Duolingo English Test Writing Samples 2023 - Check sample questions and tips to score high

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Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Feb 03, 2023 11:45 AM IST

The Duolingo English Test is a high-stakes, computer-adaptive, first-ever digital test of English language proficiency test. Just like other English proficiency tests, DET evaluates the four language components of Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening. Duolingo Writing Sample is the last section of the exam, where test-takers are given 3-5 minutes to respond to a written prompt.

Let us discuss the types of Duolingo writing questions, topics for the Duolingo Writing Sample, and much more in detail on this page.

Duolingo English Test Writing Sample

Twelve different assets are included in the Duolingo English Test. Conversation, Literacy, Comprehension, and Production are the four subscores that are derived from performance on these assets. The test uses artificial intelligence (AI) with 'people in the loop', meaning that humans are involved in every aspect of the test like automated scoring of answers, security measures, and proctoring.

Prior to February 2022, however, the 'Writing Sample' task response was submitted to admissions authorities without being graded. As of March 2022, all three items are scored and contribute significantly to the overall score of DET, in addition to the Production and Literacy subscores. The decision was made to score the previously unscored DET Writing Sample to improve measurement reliability while keeping the test length constant.

Wish to Excel in Duolingo's Writing Section? 

Types of Duolingo Writing Sample Questions

The Duolingo English Test evaluates writing through three subtasks: 'Write About the Photo,' 'Read Then Write,' and 'Writing Sample.' The first task requires test takers to describe an image, while the other two require them to read a prompt and respond in writing. The whole text of the 'Writing Sample' is sent to school admissions staff, or whatever institution the test taker decides to submit their DET scores to. Below are the three types of writing questions asked on the DET:

1. Writing About the Photo (Adaptive Questions) 

Write About the Photo, a picture description task, asks test-takers to provide a written description of an image. Open-source photographs of real-world scenes make up the images; while some are in black and white, most are in full colour. There are no cartoon-like graphics like clipart or line drawings. Participants in the test must type a description of an image into a given text entry box.

2. Read Then Write (Adaptive Questions)

For the ‘Read Then Write’ task, test-takers have up to five minutes to write as much as they can—at least 50 words. 50 words must be entered into the provided text box in order for the test taker to move on. Test-takers are required to write about the following topic in this section:

  • To describe, discuss, or explain.

  • To make an argument.

  • To recount past experiences.

3. Writing Sample

The Duolingo English Test's last section is the writing sample. Candidates will have three to five minutes to answer each of the two written prompts. They will have to write a lot about one of the two topics. The candidates will have 30 seconds to select one of the two topics for their essays.

This portion of the test is not graded by the computer. However, in order for the institution to get your result, Duolingo will share your written answers and video footage.

Typical Topics for Duolingo Writing Sample

For the Duolingo Writing Sample section, at least 50 words must be written in the allotted five minutes. Attempt to have a response of at least 100 words, even if you only need to write 50 words. Writing more will allow you to use a wider range of vocabulary, which will improve your grade. Make sure whatever you write carries no grammatical mistakes. The following are the typical topics for Duolingo Writing Sample:

  • Arts and culture

  • Business world

  • Government policy

  • Educational styles

  • Health and wellness

  • Parenting styles

  • Education experience

  • Technology and the future

  • Using technology

  • Parenting styles

  • Travelling

  • Influential people

Most Common Question Types for DET Writing Sample

The following are some areas that can be useful in the Duolingo English test. Begin crafting your own responses to the questions listed below by timing yourself. This way, you will have no difficulty to deal the variety of questions asked in the actual DET Writing Sample.


The following are the sample argumentative questions provided to help you get prepared for the Duolingo Writing Sample:

  • Many important building structures are being demolished or replaced. What may be the reasons for this?

  • These days, more and more kids are being taught to use innovative technologies. What are the benefits of this novel approach?

  • In addition to saving money, public transportation reduces pollution from private vehicles. Why do you prefer it?

  • Some people argue that teens no longer possess moral principles. What do you think?

  • Finding a good job only requires a degree from a renowned university. Do you agree?

  • Some people believe that the government should fund space exploration, while others believe that hospitals should be built. Which viewpoint do you agree with?

  • Some claim that radio has no future because of the growth of the Internet and social media. Do you agree?


As the name suggests, you have to describe the question presented to you. The following are the sample descriptive questions provided to help you get prepared for the Duolingo Writing Sample:

  • Describe your home

  • Describe an occasion when you felt happy. What actually happened?

  • Describe the environment in which you live.

  • Describe the workouts you perform every day.

  • Describe an event when someone cheated on you.

  • Describe a special event when you went on a trip.

  • Describe a skill you would like to acquire. Why?

  • Describe the car you drive.

  • Describe the actor you admire. Why?


The following are some sample questions on recount provided to help you get prepared for the Duolingo Writing Sample:

  • Write about the workplace of your dreams. Why do you desire that position?

  • Write a review of your preferred book.

  • Which delicacy is your favourite? How does it get made?

  • Describe your best friend in words. When did you first meet her/him?

Duolingo Test Sample Questions and Answers

As discussed, the DET asks you to write a 50-word mini-essay in the form of the questions asked. We have provided some examples below which will give you an idea about how to write impressive 50-word answers in the timeframe given. 

Q. Modern education increasingly makes use of new technology. What are the benefits of this novel technique?

There are several benefits to using technology to teach students, like fostering a more engaging environment, enhancing teamwork, having more opportunities to connect with international students, etc. Using engaging images to explain complex theories and concepts is another way that technology helps students learn and understand more. For this, utilising technology in the classroom benefits both the students and the teaching approach.

