Duolingo Test Pattern/Format 2023: Types of questions and Time limit

An individual who wants to test their degree of English language competence might take the Duolingo exam. The Duolingo exam format is specifically designed for non-native English speakers to study and assess their language proficiency.

The Duolingo English test pattern is more practical than the more thorough formats of other language exams like the IELTS and TOEFL. Despite this, the test has a similar degree of difficulty and coverage.

This article explains all about the Duolingo test pattern.

Everything you need to pass the Duolingo English Test

  • US$49 is required to apply for the test.
  • Driver’s license or any other kind of official identity
  • A laptop with consistent internet connectivity
  • 60 minutes to write the test

Why should you take the Duolingo English exam?

The Duolingo English test has grown in importance and popularity over time. Here are some reasons why you should choose this test:

Its level of difficulty is comparable to that of IELTS and TOEFL.

The exam is very accessible and reasonably priced.

The findings of the test are recognized by more than 400 academic institutions.

Before the test, you can practice with dummy questions.

Here is everything you need to know about the Duolingo English test pattern.

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Exam Pattern for Duolingo

The four main skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking make up the Duolingo exam pattern, which is used to assess a person’s English language ability.

The approach is based on computer adaptive technology, meaning that the test’s complexity is determined by the performance of the participant. The difficulty level rises with each accurate response and vice versa.

The Duolingo exam format is summarized below for quick learning:

The Duolingo English Test lasts for a total of 60 minutes. The exam’s full breakdown is provided below.

Introduction- 5 minutes

AdaptiveTest (Graded) – 30 minutes

(Ungraded) Writing and speaking sample – 10 minutes

Duolingo Adaptive Test

Testing candidates’ abilities in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, Duolingo is an adaptive test. The test’s adaptive portion lasts 45 minutes. The adaptive test portion of the DET is a graded portion.

Duolingo English Test is adaptive, which simply means that the questions change based on the test-takers responses. As a result, the questions’ level of difficulty is set appropriately. The questions are produced using a grading system Duolingo implemented because the test is AI-driven.

To prevent question repetition, the system chooses questions from a wide pool of questions. Aside from this, the test has a 60-minute time limit but no set or predetermined number of questions. When the test’s grade-assured system is satisfied with the participant’s obtained score, the test will be concluded.

Duolingo English Test – Video interview

The 10-minute video interview is a separate section of the test.

Along with the test taker’s score, open-ended prompts and writing and speaking samples are shared with institutions. You must have a front-facing camera, a microphone, functional speakers, and a steady internet connection, as requested by Duolingo.

A candidate must: Describe an image; Discuss a specific situation in this area, and Discuss a subject for a few minutes.

English Test syllabus for Duolingo

Three separate sections make up the entire one-hour online test. the introduction, the computer adaptive test, and the speaking and writing samples in video format.

Each component of the Duolingo syllabus is described in depth below.


The test regulations and requirements are explained to the test-taker during the five-minute introduction. You must register for Duolingo with a valid government ID to take the test.

A functioning computer or laptop, dependable internet, a front-facing camera, a microphone, speakers, and a room with good lighting are all requirements.

Additionally, candidates must rigorously adhere to the test’s rules and regulations, or Duolingo may cancel the exam, invalidate your results, or permanently ban you from taking future Duolingo English tests.

Adaptative test (Graded)

This is the most significant portion of the Duolingo English test because it consists of a variety of questions that assess the candidate’s proficiency in the language.

Through brief questions, the 45-minute section evaluates your English proficiency.

Depending on the test taker’s performance, the questions’ level of difficulty changes.

It includes open-ended prompts that are shared with universities along with your score.

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Video Writing and Speaking Sample (Ungraded)

There are two prompts in the 10-minute segment, and the candidate must respond to one of them.

  • You have 30 seconds to select the prompt.
  • The video-speaking sample takes 1-3 minutes to complete; the writing sample takes 3–5 minutes.
  • Before submitting their test, test takers have the opportunity to study their video examples and create sample responses.

Types of questions in the Adaptive section of the Duolingo English Test pattern and Time limit


Questions Type   SubscoresTime limit
Read and complete   Literacy, Comprehension3 min
Read and selectLiteracy, Comprehension1 min
Listen and selectComprehension, Conversation1.5 min
Listen and typesComprehension, Conversation1 min
Read aloudComprehension, Conversation20 sec
Write about photoProduction, Literacy1 min
Speak about photoProduction, Conversation1 – 1.5 min
Read and writeConversation, Production0.5 – 1.5 min
Listen and speakConversation, Production0.5 – 1.5 min

 Although the exact number of questions that will be asked is not yet known, one can learn what kinds of questions will be asked in the Duolingo exam format.

