timed mode: start with short/quick sentences, finish with long ones?
Just a beef I have with the timed mode. I've already completed my German tree ages ago and am now just trying to level out to level 25 so I can focus my energies on another language.
Sometimes when I choose timed mode, the first two or three sentences are so long and complicated that it's impossible to actually finish them in the time given. Surely there's a way to have each round start off with simpler sentences and vocab words, then provide longer sentences towards the end when you've had the chance to accumulate more time. But given that you start off with 30 seconds with the first question, if it's something you have to stop and think about it, followed by another one like this (and this is quite common), there's just not enough time to type it out unless you've memorised everything and can just mindlessly plug it in.
I have barely started my tree so I definitely have easier questions than you, but my view of timed practice is that if I have to think for a moment about anything, that represents a failure on my part to fully grasp the material.
If someone is speaking to you in your native language, you may have to occasionally think about the answer to a question they ask you, but you probably don't spend any time comprehending the question. If it takes any time to comprehend a question on duolingo, it means I have not fully mastered the vocabulary in question. At least in my mind, that means I am not yet ready for the timed practice. If I need to think before I can answer a question on duolingo, then I belong in the untimed practice section. When I can answer questions as quickly as they are asked with virtually no thinking at all, that is when I do a timed practice. This means I usually finish my timed practice with more than a minute on the clock (because I am getting through questions as fast as I can type), but it also means that I do a ton of untimed practice first in order to get to the point that I don't have to think.
I once got a translation in the first or second question of time practice asking me to translate "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten" into Spanish. It's not that I had trouble answering it, it's that I simply did not have enough time to actually type it.
Yeah, it's very frustrating when this happens out of the gate. I either sit there dumbfounded for 30 seconds, or else type away like an idiot trying to beat the clock.
Either way, I always seem to find myself starting a new timed practice and hoping Duo isn't feeling especially cruel that day.