just how much my learning was impacted by my previous “education”. If we don’t keep up the fight then we’ll be at the mercy of those who always seem to “know better”. Your perspective at such a young age is really encouraging. Have a great day!

March 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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HelpfulDuo, thanks so much for showing, or at least pretending to show, some concern for your users' opinions.

Is it true that this change is motivated by monetary concerns? That Duo is earning a lot more from advertisements seen during lessons than those seen during tests? If that is the case, surely the cap will remain.

Here's a solution that will appease your users, while allow you the same income: require users to actually click on ads before we are allowed to test out. Allow us our full XP gain, based on the number of lessons we are skipping. Have us click on one ad for every 100 XP we will gain. Maybe even force us to watch a short video for the higher levels, like they do on YouTube.

We understand you have operating costs and we are willing to do our part in supporting them. But don't cap XP gains on tests -- that was not a good solution.

If your only motivation was the leaderboard gaming, then find a different solution, or none at all. You could even just do away with the leagues. Cheaters will be cheaters in the games. In essence, Duolingo is supposed to be a platform for learning languages for free. Your users who are here to do just that are not concerned with the leaderboards at all. Since it takes 4000XP to get through the higher levels, you should provide a means to do that in a reasonable amount of time. Immersion was one (and it was also a great learning tool) -- and it is now gone. Testing out was another -- and now the relative XP earned will not help us through those high levels. A couple of weeks in Germany would be better for my German than a level 25 in Duolingo, which will now take me eight months to do, if I work at it an hour every day.

I hope my words will actually be read by admin. I have spent about eight hours today reading the 416 comments of other users, upvoting most of them, and awarding lingots to many of them.

I hate to be cynical, but I kind of doubt that admin will actually read this. Please, if your are part of the Duolingo team, leave a comment here so I may be appropriately astonished!

I love you guys and appreciate all you do.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/grumpy700875
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@ jairapetyan

It's great to read yours and Ursulais posts to the issue and those greats posts of many other here! You are not cynical, you are realistic.

I had the same idea for a solution, it would be the most honest and easy solution and I assume they had that idea too. The thing is that DL's business model includes a certain aura, the aura of philanthropy which serves well to get people to accept more obstacles or become willing to pay insane prices and to be more reluctant with critic because "it helps the world or people to improve". If they would plaster the site with ads this aura would be scratched. Money is kind of a taboo word, even when they offer to pay for streaks. They prefer to talk about about fairness and leaderboards while they actually change the condition three times badly, take away already finished skill levels and set your quite advanced tree back to a generous level 1 for the first skills and zero for the last skills. Streaks evaporate without any reason and now they offer whooping 20xp for testing out of no matter how many lessons, I think it goes up to 50.

Fine for me, if they earn good money for good work - ALL of the staff, that includes volunteers.

I also understand that nothing is free and that you are the product if you don't pay with money for what you get, that you pay with privacy and data, data that are way more sensitive than we can imagine, I also pay with every minute being on the site and every click, with every mistake, every choice, my very personal way to approach learning and language, and some pay with their voicepatter . That is a very high price in my opinion, the very sort of payment that brought some people to the top of the Forbes list - with FREE services or very little money payed for services.

I can live with that as long as it is clear and honestly communicated and if I get what I am paying for. But when DL changes the very structure an features that made me chose this site, made me register and that several times in less than 2 years I start to feel being played for a sucker. No, I start to feel being a sucker. The same feeling creeps up on me when I read the discussions about leaderboards. With a bit more "glasnost", honesty, transparency, this could be a great and productive discussion about the real problem.

HelpfulDuo makes it perfectly clear that DL is absolutely aware of how users are negatively affected by that change and what it does to motivation. He talks about tweaking the change but he talks not about rolling back the change and changing things for those areas instead, where the problem originates. This should be a discussion just for club members, league members, people on leaderboards. Many if not most here affected have nothing to do with that. It's like they would drag a discussion about a chinese sentence in a dutch lesson discussion and declare that the dutch sentence is wrong because chinese learner doesn't want this sentence - it's misplaced.

I wrecked a weekend with this, as you did. Again I am annoyed, more about me putting up with this °beep° than about a website I actually can ignore. I wont leave completely, yet, I will apologize to those I brought here by telling about how cool DL is. I will unsubscribe from this thread and the gazillion notifications about a discussion that concerns leaderboards, I dont care about leaderboards, I care about the desktop version on the site, I care about motivation of honnest people outside the leagues or clubs.

I leave singing the Luis van Ahn anthem, taking my human brain power with me and hope it doesn't disturb Luis' Human Computing too much. Sorry Luis, but

"Luis Louie, oh baby, I gotta go. Yi-yi-yi-yi-yi Luis Louie, oh baby, I gotta go." (The Kinks)

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ursulias
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@grumpy:
I still hope, DL understands that it is killing it.
Look at the posts in this thread.
If I were a respsonsible DL person I would feel alarmed. ALL OF THE long term users say, THIS IS NOT OK. This is

The last straw that breaks the camel's back.
Der Tropfen, der das Fass zum Überlaufen bringt.
la goutte d'eau qui a fait déborder le vase.
la gota que ha colmado el vaso.
la goccia che fa traboccare il vaso.

dråben, der får bægeret til at flyde over

Hello DL. If you do not start to listen to your long term users you will lose everything in the long run.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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@ Ursulias -- usually you and I are on the exact same page, but here I have a different prediction than you... when DL admin did away with Immersion they lost a huge number of long-term, high-performing users. Ones who helped them by commenting on sentence discussions and reporting problems. Likewise, when they did away with the Activity Stream the only people who benefitted were the parents of teen users. They promised some sort of replacement for the AS but haven't done it, and it has been what, two years? Both changes were extremely unpopular. They lost many long term users, but did they lose everything? Heck no, they are still going strong. What annoys me the most is that all the linguistic content comes from volunteers, and yet, they don't listen to our opinions at all. They are not reading these comments (@ DL staff, please prove me wrong!)

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Boujleba
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I hate this idea. I'd rather pay for Duolingo, but only under the condition that they move from volunteer course creators to paid professional linguists.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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Boutjleba: It looks like you're looking for Lingodeer. It is sad to speak about a different product here on DL's own forum, but I am not sure they'll actually pay attention to anything here anyways, despite the first post. As long as they can attract tons of newbie users with low standards, they don't care about the long term ones.

So why not go elsewhere. Yes, Lingodeer isn't something we'd feel so connected to right now after years on DL, and it doesn't have all your languages, but it is going in the direction you describe. Professionally made courses with functions that actually work and make sense together. It is paid. It is not perfect but it is improving a lot, treats the customers well, and has higher educational ambitions than Duolingo.

I think Duolingo is forgetting a bit that the world has changed a bit and there are actually many other options today.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sophia267784

I will not be getting your new app if Duolingo is not giving me 10xp per lesson! I was able to do so many lessons and gain so much xp. But, with this stupid new update, I get 20xp when I test out. What is this bs?

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LucasCaplan

You probably shouldnt spend 8 hours a day reading the duolingo forums, you should be doing something else, like playing minecraft or something

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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You're right Lucas. I was extremely disappointed with myself when I realized how much time I had wasted. Minecraft, heh? LOL.

March 11, 2019

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

@pmm123, same. I sometime found it difficult, but doable to test out. It is actually quite difficult to test out. I agree...why punish everyone for one persons misbehavior

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/3Dmonocle
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"I feel like a student in a class which has some classmates who misbehave, and the teacher punishes the entire class". - yes, I feel like that too. The few who can somehow abuse the system are not the majority. They get nothing out of it other than they cheat themselves. I don't think they really learn anything.

March 9, 2019

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

@AminJK. Great idea!! Remove leaderboards and then it won't matter how much xp you do!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PotatoSanta
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@winterSoldier yes, encouraging competition and XP gaining encourages winning rather than learning. I think this is the real problem here.

March 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mei.D
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Pmm I see you have some trouble with far eastern languages. Not to put you down at all, but I agree with you. My main challenge is learning to write chinese characters, and I can either select from a word bank or write each character. (Then Duolingo proposes characters based on what I write; these provide the basis for scoring.) the challenge is that if even one stroke is wrong in any character, the entry is wrong, and before you know it I have struck out. So when I complete a testing-out it sure feels like an accomplishment to me. Then when I get only 20 points toward my next level, I’m not happy.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Emmeline856

Precis som det här!

Fem lingot för dig!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LenaSusa1

I agree with you completely!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/brsjernigan

This is exactly how I feel. So because some people whined about people abusing the system which is still a minority in the community, everyone else has to suffer.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/pmm123
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That's what it feels like.

The worst part is that the argument against the former XP system seems to be (1) You shouldn't get all those points for testing out because it makes it harder for those of us who don't test out to be competitive with those who do; (2) And anyway, you shouldn't be so concerned about your points, because it's supposed to be about learning a language, not earning points.

So it sounds as if they're saying "It's OK that points matter to us, in fact points are so important that we want the entire system changed for everyone. But if points matter to you, that's not OK, it's bad, because you are supposed to be here to learn a language, not earn points."

I still haven't figured out the logic behind that argument, perhaps because there isn't any?

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/FalchionLucina

I don't think this is punishing. You can still test out if you wanted to. Testing out is easy even for beginners I must admit. There are limited lives but you can try it anytime and you can look up to Google. Besides all cheaters know they won't gain much knowledge, they just want the XP. Testing out is the only way which gains huge amounts of XP. That is the truth. For people who aren't in clubs or leagues, why would you be bothered by less XP you are gaining anyway? You can skip the levels if the grinding wastes your time.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/grumpy700875
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  1. XP are very important for my motivation

  2. XP are my "tools" to reach my self set goal, which is reaching the level 25 in as much as possible languages.

  3. Testing out with using google is about the same as watching pizza images on google instead of actually eating the pizza.

  4. The only competition I participate on is that of my will to get the 25 level in order to switch to the next language against my laziness and aging brain.

  5. I don't even know where to find a leaderboard on DL and I couldn't care less about it.

  6. I chose the site for fun learning and getting motivation via more tokens by sticking to my plan and keeping the streak going, no matter how late, no matter how tired and getting reaching my goal of 25 less repetitive and faster by focusing better and memorizing more intense in testing out than by going through every lesson.

  7. I am old and retired after a hard and fulfilled life and I don't need some gamer, cheater or entrepreneurs to tell me what's the best way for me to learn.

  8. I DO know, that it is NOT the new DL-way, stone-flagged with busted streaks, agonizing repetitions (I get my repetitions with a bone conductor easily during long daily walks) and rules who change during midterms and wreck my plans and goals.

  9. I don't believe in easter bunnies, santas or "philanthropic" or "social" media but I do believe that I pay with my data, my privacy, my time online, my clicks for getting offers like learning free languages.

  10. If I get way less out of a deal as described in 9. due to "improvements" on the site I react with improvements of my life by learning more often via more attractive media - preferable by downloads to my tool of choice which can not be changed once downloaded, like the 100 MP3 lessons per language from 50languages.

  11. A site that offers getting back streaks for payment doesn't care much about cheaters. With the payment one doesn't just get back the number behind that golden drop, but also tons and tons of tokens which one can use to buy advantages (betting, timed lessons, extra lessons).

Not paying a pool of great volunteers and claiming idealism is cheating. Cheaters, leaderboards and fairness my heini. It's all about the money, money .. and the price tag.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/3Dmonocle
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@grumpy700875

I totally agree with: "1. XP are very important for my motivation 2. XP are my "tools" to reach my self set goal"

..I have a goal of 200XP every day and that is a lot more difficult now.. almost boring.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

As to your point 2.

„Tools“ change over Time. Bartering becomes money, rotary phones become touch tone phones, regular tv becomes cable tv.

Not all of these changes are good for us, but we learn how to adapt.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/grumpy700875
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Don't give poor SSgVk3S0 more thumbs down.

Her comment is a bit rude but I can see her point and she is actually right. I can, could, should vote with my feet ;)

Lingotje for you, SS .

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/milanezi
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Our poll showing 87% people being against the change makes any discussion pointless, even though I can understand your points.

This app is made for users and it's completely ridiculous to cater to a relative handful of people and annoying the majority of users.

March 9, 2019

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

@milanezi, it makes me mad to see that they cater to a few kiddies who were on here and cheated and then disappointed the majority

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

@milanezi

It is completely far from a good sample.

The fact that it was on the forum is evidence of this.

There was no reach out to people that do not use the discussion board. This greatly skews results. A tiny fraction of people use the discussion boards. Look at the numbers of learners of languages. There are several million for the most studied languages, and while there is some overlap, and some people that have dropped out after just a few uses.

I would guess that less than 100,000 users have posted on the discussion boards, and even if we assume, only people learning Spanish exist and nothing else, even at a 90% churn rate, the 100,000 users are still under 1% of potential Users that could post.

So we are looking at forum users who are not the typical user of a product, asking a question where most of the people who „favor“ the change, are really closer to „don’t care, not a big deal“ people. Those „don’t care, not a big deal“ people are less likely to respond.

It was not likely to catch casual users who are the day to day average User. It was likely to only catch the „super users“. It was not a random sample of users of all ranges.

Polling is very highly scientific, and using one as a source must be carefully considered. Just as an example, if a random sample poll of US voters catches too large of a sample of Aftican American voters, they adjust the weight of that sample down to appropriate levels of the overall portion of samples. (This makes polling extremely accurate, and even though they got negative press for the American election of 2016, the percentages of the national polling were nearly exact)

So what we are looking at is a selection of people who would use DL „very often“ and missing all the others.

The poll in reality self selected out potentially millions upon millions of potential respondents that it was not making an attempt to capture.

One can argue it is an accurate capture of Duolingo forum user‘s opinions. But one cannot extrapolate that into an accurate capture of ALL Duolingo users.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

A good example would be asking all the in one school in a city the opinion they have on a subject, and ignoring all the other kids st every other school in the city, and saying that one school represented the opinions of all students in that city.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/milanezi
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Can you give me one example of a poll in real life that gives a 100% accurate representation? A poll is used to just gauge an opinion, you take a sample, a couple of hundred or thousand people from all walks of life and poll them, which has in social sciences proven as a rather efficient gauge of opinion.

The thread was at the top of the forum and had a few hundred votes, which is a healthy sample of completely random people. Random because it doesn't matter if they use the mobile or web app, the people themselves are completely random.

It's highly unlikely that the people who use DL but were oblivious of the poll's existence would significantly change the results of the poll.

It's not a mere coincidence that these methods are used by corporations and governments after spending decades and truck loads of money on social science research.

As for your wall/border structure analogy, that falls in the category of mass media, as in how the media should brand an issue to influence the public opinion. It has nothing to do with gauging the public opinion itself. In other words, you're comparing apples to oranges.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

I would argue that poll is highly inaccurate and not representation for several reasons. Nor does a „poll“ mean that something is not right or good.

First it is completely unscientific and nonrepresentative of the DL userbase. It is a poll of forum users, who are naturally disproportionately invested in a product at a greater rate than the average user. It is also only proportionate of less than 1% of users selected in a nonscientific way with a nonscientific single question, without probing exactly what the issue is.

As an example, in the United States, Support for a border wall can be manipulated to gain more support by changing „wall“ to „border structures“. It is best to ask multiple questions in multiple different ways to get a true gauge on what feelings are.

It is possible that it is a true representation. However, I would guess that if Duolingo released a list of phone numbers of users to us, and we randomly selected 400 of them, the vast majority of them would answer „I don’t care“

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/El-Panadero

Great comment pmm123. What do you think Duolingo means by "abuse"?

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/pmm123
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El-Panadero, I apologize for responding so slowly; this page has had so many comments and replies that it's hard to keep up.

From what we're being told, there were users who were "abusing" the system by racking up huge numbers of points by testing out, then deleting the course, and then starting all over again. At least that's how I understand it. This was a problem for Android users who are randomly assigned to leagues, and those who don't test out were understandably annoyed that people were gaming the system just to be at the top of the leaderboard. I get it. If you're doing lessons one by one, and some jerk is exploiting the previous point system for testing out just to be first, it would be maddening.

But I still think that changing the whole system just to deal with a problem that is currently only an issue for Android users was a mistake. And it was an even bigger mistake to deploy this change without notifying users ahead of time and explaining the reasons.

The other point in Duo's post, and repeated by some users, is that those of us who use the testing out feature are not really learning as much as we would if we did each individual lesson. Since Duo has not provided any data to support that assertion, I'm not buying it. I know from my own experience that testing out has actually enhanced my learning in certain situations. Of course I don't use it for Japanese, which I don't know at all and am still trying to wrap my head around the most basic elements.

But I benefit from testing out with other languages because it allows me to quickly review a lot of material.

I'm adapting to the new system and at this point, it really doesn't bother me anymore. I've read literally hundreds of comments, and one of the things I've come away with is that while XPs mean something a little different to everyone, in reality they mean nothing at all. I admit that they still motivate me enough so that at times, I am choosing to do more individual lessons instead of testing out. Why bother with testing out if you can earn a lot more points by doing each lesson? But at other times, I just want to quickly review and then I test out.

It's a change, and while it was implemented in a way that was bound to get people (including me) all riled up, change is inevitable. Meanwhile, Duo is still a valuable resource and I'm continuing to use it.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/NathanielW137190
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Good points.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LizOxford
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I second that! I use test outs while learning Russian to see if time and effort I put in doing exercises in my book, and memorising words in TinyCards paid off. To see my points being capped because some people just can't play by the rules was a massive let down.

March 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/kohoutseks
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I honestly wish Duo would remove leaderboards all together. They distract my learning and don't help me at all, as for many others on this forum who agree with me.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KiUlv
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I don't like the leaderboards, either. I pay very little attention to them. I guess the benefit of not getting much xp for testing out is that duo stops sending me alerts that I've lost my whatever spot on the leaderboard I didn't even know I was on.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MinitureHorses

I totally agree, the Leaderboards are very distracting.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jdsaxton

How do they distract you? It's just a tab that you can check or not. Even if You're irresistibly drawn to it after each lesson is only a few seconds lost.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/pedrom.9
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I agree with jdsaxton, I know duo can be a distracting but you can take out all the notifications on the settings

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DeborahGal13

Not only am I not interested in the Leaderboard, I really hate getting an email telling me that somebody passed me in weekly XP. I'm not interested in competing or knowing where I stand on the leaderboard. My feelings wouldn't be hurt if it went away.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Olaf.Rabbachin
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Why don't you simply turn them off then? There's a specific setting for that .

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/3Dmonocle
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Yes. Duo should remove the leaderboards. They don't make much sense. :)

The clubs are only fun because you can write about different topics and motivate/inspire others.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
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It's very easy to test out of skills without learning/knowing the material in them. I tested that out in some of the Dutch skills.

Which Dutch skills did you test out? It's certainly easy to test out the really elementary skills at the top section of any given tree using common sense (and cognates, where applicable, which is certainly the case in Dutch)—these are deliberately designed to be extremely simple in order not to put off new learners. Testing out more advanced skills (especially at higher crown levels requiring composition) is usually a very different kettle of fish that does require genuine familiarity with the material (you cannot simply paste them into Google translate, either, and expect to make three mistakes or fewer, as is sometimes suggested; pick a language you hardly know and try doing this in a skill in the bottom half of the tree if you don't believe me).
The skills that are very easy to test-out obviously vary in number from course to course, but they only form a small proportion of skills in most trees, and you can only test out each level once.

The club leaderboards are there to motivate learners. To do that, a level playing field is going to better serve. Reviewers can put in minimal effort for a ton of XP as can gamers. This leaves new language learners being served the least because they put in more effort but gain fewer XP.

If testing-out skills is so easily done using common sense and guesswork, new language-learners are equally able to do so, and the playing field is already level. If, however, as I contend, most skills are not trivial to test out without prior knowledge, then the problem is that new learners are competing against people who are far in advance of their level. Of course this is going to be demotivating in absolutely any field (e.g. if you had just started going to the gym, you'd obviously not be in a position to enjoyably compete with someone who had been doing so regularly for years).

The solution to this seems to me to have leader boards that are streamed by ability. Put people who have completed a tree on boards/leagues with other people with the same completed trees, and users who have just started with other users who have just started, etc.; have different tiers of clubs depending on skills and practice history on DL.
But don't penalise and demotivate the people who have already worked hard at a language such that they are able to test out skills on the grounds that they demotivate new learners whom they shouldn't be competing against in the first place.

March 9, 2019

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

In spanish its easy at the beginning, but when you get a little farther into the tree it become really difficult. 20 + questions, all typing in spanish.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/tachy90
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Even at higher levels, test outs are only a little harder than the regular lessons. There are no hints, but if you mess up you can just take the test again. You still get the same sentences you see in the regular lessons, and still a lot of multiple choice questions.

I'm not a fan of the update, but i still think testing out is pretty easy.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015
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I agree that the test outs could be harder (I would actually enjoy them more that way), but I have not seen any multiple-choice questions in my Spanish tree - maybe it differs from tree to tree?

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/tachy90
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I see them in my French tree.

I'm right at the start of my Spanish tree so i can't compare, but i just tried testing out one of the first lessons, and the first question i get is multiple choice.

Even on the written questions, i'm seeing the option to use the word bank, which is about as easy as multiple choice in my experience.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015
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This is definitely very weird - in the Spanish tree I didn't find that. Admittedly, I did not try testing out in Basics or any of the first five skills really, because I thought it was a waste of time.

But CL3 to CL4 and CL5 at the bottom of the tree don't offer me any multiple choice, nor the option to use the word bank.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PotatoSanta
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I just tested out a few more levels and think that in general they are not too easy except maybe in the very early lessons, also that if they are too easy it is because of limited questions repeating and few target language questions. Make the tests longer and with more questions and make them all target language and only experts will get through. I think this is a much better solution.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Axel591520
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I couldn't agree more. Once I had the same question three times in a row when testing out of a level. Another time I tested out of a level and had to answer four versions of the same question (out of 20 questions). Make the test-outs harder to pass and the problem will be gone.

But the problem is not only with testing out. The real problem is that the lessons don't get harder from level to level. In some courses you get the same sentences in level 5 as in level 1 (and in level 2, 3, 4). Who wants to repeat the same stuff for about 60 times?