Test Pattern Score for DET

The certificate that is published on the Duolingo English Test website allows users to view their test results. The Duolingo English Test results are available to candidates 48 hours after the exam is over.

It assesses several factors, including:

  • Your grammar’s correctness (grammatical precision)
  • Your grammar’s complexity and variety (grammar level)
  • Vocabulary proficiency (lexical sophistication)
  • Word choice variation (lexical diversity)
  • How effectively you respond to the question posed (task relevance)
  • Fluency is the amount you can talk or write in a short amount of time.
  • Pronunciation and speech rate (acoustic characteristics; this one is only for speaking inquiries).

Speaking Sample Unscored

The only question on the Duolingo English Test that is not graded is the Speaking Sample. The test is scored using computer algorithms and various human proctors, who also record the responses. This sample may be used by some organizations to assess your speaking skills.

Tips to Pass the Duolingo English Test

Duolingo test pattern

Some DET study methods and routines apply to all the question categories on the syllabus for the DET exam. Speaking, writing, and test-taking strategies are all part of the preparation for the DET Test Pattern.

Techniques for taking the tests

Take advantage of all the time you have to respond to a question. Fast answers and skipping questions could result in inaccurate answers.

Give answers that go above what is required. Write more than 50 words or speak for more than 30 seconds, for example.

Give the right response some thought. A final choice is made when you click NEXT to submit the response and move on to the following item. Once you click NEXT on a question, the applicant cannot go back to it.

Avoid checking the timer too frequently because doing so can prevent you from responding appropriately.

Give yourself time to review your answers after each question.

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For Writing

  • Capitalization, spelling, grammar, and punctuation must all be utilized properly.
  • Complete question type only accepts American spelling.
  • The Duolingo English Exam pattern accepts both American and British spelling.
  • Word selection and sentence construction must be as diverse as feasible. A wider range of vocabulary and more complex syntax can boost your DET score.

Speaking Tips

  • Speak out loud, clearly, and at a reasonable pace.
  • You won’t have the option to re-record your response for other test-takers. Therefore, if you make a mistake, just keep going.
  • Wait until a complete response has been given before submitting the recording.
  • As much as possible, vary the sentence construction and word choice, just as you would when writing.

Answering gets simpler as you go through the different DET questions kinds. DET Test Pattern consists of the following elements:

An illustration of an actual test question would be an example.

Information regarding the task at hand is provided in the directions.

The amount of time you have to finish the work is known as the time limit is also set.

FAQs on Duolingo test pattern

What pattern does the Duolingo test take?

There are two components to the Duolingo English Test. The first is a 45-minute adaptive test in which a series of questions that assess a person’s command of English is presented. The second section consists of an open-ended 10-minute writing and speaking test. Institutions receive them as well as a student’s test results.

The test takers are informed of the guidelines and requirements within the first five minutes of the introduction.

An online English proficiency test called the DET evaluates a person’s ability in the four language skills reading, writing, speaking, and listening

Why is the Duolingo test adaptive?

The Duolingo English Test is an adaptive test because the questions it poses adjust based on the responses the test-taker provides. As a result, the questions’ level of difficulty is set appropriately. Since the test is AI-driven, the questions are produced using a grading system Duolingo implemented. Therefore, the system selects questions from a huge pool of questions, and no question is asked more than once. You are advised to watch the video tour on the official website to obtain a thorough understanding of the DET structure.

What do I need for the DET?

You must possess a valid government ID to register for the test. A functioning computer or laptop, dependable internet, a front-facing camera, a microphone, speakers, and a well-lit room will also be needed by test-takers. Make sure to adhere strictly to the rules and instructions to avoid having your test cancelled or having Duolingo invalidate your score.

What speaking and writing samples are there in the DET?

IELTS vs. Duolingo English Test: Which is harder?

There is no justification for comparing the Duolingo English Test to the IELTS as being more difficult. Because of its adaptive nature, if you’re able to, you can answer more challenging problems. You should be able to do well enough to receive the grade you deserve if you study.

What are the writing and speaking samples in DET?

This section will include open-ended prompts that, together with your score, will be shared with institutions. There are two questions in this 10-minute session, and the candidate is only required to respond to one of them. The duration of the response must be between 1-3 minutes for the Speaking sample and 3-5 minutes for the Writing sample. The test takers will be able to check their responses to these example questions after the examination is over.

What is the pass score you must receive on the Duolingo English Test?

The Duolingo English Test has no set cut-off score. The score that you must obtain to be admitted to a certain institution’s courses varies. Nevertheless, a score of more than 120 out of 160 would often be regarded as a respectable score. You are now rated at the Upper-Intermediate or Advanced levels.


A certificate published on the Duolingo English Test website allows users to view their test scores. The Duolingo English Test results are available to candidates 48 hours after the exam is over.



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