Duolingo English Test Syllabus 2024

Updated on 27 June, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Duolingo English test is a globally recognized assessment that you can undertake to certify your English proficiency. It is fast convenient and affordable. The test fee is $49 (excluding taxes). Around 3000 colleges and universities from more than 50 nations accept the Duolingo English test certificate as reliable proof of English proficiency of  international students during the admission process. 

So, if your next target is to go for a Duolingo English test, you ought to have a distinct idea about the syllabus and the pattern of the test. There are two well-defined stages to complete the test - an adaptive test and a video interview. However, a syllabus-oriented study would be more helpful in achieving good scores.

Duolingo Scores and Subscores

Duolingo English Test is scored on a scale of 10 to 160. Overall scores give an overview of your proficiency, while subscores determine your proficiency in specific areas. Your scores are in the form of a certificate with a unique secure link.

Here are the subscores that determine your English language proficiency:

  • Comprehension: Assesses your reading and listening abilities
  • Literacy: Assesses your reading and writing abilities
  • Production: Assesses your writing and speaking abilities
  • Conversation: Assesses your speaking and listening abilities

Duolingo Syllabus For the Adaptive Test

As there’s no particular Duolingo English Test syllabus, the question pattern is something an aspirant should understand clearly. This test is AI-powered, meaning your questions will appear algorithmically, and the gradation process will also be computerized. You will encounter a variety of questions that will examine your reading, writing, and conversation skills in a given time. You will have 45 minutes to undertake the test and prove your English proficiency. There are several types of questions that require practice when planning to attempt DET.

Read and Complete

This question type is a part of the Literacy and Comprehensive subscores. In this type of question, you need to focus on every single word, read the passage carefully, and then fill in the blanks using context clues. You have to complete this question within 3 minutes.

Skills Assessed Time
Literacy and Comprehension3 minutes

Tips

  • Focus on each word and use context clues to complete them.
  • Use the delele or backspace button whenever you want to delete a letter or go back to one space.

Read and Select

This question type is a part of the Literacy and Comprehensive subscores. In this question, you are required to select the real English words from a list of options. You get 1 minute to attempt this question.

Skills Assessed Time
Literacy and Comprehensive1 minute

Tips

  • Make sure to select only those words that you know about and are real.
  • Some words look real but differ slightly from real English words. Read attentively.  
  • Not all questions will have an equal number of correct answers. Few questions might have more real English words than other questions. 
  • The orange color indicates that you have selected a particular word. To deselect it, click the word again.

Listen and Select

This type of question is part of the Comprehension and Conversation subscores. In this question type, you have to listen to the words carefully. The words may sound similar but differ from one another. So, you are required to select the real English words from the list. You can listen to the words as often as you want, but you get 1.5 minutes to complete this question.

Skills Assessed Time
Comprehension and Conversation1 minute 30 seconds

 

Tips

  • A few words might sound similar but will have slight differences from the real ones. Pay full attention while listening and selecting real English words.
  • You need to click the check mark to select your answer. 
  • The orange color indicates the selected answer. Re-clicking the check mark will help you deselect the option.

Listen and Type

This type of question falls under the Comprehension and Conversation subscores. This question type requires you to type what exactly you are hearing out. You can play the statement thrice in total. You get 1 minute to attempt this question.

Skills Assessed Time
Comprehension and Conversation1 minute

Tips

  • After typing your answer, recheck it by replaying the audio and matching it with your response.
  • Click on the orange speaker icon to hear out the statement.

Read Aloud

This question type is a part of the Comprehension and Conversation subscores. You get 20 seconds to speak out loud and record the statement. There’s just one chance to record your statement.

Skills Assessed Time
Comprehension and Conversation20 seconds

Tips

  • Before the final recording, practice speaking the statement once. 
  • Pace yourself based on the punctuation displayed. For example, you can take a sight pause where a comma appears.
  • While recording, make sure you speak clearly and loudly.
  • You get only one chance to record your response, so manage your time wisely.
  • Start speaking after clicking the RECORD NOW button to record your response. 

