In today’s world, knowing the English language is an essential skill everyone must have to succeed. Students who want to study abroad must prove their language proficiency in the English language. 

The Duolingo English test is one of the best exams students can take to prove their language proficiency.

Duolingo is a fast, convenient English proficiency exam that can be taken anywhere as it is an online computer-based exam. Duolingo offers two types of language proficiency exams,

  1. Duolingo English Test (DET)
  2. Duolingo language certification Exam

In this blog, we will discuss the Duolingo exam format because it is important to understand it before taking any exam. Let’s start by discussing the types of Duolingo proficiency exams.

DET (Duolingo English Test)

Duolingo English Test(DET) takes around 1 hour to finish. It is quite different from other English proficiency exams like IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE as you need not attend the exams in test centers, and the results also immediately flash once you finish the exam. 

More than 3800+ universities worldwide accept the Duolingo exam as an English proficiency exam. The scorecard of the Duolingo exam will range from 10-160. The Duolingo exam has two major sections. 

One is an adaptive test; you will be asked a series of questions that will evaluate your English language skills, like reading, writing, speaking, and listening. This section takes around 45 minutes to complete. 

For the next 10 minutes, you will have a speaking & writing section. In this, you will be given open-ended prompts, and this section is shared with the institution you apply to, along with the student’s scores. 

In the first 5 minutes of the exam, you will go through the instruction and rules of the exams.


To learn about Duolingo English Test Pattern, read our other blog.

Duolingo Language Certification Exam

Spanish, French, German, and Chinese are just a few of the languages that are available on the Duolingo Language Certification Test. A reading, writing, listening, and speaking proficiency test is conducted online.

Duolingo Exam Format (DET – Duolingo English Test) 

Duolingo includes two major sections and one introduction section, a total of three sections. Let us see each section briefly to understand the Duolingo exam format.

Introduction Section (On-Boarding)

The introduction section is the first and foremost section of the Duolingo English test. It will take 5 minutes. In the introduction section, you will be going through the onboarding process. While on board, you will be asked to show your ID proof. So make to have your ID proof with you during the exam.

The test takers should have come up with a proper computer setup, Microphone, Speakers, front-facing web camera and an uninterrupted internet connection. The system will check your microphones, camera, speakers and internet connection during the onboarding. 

If any of these do not function properly, you cannot go to the next process. During the onboarding, a set of rules will be provided, and the test takers should read all the rules and regulations properly and obey the same during the exam. 

All these processes will happen within 5 minutes. So be attentive and conscious in onboarding, as it is the first section in the Duolingo exam format.

To learn about Duolingo-Accepted Universities In UK, read our other blog.

Adaptive Section

The adaptive section is the most important and graded in the Duolingo exam. In this section, you will be evaluated by your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. This section will take 45 minutes to complete.

The adaptive section will adjust the difficulty level of the question based on the test takers’ responses to the previous question. 

For example, if the test taker answers a question correctly, the next question’s difficulty level may increase. If he or she answers a question incorrectly, the next question will be easy.

There are no specific numbers set for the question in the adaptive section. The AI will evaluate your questions, whether you answered the questions or not, and scores also be provided by the AI. 

The score will be based on your literacy, comprehension, conversation, and production. This section contains the 10 below-mentioned question types.

Question TypesDurationSubscoresDescription
Read and Complete3 minutesLiteracy

This type of question asks you to complete the text by typing the missing words. You have to fill in the blanks for this question.
Read and Select1 minuteLiteracy

There will be a list of words in this question, and the question will ask you to read the words in the list and select the real ones.
Listen and Select1 minuteComprehension
In this question type, students will have 9 recordings; you will have to select the correctly pronounced words from those recordings.
Listen and Type1 minuteComprehension
The candidate will hear a person speaking a statement, and after hearing that statement, the candidate is required to type that statement. The candidate can listen to the recording three times.
Read Aloud20 secondsComprehension
In this question type, the student will see a statement and is asked to read that statement loudly. Students will be able to see the statement while recording. 
Write About the Photo1 MinuteLiteracy
There will be an image on the computer screen for this question type, and students are asked to describe that photo by writing. 
Speak About the Photo30 seconds to 90 secondsConversation
For this question type, the students will have an image, and by analyzing that image properly, students are required to speak about that image.
Read, Then Write5 minutesLiteracy
There will be a prompt for students in this question type, and they are required to read that prompt and write a minimum of 50 words about it.
Read, Then Speak30 seconds to 90 secondsConversation
The students will have a topic or prompt on their computer screen and are required to read that prompt analyze that prompt, and then record themselves while speaking about that prompt.
Listen, Then Speak30 seconds to 90 secondsConversation
There will be a recording in this question type. In that recording, there will be a question, then after listening to that recording, the students are required to speak about the topic given and record themselves.

If you are planning to take the Duolingo English test and want to learn how to prepare for the Duolingo English test and Duolingo question types in detail, read our other blog.

Writing And Speaking Section (Sample)

First of all, this section is an ungraded section in the Duolingo exam format. You will not be provided with any score for this section. This section’s  answer will be sent to the university you apply to with the score you achieved in the exam.

This section will record your writing and speaking as a sample for universities. In speaking, the test taker will be asked to talk about a given topic for at least 1 to 3 minutes; in the writing section, the test taker is asked to write at least 50 words on the given topic in a time period of 5 minutes. This was the last section in the Duolingo exam format.

Read our other blog to learn about Duolingo Accepted Universities In USA.


In this blog, we have discussed the Duolingo exam format. Duolingo is a convenient, fast and secure exam compared to IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE.

The results will be announced within 48 hours once you finish the exam. So you need not to wait long for the result like other exams. I hope this blog gives you enough information about the Duolingo exam format.

If you still have any queries or questions, let us know through comments or contact our experts.

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Is Duolingo test hard?

No, if you have good English language command and properly prepare for the Duolingo test, it is not hard for you. Otherwise, you may struggle to get good marks in the Duolingo test.

Is Duolingo accepted for visa?

Yes, many countries like the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany accept the Duolingo English test as a language proficiency test for a student visa.