What is the Duolingo English Test?

The Duolingo English Test is a modern language proficiency tool that will evaluate your ability to read, write, speak, and listen in English using an English proficiency score, a video interview, and writing samples to test your skills.

Today is one of the most accessible tests for international students and institutions to accept candidates based on their scores. 

Before the Duolingo English Test, the only exams for English language proficiency were IELTS and TOEFL, which are still both great options for students, but they have 2 main differences when it comes to how you take the test and the overall cost for it. The Duolingo is an online test, while the other 2 counterparts are in-person types of tests, plus the cost for the Duolingo is 4 to 5 times less in comparison. We discuss this topic more in-depth down below.

The test uses AI and machine learning to create and score the English proficiency test automatically. It will adapt the next questions based on your answers. Using Computer-adaptive testing (CAT) techniques, the Duolingo test will assign harder questions to test-takers of higher ability and vice versa.

The Test will take around 1 hour to be completed. The results are certified within 48 hours, and they are valid for an unlimited number of institutions.

Main Reasons to take the Duolingo English Test

There are different reasons to choose the Duolingo Test as your English language proficiency test. 

One of the main reasons is its cost. For a total of $49, you will have your test ready, no extra fees, and no overcharges depending on how many places you want to present it, that’s all you will pay. Just for the TOEFL test the price is $200 depending on your testing location, and you can send your results only to four universities for free, and with IELTS, only five. After that, there’s a fee of around $20 for each subsequent university. 

No commuting, you don’t need to move from the comfort of your home. You will also save on travel costs and the stress that comes along with traffic.

Finally, another advantage of the Duolingo English test is Time. In 1 hour you will be done, that’s at least 3 times less than the time you will need to take either the IELTS or TOEFL and the results will be available within 48 hours. 

Duolingo English Test Requirements

To take the Duolingo English Test you don’t need to meet any specific criteria. There are no standards in terms of age, qualifications, location, or any other factor that should be fulfilled before taking the exam. However, there are some requirements that you need to meet: 

  • You need to be in a room that you feel has enough light and no disturbance.
  • You should have an internet connection with good speed and reliability.
  • You must present your passport or any other government ID.
  • You should free your schedule for 60 minutes.
  • You must have a computer or a laptop that has a functioning front-facing camera, a microphone, and speakers.

Test Policies

  • Candidates under 13 need to have parental consent for taking the test
  • Use only one account to take the test
  • You have 21 days to take the test after purchasing
  • You may purchase 3 tests in any 30 day period

Duolingo English Test Registration Process

duolingo-english-test-Registration Process-ieltsahead.com

The Duolingo English Test Registration Process is quick and easy. You can take it anywhere in the world, you just need a reliable internet connection and a laptop. To register you just go to the Duolingo Test Page and you can buy it and take it whenever you are ready. Have in mind that once you complete your purchase you will have a 21 days frame to take it once, if you take more than 21 days your test will be canceled. Below we give you the steps that you need to follow to successfully register for the test:  

Step 1

Create a Duolingo account on the official website by adding your:

  • Email ID
  • Age 
  • Password 
  • Click on “next”

Step 2

On the following page you will be asked “What are you interested in?” and you will have to choose from the following list:

  • School building
  • Undergraduate university admissions
  • Graduate admissions (for example MBA or Ph.D.)
  • Middle or high school admissions
  • Applying for a job or promotion
  • None of the above

Step 3

Once you choose the desired option you can click on “Create Account”

Step 4

With your account complete you will be redirected to the test registration page where you can now pick between “Try the Test,” “Purchase the Test,” or “Take the Test.” 

The Try the Test option will give you access to short 15-minute practice tests that will help you prepare better for the test. The Purchase the Test button will give you access to take the test whenever you are ready during a period of 21 days from the moment you buy it. In case you feel ready to Take the Test the third option will grant you access to the full test.