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PotatoSanta
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I wonder if Duolingo has actually done much testing with their claim that testing out is not optimal for learning. Is trying to beat others on some kind of scoreboard? Or only typing one or two sentences in target language out of ten. I don't think they have done much about this problem.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015
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You hit the nail on the head. Exactly! That is the real problem - the lessons don't get progressively harder as they should. It's just a bit more translate into target language than before, but just a bit.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Gunnar388832
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I think in general the changes are good, xp for effort and crowns for skills. However, some things worry me a bit. Testing out allows you to benefit from using other resources, which makes Duolingo much more useful. Also, I think your quest for fairness is a bit misguided. As one example I sometimes use Duolingo to practise Norweigan and Danish. My native language is Swedish, so I will know most things "automatically". I use Duolingo to better understand the differences that exists as well as find out about false friends. In order to learn something I need to test out the first few levels so that I can use the higher levels to practise differences. Someone that has a different native language will use Duolingo differently. There will never be a level playing field, since people have such different backgrounds and experiences. It is better to have a system that allows people to practise in a way that fits their need. As other people have mentioned testing out is a great idea. Please work with how it is done (it feels like the test are easier than the usual exercises at the moment), rather than restrict the testing out.

One thing with xps is that the amount of effort needed to get them has varied a lot over time. I think it would be better for motivation to in general make it easier and easier to get xps and work with badge level xps requirements instead (or simply remove xp based badge levels!).

Finally, Duolingo has a lot of users. A few of them are bound to be idiots. Don't listen to much to them! Keep up the great work :-D

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Emmeline856

Det är bra att se en svensk modersmåltalare på forumet! Det nuvurande systemet straffar för din kunskap, som är helt fel.

(Jag lär mig svenska, förlåt mig om det finns några misstag!)

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/melendezce
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the thing is that new learners did not get fewer points, they just got them more slowly, and if new learners were so concerned about the way other learners got their points it seems to me that they are the ones focusing more on competing than on learning. I am 99% sure that this feature doesn't help slower/new learners more than it disappoints "faster/older" learners. Guess time will tell.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AminJK
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"It is clear that some people get caught up in the rush of testing out and have unrealistic expectations of learning without studying." <--- I don't understand why you even expect the good learning result of the duo players. Duo is not a school. We don't have to be judged by our level.

Testing-out is not easy on the upper trees. Yea, we can do that as you said "I crammed a handful of words into my short term memory then combined those with some educated guesses (not selecting options I knew were wrong to bring my probability of error down, and guessed."

But, how many people would do that just to be Lv 25?

The point that I only agree with is the leaderboard rank system. This system is ridiculous. Why do we compete with learning a language? It doesn't go well with Duo. How many people are here to compete for higher EXP? That sounds so time-wasting.

I recommend Duo to get rid of this system. Learning a language should be fun, rather than getting stressed by competing with others.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok
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Testing out needs to be harder, but frankly there's no way I'm advancing by use of lessons rather than testing out past level one. To get just from level 3 to level 4 in Basics 1 in Romanian would require me to take 15 lessons. That is completely out of scale with the difficulty of the lesson, which teaches like five words. Plus these lessons are so stupidly easy, allowing you to check the meaning of every word, and being almost entirely multiple choice. Since each lesson takes forever to do, it's not a good option for me if I want to actually advance with a language.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/elizadeux
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I don't care about the XP at all as I'm not in competition with anyone nor trying to impress, but I do wish that the testing itself would be improved. Duolingo seems to be unable to correctly assess my skill level and present content that is suitable. Isn't that the promise and goal?

If testing out is too easy, then make it harder. Also, I really miss the progress test that they used to have.

Although I am a total beginner in some languages (in which case I don't test out at all), I have a higher level of skill in other languages and am using Duolingo to review and progress. In the latter, I do want to be able to test out of new content. I know that I can test out of each skill one at a time, but that is BORING! I'd like to be able to test out of all the new purple skills all at once just like I was able to do in the beginning placement test. I did a few of the new purple skills, but started to ignore my Spanish tree altogether because I was so bored.

Yesterday, I tested out of "Greetings" in Spanish and while it wasn't horrible it was about as much fun as sitting in traffic or waiting in a long line/queue at the post office. So, I often ignore any of the new content for very long periods of time, then I try it every once in a while, and then think why, why did I waste my time on that. Often, there are no notes and I don't know what's in the topic and whether or not it's worth my time doing it (even testing out). Some of the new content is worth doing but it feels like finding a needle in a haystack. Consequently, I end up abandoning some of my trees for long periods of time and never completing some of the new content at all.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/skyflakes95
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"It is clear that some people get caught up in the rush of testing out and have unrealistic expectations of learning without studying."

This right here is what's being overlooked, the lack of study. There's this expectation that XP is supposed to reflect knowledge in the language rather than time spent studying here on Duolingo. It's these past few months that have fed this idea.

For years, XP reflected only what was done on Duolingo. The reward for testing out used to be 10-20XP (verified by user @Jileha by their pre-crowns windows app in this thread: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/31150982)

That modest XP reward for testing out never got anyone near level 25 but it was never a problem. Even going through the lessons didn't give much XP, they were much less redundant so there were only 1-10 lessons per skill. A single test got you out of a whole skill, not 5 tests per skill as it is now.

The difference is that in the old system, the skills decayed so we were compelled to constantly review them. XP from going back for practice was the most stable source of XP over time. Now there's no decay with crowns because the practice is in the repetition within the lessons. Testing out cuts out the built-in practice, so you have to make that up by reviewing for your XP. That's reasonable and that's effective for people who are here to learn and people who are here to review, while making it an even game for everyone.

I don't know why Duolingo decided to make the reward for testing out equal to what the lessons would give when testing became available for crowns, but it looks like it was a bad decision. It gave way too big of a reward for moving forward quickly without review, resulting in level 25 users not actually knowing the material like Usagi said. It also made people think that XP was a reflection of knowledge from any source, when it had been a reflection of work done specifically on duolingo for years.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jdsaxton

I agree, once you get to say level two you'd have a reasonably chance of testing out, level three quite likely. However, I go through my tree increasing staggered sections by level. When I return to a level it is obvious that I hadn't well assigned the words into long term memory until level four or so. I believe the people who test out early are just cheating themselves. It's also obvious that points against a language don't reflect how well you know it.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Matt92HUN
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And this is yet another reason the word selection option is useless. It's no more than pattern recognition and putting together a sentence in your learning language doesn't even require a knowledge of your target language. Once when I was doing Hebrew with the word selection enabled (because I was in a hurry), my girlfriend, who doesn't know a letter of Hebrew guessed several English answers correctly. They could easily fix testing out by disabling word selection altogether.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mktoronto
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Word selection is a life-saver for me when for time reasons I need to use my phone. I hate typing on it and I'm very slow (vs 60rpm on a keyboard). If I had to type out everything it would pretty much kill my daily practice. I like that it slowly disappears as you get to the higher levels. I use it a lot in the first few levels as I get used to word order and vocab, then type in the higher levels as it's actually faster and I want to know how to spell them.

I am ok with getting rid of it altogether in the test out section.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Matt92HUN
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What does it teach you, though? Could you type out a sentence with the words you see in word selection exercises?

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/TJWphd
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It's called "errorless learning" and it's actually awesome. It's how Duo leads you into a language without burning you out. Then, as you level up, you get to the point where you can translate the sentences yourself freehand. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Errorless_learning

March 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreysonJ
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What if the person is obliged to write the sentences instead of selecting boxes in their smartphones? I'm a native Portuguese speaker trying to improve my writing skills in English and to learn new vocabulary in French. When I do a test I always do at my computer and the obligation to write the sentences down makes it very harder than if I do it in my Smartphone.

The club leaderboards may motivate people, but it may turn the thing into a silly competition. Indeed, the silly competition is what I see more often.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Arditia
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Just because some can cheat does not mean Duolingo should remove the fun for so many others who are serious students. It is rather patronizing. You can't force people to learn if they don't want to, and why remove the pleasure for those who are serious, fast, gifted, or somewhat advanced and desiring of more challenge. It strikes me as pointlessly punitive. If you are going to 'gamify' language learning, admit you are doing it. But above all, treat us like adults. Or, have a version just for kids with all the perfect, pedagogical ideals on offer. But don't try to be both a game and 100% pedagogically sound. You can't. In any case, why remove incentives and fun? And why punish all for the cheating of a few?

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/tusiperu
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"This leaves new language learners being served the least because they put in more effort but gain fewer XP. "

I don't agree: it could be for "reviewers", but crown system really don't encourage to review lessons because one want to get the golden tree and it's a lot of effort to get there. I have no time for "reviews" if I want to get furhter in my learning. So it gets me in disadvantage in front of new learners: For a new learner, doing 10 XP in "basics" is really easier than doing a "subjuntivo" lesson for an old learner. I've been struggle with bottom lessons of the spanish-french tree for a while: when I feel I make a lot of mistakes, I close the lesson without ending it and try again later, after reading some grammar (outside DL, of course) and after reading some of the comments on the forum. Twenty sentences like "soy una niña" are really a piece of cake comparing with "Yo compraré un impermeable nuevo antes de que vaya a Irlanda." or "C'est une bonne chose que tu sois allé à la piscine."

(I my case, in french, grammar is a bit*h. I don't really know about japanese, german or turc, but I guess could be similar).


Finally, I think the problem is not the XP reduction, but the leaderboard that doesn't encourage people to get better on studying, but to cheat in order to be first.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielVanD18
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I’ll admit I have unfairly tested out a few times, when I made educated guesses and I scraped through with zero hearts. I have stopped this, partly because I am now learning languages I don’t know, and partly because it is wrong.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Logan132166

im not even half way done with the spanish tree and im level 17. I completely agree with reducing xp amount on testing out.

That being said, i really wish duo would go back to keeping skills stronger and not just words. So many times ill go through the words i have learned an some of them will be on the lowest strength level when i had just practiced it the day before.

Not only that, but when there is a word i need to practice, i dont remember which skill to go to in order to practice it

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/yah511
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@Logan132166 In terms of the XP you need to reach Level 25 (a total of 30,000 XP), being at Level 17 (around 11,000 XP) means you are only 1/3 of the way there. The amount of XP needed to level up increases with each level.

March 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/eNdLesSd_VoShUn

Please make testing out harder and more relevant to the people who are studying a new language and more discouraging to gamers and reviewers to help balance out the system so as to gain xp for testing out after showing a genuine understanding of the material and maybe provide 30xp instead of 20xp that is really low for testing out but shows the value Duo feels that testing out is actually worth which means Duo is aware this feature needs to be updated.

Do not penalize users for lack of appropriate challenges in software features we did not create... Thanks!

P.S. I had a near to 300 day streak that was lost last year due to a faulty feature in Duo streak freeze this is another matter that needs to be addressed which is penalizing users inappropriately and not getting answers when emailing support regarding technical difficulties

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/CathyVorst

This has really affected the way I am studying. I aim to get all 5 levels of a category done by the time I go to bed. I have had no interest in this anymore since the XP has been so drastically reduced :(

March 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Fareeha18

Seriously!! Sometimes I feel like people sign up for languages they already know, to gain XP quickly. The learderboards are strenous for someone who wants to go slow and build vocabulary.

March 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/dammett
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"It's an easy way to cheat against people on the leaderboarf who are genuinely striving to learn the languages." So what? Good for you, but the points for the sake of points are...er, "pointless." You won a video game competition that only you were really playing. Meanwhile those other people actually learned Dutch. I'll admit that I've tested out to be on top of my leader board many, many a time. But given the level of competition, it ends up requiring a half hour to an hour of dedication a day on my part. And that's what I signed up for - to dedicate myself to heavy practice. I really work hard at Duolingo and I often come in second or third. If you find yourself consistently at the top of your leaderboard, try expanding your friends list or joining a new club.

March 19, 2019

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I think the main problem is a bit different. If you passed the tree, it is very boring to get it to the next level with the same phrases. I really have no time and interest to repeat "Bread and water" kind of phrases 20-30 times. I believe that is ok to keep the levels for every skill but they should be different in quality not quantity. Frankly, I really don’t get what are these XP, crowns, streak, achievements, lingots and friendship really for. I think that if Duolingo has friendship there should be a kind of messaging system or friend feeds in terms of discussions. Regarding the test out option, I think it is better if the quantity of XP depends on how many mistakes done during the test. There should be something more interesting for lingots than streak freeze, timed practice and refill the health. And I don't understand why practice doesn't increase your skills level. And this is exactly about space repetition. And I would also prefer to have a kind of button to watch all the tips and notes for the language in the same place in order with table of contents like Duo language book (and yes I know about duome.eu and it doesn't work with new tips and notes). For me it looks like Duolingo is focusing on design and not on the study process now.

From the new things I like podcast and stories but they are not available for all the languages.

March 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SweetFancyMoses

Sweet, fancy Moses!!! That's some good advice if ever I've heard it!!!

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AndresGarner
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@Cloistered I am trying to decipher what you said, I have been reading this comment for ten minutes and I am still confused, but I agree. haha

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/CloisteredSavant

Interpret it as you wish, we are all seeking knowledge, sometimes it can be found internally, other times externally.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/WarriorCleberz
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I agree!!

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Lightning_11

I might like this update if the formula for the cap was not so outwardly diminutive. A formula like: X5 + 15 (where X is the amount of lessons you passed with the test) would be much better. The way it is now, you might as well just make every test worth 20 xp! This new formula would allow you to still get less XP while retaining the idea of being able to get more when testing out of more.

I still don't like the update.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/xxxMacayla

I see that this has been confusing many people. It means that knowledge is what expands the mind, gives you the ability to be able to test out. This is because you understand enough to test out. If you did not understand what you had learned, you could not read or complete any tests. They advise Duolingo to keep that fact in mind when they are making decisions that will alter things.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MeltingMello

Woah, you sound WISE

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/pmm123
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You wrote that the previous way of assigning XPs "over-encouraged test-outs, which wasn’t optimal for learning." I'm just curious to know how you decided that testing out isn't optimal for learning. Do you have data that shows that users who test out do not learn as well as those who do every single lesson? I'm not arguing with your statement, I'm just asking if you can share with us how you reached that conclusion.

Like many others who have commented here, I use testing out when I'm working on a language with which I'm already familiar. I don't need to do repetitive lessons when I'm reviewing a language that I've studied elsewhere.

I also use it when I'm studying a language from a language other than my native language (English). So for example, if I am working on learning Spanish from Italian, both of which I've studied, I will use the test out feature because I'm already familiar with both languages and it lets me move through the lessons without repeating material I've already learned from studying both languages separately. I have found that this method of study forces me to stop thinking in English and really focus on translating between the two non-English languages.

My way of adjusting to the change is to pay less attention to XPs in general. I was probably too focused on them with the previous system. The way I see it, XPs, learning streaks, and lingots are imaginary constructs whose only real purpose is to enhance gamification.

What I do not understand are users who complain that the old way of doing it allowed people to earn too many XPs and that it was unfair, and then in the next sentence they tell others that it should not be about XPs, it should be about learning. That seems inconsistent.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LeslieHill15

That last paragraph. That's a winner right there.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit
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The reason for the inconsistency is simple human nature. People like earning points, even people who know the numbers are meaningless still like them. I for one felt conflicted about how to proceed. I know doing lots of lessons is best for my learning but staying among the top achievers is good for my self esteem and so also feeds into successful learning. I want to do both, learn and stay competitive. The old reward for testing out was unbalanced and a disincentive to buckling down and doing the hard lessons. I would watch people -you quite recently - pass me on the duome pages, and be tempted away from my planned lessons to rack up a load of points and crowns by testing out instead. I have achieved more real learning in the last few days than in the previous month. And I bet I am not the only one!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/pmm123
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I don't know anything about the duome pages, so I'm assuming you're directing that comment to someone else. The only thing I am aware of that might be called a leaderboard is the list of people I'm following, followed by their total XPs, and if there were a way to get rid of that short of unfollowing them, I would. I don't find it motivating and I do not change my study plan based on someone else's XPs.

I do understand that we all have a competitive streak, but changing the system to satisfy those who are actively competing, while ignoring the preferences of those who are not actively taking part in any competition, doesn't seem the best solution to me.

The old system was not a disincentive for me, though I understand that it was for some people. The problem I'm having with this change is that it assumes that we are all motivated by the same things, that we all learn the same way, and that others know better than we do what is best for us. I know that isn't the intent, and I'm not saying that's what you think, I'm just giving you my perspective.

If the change helps other people to achieve more learning, fine, it's worth it and I can certainly live with it. But I am still uncomfortable with the assumption that we all learn alike and that one way is the best way for everyone.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015
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@pmm123 - Very well put, thank you.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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Yes, people like earning points. That's why they go and return to Duolingo instead of opening an otherwise superior coursebook. There is nothing wrong about it per se.

The problem is, that some people view the boring repetitive lessons as "the hard lessons" which is nonsense. For the faster learners, the not true beginners just reviewing, or for people combining more resources with Duolingo, they are not challenging enough. If they were, people wouldn't need to test out.

Every bit of Duolingo should bring either more learning, or more fun. The problem is disbalance between one and the other true. But in case of lowering the points so drastically for the faster learners, they've suddenly lowered the fun part without improving the learning part of the experience. That is the problem.

Whether or not you learn better with or without test outs, that is up to you. Whether you prefer the fun of the reward or the learning, that is up to you as well, and I can believe that some people like to be forced to slowly go through the course. For me, it is significantly worse. I just wanted to finish my trees quickly and leave them for more serious and intermediate resources with a good feeling of having completed the task. I returned to DL after some time with other resources exactly for that. But it is now totally not motivating.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/duonks
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You’re still the best, bookrabbit :-)

I confess to binging more in the last couple of weeks than I have in a long time, egged on by a couple of people in my own leaderboard (the one with the users I have chosen to “befriend” in the last 5 years or so). I’ve maintained XP is irrelevant ever since the appearance of immersion mafias or click script kiddies, but I also confess I suddenly wanted to catch the next person in my overall leaderboard, currently about 100.000 XP away... oh well, that motivation is now gone :-p

As for testing out not being good for learning: I actually learned a couple of new things in Spanish in the last few days, after 50 years of speaking it every day.

I’ll just have to find some other goal here while I’m waiting for Arabic or even Finnish to surface... I don’t know, like getting to 10000 crowns before the goalposts are moved yet again, or gild up all the original duo trees, or even reduce duo time for a while altogether (in order to reduce the rolleyes I was getting from the missus lately) :-D

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ken482461
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If your testing out was just prompted by not letting others pass you on the duome pages, then I can imagine you have learned more in the last few days. Others on the other hand do not care who passes them or not. They feel themselves comfortable and knowledgeable in a certain skill and they test out. As such even with testing out, they learn a lot.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mei.D
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Bookrabbit here's my challenge: Use a pad (I use iPad) where you can write out the characters for Chinese. That helps me make sure testing out isn't cheating. Every character has to be correct or you lose a heart. (But so what if someone else just wants the points and hasn't figured out that writing characters is important.) Or maybe you already do write them out!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/vee.st
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I am not a fan of duome...I am too old to go back to pages that have graphics of yesteryear and too much clutter with all these "others". I want MY stats, MY points and A Lot of points.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/vee.st
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"I also use it when I'm studying a language from a language other than my native language (English). So for example, if I am working on learning Spanish from Italian, both of which I've studied, I will use the test out feature because I'm already familiar with both languages and it lets me move through the lessons without repeating material I've already learned from studying both languages separately. I have found that this method of study forces me to stop thinking in English and really focus on translating between the two non-English languages." I cannot state anything more!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Lisa199568

Yes - I have started learning English from Spanish. I am a native English speaker and I have been learning Spanish. I reversed in order to see how English was being taught because I teach English. It has taught me a few new things in Spanish by doing it that way. I could easily test out of the English classes because I speak English but it si teaching it in Spanish (my second language) which is making me think about my answers more.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SuziJ0
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I did the same thing and it has also really helped me when I teach English as a Second Language to Spanish speakers. Interesting that the two courses are "reversed" but there are some differences!

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Veronika863055
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That's interesting! I think I'm going to try this. Thanks for the idea.

March 9, 2019

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

Testing out is literally how I learn! Its what helps me retain the information! Shame on you duo!

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015
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While I perfectly understand the reason why the decision was made, I do wish HelpfulDuo had started this thread BEFORE the change was brought about. From what I have seen, much of the current backlash has to do with a complete lack of communication from Duo in this regard.

I have been with this site since 2015, as my username implies. So far, I am only interested in learning one language, Spanish. And I mean truly learn it, native-like fluency if possible. As such, I have studied diligently on Duolingo and then outside of Duo, I have spent hours on end on Immersion, I have improved my knowledge every single day. And for that I AM extremely grateful to Duolingo for everything it's given me so far, first and foremost for getting me started, due to the game-like approach.

However, every change made in the past years made the site just a little bit worse, in my opinion. With the elimination of Immersion, we lost not only a great feature, but also a lot of dedicated users who were acting as teachers for beginners, patiently guiding us through the subtleties of the language we were learning. With the elimination of the Activity Stream, there is no longer a point in following someone, other than to see whether they are still using the site. With the elimination of decaying skills, users had to go to other sites to figure out which of their skills needed additional work. (Not to mention that from a pedagogical standpoint, it is really unproductive to let users assume their skills will remain honed if they are not practiced). While I understood at the time why the changes were made, that still doesn’t make them good changes for Duolingo as a language-learning website.

With the introduction of Crowns without the possibility of testing out, Duo disregarded its long-time users who had already completed their trees once and were now stuck doing Basics four times over so they can get to the new, coveted gold. Furthermore, the upper levels for skills at the bottom of the tree were not given sufficient new content, compared to the previous tree, to warrant 4 additional tiers – just adding another lesson or two would have sufficed. When the Crowns were introduced, the time I spent on the site dropped from at least an hour a day to the 2 minutes necessary to go through a lesson.

Then, finally some good news: the possibility to test-out of skills. That, for me, was the best news in the last years, so I came back to Duolingo and started using them to re-gild the tree that I had gilded so many times before the change was operated.

And now comes the blow. Duo introduces Leagues on Android devices, people start abusing the system, other people start complaining, and suddenly, instead of being concerned with their own learning, users start looking at other users and caring more about what they do. To solve the problem, Duo decides to cap the XPs awarded for tests for all users, including those who are not in Leagues, never wanted to be in Leagues and would definitely opt-out, if given the chance.

