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How to prepare for the Duolingo test for FREE

With the Duolingo English Test staying for good for most colleges and universities globally, more and more applicants who plan to study abroad opt for this English test as an accredited alternative to the more popular yet more costly options. With the support and acceptance of 3000 educational institutions worldwide, Duolingo has successfully broken into the English Test market that has been dominated for years by other bigger names in the industry such as IELTS and CELPIP.

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    With the Duolingo English Test staying for good for most colleges and universities globally, more and more applicants who plan to study abroad opt for this English test as an accredited alternative to the more popular yet more costly options. With the support and acceptance of 3000 educational institutions worldwide, Duolingo has successfully broken into the English Test market that has been dominated for years by other bigger names in the industry such as IELTS and CELPIP.

    Duolingo English Test gives not only offers prospective international students not only a very affordable English proficiency test which is at $49 - a fraction of the usual $200 cost of other exams - but also gives users a free practice test and guides to help test takers pass the exam. With its purely online method of test delivery for all segments of the language test, the Duolingo English Test has been one of the top choices for its flexibility and accessibility worldwide.

    Aside from the convenience of its online delivery method and the safety of its delivery amidst the pandemic, the Duolingo English Test can be taken in a shorter time compared to other language tests. The test can be completed in one hour and can be taken at any time of the day. Duolingo English Test also promises and delivers faster results within two days from the date of the exam. It can also be easily shared with multiple institutions with just a few clicks.

    Understanding the Duolingo English Test

    Before diving into the preparation and practice resource, you need to understand first the anatomy of the Duolingo English Test. This will give you a sense of what to expect on the practice test, have a more accurate assessment of your skills, and get a more realistic score to give you an idea of how you will fare in the exam. Here are some of the things that you need to know about how the test was designed:
    • Duration - It is advised that you allocate an hour of uninterrupted time to complete the Duolingo English Test.
    • Adaptive Testing - Duolingo English Test is a computer adaptive test. This means that the sequence and level of difficulty of questions vary from each user and session.
    • Adaptive Length - The test has no limit on the number of questions. The test will end once a score is generated by the grading engine.
    • One section question - Only one question will be shown at a time.
    • Unique - There is a very low probability that you will see the same question twice even if you retry the test multiple times.
     

    Exam Segments

     
    1. Introduction and onboarding (Duration: ~5 minutes)
    - Test takers will be required to present their government-issued photo ID. A system-check of your computer and accessories to be used will be checked.
     
    1. Adaptive test (Duration: ~45 minutes)
    - This segment is composed of random short questions which are designed to measure a user’s English skills. Questions will depend on your performance during the test.
     
    1. Writing Sample and Speaking Sample (Duration: ~10 minutes)
    - A prompt will show on the screen where users will be asked to respond at a certain length.
    - For the Speaking sample, users will be asked to respond in 1-3 minutes.
    - For the Writing sample, users will be asked to respond in 3-5 minutes.
    - Review of the answers can be done after the exam is completed. Although institutions will receive the samples, the Speaking sample remains unscored.
     

    FREE Review Materials for Duolingo English Test


    If you are a student coming from a country where English is not the primary language, you will likely be required by the educational institution you are applying for to show proof of English language proficiency. Duolingo English Test is a very good option to satisfy this requirement if it is accredited by the institution you are applying for. You need to verify this information with the school coordinator or representative.

    Once you have confirmed that the Duolingo English Test is an acceptable proof of language proficiency, the next thing you will need to do is to prepare for the exam.
     
    Duolingo’s Free Practice Test
    The practice test - a free resource available to users upon signing up on the Duolingo website - is a 15-minutes set of questions that is plotted to mimic how the actual Duolingo English Test is administered. It is important to note though that although the practice test gives users a taste of the real exam, the questions used in the practice test are not the same as the actual exam. Some may be similar but not the same.

    There is no limit to doing the practice test. Users are advised to do the free practice test multiple times to get the feel of the instructions and how to answer the questions based on the time limit. Each completed practice test also gives the user an unofficial score estimate. As users get used to the question format and its delivery, the scores are expected to improve and give users an idea of which aspect of the exam or language skill they need to improve on.
     
    Download the Duolingo English Test Official Guide for Test Takers
    This file will give test takers a comprehensive document to guide them about the exam, its design, what kinds of questions to expect, tips on answering each language segment. Other important notes are also shown in this guide that will be very helpful for test takers such as an actual screenshot of an exam page showing the questions and an explanation of each element shown on the exam page. Instructions are also explained in the guide as well as other helpful tips for test-takers to support them in passing the test. To download the official guide, click here
     
    Practice the Practice Test
    It may sound redundant, but the best way to get used to the actual exam is to repeat the practice test multiple times. Each time you take the practice test, you will be given an estimated score. You can monitor your progress with these. You can take the practice test as much as you want. The best thing about it is that it is free!

    External Resources
    Although it is highly recommended that test-takers depend on the reviewers provided by the official Duolingo English Test website, there are third-party providers providing tips and practice courses to help test-takers ace the Duolingo English Test. It is at the test taker’s discretion to use these external resources for the review.
     

    Other Requirements to Prepare

    Once you are confident to take the actual exam, there are a few more requirements that you need to prepare before your scheduled date:
    • Government-issued ID (Passport, Driver’s license, etc.)
    • Be in a quiet and well-lit room
    • Reliable internet connection
    • Computer with a front-facing camera, microphone, and speakers
    • Test walkthrough - It is advisable that test-takers watch the test walkthrough video on the official website to understand what will happen during the pre-checks before the exam.

    Now that you know what to look for and where to look for free resources to take the Duolingo English Test, it is time to set those plans to study abroad going. Know more about the how-tos and tips on applying to international schools with Global Study Guide. With years of experience in the international education industry, Global Study Guide will ensure that you are on the right path to successfully study abroad whichever country or school you may choose. Register now and talk to our education consultants today!
     
    About the educator
    Global Study Guide was created by international students for international students. We are a social network, and we’re here to help you find the right school and program and help you get there! We think it’s important to show you the correct, fact-checked information, and make it simple to communicate with the people who know the schools best.
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