You've Leveled Up! Now What?

Hey there everyone. Thanks to all of you who have offered insights and suggestions on using Cloze. It’s been really helpful! Another question–I see some of you are hardcore clozemasters and have mega-scores and achieved high levels. This is inspiring to me. Also, I wonder, once you’ve reached such high levels and point values, does it translate into greater speaking and understanding ability? I’m still on the first 500 words, and wonder if once I complete the most frequent 2,000 words on cloze if I’ll be much more fluent? Any news to report? I look forward to hearing your thoughts and advice!!!


Very welcome :grin:

I know I’m not a super hardcore mega-user, but I can definitely say that in my six-ish+ months of regularly having used Clozemaster (getting up to nearly the end of the 4,000 most common words on the Fluency Fast Track, and then having dipped into the grammar sections a bit, since I felt by then that was my weak point for Italian, with all the different tenses and conjugations, rather than vocabulary), I have vastly increased my understanding and speaking abilities.

Of course part of this is how you practice it too.

I had basically been using Text Input from the start, but initially still had the default setting of variable widths for the input text box, thus still corresponding to the expected cloze word’s length, but after a few months I went for the non-variable width option.

I only switched to Listening and Speaking methods of reviews a couple months ago, which really helps too in general I think. Then I switched off the English translations by default, only toggling them when I have absolutely no clue from the context of the sentence.

Part of using the Speaking method, is that you can read out the entire sentence, which I think definitely helps establish useful connections subconciously/passively, which you can draw upon when trying to construct sentences yourself. Furthermore, it means you can’t play around with “guessing” the word from the “green text hints”, as I had sometimes previously been doing.

I know others here use Multiple Choice here with a similar reasoning - you try to come up with the answer completely independently, and then verify it against the existing options. Then, if you didn’t get it right, you can manually mark it as having gotten it wrong (decrease the % Mastered) - I also do this even for words I don’t feel I confidently know yet, despite having reached the 100% Mastered level for it. Sometimes it takes 8-10 goes at much shorter intervals.

But all in all, I have to say I’ve been so impressed with how all of this already has seemed to massively contribute to getting a “feel” for what sounds right and what doesn’t. Of course I have also been exposing myself to the language a lot, e.g. by watching YouTube videos in my target language with subtitles in the target language etc. But I’m still convinced I never would be where I am without Clozemaster.

I just love that you can increase the difficulty gradually, to keep challenging yourself more and more, yet also start completely from scratch with most languages, and still manage (e.g. for Greek, I could use Listening + Multiple Choice, which works a treat for just initial recognition, and then build things up gradually from there).


I am a new user, but switched within first few days to listening mode with text input, non-variable boxes for input. I feel this helps a lot with training listening skills and am very happy I did so. I did however start from an intermediate Italian reading level.

As my goal for this year is to train listening and speaking, I am happy with this choice. I remain a bit baffled as to levels and what (if anything) they mean, but I am focused less on that and more on % complete with the fluency track.


Levels as such don’t really mean anything in a language mastery sense, since one might as well start a language from e.g. the collection of 5,000 most common words if they’re not at a beginner’s level, and others might level up countless times, just working through the first few hundred words collections. It’s more a measure of one’s personal language learning journey here on Clozemaster, and I personally mainly just see it as something to keep you motivated along that journey, whatever pace and level of “difficulty” that might be at :wink:

In the end all that really matters indeed is how much you’re learning, whether that be by completing the Fluency Fast Track, or whatever else works for you (like Custom Collections), and most importantly, whether you’re enjoying it :smile:


Hi sindaco. Thank you for your reply!! You’ve totally helped me, and to be honest, I was kind of hoping for this type of affirmation. I’ve been doing Duolingo for years now, but I haven’t been happy with my progress. I hired a conversational teacher during the pandemic, so that’s a year, once or twice a week, trying to gain fluency. That was slow-going too, though I think it’s getting better.

When I was a kid, I remember doing cloze, and in fact, I read research indicating that cloze is great for increasing reading comprehension. So I’m having much higher hopes this time around, and again, it helps to hear your positive experience. I am doing text input, and like I said, I’m still on the first 500 words, though have completed over 85% of them. I will try to switch off the English translations, but maybe not just yet!

