Duolingo English Test Preparation Strategy & Study Plan 2023 - Check Tips & Tricks to Score Well in Duolingo English Test

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Aarushi Jain
Updated on May 09, 2023 11:33 PM IST

The Duolingo English Test is a widely accepted English language proficiency test, with many students throughout the world who aim to study abroad in a native English language country using a Duolingo English Test preparation tips and strategic approach.

Because there is no specific Duolingo English Test syllabus, students must study the fundamentals of English Grammar in both spoken and written English, as the test evaluates and scores the global language's Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing components.

Aspirants can learn about the many study strategies and Duolingo preparation tips available on this page in order to ace the Duolingo English Test 2023. A well-planned study regimen and its execution will assist you in performing well on the final Duolingo English Test.

Duolingo English Test Preparation Tips: Strategy & Study Plan

The unique and novel question delivery system of the Duolingo English Test makes the process of designing a Duolingo English Test preparation strategy and study plan a little bit tricky. The test focuses on the actual ability of the candidate to use and understand the language, hence, it is required that the dynamic application and usage are known by the candidates rather than just rules.

The Duolingo English Test score is widely accepted at universities around the world for admissions, especially to undergraduate degrees. Currently, more than 3,000 universities consider the Duolingo English Test as a standard test to determine the English language proficiency of the candidate. However, merely taking the Duolingo English Test is not sufficient to meet the requirements of an institution. You must have a good score acceptable at a specific university/institution.

For this, you must prepare well for the Duolingo English Test. Make sure you plan your preparation strategy in the right direction to enhance your productivity and efficiency.

Know the Duolingo Score Requirements to Study Abroad!

Duolingo Exam Pattern 2023 - An Overview

The Duolingo English Test is an internet-based exam that you may take from the comfort of your own home. The test has two patterns, which are explained below:

  • The English Adaptive Test: This is the first section of the exam. It assesses your English reading, writing, speaking, and listening abilities. On the screen, the scores will be shown in various ways. There will be no repeated questions, and you will be tested on all of your abilities.

  • Duolingo Video Interview Test: The second portion of the test lasts around 10 minutes. You will be asked open-ended questions and will be required to record your responses. 

The duration of the Duolingo English Tests vary each administration; hence, the test time and amount of items may fluctuate. The Duolingo exam pattern is summarised in the table below:

Test Sections

Language Skills Tested

Test Duration

Adaptive Test

It is a graded component that assesses your reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills.

45 minutes

Video Interview

It is an ungraded section in which you record your responses to open-ended questions.

10 minutes

How to Start Your Duolingo Test Preparation?

Before taking the Duolingo exam, it is essential to familiarise yourself with the test pattern, scoring system, and so on. A few things you should be aware of are given below. You are welcome to look at them.

  • Before taking the test, you should thoroughly understand the Duolingo exam pattern. You may view video instructions on the Duolingo website for the same.

  • If you go to the "Test Readiness" tab, you will see the Duolingo English Practise test papers, which will help you understand the difficulty level of the questions.

  • The Duolingo blog area has a number of useful tools for improving your reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities. Going through them is a good idea.

General Preparation Tips for Duolingo English Test

Duolingo English Test is accepted at many foreign universities, and although the test format is simplified and easy high scores are still a concern. It is important to get high scores to get into prestigious institutions. The guidelines given below can help you to score well on the Duolingo English Test:

  • Get familiar with the Duolingo test pattern and test format before you begin your preparation.

  • Download practice sets and attempt to understand the difficulty level of the questions.

  • Analyze each question carefully while preparing for the test.

  • Focus on your weaker sections and try to improve before taking the final test.

  • Practice as many questions as possible within a time frame to improve your speed and analytical skills.

  • As some of the Duolingo English Test voice-recorded, you must sound confident and make the appropriate gestures while attempting the questions.

  • Build your English speaking skills. You can make use of the online courses that are available for free that can help you build confidence while you speak.

  • In case you are not confident with the correct usage of grammar, vocabulary, or tenses, you can refer to some of the Best English Language Books to Polish Your English Skills

  • The test structure and technology have been built to ensure security and no cheating (attempts included), hence, avoid relying on the possibility of such changes. 