Step 5

After you decide to buy the test, you will be once again redirected to the final checkout page where you can pay the Duolingo English Test fee. To ensure inclusivity they accept all major credit cards and payments through PayPal.


Duolingo English Test Rules

There are certain rules that all students must follow since this is an online test. Duolingo made its own name as a proficiency test thanks to the rigorous security protocols that it follows to prevent students from committing any type of fraud. 

By Incorporating a combination of computer vision and AI (artificial intelligence) to verify the identity of the test-taker, it assures that you are the one taking the test for yourself. It will automatically cancel the test in case you leave the test window to access any other browser, even if it is just for one second.

It also provides universities with a video and writing sample from your entire session as comprehensive knowledge of your proficiency in the language.

Below we give you the Duolingo Test rules that you need to follow when you are taking the test:

  • You must be alone in an empty and well-lit room.
  • Your ears and face must be clearly visible and uncovered during the entire test.
  • Headphones or earphones are allowed during the test.
  • You can not carry or have on you any external material such as a notepad, devices, or textbooks.
  • You are not allowed to communicate with anyone during the test.
  • You can’t look away from the screen at any point during the test.
  • You can’t leave the test window on your web browser for any reason.
  • Do not use any predictive input method.
  • Do not use any third party web camera software.
  • Do not use a second monitor or any software that enables screen sharing or remote access.
  • Speak for at least 30 seconds on the topics presented during the graded speaking section.
  • Do not use another person’s name or ID information to take the test.

Failure to adhere to any of the rules while taking the test will result in the proctor automatically invalidating your score. Depending on the severity of the violation, you might also be permanently banned from taking the Duolingo English Test.

Duolingo English Test Fees

The Duolingo English Test fee is the cheapest one if you compare it with the IELTS and the TOEFL. Thanks to its unique testing method, it cuts down on a lot of expenses, such as the in-person teacher, the space to have the test, and other logistics that will add up to the final cost.

The price to take the Duolingo English is only $49 plus applicable taxes depending on the location of the purchase. If you would like to learn more about the Duolingo English Test fee check our in-depth article.

Once you are ready to buy the test from your account, you can pay the fees by clicking on the “Buy Now” button. You can pay your Duolingo test fees with any major credit card and PayPal. The website also accepts Alipay for students in China and Diners Club cards can be used for payments in USD.

Duolingo English Test Pattern and Syllabus

TestDuolingo English Test
Sections2 (Adaptive – Video)
Type of QuestionsObjective + Descriptive
Duration60 min

The Duolingo English Test will take you around 1 hour to complete, and it will test your skills in Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing. This test is AI-powered, so the order of your questions will appear algorithmically since each question is framed in a way that will also comprehend your critical thinking and adaptability abilities. Basically, each following question will depend on your prior answers, the AI will learn from your answers and grade your abilities accordingly.

The 60 minutes test is divided into 2 sections: 

-The Adaptive Test 

-The Video Interview. 

The first part, the Adaptive Test lasts for 45 minutes. Here you will be tested on your reading, writing, speaking, and listening abilities. All the different questions are combined and they keep appearing randomly during the test. The score is provided separately for this section. None of the questions are repeated in the test. There is no limited number of questions in this section. ,

The second part is the Video Interview which comes with a time limit of 10 minutes. The section requires that you answer open-ended questions via recording. You may be asked to speak and write about any situation or topic. From April 2022 there has been a change and the written part of this section will also contribute to your overall score.

How is the Duolingo test scored?


The Duolingo English Test measures reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. A test taker’s proficiency is reported as a holistic score on a scale of 10 to 160 with 5 point increments. Scores are aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). The entire score is divided into 4 sub-scores:

Basic (10-55)

The basic score consists of all the scores that go from 10 to 55 points. This grade means that the student can identify basic English and phrases, and can also understand straightforward information and express themselves in familiar contexts.

Intermediate (60-85)

From 60 to 85 points the student is considered to have an intermediate level of English. The student can grasp the valuable and main aspects and points related to work or their educational content. They can easily communicate personal details, but with some awkwardness or hesitation. 

