Duolingo English Practice Test with Answers

Ready to take a free and complete Duolingo English Practice Test®? Ready to take a free and complete Duolingo English Practice Test? All you need is one hour and an open mind. Are you ready? Check out the video here and the PDF version of the test here.

But wait!

Taking a practice test is only half the battle. You also need to learn about the structure of the test and how to study in a way that will help improve your score.

By the end of this short article, you will know how the Duolingo English Test is structured and how the question types will look. I will also share my top five tips for students studying on their own who need to improve their test score.

Let’s jump right in.

The Duolingo English Test Structure

The TOEFL iBT® and IELTS® exams are organized based on sections. In the TOEFL iBT®, for example, you begin with the Reading, and then move on to the Listening, Speaking, and Writing sections.

The Duolingo English Test® is a completely different experience.

The main organizing principle you must become familiar with is the question types and how frequently they show up on the exam. The first five question types show up between three to six times during the first half of the test.

Duolingo English Test Question Types

Question Types Frequency Adaptive Subscore
01. Read and Complete 4-6 Comprehension, Literacy
02. Read and Select 4-6 Comprehension, Literacy
03. Listen and Type 4-6 Conversation, Comprehension
04. Read Aloud 4-6 Conversation, Comprehension
05. Write About the Photo 3 X Literacy, Production

Keep in mind, besides Write About the Photo, these question types are adaptive, so they will remain easy or become more difficult as you progress through the exam.

The next part of the exam will consist of Interactive Reading and Interactive Listening passages. These are the latest additions to the test. Expect two short reading passages between 100 to 200 words. You will have seven or eight minutes to answer six questions about each passage.

Image source: Test Readiness PDF

The Interactive Reading will be followed by the latest addition to the Duolingo English Test, Interactive Listening. This part will also consist of two passages. One passage will be a conversation between two students about something related to campus life, and the second passage will be between a student and a campus worker, usually a professor. You will participate in the conversation, answering five or six questions. After the given passage is finished, you will have 75 seconds to write a summary of the conversation.

Image source: Test Readiness PDF

Duolingo English Test Question Types

Question Types Frequency Adaptive Subscore
01. Read and Complete 4-6 Comprehension, Literacy
02. Read and Select 4-6 Comprehension, Literacy
03. Listen and Type 4-6 Conversation, Comprehension
04. Read Aloud 4-6 Conversation, Comprehension
05. Write About the Photo 3 X Literacy, Production
06. Interactive Reading, 2 passages 12 X Literacy, Comprehension
07. Interactive Listening, 2 passages 12-14 X Conversation, Comprehension, Literacy, Production

The remaining question types involve extensive writing and speaking responses. These questions are not adaptive, and each shows up once, besides Listen, Then Speak, which may show up twice.

Duolingo English Test Question Types

Question Types Frequency Adaptive Subscore
01. Read and Complete 4-6 Comprehension, Literacy
02. Read and Select 4-6 Comprehension, Literacy
03. Listen and Type 4-6 Conversation, Comprehension
04. Read Aloud 4-6 Conversation, Comprehension
05. Write About the Photo 3 X Literacy, Production
06. Interactive Reading, 2 passages 12 X Literacy, Comprehension
07. Interactive Listening, 2 passages 12-14 X Conversation, Comprehension, Literacy, Production
08. Read, Then Write 1 X Literacy, Production
09. Speak About the Photo 1 X Conversation, Production
10. Read, Then Speak 1 X Conversation, Production
11. Listen, Then Speak 1-2 X Conversation, Production
12. Speaking Sample 1 X Conversation, Production
13. Writing Sample 1 X Literacy, Production

You can find more information on these questions in Duolingo’s Test Readiness Guide.

Now you know about the question types!

Still, if you’re anything like me, it’s tough to imagine how these questions will be presented on test day. Keep in mind that you will encounter one question at a time and can expect between 35-40 questions on test day, excluding the Interactive Reading and Listening. The Interactive Reading will consist of an additional 12 questions, and the Interactive Listening is usually 12 questions as well, adding up to a total sum of approximately 60 questions. Below is a question flow example of a typical Duolingo English Test.

Note that this is just an example, and do not expect to encounter the questions in the same order on test day. Here are three of the most important things to keep in mind when preparing for the exam structure:

  1. Speak About the Photo; Read, Then Speak; Read, Then Write; and Listen, Then Speak, Speaking Sample and Writing Sample usually appear at the end of the test.

  2. Write About the Photo questions appear during the first half of the test and usually consist of three consecutive questions.

  3. Read and Complete, Read and Select, Listen and Type, and Read Aloud questions will appear approximately six times and adapt in difficulty depending on your performance.

If you haven’t done so already, I recommend taking a practice test over at the Duolingo English Test website or check out our complete Duolingo English Test practice PDF for a better idea of how the test looks and feels.