Since I’ve found Clozemaster, I feel a renewed sense of hope that maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to get beyond the lower intermediate level. This time, I’m tracking my hours, and so far usually spend an hour a day on Cloze, then do 45 minutes (minus commercials) with Spanish TV with Spanish subtitles, as well as reading children’s chapter books and listening to podcasts. I’m hoping all this, with Cloze, can bring me to at least upper intermediate fluency.

All in all, I put in about 2.5 hours a day, on average. I’m working towards obtaining full 600 hours (I’m at 505.75 now) and hope that after 600 hours, I’ll be able to speak confidently. Again, thanks for sharing your experience, and I look forward to hearing from others, hopefully.


You’ve leveled up! Now what? What a great question! My perpetual fight with the reviews that I feel “obliged” to clean up is definitely slowing me down. I have set 100 percent mastered to “never” in reviews to speed the cleaning up. Will see if that gets me out of the “review pit”. I realize I made huge those review numbers myself by going too aggressively on collections earlier. Sometimes I find it just easier to abandon this cleaning and jump onto a new set of collections to feel the progress. Also I kind of was wondering for some time if the very high overall score number and low number of sentences played and mastered combo for one player and a relatively low score number and high number of sentences played and mastered combo for a different player tell the story about the conquering the language. I guess only a native can be a judge to that (not any language learning site no matter how high scores the person can manage). I have leveled up! Now what? Is that collection truly 100 percent mine to use with no effort? Did that leveling up advance my conquest of the language or my score?


I know the pain and have actually recently done the same. I had originally been working my way enthusiastically through hundreds of words per day, and had nicely round review intervals, meaning that for some days the 25 % + 50 % + 75 % + repeated 100 % mastered ones could easily go into the thousands!

Since I’ve started to throw them into oblivion, I finally managed to reach 0 both yesterday and the day before, though I’ll still be stuck with many recurring ones for months to come, before I can confidently focus on progressing collections again.

I think because of the recurring 100 % review nightmare, I’ve barely added any new sentences in the past 2 months, for fear of just adding to the endless review pile.

At least it taught me to better understand the overall workings and that it’s better to just “reset” the few sentences I actually need to review more frequently, once I’ve reached 100 % mastered for them, than to keep reviewing all 100 % mastered sentences endlessly.


I also struggled with reviews from going to aggressively on the collections when I first started. It was fun and exciting to have a new language tool that I truly enjoyed. However, it wasn’t until much later that I realized there was no way that I could maintain that pace and keep up with my daily reviews. Eventually, I found the “More stats” button and started to understand how to use the Review Forecast grid. You can use this grid to help you flatten out the peaks that you caused from aggressive study days by intentionally not completing your reviews on certain days so that the balance flows over to a less intense day.


@dac573: can you please elaborate more as to how to use the “more stats” grid to do as you describe? It seems a fairly static tool to me. And as I have just started I don’t see reviews as being too burdensome yet. How can this best be employed?

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Sure … just understand that I am no authority on how to use Clozemaster. In fact, I don’t really recommend anyone following any my suggestions unless you want to struggle for years and years to become fluent in a language :slight_smile:


For me, I like to stay around 100 reviews per day. I will try to flatten out any days that go over 120.

Let’s assume my line on the image below represents 120.
On the 11th, I am fine. I will do all of my reviews. Maybe add a few.
On the 12th, I am over and will do only 120. The remaining reviews for the 12th will flow over to the 13th.
On the 13th, I am also over and will only do 120. With the remaining reviews flowing to the 14th.
On the 14th, I am under 120 and can absorb some of the overflow, but not all
On the 15th, I can absorb the rest of the overflow and have flatten out that cluster of days. I may even be able to add some new sentences.
… and so on


Very clear, thanks! For me the big peaks are still ahead…


Ciao Dcarl1. With all your Intermediate know-how from Duolingo years and the forum, I’m betting you’ll scale those pesky peaks fairly pain-free.

