How to Prepare for the Duolingo English Test
Monday | October 8, 2018 | by Jennifer Dewar
The Duolingo English Test is an English proficiency test that fulfills admissions requirements for international applicants at many universities in the United States and Canada. Unlike the TOEFL and IELTS, the Duolingo English Test is taken on demand, from your computer.
Related Reading on English Proficiency Tests
If you are considering taking the Duolingo English Test, this post will share tips to help you prepare. To learn more, read Understanding the Duolingo English Test.
The Duolingo English Test measures all English language skills, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Any way that you normally learn and practice these English language skills helps you prepare for the test. This might include watching movies in English, speaking with your friends, reading newspapers and magazines, and practicing writing. In addition, there are a lot of great free resources online.
Take a Sample Test
A sample test will familiarize you with the types of questions you will encounter on the Duolingo English Test. We recommend that you take a sample test so you will know what to expect on the real test and can focus on doing your best. The sample test is free, and you can take it as many times as you want. When you complete it, the sample test provides an estimated score range.
Keep in mind that the sample test is shorter (only eight minutes), and the score range is unofficial and less accurate. Visit the Duolingo site to try it yourself.
Prepare Your Testing Environment
Because you take the Duolingo English Test online from your computer, you will want to make sure you have everything you need to avoid encountering any difficulties when you take the test. You must have:
- A government-issued photo ID
- A quiet, well-lit room
- About one hour of uninterrupted time
- A computer equipped with a front-facing camera
- An internet connection and compatible browser
Understand the Rules
After you complete the test, a proctor will review your test video to ensure that you followed the rules. The rules include not wearing earphones, not interacting with anyone else, not using your phone or other devices, and not looking offscreen. It is important to follow these rules during the test, or you will need to take it again. The test rules are outlined in the Duolingo FAQs, and are included in the instructions at the beginning of the exam.
Prepare to Showcase Yourself
The Duolingo English Test includes a writing portion and video interview. Both are included when you share your results with a university. This is a great opportunity for international admissions staff to learn about you, and for you to showcase yourself and your English language ability. You have a choice of two question topics for each video interview and the writing sample. Then you will speak for one to three minutes and write for up to five minutes.
Do not worry—there is a timer that will keep track for you. If you get stuck, do not get frustrated—take a deep breath, and answer each question as best you can. You will be able to review your responses before you share your results with universities. If you are not happy with your performance, you can take the test again.
For more information, visit the Duolingo site.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of World Education Services (WES).