Five Tips to Improve Your Duolingo English Test Score

Tip #1 – Speak and Write as Much as Possible

There are seven question types in the Duolingo English Test where you will have to produce your own speaking and writing responses:

      • Write About the Photo
      • Speak About the Photo
      • Read, Then Write
      • Read, Then Speak
      • Listen, Then Speak
      • Speaking Sample
      • Writing Sample

The directions for each of these questions will inform you of the least amount of words you have to write or the least amount of seconds you have to speak. No matter what the minimum requirement is, aim for the maximum.

For all three speaking questions, you are instructed to speak between 30-90 seconds; aim for 90 seconds.

For Write About the Photo questions, write as much as possible in the 60 seconds you are provided.

For Read, Then Write questions, write as much as possible in the 5 minutes you are provided.

Part of your grade is based on your grammatical and lexical complexity. The more you write and speak, the more opportunities you will have to show a wide range of grammar and vocabulary. If you hurry through these questions and follow the minimum requirements, it will be difficult to earn a score higher than 120.

Tip #2 – Plan Out Your Week

When you begin to prepare for the Duolingo English Test, you will find a ton of free and paid resources that you can use to prepare for the exam. All of these materials are extremely helpful, but overwhelming. It is confusing when you sit down at your desk and try to figure out where to start.

A quick fix is to take an hour out of your day on Sunday and plan out your week. People do this when they diet. They prepare their lunch for Monday to Friday on Sunday, store it in the fridge, and grab each day’s pre-prepared meal without thinking about it. Do the same for your studies.

Set the time, place, and materials you plan to use Monday through Friday so you know what to do each day of the week. And then take Saturday off; you’ve earned it.

Tip #3 – Challenge Yourself

Search any of the following question types on YouTube, and you will find examples to practice. Remember, the Duolingo English Test contains four adaptive questions that become more difficult if you perform well at the beginning of the test.

      • Read and Complete
      • Read and Select
      • Listen and Type
      • Read Aloud

Do the harder questions. Seriously. Challenge yourself. When you practice with more complex problems at home, it will build your confidence and improve your performance on test day.

Tip #4 – Record Your Voice

Speaking and writing questions are the hardest to prepare for because they require feedback from someone, usually a teacher, which is why I recommend working with a Duolingo English Test instructor like this one.

However, many test-takers will prepare on their own, which is why it is critical that you record your voice when you practice speaking. After you record your voice, listen back to your response and identify one or two ways you can improve. After that, do the same response again.

Here is an example of the questions you should ask yourself after recording your own response.

Speak About the Photo Self-Grading Rubric

Questions Notes
1. Did I speak for at least 45 seconds?
2. Did I start by describing the foreground?
3. Did I provide additional details or inferences to expand on the foreground?
4. Did I give a description of the background?
5. Did I make at least two inferences in my response?
6. Did I provide enough descriptive words and specific vocabulary?
7. Did I speak at a natural and conversational pace for the majority of my response?
8. Did I have less than five vocal fillers (uh, um)?
9. What can I do next time to improve my score?

You can download a PDF guide with all these self-grading rubrics for free here.

Tip #5 – Set Up Your Testing Environment

“Your test score could not be validated.”

You do NOT want to see this message on your score report. Unfortunately, this happens to a ton of students. Since the Duolingo English Test is a completely automated testing experience, there is extensive technology in place that tracks your eye movement, mouse movement, computer behavior, and room environment to ensure that you do not cheat when you take the exam.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind when you are setting you your testing environment for the Duolingo English test:

  • Keep your eyes on the computer. If you look away for too long, it will invalidate your score.
  • Do not have any other browser window open. If you try to navigate away from the test, it will invalidate your score.
  • Take the test in a well-lit room. If you are ever in the dark, it will invalidate your score.
  • Be sure you are alone in a quiet room. If there is too much background noise, it will invalidate your score.
  • Check your microphone and Internet connection. If at any point your Internet connection drops off or your microphone does not work, it will invalidate your score.
  • You are not allowed to use headphones during the test. Be sure your computer speakers work.

If you have made it this far, you are ready to take the practice exam for the Duolingo English Test. Take it here right now.

But what do you think? Are there any tips I missed that you believe would be helpful for students studying for the Duolingo English Test? Be sure to leave it in the comments below. I respond to all of them.

Good luck and see you in the next one. Don’t forget to claim your free practice test.

77 Comments

  1. Vishal

    Do I need to turn on the microphone throughout the test? And is the first letter compulsory to be capitalized?

    Reply
    • Josh

      Hi, thanks for the question. Yes, the microphone must be on. If you are asking about the first letter of a sentence, then yes, it must be capitalized.