From a pedagogical standpoint, I think leagues are a bad idea and introducing them on the website as well would be… I was gonna say a catastrophe, but I don’t want to be overly dramatic. There is nothing wrong with a little competition, I have a competitive streak myself, but when that competition breeds jealousy, demotivation (on both sides, mind you) and people start demanding that previous knowledge of the language should not be awarded XPs at all and that everyone should get the same amount of points irrespective of knowledge, but depending on the time spent on the site, I think it’s time to call it quits or at least re-think the system.

Capping the XPs for tests to just 20 is highly unfair. First, because the tests are harder than the lessons. Second, because tests now give out LESS points per question than lessons do. To make it fair, the XPs awarded should at least be correlated with the number of questions in the test. There should also be a bonus if you get through the test with 0 mistakes, because I repeat, the tests ARE harder (more questions, no word bank, no hovering over words, more translation into the target language, 3 strikes you’re out). Right now, if I do a lesson and I make five mistakes in it, I still get 10 XPs by the end of it, because I have to repeat the questions until I get it right. If I make four mistakes in the test I get 0 XPs, even if the fourth mistake was done just at the very end of the test, so nothing is taken into account as work (I know, because I tested it). So how is that fair to fast or more advanced learners?

To answer your questions, I test out because I have finished the tree way before the Crowns and had it gold the whole time. I test out because I already know the content of the lessons AND, most importantly, the tests are more challenging. When do I test out? Every day when I’m at home using my desktop. Instead of doing a lesson I pick a skill at random and do the test to go from CL4 to CL5 or from CL3 to CL4. If I have to work on my iOS phone, I will do a lesson, because I don’t want to pay 400 gems to test out, not to mention that it would take me forever, since it’s very small print, grey on white, and I have to squint to read the questions.

I really don’t care about the number of XPs to be honest, as I am already level 25 so leveling-up is no longer an issue for me, and if you bring out leagues to the web or to iOS I would happily opt-out or simply not participate, because I have no interest in competing with beginners – it would be unfair to them and a waste of time for me, thus completely unproductive for both sides. As I said, I have a competitive streak, but I like competing against more experienced users, who are better than me. I do, however, care that this move seems to want to push out faster learners or more advanced learners who enjoy being challenged and enjoy the satisfaction of the XPs too. If Duo is going to reward them LESS than they do beginners, then what would be their incentive to come back?

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DrakoLykoi

A great post!

And I concur. I don't use the league either. Apparently you are placed in it automatically if you are using the new app.

I like to go solo as well rather than be in groups.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AllegroCantabile

Did it occur to any of you that here we are, writing our hearts out, spending hours reading and upvoting our fellow-users' comments... for nothing? Just like they didn't ask for our opinion beforehand, it's highly unlikely they will make any changes even though 95% of us are unhappy. They just politely gave us a place to vent.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015
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Unfortunately, it did occur to me :) I was really surprised actually that they asked for our opinion - I suppose the forums were already clogged by the many, many threads on the topic.

But I didn't write here just to vent or to give feedback to Duo - even though that was a large part of it, as I would love for it to be the best language-learning platform it can be (something to do with gratitude, I suppose).

I also wrote for like-minded fellow learners - and even for those who don't agree with us. I always believed healthy debate is good and I read contrary opinions as well, because you never know where a good idea might come from and it is always helpful to understand where the other side is coming from.

Whether they listen to us or not, that is their choice, all we can do is give arguments in favor of our position and hope for the best :)

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Druckles
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Once upon a time, Luis commented on something I wrote.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Gwaugle

Woah, really? That's an impressive feat.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Gwaugle

While I perfectly understand the reason why the decision was made, I do wish HelpfulDuo had started this thread BEFORE the change was brought about.

Absolutely, they should've made this post BEFORE the backlash. At least people would know...

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/9yTVyhMB

Yes. I was really surprised when I was doing tests and I only got only 20 XP. And I was wondering if I did something wrong. I usually don't look into the forums.

March 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/1Reneee
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Similar story for me. I finished the Spanish tree in the old system, and consistently kept it golden. Then the crowns were introduced, along with a whole set of new skills. I went through the trouble of reaching first crown level in the new skills, which was rather boring because they were too easy, but at least I got back my Owl at the end of the tree. All the existing skills from the old system were converted to crown level 3 only, whereas they were gold in the old system. Since I didn't feel I was learning new things, and there were no good suggestions for practice, because the golden skills no longer expire, I lost interest in the Spanish tree and started Japanese instead.

For me, the league motivated me to go back to Spanish for 'easy xp' by testing out in order to make the Spanish tree gold again. For me, the xp were the main reason to put in the energy of testing out of those (super basic) skills. Learning value for these is zero, so the only reward was the xp towards my league. The up-side to this is that I did started practicing Spanish again. Now that I have to pay 20 lingots for each skill to test out, and only get 20 xp for going through it, I am no longer having fun in practicing on my Spanish tree.

Since the learning value of repeating (to me: basic) skills seemed low, I could really use the gaming element of acquiring xp to motivate me to work on my Spanish tree, but now that I have to pay so much and get so little, it seems more like a job than a hobby.

On my Japanese tree, I am using and will only use the testing-out to go from crown level 4 to 5, since the individual lessons in each skill are often very narrow, and in the test you can finally have a wider selection of phrases. At the lower crown levels it might be fine to have the more restricted selection of words and phrases to guess from, but after sufficient practice, it is fine to test out, I think.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Lisa199568

well said! That is why I tested out. I already knew those sections and had returned to the platform after some time away.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolTandava

Same here.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/sea-mist

" Right now, if I do a lesson and I make five mistakes in it, I still get 10 XPs by the end of it, because I have to repeat the questions until I get it right. If I make four mistakes in the test I get 0 XPs, even if the fourth mistake was done just at the very end of the test, so nothing is taken into account as work (I know, because I tested it). So how is that fair to fast or more advanced learners?"

That clearly shows that the person was trying to test out before they were actually ready to do so. So one could possibly say that the person has put trying to rapidly gain more xp, over studying the lessons as they should and needed. So its good that testing out is not awarding points when a person can not pass a test out!

The tests should not be harder than when learning if one is not using the hover or the word hints. I've been hearing about people complaining that exercises are too easy when they are still using the word bank and hover and could simply not use them.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015
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You must have missed the part where I said I know because I TESTED it. as in I intentionally made as many mistakes both in the lesson and in the test-out, just to see what happens.

So no, "one" (in this case me) was not trying to test out before being ready to do so and was not trying to rapidly gain more xp , I have 189.000 XP already and was not competing in the leagues, so why would I care?

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ursulias
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@daffodil2015: Thanks for your post. All the points you mention are so true. Have some lingots!!

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/skjaggetevandren

Perfectly said. Now say all of that in Spanish so Duo listens to you.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015
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Now THAT would be an idea :))))))) However, how would Duo know that I didn't just Google Translated it, correcting it here and there to make it my own? :)))))))))

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Isabella60615
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I definitely agree that the decaying skills were better than the crown system is now. Before, I knew what skills I had to review and when. Now I have to redo lessons when I already know them to get the gold (which is mainly what I tested out for), and I forget vocabulary/grammar faster.

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/FrauSchock
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I am a German teacher and I have started using Duolingo on a weekly basis with my Honors German 3, Honors German 4 and AP German students. They have a weekly XP assignment (100, 150 and 200 respectively). Most of them had never used Duolingo before this year so this has been used as a motivator for them to review basic skills. I also assign specific skills from time to time to reinforce lessons we have been doing in the classroom, mainly grammar based, generally asking them to get to Crown Level 5 to show "mastery" of the skill.

My students have appreciated being able to use the test out option to get their weekly XP grade and also to level up a skill when I assign it. The higher XP for testing out was especially nice for my more motivated, capable students because they were able to complete the assignment and move on to other work, either for my class or for other classes they are taking.

My 70 students are in an uproar right now about this! They went from loving Duolingo to now being resentful of this change. Many of my students are in multiple Honors and AP classes and have heavy workloads; the test out option for higher XP got them what they needed for me without being labor intensive. And honestly, if they knew the material, it was nice that they could test out and get that "gold sticker" for the day.

I am now going to have to completely rethink my weekly requirement because it's going to be very time consuming for them to reach those XP goals and that was never my intention with Duolingo. It was to reinforce and strengthen what they are doing in my classroom.

I know that I have a different situation from many casual learners, but I did feel that I needed to voice my opinion. It is unfortunate that Duolingo has made this change and I feel a little disheartened that all the work I've done this year to get my students to buy into Duolingo has been undone by such a massive change to the app.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/steve52015
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I am a non native Spanish speaker that lives in a Spanish speaking household in a Spanish speaking country. I have studied Spanish for almost twenty years. I am fluent but not perfect. A teacher suggested Duolingo as a method of perfecting my knowledge. My original goal was to complete the course and then just use Duolingo to practice random topics every day. I tested out of all the skills after about twelve days. I have discovered some of my weak areas using the program. I have over five hundred crowns. I am at level 25 after 17 days of using Duolingo. I havent joined any clubs and the leaderboards i am in are just something Duolingo did. I am nearly always in first place on the leaderboards. When I hear the attitude of many users and Duolingo management ¨discouraged'' pretty well describes my feelings. It reminds me of losers in high school who were resentful that latino kids were allowed to take Spanish class because they had an advantage that might get them better grades. Its a disrespectful and lazy attitude in my opinion.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ctorsak7
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I too have lost much of my interest for this app. Leveling up based on previous ground work on some languages to more quickly see my relative mastery of the Duolingo content for these languages was very motivating for me. I have lived in Italy and have a BA in Italian. Fortunately, I had quickly leveled up before the change. I have a B1-B2 Certicate from the Polytechnique de Paris, so again leveling up was a motivator for me to quickly review the material, prove familiarity, and not wasting my time with more lessons than necessary. Similarly, I have done ground work to the Intermediate levels for German and Spanish. I should be able to level up more quickly based on my previous work and not be forced to go through more lessons than necessary for review, or “kill a dead horse”, if you will. Fortunately, again I got to level 25 on these languages before the change. Work has been done on other languages such as Polish and Russian. Since, the change I have been much less motivated to use the app. For new languages, I perhaps see some applicability, but learners should be able to level up quicker overall based on learning abilities. I suppose if Duolingo’s focus is going to be on new learners that have the stamina and motivation to push through the same basic stuff for several repetitions, I understand. I do not have the desire to do such, and will just focus more on apps like Clozemaster, Busuu, and Babel.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Yottskry
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Good luck on even getting someone from Duo to read this post. They don't ever reply, they don't respond to public opinion, and they never reply to Twitter posts either. They just don't care.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/TJWphd
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They totally care, and I can all but guarantee you that Luis van Ahn is reading this thread. They are looking to IPO next year, just as Snapchat did two years ago... https://www.geekwire.com/2018/inside-mind-duolingo-ceo-luis-von-ahn-700m-language-learning-startup-preps-ipo/

March 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/WitlessBittern
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I attempt to test out when I first encounter a new skill, after reading the lesson notes. I usually fail. I grind until I feel like I have mastered the skill, and then I attempt it again. At this point I either pass and move on, or realize that I didn't know the skill as well as I thought I did and go back to repetition. Sometimes I'll be able to test out of the first four levels, only to wade through most or all of level five due to knowing the words but being shaky on their spelling.

The tests might be a little on the forgiving side (or not, depending on the course), but overall I find the feature useful. It's exploitable if you're willing to cheat yourself, but so are a lot of things. I'm not as concerned with people artificially inflating their numbers, since I mostly compete against myself.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SpookyBoiLol

How on earth do you have so many levels on so many languages plz explain

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/WitlessBittern
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Just a lot of time, and effort. As it relates to this topic, my 25s in Esperanto and French predated the test-out feature. The Spanish, Italian, and reverse French 25s came after it was implemented. I was monolingual before discovering Duolingo, so none of it was past knowledge.

Having reached the milestone both ways, I don't believe that one taught me more than the other. But the test-out was definitely a lot faster. Not just because the points came in faster, but also because it motivated me to spend more time per day.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Dayco.
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That's impressive. Really, it is, and inspiring. Not many people impress me a lot here, but the fact that you answered the question and you were monolingual before coming here...Wow!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/WitlessBittern
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Thanks, Kotae! I will give my usual disclaimer that I haven't yet reached fluency in any of the languages I've studied, and by extension I am far behind many of the other people in the forums. I'm not naturally skilled at foreign languages, but Duo helped turn it into a significant area of interest for me by showing me that it was possible for me to learn in the right circumstances. It's not my only resource, but it's the first one that worked for me.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Dayco.
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Thanks for your reply. You may have a natural talent that was untapped before. You don't have to reply to this, just know that you have inspired me to work harder.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/colornbian
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Placing out was the fastest way to level up.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LeslieHill15

I will typically do all of the lessons on the earlier levels of a skill because that's what I need to get the vocabulary and conjugations in my head. I also turn off the word banks after the first couple of lessons and force myself to type out the words as much as possible so that I'm not getting any help from word banks.

Once I get to Levels 3-5 of a skill, I usually only do a couple of lessons. Once, I can answer every question in a lesson without hesitation, I move on to the test. 98% of the time, I answer 100% of the test questions right without stopping to think about my answers. I feel like I should be rewarded for learning quickly. I'm not testing out to beat people on leaderboards. That's dumb. I'm testing out because I've learned the material before I've finished the lessons and I'm bored.

In addition, I paid for a membership on Duolingo expressly for the purpose of not having to pay lingots to test out because I forsaw very early on that I would be doing a LOT of testing out. I'm very much on Duolingo for learning purposes. I have a real and highly motivating reason to learn French, but the XP cap has taken a lot of the fun out of it.

You claim you made the change to avoid "abuse" of test out XP in leaderboards, but how is finishing a skill more quickly than someone else "abuse"? Some people learn faster. That doesn't make them cheaters. Some people have to study for a week for a test to make an 85 and others can study for an hour and make a 100. This doesn't make the latter mean or unfair. That's just life. We all have different levels of intelligence and different ways of learning. You shouldn't punish fast learners to make slow learners feel better, and that's exactly what the effect of the XP cap is.

I wouldn't be half as miffed about this if I hadn't just paid $88 for a yearlong membership, but after paying that money, I'm really very annoyed to have been slapped in the face for being a fast learner. Not cool, Duolingo. Not cool.

As a final note, anyone who knows anything about marketing knows the XP cap is also a money grab. Don't act like we're all dumb. At least come out with some baloney about how in order to make Duolingo better, you need to increase your ad revenue, but don't pretend it's all about learning. That's insulting.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/vee.st
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"anyone who knows anything about marketing " also knows very well the impact of the "new Coke" introduction and avoids repeating it...Well Duo?

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Dayco.
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I didn't vote you down or up, HelpfulDuo. At least you responded.

We are hearing your thoughts about this and understand the reactions have a lot to do with motivation and the feeling of progress, and we are taking this feedback into consideration when tweaking how XP are awarded

Good to read this. Often it feels like we aren't heard.

We’re especially interested in the answer to the questions: How often do you test out / When do you decide to test out?

I thought that you probably already knew how often we test out. Does DL not take that into consideration?

I test out when I want a challenge.

I test out when I have some experience already in the language. I can always go back for practice if I miss a lot. It shows me where I am weak in the language.

The test out experience is not the same for all languages. Some languages give the same test out questions over and over. Other courses make it a challenge with many sentences. When I failed at the Portuguese test out, it challenged me to polish/refine my efforts and be more careful in general because the next time I tried I did not find the same questions. I might find one question that was the same, or two, but not all of them. I learned more from test-outs than by wading through the course.

A user made an argument that convinced me to be against the change in the XPs. I am here for learning, but I agree that people who have prior experience in a language should not be penalized for testing out.

Treating people as equals is fine for many things, but punishing people for knowledge is not going to keep people quiet on social media. Many people come to DL to revisit a language they studied in school, or learned as a child or while living in another country. They don't need to write "It is a lemon." over and over...

We all know this. Thank you for acknowledging us.

It over-encouraged test-outs, which wasn’t optimal for learning.

I think having competitive leagues probably isn't optimal for learning, frankly, but I wouldn't stop it. Some people thrive with a little adrenaline buzz while others do not.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SoitDX
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Here we got someone who really understands, I totally agree, well said! It's true that we're here to learn some new things after all but I don't think I'm going to become much better writing "It is a lemon" hundred times. I know if I study one language it's important to learn it properly and to be able to say my thoughts in it or to understand what's said to me. I saw some users wrote things like "XP is not that important, you're here to study". Yes, I know if I study English and go to England for instance people there won't ask me how many XP I got in the English course in Duolingo. I'm well aware of that only my skills would be worth. But what was really motivating me was the results I could feel from getting XP, seeing how I up my level and how my friends share with me how many XP they got for a week; what place they finished in the league or saying to me "wow you made 10000XP for just a week!". I still love this app and don't plan on leaving only because of XP. My opinion is everyone has their own way to get motivated, some don't care about XP at all, others get motivated from them. Having this in mind I dislike the new update. Who doesn't care about XP is fine getting both 450XP and 20XP after skipping a level. But for us who get motivated by this little statistic, motivation is kind of lost.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

No one has been able to explain to me one simple thing. How is someone who already has prior experience in a language "punished" or "penalized" for that knowledge or experience. Duolingo is a gamified learning. It is a game. The way someone scores points in a game, is by doing the tasks in the game that reward the points. You don't get rewarded for practicing more than the other team. You don't get rewarded because you have more knowledge about the game than the other people. You have an advantage in that it should be easier for you to obtain the points given because of that previous knowledge, or skill.

I think what is poorly defined is HOW one scores points in Duolingo. I tend to look at it as a question is 1 XP. Others tend to look at it as a lesson is worth 10 XP. (But if someone tests out of a lesson, did they take the lesson? or is it something else?) This seems to be the poorly defined portion that is causing the confusion. What should be the trigger for 1 XP? (Side note, I think talking in target language in the clubs and Stories are way too low in XP considering they are more real life uses of the language and using it properly than the simple exercises are.)

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/GreenAM
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It's essentially two grading scales: one that offers more points to people who work through each and every lesson (for those who need it) and one that offers fewer points if one completes it quickly (for the naturally fast learners, those regilding their trees after a new tree is introduced or after the Crowns update, and those who refreshing their memories on a language that they haven't used in years). People in the latter group are the ones being punished (and, yes, that is an appropriate word) for being good students and/or knowing the material.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Free-Quark

Bravo! You said it.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LadyLaura88
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All. Of. This.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/pentaan
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1) I consider the change in XP cap code by Duolingo's staff as a lazy, inefficient workaround for the main problem:
"Testing out of an individual skill" does not give the most difficult lessons of that skill, such as .....

  • optimal variation in words, sentences and grammar
  • in crown level 1-4:
    only translations into the target language
  • in crown level 3 + 4:
    only "use keyboard" instead of "use word banks"

2) Reaching crown level 5 is totally useless.
Reason:
In my experience, practice in crown level 5 will give you only lessons at crown level 0 and 1 instead of lessons at crown level 4!

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KittyBlossom0802
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If you use the browser practice in crown level 5 doesn't give level 0 and level 1 questions. But in app it does. I'm guessing it's due to some bug in the app..... Duo needs to address this matter.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/connorlef
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Hi, I always use test-outs when studying French because I have spent over 6 years in France. The problem with my French is that I can read and understand well what people say and write in work, but I lack the vocabulary of "small chats". And that's where Duolingo turns out to be helpful. Going lesson by lesson will be a waste of time for me. Furthermore, I don't use test-outs to simply gain handsome XPs and upgrade, my goal is to find out the (few) words and phrases with which I haven't been familiar with. I will let myself fail if I am not sure about the answer. Sometimes I may need to retry several times to pass a test-out. But it doesn't mean I repeat the same test-out to pass it, I repeat it to make sure I understand firmly and memorize everything correctly! If things go south as it happened for some grammar parts, then I study lesson by lesson.

As for Dutch, I am a new learner. So I don't use test-out very often. I tend to achieve level 5 at every node. Sometimes the level 5 consists of 30 lessons, which I deem redundant. That is the occasion I will use test-out. Repetition is necessary and good, but it costs time. Let ME decide the best learning method for myself. Don't change the system to interfere with my way. THANK YOU!

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LadyLaura88
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I'm the same way with German. I have been using Duo to brush up and refresh the language and to keep the skills honed, but going over lessons can be tedious. The other three languages I'm in the process of developing on Duo are being done more slowly. I just feel that punishing those who HAVEN'T been "cheating" the system because there are some that HAVE been is inappropriate. You don't punish the innocent along with the guilty.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Free-Quark

My situation is very much the same with Spanish as it is for you with French: I was immersed in it at a young age, and learned the basics then. I'm really just trying to remember what I forgot in the 10 years in between then and now and build on already existing skills. Couple that with being a gifted learner (I can store things in my long term memory in as few as a single repetition, at most five) and 30 repeat lessons to get to level five doesn't seem worth it. The same goes for the languages that I am new to (Irish and German), the number of repeats are unnecessary for me. If other people are cheating themselves out of learning, that is their fault, no need to punish the people who are actually using the test-out for their own benefit. It is not the XP that I am mad about: real learners do not care for leader boards and rankings, I am mad because I had a goal of 50XP a day due to the fact that with test-outs it was a goal I could reach every day, no matter my schedule. I've lowered it to 10XP now so that I may reach it on those busy days that I can only cram one lesson into. Let the learners pick for themselves: they are the only ones who win or loose.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Emmeline856

Det är dåligt för mellannivå och avancerad studerande - de söker att straffa dem med den XP-cap. Du är precis personen som straffas från det här, jag är liknande också men jag bor inte i Sverige och jag har lärt mig svenska för mindre tid


It is bad for intermediate and advanced learners - they seek to punish them with the XP-cap. You are the exact person that is punished by this, I am similar also but I don't live in Sweden and I have learned Swedish for less time.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ken482461
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Indeed! Voici quelques lingots!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JuriyaSan
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Same here exactly.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/HoeckerCarlos
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With leaderboards you don't encourage learning, you encourage competition. Capping points is not going to stop cheating by the way.
Why not in place of capping XP points, you enlarge the tests instead?
If the test were longer (30+ or more questions according to the skill) and hard enough (variety of questions) and you grant me the full XP points, I think would be perfect.

How often do you test out?: almost everyday.

