Here are some personal observations and self critique from someone extremely new to this. Spent about four days without an account. One day was able to do up to lesson three with above 90% but the next day was horrible.
That's OK - you are new to this. Your hearing may take some time to adjust to dits and dahs and spaces
I still don't have a method so to speak but am starting out today (I just created an account) at lesson 1 again and plan to stick with it until I can consistently maintain >90 for 5 minute tests vs 1 minute.
Again - you are new to this.
Watch out for a form of fatigue ( and learning fatigue ) at first.
10 x 30 seconds sessions with a 20 second rest between will probably be more than 10 x as good as 1 x 5 mins.
Are you in such a hurry ?
The first couple character sequences seem to come easy, then I find myself spazzing out. I'm trying to develop a habit of ignoring missed characters and quickly regaining composure.
Too much testing. These are exercises. Don't loose composure on an exercise.
I am using the default settings as I think using slower settings will be more inhibiting than a plus.
Maybe, if you can do it.
Check if you can hear the code correctly - just repeat it back to yourself a bit behind and see if you can repeat it all correctly.
If you can't hear it easily you won't decode it.
A significant issue I see being a major problem, if I do not deal with it now, is the time it takes not only to recognize the character, but then to transcribe it. As I am a one finger typist, I don't think doing so on a keyboard will serve me well as more characters are introduced. The time it takes to legibly transcribe the characters is a major issue.
Nasty potential trap here for the unwary - learn morse->keypress. Then you have to have a keyboard all the time.
Try shorter sessions eg 30 seconds and write it out. If still a problem maybe increase word gap.
I think the best advice I have been seeing so far is to recognize the sound / rhythm instead of decoding the individual elements of the characters being received and processed in my brain. But again, I have essentially no experience to base this upon.
You ( probably ) want to do so much decoding as practice that when you hear morse, the decoded chars appear in your mind as if by magic.
This comes from lots or repeated decoding.
You really need to hear da-da-di-da di-di-di dah-dah-dah as a single entity not space dah dah dit dah space dit dit dit space dah dah dah
and then assemble it all before decoding it.
I may try just having 5 minute tests play in the background as I am doing other things until I can automatically recognize the sounds before moving on. Maybe one or two lessons ahead of where I feel comfortable.
I think gaining confidence and proficiency in lessons two and three will greatly help in distinguishing the challenge of automatic character recognition and separation. Lesson one is very simple in one aspect but foundational in overall character, character space, and word space recognition.
In all fairness and honesty though I am way too new at this to offer any advice.
Stick with it, but make sure you make progress else you will probably loose interest.
Try to get through all 40 exercises, even if you have to slow down. Then worry about speeding up.
Expect to spend some time on this - learning in a week is mostly for people who were pre-selected because of aptitude.
NOTE: we know nothing about you so we can only point out pitfalls. In the end you have to decide.
Let us know how you are getting on.