I've been suing Duolingo for just over a month and really like it. As I work my way down the 'tree' I've noticed that the skill strengthening practice often reverts back to very basic stuff. I would expect to be practicing the things I've just learned.
Sometimes I'll make a careless mistake, like not seeing that it's newspapers rather than the singular newspaper. Is this what's causing me to have to plod through all the really basic stuff....over and over again?
As I go down the tree and learn new concepts and words I desperately want to reinforce them. Any thoughts or tips on what I'm doing wrong are greatly appreciated!
You are correct, when you make small mistakes like that the system remembers and will test you over those topics more often. As well, the "strengthen skills" on the main tree page goes over everything you've learned so far, and focuses on stuff you haven't seen in a while, so that you are constantly being refreshed.
Best thing to do if you're not feeling comfortable with most recent material is to review more recent lessons on your own, by clicking on the lesson directly and choosing "strengthen skill" from there. You earn the same amount of XP, etc, but you have a more focused practice.