Duolingo English Test – New type of Admission Requirement!

Duolingo is known as one of the most popular language-learning apps in the world. It is an American platform that offers more than 30 languages to people who are seeking to learn additional languages at no cost. Duolingo also offers an exam called “Duolingo English Test”, which many Canadian Educational Institutions have started to use as their English Admission Requirements. With the unstable situation due to COVID-19, this exam is replacing current English ability measurements, such as IELTS and TOEFL at many educational institutions. So, it may be a great option for international students looking to prove their English literacy.

Where and when can I take the exam? How much does it cost?

The Duolingo English Test can be taken anytime and anywhere in the world. It is an online exam that you can finish in 1 hour and get the results in 48 hours (Note: Due to the current situation, Duolingo is receiving higher test volume than usual. Results will become available within 72 hours of test completion.) After your test has been graded and reviewed, your results will be emailed to you at the email address provided during registration. You can also log in to the Duolingo English Test website to view your complete test history and results. The exam costs US$49, while most other certification tests cost over US$200. You may receive certified results for up to two tests in a 30-day period. (If you complete a test and your results are not certified, it will not count against this limit.)

What skills are tested on the exam?

The exam portion of the Duolingo English Test contains a series of speaking, reading, writing, and listening exercises. This portion is graded. The second, ungraded portion of the exam consists of a video interview and a writing sample. In each section, the test taker will be able to respond to one of the two prompts available.

Why is it useful?

The Duolingo English Test is accepted as an English proficiency measure by over 1000 institutions around the world, including McGill University,  University of Alberta and the University of Manitoba. After completing the Duolingo English Test, you have an option to send your score reports to as many schools as you want for free. Results for the Duolingo English Test are valid for two years.

How can I sign up for the exam? What are the steps for the exam?

You do not need to make an appointment to take the exam. Followings are the steps for taking the exam:

    1. Create an account on the Duolingo English Test webpage
    2. Purchase the test – after you purchase it, click “START THE TEST”
    3. Quick Setup (5 mins) – An introduction that walks you through the test rules and requirements
    4. Adaptive Test (45 mins) –  A graded section that evaluates your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills
    5. Video Interview (10 mins) – An ungraded section that records your answers to open-ended questions
    6. After receiving your result in 48 hours, you may go back to your Duolingo English Test page and send the result to educational institutions you are applying to.

Virtual Tour: Watch this video

What do you need?

  • Passport, driver’s license OR government ID
  • A quiet, well-lit room
  • A computer with a reliable internet connection: including a supported browser (Chrome/ Opera), a front-facing camera, a microphone, speakers

Are there any rules?

  • Your ears must be always visible and not covered by hair, hat, headphones and/or earphones etc.
  • Your face must be visible and not covered by sunglasses or other accessories.
  • Must not use any outside materials, including mobile devices, notes, or textbooks.
  • Cannot communicate with anyone else.
  • You must not use any writing utensils or paper.
  • Must not leave the test window on your web browser for any reason.
  • You must not look away from the screen.

Score Comparison


*Note: For English admission requirements for each educational institution, please go to their website.

Currently, the Duolingo English Test includes one holistic score based on a scale of 10-160. Following is the chart for score comparison to other major English proficiency exams:

IELTS 5.5TOEFLIBT 56-67Duolingo 85-90
IELTS 6TOEFLIBT 68-79Duolingo 95-100
IELTS 6.5TOEFLIBT 80-91Duolingo 105-110
IELTS 7TOEFLIBT 92-102Duolingo 115-120

As many students are unable to take IELTS and TOEFL exams due to this COVID-19 situation, this Duolingo English Test can be an alternative for students seeking to apply to schools in Canada. You can also take a sample exam for free – so why don’t you try it first and see how it works?

International students hoping to apply to Canadian schools, the Duolingo English test is a great option for you. It can be done at home, with minimal equipment and it is relatively cost-effective. Get researching and consider taking your test soon, it will likely become even more accepted by other schools as time goes on.

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