Q. Many old structures are being demolished or replaced. What might be the possible reasons for this?

The lack of land availability is one of the main causes of historic structures being demolished. More land is required to accommodate houses for the growing population as the world's population is rising. Furthermore, urbanisation is replacing a lot of old buildings. Numerous businesses have been able to annex historic structures in the name of development due to the rapid spread of urbanisation. As a result, as people become oblivious to the changes occurring around them, the value of ancient structures is steadily declining.

Q. How would you describe your home?

My home is an apartment, not a house. It is a ten-story structure with five apartments on each floor and a total of forty apartments. It is situated in a city and on a very crowded street. I have lived here all my life, and this flat is where I met most of my friends and did group study. We all went to the same elementary school and have maintained close relationships over the years. I have some of the most lovely moments in my life with this house and the little things I used to decorate it. 

Q. Compared to private transportation, public transportation reduces pollution and costs. Which one do you prefer and why?

Personally, I agree entirely with this assertion. The cost of public transportation is lower than that of private transportation. Personally, I make use of it every day. However, even though they reduce pollution compared to private transportation, there is no denying the convenience and comfort of having a private vehicle. Owning a private vehicle is an absolute luxury and privilege. However, for large groups of people, public transportation is unquestionably the superior choice.

Q. While some people contend that the government should fund space technology, others claim that the government should construct hospitals. Which stance do you agree with?

In my opinion, government expenditure on hospitals should always take precedence over funding for space technology. I think there is much potential for human civilisation in space research. It is a luxury, though, for a growing nation like ours. Building quality hospitals is one of the key elements to achieving the improved healthcare systems that our nation so desperately needs. Although it is perfectly acceptable for the government to invest money in space exploration, it is not acceptable for it to do so at the price of the well-being of its people.

Need Expert Guidance to Exhaustively Prepare for the Duolingo? 

FAQs on Duolingo English Test Writing Sample

What are some tips and tricks to ace the Duolingo Writing Sample section?

The following are some tips and tricks to ace the Duolingo Writing Sample section:

  • Replace personal pronouns with nouns and noun phrases. Also, avoid using too many personal pronouns.

  • Linking verbs like is, are, has, have, and belong to ensure consistency.

  • Use present tense to write reports

  • Use action words like work, play, climb, etc.

What is the difficulty level of the questions asked in the Duolingo English Test?

The difficulty level of the questions asked in the Duolingo English Test varies from one candidate to another. DET is a computer-adaptive test, this means that the difficulty level increases if succeedingly correct answers are given and decreases if answered incorrectly. The system randomises the order of the questions due to its adaptive nature.

Is the Writing Sample on the Duolingo English Test graded?

No, the Writing Sample on the Duolingo English Test is not graded. It is a part of the video interview that the Duolingo English Test will send to your preferred school. Though it is not graded, you must still present yourself professionally even in this section.

How can I improve my writing skills for the Duolingo English Test?

You can improve your writing skills for the Duolingo English Test by:

  • Becoming familiar with the essay format

  • Practising sample topics

  • Continuous reading

  • Creating grammatically accurate statements

  • Maintaining a formal tone while writing

  • Managing your time wisely

Is the Duolingo English Test accepted in Canada?

Yes, the Duolingo English Test is accepted in Canada. The Duolingo Test scores are accepted by around 150 universities in Canada. However, before submitting your scores, you should thoroughly review each university's English Proficiency Test requirements.

What are the benefits of taking the Duolingo English Test?

There are many benefits of taking the Duolingo English Test, one of which is you can take this test when it is most convenient for you. This test has the advantage of being less expensive, more adaptable, and delivering results much more quickly. Furthermore, many universities currently accept DET test results, and the list will expand in the future. For more information, visit the Benefits of Taking the Duolingo English Test page.

TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE vs Duolingo - which exam should I take to study abroad?

TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE vs Duolingo English Test, you can take any one of the exams as per your convenience and the English Proficiency requirements of your preferred university. However, the notion that Duolingo is easier than its competitor exams, such as IELTS and TOEFL, is a lie. DET  is conducted to examine strong linguistic abilities, just like the other English Proficiency Tests. If you are confused about which exam should you take then, check out this article IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE vs Duolingo - Which Exam to Take for Study Abroad?

What is Duolingo Practice Test?

On the official Duolingo website, there is a free practice test or a mock test called Duolingo Practice Test. Similar technology and questions are used in this test as in the official Duolingo English Test. The Duolingo testing organisation designed it to provide students with a realistic test experience. If you are planning to attempt a practice test then, visit Duolingo Practice Test - Benefits, How to Attempt.

Is the Duolingo English Test accepted in USA?

Yes, the Duolingo English Test is widely accepted in the USA at more than 1,700 institutions. The Duolingo English Test (DET) is one of the English proficiency tests that institutions throughout the world accept. Many universities in the United States have begun to accept the Duolingo test in order to enrol international students. For more information, check out the list of Duolingo Accepted Universities in USA.

Which universities in the UK accept the Duolingo English Test?

There are many universities in the UK that accept the Duolingo English Test. These include Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Leeds, the University of Bristol, Queen's University Belfast, Queen Mary University of London, University of Westminster, University of Lincoln, University of Birmingham, etc.

Colleges accepting Duolingo English Test

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