Duolingo English Test Ultimate Guide (2024) - Arno

Duolingo English Test Ultimate Guide (2024) - Arno
Source: VentureBeat

In this post, you will learn everything you need to know about the Duolingo English Test.

Table of Contents

What is the Duolingo English Test?

The Duolingo English Test (DET) is an online, standardized exam used to demonstrate the test taker's English proficiency; it is most commonly used by international students for university applications.

The Duolingo English Test was created in 2016 and exploded in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic (in 2020, there were 19 times more test takers than in 2019! 😮)

Just two years ago only 3,000 institutions across the world accepted the Duolingo English Test. Now, in 2024, it is currently accepted by around 5,000 schools worldwide.

In short, the DET is new, but it is quickly becoming a popular alternative to other English proficiency tests.

Let’s see why.

TOEFL v. IETLS v. Duolingo English Test

TOEFL and IELTS are still the two most common English proficiency tests in the world. They have both been around for many years and have strong reputations.

A common question is: Which test is easiest?

You can take DET anytime, anywhere so certainly is more convenient and less stressful. In that sense, it is easier.

But on which test is it easier to get a high score? People have strong opinions about this, but the truth is that it is impossible to say. There is not a perfect correlation between scores on the DET and scores on TOEFL or IELTS. Some people do better on one test than the others, but there is not enough data to say why exactly 🤷

That said, the test are still strongly correlated, so a score on one test will give you a good prediction of your scores on the other tests.

Table of official comparison of scores on Duolingo English Test, TOEFL, and IELTS
Table of official comparison of scores on Duolingo English Test, TOEFL, and IELTS (Source)

Advantages of the Duolingo English Test

Shorter

The DET lasts only 1 hour, compared to 2 hours for TOEFL and 2.5-3 hours for IELTS. The DET is so short because it uses an “adaptive format”. This means the difficulty of the test questions will adjust to your abilities; if you’re getting questions correct, the next questions will get more difficult. You won’t waste time answering questions that are too easy or too hard for you. This is a great option for students who find that they lose concentration after long periods of time.

Cheaper

The DET costs $65 for 1 test or $110 for a bundle of 2 tests, which comes out to $55 USD per test.

Thankfully the Duolingo English Test costs the same, no matter which country you take it in, and does not have additional fees, like late registration fees or rescheduling fees.

In addition, you can send your Duolingo English Test results to as many schools as you would like for free. For further cost reductions, low-income students are eligible for a fee waiver for the DET and coupons can regularly be found on the Duolingo promotion page.

⭐ Students cannot directly apply for a fee waiver from Duolingo. Rather, fee waivers are granted through universities and scholarship programs. More information about how to get a fee waiver can be found here. If you receive a promo code for a fee waiver, the step-by-step instructions for applying the code can be viewed here.

By contrast, prices for the TOEFL are generally between $150 USD and $300 USD, depending on where you take the test. Further, while you can send your results to 4 schools for free with TOEFL, after that, it’s $20 USD per school(!!!)

Similarly, the cost of the IELTS falls between $150 USD and $325 USD, depending on the country where you take the test. With this test, you can send your results to 5 schools for free. Then, it’s $3.75 USD plus $19 USD to send your results to a school outside of the country where you took the test!

As you can see, the Duolingo English Test is much more affordable.

More convenient

The Duolingo English Test was designed to be taken at home, on your personal computer. This is why it became so popular during the pandemic – you can take the test from anywhere at any time! All you need is a quiet room where you can be alone to take the test, a computer or laptop with a camera and microphone, and a stable internet connection.

While you can take the IELTS online,  most people take the test at a testing center. This is because you can only take the IELTS online if you live in certain countries and have a passport. Furthermore, even though it's online, the IELTS is only offered up to 4 times per month on Thursdays and Saturdays and spots fill up fast!

As if you needed another reason to ditch the IELTS: it isn't always possible to schedule your Speaking section on the same day as the rest of your test, meaning when you sign up for an IELTS test, you need to make sure you can be around for 2 entire weeks! 😨😨😨

Similarly, there are only 50 TOEFL iBT test dates available throughout the year. The TOEFL iBT Home Edition is a little more convenient, but you can still only take it 4 days a week and you still have to specify the time. No planning is needed for the Duolingo English Test – you can start the test whenever you'd like.

Faster results

You will get your Duolingo English Test results within 48 hours and for $40 more, you can get them within 12 hours. That's fast!

Meanwhile, TOEFL takes 4 to 8 days and you have to wait 13 days to view your IELTS results online (and 23 days for your official Test Report Form to be sent in the mail).