Complete the Sentences

7 interactive reading questions fall under the Literacy and Comprehensive subscores. You must select the correct answer for each missing word from the list in this question type. You get 7 or 8 minutes to attempt it.

Skills Assessed Time
Literacy and Comprehension7 to 8 minutes

Tips

  • Use context clues carefully to determine the best choice of word.
  • Double-check all your responses while managing the time.
  • There’s no sequence of sentences that you need o follow.
  • The Tab button, mouse, or touchpad will help you to move between the sentences.

Complete the Passage

6 interactive reading questions fall under the Literacy and Comprehensive subscores. In this question type, you must select the best sentence to fill in the provided blank from the list. You get 7 or 8 minutes to attempt these questions.

Skills Assessed Time
Literacy and Comprehension7 to 8 minutes

Tips

  • Some passages will be related to the passages from the Complete the Sentences question. Make sure that you read each passage of each section carefully.
  • Hovering over each option will enable you to see it in the passage.

Highlight the Answer

5 reading questions fall under the Literacy and Comprehensive subscores. In this question type, you must click the text you want to highlight and drag it below it. So read the passages carefully and select the text carefully to highlight. The highlighted text appears in a box provided under the question. You get 7 or 8 minutes to complete these questions.

Skills Assessed Time
Literacy and Comprehension7 to 8 minutes

Tips

  • Be precise with highlighting the exact selection that you think is your answer. No need to highlight more or less than what is needed.
  • If you want to deselect your response, click and drag your cursor to the screen where you want to highlight it. Make sure the box below consists of your selected and highlighted text.

Identify the Idea

You will get 3 questions under this section that fall under the Literacy and Comprehensive subscores. In this question type, you must read the passages carefully and select the most relevant idea expressed in the passage. You get 7 or 8 minutes to complete these questions.

Skills Assessed Time
Literacy and Comprehension7 to 8 minutes

Tips

  • The options in the list might seem relevant, but you need to select the best idea represented in the text.
  • Selecting a response will turn the box into an orange color.

Title the Passage

This question type falls under the Literacy and Comprehensive subscores. In this question type, you must read the passage carefully and select the most relevant title that suits the particular passage. You get 7 or 8 minutes to complete these questions.

Skills Assessed Time
Literacy and Comprehension7 to 8 minutes

Tips

  • The options in the list might seem relevant, but you must select the best title for the passage. 
  • Selecting a response will turn the box into an orange color.

Write About the Photo

This question type is a part of the Production and Literacy subscores. You get 1 minute to attempt this question. Observe the image and describe it in one or more sentences. Even though the directions ask for one sentence, writing more than one sentence is good.

Skills Assessed Time
Production and Literacy1 minute

Tips

  • Try describing the image in detail.
  • The more you write, the more it helps you demonstrate your English skills.
  • The mouse and trackpad will help you scroll back through your response to recheck it.

Read, Then Write

This question type is a part of the Production and Literacy subscores. You get 5 minutes to write the answer in more than 50 words. Even if it is mentioned to write at least 50 words, you are suggested to write as much as you can. The content should be relevant to the topic and question. Submit the answer only after proofreading it.

Skills Assessed Time
Production and Literacy5 minutes

Tips

  • Write as much as you can in 5 minutes so that you can make effective use of your English skills.
  • Make sure you do not deviate from the topic.
  • Below the text box, your word count will appear, and once you reach or cross the word limit of 50, the NEXT button gets activated.
  • Proofread your response before submitting it.

Speak About the Photo

This question type is a part of the Production and Conversation subscores. You get 1.5 minutes to attempt this question. You need to speak out loud and describe the image. Before the recording begins, you get 20 seconds to observe the image well and plan how to describe it.

Skills Assessed Time
Production and Conversation1 minute 30 seconds

Tips

  • Speak loudly and clearly maintaining a natural pace.
  • Explain the image in such a way that you are describing it to someone who is not able to see it.

