Among the many motivational tools Duolingo offers, timed challenges are heart-pumping exercises with time limit, which enable you to improve your comprehension speed and earn extra XP.

When a timed challenge becomes available, a challenge icon will appear in the bottom right corner of the Leagues (shield icon) tab. However, first you need to complete at least 1 lesson for the week before you can see if a challenge is available for you.

It’s not meant to be there all the time, but just as a bonus incentive to get you earn more XP and help advance in the Leagues. If the timed challenge doesn’t show up, just check back the next day.

The icon changes depending on which timed challenge is currently running, and it also tells you how many more days it’s available for (e.g., 3d = 3 days).

There are 3 types of the Timed Challenges:

Ramp Up

A mixture of different exercises from your lessons, which you must finish within limited time, usually 2 minutes. Ramp Up is split in 3 levels. Each level is split into 3 steps, and you get to earn XP upon completion of each step.

Lightning Round

Here you get 2 minutes to complete 3 levels containing exercises from your lessons. Upon a completion of each level, you can earn a fixed number of points: 5XP for the 1st level, 10XP for the 2nd, and 40XP for the 3rd level

Match Madness

A challenge where you’ll match words from your own language with words in the new language as fast as you can. Match Madness is also split into 3 levels. To get the full reward, which is 40XP you’ll need to match 90 pairs of words within 2 minutes!


Timed challenges can be quite challenging! Therefore, it may be good idea to get a Timer Boost, if you have some spare gems to spend. Or just keep on trying until you succeed!


You need gems to join the timed challenge; it’s usually 30 gems. You can attempt time challenges as many times as you like, for as long as they are available.