Upper-Intermediate (90-115)

At this level, the student is able to communicate about new topics that are unknown to them. They can clearly understand and interact on both abstract and concrete topics. They can fulfill most communication goals and interact with proficient speakers fairly easily.

Advanced (120-160)

This level is the highest score that a student can get on the Duolingo English Test. At this point, the student can understand a variety of demanding written and spoken language including some specialized language use situations.

They are able to understand the implicit, figurative, pragmatic, and idiomatic language. They can use language flexibly and effectively for most social, academic, and professional purposes.

Duolingo English Test Result

You will get your Duolingo English Test score within the first 24 to 48 hours after you finish your test. The final score will provide your overall performance and subscores. You can access the score through the application. 

Once you get your test score, you can send it to the university or college of your choice. To access your score, you need to go to the Duolingo website and follow the below steps:

● Log in to the Duolingo website with your credentials.

● Enter your registration information. Check that the details are correct.

● View your scorecard.

● Download or print the report in case you need it.


Who accepts the Duolingo English Test?

Duolingo prides itself on being partners with over 1,100 institutions worldwide. Most universities in the US, Canada, Australia, etc are taking the Duolingo test as part of their curricula for international students. Recently, the Harvard Medical School announced that it will be accepting the Duolingo test as well.

To know some of the universities around the globe, check the list below. In case you would like to see the full list, check this link.

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

How to prepare for the Duolingo English Test?

You need to prepare yourself for the Duolingo English Test. You should work on improving all the aspects of reading to listening. You can listen to English podcasts and read articles from top magazines and newspapers and also practice by having a conversation in English with native speakers.

In addition, you can also take a sample test and get familiar with the types of questions you are going to get in the real test. You can take the 15 minutes practice test for free on Duolingo’s website. You can take the test as many times as you want.

You can also check my free exercises to improve your overall skills. All the exercises are similar to those in the DET, they have not been taken from the real Duolingo exam. You can also check my Youtube Channel where you can find Full Doulingo exams to practice and also video exercises.

I also offer paid courses that go from as little as $9 where you can improve your writing skills and your overall performance on the exam and get the score that you need.


Send Duolingo Test Scores

In just 48 hours after you complete the test, you will get the results. From there you will have up to 2 years of validity to send your score to the institution that you are looking to apply to. You can send it to as many schools or institutions as you want.

The certified Duolingo test score can easily be shared with the desired universities by following the below simple steps:

  • Log into the Duolingo English Test website with your registered email ID.
  • Once you have logged in to the home page, scroll down to the section that says “Your Tests” and click on the “Send Results” button.
  • You will then be directed to a page that will ask you to where you are applying to (a university, a secondary school, or another type of institution). Select the type that you are applying to.
  • Start typing the name of an institution to search for it, and select your choices using the checkbox.
  • If your institution uses an Application ID, do not forget to add it!
  • Press “Send.”

You can choose up to 40 universities to send your results to. (Duolingo does not charge a fee for sending your results). If you select fewer than 40 institutions, you can add more later.

Difference between Duolingo English Test and IELTS Exam


This is a question that most students have. What is the difference between Duolingo and the IELTS? It is true that both are acceptable English proficiency tests, but here are some main differences that set them apart.

One of the biggest contrasts between them is the length of the test. When you take the Duolingo English Test, you will only have 1 test that will take 1 hour to finish, whereas the IELTS takes 2 days to be done and it will take you around 3 hours to finish it.

Another difference comes in terms of price. The Duolingo English Test costs $49, and you can send your results to unlimited colleges or institutions, but the IELTS exam costs around $250 and the results can only be sent to 4 institutions, after that, you will have to pay $20 for each extra college you want to send your results to. 

