What Is the Duolingo English Test?

The Duolingo English Test is an online exam that you take on your personal computer. Tests will be conduct for four language skills: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. These abilities, on the other hand, will be put to the test in new directions.

The test is adaptive, which has important implications for test takers. In general, if you answer a question properly, the next one becomes more difficult. If you get the first one wrong, the following one becomes easy. This implies that, with only a few questions, the exam can quickly determine your skill level—which is why it only takes an hour to complete!

What Does the Test Involve?

You’ll see a variety of test questions on Duolingo in formats that may be entirely new to you. The tests includes:

  • Listening to spoken words and selecting the real ones.
  • Reviewing written words and selecting the real ones.
  • Completing missing letters from a text.
  • Describing an image in writing or aloud.
  • Recording yourself saying a written sentence.
  • Verbally answering a spoken question.
  • Responding in writing to a written question (writing samples have a maximum of 500 words but are usually much shorter).
  • Typing out a statement that you hear.
  • In addition to the above items, Duolingo includes a “video interview” section of the exam, in which you speak for 1-3 minutes on a topic you choose (they offer two). This is ungraded, but goes along with your test results to universities—which can be a great addition to your application!

How long is the test?

Somewhere between 45 and 60 minutes. But to some extent, it depends on your language level. Because the test is adaptive, Tousignant notes, “a really proficient speaker will have a shorter test.”

How Is the Test Scored?

The English Duolingo test is mostly computer-scored. Duolingo, on the other hand, employs proctors to ensure that test takers follow the regulations. Every detail, down to your keystrokes, is recorded by these proctors, who watch the video of you taking the test. Two separate assessors will look for other people's faces, background noise, and other red flags on the screen.

After the exam, you'll be given a score ranging from 10-160. This is a total score, not a score for each segment. A score of 120 or higher may be required for top programmes, but criteria differ per school, so check with each one.

What Happens After I Take the Duolingo English Test?

After you complete the exam, it’s sent to the proctors, and you’ll receive an email letting you know when you’ll get your scores (48 hours, although mine arrived in 24—and over the holidays, too). When your scores are ready, you’ll get another email notifying you, though you’ll also be able to check into your home page on the site to check.

You can take two “certified” tests within a 30-day period. A certified test is any test you complete and receive a score on. In other words, if you have technical glitches during the exam, it won’t count against the two-test limit. Scores are then valid for two years.

Once your scores are in, you can send them to institutions right from the results page. There’s no limit to how many reports you can send.

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