Some thoughts on certificate test
I've just taken a French test and got a certificate. It was fun to test myself, but I have a few comments and suggestions for certificate test.
The test does not give you any information except the final score:
You don't even know if your answers are right or wrong.
We all know there are mistakes on Duolingo and some valid answers are not accepted - why not have a Report function in the test, too? Besides, it would be nice to know if you we really wrong or you just hit an answer that is not in the database.
Why not show the number of correct answers vs total number of questions in the result? Perhaps this is not necessary in the certificate itself, but in the "Congratulations" message that would be cool. Any other statistics would also be appreciated, like "your vocabulary is good, but you have to work on Past tense", etc.
Could there be some progress indicator? It is a little frustrating when you have no idea how long you still have to work on the test or how many questions are left.
It would be nice to have a note in the stream, like "olimo passed the French test with the score of..."
These are good questions. The certificate test is currently in beta and we just started exploring this space. So what you see is work in progress.
The goal of the certificate test is to figure out your language level as accurately as possible (we're not trying to teach with the certificate tests). There is a chance that giving feedback on answers counter-acts this goal (by biasing you in one or the other direction). That's why we currently don't give feedback.
I like the stream message as an option (because you may not want to post to the stream if you get a low score :)).
I hope that makes sense.
What about giving an overview of the user's answers after the test is completed? This won't bias anything and the user will have a chance to know his/her weaknesses or research the topics he/she does not remember well. I believe the questions are not always the same in a test as it seems they are taken from the lessons (so there are a lot of other questions left for future tests).
When I had taken an Italian test it felt a bit uncomfortable because we are so used to getting instant feedback. In my opinion when we are doing a test for a certificate it should be like that, we shouldn't get instant feedback. (edit: Perhaps even shortcuts could be like that, to make them a bit more difficult...)
Instead of showing us the solution after each question it would be great if they implemented the Review option from hackathon. So when we are finished with the test we can review all our answers. http://blog.duolingo.com/post/62723181502/duolingos-inaugural-hackathon
I totally agree a progress indicator would be great.
Some people don't want their scores to be public so Duolingo team could make a "publish" option for users that want to have their score visible to everyone.
Check out this report.
The test is not waterproof: you can do the test with speeking. I tested it: 4.84/5 and i'm just starting to learn the language. Also is it possible that another person the test did for you. Maybe that is a reason why it should not public.
The progress indicator and listing of all the sentences, or only the mistakes should be fine. A test of the different grammatical rules and a certificate for the results for each of them should als be fine.
Well people always find ways to rationalize the reasons why they cheat... (for them it is not cheat anyways) so in the cloud, where they live, they are right and they deserve whatever they gain with cheating... I like the idea of hitting themselves with a brick but this might dissolve the cloud they live in and the reality might hit them really hard.
Good to know. I've been considering taking the French ( and maybe German?) test but if there is no feedback and just a score, I don't see the point. I especially agree with your point about statistics. I would want to come away knowing what areas I need to work on. A note in the stream would make sense, and I would have no problem with my scores being made public, good or bad.
Is the test a certain number of questions long? Or is it time-based? Or is it flexible depending on how well you're doing or what level you're at? I took the Spanish test for the third time today, and it seemed to take so-o-o much longer this time. Maybe because I skipped fewer questions? ;)