In bocca al lupo.


I have been trying to do the same, however unfortunately it doesn’t seem to respond as I’d expect to adding new reviews onto this, by “playing” more sentences.

I have been using it exactly as you described, in my past months where I’ve just been trying to clear reviews like crazy, but before I had allowed a mountain of reviews to build up, due to my initial enthusiasm by playing too many sentences per day, I had been trying to establish a regime of doing say 50 new sentences per day and 150-200 reviews.

I know I’m just probably massively geeking out over this, and it’s a very niche application, but I would love it if the reviews forecast were interactive, where you could play around with a static number of new sentences played per day, and a maximum number of reviews you’d like to clear per day, and then see how the review forecast changes accordingly. Because currently the unforeseen compounded steady playing efforts can never be taken into account, hence it’s easy to get carried away, only thinking of where the sentences you’re playing today will show up, but forgetting you’re also wanting to play sentences tomorrow.

I’ve been trying to work out some sort of script for this myself, but since a lot of the sentences have already been forecast, using potentially different review intervals, it’s quite tricky to wrap my head around.

I personally really like to have a separation between “playing” sentences and “reviewing” sentences, but perhaps I should try to embrace having x percent review sentences show up when playing collections after all - a main problem being though that then you might be limited to reviewing for only the collection you’re playing? Still, you’re going to have to guesstimate how many sentences you should be playing and reviewing. I guess another useful solution could be if you could somewhere input how many sentences in total you’re looking to process per day (playing + reviewing), and it could sort of semi-intelligently optimise the play to review ratio for you accordingly.


I like that idea, @sindaco! … it is probably really complicated to implement, but you never know. They are already doing some type of calculation for the forecast.

Agreed, though, I do sometimes get peaks that I wasn’t anticipating. I haven’t quite figured out why that happens sometimes, but following that general pattern seems to be working for me.


I’m sorry to report that my spoken French still isn’t very good despite having played every French sentence here. I’m taking a conversation class at the moment and have to laugh sometimes at the verb tenses I mangle while I’m busy lining up the correct nouns and adjectives (better to laugh than cry!).

My listening is much better than it was, though (I mostly use Listening mode), and I can read almost every sentence here fairly easily and quickly. I credit Clozemaster 100% with boosting my listening ability to the point that I could handle longer material. Like you, I didn’t find Duolingo gave me that progress - there just aren’t enough listening exercises in their lessons.

I expect that my speaking would be much better today if I’d read every sentence out loud as I played. Now I’m learning a new language and am putting much more emphasis on speaking. I try to remember and reproduce sentences out loud when I’m out walking my dog, and if I can’t do it, I know what I need to practice once I’m back at home.

I used to do all my reviews and was one of the people pushing for enhancements to the reviews system last year so I could do them more effectively. I now think that once I’m no longer a beginner, my time is better spent mostly on new material and not on sentences I’ve seen before. As someone else pointed out recently, words come up again in different contexts, so you’ll likely see them again even if they aren’t the cloze. From the point of view of testing your listening comprehension, you only get one chance to hear a sentence without some retained memory of what it is about. I spent a lot of time on French reviews that I probably got very little benefit from. (Which is not to say that I didn’t get any benefit from doing reviews, but only that there’s a point of diminishing returns that I went well over.)


Blockquote “My spoken French still isn’t very good despite having played every French sentence here.”

Well thank you for this. I’m kind of concerned hearing this, and it does have me a bit worried. A lot of polyglot experts say that acquiring language is all aout ‘input,’ and if we just read, listen, and watch enough TV in our target language, that speaking it will naturally follow. I’m been using this advice, maximizing input in multiple formats daily: podcasts, reading, music, and cloze. I ultimate want to be a fluent speaker. Does anyone else have any thoughts regarding acquiring spoken fluency through maximizing input? Is it a fantasy???

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A lot of polyglot experts say that acquiring language is all about ‘input,’ and if we just read, listen, and watch enough TV in our target language, that speaking it will naturally follow.