When do you decide to test out?: When I'm familiar enough with a particular skill.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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I agree with you, but I imagine Duolingo cannot easily enlarge the tests because that would require a lot of input from their volunteers. One easy solution that they could do would be to eliminate word banks from the tests (perhaps leaving them for the crown level one tests, or CL 1 & 2). They definitely have not invested much time in the tests. I have noticed that the tests from one level to the next are almost identical. That's why I choose to test out only at one level in a group of four to twenty skills, before going back to test out from that level to the next. That way I'm sure the material is in my long-term memory, not just short-term.

I do think that people who test out should be rewarded the same number of XP that they would gain if they had studied the lessons individually. If a skill has 12 lessons, they should earn 120 XP.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Alicia.J.P

Yes, I agree with your last paragraph which would be an ideal solution....NOT the hundreds and hundreds of XPs that were originally awarded. It only encouraged SOME people to cheat.....

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Wangle5
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I test out when I feel I know the skill and can complete the test. If I can't I go back and do the individual lessons. Now, after the XP change if I can't test out without sacrificing massive amounts of points I won't but the experience will be less enriching because I'm just going to be grinding out lessons of stuff I already know instead of practicing at an optimal level because otherwise those points are gone forever For instance, my Japanese tree is completely done at every level but I'm only at level 23 in it because of this new change. My only way to advance now is to do timed practices which is boring and unhelpful.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/GIjoeWEARSdiaper

this is something i was worried about. i made a post on it but i think the way i worded my post was misinterpreted because people where saying "study dont test out" i write everything i learn on here in a notebook and read over it during the day when i cant be on here so i usually know my lesson like the back of my hand by crown 3 on my lessons and test out because i already know the lesson, i dont know how i will get enough xp to level up if they dont give me more than 20 xp when testing out. i dont feel like awnsering the same questions over and over again just to get xp when i already know everything they're asking. i know they're worried about cheater but they could at least give more than 20 xp. i think it should be at least 50 xp for every 10 parts of a lesson that are left if they wont give us the full amount.

ex. 30 parts of a lesson are left. test out and get 150 xp

20 xp is wayyy too low

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Laykilibre
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I tested out quite frequently in FR from EN and EN from FR because one is my native language and the other is a language in which I have a college degree and other learning experience prior to Duolingo existing.

I tested out sometimes for SP from FR and to a lesser extent for GE from FR because of having previous experience in all those languages and not really wanting to repeat quite easy sentences 100 times each. For GE from FR, in which I have not yet completed the tree to crown level 5, I’m not very often testing out any longer because it has become hard enough for me that I need the practice. For SP from FR, I have completed the tree and therefore don’t care about testing out any longer.

For IT from FR, although I had no previous Italian experience, I still tested out sometimes at the lower crown levels because it was easy enough/close enough to the other Romance languages that I could do so for the skills near the beginning of the tree. I won’t be doing that very often now that I’ve hit harder material.

For Catalan, I’m not very serious about that one and I’m not very far along, so I may test out or I may not. It’s not sticking with me very well thus far because I don’t prioritize it, so I probably will not test out very often if at all.

I do not use the leaderboard feature and therefore I have no opinion as to whether people are using testing out to cheat or not.

I use/have used testing out to save time (as a job-holding, adult parent of a busy kid) by not having to repeat material I already know more often than I should have to, and I am not at all happy with the option now offering so few XP. I don’t and won’t do it on languages for which I have already hit level 25, so I do care about the XP. I care about hitting level 25 because it’s currently the top level possible, and I think it’s fun to shoot for that. Ditto with gilding the tree.

Testing out of skills to gild them doesn’t mean I haven’t made an effort. It means I have learned what I am supposed to have learned (whether previously or via Duolingo) to meet your knowledge requirements. And I am keeping my level 25 trees at 100% strength as indicated on duome (huge thanks to the person(s) who manage(s) that!). When the trees are updated, as they have been once or twice for me for FR from EN, I then go back and complete the new lessons. So it’s not that I don’t care about learning; I care about not spending time on things I don’t need to spend time on.

It feels very much like you are punishing people who aren’t competitive except with ourselves and who are learning, in order to dissuade people who are hypercompetitive cheaters who probably are not learning much, and they’ll just find some other way to game the system anyway.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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Your last three paragraphs pretty much sum up my thoughts, and I hope admin will revert to the old system, or at least find a compromise which is not so discouraging for people like us. However, one item that I'd like to tweak is the use of the word "punishing." I don't think being rewarded 20 lingots for a test is a "punishment." It is, however, not giving the fair reward, which would be 10XP times the number of lessons that test represents. It is a discouraging and unfair change to the system we were familiar with. When it takes 4,000 XP to move from level 23 to 24, there should be a way to earn those XP other than repeating ad nauseum sentences that we already know. I'm afraid that if they leave the new testing XP-cap, I will never reach level 25 in German. I might stick around for awhile, but also look for a better platform.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AllegroCantabile

It would be a pity if the duolingo community lost you. Thank you for your posts.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Laykilibre
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I chose the word “punishment” because when options (in this case, successfully testing out for a fair reward) are taken away from people who aren’t cheating to try and prevent other people from cheating, that seems rather punitive to the former and unlikely to solve the problem posed by the latter. Cheaters gonna cheat, somehow or other. If Duo hadn’t given us the fair reward to begin with and then taken it away, it would be different, because we wouldn’t have come to enjoy it and/or set goals based on assumptions about our XP progress. As it stands, if they want to return to the 10XP times number of remaining lessons system but make the testing out more difficult (e.g., user must answer more questions; I think it’s been about 20), that would be neither punitive nor unfair IMO. I don’t mind the challenge; it just has to be worth doing.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/APRILBROWN4
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March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Elyce610584

In the poll someone mentioned a possible maximum failed attempts for a test of any skills, or if you fail you have to complete a lesson before attempting to test out again. This could be a good compromise between gaming the test outs to top leader boards and allowing people to test out out skills they genuinely know without penalizing them.

Just some food for thought :)

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Melinda80386

I test out when I already know a skill. I have other materials, as well. I prefer the old system.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/imtherealjenna

I've read through quite a few of the comments below, and like me 95% of everyone using Duo are highly unhappy with these new changes.

I don't give two flips about leader boards, but it is very demotivating to work hard to make it through a test with no errors and only be rewarded 20XP... I will typically go through the first and second lesson one by one, but by the third, I've pretty much got the structure and might need to remember the spelling, but I'm ready to move forward and get to the next skill (I do not skip skills and get to gold before going to the next.) If I'm able to get through the test out with less than three mistakes, it should prove that I know the material well enough to move on without being penalized for doing so.

One of the motivators for me was also being able to test out and see my accomplishment spin a gold ring and add up the points I'd 'earned' because regardless, if I passed the 'test' according to your design, than I earned the EXP that came with that test out. Now to see the bar move so little is an instant irritant especially learning now that testing out is essentially costing me overall if I decide to test out over slogging through the same boring lessons I've already mastered.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Shamshoomi
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I have a few thoughts I would like to point out on the matter:

  1. You could be correct, if this demotion was targeting those who test out of level one or entire sections of the tree (deeming them familiar with the language and needn't be rewarded for what they already know).

  2. When testing out of a skill, one has the limited number of three hearts while lacking the advantage of peeking. This, in my opinion, is a truer measure of how much a person has learnt. Especially when contrasted with going through repetitive sentences where one can subconsciously click on unfamiliar words and have no limit on attempts to get the lesson right! Personally, I had to test out of certain skills more than 10 times before I got them right, but by then I knew I had learnt the lesson by heart.

  3. After reaching level 2, one has to go through 12 to 30 lessons to complete a SINGLE level on most skills. There are two important issues related to this:

    <pre> 1) If the person was a complete novice when he/she started the language course then, the ability to skip through a skill level is a testimony to both Doulingo and the learner; one should be REWARDED not punished for this! 2) Most of the words -and phrases- used are repeated over and over and over and over... and over again. Going through this 10,15 or 25 times can be a dull and tedious process. </pre>
  4. I wouldn't mind going through 30 lessons to level up a skill, if there were new words, more complex phrasing or the material in general was harder.

  5. A "fair" yet rewarding, way to earn xps would be to fashion tougher tests in order to earn more xps and not vice versa. This way one would know that he/she is competent enough reach the desired level.

  6. If the Leagues or school children are the target, then this should be limited to Leagues, Classrooms or Doulingo for Schools. Since Doulingo is already in the business of reconstructing and shaking things up in the app, it shouldn't be hard to do so!

  7. Not everyone has the same ability, speed, reasons, dedication or time to study. People have different learning curves and it is NOT FAIR to hinder some because of the limitations or lack of dedication of others.

  8. It it great to take feedback into consideration and adjust WHERE IT IS RIGHT to do so, but Duo seems to constantly lower its' standards to appease those who whine. Again, I am guilty of complaining or giving feedback myself; however when doing so, I would like to think there is a responsible body on the receiving end that has the ability to distinguish whether my remarks are correct and accept them or wrong and refuse them then educate me on the right thing to do or say!

  9. It appears that Doulingo -which started as a groundbreaking idea providing users with an interactive, educational experience like no other- is trying beyond its' means turn into a mainstream app.

  10. The gaming like features of the app it what got most of us fully invested, daily visiting to maintain our streaks, trying so hard to level up to eventually have a golden tree. Yes, we are here to learn, but this is what sets Doulingo apart from other apps with similar content.

  11. This is a little sentimental, but for old users who have love and loyalty for this app, it is disheartening to see it fade into something strange basic and somewhat gimmicky, unlike the smart interactive app we all love adore (this may sound strange to those who didn't go through the loss of immersion, the ability to communicate with other users within the app, learnt words in the web version for some languages, notifications when someone answers your questions, had to deal with the new levels system,...etc). It feels like we are being completely disregarded and forced to deal with a different app! I know that testing out and gaining xps like this was a relatively new addition, however, it felt like a breath of fresh air in a sea of annoying changes and now it is gone! :(

  12. I will not be surprised if the extra xps became a paid feature. We are slowly moving away from the "FREE EDUCATION FOR ALL" slogan!!

P.S. I love Doulingo to the core and appreciate everything they are doing and do acknowledge that they are adding new languages and great features like stories ...etc. Seeing it grow gives me a great pleasure; however not all new is improved, somethings are better the way they are!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PannasOwen
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I completely agree with you

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Shamshoomi
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It is good to know that someone else is on the same page. Thanks :)

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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Ditto. When they did away with the Activity stream, they promised a replacement. But that hasn't happened. A moderator explained to me the safety issues that the stream caused, particularly for children. But I'm pretty sure they could prevent unsafe situations with other means. Activity should just be for communications, and not telling you that so-and-so completed a skill.

The greatest loss was that of Immersion. That was the only place where more advanced learners could actually learn something.

I did not like the Crown system when it came out, but have adapted to it. If this new testing cap will continue in place, I will adapt to that too. Duolingo is still free, and we mustn't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Instead, let's give kudos to the positive changes that have been made. For me, that was the invention of stories. I think they are really well-done. I do agree with the comment made by another user, that we aren't rewarded enough XPs for doing them. It's funny, but we really do put a value on such a virtual good as lingots and XPs.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackie00010

Yes, stories were a nice new touch, but really that has been the only positive change in the years I've been a member. Thank you, jairapetyan, for trying to focus on the positive and keep hope for changes to come.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Shamshoomi
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I agree with you and I hope Duo listens on this one! :)

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Shamshoomi
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I am not looking a gift horse in the mouth "o_0

I guess I love Duo too much to see it gradually fade down into something average. It is better than that!

I agree with everything else you said. :)

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Emmeline856

"Berättelser" existerar inte för mitt språk.

"Nedsänkning" existerade riktigt inte för mitt språk heller men man kunde hitta det manuellt. De tog bort det här också.

Och nu tog bort bonus-XP för testar ut.

Och verkar det att de bry sig inte - utan en post som säger en hel del, men kommer inte att göra ingenting i slutet.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Shamshoomi
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Well, I hope they do the right thing this time!

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

To your point 2.

There are some people on the health system. They get 5 mistakes total. They get one wrong, they only have 4 mistakes left for the next lesson. Often times they could be looking at entering a lesson that they are just starting and have never seen with one mistake to make. Imagine seeing a language that isn’t your own, on a subject you are just starting, and you made a few typos, or autocorrect hurt you, or your fat thumb hit space instead of b. Now you are starting a brand new topic, that you have never seen before with two mistakes to make. Imagine doing it without access to tips because they aren’t on your app.

I know in the German tree it introduces concepts without telling you or explaining them at all. There is no separableprefix verbs category. They just throw a sentence like „ Ich komme in Berlin an“ at you. You have learned what all those words mean, but they don’t tell you that you are looking at a new word. That particular sentence one can figure out through looking at it because you know it is literally „I come in Berlin on/near/at“ in your brain, that it is „I arrive in Berlin. You don’t learn that ankommen is a new word that you are looking at and the grammar that you need to know to actually use it. And they just randomly throw them in. Abfahren world be particularly annoying, since I have yet to encounter ab in the tree, so if one is just starting and using Duolingo only, that is a random word appearing that you have no idea it s a prefix or what it could mean. It goes from „ich fahre ab“ to i know it means „I drive ?“. When it simply is „depart“.

There are ways to get health back. Spend an obscene amount of your gems/lingots to get it back, watch one ad to get one health back, and then you are in the same situation. You can practice dog - Hunde and those tiles from the very beginning of the tree in the practice session. Or wait 5 hours just to get 1 health back (25 hours) just to get full health. If you don’t do one of these options you literally are not allowed to learn.

I know all this, because at one point I was under the Health System. I got plus because I like supporting companies I use the service of. I was greatly releived not to have to deal with it any more. I didnt even know it would happen. My wife still has to deal with it. She is learning German and Dutch since we plan to go to Europe and she brushes up her spanish when she wants, but she is more advanced than DL and uses it in her job.

But I think it is great that someone can pass a test that they think they should be able to with three mistakes. It is admirable. But there are literally people who are learning new topics they have never seen before having to do the same thing.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Shamshoomi
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What you are talking about seems to be an apple or a premium advantage! Using the windows or android systems, such privileges simply do not exist, it is three hearts or you're out. You have no idea how many tests I lost to the "space/b or n" or the "a/s" situation, but that is on me, and others shouldn't be punished for the size of my thumb or my absent mindedness while doing the tests.

For the main issues you are talking about; as I already mentioned in point 1., it is never a good idea for a novice to test out of level one. I never do that! I know this to be true because these languages were new to me as well (apart from English), I finished some trees the old fashioned way (lesson by lesson) and I did not retain much from them, because it is hard to learn a new language. Then when I am ready I come back to which ever I am feeling at the time. So, when I reach the point where I can test out of a skill I feel a deep sense of satisfaction. I am ready to move to tougher materials, perhaps listen to an audio ...etc

Q) How does testing out help with this? A) I was trying to level up on the Turkish tree (which was surprisingly one of the easiest ones to go through). I watch Turkish drama, finished the tree over a year ago, this is going to be a breeze..... or so I thought. Half way through the tree (level 3) I hit a wall! I just didn't get some stuff (now that I am testing out), my grammar was way behind and studying was in order. I also realised that I have more affinity to learn French! To the non-trained ear, French sounds like an impossible language to learn, but it turned out to easy and digestible (level 2). Yesterday I even listened to the news in French, and had an idea what they were talking about, surprise surprise!! Guess how I found all these things out about myself??? BY TESTING OUT!

Even on the advanced levels, if my grammar or vocabulary are not on point I repeat the lessons until I am confident about them. If I fail a test out too many times I repeat the lessons...etc.

The main idea of Doulingo is that is gives you difficult information in small easy to digest manner, then it allows you to progress according to YOUR pace!

P.S. I up-voted you because everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Congrats on your Europe vacation, I hope you enjoy your trip :)

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alanmd1
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To be honest, I'm pretty angry about the change. I test out because to reach levels 4 or 5 you have to do 20 or 30 lessons. Trust me, it's tedious and time-consuming to repeat the same sentences almost 50 times. And to get only 20 XP for testing out 20 or more lessons is very de-motivating. I hate this change. If you really want to stop people "abusing" the system, then get rid of leaderboards. They contribute NOTHING and cause more problems than getting lots of XP for testing out. I also feel punished, like lots of other users, for being an intermediate/advanced learner. I already studied French for 4 years at school. I don't want to repeat the same basic sentence for 50 lessons and get only 20 XP. It's silly and again, it just feels demotivating. Just my 2 cents.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jmbrill81

It seems clear they want you to have to grind through those 30 lessons to look at ads in order to get to level 25 in a language.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/John452927
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I don't mind them capping the XP amount, but capping it at 20 is ridiculous. Make it at least 40.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ronturon
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I'm curious, if you don't mind the cap, how is capping it to 40 XP acceptable?

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Stevechuan
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I use the test out feature often, but only because I'm studying familiar languages. I couldn't do it for a language that was completely dissimilar. The change in point allocation was jarring, but not necessarily relevant to how many times I test out. Reducing the number of points awarded does not demotivate me directly. However, receiving fewer points also reduces the feeling of satisfaction. It's not really the number of points. It's just that more feels better. So, imo, the flaw is that there is no substitute for that lack of satisfaction. I can't argue that I learn more when the endorphines of winning kick in. I can say that I miss them. I haven't decided to change my habits in order to protest the change.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SydneyRegina
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I rarely comment on these types of things, because I have little confidence that y'all will actually listen to us, but I find this annoying. The XP abuse argument could be valid, but I still find it kind of silly. I am not a member of any club, refuse to use the new Android league thing, and could not care less about leaderboards. I use Duolingo for my own language growth and compete against myself. I decide to test out of a skill when I feel like I've mastered the information to the point that doing all the lessons in a level would be monotonous. That's usually around level 3, for purely vocab lessons and possibly a little later for grammar. I also use duo.me to gain additional practice in skills that are not yet at level 5.

I am one crown level away from having a complete, level 5 tree in Portuguese, and I probably would not be at this point without tests-outs. I was basically stalled and bored by my lack of progress when I began testing out of skills I last summer. Testing out revitalised me and helped regain interest in progressing through the tree. It also provided a more challenging approach to mastering a skill. I haven't missed a day of Duolingo — I haven't even used a streak freeze — in over 7 months in large part because testing out made completing the tree feel less insurmountable.

I think there are other solutions to dealing with leaderboard manipulation, like capping test out XP solely within the leaderboard. (Of course, I wouldn't care if leaderboards were done away with completely. It's part of the reason I am not a member of a club/league.) However, if you truly think it's necessary to cap XP for everyone, making it only 20 XP for testing out undermines the hours of work that some of us are putting in to be able test out of skills.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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I agree 100%. I get these emails saying that so-and-so has passed me on the leaderboard, and I couldn't care less. I rarely use the app, perhaps once a year when waiting in line to pay at Costco. The platform is so much better. XP are all relative, they have no value in real life, but when we have been using one system to measure our progress and plan our goals for such a long time, it is quite shocking to have that rug pulled out from under your feet.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/pmm123
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when we have been using one system to measure our progress and plan our goals for such a long time, it is quite shocking to have that rug pulled out from under your feet.

Exactly, which is why the thing that bothered me most about this was the fact that Duo did not announce it ahead of time. I thought there was a problem with the system for the first couple of days and I just ignored it. When I finally found out what it was, I was not happy about it. My attitude might have been more positive if they'd been upfront about it in the first place.

As it is, after working with the new system for a couple days and knowing how the rules have changed, I am finding that I'm returning to some languages where my skill level is not good enough to test out. So who knows, maybe the XP cap will turn out to be a good thing for me, though not for the reasons it was imposed.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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I love it when we can find a silver lining to the cloud. I also admire the way you make a vertical line appear next to a quote. I read somewhere how to do that, but have forgotten. I'll have to look it up. Kudos to you, pmm.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ursulias
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@jairapetyan / pmm123:

I would like to learn to do that silver lining - and other stuff like this. Is there a thread with explanations somewhere?

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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@Ursulias: by "silver lining," I meant that ppm is finding a positive repercussion in this change of capping XP when testing out. At any rate, the user dlhgl answered below, giving us a link to a page full of formatting code! It's super-cool!

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/dlhgl
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Exactly, which is why the thing that bothered me most about this was the fact that Duo did not announce it ahead of time.

I agree that it would have been much better if Duo had announced it ahead of time.

So who knows, maybe the XP cap will turn out to be a good thing for me, though not for the reasons it was imposed.

I like how you look on the bright side - upvoted :)


For jairapetyan:
This is how to make a vertical line next to a quote

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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Sweet! Thanks!

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ipattorneyliza
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I tested out frequently in the 4 languages I know best to complete the trees 5 times without getting bored, and completed them in 3 of the languages. Right before the change I was halfway through my 5th tree in my 4th language, but not going particularly fast. It was very disappointing to learn that because I slowed down, I "lost" the opportunity to get several thousand points for completing the tree. Now I will get only a couple of hundred points. Of course it's just a silly game, but I feel "cheated" nevertheless.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ipattorneyliza
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On the other hand, for my "bottom" four languages I did not use the test out feature as much, and not at all for the languages not at level 25. This is because I don't know the languages well enough at it would have been senseless to use it. So I think you can trust the users to apply their judgment to studying DuoLingo. Conversely, if we are limited to endlessly repeating boring lessons we already know well, it will not make sense to spend much time here.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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Thanks ipattorneyliza for summing up my thoughts. I couldn't agree with many users who talked about being "punished" by the change, as the cap is not a punishment. However, the way it was rolled out did make me feel cheated, just as you said. I had used the test-out function to earn level one status in about twenty German skills, and was rewarded perhaps 2,000 XP for doing so. There was a possibility to repeat the process for the next twenty skills or so, but I chose not to do it, preferring to go back and do some lessons and tests of those skills I had just tested out of, bringing them to level three or four. Now I'm upset, because I didn't do that next big test. It's simply not necessary for me to do all the lessons, I will learn the material of the German tree faster than that. But if they don't add a new way to earn XP faster, I doubt I'll ever reach level 25 in German. It's demotivational. Before I would check my profile and say, "1600XP to level 23! If I just do an average of 100XP a day, I'll be there in 16 days!" Now I will be working less, probably just ten XP a day. I am a slow worker on DL, because when I work, I do spend a lot of time on the forums and sentence discussions. Duolingo is constantly sending me emails thanking me for suggested translations that they now accept. I have 5,800 followers for a reason. To sum it up, if a change causes the loss of motivation in 85% of its users, that change was probably a big mistake. I hope they will make repairs.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/pmm123
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I couldn't agree with many users who talked about being "punished" by the change, as the cap is not a punishment. However, the way it was rolled out did make me feel cheated, just as you said.

