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The Difficulty of the Duolingo English Test – How Hard is it?

Duolingo English Test

The Duolingo English test is an English proficiency test well-recognised across over 3500 global universities. As the fastest-growing proficiency exam, the Duolingo English Test assesses reading, speaking, listening and writing skills.

The Duolingo English test can be used in English-speaking nations for education, employment and immigration purposes. The test is widely accepted in countries like the USA, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, Australia and other nations. While there is no specific eligibility criteria for students to take the Duolingo English Test, those under 13 years might require permission from their parents or guardians.


The Characteristics of the Duolingo English Test

Before we move further, let’s understand the convenient nature of the exam. The Duolingo English test has its perks which are –

  1. Convenience– You can take part in the test from anywhere in the world without travelling to a test centre.
  2. Affordability– The test is more affordable with only $49 (or INR 4000) fees. In comparison, IELTS (International English Language Testing System), TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and other similar exams cost with the range of $150 to $200.
  3. Short– The duration of the test is 1 hour. An extra 5 minutes to cover the requirements, rules and regulations of the exam, 45 minutes for the Adaptive section and a video interview of 10 minutes.
  4. Fast– You can access the test results within 48 hours (or 2 days) of the exam.
  5. Fewer Expenses– You can send your SAT Exam scores across various universities without added expenses.


The Pattern of the Duolingo English Test

The Duolingo English Test is segregated into two different sections, which include the following –

  1. Adaptive test and
  2. Video interview.
  3. Adaptive test(45-minute duration) – Involves

(i) Read and complete

(ii) Read and select

(iii) Listen and select

(iv) Listen and types

(v) Reading a section loud

(vi) Explaining a photograph

(vii) Writing about a photograph

(viii) Reading and writing

(ix) Listening and speaking.

  1. Video Interview(10-minute duration) – Involves

(i) Describing a photograph

(ii) Giving a speech on a specific topic

(iii) Speaking on a particular situation.


The Duolingo Syllabus

The Duolingo English test examines your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The adaptive nature of the test will increase the difficulty of the upcoming questions. The test will also ease the difficulty and adapt to your skill level if you place a wrong answer. Some of the questions that you might encounter in the test are –

  1. Describe an image in your writing.
  2. Write an answer within 50 words.
  3. Fill in the blanks.
  4. Completing the sentences.
  5. Hearing and identifying the right words.
  6. Read the words to specify the appropriate terms.
  7. Typing down a sentence which you heard.


Preparatory tips for the Duolingo English Test

The Duolingo English test doesn’t follow a specific syllabus. But you can use these tips to improve your speaking, reading, listening and writing skills –

  1. Improve your vocabulary and familiarise yourself with different writing styles.
  2. Expose yourself before multiple genres of short stories, fiction, non-fiction and novels.
  3. Converse with people who are fluent in the English language.
  4. Understand the examination format and study the various question formats.
  5. Visit the Duolingo websiteand use the mock tests as practice.


The Duolingo Test Results

When you complete the Duolingo English Test, you’ll get a notification about your results in 48 hours on your registered email. id. The mail will include a link to the page to review your scores. Then follow the steps below –

  1. Visit the website of Duolingo and log into your account.
  2. View the score report you’ve received.
  3. Download and print the result.

The top score for the fluency batch score of the Duolingo English test is around 120 to 160. Universities prefer an overall batch score of 120 and above with corresponding sub-scores of 100 or more marks. The batch score indicates that the candidate can –

(i) Understand spoken and written English

(ii) Identify idioms, hidden sentences, metaphorical speech and practical language.

(iii) Use the proper languages for academic, social and professional environments.


Acceptance of Duolingo’s Scores

You can send your Duolingo English test score across various universities, especially if you want to Study In Germany. But you must first follow these simple steps.

  1. Visit the official website of Duolingo, and use your registered email to log in to your account.
  2. Scroll below and then select “Send Result”.
  3. Choose the colleges or universities where you want to send your results. You can choose 40 at a time.
  4. Place your application ID to those universities asking for your identification.
  5. Click on the “Send” button.


Universities that accept the Duolingo score

Over 2000 colleges and Universities across different countries like New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, the UK, Ireland, Canada, and the USA accept the scores of the Duolingo English test to admit students under their degree programs. Institutions that accept the Duolingo English test are –

  1. Harvard University
  2. McGill University
  3. Deakin University
  4. Columbia University
  5. Cardiff University
  6. Monash University
  7. Yale University
  8. John Hopkins University
  9. La Trobe University
  10. Imperial College London
  11. King’s College London
  12. University of Glasgow
  13. University of Chicago
  14. University of Toronto
  15. University of British Columbia
  16. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

You can also ask for Abroad Accommodation facilities from these universities if you’re relocating for higher studies.



The difficulty levels of the Duolingo exam will depend on your understanding and grasp of the English language. Your performance on listening, reading, writing and speaking skills will determine the difficulty level of the Duolingo test. You can improve your skills using the 5 preparatory tips.

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