Duolingo English Test Syllabus

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Sristy Sharma
Jun 18, 2022 11:55 AM IST

Duolingo English Test Syllabus

Duolingo has no organized or announced syllabus for the Duolingo English Test format. The absence of a syllabus is due to a very important reason, the Duolingo authority does not want its test-takers to be burdened by the ‘English Test’ preparation. It is believed that proficiency in English must be tested as a language known and the fluency with which it can be used, rather than the ability of the test takers to prepare for a difficult test.

The questions asked in the Duolingo English Test are generic. Since the Duolingo English Test is conducted to test the English Proficiency of a study abroad aspirant, there is no need to abide by a specific syllabus for the Duolingo English Test. However, a definite format is followed for each part of the test. Each part of the test and question is important as a test-taker is graded for each portion of the test to determine his/her actual abilities.

The Duolingo English Test 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 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

The types of questions you can expect in the Adaptive Section are mentioned below:

  • Type a statement for the audio you hear (Listen and Type)

  • Select the list of correct English words from a set of words/phrases (Read and Select)

  • Pronounce a specific word

  • Identify an image

  • Describe an image 

  • Describe a video

  • Summarise an audio 

  • Complete a sentence in English 

  • Fill in the blanks 

  • Read a sentence 

  • Answer questions after reading a paragraph or sentence

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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Q. How many sections is the Duolingo English Test divided into?

A. The Duolingo English Test is broadly divided into two sections, i.e. the Adaptive Test and Interview Section. The first part contains different types of questions like fill in the blanks, sentence correction, data interpretation etc. For the second part, the candidate will have to speak into the microphone of their laptop or computer. The speaker, camera and microphone of the device must be working properly to attempt all the questions.

Q. Is the speaking section of the Duolingo English Test conducted separately?

A. The complete Duolingo English Test is conducted on the same day within an hour. The second part of the Duolingo English Test i.e Interview covers the speaking section. This section is equally important as it analyses the speaking skills of the candidate. 

Q. What is the syllabus for the Duolingo English Test Adaptive Test?

A. The Duolingo English Test follows a definite pattern and contains questions like sentence correction, fill in the blanks, sentence structure, speaking, interpretation etc. There is no predefined syllabus for the Duolingo English Test. The test-taker can get an overview of the type of questions asked in the Duolingo English Test by practising mock tests and practise sets.

Q. What type of questions are asked in the interview section of the Duolingo English Test?

A. The interview part of the Duolingo English Test is designed to analyse the English speaking skills of the candidate. In this part of the test, you will be asked to speak on a topic. The test-taker must speak on a particular topic for at least 30 seconds. The voice of the candidate must be clear and he/she must follow the guideline as defined by the speaking section while attempting this part of the test.

Q. How long is the interview section of the Duolingo English Test?

A. The Interview section of the Duolingo English Test lasts for 10 minutes. The complete Duolingo English Test 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.

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