You're right, it's not a punishment in the most precise sense of the word, but you're also right that some of us felt cheated in the way it was implemented.

I think that's why it felt like a punishment to some of us. The difference between being cheated and being punished for something we did not do is close enough to feel very similar.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ursulias
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@jairapetyan: 85% dislike the last „test out„ change. 90% disliked the crowns update. 100% were disappointed when immersion disappeared. 100% of the moderators were shocked, when their voluntary contribution to DL was more or less sold to Pearson. DL does Not seem to care. And users forget and try to arrange with the new situation.

This helps new language Apps and programs to develop and to grow.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015
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@Ursulias - You make a very interesting point, but I think users don't forget, more like some of them choose to forgive... up to a point. With the disappearance of Immersion, I personally saw users leave (they were the ones I was following and now their weekly XP counter is 0, while before it was 10k +). Same with the introduction of Crowns.

I didn't forget what a wonderful site this was in 2005 when I started and I didn't forget how jipped I felt when all my hard work in Immersion disappeared over night, without even a possibility to save it. Or how annoyed I was when the Crowns were introduced without the additional content that would have warranted the change.

I stayed because despite all I am still grateful to the site for what it's given me before the controversial decisions they made in the past year or so.

I am pretty sure however that if they roll out leagues to the web without the possibility of opt out I will bid my goodbye, as that will definitely be the proverbial straw :)

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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@daffodil - - what you say SO resonates in me. We are like two peas in a pod. Let's stick it out; maybe some form of immersion and activity will re-appear some day.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015
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@Jairapetyan - Thank you :) I will definitely stick it out for a while, it's partly inertia and partly nostalgia, but I don't think Immersion will ever come back.

As far as I know, its removal had to do with a EU regulation that made it illegal for people not to be compensated for their translation work, and since Immersion was technically translation and what we did technically qualified as "work" (even though that work was voluntary and sometimes really not that good, as in not usable as a true translation), the chances of it coming back are slim to none, as long as that regulation is still in force.

It's funny, I have tried doing some Immersion imitation of my own, translating newspaper articles, but it wasn't the same, without those wonderful users who would correct it or give better alternatives. Those users, whom I will probably never know personally, actually improved not only my Spanish, but also my English (I'm not a native speaker) and I owe them a HUGE debt of gratitude. It was a great loss when they left.

March 12, 2019

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

I tested out for two reasons. 1. I knew all the material and was able to do many questions without the aid of a wordbank. 2. It gave a boost in xp.

I am on pc. I have no idea what a league is, nor do I want to. I am not motivated by anyone but myself. People seem to be forgetting, if you test out without having the proper knowledge then you are only cheating yourself.

Next. I hate how duo is trying to micromanage everyone. I mean if someone testout and gets lot of xp who cares? Why should duo be concerned? And as for xp abuse? What about the people who came by it honestly? Why punish everyone or a few peoples misconduct.

If I know the material well enough I see know reason why I should do the individual lessons. And I see no reason why I should get 20 xp when I should rightfully get 120.

I am pretty upset about this. You made a bad choice and I am glad to see you are willing to reconsider.

the test outs were the high point in my day. I used to plan. "Okay..at 6pm I'll test out" now you took that away and handed me 20 xp.

If someone is cheating they are cheating themselves

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Adam452065

[Please like my post so Devs can see this]

Below I will list why this change is terrible and why the developers should change it back immediately.

No one wants to sit through 100 additional lessons to get through one basic piece that only teaches you the same 5 words: This causes me to want to step away rather than "grinding" through useless lessons that teach me nothing.

It destroys the "fluency" of learning the language: From an English speaker, it takes 150 hours to learn Esperanto, 480 hours to learn Spanish, 720 hours to learn Russian and so on. The problem with this new change is that now you are LIMITED to have to pretty much go one by one at a constant rate for all languages the adds to the hour when you're stuck doing the long basic lessons. I'll give you an example.

In Esperanto it's not going to take you 100 lessons to learn basic words because the language is easy and only needs 150 hours and in Russian, you go at your own pace to match the 720 hours needed. Unfortunately, if you are forced to do the lessons one at a time to eventually max out the experience of the language to 30,000 EXP it's going to take you an average of one hour a day for 600 days for ALL languages. Doesn't matter the ease or complexity, now you're stuck learning an easy language for two years if you stick here. Time to find a new website.

It demotivates you from doing anything on this website anymore: The fun of this website was making this feel like a game and now it feels cheap. You mean to tell me that a person who practices the same 5 words gets more experience than someone who tests out of a whole lesson and learns at a much faster rate because they study and put time into it and actively engage and pay attention? Are you trying to promote a mindless droning of clicking and repeating on this site? Now people with millions of EXP will always be at the top and now people working hard are put lower than those mindlessly clicking. Good job, now I want to move to a different website.

It destroys the community: I started one of the most popular Esperanto clubs on the mobile for this site and everyone loves to compare experience, love to test out to jump ahead and it pushes everyone. Now you expect us to see a 100 exp difference and try to get ahead when we all go at the same rate regardless of how well we know and learn the material? What's the point of the club? What's the point of talking to other people and pushing each other if it's all at the same rate? What's the challenge? Seems pointless to me and it seems pointless to all the other club members as well. We would have a much better time just chatting in an Esperanto server on Discord than on here.

Prevents new learners: good luck new learners wishing to get ahead and max out a language. You know that language you should pick up in a few months? Yeah? Try a few years now when you're here. Doesn't matter who you talk with, doesn't matter how many friends you have to push yourself, doesn't matter how hard you try. To max out that skill tree, get access to learn new words and to learn new phrases and contexts is going to take years now.

To the people that say "You can still test out" don't understand that the fluency of a language is still at 30,000 for the max level and that that alone is incentive to learn. If you test out now, you will NEVER hit that max level when you get to the end of the tree unless you grind on the practice sessions for hours as well, needlessly. The point of testing out is that it promotes people to learn OFF SITE but now there's no incentive in learning off site. Which makes this all seem like a move for this site to make more money by keeping people here longer.

To those that say remove the leader boards and remove the whole "game" aesthetic of this site and focus on the promotion of the learning of the language need to realize that a lot of us are only here because of this game strategy. There's many other ways to learn a language at no cost that have plans and regimens way faster and easier to learn than a mindless grinding click on a screen. Removing the only unique bonuses that duolingo has for itself will see me and many others here gone as well.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/grumpy700875
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Nicely explained - bravo!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mike585980
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I thought about testing out in Spanish. I took 5 years of Spanish in Middle School and High School, and I feel I could easily test out of at least the first 3 or 4 levels of Duo's course.

The XP isn't a big deal for me as I want the real life XP, not the point system anyone gives me but rather the actual ability to use my chosen languages with real people face to face. So what I have to say here isn't actually based on the system Duo is using or plans to use. (I am going through the Duo lessons from the beginning specifically because I want the review.)

However... Should someone test out I believe they should be given full credit for doing so. Do cheaters exist out there? Sure they do! So what? When they cheat the system they also cheat themselves and do themselves a huge dis-service. In my opinion the best rod for a fools back is to allow his own dis-honesty defeat him and prove himself to be the fool he is. (You cheated your way through a course? I can't wait to see you botch up when actually attempting to use this in a real life situation.)

Duo, in my humble opinion shouldn't be trying prevent cheating. We're here because we recognize you as an excellent platform for learning new languages (perhaps the best). Please focus on what you do best and allow cheaters to fail on their own merits.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Balto930131
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Mostly I test out of languages that I am already familiar with or have a background with be it through school, family or other former studies. Mostly because the longer and higher leveled lessons get repetitive very fast, which is fine with a language I am learning from scratch like Portuguese and Romanian, but my familiar languages like Dutch, French, German and Spanish and even languages I caught up with pretty fast like Norwegian tend to feel really slow when having to complete all lessons individually instead of testing out. It was very rewarding and motivating to get the xp from my familiar languages because it proved that I still remembered a whole lot or in the case of Norwegian actually learned quite fast.

Therefore the xp cap feels like a punishment for being good enough at a language to test out and mostly make no mistakes. The only mistakes I make when testing out is mostly forgetting to add "a" or "the" to an answer, so they are pretty small mistakes. If I try and test out of other languages I am learning like Italian, Danish, etc. and end up failing, it just means I wasn't ready for the difficulty level yet so I go back to pratice and study more.

I am very sorry to hear about people abusing the system just for xp in leaderboards and competitions, but I can vouch for most of us that we don't care about that and are here to learn. The xp just added extra motivation because it made learning like a fun game for the languages we are refreshing and just an extra award to the new ones we're learning. The gaming aspect is what set duolingo in the spotlight and made it different than the school like way of learning new languages. So please don't let this unique and motivating aspect slip away.

Although I would still like to thank you for your post adressing the issue and your willingness to listen to everyone's opinion. This just happens to be mine, so be sure to read all the other opinions too. For this is still a site made by the people, for the people and of people who have a love for learning languages, but like me, might sometimes find it difficult to keep being motivated but found it in this unique and incredible site. Them being angry is just to show that they really care about this site and want to fight for it, otherwise they would've just left without saying a word.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/drstevens14
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I test out for two reasons. First, although the crown system was supposed to deliver harder content, it really only dumbed down the program. Level 4 is equivalent to what someone who had finished a unit would do, but I wasn't placed into level four on every skill, and so testing out lets me recover some of the functionality from before. Second, I want to make my tree golden again, and the only way to do that is to test out. I've already completed all the exercises one-by-one over the past two years, so I'm not sacrificing any learning by testing out. In the past thr practice function (which, by the way, exposed you to a more diverse range of content than the tree lessons) allowed me to keep my tree golden but now I have to work through an ungodly number of very specific exercises or test out to get my golden tree back. If you'd kept the original system instead of crowns, I wouldn't have any complaints. Either that, or if you'd offered truly advanced content.

Overall, I've noticed that duolingo doesn't add new content so much as it adds new game features. If you want to make long-time users happy, come up with new, harder content.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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Amen. For high-end users, there used to be Immersion. Now there is nothing. I so miss Immersion, and the friends I made there (with whom there is no longer any communication due to the removal of the Activity stream). Probably better for my family, I spent too much time on DL!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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And as far as adding new gaming features, one of my students called the latest one the "New Fischer-Price look for Duolingo." The first aesthetic re-designs really were for the better, but now they are going too far... making things look attractive to preschoolers, when they should spend more time on content. Of course they pay no money for content, that's all done by volunteers. Does anybody know if they pay their graphic designers?

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Emmeline856

Jag skulle säga - troligen inte.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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*

Heck no, they are well-paid.

(For those who don't speak Swedish, she wrote "I would say -- ´probably not.")

Found the info on a site called glassdoor. They have three lead designers earning over $97,000.00 a year. Their engineers and product managers make about $20K more. Ironically it's the people who actually provide content who work for free. Passionate linguists like you and me.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/gizzard123
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I really miss the immersion. That's where I learned the most. I would take the paid version if they brought the immersion back.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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Hi, thank you for taking user feedback into account!

I test out often. In one tree (German, my weakest langauge, and the best designed course on Duo I've seen), I test out only rarely. In Spanish (in which I just review and use more advanced stuff outside of Duo), I test out of the whole tree, wishing to complete it mostly out of nostalgia. Italian: I learn fast, so I test out of approximately a half of the levels.

When do I decide to test out:

-when the skill is too easy for me (either very easy overall, or easy due to my other learning outside of Duo, or previous experience)

-when there is simply too little content in the skill to justify the huge amount of review, especially at the higher levels (weren't we promised the higher levels would be more challenging? no, they just take longer)

-when I want a bit steeper learning curve, a bit more challenge, faster progress through a very slow part of the tree. I am just reviewing the basic stuff in Spanish, but that tree would be tedious at the designed pace even if I was a beginner.

The xp is a part of the Duolingo experience. Duo is not my primary resource, but it serves me in times of greater need for external encouragement. Without the gamified rewards, it would need to have much more content and better design of some of the courses to still be worth coming back to, no offence meant. Testing out is a way to balance the weaknesses in the individual courses, and to personalise the pace. I deleted the app, when I lost the option to test out of skills (it was not the only reason, but the main one). The full xp whether I go slowly or fast has worked as motivating competition against myself and it has definitely never made me study something too little. I am not interested in competing against others on Duolingo, I wish them the best in their learning, but I see no reason why we should all learn the same way on a modern digital platform.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MelCohn
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I completely agree! Duo is not my only learning platform, it is one of my learning platforms. And I now use it a little as a refresher and a little because I would like to bling out my Spanish tree. The material is generally a little too easy and repetitive for me, so I'm testing out.

Good employees of Duo, these are called "desire paths" in urban design. Some people may have been abusing the point system, but if you are seeing a lot of test outs at higher levels, it might also show you there is something a little wrong with the paths you have set, so folks are choosing a different way. So, thanks for letting us have the desire path in the first place, I guess.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Meital640
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I test out every time I finish learning the lesson,and now it's very slow to finish them,I want the old XP system!!

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/grenique
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Take my example: Swedish is new language for me so I'm doing every lesson step by step. But when it's getting boring and I'm sure that I already know all the vocabulary I'm testing out the rest of the skill. And then I already know other languages pretty well like for example French and German and I just want to get in touch with them so I'm testing out skills level by level and I'm redoing them when I've got some problems. :) at this point I'm unmotivated and its getting harder for me to remember that duolingo is my routine. I'm forcing myself into doing other languages than Swedish now. I don't know why but I'm eager to get more and more exp in languages that I know pretty well. I don't have any friends at duolingo. It's my personal pleasure to get it ;D

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Emmeline856

Bra jobbat att lära dig svenska! Du ska bli bättre med övning.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Timboanga
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I hadn't realized they were doing this. Testing out is how I keep my German and Spanish honed, and then I slog through the endless and numbing repetition of each sparse lesson in Italian. Without the leaderboard incentive, I've lost interest, and my 43-day streak went by the wayside. Haven't done any lessons for two days, and I'm not feeling in the mood for any of it anymore.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Whaleyland
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I regularly test out of activities and I couldn't care less about leaderboards—I didn't even know there was such a thing, to be honest. My primary desire is to reach my daily goals, and I often do so by testing out. Because of this change, I've moved my daily goal down from 30 XP/day to 20 XP/day, which I'm not particularly happy about but I suppose it makes little difference to me personally.

That being said, I think it makes sense that you receive the amount of XP you would have from passing the individual tests. If you can skip the lesson, don't you deserve to receive full points? Maybe it's the leaderboard system that needs to be tweaked, not the thing that brings a lot of people motivation.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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Well said. Three lingots for you.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/EseEmeErre
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Frankly, I wish you'd get rid of XP and XP Levels entirely. I've always found them to be an utterly useless metric. They serve only to measure the amount of work done, with no regard for the quality of the work. A user committed to the task can reach level 25 without doing anything more than completing and then practicing the introductory skill. Yes, it's an extreme example, and no one is likely to do this, but it illustrates the sheer uselessness of XP as an indication of a user's skill with the language they've chosen to learn.

Though not perfect, I do prefer Crown Levels for being a better indicator of a user's progress through a course. I'd really like to see them replace XP/Levels entirely as the displayed measure of a user's progress.

To replace XP for leaderboard competitions, I would suggest a point system to gauge activity (call them Energy or Activity Points or whatever) that resets to zero each week. Award 1, 10 or 1,000,000 of them for completing an exercise, whether it's a lesson practice, story, card set or a test out. That levels the playing field for Leagues competition without unnecessarily affecting the Pavlovian rewards for advancing through the course.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ash.Purple

Since crowns i've seen maybe 5 updates trying to make it better.

The decaying gold skills were fine before all of this.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/GreenAM
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In my opinion, no, decay wasn't as good of a solution. Imagine coming back from food poisoning, a natural disaster, or a family member's death and seeing you now have to strengthen 20-40 skills...in addition to your daily goal. Motivation-wise, it acts almost the same as the test-out XP cap. (BTW, I've had that happen with two of those incidents that I had listed.)

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/tommybex
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It'd be sad to come back to but it would also be realistic in that you haven't been practicing and need to refresh.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/GreenAM
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A little hard to practice when you have no phone service or Internet service. Or if you're constantly in the bathroom and can't eat. Or when a family gathering is more important than your learning (just for a day). Trust me, you're not losing much knowledge when you have to skip a day. When you're forced to make up a lot of skills at once, it is disheartening.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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Sorry to hear about the crosses you've carried GreenAM. I like the skills that stay gold once you've gilded them. You earned that badge, now keep it. We know in our hearts when we need to practice and we're free to do that any time.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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Truth be told, I didn't like the decaying system. Yes, a part of the idea was good, SRS works. But it was promoting the idea that Duolingo is the goal, not just a tool. It encouraged people to stick to Duo forever instead of completing the course and the goals and moving on, and it was always throwing in tons of the too easy stuff at the expense of the really needed stuff for me.

The decay system would have been great, had it been possible to lock the easy parts from being mixed in at the later stages of the tree. And if it had a real ending encouraging people to move on. The purpose of a learning tool is to teach as much as possible and be discarded at some point. The goal of a mobile game is to keep people addicted forever. Many good language coursebooks end with something like "Thanks for being with us, we hope you've learnt a lot and will now enjoy your skills in the real life, see you in the next volume of our course" While Duolingo was like "If you don't keep regolding Basics 1 forever, you are a failed learner" :-D There were even PR articles with analyses of the data from Duolingo, where it was clearly stated that Duolingo's definition of the successful learner was a person who never stops using it, not a person who actually learns the content.

I was originally excited about the crowns, as we were promissed harder exercises and more content at the higher levels, and overall more practice of more content, therefore better learning results and more fun and value for the just revieweing non-beginners or just faster beginners. But this didn't happen. There is an end to the game now, but you can still use the decay function with duome. But the crowns with too little content are just tedious.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mktoronto
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Not for me. Before the crown system, I was spending all my time doing the same lessons over and over to keep the gold. I was about ready to give up. With the crowns, I get to build a gold tree and the lessons bring in words I've forgotten in later lessons. It's made me more motivated.

March 10, 2019

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

I have a question: Who give a crap if someone tests out and gets lots of xp. Isn't that THEIR business? And if someone cheats who are they cheating? Themselves. Why can't you just keep the system like it was. IT was great. And fun. So yeah..

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sevenjetc

Is it cheating if you are testing out on beginner levels you knew by heart long before introduction of the crowns and levels, though? I wish there was a way to take a test that would raise the levels of all skills at a checkpoint to 5...

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AndresGarner
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I used to complete 5 to 10 normal lessons and then just test out depending on the subject because if it is just vocabulary words I can write them down in a notebook and repeat aloud and practice, but on harder lessons (for instance) grammar, and different tenses I would do as many lessons as I would need to in order to be able to understand the topic, but now with the new XP change I just do regular lessons and no test outs anymore.

Thanks for finally making a post about the XP change, but it left us all out of the loop and we had to get informed by a moderator, next time before making a big change like what was made, please let us know immediately.

As far as when I first heard the news, I was very unhappy because it was what I centered my goals around in order to have a strict schedule that I could follow, I ended up making a post combating the new change, but when I cooled off a little I deleted my post, because it was an unnecessary post and at the end of the day Duolingo provides their users free education, so I shouldn't be complaining, but there are tons of users out there who are livid and it has demotivated them to the point they don't even really know if they want to use your services anymore, For the last few days there have been countless posts concerning peoples frustrations with the new system, I have adapted to the new system now and I am fine with it, but I think the majority is still really unhappy.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/RhettButtlord
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i enjoyed tasting out of the

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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Seriously, people? Four lingots and ten upvotes (as of March 9, 9:30pm GMT) for "i enjoyed tasting out of the?"

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Shamshoomi
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You gave me a good laugh. Here's a compensatory lingot ;p

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Cethlyn
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I completed my Spanish from English and English from Spanish trees before the introduction of crowns. Since I have already learned all the material in these trees, I use the test out function to get all the skills to level 5.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/secret_sAndwich
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I'm in the same boat. I had golden owls on both of those trees. I wasn't disappointed when the trees changed (with the advent of crowns), but I absolutely test out of skills pretty often. I feel I already know the material, and if I don't, I go back through the lessons.

It may seem petty or arbitrary, but nerfing the XP from testing out removes a good chunk of the gamification for me; removing the gamification removes motivation, as well.

Tl;dr: I'm not happy with the change, as the old way was quite a bit more motivational to me.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/kohoutseks
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Deleted my comments because jerks downvoted em to infinity it seems like. Anyways I test out all time for Indonesian, but not as much the other languages I am learning or trying. I do level zero taking notes of the vocab and anything else I need may know of the skills, then test out away I go. I honestly don't like this new update (that was unexpected and such) but to each ones own I guess.

Furthermore, let cheaters be cheaters. If all they want to do is get XP and be the best ten let them. Sooner or later they will realize that XP is not as important as they once though, and will be serious learns for then on and there forth.

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/annie720
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I was a French major in college and studied abroad in France but that was like 18 years ago. The things I've forgotten in the intervening years are kind of random and all over the place, but I've been through all of the content at some point and a little review is enough to bring it back. So the pace of the lessons is too slow for a reviewer; too much repetition. I always try to test out at first and it helps me figure out if I need the lessons. I usually pass the tests.

I object to the xp change because I think there should be equal pay for equal results, and in turn that Level 25 means the same thing no matter how you arrived there. It should indicate a level of proficiency. If it doesn't indicate that, there's no point having levels at all.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnaMayBates
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My Level 25 in Spanish predates testing out (I can't remember if it predates Crowns itself) but once testing out was introduced, I was testing out of all of Spanish at all levels (including when new skills were introduced) because I've studied this language for 15 years. My goal with Spanish is just not to lose it because I don't use it everyday. I have the same goal for Japanese, another language I have studied for several years. Both these trees were complete and golden at the time Crowns were introduced.

For my other languages, most I do the lessons from levels 1-3, and then try the tests for 4 and 5. If I struggle, then I know to do the lessons again instead. The tests in a way mimic a test in a classroom, as I cannot use the drop down for the word. Some of these I've studied off and all outside of Duolingo. Some languages I don't test out of at all because they are harder for me and I don't feel like I have mastered the skill.

