In today’s competitive academic environment, numerous students want to improve their prospects and education portfolio by studying at a prestigious international institution. However, fluency in English is near-essential for admission to prestigious schools.

The number of native English speakers exceeds 13% of the global population, with many acclaimed universities making their proficiency a prerequisite to gain admission in one of their programs. For this purpose, international students can take the Duolingo English Test (DET) which is an acclaimed test to test all aspects of the English language proficiency of the applicant.

Over 4,000 educational institutes across the world recognize the Duolingo exam as evidence of English competence because of how accurate and dependable it is. For an insight into all the details relevant to DET, we have created this complete guide to the Duolingo English Test.

What is Duolingo English Test (DET)?

The Duolingo English Test (DET) is an immersive and detailed online assessment of English language competency for both indigenous and non-indigenous speakers. It is one of the most reliable tests for international students and is accepted in the majority of countries.

Nations such as the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, China, Japan, Ireland, South Korea, Thailand, and Europe (France, Germany, Italy, and Spain) are included. Yale University and the University of Melbourne, for example, are the universities that are accepting DET Test worldwide Accessible all year round over the web, it may be used by anyone from the comfort of their own homes. It has a validity period of 2 years.

Today, DET results are available to overseas students within 2 days after taking the exam and may be shared with anybody or any institution easily. Writing, interpreting, hearing, and speech are all tested via the DET to ensure the applicants have a well-rounded grasp of the spoken language.

With every right answer in the test, the subsequent questions become more challenging similarly the system generates easier questions as the candidate answers questions wrong. The overall duration of the test is 1 hour, with a score range between 10-160.

The scores are based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), a standardized measure of language proficiency utilized internationally. The exam is graded by a mixture of human examiners and machine grading methods, and participants are allowed to repeat the assessment twice every thirty days.

How Does Duolingo English Test (DET) Work and the Cost of Taking DET?

This exam is recognized by numerous universities across the globe, notably a few of the most prestigious in the United States and Canada. When compared to tests like the IELTS and TOEFL, which may cost over $150 depending on the specific type of test taken, the DET is a far more affordable way of proving English language competency.

The total cost to take the Duolingo English Test is $49 (after tax). Furthermore, test takers may send their scores to as many as 40 colleges without paying a fee. Registering for DET is a fast and easy procedure.

This exam is taken entirely online, so there’s no requirement for applicants to schedule time away from their homes to take it. There isn’t any need to schedule a time slot or go to an examination facility to take the TEST. Anyone of any age may take this exam.

To take the Duolingo English Test, candidates can navigate to take the test page. The candidate needs to register for a free account on the site. Find the “Buy Now” button under the “Purchase the Test” page. A web-based checkout form will appear, where the candidate may input his details.

The applicant can pay with any significant credit card, and maybe a few additional ones as well. If a discount voucher was supplied by the institution, it might be used now as well. For discounts, choose “Apply Coupon”.The testing period lasts for 21 days after purchase. Three tests may be purchased every 30 days.

They may begin the examination after registering and logging in, and after payment for it, provided they have relevant documents such as an ID card and passport with them for verification.

Overview of Duolingo English Test (DET) Test Structure

In order to understand how the test is taken and to comprehend various parts of it, we have broken down its many areas below.

1. Video walkthrough / Introduction and Onboarding

Due to the fact that the Duolingo English exam may be done at home rather than at a testing facility, it has its own set of guidelines, standards, and procedures for ensuring the validity of each exam.

Each candidate will initially be briefed on the structure and regulations of the examination through a video walkthrough. There will be checks of a front-facing camera, microphones, speakers, good lighting, and no noise distractions to ensure test transparency and flow.

After that, they’ll be led over the steps of the onboarding procedure, which involve providing identity details such as a valid driving permit, passport, or other government-issued ID. Candidates may begin the exam only once they thoroughly reviewed the guidelines and checked that they possess all the required supplies.

2. Adaptive Test

This is the portion of the exam that will be graded, and the candidate will have 45 minutes to finish it. All multiple-choice questions with different point values may be found here. In this part, questions change depending on the responses that the applicant provides.

Once the system determines the user’s skill level, it may spontaneously modify the questions it asks going forward in order to test them. Such questions are created algorithmically, taking into account the level of language competency of the person responding.

Because of this, the system chooses questions from a wide pool of pre-designed queries. There is no limit to how many questions may be asked. The adaptive grading method is designed to halt creating new questions after a student has reached his own maximum extent of proficiency.