      Reply
  2. Eyasu

    I cannot sign up. It says already registered, but I am new here.

    Reply
    • Josh

      Are you talking about our staging4.tstprep.com website? If so, please look back in your email for a username and password, If you still can’t gain access, please send an email to [email protected].

      Reply
  3. Vinay

    Hello Josh,
    I took exam 4 times, In that i got 3 time invalid and 1 time i got 90 score. Still iam practising test and iam getting 95 score, Shall i start real exam?

    Reply
  4. Sara

    Hi Josh, I took the test, but my results were not certified. It says it’s invalid because it was evident that I was reading a response that had been written out. However, I located a mirror behind me to display that there is no paper, and I follow the rules. Should I retake the test, and if yes, what should I prevent invalid result like this. Or should I contact Duolingo and explain my situation?
    Also, in my free practice, I scored 110-145. What would be my estimate overall score on the real test? I need a minimum of 120 overall.

    Reply
    • Josh

      Hi Sara,

      Thanks very much for your question. We mainly teach test strategy but have no way of knowing how and why Duolingo may decide to invalidate your score. The best thing to do is contact Duolingo directly and explain your situation. Ask them explicitly how they came to the conclusion you were reading and how you can avoid this in the future. They are in a much stronger position to give you advice than we are. Hope this helps.

      Reply
  5. Soma

    Hey Josh,
    I took the exam three times at 1st one I got 90 the 2nd was 95 and the last one was 100. I need much higher score especially in the production sub score. Any advice?

    Reply
    • Hashem

      Hi teacher Josh,
      I had a problem with the Duolingo practice test. I always get 95-135 or 85-135; my last attempt was 80-130, even though I write more than 100 words and speak more than 1 minute. What do you suggest to do to increase my score on the practice test?

      Reply
  6. Kawchar

    I took the Duolingo test once. But i got only 90 score. But I need 120. So how will I get a good score?

    Reply
    • Josh

      Thank you for your question. It is difficult to know what areas you need to work on without seeing your test results broken down by category. Please consider doing a trial lesson with us so we can go through your test together and maybe make a plan.

      Reply
  7. Solomon

    Are Speaking and Writing still not contributing to the final grade?

    Reply
    • Josh

      Speaking and Writing certainly do contribute to the final grade. The main area where this is reflected is in the production score. I hope this answers your question, but if not, please feel free to clarify.

      Reply
  8. Malalai Stanakzai

    Hello
    I took two times DET but both of them wasn’t accepted and told me you were with through from camera, but I was in my specific place in front of camera and I want to ask that I will take it for the third time I don’t know how I can take points and acceptance because according to all guidance, I saw to screen and no problem Was there. If you have any guidance to pass my this test to accepted please tell me.

    Reply
    • Josh

      Hi Malalai, We provide test-taking strategies for the DET, but TST Prep does not administer the test. As such there is no way for us to tell what the technical problem was. I strongly suggest contacting the DET customer service and explaining your situation. Ask for specific advice as to how you can avoid this problem the third time.

      Reply
  9. Farbod

    Hi Josh, this article is fantastic. I was stunned when I saw this much information on these beautiful, well-shaped tables. I appreciate your efforts. Good luck. Also, keep up the good job👍🏻

    Reply
  10. Taha

    Hi Josh,
    I took the DET practice test but I was under the impression that they would give you with a predicted score in the end. They don’t, do they?

    Reply
    • Josh

      Hi Taha, it depends on what site you took the practice test. Can you give me more information about where you took the test? Also, please keep in mind that the DET practice tests will give you a huge range of predicted scores because no person is listening to your speaking or checking your writing, so I don’t find them very helpful.

      Reply
    • Mujtaba

      Hello
      How is the overall score calculated?
      For example, I got 105, 120, 125, and 135 in all four parts, and my overall score was 125. If We sum all of them and divide by four, it doesn’t equal 125.

      Reply
  11. Joana

    Hello, is a microphone compulsory or can we speak without one?

    Reply
    • Josh

      Hi Joana, the test conditions for DET are subject to change, so it is best to contact DET and ask them directly to make sure you have the most up-to-date information.

      Reply
  12. Nikhar

    Hi sir, I took the exam 4 times, but it’s still an invalid test.
    1) look away
    2) security
    3) security
    4) writing error
    How can I get a result?
    I am feeling very stressed because of the invalid test. What can I do?

    Reply
    • Josh

      Hi Nikhar, you would need to check with Duolingo directly to see what is causing these errors.

      Reply
  13. Stasiaex

    Hi Josh, are there exclusive treatments for the use of earplugs for people that have hearing challenges?

    Reply
    • Josh

      Hi Stasiaex,

      You will need to check with Duolingo directly about this question. This is because special accommodations may vary on a case-by-case basis.

      Reply

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