I am new to Duolingo. When I go to my home page it gives me a choice to start with the basics or take a placement test. I have taken the placement test 3 times expecting the system to place me at a level according to how I did on the test. However, when I return to my home page, I get the same message regarding Basics or Placement Test and I don't see any placement level or means of getting started on my learning. Any help is appreciated.
The placement test does not place you on the tree where it thinks it is most suitable but it allows you to bypass some of the lessons if you feel you know the material. On your tree you will find some horizontal bars between two rows of skills. They should be yellow and say 'Test out of x skills'. There should be 3 or 4 of them on your tree although the number and position will depend on the language you are learning.
If you select one of these and pass the test it will unlock all the lessons below (and presumably turn them all Gold). I suppose if you fail the test then it will not do anything so you will have to start at the top of your tree and work down.
NB you have to pass each lesson before the next one is unlocked, and you have to pass all lessons before the next skill is unlocked.