For me, the tests make me concentrate more. The way I plan out doing my trees, it relies on my long term memory, not my short (and definitely for Spanish and Japanese).

A few people have mentioned that they prefer to do Duolingo their own way, and that's the thing; we all have preferences, and not everyone learns the same way. We were told when Crowns were introduced that we'd be able to tailor things to the way we learn. And I think for many us, that includes testing out (which was something we had to ask for after Crowns rolled out). And not only do we learn differently, but we all come to Duolingo at different levels. So in some cases, it's more practicing than it is learning from scratch.

Sure, XP might be reflect our time on Duolingo versus our overall knowledge of a language, but the cap for me makes me now have to decide if I want to gain all the XP more slowly, or test out for less points get finally get my trees back to gold, something I have been working on since Crowns came out in the first place. I did not rush to re-gild in order to somewhat mimic the decaying skills/space repetition of the old system, and instead created a schedule of daily goals, including tests for some languages and others lessons. Yes, I know I can still test out and just get less XP, but that's like being told a test is being weighed the same as an individual homework assignment. I don't mind if the tests were longer or harder, but I would like the XP points to be matched to the lessons.

As for the leagues, as I stated in another comment, I don't really know anything about them or what is going on with cheating. Really, if people are testing out languages just to score high, they are cheating themselves. But dislike that those of us who have nothing to do with the leagues have had a change thrust upon us. Specially since there often too many changes (and A/B tests) going on with Duolingo.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/pmm123
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But dislike that those of us who have nothing to do with the leagues have had a change thrust upon us.

Yes. That's exactly how I feel about it, too. And I'm tired of people telling me that this change will be good for me. I don't presume to tell anyone else how to study or what will be good for them, and I don't need anyone to do that for me, either.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Deadpool723

Don't sugar coat it Duo. We know why you changed it. By encouraging us to do more unnecessary lessons when we are prepared for the test-out already, you can expose us to more advertisements. Sorry to see this is what Duolingo has become.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Veronika863055
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My thought is: get rid of the leaderboards. And nobody will have to explain their reasons for testing out.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/RajRambhaj

I test out every day. MOST advanced users test out every day.

Making the XP for a test out only 20 is very unfair. I see why you have done it, however, now to complete a day I have to test out of at least three subjects. This is extremely de-motivating, especially for advanced users.

It is unfortunate people look up the answers and test out, HOWEVER, it is up to them if they would like to waste their time. To babysit each user is useless. Instead, more time should go into bettering the learning.

On behalf of the MAJORITY of duolingo user's wishes change the XP back! At the very least, slightly increase the XP for test outs. 20 is absurdly low.

-Raj

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Chooch639215

I test out when I feel I've mastered a lesson and/or have grown hopelessly bored with the same sentences over and over.

But as one or two people pointed out, the testing out can be absurdly simple. I just tested out on level 3 of the environment and FOUR questions were about "The grass is green." Really? At this point I'm worrying about failing the test because of speed typing through overly simple questions just to get the hell out of there.

1) The testing should be longer than the usual 10-12 questions of each round. 2) They should NOT use words or phrases you haven't encountered yet. 3) But they SHOULD use the words or phrases you've learned in DIFFERENT ways. It's so easy to memorize these simple phrases and then spit them back out. 4) each test round should cover a few or more sentences from the previous level(s). For instance, Level 2 should include some from Level 1, Level 3 should include from Levels 1 and 2, and so on.

All this said, who cares how people use this? Why are you changing these things for a very trivial reason, that some dipheaded troll is gaming the leaderboard? Who cares about leaderboards? They should be group oriented and group invited, overseen by a self-appointed moderator, or they don't exist at all. And if people want to bolster their levels or XP points, where's the harm? You're not offering legally binding certificates or licenses to practice medicine.

Again, DuoLingo, you're worrying about the dumbest things and not fixing more important ones, like the terrible hints, the bad translations, the very limited number of correct translations, and long ignored requests to fix answers or questions. Jazz-handing over problems like this is just silly.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/vee.st
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Well said! a couple lingots for you!!!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Chooch639215

why, thank you!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Olaf.Rabbachin
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So I've spent the last 2h or so to read/skim through the postings here. I suppose the answer to what you actually asked for had been clear after less than 100 postings, the rest is merely repetitive (I find myself in dozens of other people's postings). Also, it wouldn't have taken this posting resp. your asking for the reasons or opportunities to test out in the first place. It would've taken 2 hours or so to read through the postings that showed up here after you introduced the XP cap.

This (and the least few months worth of experience) leads me to the conclusion that one or more of the following apply:

  • You are not dedicating enough time for reading through the forum to get a feel for what your users are thinking or how they are responding to changes you introduce, even though the forum is probably your only means to receive feedback. I actually don't generally blame you for that all too much due to the forum being so much of a pain in terms of separating the wheat from the chaff. Worse, subscribing to a thread like this is a nightmare in terms of email notifications!
  • While you do introduce great new things (such as the ability to easily switch between courses for different source languages in the app), you seem to be too hastily or even imprudent with major changes, that is, you don't seem to consider/ponder negative and positive effects of what a change might entail.
  • You don't consider undoing a change that proved to make things worse; instead, you attempt to countersteer with measurements that make it even worse (i.e., you come to the conclusion that there needs to be some sort of competition, so you introduce the global (?) leaderboards, without considering that there's now clubs and leaderboards, then you get the feeling that testing out has negative effects, so you cap the number of XPs, etc).
  • You assume without knowing much, or why would you limit your sole response to the whole disaster here on the forum to a question on how people use the test out feature?

I could probably go on with this as nauseam (maybe I already did), so I'll just stop here. I have tried to provide some constructive criticism in this thread, including some proposals (and I can think of several others too), but haven't had a response from you guys, so I take it that you just don't care. Which really makes me think it's merely a waste of time to try talking to you. That really does make me sad, but since that's just the way it is I suppose I'll simply refrain from doing so from now on.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/CaroEnrico
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I don't actually pay much attention to XP, but it's clear that many do, and I find the offered justification for reducing them pretty hard to understand.

Few people, including me, were even aware of the leaderboards, and even fewer cared. To use the fact that a few 'sad' individuals saw fit to cheat their way to the top of a leaderboard to justify drastically reducing the XP awarded to everyone is not logical or equitable.

March 18, 2019

[deactivated user]

    The XP system is not dumb but, it still should have more points, I liked it the way it was before.

    March 8, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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    I test out when I already know the material and going through the repetitive exercises would be meaningless (and boring).

    While completing my Spanish-->English tree and the English-->Spanish tree, I tested out often because I had previous knowledge of and experience with Spanish. I completed those trees because I needed a systematic review and because there were a few weak areas in my knowledge.

    Now, working on the Spanish-->Portuguese tree as a true beginner in Portuguese, I haven't yet had occasion to test out because every skill is new to me. But it's likely that by the time I reach crown levels 3-5, I will be testing out of some skills because I will know them well by then.

    I don't have a strong reaction to the update that caps the XP that can be earned by testing out. However, I do think there are probably other ways to address the competition issue without imposing what feels like a penalty on those who learn quickly or came to DuoLingo with some knowledge already. Perhaps it could be as simple as "points earned via testing out don't count toward any competition". That way, the many learners who genuinely don't care about the leagues or leaderboards won't feel penalized when they test out and those who care a lot about the competitions won't feel they are competing on an unlevel playing field. This would force each user to decide, do I want to compete? Those that find it motivational would avoid testing out and would complete lessons to maximize their XP. Those who have no interest in competing would probably test out when appropriate.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jregan101
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    Before I started this seventy days ago, I considered my Spanish language understanding to be low intermediate.

    I believe that I could have tested out in some areas. I chose not to as I wanted to build a firm foundation on which to increase my reading, writing and verbal abilities.

    After completing all five levels for the first twenty four or so topics I realized that the constant repetition of the same words and sentences was causing me to lose interest.

    I then decided to complete the program level by level and this has been very helpful in maintaining my interest.

    I completed all level ones the other day and I am now well on my way to doing the same with level two.

    I throw in some other exercises to break up the routine occasionally.

    After 70 days of continuous use I find that I am better able to read and understand Spanish, even between native speakers.

    This program has been very helpful to me in improving my language abilities.

    Once I have achieve a high level of comfort with my Spanish language ability, I plan to refresh my German language ability.

    Thirty years ago I was highly proficient in German having served there for seven years. However, without frequent use, my abilities have diminished. I plan to address that issue soon.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/AlisonSedd
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    I test out all the time for languages I am proficient at but want to practise. There is no way I am going to plough through 24 lessons on one subject for those languages. Why should I get fewer XP for knowing the language already? It's caused me to use Duolingo less, but I know on Saturday I will get an email trying to make me feel guilty for getting fewer points than last week. For new languages, yes, I do go through the lessons one by one and find it useful. And lingots. When are they going to become more useful? I have over 500 lingots and nothing to use them for if I maintain my streak.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/pmm123
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    I had forgotten about that rather annoying email where Duo is basically telling you to "earn more XP" so you can "beat last week's score". I just got mine today. Yet there is no way I can beat last week's score because of this change.

    Putting an artificial cap on XPs while at the same time urging users to earn more of them seems a little strange to me. There are only so many hours in a day.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Splushkin
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    You can turn off notifications from Duolingo under settings->notifications.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/pmm123
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    Thank you! I didn't realize that. I just turned off the email notification and the notice if someone "passes" me. Now if they'd let us turn off XPs altogether.... ;-)

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

    Honest question, because this logic baffles me.

    Why should you get the same number of points for doing less of the scoring activity in a game?

    Duolingo is a „gamified“ learning experience. Duolingo is a Game. You get points by doing things in a game.

    The argument that if you already know the material should mean you get rewarded in the game just doesn’t make sense. If I was on Jeapordy!, and a category i was an expert in came up, i don’t get all the points, just because I know the hard question.

    And the Jeapordy! analogy leads me to the fact, I don’t care how the points are awarded. If Duolingo as a game decided to assign 1,000,000 points to a single test out, fine, don’t care. Equal points for everyone for doing the same thing. That is how a game works. As long as I have the same ability to score the same points if I do the same thing.

    My complaint really is that Duolingo has not defined what activities score points, and is contradictory on several of them.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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    This is something I really agree with. There would be much less of a problem, if the communication concerning the various features of Duolingo was clear, and if there were not that many versions of everything and that many changes and things going against each other.

    The extreme is that paying Plus user made to buy test outs with lingots (which are now rarer to get within Duolingo), proving to have learnt the skill and would waste time grinding for their crowns, and gettin less Xp, just because someone else on a different platform had been getting too many by restarting their course over and over. Such a combination is crazy! :-D

    If Duo is meant for beginners only and meant to reward time, not skill, say so and we won't have unrealistic expectations. If people weren't supposed to test out in the Leagues, were they told? If people are not supposed to make goals based on exp anymore after the crown change, say it. Or if people are not supposed to want a golden tree, at least till there is more content.

    Better communication would help. And even better: having the choice to opt in or out of the various features (so that the combination makes sense for the individual learner), that would help a lot. That might even be something interesting for the Duolingo Plus, you get to personalise the experience, instead of getting a unique nonsense combination of various A/B tests and changes in the middle of your tree.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Adam452065

    So let me get this straight. The Devs are overwhelmingly now aware of how the MAJORITY of people feel about this, refuse to give a solid response (as this response shows no definitive statement, remains incredibly vague and seems like it's not going to do what is right and return everything back to normal) and are "trying to work out" what to do next despite the overwhelming opinion. (Who are these people that "wanted more fairness and asked us to please address the excessive XP abuse happening in leaderboards, assignments, and other rankings across our apps". The whole point of this app is to gameify learning languages and promote learning OUTSIDE of the website.)

    So there is this mystery "group of people" that want Devs on duolingo to destroy duolingo by removing this game strategy incentive? I highly doubt this. This was an obvious move by Devs to get people on this site longer, demotivate others from learning offsite, build a USELESS grind and then shove it down our thoughts despite our overwhelming response.

    That's it. I'm done with this website. Moving on to something else. This is ridiculous. The devs are obviously hellbent on ruining this site and only care about the money on this "free" platform.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/cerez00
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    I can't wait to look forward to other lovely updates in the future, like banning people from the site if they're streak is in the triple digits. You don't want people with knowledge to abuse the system or anything stupid like that.

    March 11, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/LordMaximus
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    Nobody is talking about the unintended side effects.

    1) Once you give opportunities for large amount of XP like immersion and high XP test out features, and then take them away, it makes it impossible for current users to catch up in the rankings and get similar xp as high level duolingoists. This creates an unfair advantage when thinking of the past vs future duolingoists when thinking long term. I don’t just think of leaderboards in clubs, I also think of top rankings https://duome.eu/xp

    2) As you mentioned it is demotivationing and I did use it a lot but it reflects a greater amount of knowledge so it is worth it and in my opinion not "abuse" or cheating. I now do far less duolingo due to the low xp benefits. People in real life can test out of a Spanish class in high school and get credit and it is not considered cheating or abuse. This is a major blow to advanced users. I would be fine with the test out featuring being timed and harder in return for more xp.

    3) Testing out of a language with only 20xp each time will not result in lvl 25 in a language even if you test out of an entire course that you are fluent in. It might result in only 9,000xp instead of 60,000xp making it much more unfair to people who already completed a course compared to new people doing it. Someone who spent the same amount of a time and effort as another will get reap much less of a reward. How is that fair?

    4) Due to high costs of operations, Duolingo is now more focused on being a money-making business than a not-for-profit. It chose to favor new users who are far less likely to pay and invest in duolingo plus than advanced users. New users have a very low retention rate and most of them quickly give up while loyal and seasoned users will be far more likely to invest in Duolingo when they already know the benefits and are used to the app.

    5) I understand it is unfair to new users in clubs, specifically the leaderboards, but I have addressed this by submitting feedback of a solution before and did not receive a single reason why the following would be a bad idea: When joining a club a user could select an xp range novice, intermediate, advanced, fluent. The categories of clubs would be determined by either the total overall xp of a user in a course, or total xp the user gained from the previous week or their weekly average. This will make beginners compete with beginners and people already fluent and frequently testing out competing with other users doing the same-testing out frequently and getting large amounts of xp. So people just starting to learn the language making around 30xp per day will compete with others making around 30 xp per day or ~210xp a week. Experts making thousands compete with others making thousands of xp. This reduces the disparity gap when you don’t put a new guy and an expert in the same club. In real life you don’t put a fluent Spanish speaker in Spanish 1 class in high school. He/she would embarrass everyone else in the class. This club division both satisfies the new users and the advanced users by creating a level playing field. You would no longer have a new user just starting to learn the language being jealous that another user in the leaderboard earned 4,000xp in one day which would make it seem hopeless for the novice to catch up to that. I get that. But this solution solves that with a win-win.

    March 14, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Penbryn
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    Capping points at 20 for testing out from level 4 to 5 is an absolutely terrible idea, it's a slap in the face to those wanting to measure their own work. I don't care about leaderboards and whatever else you're using to justify this STUPID PUNISHMENT of those of us who work hard and challenge ourselves with the tests. It's also flat-out nasty that you rolled this out without INFORMING users in advance. I've been using Duo for over 1,300 days and I like to use the tests to measure my personal advance. (but of course my streak count on Duo is wrong because Duo can't cope with time zone changes and incorrectly ended a 752 day streak)

    There's also changes to the points for regular lessons. Tonight I completed a level with a perfect score, earned a lingot and received ZERO XP.

    March 16, 2019

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    I agree completely. It's killed the app, and the Linglots seem to be useless I have 453 and there's literally NOTHING that I can spend them on!!!

    March 16, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/John452927
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    Same here. What the hell is the point of lingots?

    March 17, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/AnneWheeldon
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    I am finding Duolingo so boring now that, after 1181 days, I am seriously considering learning languages in another way.

    March 16, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Plazation
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    I'm exactly the same, since the new XP update I've used it far less

    March 16, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/JasonGreen534670

    I concur

    March 17, 2019

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    I have been using Duolingo for years and testing out is like a reward for consistent studying of a language, yet it was suddenly taken away just because of the so-called "abuse" of the feature.

    Also, there should be a notification that popped up in the app to inform the learners about this change. Should have made a poll to ask your learner's thoughts before doing this.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/LenaSusa1

    I'm sorry but I don't agree with you. I have been learning Spanish for two years now with a private tutor. Most of the things that are unlocked now at my Spanish tree I have already learned. I found compleating the Spanish tree as the good way to revise and learn something new. Going thorugh the lessions the regular way (as i do with Italian) is ineed the most effective way if the lession is something that you have never encountered before. But if you only want to revise the knowledge that you already have and get to the "hardest parts" of the tree (as I do with Spanish), the regular way is too slow and you lose too much time. So now someone who has gone through the lession the regular way will get in one level significantly more XP than me when I test out and in the end will be at the higher level than me and I find that unfair. It's like we are being punished in a way for having more knowledge than it is required. I understand that some people were doing themselves harm as you explained and that as you said were "caught up in the rush of testing out and have unrealistic expectations of learning without studying" but why should someone like me be "punished" for that? In the end I think that the most people here are adults and are able to decide what is best for them. If someone really came here because they wanted to learn they would choose a way that is the most efficient so I think there are better ways to solve this problem than this. You could've have just written a disclaimer at the beginning of every test where you bring out possible problems of going through the lessions that way or you could've have made the tests harder. As for the leaderboards. If someone is on the 1st place with 300 XP for example, no matter how the person has gotten the XP it only motivates me to learn more and score more than them (I'm taking about my Italian tree where I never use tests). I think it should be that way for most of people that really want to learn. I know that at the end knowledge is what is what is most important but I hope you would consider what I said. Someone who has learned the lession somewhere else shouldn't get less XP than someone learning it here when testing. :)

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/EduardWern
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    You have advertised this feature for duolingo plus, so when removing it you should at least offer a refund.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/joseph798977

    Though learning a language is hard for me because I have ADHD and autism. Many people also bully me and say that "You don't have to do Duolingo you dum dum because you got ADHD" then everybody laughs at me. But I never give up duolingo because finally I beilve that one day I would learn a language pretty well except for Chinese and English.

    March 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Chaya_McManus

    I agree, and duolingo makes it stress free to learn a new language.

    March 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/xxxMacayla

    You go! Keep working hard. I'm proud of you.

    March 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Kinneret8
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    Keep up the good work!!

    March 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/joseph798977

    THANKS, to all of you guys who support me. By the way I liked all of your comments.

    March 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/joseph798977

    By the way I am sorry to say but I can't give you guys a lingot because I don't have. But if I had I would!

    March 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/dreamloomer
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    Have a lingot for your positive attitude! And please, don't give it back to me, enjoy it.

    March 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Kitalexi

    stay with it Joseph! No one can bring you down without your permission. Ignore them!

    March 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Tranklements
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    We are part of your experiment and give our time because we benefit from what you and we are collectively providing to each other. The kerfuffle over this change has been useful since it is illuminating the following points:

    1) You will continue to erode trust if you make changes without a mechanism to announce them in advance, especially to paying users, and teachers who use your service in classrooms.

    If you need to fix something because you've miscalculated in the way you've applied changes, you could have a conversation with us before the remediation because you have a large number of creative and dedicated users who'll be glad to give you clever ideas and information about solutions which would work for us. Otherwise we think you are cowards, not brave enough to have the conversation with us until after a change has been made.

    2) You may not be sufficiently aware that you have a large number of learners who are not beginners! Your offerings are very attractive to us, and we value the ability to "place" ourselves in your courses, and skip over tedious content.

    The higher crown levels are not providing sufficient value for many of us to want to do every lesson in each skill. We reach level 3 or so and frequently know there is nothing more to learn because of the current lack of additional content at the higher crown levels. Could you do something about that?

    By lowering the XP achieved for a test-out, you are implying that you place more value on tedious repetition of stale content than true learning. Many are offended by that implication and see it as antithetical to your mission. I'd suggest that you do a little project to have a close look at the behavior of users at crown levels 3, 4, and 5. We can tell whether or not something is a good use of our valuable time and in cases like this, whether or not it is "optimal for learning". The large number of repetitive lessons in the higher crown levels make the content uniformly stultifying!

    3) Perhaps the underlying issue is that you think "you know" all about learning on Duolingo because you have a large quantity of data. Your users are challenging that assumption and asking you to be more human and to show respect to them by communicating more clearly about upcoming changes. You could preserve a great deal of good will by doing so.

    One thing you could do is survey your users. If you don't, they will continue to survey themselves to prove that you are not listening to them!

    You can continue to have the perceived attitude of "we know you are going to hate this but we think it is good for you in the long run so we are just going to do it and not warn you". There is an underlying disrespect in that way of behaving, and your users will continue to call you on it.

    March 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/BethVeasey

    I don't really care about XP, but I am so on board with your comment regarding the stale content at higher crown levels. I test out from sheer boredom sometimes. I'm sure there's more I could learn (especially with grammar skills) but the content just isn't there past level 3. Three lingots for you!

    March 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jam890908

    Sadly, many users probably won't continue to call them on it. They will just leave. Then duo leadership will dismiss their departure as natural turnover, replace them with new users who know nothing of their past mistakes and can take some disrespect before departing, and the cycle will continue, with duo being increasingly tone deaf and increasingly mired in metrics. It seems to be what consistently happens when a service gets very big and it has little to no competition in the style of service it provides, nor any kind of regulatory body in place to force it to come back to reality. It may sound like I'm painting it as sinister, but it seems to more often be simply tragically out of touch. Why should a company with millions of users who aren't complaining kowtow to a small percentage who are? Especially if it contradicts the metrics. Never mind common sense or critical thinking, it becomes a glitch in the reasoning process. We might be right, but what if the data says we're wrong? Big data isn't biased like us, or so it's appealing to think. Even though it carries the biases of those who crafted it and those who interpret it.

    March 18, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jam890908

    I would like to add also, in case it's not clear, why critical thinking is so important here and what is flawed about big data. It is not because there are many of us bothered that we should or shouldn't be listened to. It all comes down to whether we are making sound arguments. Data can be very useful for seeing things that a single voice may miss, but it is just as biased as the single voice at its core. The question for either comes back to the evaluation of factual things. The empirical and rational. Data, if done well, can minimize individual biases and aid in finding factual information to draw conclusions from. But you still require thinking people to interpret it. And if those thinking people aren't exercising the utmost scrutiny in their evaluation, you can easily draw conclusions that are incredibly wrong-headed. It is why you need to have people trained who specialize in the type of information they are evaluating and you need more than one. If a bunch of random users on the Internet can point out obvious flaws in a few minutes, it may be time to reevaluate if your process isn't a load of nonsense.

