Everything you need to know about the duolingo english test

Ekta
Ekta

19 June 2020 • 4 min read

If you are applying to a university in the United States, the UK or Canada, you will likely be required to take a test to assess your level of English.  

You may be familiar with standard tests for English such as TOEFL and IELTS, however, the Duolingo proficiency exam is a new one you can now take.

The Duolingo English Test fulfils admission requirements for international applicants for many universities. You can take the test from your home, and no appointment is needed allowing you to do it anywhere and anytime.

Why we need a new English test 

Traditionally, it was required for candidates to schedule tests well in advance. Students would have to travel long distances to a test centre, where the test experience itself was stressful, and you then needed to wait weeks to receive your results. 

As the world moves towards digitalisation, these exams offer a whole new experience for you. The Duolingo proficiency exam in English uses technology to make education accessible to everyone. With modern techniques, there is no reason why it should be so difficult and expensive to certify your English skills. 

The Duolingo English Test in English is quite different from your regular ones, as you can take it at home from your computer. The test comes with a hassle-free experience with no test centres and no appointments. 

Details you need to know 

Cost: $49USD 

Test results: Within two days 

You will need:

  • Documents required for the Duolingo test include either your passport, driver’s license or government ID
  • A quiet, well-lit room
  • 60 minutes of free time
  • A reliable internet connection
  • A computer equipped with a front-facing camera, microphone and speakers
  • A supported browser

Duolingo test rules

If you do not follow them you will have to take the test again: 

  • Do not wear earphones 
  • Do not interact with anyone else 
  • Do not use your phone or other devices 
  • Do not look offscreen 

The Duolingo English Test format: 

  • For the first 5 minutes, there is a quick setup that will walk you through the test rules and requirements. 
  • The next 45 minutes is an adaptive test, a graded section that evaluates your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. 
  • The final 10 minutes is a video interview, a section that records your answers to open-ended questions. 

The test is secure and reliable by as it uses cutting-edge data forensic and biometric technologies, and is monitored remotely by a person.  

You can practice with the sample Duolingo English test 

A sample test will help familiarise you with the types of questions you will encounter on the Duolingo English Test. 

We recommend you have a go so you know what to expect.  It’s free, and you can take it as many times as you want. The best part being the sample test provides an estimated score range.

It’s worth noting that the sample test is shorter in duration (eight minutes) and the score range is less accurate. By taking the sample test however, you will come to know what is expected and ultimately, be better prepared.

An opportunity to demonstrate your skills

As the Duolingo certificate test includes a writing portion and video interview, both are included when you share your results with a university. It is an excellent opportunity for international admissions staff to learn about you, and at the same time for you to showcase yourself and your English language ability. 

You have a choice of two question topics for both the video interview and the writing sample.  You will then speak for one to three minutes and write for up to five minutes. There is a timer that will keep track for you. 

Take a deep breath, and answer each question as best you can. You will be able to review your responses before you share your results with universities. If you are not happy with your performance, you can retake the test. 

After you complete the test, the instructor will review your video to ensure that you followed the rules.

Duolingo English proficiency test creates an innovative testing experience—one that is convenient, affordable, and fast.  

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