Duolingo English Test Preparation Tips

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Sristy Sharma
Jun 18, 2022 11:55 AM IST

Duolingo English Test Preparation Strategy & Study Plan 2022

Duolingo English Test is a widely accepted English language proficiency test, with many students across the globe, who aspire to study abroad in a native English language country, making a preparation strategy for Duolingo English Test. 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.

On this page, aspirants can learn about the different study plans and preparation strategies that they can use to ace the Duolingo English Test 2022. As there is no specific Duolingo English Test Syllabus, students need to work on the basics of their English Grammar, in both spoken and written English language, as the test evaluates and scores the Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing aspects of the global language. Moreover, 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 3000 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. A well-planned study schedule and its execution will help you perform best in the final Duolingo English Test.

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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 test pattern and test format before you begin your preparation.

  • Download practice sets and attempts 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. 

Section-wise Preparation for Duolingo English Test

Duolingo English Test is divided into two distinct sections, Adaptive 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 & 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.

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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 on the basis of speed. Hence, allotted time must be made use of properly and wholly.

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

  • Do not overexert importance on 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 2022.

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 video interview will follow the following steps:

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

  • Ensure to check 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 of the time available to you.

Know Which English Proficiency Test You Should Attempt!


Qn. How long does it take to prepare for the Duolingo English Test?

A. If you have a good understanding of the English language, a minimum of 2 weeks of preparation time is sufficient to score well in the Duolingo English Test. During this time period, you can take the Duolingo English Test practice tests and sample questions available online.

Qn. How can I prepare for the Duolingo English Test?

A. Duolingo releases a comprehensive guide to help students prepare for the Duolingo English Test. You can download the file and go through tips and tricks to prepare to score well in the test. You can also take a free practice test available online.

Practice paper will help you understand the test format and pattern.

You can also buy the Duolingo English Test book by Ashok Kumar to practice questions that are similar to one asked in the original test.

Qn. Is the practice test sufficient to prepare for the Duolingo English Test?

A. If you have a good command of the English language then a Practice test is sufficient to preach for the Duolingo English test. It helps you to get familiar with the types of questions asked in the Duolingo English Test. Practice tests can be accessed online for free. Online practice tests provide you with an estimated test score at the end of the test which is useful to analyze your level of preparation.

Qn. How to access the Duolingo English Test readiness guide? 

A. The  Duolingo English Test readiness guide is available online. You can download it after creating an official Duolingo English Test account.  

Qn. How to score above 120 in the Duolingo English Test?

A. You can score above 120 by thoroughly practising sufficient sample questions as asked in the Duolingo English Test. Spend the initial few days of preparation to understand the pattern of the exam and the type of questions asked in the Duolingo English Test. Take practice tests and evaluate your performance. Try to score higher with each practice test. All these strategies will definitely help you score above 120 in Duolingo English Test.  

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