Read, Then Speak

This question type is a part of the Production and Conversation subscores. You get 1.5 minutes to attempt this question. In the beginning, you get 20 seconds to prepare for the given questions.

Skills Assessed Time
Production and Conversation1 minute 30 seconds

Tips

  • You must speak out loud, naturally, and clearly using various words and sentence structures.
  • Do not miss out on any component of the question.

Listen, Then Speak

This question type is a part of the Production and Conversation subscores. You get 1.5 minutes to attempt this question. You can play the question three times, including two replays. 

Skills Assessed Time
Production and Conversation1 minute 30 seconds

Tips

  • Listen to the question carefully and then answer it loudly and clearly using various words and sentences.
  • Before recording your response, make sure you have a clear understanding of the prompt.
  • You can speak for a minimum of 30 seconds.

Writing Sample

This question type is a part of the Production and Literacy subscores. You get 5 minutes to attempt this question. This is an essay-type question. You get a question to which you need to write the answer for up to 5 minutes. Proofread your answer before submitting it.

Skills Assessed Time
Production and Literacy5 minutes

Tips

  • Try practicing good writing habits on a daily basis. Various sentence structures, word choices, and expressions of thoughts should be present.
  • Manage your time so that you are left with some time to check your response.

Speaking Sample

This question type is ungraded, which is not scored. You get 3 minutes to speak on a topic provided in the question. The answer is submitted in the form of a video recording.

Skills Assessed Time
Unscored3 minutes

Download these guides to read Offline

Duolingo Syllabus
Duolingo test pattern

Tips

  • Speak for as long as you can. At least keep talking till the NEXT button turns orange.
  • Before taking the test, practice speaking for 1 to 3 minutes.
  • The speaking sample is sent in the form of a video recording.

Update: A new question type will be added from 1 May 2023 onward in the Duolingo English Test. Also, the Speaking Sample will no more be an ungraded section. It will be scored.

Conclusion

To cover all aspects of the Duolingo English test syllabus, develop a habit of reading newspapers, journals, and books and listening to podcasts to improve conversational and writing/comprehension skills. Self-preparation keeping these points in mind can, surely help you ace the proficiency test.

* "Disclaimer! All course fees/salaries/expenses are indicative."

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the format of the Duolingo English Test?

The format of the Duolingo English Test is divided into three parts:
Quick setup for 5 minutes
Adaptive Test for 45 minutes
Writing and Speaking Sample for 10 minutes

How long does the Duolingo English Test take to complete?

The Duolingo English Test is for one hour.

What is the syllabus of the Duolingo English Test?

There is no specified syllabus for the Duolingo English Test. It includes the following types of questions scored on the basis of literacy, comprehension, conversation, and production.

  • Read and Complete
  • Read and Select
  • Listen and Select
  • Listen and Type
  • Read Aloud
  • Complete the Sentences
  • Complete the Passage
  • Highlight the Answer
  • Identify the Idea
  • Title the Passage
  • Write About the Photo
  • Read, then Write
  • Speak About the Photo
  • Read, then Speak
  • Listen, then Speak
  • Writing Sample
  • Speaking Sample

How is the speaking section of the Duolingo English Test conducted?

The Speaking section of the Duolingo English Test is conducted in the form of a video recording.

Can the Duolingo English Test be taken remotely?

The Duolingo English Test can be taken from anywhere and at any time as it is completely online.

Important Resources For PTE/SAT/ACT Exam

PTE Examination Eligibility Criteria

There are no specific PTE exam eligibility criteria set by Pearson VUE – the organizers of the test.

PTE Eligibility

PTE Academic Syllabus

PTE syllabus includes various sections such as Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.

PTE Syllabus

PTE Exam Pattern

The PTE exam pattern is designed to test whether candidates can study at international institutions that have English as the main language for instructions.

PTE Exam Pattern

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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