3. Writing Sample and Speaking Sample

The final section of the test requires 10 minutes to get done. An applicant has 30 seconds to review the prompt and begin preparing an answer before the three to five-minute time limit is up on the writing sample. Five minutes of writing time is allotted when they are ready to begin. In this case, there is no restriction on the number of words they may use. After they begin working, they may still see the queries.

The speaking sample lasts between one and three minutes, and participants have 30 seconds to study the question or subject shown on their monitor and formulate a response. Once prepared, students have between one and three minutes to discuss the topic at hand.

Duolingo English Test (DET) Scoring System

For international students, there is a 160-point scale used for calculating Duolingo English Test results. There are 4 separate sub-scores for each recognized exam that together reflect the candidate’s overall performance. The score summary for the Duolingo English Test takes into account a number of different aspects, including literacy, comprehension, production, and conversation.

It’s a useful tool for determining a candidate’s English ability level by various institutes. The following are the scores elaborated to determine the level of competence.

Duolingo Score CEFR Level Description
10–20 A1 the person speaking knows how to get by with basic terms and words of English. They can understand and engage in brief, straightforward discussions with a native English speaker who reduces their conversational speed and modifies the words for the listener.
25–55 A2 the speaker has a communicational level of grasp of the language and can use it effectively in a variety of settings, including the classroom, the office, the grocery store, and the playground.
60–85 B1 the individual is conversant in English and can articulate their thoughts and feelings with relative ease.
90-115 B2 the speaker has a strong command of written and spoken English on familiar concepts and can inquire more about unfamiliar content.
120-140 C1 the speaker is fluent, and his vocab is extensive and appropriate for both official and informal situations.
145–160 C2 the speaker knows advanced English, and he has no trouble grasping slang, idioms, or regional variations in intonation and vocabulary.


Ways to Prepare for the Duolingo English Test (DET)

In order to get ready for this competitive exam, here are a few tips to prepare for it accordingly.

1. Strategize and Understand the Exam Format Priorly

The first and foremost step is to make a viable study plan and stick to it religiously. Learning about the format of the exam is an essential part of getting ready for the test. Use Duolingo’s practice tests to become comfortable with the format of the real exam.

Keep in mind that the DET is adaptive, compared to traditional English language exams, and queries may be made tougher or easier depending on responses and grade of proficiency.

2. Pre-practice

To score high on the DET, practice is crucial. Setting aside dedicated time to practice all aspects of learning English can help enhance weaker skills and reach the language goals more quickly. Gain extensive knowledge of the questions asked on the test and pre-practice the vast majority of them in order to achieve fluency.

Applicants who are well-versed in a wide variety of terminology will find the reading and listening portions less challenging with extensive vocabulary. Consistent reading may be a great method to pick up fresh phrases and see how they’re used in context.

To improve one’s typing speed, it may be helpful to use internet-based applications and typing games for practice. Listening comprehension on tests may be greatly enhanced if applicants make an effort to decipher regional variations in a dialect, terminologies, and grammar.

3. Mock Tests

Candidates may practice under timed conditions and with the actual examination’s structure by taking mock exams. To help its users prepare for official certification exams, Duolingo offers virtual tests in the same manner.

4. Use Digital English Language Learning Tools

Candidates may use a number of resources available via the internet to help them study for the test. Many websites provide study resources including grammar lessons, language contests, and sample exams to help students get ready for the actual test. Apps designed to teach languages provide similar resources.

Cambridge Dictionary is also available online to correct spelling and vocabulary mistakes alongside improving it. They can additionally join organizations and forums where they can talk to others studying the same language and pick up some insights. If the candidate uses online study tools, he will have a better chance of passing your exam.

Universities and Institutions Accepting DET Scores

Here are some of the top universities in the world that recognize the Duolingo Test as a condition for admission.

University Name Country Minimum Duolingo Test Score Accepted
Anglia Ruskin University United Kingdom 110
University of London United Kingdom 105
Cornell University United States of America 120
Yale University United States of America 120
Bard College, Berlin Germany 120
University of Toronto Canada 120
University of Alberta Canada 140
University of Melbourne Australia 120
University of Edinburgh Scotland 105


Due to its status as a global language of communication and modernity, English is now often required for admission to schools all around the globe. The above complete guide to the Duolingo English Test looks at all the details international students need to know to help prepare for the English Proficiency test. Since the Duolingo test is a higher-level exam, it guarantees that a student will have no trouble getting into their desired university with their language abilities.


We hope that this complete guide to the Duolingo English Test (DET) for International Students adequately addresses all of your questions about the Duolingo test. Make sure to also check out our Scholarships Page for different information on scholarships and universities across the globe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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