If you do want to purchase the Duolingo English Test "Faster results" add-on here's how to do so:

  1. Log into your Duolingo English Test account at: https://englishtest.duolingo.com/home
  2. Scroll until you see the option to purchase a test and click ‘Buy Now'
A screenshot from the Duolingo English Test purchasing page
A screenshot from the Duolingo English Test purchasing page

3. Decide whether you’d like to purchase one test, or two tests and click ‘Add To Cart’

A screenshot from the Duolingo English Test purchasing page
A screenshot from the Duolingo English Test purchasing page

4. Duolingo will ask you if you want to upgrade your test, click ‘Upgrade +$40’ if you do.

Duolingo English Test 'Faster Results' Upgrade Button
Duolingo English Test 'Faster Results' Upgrade Button

5. Click 'Checkout' and enter your card information!

⭐ Please note - if you're using a Duolingo English Test fee waiver, you cannot purchase the "Faster Results" upgrade to get your test in 12 hours. You will need to wait the two full days after your test date to get your score certificate.

Disadvantages of the Duolingo English Test

Not accepted by every institution

This is the biggest disadvantage of the Duolingo English Test. TOEFL and IELTS are accepted almost everywhere. Duolingo is accepted by most schools, but not all.

However, Duolingo is investing a lot in expanding the Duolingo English Test, and within the next few years, it will likely be accepted everywhere. You can see all the institutions that currently accept the Duolingo English Test by clicking here.

Requires stable internet connection

The DET is timed and you have to complete it in one sitting. This means that you need stable internet to successfully complete the exam.

Can be hard to get results certified

Duolingo uses the camera on your laptop or computer to record your test session. This recording is reviewed by human proctors. Duolingo really wants to prevent cheaters, so if they see anything suspicious, they won’t certify your results.

This means that many non-cheaters struggle to get their results certified, for example, by looking away from the screen too often!

Thankfully, in most instances, Duolingo allows you to retake the test if they see anything suspicious. However, if they have clear evidence that you cheated, you will be banned for life and may need to file an appeal.

Which test is right for you?

You should take the Duolingo English Test unless you’re applying to a school that doesn’t accept it. It’s cheaper, faster, and more convenient. And... most importantly, if you take the Duolingo English Test you can use Arno to practice!!! 🥰🥰🥰

"Try Now" call-to-action for Arno
Try Arno today!

Where is the Duolingo English Test accepted?

Duolingo maintains a complete list of all institutions that accept the DET here.

As noted previously, the number of accepting institutions has been growing quickly and Duolingo is actively hiring people to convince even more institutions to accept it. If an institution isn’t on the list now, check back every few weeks as this might have changed.

You can find out whether the Duolingo English Test is specifically accepted at the university where you are applying in three ways:

  1. Visit the official Duolingo English Test website and type in the name of your university.
  2. Visit the admissions or international students' webpages for that university specifically to see their language proficiency requirements.
  3. Contact the school admissions committee directly to see if they accept the Duolingo English Test for the language proficiency requirement (and if they have a fee waiver!)

Which countries currently accept the Duolingo English Test?

The Duolingo English Test is currently accepted in over 110 different countries across the world, though the countries where the Duolingo English Test takers share their results the most are the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

👉 Check out this article that lists all the countries where schools accept the Duolingo English Test

You can view a list of all universities in Europe, Canada, the UK, the USA, and Australia specifically accepting the Duolingo English Test on our blog. Thankfully, the cost of the test is the same no matter where you take the test. Thanks, Duolingo! 🥰🥰🥰

For students pursuing the American dream, here's a fun fact: while the Duolingo English Test is accepted in all American states, the most common are:

  1. California🏄
  2. New York🗽
  3. Massachusetts🚢
  4. Texas🤠
  5. Pennsylvania🔔
  6. Ohio⚾
  7. Illinois🌽
  8. Florida🐊
  9. Michigan🎣
  10. Arizona🏜️

Can I take the Duolingo English Test to fulfill my student visa requirements?

We are constantly updating our blog (and this guide) with visa-related information. Below is guidance for student visas in a few of the most popular countries accepting the DET.

Germany - to demonstrate English proficiency for the German student visa, the TOEFL or IELTS is required, although the Duolingo English Test can be used for acceptance into some German universities.

USA - None of the US student visas require an English Proficiency Test or minimum scores, but they do require students to "show English language proficiency" unless they are enrolling in an English language program. In this sense, it's still a good idea to take one of the available tests to demonstrate to your United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer that you are able to read, write, and speak English. Thankfully, USCIS does not specify which test you need to take, so you can take the Duolingo English Test to prepare.

But, before you can apply for any of these student visas you must be accepted into a US institution certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Admissions to these schools themselves usually require a language proficiency test such as the TOEFL, IELTS, or the Duolingo English Test. The type of test required and minimum scores will vary by institution so be sure to check the admissions page for more details.

