Test Preparation

Duolingo English Test - A Detailed Overview

Duolingo English Test - A Detailed Overview

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Know the basic guidelines for Duolingo English Test, why it is gaining popularity, and how it is different from other exams like TOEFL & IELTS. Also learn how to prepare for Duolingo Test.

GyanDhan

Madhuwrita Nandi

Updated on: 12 Sep 2023
  1. list items What are the Advantages of the Duolingo Test?
  2. list items What is the Pattern of the Duolingo English Test?
  3. list items What is the Difference Between Duolingo English Test and TOEFL?
  4. list items What is the Difference Between Duolingo English Test and IELTS?
  5. list items How To Prepare For the Duolingo English Test?
  6. list items Which Universities Accept Duolingo English Test?


In the early days of smartphones, there were very few genuine apps for learning foreign languages. If you searched for such apps back in the day, you’d surely remember Duolingo. Yes, the same company launched an English language test in 2018. 
Well, there are quite a few things that make the exam a better option than IELTS and TOEFL. The most important advantage of the test is that it can be taken from the comfort of your home, without having to travel to an exam center. It is because of this reason many universities are now accepting Duolingo English test scores for admitting international students, and hence, it is gaining more popularity over IELTS and TOEFL among study abroad aspirants.  Duolingo is accepted by more than a thousand universities from all around the world - including Harvard Medical School. This also includes hundreds of universities in the US, and top universities in Asia, South America, Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. 
Let us find out more about the test by looking at its aspects and advantages.

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What are the Advantages of the Duolingo Test?

Well, there are several reasons why students should opt for the Duolingo English Test. Here are some of them: 

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What is the Pattern of the Duolingo English Test?

The exam involves a new format that is quite different from the traditional IELTS and TOEFL formats. Duolingo does not consist of long questions. The test assesses your aptitude in the language on the basis of your intonation and knowledge of idioms. The skills tested are reading, listening, speaking, and writing, just as in TOEFL and IELTS, but the questions are of an unconventional type and unlike anything you have normally seen in an English language test.

The following questions are typically asked in a DuoLingo Test:

  1. list items Describing an image in writing or aloud
  2. list items Recording yourself saying a written sentence
  3. list items Verbally answering a spoken question
  4. list items Listening to spoken words and selecting the real ones
  5. list items Reviewing written words and selecting the real ones
  6. list items Completing missing letters from a text
  7. list items Responding in writing to a written question (writing samples have a maximum of 500 words but are usually much shorter)
  8. list items Typing out a statement that you hear

The exam also includes a ‘video interview’ wherein students speak on their topic of choice for 1-3 minutes. This interview can be accessed by placement companies and recruiters to shortlist international job candidates in the future.

Another important aspect of the exam is its duration. Really proficient speakers can even finish the exam in 45 minutes, but students who find the exam tough are given enough opportunities with questions they can manage, as the test adapts itself according to answers given by them. 

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What is the Difference Between Duolingo English Test and TOEFL?

The Duolingo English Test and TOEFL are different from each other on many fronts. Unlike TOEFL which has lengthy questions and passages, Duolingo has comparatively briefer questions. Also, there are no separate sections in a Duolingo test to assess reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills as in TOEFL. Duolingo English test consists of a blend of different types of questions. The tabular list shows the difference between the two exams on various other parameters: 
 

Duolingo vs TOEFL

Parameters TOEFL Duolingo

Cost

$180 (India)

$49

  Testing Centers  

Around 30 centers in India

Online

Test Length

Around 4 hours

  Around 1 hour  

Result Time

  Computer-based - 5-11 Days Paper-based - 13 days  

2 Days

Universities

5 Included

Unlimited

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What is the Difference Between Duolingo English Test and IELTS?

A great advantage Duolingo offers over the IELTS is that it can be taken in one seating as opposed to the two-day testing period for IELTS. Moreover, Duolingo is adaptive but IELTS is not. 
As mentioned before, instead of traditional item types tested by IELTS like MCQs, essay type questions, and short answer questions, Duolingo’s questions take on new formats. Also, while IELTS has two versions - Academic and General; Duolingo has only a general test. But the scores of this test will come in handy for both cases in the long term.
More differences are listed below in the table:

Duolingo vs IELTS

Parameters IELTS Duolingo

Cost

INR 13,250

$49

  Testing Centers  

50 centers

Online

Test Length

  Around 3 hours  

  Around 1 hour  

Result Time

11 days

2 Days

Sharing

4 Included

Unlimited

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How To Prepare For the Duolingo English Test?

There are a few things you need to do right to ace the Duolingo test. Since it is a relatively new exam with an unconventional pattern, you would need to prepare for it in a slightly different manner.

Here is how you should prepare for the Duolingo test: 

  1. list items Work on your overall English proficiency. Reading high-quality blogs and articles, such as those published in the Guardian, the New York Times, and Wall Street Journal will help you in developing your English skills. 
  2. list items Listen to English podcasts on YouTube or iTunes and other online streaming apps. Make sure you listen to podcasts on different topics. 
  3. list items Try conversing with native speakers. You can easily find partners online - on Facebook groups, for example. 
  4. list items Take the free practice test on the Duolingo website. This will familiarize you with the actual exam pattern and environment. You need to log in to your account to access the practice questions. 
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Which Universities Accept Duolingo English Test?

Recently, Harvard Medical School announced that it will be accepting Duolingo test results from international students. The results of this test would be enough, and students won’t need to take IELTS or TOEFL additionally. 
Generally, Duolingo English test results are accepted by over 1,100 institutions worldwide. Some of the universities accepting Duolingo English language test scores for graduate admissions are: 

  • list items USA: Harvard University, Auburn University, Arizona State University, Northeastern University, San Diego State University, etc. 
  • list items Australia: Monash College, Australian National University, Melbourne Institute of Technology, etc.
  • list items Canada: Concordia University, Lakehead University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, University of Alberta, etc.
  • list items New Zealand: University of Otago, Massey University, etc.
  • list items Switzerland: Webster University, Geneva, etc. 
  • list items UK: Cardiff University, University of Aberdeen, etc.

All in all, the test is quite beneficial for international students, especially during current times. It is a cost- and time-effective and universally accepted test which can really set the ball rolling with respect to your study abroad goals. 

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