Check out articles on Duolingo:

Duolingo Practice Test - Benefits, How to Attempt Duolingo Accepted Universities in Canada
Duolingo Accepted Universities in UK Duolingo Accepted Universities in USA

Section-wise Preparation for Duolingo English Test

Duolingo English Test is divided into two distinct sections, Adaptive Section and Video Interview, and each is one of its kind. While Adaptive is an integrated testing section on various topics of English, video interview tests confidence and fluency. The two sections are a lot different from each other, and therefore, it is recommended that each is prepared individually.

In the Adaptive Test section, you can expect all types of questions merged into one. The difficulty level of the questions varies for each test-taker, as the system generates more difficult questions based on the performance of the candidate. The Video Interview and Writing test section measures the speaking and writing abilities of the candidate. Know how you can prepare well for each part of the Duolingo English Test here.

Know More About Duolingo Accepting Universities Abroad!

Preparation Tips for Duolingo Adaptive Test Section

Duolingo English Test Exam Pattern has created a clear outline of the test. There are several types of questions that are asked in the Duolingo English Test Adaptive Section. Here are some of the tips and tricks to prepare for all types of questions in the Duolingo English Test Adaptive Section.

Read and Complete

Go through the passage given instead of focusing on the missing letters or words. Make sure you understand the context of the passage, as that will help you fill in the missing words or letters.

Read and Select

Here, candidates will need to trust their guts, understanding, and knowledge of the English Language. Some questions may have more English words than others, in other words, there could be any number of real English words. Some words may even seem real but may have one or two letters changed. You can select and deselect words if you change your mind.

Listen and Select

Similar to before, trust your gut, understanding, and knowledge of the English Language. Some words may have small differences from the real words, therefore, pay attention to the syllables of each word. Before advancing, it is advisable to double-check the words.

Listen and Type

This question type allows you to listen to the statement 2-3 times, therefore, it is advisable to write the statement or sentence after the first time you hear it. Make the necessary changes to the statement after hearing it for the second and third time.

Read Aloud

This is probably one of the only few types of questions that you can prepare separately, by reading books, articles, and other written material aloud. Students are advised to look out for each punctuation mark in each statement, pause and enunciate properly, before advancing to the next question.

Write About the Photo

While it is easier to just describe the photo as is, it is advisable to go the extra mile. Try writing more than one sentence as all test-takers have been given the provision. Check your grammar and spelling after you have written your response before advancing to the next question.

Speak About the Photo

The recording for your response will begin 20 seconds after the directions have been given, take this time to structure your answer and speak at a normal pace while enunciating properly. Duolingo suggests speaking about the photo as if you are describing it to a blind person. It is also advisable to not panic when and if you stumble while speaking, recover and continue your answer.

Read and Write

Take your time to prepare and structure your answer for the prompt. Students are encouraged to write as much as they can, provided they are using the correct English Grammar. The system will automatically allow clicking “Next” once the candidate has written 50 words, but students have the option of clicking manually. Therefore, for advancing to the next question, check the spellings and grammar that you have used in your response.

Read and Speak

Like any other speaking questions in the section, speak confidently, at a constant pace and enunciate properly while giving your response to the prompt. It is important to note that you have responded to all the elements of the prompt. It is important to structure and prepare your response before advancing to the recording screen.

Listen and Speak

Similar to the previous type, have a clear understanding of the question before you start recording your response to the question. However, you must note that the prompt can only be replayed twice after you have played it the first time. The question requires candidates to speak continuously for 30 seconds. To indicate this, the “Next” button on the screen will illuminate orange, once the 30 seconds are over.

Tips to Attempt Graded Section

The adaptive Section of the Duolingo English Test can be attempted well by applying the following tips:

  • Each question has time allotted and there is no measure of better scoring based on speed. Hence, allotted time must be made use of properly and wholly.

  • An answer is finalized only by clicking ‘NEXT’. Hence, answers may be revised for correction if time is available before finalizing them.

  • Do not overexert the importance of the timer otherwise, anxiety may overwhelm you. Be calm and confident and focus on accuracy rather than speed. 

  • In case you have extra time available, revise the question, especially whether ‘corrector ’wrong’ or ‘similar’ or ‘opposite’ are asked as there is a high chance of reading the question wrong.