    March 18, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Dov360473
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    I'm going through Level 4 of my Infinitives2 course, one lesson at a time. This level has 30 lessons, which are all repeats and rehashes of each other. I don't think I can stand this plodding pace just to get the full points. There's just got to be a better solution.

    March 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/HughLeS
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    Even though the apparent reason for the change is to increase fairness, we all know that there's a significant monetary advantage to decreasing xp for testing out: Duolingo gets to show more ads. And that's ok with me, though I have some quibbles with the implementation.

    But, it's important to note that these changes have not done enough to curb the real cheaters: the people who delete their completed trees and accumulate xp from testing out of those trees again and again.

    Take this profile for example: https://duome.eu/YazeedAnwa

    This person not only knows 100 percent of the words in the English from Arabic course, but he also has a golden owl. Yet, he's only at level seven.

    This user has also has a golden owl in the English from French course (level eight). He achieved both golden owls within a timespan of 25 minutes.

    He's taking courses that he's already mastered over and over again to rack up points to win the league.

    The change has not had the intended result. People should not be allowed to delete their completed trees to rack up bonus xp points. If you know the course, go ahead and test out. But once you have your golden owl, you should only get 10 points per exercise.

    March 16, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/redsed
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    @hughles - I agree with you. You have highlighted the real problem. It is not the xp for testing out that was the problem, it was the introduction of leaderboards.

    March 16, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Dov360473
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    I'm at Level 4/5 of the Infinitives 2. It's got 30 lessons. That's 30 repetitions of the same set of sentences. Do the DL developers really believe this is the most advanced educational technique? I feel like I'm in grade school and I'm being punished.

    March 21, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/ngarrang
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    Just remember that this change optimizes DL's ads:xp ratio. Your productivity doesn't actually matter.

    March 21, 2019, 6:15 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/tannercasa2

    i totally agree

    March 21, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Axel591520
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    So true.

    March 21, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/SharonCathcart
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    In point of fact, repetition is the least effective educational technique. Interleaving different lessons, and then quizzing for recall, is far more effective.

    March 21, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/GreenAM
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    "...if this felt a bit too sudden"? It wouldn't have come as much of a shock if there were accompanying changes to levels, leaderboards, etc. Since there were none, the change came and--judging from the suggestion that naturally faster learners and those who have learned the target language elsewhere years ago are cheating themselves out of the learning process when testing out--still comes across as a desire to eliminate tailoring lessons to student's needs for the sake of monetary gain or to accommodate the complaints of those who want to game the system even with the new cap.

    Okay, so when do I test out?

    I test out quite frequently. For my French trees, I've been regilding my trees after they turned multi-colored from the update that gave us Crowns. I finally regilded my French-->English tree, and I have still have about a month left before my English-->French will be regilded. Once I finish my English-->French tree, I will be using the Practice button and Stories for both trees.

    For my Spanish tree, I go through the lessons in Level 0 to see what the words for the lesson are. Since I am reviewing a language that I have seen in high school, the quick review refreshes my memory. I then test out for the remainder of the lessons.

    Esperanto is different. For that, I go through the lessons for Levels 0-3. After Level 3, I test out as the sentences become very repetitive. I don't want to spend 30-50 lessons typing the same group of sentences over and over again. Then again, I don't want to slough through that many lessons when I had seen only 12-15 lessons during the previous level. The seemingly endless repetition without additional new vocabulary or any grammar was why I left Memrise after a week and came here.

    For all my languages but Spanish, I also create my own grammar book from the Tips and Notes and the Discussions for various sentences. There, I also learn additional vocabulary. If I momentarily blank out on a word or rule, I refer back to it when I practice.

    March 8, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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    Again I find myself agreeing with you, GreenAM. I have my little German grammar book, which now I'm doing digitally, but I think I'll go back to the handwritten version. We are definitely here to learn the language, and at the same time, would like the tests to reflect the number of lessons skipped by rewarding us with the corresponding XP.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/MorganR2D2
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    I love Duolingo, I loved the test out method in place before. I think it would make more sense to simply cut the XP you get from testing out in half, rather than giving a flat 20 XP, or something to that effect.

    March 8, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/WilliamXuan
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    a lvl 1 to lvl 2 jump is not the same as a lvl 4 to a lvl 5 jump, and that should be reflected in the amount of exp given, not just the difficulty.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/smokey2022
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    Undo it. I try to test out of every skill after getting it to level one or two, to see if I know it well enough. This is terrible and I am incredibly disappointed with Duo and this new system. Optimally things should've just stayed the way they were before the whole crowns fiasco, but that's unlikely to change. Bad for learning, bad for user experience, bad for motivation. Please fix this issue my friends!

    March 8, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Feodaran
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    I don't think this has been handled very well. There must be a better way.

    I use the test-out feature to challenge, as well as an actual test, and also to complete a skill when I have learned all I need to from it. Instead of doing the same things 20+ times, not learning anything and no longer consolidating knowledge, I can test out and save a lot of time. Having to do all of those exercises can be demotivating. Yet now we have a choice between do that, not making valuable use of our time, or test out and basically be punished for it rather than rewarded. And the reward is only the same amount of XP you would have earned from doing the tests individually. It's not like you're getting bonus XP for it.

    This change is hampering the experience of many for the sake of dealing with a few who abuse it in some way in leaderboards. It doesn't seem fair or beneficial. If I am not ready to test out of a skill then I am not going to be able to. I would keep failing and running out of lives. If any are going to cheat on these tests just to pass then they'll suffer in the long-run by missing out on the learning.

    I could do 20 lessons to get from level 4 to level 5 and receive 200 XP, or I could test out from 0 to 20 and get 200 XP. Now I have to choose between 200 in total or 20. So now there is less encouragement to test out. I could test out for the reasons I mentioned earlier, to test, challenge, and to complete a skill when I have gotten all I need to out of it. But in doing so I am being punished, not rewarded, by all of the XP I'm missing out on.

    The decision to cap the XP for testing out for the sake of a few who misuse it seems way too overkill and would hurt more than help in the long-run.

    If you must do something, then perhaps you could limit the amount of times you could test out each day? Maybe 3 times a day? Or maybe charge Lingots for it. Or put a cap on the amount of times you can test out in a day and then give the option to buy more. And by the amount of times, I do not mean attempts. A failed attempt should not count towards your daily test-out limit. Either limit that or tie the XP gain to this limit, so that if you test out more than three times in a single day, you can still do it but you'll no longer get XP. It should come with a warning, however, that you will not gain any additional XP for doing it this day as you have reached your daily test-out limit.

    This would stop those being able to abuse it for leaderboards while still allowing people to use it as it is intended without being punished for it.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015
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    Your suggestion does merit some consideration, however, limiting the number of tests could also potentially hamper progress for some users, much in the same way the Health feature is in iOS. I only do one test-out a day to maintain my streak, but I could see how some users might want to do more on a less stressful day to cover busier days.

    What Duolingo shouldn't forget is that they have a huge variety of users, some beginners, some advanced, some fast learners, some slow learners, some who like a challenge, some who don't, etc. With that in mind, the simpler solution might just be to have XPs from test-outs counting for leveling-up, but not for a place in the league.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

    Thank you for realizing the health feature is an issue.

    I personally have not brought it up, until a few minutes ago, but it is a TRUE punishment.

    You are supposed to be learning a language. You are bound to make mistakes. Once you make 5 mistakes you are FORCED to do one of the following.

    1. pay 400-500 gems for health (you get a lot more than Lingos, 50 per crown and anywhere from 2-100 for streak randomly assigned, but not enough to refill health every day, let alone multiple times in a day.
    2. watch ads for one single health.
    3. practice, which is almost all very beginner stuff and matching dog - Hunde, eat - isst, man - Mann (at least in German) which is about 20 questions of it for a single health. It is all the most very basic stuff.
    4. wait 5 hours to continue learning. But with only one health. You have to wait 25 hours if you want full health.

    So the health system literally takes away your learning experience because you got something wrong. Or if you are like me, you have a fat thumbs and when I hit c v or b I often hit space instead on my phone and make an error because of that instead of because you were wrong.

    Make mistakes in learning and you are not allowed to learn is the way the health system operates.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015
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    Just like I replied to you in another thread, I really dislike the Health feature - I actually advocated against it when the Crowns were introduced, when I said that punishing people for making mistakes by denying them the possibility to study for X number of hours is really an atrocious idea from a pedagogical standpoint. People learn by making mistakes, punishing them for that discourages learners and makes them quit faster.

    I almost never run out of Health completely, but I did try once to intentionally make mistakes so that I can see what happens. For me it's four hours per bar of health, 24 hours if you completely run out. I pointed out at the time that this is ridiculous for an intermediate/advanced learner and downright damaging for a beginner.

    My plea fell on deaf ears and there were users who actually contradicted me and said Health is a very useful feature (not many, I grant you, but still), because it stops you from overreaching (I paraphrase it, but that was the gist of it). Some said that the changes will prove their usefulness in the long run and that Duo should just ignore the whiners. Others just said that Duolingo knows best and I should either shut up or leave Duo if I don't like it, because it's a great free resource. Pretty much the same range of comments I have seen for this latest change.

    The logic behind Health though was very clear - get people to buy it using gems (or real money if you don't have gems).

    I know it is impossible for Duolingo to please everyone, given the sheer amount and diversity of its users, but I do think that they could take advantage of reasoned opinions and suggestions and they should definitely take into account psychological and pedagogical studies when they decide to make a radical change.

    A consultation of its users PRIOR to implementing a change could actually be beneficial for them, because they could see past the metrics they use and find out what users consider to be helpful and what they consider to be a hindrance.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Emmeline856

    "Överansträngning"? Det är, ganska trubbigt, fuckad upp.

    Jag lär mig språket med mycket träning. Berättas "Du kan göra endast 1 lektionen varje dag utan misstag även om du inte veta det" är förolämpande för alla utan den nyaste nybörjare. Den anledningen är därför använder jag inte programmer som "Drops" eller liknande. Jag ska inte höll tillbaka på grund av andra kan inte lära sig språket lika lätt som mig.


    "Overreaching"? That is, quite bluntly, f*cked up.

    I learn the language with a lot of practise. Being told "You can only do 1 lesson every day without mistakes even if you don't know it" is insulting for everyone outside the newest of beginners. This is why I don't use programs like "Drops" or the like. I will not hold back because others cannot learn the language as easily as I can.

    March 10, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015
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    I agree it's effed up, and yet it is a grim reality. If you think about it, it's right on par with DL's thinking that test-outs are not optimal for learning. This is based on an assumption that everyone learns the same way and that everyone has the same starting point.

    I've had many people (including on this site) telling me that binging is detrimental to one's learning, and yet THAT's how I learn best. The more I immerse myself into Spanish, the more I learn. Will I remember ALL the words I learned in a few days? Probably not. But I will remember enough and, most importantly, I will feel motivated to come back to it and learn some more. I've learned three languages to fluency level like that, so noone will be able to convince me that what I am doing is wrong for me.

    March 10, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Emmeline856

    Det är helt rätt. Att utmana dig själv är den bästa sätt att lära dig språket. Det är så jag kan skriva på svenska nästan hela tiden nu. Jag ger en översättning på grund av faktumet du kan inte svenska.


    That's exactly right. To challenge yourself is the best way to learn a language. This is how I can write in Swedish nearly the entire time now. I give a translation because of the fact you don't know Swedish.

    March 10, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

    I probably missed it. I have notifications off and these threads are huge.

    Our health systems seem to be slightly different.

    The biggest problem I ever had while I was still on health before, was autocorrect. I can type in „how“ but my phone changes it to „Joe“ since I have several contacts named Joe and I talk to them and email often. And other words too. I also have 3 different country‘s keyboards on my phone, so autocorrect goes wild on changing words to random other languages. I learn while walking, so I may not pay full attention to make sure autocorrect didn’t change something while I am crossing a busy street.

    I can tell you from my experience and my wife as well, that if you are brand new to a language and are starting from step 1 it is the most harmful thing possible. Especially since the app doesn’t include tips.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015
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    Don't worry about it, I find it increasingly difficult to navigate the numerous threads and replies as well.

    I know exactly what you mean, Autocorrect kicked my butt on numerous occasions, changing the text right as I hit enter, thus costing me a bar (or several) of Health.

    And I know how detrimental is to beginners, because the motivation goes right out the window when the stress of making a mistake is killing the joy of learning. That is exactly what I advocated back when (I used to be a language teacher for about 15 minutes, so I know about motivating kids to learn and tailoring teaching to their needs).

    That is why I am now so passionately advocating for letting people decide what's best for them in their learning process. Because what’s best for me might be the worst thing in the world for you and viceversa. If people so overwhelmingly like to have the high number of XPs, let them have it. If that is motivation enough for them to come back to this site and learn, why kill that motivation?

    That is also why I am advocating against the leagues, because they are not fair competition by any standard. I am not resistant to change (well, maybe I am, a little bit), but it's not JUST that. It's that I strongly believe that each individual is to a certain extent unique and pitting true beginners against intermediate and/or advanced learners or slow learners against fast learners is a clear recipe for disaster, because the first category will always fall behind and feel resentful. The falling behind part is inevitable, the resentment depends on each user.

    I was making a point on another thread to a user who said it takes them three and a half hours to get 50 XPs – I told them that even WITH the cap, I would still do 50 XPs (five lessons) in probably ten minutes, if that. So if I had the patience to go through the lessons instead of testing out because I already know all the lessons, I would still be way ahead of them in the same amount of time (calculating 2 minutes per lesson, I would clock 1050 XP). That is by no means fair to them, nor is it to me, because I have to waste my time doing each lesson, instead of just testing out (I won’t, just making a point).

    This is by definition a lose-lose situation. It will still demotivate that user, because the discrepancy is huge, but it will demotivate me as well, because now I am getting less points for what I perceive to be more effort through the test. The difference is I will be demotivated just to do work on DL, not on other sites, so I will be able to further my learning, just elsewhere. The beginner who did not experience other sites will be demotivated period. How is that fair to them?

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/PotatoSanta
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    This really has punished everyone for what a small number of people have been doing. Duolingo could have adjusted the way testing out worked. Remember that one main complaint about the crown system was the lack of a test out option for more advanced learners. Now the test out option is discouraging, so it is taking a step back. Why does everything have to be a game for beginners and students?

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/mbkozlowski

    This is an incredibly long thread and I don't have the time to read all of it, so apologies if this has already been said. I would like to offer my experience and thoughts: Like many people, I am using Duolingo mainly to refresh a language that I used to be nearly fluent in while I was in college. I'm doing it for practical value (it would be a benefit to me at work if I were fluent), so learning quickly only benefits me. Personally test outs are helpful because often it is jogging preexisting knowledge. I honestly wasn't even aware of leaderboards.

    It is simply not true that testing out isn't optimal for learning. The ability to learn something follows a normal distribution statistically, thus its reasonable to expect some will pick up a language faster than others. I suspect this is why Duolingo offered test outs in the first place. Other factors such as the difficulty of the material and if people have previous exposure to a language likely affects how often users rely on test outs. I can understand the point about over incentivizing testing out behavior with hundreds of XP being awarded for a single test out, but the current system is so obviously reactionary.

    What specifically is demotivational about the test out situation for me has little to do with earning hundreds of points per day and has more to do with the SAME AMOUNT OF POINTS being awarded no matter how difficult the material is (e.g.: Level 1 test out is worth the same as a Level 4 test out). My suggestion would be that Duolingo award 10 XP per level of skill that a user tests out of (Level 1 = 10XP, Level 2= 20XP, etc...), which I think would accomplish the company's goal of limiting the amount of points awarded to test outs, but be slightly more motivational than the current system.

    If Duolingo is going to continue to cap XP on test outs, my other suggestion would be the make test outs cheaper on the app. Why pay 400 gems for 20XP? I understand the point about crowns, but they aren't the indicator of whether or not a daily goal was made. There is also no reward associated with earning a crown (e.g: streak maintenance), so nobody cares. I'd wager if Duolingo took crowns away instead of capping XP on test outs, they wouldn't have received this kind of backlash.

    For my part, I'm trying to be flexible and have been experimenting with the way I use the app while keeping my goal of finishing my language tree in less than a year. I've been using the stories more the past few days to earn XP in conjunction with the test outs and messed around with adjusting my XP goal. But Duolingo is kidding themselves if they really expect people to find the crowns motivating when there isn't an associated award. I don't get currency for testing out and earning a crown on either the app or the website, so I just don't care about them. Even if they were to change that, there are diminishing returns because the store offers such limited options.

    Like 86% of polled users, I'm against this change. I would simply prefer they revert to the old system and do away with leaderboards. If that's out of reach, I think the company would benefit from (1) making test out XP earned contingent on the difficulty of the material, (2) create a reward structure for earning a crown other than simply earning the crown itself for users who test out and (3) reduce the cost to test out on the app for those who test out.

    Those are my thoughts.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Macjory
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    Thank you for asking for feedback. I am 70+ and am learning languages for fun, and to read literature in the language in which it was written. I typically would take all the lessons in the first 3 or so levels, then try to test out of the rest. Many times it took me several tries to succeed, and each time, I learned something, usually from reading the question discussions. Testing out gave me enough extra points that I was able to move from level to level, something I found very motivating. I now realize I missed learning some things, so thank you for showing me that. However, capping the XPs at 20 seems too draconian. At this rate, I'll be 100 before I finish the Swedish course! I would suggest upping the test out XPs to a decent level: say, 50?

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Ursulias
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    I am glad to meet so many 60+ and 70+ and even 80+. We are a Great Community!!!!

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Lavitas
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    Finishing the course is only connected to the knowledge you got from it and not which level your computer shows you. There is absolutely no need to put 1 more second into your swedish course just because you get fewer xp points.

    March 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/BaroldThe1
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    So true! And succinct. I'm having difficulty believing what I'm reading here of how upset individuals are over this tweek. Please accept this Lingot. :)

    March 20, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/ngarrang
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    So, punish those that drive to test out so that those who don't have the skill or drive won't feel bad? Surely we cannot reward drive and knowledge! We must make everyone equal! Those that can do more must be made to do less!

    For the record, my experience with the new crown system has not borne out the idea that anything gets harder or more representative. It just repeats the same boring questions over and over again.

    March 11, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/carpelanam
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    I have been on Duolingo for more than 5 years and I am really annoyed by the new 20 xp cap for testing out. There are seven languages I know relatively well... I have completed the tree back before there were crown levels, and most of the sentences are familiar. I am aiming to get the green skills red, and the blue skills green. I work through all my languages in descending order, not every day, but for the ones I know well, I try to test out of a skill rather than do the lessons individually. I simply don't see the point and would get bored with that level of repetition. I'm not sure why, because the points are arbitrary, but it feels like being cheated of my effort when I only get 20 points for testing out of a skill that was worth 180 points a short time ago. I suppose I could do each lesson individually and get my 180 points that way... but I would be irritated by too much repetition for my higher-level languages and time wasted (it would take multiple days at my pace to do 18 lessons in one language). I didn't think the points were that appealing to me... but apparently they are. I would like to be able to get to level 25 in my 2nd-7th languages, and the devaluing of test-out points makes that unlikely. Again, level 25 is arbitrary, and getting 180 points per skill rather than 20 per skill is also arbitrary, but it feels like a punishment with the abrupt change. I find myself not quite as eager to get on Duolingo.

    I do have 6 languages where I am a beginner. I never try to test out of skills in those languages because they are teaching new material. I'm quite happy to plod very slowly along, doing one or two basic lessons and maybe only review on days when I am working with my lower-level languages. I do not have access to leagues or clubs on my devices, so the points are not helping me in any competitions. In fact, it is not appealing at all to me to compete with strangers. If we had something like the old activity stream where we could check in with friends and encourage them when they leveled up or tested out of a skill, that would be lovely. But failing that, I am a solo learner. Those occasional spikes on my chart when I tested out of a high-value skill were really my only visual incentive, and now that they are gone, it is very demotivating.

    March 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/jmbrill81

    People complaining about meaningless leaderboards is so depressing. Further, making changes based upon that is even dumber. Finally, testing out should at least give you enough xp to maintain your streak for the day.

    I always test out of level 5 because doing the same exercises 20-25 times just to advance the level is rote garbage. You guys made a really misguided decision to satisfy the worst people.

    March 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/MalaviSeng
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    I'm sorry, but the testing-out XP cap is garbage. If I've tested out of a 50-lesson level in a skill fair and square, it means I know those lessons and deserve the 500 XP. Yes, I'm that insufferable know-it-all who tops the leaderboards, and the people behind me are presumably doing each lesson individually- but how is that an unfair representation of achievement?! Saying I'm spoiling their fun is like saying that Serena Williams is making tennis less fun for everybody else, which is absurd. What about MY fun??!! I liked testing out and getting tons of XP. I liked climbing levels quickly. Now I get a paltry 20 XP?!! It should at least be 200. This change has been really demotivating, and you should definitely remove the cap.

    March 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/RNBowden

    Just to quickly add my comment to the pile, so far I've been testing out every time I get to level four of a set. If I can complete the test then it feel like an accomplishment as opposed to completing the (often boring repetitive set of 20 questions). I know that the xp shouldn't make a difference but it does, the rewards is more tangible than just completing the test and getting 20xp and it spurs me on to start a new topic. Since the change in xp I've found that it's harder to get motivated to practice, again this sounds silly but motivation can be hard to get and anything that helps is a benefit. I absolutely don't feel that the leader boards work in the same way for me.

    March 15, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/OsoBJ
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    Thanks Duo for completely destroying the fun of learning. I might as well go back to my text books since you offer nothing now to keep me motivated and competitive. You used to offer a bonus 5xp if I completed a lesson with zero mistakes for a total of 15xp. It felt good to be rewarded so I tried harder to not make a mistake. You took that away. Now I don't care about mistakes because I get the same 10xp whether or not I make mistakes. Testing out and earning 10xp per lesson was extremely rewarding to see points accumulate quickly. I would test out regularly on levels that were just too basic and repetitious. If I didn't understand the material well enough to test out, I would go back to the individual lessons. I enjoyed competeing with friends and followers, trying to catch up my xp's to theirs. You took that away. There is no way now that I can ever reach the high levels of xp's that they have so why bother trying to compete. I have gone back just the basic 10xp a day to keep my streak. Not sure why I even care about a streak anymore with all other aspects of the competitive game being removed. I am looking for a better online course that makes learning fun. Good bye Duo.