Then you have another distinction between these 2 exams, the Duolingo is an online test and the IELTS is an in person type of test, so you have to book an appointment and go to a center to take the test. Have in mind that there is a certain number of centers around the world to take the exam, so the one close to you might be actually far from your location (possibly in a different city), which adds extra expenses to your total amount.

Last, but not least, the Duolingo English Test has your result ready in 48 hours. The IELTS, on the other hand, takes around 11 to 15 days to send your results. If you would like to know more about the differences check our in-depth article Duolingo vs IELTS.

Difference between Duolingo English Test and TOEFL Exam


When it comes to Duolingo and the TOEFL exam, there are big differences as well. To begin with, the TOEFL takes around 4 hours to complete, instead of the 1 hour that the Duolingo takes.

The tests also follow different patterns. While the Duolingo will examine your Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking skills altogether, the TOEFL is divided into different sections to test each ability separately.

Price is another big difference, the unbeatable $49 dollars against the $200 that the TOEFL cost. Besides, after taking the TOEFL, you can only send your results to 5 institutions, and then you have to pay an extra $20 for each institution you want to send them to. However, you can send your Duolingo results to as many institutions as you want at no extra cost.  

As we mentioned before, the Duolingo takes only 2 days to send your results, but the TOEFL takes from 5 to 11 days to have them ready, and if you want a paper-based result, you need to wait 13 days to get it.


Duolingo English Test FAQs

When is the right time to register for Duolingo?

The right time to register for your Duolingo English Test is right before taking the exam. You should be fully prepared and ready to take the Duolingo test. If you are not ready, you will only have 21 days to take it after your registration. If you fail to take it in that time frame, you will lose your chance and your exam will be canceled.

How to prepare for the Duolingo English test?

The Duolingo English Test analyzes your  Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking skills so you will have to be ready to perform well in those 4 fields. You can prepare for the test by doing an informal research on Google, forums, and YouTube. You can also check the test readiness page on the Duolingo website, where you can sign up for the free practice test, check the question types, and download the official guide for further help. You can also check our free material right here.

Does Duolingo English test offer a refund?

In most cases, Duolingo will not offer a refund. In case of an issue, while taking the test, you should contact the Duolingo help center and they will try to solve your problem. In case there was a problem on Duolingo’s end, you can be suitable for a refund or a new chance to retake the exam. But there are certain rules that you need to follow, if you break any of these rules, the test will be suspended and your account probably will too.

What is a good Duolingo English test score?

Depending on where you are sending your results, the score will vary. But in most cases, you will need to achieve at least a 120 score to be accepted. This is the advanced level, which means that you are skilled in the English language and able to use English accurately and appropriately.

How many times can I take the Duolingo English test?

You can take the test as many times as you want, although there is a limit of 3 tests per month. So, in case you failed your test more than 3 times within a month, you will need to wait to retake the test in the following month.

Is Duolingo easier than TOEFL?

When it comes to difficulty, both tests are the same. These tests examine your proficiency level in Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. The tests follow a different pattern, but the difficulty or the level that you need to have to take it will be the same.

Is Duolingo easier than IELTS?

It is true that the Duolingo English Test is shorter than the IELTS, however, the level that you need to achieve in both exams is going to be the same. You will need to have good language skills to answer the questions within the specified time frame. The difficulty level of both tests is subjective, and the Duolingo Test is as hard as the IELTS.

How to book the Duolingo exam?

You just need to Visit the Duolingo exam official website and create your account. You will need to provide your email ID, age, and password. Then you will be redirected to a page where you need to select ‘what are you interested in?’, and choose from a list of options. After that, you will be ready to create your account. Once you create your account, you will be redirected to the registration page, where you can either try the test, purchase it or take it.

What is the Duolingo English test fee?

The Duolingo registration fee is $49 that you have to pay once you are ready to take the test. In case you register and don’t want to take the test right away, you will have up to 21 days to take it, after that your test will be canceled and you will lose your chance. You will have your result within the next 48 hours after you take your test, and you can send it for no extra cost to any universities or institutions that you like.

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