Time to get demoted:
The league table is making me cheat. I’m going back to slow and sure, that way I’ll learn something new, rather than just keep repeating what I’ve already learned for the sake of racking up points for a pointless league table.
Now people can finally acknowledge that people do cheat in the leagues!
People have acknowledged this for a while and there has been much discussion. Here is one such acknowledgement with a lot of discussion: Leagues turned me into a person I wasn't. (My story of cheating to get to the top)
The sad part is, shortly after the person posted it, it appears they dropped out of Duolingo.
I have to admit, I'm terribly confused. How does one 'cheat' at Duolingo. If I'm not mistaken, the leader boards are rankings of the XP a person has received...right? And you only get the XP by using Duolingo...right? Even if you're simply practicing an old lesson...right? So basically, you're saying you're cheating because...you're doing exactly what you come to this site for?
It sounds to me like you're not cheating, as much as you've lost your focus. I have to admit, I love being high up on the leader board. It motivates me to continue even when trying to learn this language gets difficult. (Which I suspect is why leader boards created to start with) Go easy on yourself. You got this. :)
I decided, yesterday, to opt out of the leaderboards. I will no longer care or be part of them. I’m here solely to learn a wonderful rich language that will last me the rest of my life. My process, if anyone’s interested, is as follows: When I get to level 4 of a lesson I then start memorising the Tinycards for the next skill, complete the lessons and take the quiz. I have found that I sail through the skill on Duo by doing this as it concentrates the mind on grammar and sentence structure rather than vocab block building. I do this Monday to Friday and at the weekends simply just concentrate on Stories.
I finished the German tree in late July after starting it in late February, and I still don't have a whole lot of confidence in my German. I'm going back and doing practice exercises over and over--even some of the earlier ones-- so that all that vocabulary really gets drilled into my head. I'm getting better and better at grammar thanks to more practice with books and videos that explain things in a way that I can understand, but for me, practicing with Duolingo is the best way to review all those words and keep them fresh in my mind. So I guess I'm "cheating" too, but I promise it's something that really is benefiting me and making me slowly get more confident in my German. I know everyone's different, but as other posters have said, any repetition (even of stuff that you know you already know) is practice and keeps those concepts fresh in your mind. I don't really need to go over the very first few lessons (Brot! Wasser! lol), but starting from the colors onward, I drill a lot. Even though I know my colors, drilling with the colors unit really helps me with practicing putting the correct endings on the adjectives according to the case (which I really STRUGGLED with until I started getting books that explained cases and adjective endings in more depth than what we get here on DL). I am slowly getting more confident with picking the right adjective endings, even though I was horrible at this when I first went through the lessons and didn't truly "get" it until much later.
So, long story short...if you're like me and still trying to build your confidence, even repeating the lessons you didn't necessarily struggle through can help you get that confidence.
I do agree that leagues get a little distracting to me sometimes because I have a tendency to fixate on stuff like that, but I try not to worry about it too much. I think you're absolutely fine! ^_^ I'm going back through the tree the slow and sure way too, because I struggled the first time through. I was so EXCITED to finally be able to learn German that I went waaaay too quickly through the German tree. Now I want to make sure I can really nail all these German skills confidently before I move on to more advanced German books--I'm still doing beginner-level German books at the moment because I need all the extra practice I can get--and before I try to start Russian. :)
I'm going back and doing practice exercises over and over--even some of the earlier ones-- so that all that vocabulary really gets drilled into my head.
Practice reinforcement is not what is considered cheating. What is typically referred to as "cheating" is repeatedly grinding away at the same "Basics 1" skill to garner as much points as possible in the shortest amount of time. This is even done in multiple windows to avoid any lag time. The same thing can also be done using the first easy Duolingo Story. Once again, the intent is to garner large amount of XP by repeating the same story quickly over and over.
By the way, Congrats on finishing your German tree!
Thank you! :) I've repeated the whole tree a couple of times since I finished the course in July because I didn't know if your individual skills on the tree lose their gold status or not after a while of not practicing each individual one, but I definitely don't grind away at stuff I know is easy for me. I spend time reinforcing the stuff that I tend to forget if I don't practice it, and lots of time on the stuff that is hard for me. I think I would get way too bored just grinding for XP!
I am glad that they added some new stories, though! The stories are so cute and fun to read.
You are not the only one. people racking up 5,000 points in one week just with regular exercises? Maybe I am being cynical, but I don't quite trust such numbers. The point for Duolingo is that doing many pointless repetitions means you are also watching many ads. The clubs didn't do this, so they're not coming back. Instead, once the overachievers have settled in Amethyst and wind down their lessons, I reckon we'll get another five leagues on top of those.