Duolingo English Test Syllabus 2023 - Section-Wise Syllabus, Important Topics

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Aarushi Jain
Updated on Apr 01, 2023 11:47 PM IST

The Duolingo English Test has no organised or declared Duolingo syllabus. The absence of a syllabus is due to a very important reason: the Duolingo administration does not want its test-takers to be burdened by preparation for the 'English Test.'

It is thought that competency in English should be examined as a known language and the fluidity with which it may be utilised, rather than the test takers' capacity to prepare for a tough examination.

Considering DET is used to evaluate aspirants' English proficiency, there is no need to follow a specific Duolingo exam syllabus. Each section of the test, however, follows a specific framework. On this page, you will learn more about the section-wise Duolingo syllabus!

Duolingo English Test Syllabus

The Duolingo English Test (DET) is an innovative test that uses AI and Data Forensics technology to ensure security and transparency. The test contains a set of questions to determine the speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills of the candidate in the English Language. The complete test is divided into two sections and each section has a specific set of questions for analysis and interpretation.

While there is no specific syllabus for the Duolingo English Test, the test taker must have the following skills to perform well in the test:

  • Good knowledge of the English Grammar

  • Well-versed in English pronunciation

  • Good analytical skills

  • Fluent in speaking English 

  • Must know how to frame correct sentences in English

If you are interested to learn more about what to expect in a Duolingo English Test, then read on to know the type of questions you can expect in the Duolingo English Test for each section of the test.

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Duolingo Exam Pattern Highlights

The Duolingo exam pattern differs slightly from other English language exams available at test centres. Duolingo is a simple, quick, and inexpensive exam that can be taken online at any time and from any location. Duolingo is recognised as an English language competence exam by over 4000 institutions worldwide. The Duolingo English Test is a one-hour online examination. The Duolingo Test pattern is divided into two sections. Here is a brief overview of the Duolingo exam pattern before we dive into the Duolingo English Test syllabus:

DET Exam Features 


Test Name

Duolingo English Test



Types of Questions

Objective + Descriptive


1 Hour



Time Duration Split

  • Introduction and Onboarding - 5 Minutes

  • Graded Adaptive Test - 45 Minutes

  • Ungraded Section and Video Interview and Writing Sample - 10 Minutes

Score Scale 


If you are curious to learn more about the Duolingo syllabus and the types of questions that might be posed to you during your interview, read on. You should click on the following links to learn more about DET:

Duolingo English Test: Speaking Interview Questions

Universities Accepting Duolingo Scores for Fall 2023 Intake

Duolingo Practice Test - Benefits, How to Attempt

Benefits of Taking the Duolingo English Test


Duolingo Adaptive Test Syllabus

Duolingo English Test's Adaptive section is a single integrated section on various topics of English language Grammar. The session is made up of multiple-choice questions and as established does not have any pre-determined syllabus.

The Adaptive Test section lasts for 45 minutes and contains multiple types of questions. The main aim of the questions in this section is to assess the candidates:

  • Ability to understand the spoken words

  • Ability to formulate their understanding into their own words

  • Ability to speak a word correctly (not accent but pronunciation)

  • The strength of vocabulary possessed

  • Ability to express thoughts in English

  • Ability to form and press opinions

Types of Questions

Skills Required

Average Frequency 

Complete a given text by typing the missing letters

Literacy, Comprehension

6 times

Select the correct English words from the list

Literacy, Comprehension

6 times

Select the right words by listening

Comprehension, Conversation

6 times

Write the sentence you hear

Comprehension, Conversation

6 times

Speak aloud the sentence on a screen

Comprehension, Conversation

6 times

Describe a photo in one or more sentences

Production, Literacy

3 times

Speak about a photo

Production, Conversation

1 time

Read a prompt and write the expansion

Production, Literacy

1 time

Listen to a question & speak the answer

Production, Conversation

1 time

Speak the answers to the questions

Production, Conversation

2 times

To properly prepare for this section candidate can adopt the following practices other than Mock Test papers and other traditional preparation methods:

  • Watch movies or videos of native English language countries.

