What is the Duolingo English test?

Nowadays, when we think about learning a new language, Duolingo is one of the first things that come to mind. The free language-learning platform provides interactive online courses for users to learn and practice various languages. It offers a gamified approach to language education through the Duolingo app and website. This makes the learning process engaging and accessible to a wide audience. It even has its own Duolingo English test, which has gained more popularity and recognition since its launch in 2016.

The Duolingo English test is a “convenient, fast, and affordable English test [that] integrates the latest assessment science and AI — empowering anyone to accurately test their English where and when they’re at their best.”

In recent years, the test has gained immense popularity as a reliable assessment tool for language proficiency because of its convenience and validity across many major institutions across the globe. This is especially true among people looking to move abroad, as many English-speaking countries require them to prove their English proficiency through exams when seeking work or pursuing studies.

In this article, we’ll go through all the essential details you need to know about the Duolingo English test. We’ll also explore what exactly makes it stand out from other English proficiency tests.


About the Duolingo English test

The Duolingo English test is a modern English proficiency assessment for today’s international students and institutions. It’s available online, on demand. It is a computer-adaptive test, meaning the question sequence and difficulty change for each test taker and test session.

Its pattern consists of three parts: introduction and onboarding, adaptive test and writing, and speaking sample. The entire test experience takes just under an hour. The first part is mainly a measure to check that your devices are functioning well and to go through the rules and requirements. The adaptive test takes the bulk of the exam, at 45 minutes, as this is the actual test proper. For the last part, users are given a prompt and are asked to respond at length. This takes 10 minutes. It includes a 1-3 minute video interview for the speaking sample and a 3 to 5-minute response for the writing sample.

Test results are certified within two days, and the test taker receives a holistic score on a scale from 10 to 160 in 5-point increments. The Duolingo English Test scores align with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), an international standard of language proficiency.

The Duolingo English test validity is quite broad, as it is officially accepted by over 4500 universities and institutions worldwide. What’s even better is that users can send their test scores to as many schools as they want for free.

What sets the Duolingo English test apart from others?

The Duolingo English test boasts of three main feats. It’s convenient, fast and affordable—and these are exactly what set it apart from other English proficiency exams.


Users are able to apply for and take the exam online at their own pace. They don’t need to book an appointment or report to a testing centre; everything can be done from wherever they are since they can take the test via a computer and webcam.


Most proficiency exams take a minimum of two hours to complete, whereas the Duolingo English test takes only about one hour to finish. In terms of results, users receive their scores within two days of completing the test. This is relatively much faster compared to other English proficiency exam results, which take between 3 days to 2 weeks to release the results. There’s even a “Faster Results” option where they can receive their results within 12 hours of completing the test.


The Duolingo English test fee costs only $59. It’s comparatively much cheaper than most English proficiency exams, such as the IELTS or TOEFL which usually range from $100-300.

Free practice

Duolingo offers a free English practice test that users can take unlimited times to assess their readiness before taking the exam. The practice feature is a great way for users to prepare and understand the test before they dive in.

To better understand study abroad components, such as language proficiency requirements, and provide better guidance to aspiring students, connect with our experts today!

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