Preparation Tips for Video Interview and Writing Section

While the Adaptive Test of Duolingo is graded, the Video and Writing section of the test is purely to analyze the speaking and writing skills of the candidate and it is not graded. Here are some of the tips and tricks to ace the Ungraded Video and Writing sample section of the Duolingo English Test 2023.

Speaking (Video) Sample

In this section, students are required to speak on any one of the two options provided to them for 1-3 minutes. Therefore, before attempting the actual test, candidates are advised to practice speaking for 1 to 3 minutes on different topics, before actually sitting for the test.

  1. The recipients of your score are the people who will be assessing your speaking skills and therefore they will be hearing and watching you speak. Therefore, be confident, and fluent, pace yourself properly, and enunciate properly when speaking on the topic.

  2. The “Next” button will illuminate orange once a specified amount of time has passed, but students can continue to speak for longer.

  3. A good rule of thumb to follow is to not focus on the timer given on the screen as that may distract you from communicating and speaking properly, thus reducing your chances of being selected by the university/college of your choice.

Writing Sample

Similar to the speaking section, candidates will be given two topics to choose from, on which they will be required to write for 3-5 minutes. 

  1. All candidates will have 30 seconds to choose between either of the two given choices, therefore, use it properly, even to structure and prepare your response.

  2. Before attempting the actual test, it is advisable to practice writing on different topics and understand what good writing skills are. Some of the tips to keep in mind include: continuously changing the word choice and sentence formation; expressing different thought processes with different logical transitions.

Note: Some of the best preparation tips to ace the Duolingo English Test is to continuously practice writing and speaking on different topics, to improve and enhance your speaking and writing skills. You can also choose to record yourself speaking on different topics so that you can see where you lack and where your strong points are.

Also, Duolingo offers a number of practice tests that aspirants can attempt before sitting for the actual Duolingo English Test. This will help you gauge the difficulty levels of the questions asked in the test.

Tips for Attempt Video Interview

In order to attempt the speaking video interview questions with the following steps:

  • Speak clearly and properly as there is no chance of re-recording the interview.

  • Ensure to check the audio and video before attempting the test to check whether the audio is loud enough or not.

  • Make full use of the time available to you and extend your matter with a planned structure.

  • Do not repeat words of similar nature and use extensive vocabulary.

Tips to Attempt Writing Sample

In order to attempt the writing section follow the following steps:

  • Use correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization.

  • Ensure to submit only once you have completed your matter writing.

  • Ensure to extend a few seconds and use extensive vocabulary.

  • Plan your content to look organized and inflow. 

  • Ensure to use the whole time available to you.

Duolingo English Test Exam Day Advice

In this section, we will provide you with advice on how to psychologically and physically prepare for your Duolingo exam day.

Weeks Before the Test

  • Watch a quick video summary of the Test as an example of informal research. Then, for more educational videos, visit our YouTube channel and playlists.

  • You can also visit the DET's Test Readiness page, which includes the Official Guide for Test Takers. It covers a wide range of topics, including various types of questions, scoring, test experience, and other relevant difficulties.

  • Put all of your skills to use every day to enhance your English! The Duolingo Blog provides advice on how to utilise English in everyday situations.

  • You may also take the free practice test as many times as you like. This will give you an idea of the kind of questions you will encounter on the Test.

Day Before the Test

  • Choose a quiet and comfortable location to take the Test. There should be enough light, a comfortable place to sit, and complete seclusion in your location.

  • Check that you have everything you'll need, such as a government-issued photo ID, a computer, and a consistent internet connection.

  • You can purchase the Test in advance and then simply click "Start Test" when you are ready.

  • Determine the time of day when you will be most productive and creative. You may take the Duolingo English Test whenever and anywhere you like. Some exam takers like to sleep late, while others prefer to get up early.

On The Test Day

  • Allow for a minimum of one hour of uninterrupted time. Make it clear to everybody in the region that they are not permitted to enter your testing area. You could even create a front-door sign!

  • If you wear headphones, you will not be able to receive your Test certificate. Your face and ears should be visible.

  • Read all of the test-taking instructions carefully to ensure that your exam is safe and genuine. Before you begin the Test, it will remind you of the rules.