  • Listen and try to sing along with English songs

  • Build a strong vocabulary by looking up new words and their synonyms

  • Practice speech on a personal level for a certain period

  • Look out for alternatives to known words and their appropriate use

  • Read long English texts and try to draw ideas from them

  • Assign self-made titles and summaries to a text

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Duolingo Interview & Writing Section Syllabus

The Interview & Writing Section on the Duolingo English Test is a 10-minute duration test and is continued after the Adaptive Test. The skills tested during this section are:

  • Ability to take fast decisions and sort ideas accordingly

  • Ability to provide overall and balanced information in a limited time

  • Ability to express one's ideas through language

  • Ability to conversate in English language fluently

  • Confidence in the random usage of the language

  • Ability to use the language even in non-favorable situations

  • The ease at which built vocabulary can be used

  • Ability to properly express one's opinions verbally or in writing in English

  • Ability to utilize time and language in own favor

The types of questions you can expect to answer in the Interview & Writing Section are mentioned below:

  • Choose a topic from the list and speak on it for a defined time.

  • Speak about a specific topic or scenario.

  • Choose a topic from the list and write about it.

The topics provided as a choice in this section can be understood as:

  • General Topic in which a particular subject shall be given and candidate has to express their opinions and knowledge about it.

  • Self-related Topic in which a subject related to the candidate's personal life is provided and the scope of information that can be presented is also provided.

There is no hard and fast rule to be followed by the candidate and choice is also not judged. Generally, candidates prefer self-related topics, which can prove advantageous, except they must ensure that their ideas are clear and avoid repetition of both ideas and words. In the case of a General Topic, the choice is not advised until and unless not enough knowledge about the topic. The reason is short preparation time and the possibility of losing track and forgetting ideas leading to a cut inflow and faulty representation. Especially in the verbal section candidates tend to become quiet for the last few minutes.

To prepare for this section, the following are advised apart from traditional preparation practices:

  • Practice speech on random topics in front of a mirror

  • Grow comfortable with the fact of speaking to no one in particular but own face

  • Read newspapers and tidbits on all spectrums to gain a general knowledge

  • Be self-aware and practice writing on random topics

  • Practice writing and speech in both long and short sections to challenge oneself

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What are the Advantages of the Duolingo Test?

Students should take the Duolingo English Test for a variety of reasons. Here are a few examples:

  • The cost of the exam is only USD 49. You save money not just on the exam, but also on travel and the stress of travelling to the facility. You may take numerous Duolingo exams for the price of one IELTS or TOEFL exam.

  • Duolingo scores can be sent to an unlimited number of institutions at no additional cost. You may only transmit your TOEFL results to 4 colleges for free, and your IELTS scores to 5 colleges. Following that, each following university charges a fee of roughly USD 20. Duolingo saves you money on all of these expenses.

  • The exam results are available in 48 hours.

  • The whole exam period is one hour, which is three times less than IELTS or TOEFL. As a result, you are not required to put in too many hours throughout your mock exam. Alternatively, you might concentrate your efforts on learning certain types of questions.

How is the Duolingo Test Scored?

Now that you have a thorough understanding of the Duolingo English Test syllabus for all sections, let us throw some light on how the Duolingo exam is scored. The score is determined on a scale of 10 to 160. The total score is divided into the overall and four sub-scores. The table highlighted below will give you the proper insight into the Duolingo test scores:

Duolingo English Test Score



Learners are proficient in both writing and speaking the language.

Learners can comprehend pragmatic, metaphorical, and idiomatic expressions.


The learner can converse about new issues that are unfamiliar to him or her.

Learners can communicate and interact clearly on both abstract and tangible topics.


Learners may comprehend the most important and important parts and points linked to their employment or educational topic.

