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Written by:
Martin Barrett
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How To Prepare For Duolingo English Test

How to prepare for duolingo English test

As more and more top universities accept the Duolingo English test, it is quickly becoming a popular alternative to other English tests for international students.

One of the advantages with the Duolingo English exam is that it only takes an hour, which is much shorter than IELTS and TOEFL.

Plus, you can also take the Duolingo English text in your home without having to travel to a test center.

In this article, we take you through the important preparation steps to know how to prepare for Duolingo English test preparation.

Preparation For Your Duolingo English Test

There are plenty of things you can do to properly prepare for the Duolingo English test. 

From taking the example test to practicing your English language skills, you can make sure that you have everything it takes to pass your test.

Get To Know The Duolingo Test Questions

There is a lot of information on the Duolingo English test website, including some example test questions.

The questions vary widely. You may be asked to add some missing letters to complete certain words in a text, or you may need to record yourself reading a sentence aloud.

Many people find it easier to complete the written questions as there is a little bit more time to think about the answer.

However, you can also prepare for the spoken questions and the interview. Some questions ask you to speak about a given topic for up to 3 minutes.

You may also be asked to describe an in image in detail, either by recording your voice or writing the answer down.

View The Duolingo Test Walkthrough

The best way to get started with your preparations for the Duolingo English test is by taking a closer look at the Duolingo English website.

It has a variety of resources, including a video that walks you through everything you need to know about the Duolingo English test within a few minutes.

You can also find the Duolingo English Test Walkthrough video on Youtube.

The video covers the key information on how the test works, what questions you can expect and how you can register for the test.

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Download The Official Duolingo Test Guide

Once you watched the walkthrough video for the Duolingo English test, you should take a close look at the test official guide which contains a lot more important information.

You can find the Duolingo test official guide on their website after you registered for an account.

Familiarize Yourself With Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT)

As you won’t be taking your English test with Duolingo at home, you will need a working computer with internet access.

There is a specific test format for this type of remove English tests called Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT).

It’s important that you understand exactly how it works. The CAT system is quite easy to understand.

When you answer a question on the test correctly, then the next question will be more challenging.

On the other hand, if you give an incorrect answer on a question, then the next question will be easier.

This is how the Duolingo English test works because it gives Duolingo a better understanding of your English skills.

So, always remember: when you face a really difficult question in your test, then it is likely a sign that you have done very well up to this point.

Take A Duolingo Sample Test

After you learned more about the structure of the Duolingo test, the questions and what to look out for, you are ready to take your first mock test.

The Duolingo sample test is free and it only takes 8 minutes to complete. Plus, you can take the test every few days or weeks before the real test.

The sample Duolingo English test features some sample questions with answers. This way, you can familiarize yourself more with the test format and check on your progress.

The sample test will also give you the results of your answers in a few minutes which means you know exactly how well you are doing.

Practice Speaking On A Topic

As you have seen in the questions, there will be a few scenarios where you are expected to speak about a given topic for 1 to 3 minutes.

This is extremely challenging when you are not a native English speaker, such as many international students.

However, it is possible to practice regularly and you will become more comfortable over time.

Pick a topic that you like talking about. This could be anything from your favorite TV show to political issues or food you love.

Then, consider what you want to say about this topic. You can take a few seconds to think about this but it shouldn’t be too long.

Next, start recording your voice speaking aloud about the topic. It might be difficult at first but the more you practice, the easier it gets.

Try to practice speaking out loud as often as possible, and make sure to put a timer on.

Practice Everyday English

Many English tests have a focus on different parts of the English language. However, Duolingo is one of the best tests that checks how fluent your real world English is.

Unfortunately, this also means that it is more challenging. As the questions aren’t academic or around just one topic, there is no way to prepare exact answers.

The best way to prepare yourself for everyday English is by immersing yourself in the English language.

Read English language newspapers, websites and books. Try to watch English videos, listen to English songs and podcasts. You can then write down what you heard and repeat it out loud.

There are also a few specific exercises that you can do for the Duolingo language test. For example, pick a picture from social media and describe it in detail by speaking and writing about it.

To practice your pronunciation, you can also read an English article out loud.

Read The Test Day Rules

As you will be taking your Duolingo English test at home, you will need to follow some specific Duolingo english test rules.