During the Test

  • Since each exam is proctored, you must keep your gaze fixed on the screen the entire time. It is natural to look away while thinking or being distracted, but try your best to stay concentrated on the test.

  • Unlike previous exams, the Duolingo English Test has only one section, which consists of a series of adaptive questions covering all of your English skills. Because these tasks are short and predictive, you will not have time to complete lengthy reading and writing sections.

  • Take note of the time restriction for each question displayed on the screen, and attempt to write or speak as much as you can before the timer runs out.

  • At the end of the graded part, you will complete an ungraded video interview and a written sample. These, along with your grades, are shared with universities, so do your best to portray yourself and your English skills.

After Taking the Test

  • When you have finished your DET exam and video interview, you will be prompted to submit your exam. Before closing the testing window, ensure that your Test has been completely uploaded. You will be notified when it is completed.

  • Time to celebrate! You have completed the task! Duolingo will email you the results in two days.

  • After receiving your validated results, you may send them to as many Duolingo-accepted foreign universities as you like for free.

Tips for Success in the Duolingo English Test

Students get anxious before appearing for an exam and the same can be true for Duolingo English Test. In order to ensure that you have a successful test experience, here are some tips for you to follow:

  • Watch the 3 minute-videos available on the Duolingo website to get an idea of the Duolingo exam pattern.

  • Take free Duolingo practice tests. You get familiar with the type of questions and the time limits and know how to answer them.

  • Make preparations for the DET exam in advance. Check your internet connection, hardware and software requirements. Do not delay the preparations till the last moment.

  • Make sure you understand the rules well. The test proctors will check the video recorded after the exam if you have followed all the guidelines provided on the Duolingo website.

  • Check if all the answers have been uploaded.

Know Which English Test You Should Attempt!

FAQs on Duolingo English Test Preparation Tips

How long does it take to prepare for Duolingo?

It does not take too long to prepare for Duolingo, provided you have a a good understanding of the English language. A minimum of 2 weeks of preparation is sufficient to score well on the Duolingo. During this period, you can take Duolingo practice tests and sample questions available online.

How can I prepare for Duolingo?

You can prepare for the Duolingo English Test as per the guidelines issued by the testing authority. Duolingo releases a comprehensive guide to help students prepare for Duolingo. You can download the file and go through tips and tricks to prepare to score well on the test. You can also take a free practice test available online.

Is the practice test sufficient to prepare for Duolingo?

The practice test is sufficient to prepare for Duolingo if you have a good command of the English language. It helps you to get familiar with the types of questions asked in Duolingo. Online practice tests provide you with an estimated test score at the end of the test which is useful to analyse your level of preparation.

How to access the Duolingo readiness guide?

To access the Duolingo readiness guide, you will have to visit the official website of the test. The Duolingo readiness guide is available online. You can also download it after creating an official Duolingo account. In case the process seems difficult, our test experts can help you.

How to score above 120 in Duolingo?

You can score above 120 on Duolingo by thoroughly practising sufficient sample questions as asked in the test. However, since 120 is quite a high score, it is advised to plan the preparation. In this case, it is better to consult test prep experts who can not only help you in planning the schedule but also with the study material.

When is the best time to start preparing for Duolingo?

The best time to start preparing for Duolingo depends on your current fluency in the language. Based on that, you must start preparing for the exam and prepare a schedule. That said, you must also have a clear idea of the Duolingo exam pattern before you start preparing for the exam.

Is it important to plan the preparation schedule for Duolingo?

It is important to plan a personalised preparation schedule for Duolingo. It is advised by experts that preparation must go hand in hand with a schedule, irrespective of knowledge and fluency. However, if the candidate is weak in English, practicing more becomes further essential.

I am sitting for Duolingo in 2 weeks, can I still prepare for it?

Even if you are sitting for Duolingo in 2 weeks, you can still prepare for it. However, at this point, extensive preparation material like books must be forgone, as there is not enough time to go through it all. It is best to opt for question or practice papers at this point. Candidates with a low level of fluency must practice numerous question papers to ensure high scores.

What methods are available to prepare the best for Duolingo?

The methods available to prepare the best for Duolingo are Books, practice papers, and question papers. As a prospective candidate, you can choose any of the three or even all three of the options available. The decision is dependent on your fluency level.

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