Learners can effortlessly transmit personal information without difficulty.


All of the fundamental English phrases may be identified by learners.

Learners can express the offered knowledge directly.

How to Prepare For the Duolingo English Test Syllabus

There are a few things you must accomplish correctly to ace the Duolingo test and finish the Duolingo curriculum on time. Since this is a relatively new test with an unusual pattern, you will need to prepare in a somewhat different way. Here's how you prepare for the Duolingo exam:

  • Improve your general English ability. Reading high-quality blogs and articles like the Guardian, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal will help you improve your English skills.

  • English podcasts can be found on various platforms and other internet streaming services. Make it a point to listen to podcasts on a variety of topics.

  • Try talking to native speakers. You may readily locate partners online, such as through social media groups.

Use the Duolingo website to take the free practice exam. This will help you become acquainted with the actual test format and surroundings. To access the practice questions, you must first log in to your account.

Know About Which Countries are Accepting the DET Exam!

FAQs on Duolingo English Test Syllabus

Where can I find the syllabus for Duolingo?

You cannot find the syllabus of the Duolingo exam on an authorized or official basis. However, we have worked out the syllabus along with our Experts, who have carefully studied the questions and patterns of the test. There is a summarized version on this page, above.

Is the speaking section of Duolingo conducted separately?

The speaking section of Duolingo is conducted on the same day as the other test sections. The second part of Duolingo, which is a video interview, covers the speaking section. This section is equally important as it analyses the speaking skills of the candidate.

What is the syllabus for the Duolingo Adaptive Test?

The syllabus for the Duolingo Adaptive Test section is again not declared. It follows a definite pattern and contains questions like sentence correction, fill-in-the-blanks, sentence structure, speaking, interpretation, etc. There is no predefined syllabus. The whole section is about the application of the English language.

What types of questions are asked in the interview section of Duolingo?

The type of questions that are asked in the interview section of Duolingo is designed to analyze the English speaking skills of the candidate. In this part of the test, you will be asked to speak on a topic. The voice of the candidate must be clear and they must follow the guideline as defined by the speaking section while attempting this part of the test.

How long is the interview section of Duolingo?

The Interview section of Duolingo lasts for 10 minutes. The complete Duolingo is 60 minutes long. The first 5 minutes is the introduction that runs you briefly through the test. The next 45 minutes is the adaptive test section and the last part is the interview and writing section.

Is there a different syllabus for graded and ungraded sections of the Duolingo test?

There is a no different syllabus for graded and ungraded sections of the Duolingo test. The reason is that there is no declared syllabus for the test by the authority. Hence, the syllabus is the English language, grammar, and other aspects of the language. All the sections, graded and ungraded, are applications of knowledge about the language.

Which are the graded sections of the Duolingo English Test?

The Adaptive section is the graded section of the Duolingo English Test. There is only one section that is graded in the test. The whole section takes up the major part of the test. There are no subsections. It tests the candidate’s knowledge and proficiency level on an application basis and accordingly grades their skills.

Which are the ungraded sections of the Duolingo English Test?

Video interview and writing sections are the ungraded sections of the Duolingo English Test. The two sections require the candidate to choose among two topics, and then either speak (video) about it or write (writing) about it, as per the time allotted to the section. The sections are directly sent to the universities selected.

What are the different types of topics that are asked in Duolingo?

There are many different types of topics that are asked in Duolingo. The whole exam is more application-based than a direct knowledge test. Hence, in simpler terms, the topics are grammar, vocabulary, phonetics, phrases and clauses, and other aspects of the English language. You may connect with us for more light on the test.

Is the syllabus necessary to prepare for Duolingo?

The syllabus is not necessary to prepare for Duolingo English Test. The test is a multiple-choice format test, and all the questions are application-based questions, rather than subjective. Hence, the test can be prepared for by practising enough question papers and practice papers. It is best to hone speed and accuracy which helps in the actual test.

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