Duolingo English Exam Pattern 2024

Updated on: Jun 10, 2024

Applied to your dream university? While you prepare for the Duolingo test, get started on your application!

An overview of the Duolingo exam pattern

The Duolingo test pattern consists of four key skills that would determine the proficiency level of an individual in the English language; reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The model is based on computer-adaptive technology, that is, the difficulty of the test depends on the participant’s performance. With every correct answer, the difficulty level increases and vice versa. Here’s a rundown of the Duolingo exam pattern for easy learning:

SectionDuration  (In minutes)Description
Introduction and onboarding5
  • To verify if the device’s microphone, camera, and speakers are functioning well


  • You should submit your ID (driver’s licence, passport, or government ID) for proof


  • You would also go through the guidelines and regulations of the test
Adaptive test45
  • A graded section to test the participant’s knowledge with the help of objective and descriptive questions


  • Questions include multiple choice questions, fill in the blanks, match the following, and so on


  • There is no specific model, as the difficulty level changes based on the performance
Writing and speaking sample10
  • An ungraded video interview to analyse your writing and speaking skills in the English language

Here’s a detailed walkthrough on the Duolingo exam pattern.

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Section 1: Introduction and Onboarding (ungraded)

During the Introduction and Onboarding section, the system will check if your camera, microphone and speakers are functioning properly. You are also required to submit your Government issued ID for verification. You will also go through the guidelines and regulations of the exam before moving on to the graded section, the Adaptive Test.

Section 2: Adaptive Test (Graded)

The Adaptive test section determines your knowledge of the English language by analysing the answers you provide to the questions. It is important to note that there are no specific numbers set for the questions in the Duolingo pattern for the adaptive test section. The AI would finalise whether you have answered enough questions to be evaluated before concluding the Test.

The AI determines your score based on the subscores set by the Test, like literacy, comprehension, conversation and production. You can expect questions related to the below-mentioned patterns:

  • Read and complete
  • Read and select
  • Listen and select
  • Listen and type
  • Read aloud
  • Write about the photo
  • Speak about the photo
  • Read and write
  • Read and speak
  • Listen and speak

Section 3: Writing and Speaking Sample (Ungraded)

This ungraded section will analyse your fluency in writing and speaking in the English language. You will be given 30 seconds to choose a question to answer. The question might ask you to describe an image, talk about a given situation, or speak about a topic for a few minutes. You will have three minutes for video-speaking and five minutes for the writing sample.

The Duolingo English test is accepted by more than 4000 educational institutions. This is what you need to take the test.

The Duolingo English test: Everything you need for the exam

  • $49 USD for applying for the test
  • Passport
  • Driver’s licence or any government-issued identification card
  • A computer with stable internet access
  • One hour

Why take the Duolingo English test?

The Duolingo English test has gained popularity and significance over time, here’s why you should opt for this test:

  • Its difficulty level matches tat of IELTS and TOEFL
  • The test is affordable and highly convenient to attend
  • The test results are accepted by over 400 educational institutions
  • You can take mock practices before attending the test

As mentioned earlier, the Duolingo exam pattern is designed to have the same difficulty level as IELTS and TOEFL, so here’s everything you need to know about the Duolingo English test pattern.

Applied to your dream university? While you prepare for the Duolingo test, get started on your application!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Duolingo English Test hard?

The Duolingo English Test’s difficulty is decided by adaptive technology. The system learns your level and offers a greater challenge to match your ability. If you do your research and practice, you should not find it hard.

Is Duolingo English Test harder than IELTS?

There is no reason why the Duolingo English Test should be considered harder than IELTS. The adaptive nature means that you can face more difficult questions if you're able to. If you have studied you should be able to perform well enough to get the score you deserve.

What is the pass mark for Duolingo English Test?

There isn’t a specific pass mark for the Duolingo English Test. Institutions vary in what score they require you to get to be able to be accepted on their courses. However, a score of over 120 out of 160 would generally be considered to be a good score. This places you in the Upper-Intermediate or Advanced levels of scoring.

What is the duration for the sections of the Duolingo English test?

The total duration of the Duolingo English test is 60 minutes which is split among the three sections of the exam. These sections include; Introduction (five minutes), the Adaptive test (45 minutes), and Writing and Speaking sample (ten minutes).

What are the Parameters for Duolingo English test scores?

With the AI-based tech analysing your performance during the exam, here are the parameters based on which your scores are determined:

  • Grammatical skills
  • Participant’s fluency in English
  • Participant’s ability to deliver the accurate answer
  • Participant’s choice of words
  • Use of vocabulary
  • Participant’s pronunciation skills

Can I take Duolingo Test 3 times?

While there are no limitation on how many times you can take the Duolingo exam, it is important to note that you cannot take the exam more than two times within a 30-day time frame.

Applied to your dream university? While you prepare for the Duolingo test, get started on your application!