These are set out on the Duolingo test website and you should take some time to read through them carefully.

Allow Yourself Enough Time To Prepare

We’ll go into more detail about the test preparation timeline below but it’s essential that you start your preparations at least four weeks before the test date.

This means your brain will have plenty of time to digest all the things you have learned, and you won’t feel under too much time pressure.

Even if you feel like you are not ready yet, you can take the Duolingo English language test any time when you are ready as there is no need to book the test in advance.

Preparation Timeline For Your Duolingo English Test

Preparation Timeline For Your Duolingo English Test

The Duolingo English test is similar to many exams. You will need to prepare carefully to pass the test.

It is important that you start your preparations for the test as early as possible. Learning takes time and you don’t want to cram everything into a few days before your test.

The more time you allow yourself to prepare for Duolingo english test, the more your English proficiency will improve. Plus, you can just learn at your own pace.

Here are a few recommended timelines of what happens before, during and after your English language test with Duolingo.

A Few Weeks Before Your Duolingo English Test

Start six to four weeks before the test date to familiarize yourself with the questions, the structure of the Duolingo test and take a sample test.

There are a lot of useful videos and information on the Duolingo exam website, so make sure to read through everything carefully.

Duolingo also has a blog which has some handy resources for how you can practice your English skills.

Go through all our tips and tricks above to make sure that you are fully prepared for your test.

The Day Before Your Duolingo English Test

On the final test day before your test, think about the right place where you want to take your test. You should pick a quiet space with enough light and full privacy.

Check your computer and internet connection are working properly. Also make sure that you have your ID ready for the test.

It’s a good idea to buy the test well in advance, so on the day, you just need to start the test when you are ready and set up.

You can choose any time of day for your test, whatever feels right for you.

Test Day

On the day of your test, you will need to ensure that you have a couple of hours uninterrupted time in your chosen space.

Make sure that you let everyone in your apartment or house know that they should enter your space during this time.

It helps to practice speaking and writing English a couple of hours before your test. This will put you into the right mindset.

You shouldn’t be wearing headphones or anything covering your ears or in your ears. Otherwise the test will be declared as invalid.

Your ears and face should be visible during the test.

There are also a few other essential rules for the test that you should read through. These rules will pop up shortly before you start the test, so ensure that you read through them.

During The Duolingo English Test

You may be tempted to look away from the test for a moment but the test is proctored, so make sure that you look at your screen for the time while you are taking the test.

Plus, it’s important to stay focus on the questions and your answers. All of the exercises of the Duolingo English test are relatively short. You won’t need to read any long articles.

This should help you to concentrate on what you want to say and write for your responses.

Another important thing to bear in mind when you are taking your English test is the time limit.

You only have a certain amount of time to answer a question, so make sure that you speak or write as much as possible in this time.

Near the end of the test, you will be asked to complete a writing sample and a short video interview.

These aren’t graded but they can be shared with future universities to show your English abilities.

The Duolingo english test takers are very kind and polite.

After Your Duolingo English Test

Once you recorded your video interview and your finished your writing sample, you need to submit your test.

Don’t close the browser window too quickly and double-check that your test was fully submitted.

There will be a screen saying that everything has been successfully uploaded.

You can expect your Duolingo test results within two days.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Time Does It Take To Prepare For The Duolingo English Test?

You should allow a minimum of 4 weeks to prepare for your Duolingo test. Make sure that you answer some sample questions with the Duolingo english practice test.

How Many Times Can You Retake The Duolingo Test?

Only when you have received your test results, you can take a new test. You can buy up to 3 practice tests in a 30-day period.

This time starts when you buy the first test.

How Difficult Is The Duolingo English Test?

While the Duolingo test takes less time to complete than IELTS, you will still need sufficient listening skills to answer all the questions.

Duolingo is just as challenging as IELTS and TOEFL, as you will need to ensure that you learn the language as best as possible.

Final Thoughts

There are many ways that you can prepare yourself for your Duolingo English test. It’s a good idea to prepare at least four to six weeks before the exam date.

This will give you enough time to read through the test guide, take some of the sample tests and practice English as much as possible.

The more you practice, the more likely you will pass your test.

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