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How to Prepare for Duolingo English Test

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Jun 02,2023 05:49 PM IST

If you are unfamiliar with the Duolingo test or are looking for the best ways to do the Duolingo English test, this blog is a must-read before beginning your test preparation!

how to prepare for duolingo english test.webpThe Duolingo English Test (DET) has quickly become one of the most accessible and widely recognised language proficiency exams worldwide. Its convenience, cost-effectiveness, and rapid turnaround times have made it a popular choice for students, professionals, and others looking to showcase their English language proficiency. Candidates planing to take the DET in 2023 must understand the test structure, practice regularly, and implement effective study strategies.

Here's the ultimate preparation guide to master the DET.

Understand the Duolingo Test Structure

1.The first step in the Duolingo English test preparation is to familiarise oneself with the test format to reduce anxiety on the test day. Take advantage of the free sample test on the Duolingo website and to get a sense of what to expect on the test day. Remember, unlike other English proficiency tests, the DET adapts to a candidate’s ability level, meaning questions become more challenging or easier based on their answers.

2. In order to excel in any test, it is most important to understand the test format and structure. The test is divided into two sections: 

Graded Section

The graded section is adaptive and lasts for 45 minutes. It features a variety of question types based on reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, including questions that combine these skills.

1.Listening: This part tests the candidate’s ability to understand spoken English by either asking questions based on the conversation between people or completing sentences based on a listening passage

2.Reading: This part requires a candidate to read a passage and answer questions about it

3.Writing: In this section, candidates might need to describe an image or complete a text by filling in the blanks

4.Speaking: This part assesses the spoken English of test takers by asking them to describe a picture or speaking about a particular topic

Video Interview

The video interview lasts 10 minutes, requiring candidates to respond to prompts in their own words. They are asked to speak about a variety of topics, such as personal experiences, opinions, or their plans. This section is ungraded but is still reviewed by institutions as part of the candidates’ proficiency profile.

Learn about Duolingo Question Types

Get a good deal of insight into the types of questions asked in the Duolingo English test. Some of the popular question types include:

1.Type the missing letter to complete words in a text

2.Pick between “real” and “fake” English words (text and/or audio)

3.Correctly type a sentence after listening to the audio

4.Read sentences aloud

5.Describe an image in detail (writing and/or speaking)

6.Write short texts based on a prompt

7.Speak for 30-seconds based on the given prompt

8.Speak for 1-3 minutes about the given topic

9.Write on the given topic for 3-5 minutes

Build a Solid English Foundation

After understanding the test structure, next is to focus on building a strong foundation in the English language. Students should emphasise improving their listening, reading, writing and speaking skills through formal study combined with other methods such as watching English movies and shows and listening to podcasts or radio. Speaking with friends or language exchange groups is also a good way to enhance fluency and comprehension.

Enhance the Typing Skills

Since the Duolingo test is entirely computer-based, it requires candidates to have a fair amount of typing speed. To answer questions effectively and efficiently, test takers should be comfortable typing quickly and accurately. Consider practising with online tools and typing games to enhance the speed.

Regular Practice

Just like any other exam preparation, regular practice is key to performing well in the DET. Make a study schedule and ensure it is followed religiously. Allocate specific time for reading, writing, listening, and speaking in English to strengthen the weak areas and improve overall proficiency.

Improve Vocabulary

While the Duolingo English test is not explicitly a vocabulary test, knowing a broad range of vocabulary certainly makes the reading and listening sections easier for candidates and helps them express their views more clearly in the writing and speaking sections. Regular reading can be an excellent way to learn new words in context.

Hone Listening Skills

Listening is undoubtedly an easier section of the test. Students can improve their listening skills by listening to English podcasts and watching English movies or TV shows. Test takers can also try to understand the accents, vocabulary, and grammar used, which can significantly improve their listening skills.

Enhance Speaking and Writing Abilities

Practice speaking English with friends or find language exchange partners online. For writing, candidates can start a journal in English or write essays on different topics.

Work on the Test-Taking Strategy

Work on developing strategies to handle different question types effectively. For instance, to ace the listening comprehension section, candidates should try to understand the gist of the conversation instead of focusing on every word. In the speaking and writing sections, it is more important to communicate clearly and correctly than to use complex language.

Ensure that the Test Environment is Ready

To attempt the Duolingo English test, candidates must have a quiet, well-lit room with a stable internet connection, a microphone and a computer with a webcam. Test takers also need to show a valid ID at the beginning of the test. To avoid last-minute hassles, candidates should ensure all these duolingo english test requirements are in place before the test day.

Take Mock Tests

Taking Mock tests can help candidates get used to the pressure of time and format of the test. Duolingo provides practice tests that replicate the test format, which students can take to clear their doubts. 

The Day Before the Test

The day before the test, candidates should relax and get plenty of sleep. They should review the notes & practice materials and ensure that all the equipment (webcam, microphone, and internet connection) works properly.

During the Test

During the test, candidates should remember that the Duoilingo English test is adaptive and adjusts the difficulty based on candidate’s responses. So do not be discouraged if some questions turn out to be challenging, and keep a steady pace, remain calm, and do best.


Preparing for the Duolingo English Test does not have to be daunting. Anyone can confidently approach the test by focusing on building a strong English foundation, familiarising oneself with the test format, improving typing and speaking skills, expanding vocabulary, and honing test-taking strategies.

Candidates can also take assistance from the language experts who offer the right guidance to prepare for the test and ample test samples to help students excel.

Also read : What is IELTS?


The preparation time usually depends on student’s English proficiency level and familiarity with the test format. However, for most candidates, a 4-6 weeks preparation period is often considered adequate. 
There is no particular syllabus for the Duolingo test. It is designed to assess the overall English language proficiency of candidates including their reading, writing, listening, and speaking. 
Candidates can take the help of resources such as textbooks, online language courses, English language podcasts, and films. Moreover, Duolingo provides a free practice test on their website, which can be a good medium to prepare for the test. Practising speaking, writing, reading, and listening in English on a daily basis is also beneficial.
The first step is to familiarise oneself with the keyboard layout and learn touch typing. While improving their typing speed requires consistency, candidates can take the help of online typing practice tools or typing games to level up their speed.
For taking the Duolingo test at home, candidates require a computer with a webcam & a microphone, a stable internet connection, including a quiet and well-lit room. Test takers also need a valid ID to verify their identity. 

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