    March 16, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Emmeline856

    Jag ska börjar detta meddelande genom att säga jag är inte flytande på svenska, men jag skriver endast på svenska i alla språkslärning aktiviter. Jag har skickat en översättning eftersom den här är ganska viktig.

    Jag testar ut för nästan alla färdigheter på grund av att det ge mig en största utmaningen. Jag skulle vilja belönad för min framgång, inte straffas för det. Man behövs inte att plugga igenom 40 lektioner för den samma meningar om du veta dem för det mesta. Dock lära man sig fortfarande om de testar ut från färdigheten. Man kan lära sig hålen i mans kunskap och därför kan förbättra dem.

    Att vara topplistans höga kräver man måste veta språket. Att säga "Det är orättvist att man kan testar ut och vara på topplistans höga" är ganska dum - de förtjänar att vara på topplistans höga för deras flit! Det är samma som att säga "Du är alltför bra på att simma, vi måste skära av dig dina benen nu". Alla har den samma möjligheten att testa ut från färdigheter, om du inte använder det, det är din välja. Om du är nybörjare på språket, du ska arbeta hårt för att nå toppen.

    Som säger jag på ett andra meddelande: Om ligor - de här folk som testade ut från de färdigheter kommer att inte stanna på topplistan för länge - när de har testat utifrån de färdigheter de vet skulle de släppar till lägre ligor när det är slut.

    Också gör det väldigt svårt att ge nivå 25 om du använder testar ut.


    I will start this message by saying that I am not fluent in Swedish, but I only write in Swedish for all language learning activities. I have provided a translation because this is rather important.

    I test out for almost all skills because it gives me the greatest challenge. I would like to be rewarded for my success, not punished for it. One does not need to study through 40 lessons for the same sentences if you know them for the most part. However one can still learn if they test out from the skills. You can learn the holes in your knowledge and therefore can improve them.

    To be at the top of the leaderboard one must know the language. To say "It is unfair that one can test out and be at the top of the leaderboard" is rather stupid - they deserve to be at the top of the leaderboard for their diligence! It is the same as saying "You are way too good at swimming, we must cut off your legs now". Everyone has the same ability to test out from skills, if you don't use it, it's your choice. If you are a beginner at the language, you will work hard to reach the top.

    As I said in another message: about the leagues - the people who have tested out from the skills will not stay on the leaderboard for a long time, when they have tested out from the skills they know, they will drop to the lower leagues when they are finished.

    It also makes it very difficult to reach level 25 if you use the testing out.

    March 8, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/J_J_max
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    I can see how you thought this was a good choice on your part. I, however, disagree with this feature.

    Those of us who have learned enough in a language use this to skip past what has already been embedded into our heads. Why should we punish the users who have enough knowledge to skip? Why should they have to take the long way round?

    Since test-outs are relatively rare in most users’ experience (when learning a new language)

    It is rare in new users just starting. I know that I didn't test out when I first started. This is - once again - harming the users with knowledge.

    While many people wanted more fairness and asked us to please address the excessive XP abuse happening in leaderboards, assignments, and other rankings across our apps

    I never saw any of this on the forums. If someone didn't like it, they could just remove the person form their leader board by un-following.

    I think this was a very poor decision.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/AdamKean
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    Quick Background

    I had reached level 25 and had a golden tree before the move to the crown system, so I was able to test out of all skills straight away. A week ago I started the reverse tree, so my ability to test out was about the same.

    To the questions

    How often do you test out?

    Exclusively. (Or at least that was the case before this recent XP adjustment)

    When do you decide to test out?

    When I feel I won't gain anything from doing the lessons.

    My two cents

    The two things I personally find most important about this whole issue are:

    1. The test out feature is accurate—I believe it should be harder to test out (i.e. exclusively translate into the target language, longer/tougher sentences, no repetition of sentences etc. maybe even limit the amount of (failed) attempts), so it can't be spammed and abused as easily (which is the cause of this whole issue, right?). That would be a better and much more fitting adjustment to the test out feature, in my opinion.

    2. The level and no. of crowns should be aligned i.e. someone with all the crowns should be level 25—as you can only see someone's level in a language and not how many crowns they have, I think it makes sense to tie the two together.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/vee.st
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    I love the "How often do you test out? Exclusively. When do you decide to test out? When I feel I won't gain anything from doing the lessons." Here are a couple of lingots!

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/AdamKean
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    Thanks, vee.st! :D

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

    I strongly agree the level and crowns should be correlated instead of XP and level. If crowns are supposed to represent how far you are and how much you have learned it makes sense for them be what decides level. And it is a redundant thing.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Lunanya
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    I'm currently using Duolingo to review some Spanish and French. In the past I also used it to review Japanese. I already know all of these languages on a pretty good level, so I'm only using Duolingo to review.

    I used the test out feature a lot on the early skills. There is a lot of repetition and especially if you already know a language a bit, it can be really boring. You added crown levels saying the higher levels have harder questions. But to get to these higher levels I need to test out.

    I don't care about the leaderboards at all, but I like seeing somehow what I achieved. If I test out which means I already know a lot about this skill then getting 20 XP seems weird. While XP never really reflect how much you know a language, it's a nice extra that can help motivate people.

    You could have done what a lot of people said in the past: adjust the testing out to make it harder. This solution now somehow feels like the main motivation is to make people use the app longer and longer (at least the ones who want to get more XP), even if Duolingo can't teach them much anymore because everything is the 29214th repetition.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/LenaSusa1

    I agree with you compleatly. :)

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/snugglyy

    There are other ways to solve a problem. If the XP abuse on leaderboards is a problem for anyone, they should sit down and ask themselves about their own goals and motivation. Everyone who truly wants to learn a language doesn’t take the easy way out by taking multiple test outs per day every day. And I think that is very clear to everyone else seeing these people on the leaderboards. Maybe delete them completely, if it’s such a big problem? Users still have their own leaderboard between their friends. Everyone can decide, whether they agree with another persons learning approach.

    Another possible solution would be to set a minimum amount of lessons that need to be done, before a test out can be taken.

    It would have also been possible to set the XP cap to 50xp, so users would have gotten more out of it.

    There are many ways to find a compromise. I don’t get why this more or less drastic route was taken. The negatives outweigh the positives for most people. Everyone will have to learn more deeply, and time will be lost along the way. In consequence Duolingo will lose some of it’s users. Which is not ideal to say the least.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/hyosungmun
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    I was already half way though the tree in Korean when duolingo implemented the crowns and I had to go back and use the test out as a kind of revision but, as I also take classes outside of duolingo, I don't need to do every single lesson over and over to learn how to say "bread"!!! But now, I have to do every lesson even if I don't want to or it is annoying to keep up with the leaderboard because you decided it was "abused". IF SOMEONE KNOWS THE CONTENT AND PASSES THE SKILL TEST OUT THEN WHY DOES IT MATTER? It's about knowledge. WHY DOES ANYONE WHO HAS THE KNOWLEDGE OF A SKILL HAVE TO BE PUNISHED WITH LESS XP OR SUFFER THROUGH MINDLESS LESSONS?

    WHY? Just admit that you want to trick people to spend more time on this website. I'm so incredibly annoyed with this issues. If I want to keep up with the leaderboard I now have to spend countless hours upon hours to even get to my previous goals. As someone with a full time career and a baby, this is almost impossible. This is the only Duolingo update that has angered me this much. dislike.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/CommodoreA
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    With all due respect, many of us don't really care about leaderboards and just want to: 1. reach our daily goals 2. see a bunch of cool high numbers next to banners on our nametags

    While I can respect how testing out gives a lot of xp vs those who don't use it, it really makes grinding for level 25 take exponentially longer, and having to repeat literally the exact same exercises ~20 times to get the proper xp when we already might know the material is frustrating as well. People who have prior knowledge get sort of left out on this new change via levels. And from what I've seen in discussions so far this has made people far more angry than it has appreciative. It certainly has reduced the amount of time I've spent on the site at least.

    Maybe there can be a way where the xp is awarded, but the leaderboards calculate it differently to try and account for it. Or maybe the crowns can factor into the level system to make up for the xp change. Regardless, giving only 20 xp for each level-up regardless of the level being tested out of is unbalanced in the other direction. At the end of the day this is still a free service that I appreciate, but the change really has been a major letdown for an otherwise positive experience.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Charlie47630

    I test out at every opportunity. It has been my belief that if I can test out, I have achieved the necessary vocabulary and skills to gain competence to that level. Because you have a problem with too many folks testing out, I now believe the testing out option does not satisfactorily measure the accomplishment of voacabulary and skills to allow you to move to the next level. The fair answer to this challenge seems simple to me: Make the testing out option more strenuous, challenge the tester harder. Do so and please keep the points high enough to reward those of us who can get to the next level. The current schema not only dis-incentivizes us, it harms my motivation for the discipline to continue with Duolingo. Babbel is another clear choice.

    March 10, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Lavitas
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    I can get 2 crowns in a skill and test out the rest based on short term memory and guessing.

    This issue shouldn't matter because people on here should do the lessons because they want to learn and not because they want "xp". But because people here sometimes seem to forget why they are on Duo they try to get as many xp as possible making the mistake to believe that a lot of xp equals a lot of learned content.

    Why would you be upset just because you don't get as many points as before? If it leads to you testing out less, great. If not then you get a little less xp. Just adjust your daily/weekly goal and nothing changes for you.

    Rewarding those who struggle to keep up with their goal is good, don't get me wrong. But if that rewarding system pushes anyone to skipping and running through the lessons it doesn't fulfill its purpose. And everytime I wanted to test something out was when finishing, say level 4 and being annoyed with the words because I had just done 8 lessons or so. But I usually don't test out and just move on to another skill and come back 1 or 2 weeks later and by then I usually forget some words. But after doing then a lot of lessons again in order to get to level 5 I feel a lot more confident than after having tested out a skill. Of course it's your choice to decide how well you wanna learn a skill but there shouldn't be pressure towards learning skills poorly and doing skills more often will always be better.

    March 10, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/PostTrauma
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    I test out when I feel I already know the topic. It seems to me that after gaining 3 stars, there's no new sentences, so I usually test out to get the last 2 stars.

    On the French tree, I test out quite a lot since I have learned french before and just want to refresh.

    Testing out was quite useful when I didn't have time to do 5 lessons, coming home late, or being on holiday for example. Now, that's not the case anymore.

    Introducing an XP cap to prevent people from 'cheating' in the leaderboards is like trying to kill a mosquito with a bazooka. People who are keen on winning the leaderboards are always going to find a way - namely, they can just keep grinding the same story over and over for unlimited XP.

    What the XP cap achieves on the other hand, is that some people will just reduce the daily goal to 1XP, which in turn leads to them doing less lessons.

    March 10, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/GoreGrindGeek

    This change is ridiculous. I can see how the system got abused before, particularly by native speakers, but 20 experience points is a magic number that serves no purpose. Often, testing out of a skill is far more difficult than finishing 2 lessons. A more adequate solution would be to cap testing-out experience at 200 for each day (which is exactly how much one used to receive for testing out of level 5). Such a solution would incentivise people who are here to learn and prevent abuse of the system by native speakers.

    I am a native speaker of 2 languages, and I do neither of them here on Duolingo. My learning pace is set to 50 experience points per day, which means that it takes me 30-45 minutes per day to learn a selected language, which is a lot of time. I was very happy when I was able to test out of skills every 3rd-4th day, as it allowed me to prove I had learnt the previous lessons really well, while also saving me a ton of time. Testing out of a skill level took me 5-10 minutes instead of the usual 30-45 I'd spend per day, which was a real blessing. The new system is highly demotivating, as I either get punished for experience points if I learn the material well or have to study without breaks each and every day. Given that and some other disadvantages of Duolingo (its focus on teaching us phrases instead of grammar - I can use a phrase book for that), I am considering abandoning it after having been a user for almost 3 years.

    March 11, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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    I am not sure the native speakers mean to cheat or that they are the main problem (the people restarting courses all the time were mentioned as such).

    Let's not forget that native speakers have two entirely valid reasons for "learning their langauge" on Duolingo:

    1.Sometimes, the right direction course doesn't exist (yet). So, they use the other one, supposedly teaching their native language to the natives of their target language.

    2.The reverse tree is an extremely commonly advised activity in this community, many people do it to further practice. And as many learners of the reverse tree are logically doinging a second tree concerning their target language, they are highly likely to progress through it faster due to previous knowledge.

    But otherwise, I'd totally agree. A reward disadvantage to the learners succeeding at learning the skill and ready to continue, that just isn't right. (I you are primarily after grammar, I totally recommend Kwiziq btw. Unfortunately, they haven't made a German course yet)

    March 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/GoreGrindGeek

    Thank you very much for expanding on my comment and recommending an alternative platform!

    German is not a big issue for me right now. I have a Diploma in German Language and Literature from the Goethe Institute, so I've mainly been using Duolingo as a tool to "keep the knowledge fresh". Spanish is my main focus when it comes to actually learning a new language. I will take a look at Kwiziq and see if it works. Once again, I really appreciate your detailed response and your help.

    March 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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    You're welcome, I'm glad my post was useful to you :-) I wish you lots of success with whatever tools you choose.

    March 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/AndrisK.
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    I started testing out of French in Level 3 when I was already very comfortable with the material. Going lesson by lesson all the way up to Crown 5 would be very repetitive. Going lesson by lesson all the way up to Crown 5 would be very repetitive. Going lesson by lesson all the way up to Crown 5 would be very repetitive. Going lesson by lesson all the way up to Crown 5 would be very repetitive. Going lesson by lesson all the way up to Crown 5 would be very repetitive. Catch my drift?

    March 11, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Dianteng_Chen
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    Earlier this year, my goal was to advance my German and Italian to level 25 and get all level-5 trees this year. Since the update, this goal is no longer possible for me. I will have to spend so much time in a single skill to get to level 5 without the test-out. There is too much repetition than necessary. Test-out without cap used to help me to learn in a fast pace and keep me motivated. Now the fun is gone and I am not motivated to use Duolingo anymore. If Duo were going to keep the cap, soon you would lose another customer.

    March 11, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/marciodojr

    I always decide to test out when I feel the lesson do not offer any new word or phrase and I'm not doing any mistake. For example when I'm going from lvl 4 to lvl 5 in a skill with more than 12 lessons.

    March 11, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Robotdjuret

    I test out of level four and five most of the time. I do that when it gets too repetitive and I start making stupid mistakes because my mind is wandering. I was using them up manage my daily steak with a goal of 50, too. If I didn't have much time, I'd pop in and test out in order to hit my daily goal. I feel like it's gone really well up to this point and I find aggressive capping to be frustrating af. At least give 10 points a level.

    March 11, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Elise_vh1
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    I've been doing German for three years now and it has been my goal to finish the entire coure with complete gold stars; however, with Doulingo updates I have had to start essentially from the beginning two or three times so many of the lesson I test out on as it is very easy for me. I find this change extremely demotivating as know I still test out one lesson per day, but now I don't get the points I should get. So I don't really see how this update helps with learning... If anything I think Duolingo should make a cap on how many time you can attempt to test out. If you fail two or three time you should just have to do that entire lesson, but if you test out and get it I think you deserve all those points.

    March 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/VakkerKriger
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    I saw people complain about this so-called XP abuse in leaderboards before, but I thought this was immature of them. Okay, so someone joined your club and won that week for testing out? Big deal, there is always next week. I find it doubtful that anyone was "abusing XP" just for the sake of earning XP. There is pretty much zero incentive to test out just to score a first rank in a leaderboard. I find the leaderboards to be mostly superfluous and only minimally motivating. I've stopped paying any attention to them because the psychological reward is null after winning once or twice. If people are mad like one guy I saw, just because they can't maintain rank 1 in their leaderboard every single week, it sounds like they have some serious ego issues and need therapy.

    March 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Chooch639215

    unless they're an over-compensating 12 year old

    March 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/tachyderm
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    Exactly, I really don't think that for such an individual thing as learning a language the issue is actually that significant.

    March 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Rule-of-Three

    I will stand behind you on the extreme example you are giving: The notion that someone is complaining because they aren't first in line every single week is a bit over the top and absurd. However, to downplay this entire thing as not motivating is subjective. YOU don't find it motivating, I do.

    As a rather competitive person in life and in games, put a leaderboard in front of me, and if I have ANY notion of my name being close to the top is possible, I will set out to do it. Getting a text saying I've dropped out of promotion ranks, or even that I'm no longer first lights the proverbial fire under my bottom, and makes me want to work for longer than the bare minimum of 50xp a day.

    Does mean I will game the system just to be first? No. I want to be among the top three, yes, but I want to do it fairly, and set about learning a language at the same time, which is what this place is for.

    So yes. I see the need to drop the xp gain from testing out, testing out is extremely easy, even for someone that isn't really trying to learn a language. A few educated guesses for most languages, and you have it. However, to trivialize testing out with a mere 20xp is the opposite end of the problem. That's slapping people who are legitimately learning, right in the face, by offering fewer xp for simply being ready to move on to harder content.

    For me? I am just moving on. I'm not complaining, I'm not wanting the old days back, I'm just adjusting. If I find myself testing out rather often (And I do, quite a lot) I will supplement it with more 'practice' sessions. All the same though, a bit more of a reward for testing out would be nice...after all...some people DO work for the knowledge needed to test out..it should be reflected.

    March 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/misstravelpants

    Please go back to the old way it was way more motivating! Or at least give a bonus for hitting level 5 crown gold, instead of a measly 20 xp.

    March 14, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Ian.Kelk
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    With 1,057 responses I'll throw mine on as well. I am very unhappy about the change. I use test-out as I have studied romance languages for years, and have decent levels in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. As a result, I often test-out to skip the tedium of many, many repetitions.

    However, for Russian, which I am also learning now, I do not test out because I CANNOT. My ability to gain xp for testing out should not be held hostage if other people are cheating to get extra xp by using Google Translate – they are only cheating themselves.

    EDIT: I'm going to add the fact that I do pay for DuoLingo Plus, and this is a pretty big strike for me against renewing it.

    March 15, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Strandfloh
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    Pardon me, but I didn't read the more than 1000 comments, and I didn't have time to participate when the thread was still young.

    You asked when I test out.
    Short answer: I do that when I'm bored with the stuff because I already know it well, and it adds a bit of fun to see the XP racking up.

    I started here when the activity stream was still a thing and when crowns weren't a thing.

    I was willing to give the crowns a real chance. When Duolingo started with it, lots of sentences came out of "hiding", and I expected there would be more material with each level. I liked that prospect.

    It didn't happen as you all know. It's repeating the same sentence over and over again, and if you are learning on the desktop, it's even ridiculous. The desktop is not made for using the word bank (repetitive strain injury from using the mouse too much) so I changed to the keyboard. In that case the "higher" levels aren't really higher because you typed from the beginning.

    Duolingo became a chore. When testing out was introduced it added some of the fun back because you could at least rack up some points - and well deserved, in my opinion, because you know the material.

    I didn't have a lot of time during the last few months so I didn't use the test out option. But when I read that you no longer get a lot of points for testing out, I was taken aback.
    So you introduced leagues on the app (since when is language learning a competition measured by XPs??), and when people complained because some people got so many points, you reduced the points - instead of fixing just the leagues.

    Duolingo no longer seems to be an app for learning a language, but an app for playing to learn a language.


    And I'm also taken aback that you work on such things when there are so many more important things to do.

    People complained almost from the beginning that they can't review single lessons (I'm one of them). If I want to review lesson 3 from skill 45, I have to delete my whole tree (or make a new account) and make it through the tree again. Prior to the crown update I could just click on that lesson.

    There's still no indication of deterioration (I know I can look that up on duome.eu, but we shouldn't have to look that up on an external site).


    Why am I still here? Because of the people I learned to know back in the days of the activity stream (still waiting for a replacement, also much much more important than this thing called "leagues"), and because of Aileme, contributor for the French from German course, who does a really good job.

    March 15, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Natwell
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    I learn different languages step by step, but I test out English. Why? Not because I am chasing the points (I wonder, who can be upset about my points anyway). My English level is intermediate, I don't really need all the steps of the lessons, but I do need practice to improve my grammar. Duolingo English course is one of the ways to do so. I was not too much disappointed with the limiting (although, I really think you could limit the points less drastically), but I was much more disappointed with this post of yours that calls the usage of the testing an abuse. So what are we, the users who test out, the abusers? It's ridiculous.

    March 15, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Kerri363307

    Do you know what is silly. That when you click test out it gives you the same thing about 9 times out of the 14 questions. in the earlier stages I literally had 'entschuldigung' for 80% of the test. Fix that and make the tests harder just like it says "we wont make it easy for you!"

    March 16, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/DiegoTeliz
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    It is so sad how Duolingo is getting worse and worse with the time... the lack of consistency in XP, lingots, etc. plus the lack of interaction with the community (yes, the USERS!) makes it so discouraging to use...

    March 18, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Penbryn
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    Here's a suggestion: go back to awarding XP based on the amount of work done, difficulty of the assignment and actually progress, and GET RID OF THE LEADERBOARDS. Duo isn't a gaming site, most people don't come here to score points and compete, they come here to learn and want to accurately measure what they have accomplished. Quite screwing around with XP and go back to making it a strictly personal measurement of progress.

    March 18, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/AjeshB
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    You cannot really 'test out' unless you know the language well enough to make no mistake at that stage. Don't know about others but I sometimes use 'test outs' at the end of a lesson when Duo keeps repeating the same questions and I feel it's boring to keep answering the same phrases and sentences for 20 more lessons.

    P.S. Although it's childish that some people learn their languages for XPs, but what's wrong if they want to earn a few extra points? Learning the language matters. Competitiveness is good, but don't create false exclusiveness, Duo.

    March 20, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/2019FastLearner

    Oh.... Now I see how the new XP system is. But I still don't like it because you can't get the same amount of XP for testing the same skills, even if you know the skills.

    March 8, 2019