I’ve heard that a lot too and I really haven’t found it to be the case. I can read novels in French, but not have fluent conversations that go beyond everyday matters. I tend to believe the people who say the opposite, that it’s important to start speaking from Day 1. That’s what I’m trying to do with Mandarin Chinese.

I wonder if it’s different for different personality types.

ETA: Also, I don’t consider myself “good at languages” other than reading. Perhaps people who are more attuned to sounds than I am are more able to absorb what they hear and turn it into speech.


I wouldn’t start off being too concerned, since @kadrian also said the following:

@cityotter, while I imagine technically it should be true that you can improve/acquire your speaking abilities by exposing yourself to as much input as possible, since this is also how kids will naturally pick up any languages (by being exposed to a lot of it and starting off by mimicking what they’re hearing, and then gradually building more complex sentences), the crux might be that you do have to start speaking at some point (whether that be to yourself, or to any conversation partners, etc.), and that you’re very unlikely to start off speaking perfectly, it’s always likely to be a learning process, with many mistakes made along the way, no matter the teaching method used (so even if you have say a private tutor).

Like @kadrian, I also didn’t try saying out the whole sentence until much later on, but I do think it’s important to try to do so right from the start, since this will surely help speed things along.

And I too have been wondering if it’s different for different personality types. I know I’m a perfectionist, so I’m shy to try to speak in my target languages, if I know I’m likely to mess up the tenses/genders and all. But you know what, you can’t start walking without falling over. I pushed myself over the initial fear and now find I’m making rapid progress, as I find I’m using more complex tenses correctly in more cases. Sure, I’m still making mistakes, but considering I’ve not changed the input much (I was already at quite a high level of input), I find my output has mainly been rapidly catching up, once I got over the initial hurdle of not daring to speak.

If you really want to get a good head start, but might be shy about conversing with others (there are many informal language learning communities though where you can freely chat with native speakers (who are also language learners themselves), and fellow learners of any level of proficiency, with the ability to indicate whether you’d like to be corrected when making any mistakes, or not), there are some great exercises you could do own your own too.

While at first as a beginner you should be fine just reading/repeating any sentences out loud, in order to progress at a more intermediate level, the main thing is to just start applying your acquired input knowledge, to constructing sentences of your own. There are many ways to do this, but some might find daily prompts for this beneficial (there are for example 30 day “speaking”/“recording” challenges). The idea with these challenges is that you try to construct a few sentences in your target language every day (and you can for instance record them to be able to evaluate your progress). I do have to admit though that I’ve never tried any of this myself.


My thoughts are along the same lines. The longer you’ve “studied” something, the better you feel you should be, and the more embarrassing it is to not be able to speak well. If you start speaking very early, no one expects you to be good, and it’s exciting and fun to be able to say anything at all!

With Chinese, I’m really glad I started italki lessons fairly early, because there were / are some problems with my pronunciation (tones) that I wouldn’t have been able to resolve through consumption of input and speaking practice on my own. Perhaps someone more attuned to sounds would be able to.

I’d practiced all sorts of sentences to use for conversation before my first lesson, only to discover that I wasn’t saying ANY of them correctly to a native ear. The tutor had to take me right back to pronouncing individual characters and words, and then gradually build up to sentences again. If I’d continued learning the way I was prior to that lesson, it would have been very daunting to go back to the beginning to learn to speak correctly. Despite constructing sentences and speaking out loud from the start, trying to avoid the mistakes I’d made with French, I wasn’t doing it accurately enough for a tonal language.


@kadrian - thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’ve always been curious to hear from someone who has gotten as far as you have on Clozemater. It is making me rethink how I use it. Knowing that getting through all 19000+ sentences (Spanish) isn’t going to magically change anything, I can stop focusing on that end goal and slow down to be more thoughtful about each sentence and incorporate speaking practice.

By the way, I think you are right on about personality types. I suspect that a really gregarious, verbose personality that loves conversing with anyone, anywhere is going to gravitate fearlessly to speaking a foreign language. Where a listener, reader type personality, like mine, gets excited by comprehending what someone says and being able to read foreign text. I suppose it is all about knowing your likes and dislikes and being sure that you don’t focus on only what you enjoy.