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Question about word strength amd review

When a section icon changes color to indicate it needs to be reviewed, I usually do "Practice skill" timed sessions.until the color changes back to yellow. But sometimes it doesn't change back, even after a half-dozen practice sessions. I'm getting the impression that if any lessons have less than three bars, then the entire lesson has to be redone. In other words, "Practice skill" doesn't provide the practice needed to change the color back to yellow. Is this correct? If it is, it will have a really discouraging effect on how much I review.

April 14, 2013



I second that. There are flaws in the review system, it's supposed to let me practice words that are the weakest (that is, words that I haven't encountered for a while) but it often misses out words. For example, in Portuguese, I totally forgot that I learnt "pedir", and for sure, I saw the word only once!

My two cents is that when you practice, it takes in consideration words that are contained in more than one sentence. If "pedir" was encountered more than once, I probably would have seen it more often.

I hope that the Duolingo team is working behind the scenes, but well let's be grateful for what we have. Also, for a better immersion, I changed my "user language" of my browser to portuguese. Now I'm forced to read portuguese every time I google something!


I think I see what the problem is. When you start on the main page for a section, say "Adjectives: Predicate", there is the button that says "Practice skills" and you get a timed unit that doesn't bring up your weakest words.. But if you scroll down on the page and click on "View full vocabulary", there is a button called "Practice weakest words". This brings up a 20-question, 3-heart regular unit, which does feature the weakest words. This is better than having to repeat a regular unit. Too bad the button is rather hidden!


There are a few issues with that. First, they still haven't fixed the bug with skill points: you get 2 points instead of 10-13 points for successfully finishing a vocabulary practice. Second, there is no timed practice option there.

And, of course, even if Vocabulary practice worked perfectly, practice within the unit still has to be fixed.


But at least "Practice weakest words" does focus on the weakest words, and it appears to help clear the review color from the section.logo. I'll know more when I do my Spanish today. I have five or six colored sections there.


I just did the Spanish unit on Objects. 10 of the 13 lessons had less than three bars (I don't how I ever mastered it!). After one round of "practice weakest words" the number went down to 8, then down to 4, then down to one, and after the fourth round, all the lessons showed 3 or 4 bars. That was a lot faster than having to redo 10 regular lessons, and getting bars added to the lessons is more important than getting 10 more points. I can always do a round or two of "Practice skill" to get points.


I'd say what's happening is you're so advanced in the language that when you "practice" you're simply practicing random words, so when you practice, it fills the words you use. But because there's so many possibilities of words 500-1200 in the languages you seem to be using for the most part, that you have learned, well, how often will it pick the few that need practicing in their opinion? Not very often.

That's just my theory, however maybe they have a system to prevent this from happening that I haven't noticed, see, I'm just pulling this out of nowhere right now, so there you go. Go to vocabulary and practice the weakest words there I suppose, although now as I think about it, I think that's what it links to you directly.

If you waited, say, a month, and all your words degraded one, when you do these tests it'll take a very long while for them to boost back up to full, because all these words need maiming instead of just a few like you would if you just started, or were gone for a short while. It's possible that you just haven't ran across said words that need practicing, or you failed them when they came by, and because of how many words got maimed from your month long break, there's only so many words that can be healed in each session of practice.

I'd just say practice some more if it was me, unless you know it, then just forget about it and continue on your way with the language, practicing every once in a while to keep the others up, and maybe they'll go back up some time too.


AnnInKeiser talks about "Practice skill" button inside the unit. This button is supposed to give you practice with the weakest words from the unit.

And yes, I often get the same impression that I have to redo the lessons themselves. This is not a big problem, but I'd prefer the Practice button working as intended.

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