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What is the Duolingo test and how is it different from IELTS and TOEFL?

What is the Duolingo test and how is it different from IELTS and TOEFL?

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Due to the pandemic, standardized English tests have become harder to take. And for that reason, Duolingo test has grown popular among study abroad aspirants. It is now considered as a replacement for TOEFL and IELTS examinations. Around 2,000 universities around the world now accept the Duolingo Test as an English proficiency test. If you want to know more about the universities that accept this test, visit their official website to browse through different colleges and universities available. Also, check out how Duolingo scores are used for college acceptance.

Another reason why some students are preferring Duolingo test over IELTS or TOEFL is, it is relatively affordable. It is currently priced at $49. Once the test date is scheduled, you can take the test at the comfort of your home. Moreover, results are available in just 48 hours.

But before you sign up for the test, here are some things you must know about the Duolingo Test. Also, note the difference between the Duolingo test and other standardized English proficiency tests.

What is Duolingo English Test?

Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency examination. Like the TOEFL and IELTS, Duolingo has four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. These four sections will test if your English proficiency and vocabulary are good enough to study graduate coursework in the English medium.

The way this test works is slightly different as compared to routine standardized tests like IELTS and TOEFL. If you answer a question correctly, the next question gets harder – you got that right, it’s adaptive! But if you answer it wrong, the next question gets easier. This means that while you keep answering different questions, the test will be able to identify your English proficiency level. So, it just takes around an hour to complete the entire exam.

Duolingo Tests are proved to be easy to implement and use because you do not have to leave your home to attend the test. Apart from that, test requirements are pretty standard:

  • A computer with stable internet
  • A front-facing camera
  • A microphone
  • Speakers
  • Your passport, driver’s license or aadhar

How is the Duolingo test different from TOEFL?

Although both the Duolingo test and TOEFL are computerized, they have some differences. And these are not just confined to the location, timing, and price.

The primary difference between the tests is the type of questions. In Duolingo the questions are distinct as compared to the traditional test. You would notice that there are no long texts to read, listen to, or write. According to Duolingo’s Senior Marketing Manager, Jeffrey Tousignant, some questions are not something you would see in a regular English proficiency test.

In TOEFL questions are based on real-life encounters and scenarios. In some cases, people prefer traditional tests that put them on a stable ground compared to others.

Another significant difference is that the TOEFL divides the questions by sections, whereas Duolingo combines all the questions into a single exam. For example, you might deal with writing problems followed by a listening question. Therefore, the Duolingo test requires critical thinking and faster response time. Besides that, Duolingo is adaptive while the TOEFL isn’t.

How is the Duolingo English Test different from the IELTS?

A considerable advantage for those interested in taking the Duolingo English Test is that it can be taken in just 1 hour at the home. When you compare it with IELTS, it’s a huge plus as IELTS is conducted over two days at a testing center.

You could also see a difference in question formats when you compare the two. Both of the tests cover all four language sections. As mentioned earlier, you would not see long contextual texts in Duolingo English Test. Instead, it works by identifying the candidates’ language ability through a wide range of questions.

On the other hand, IELTS questions have text heavy problems involving multiple-choice, short answers, and essay questions. Another significant difference is that Duolingo has a specific format that allows the participants to evaluate their English proficiency quicker than IELTS. And when attempting the IELTS Speaking section, candidates are supposed to have a face-to-face interview with an examiner. There’s no such hassle in Duolingo.

How is the Duolingo scored and what do my scores mean?

The best part of Duolingo is that the scores are available in just 2 days and you can send scores to as many colleges as you want for free. The Duolingo is scored on a scale of 160 with 5-points increment. A score between 120 and 160 is desirable and demonstrates that your English proficiency is very good. A score between 90 and 115 demonstrates that your English proficiency is above average. Anything below 90 denotes awkwardness or hesitation in understanding or expressing.

There is also an ungraded section in Duolingo that consists of a video interview and writing task. Each task has two options out of which one must be answered. We recommend that you take this unscored section too.

If you are looking to study at a good university abroad, a decent score on English language proficiency tests is a must. Connect with our expert counselors to know more about study abroad requirements and how you can fulfill them.

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