According to the official government website, interviews may require you to present "standardized test scores required by your U.S. school" so you must meet the language proficiency requirements for the school you are admitted to and bring evidence of this to your visa interview. If you don't meet the minimum requirements for your school but were still accepted you may be able to provide proof that you will be enrolled in courses that will improve your language proficiency in some cases, or that you are attending a language-training program.

Canada - In Canada, students can apply for a "study permit" to study at designated learning institutions or DLIs. Students can also apply to study in Canada through the Student Direct Stream or SDS.

If you apply directly to universities and are accepted into a Canadian educational institution that accepts the Duolingo English Test, you may be able to use the Duolingo English Test as proof of your English proficiency for the study permit. The rules here are the same as for US institutions in that whether the university accepts the Duolingo English Test and minimum scores for the Duolingo English Test varies from school to school.

The Duolingo English Test is NOT accepted for the Student Direct Stream route, however, as the SDS in Canada does not accept ANY online English proficiency tests like the Duolingo English Test; only the IELTS and CELPIP are accepted as valid.

United Kingdom - The UK doesn't currently accept the Duolingo English Test for visa applications, although Duolingo is trying to change that as 1,000+ UK universities do accept Duolingo English Test scores for admission into their program.

Ireland - The Duolingo English Test is accepted for language requirements in Ireland. A minimum score of 55 is required for "2nd level" and "foundation level" or preparatory English courses. 2nd level courses are in private, for-fee institutions where "foundation level" means a Level 5 course on the National Framework of Qualifications.  A higher minimum score of 75 is required for all other courses.

Students applying specifically to English Language courses in Ireland do not need to provide evidence of English proficiency as part of their visa application. However, the Visa Officer may ask you to provide alternative evidence of your English before coming to Ireland. As such, it can be a good idea to take a test regardless.

Australia - The Australian government does not accept any "at-home" or "online" tests at this time, so the Duolingo English Test does not count for Australian migration purposes, unfortunately 😔. However, once you've been admitted into the Australian university of your choice you will need to submit a "confirmation of enrollment" to the Australian government to verify your studies. This confirmation of enrollment must be included in your student visa application. Many of these universities require proof of English proficiency for admission and vary in the tests and minimum scores they accept.

When can I take the Duolingo English Test?

Because the Duolingo English Test is online you can take the test anywhere, anytime! There is no need to travel to a test center. However, after purchasing the test, you have up to 21 days to complete it.

The 2-test bundle allows you an additional 21 days to take your second test after receiving your result for the first test, which you will receive within 2 days. Don't panic if 21 days have already passed since you took the test, or you have less than 7 days remaining - you can request a 7-day credit extension!

Requirements of the Duolingo English Test

Because you take the DET from home, the test has very strict requirements to ensure there is no cheating.

Have your identification ready.

You need a non-expired government-issued ID.

You must be alone in the room.

No one can be in the room while you are taking the test. Even just someone walking by during the test can lead the proctor to cancel your scores.

Close all programs on your computer.

Be sure that every program is closed, because if you have any programs running, Duolingo will not certify your results. This includes web browsers and especially grammar checkers like Grammarly.

Stay focused on the screen.

Don't look away, even while you are talking. Duolingo is worried that you may be reading off an answer on another screen or that you have written down.

Don't use headphones.

Headphones are not allowed on the test. You can use an external microphone, but it cannot be part of a pair of headphones.

No pen or paper.

You can't use anything to take notes.

To ensure your results will be valid and certified you may wish to do the following to prepare for the test:

  • Check the camera before taking the test to make sure that it is working and clear
  • Use an external light source (i.e. a table lamp) to ensure your face is well-lit and visible
  • Use incognito mode in your Internet browser
  • Take the test from a place where the entire room is visible
  • Make sure that no one is in the room or walks in while you are taking the test (kick your roommates out for the day!)
  • Try to keep your eyes on the screen as much as possible
  • Make sure it is easy to hear you by checking your microphone ahead of time, speaking loudly on your answers, and taking the test in a quiet place
  • Make sure to use a stable Internet connection – you may want to sit close to the internet hub and disconnect all other devices using the internet except your laptop/computer
  • Don’t exit out while the test is being uploaded
  • Turn off any mobile devices and/or remove them from the test environment altogether
  • Try to speak naturally and show emotion during the speaking section
  • Position yourself close to the computer, especially during the speaking section
  • Make sure to read up on the test rules before you start the exam.

Structure of the Duolingo English Test

The DET has 6 sections.

1. Quick Setup

In this section, you will review the rules and requirements of the test and make sure your video camera, speakers, and microphone are set up correctly. During this time, you will also submit your government-issued photo identification.

As stated above, before taking the exam at home, you will want to make sure that you meet all the test requirements like a valid government-issued ID, a computer or laptop with a stable Internet connection, a front-facing camera, a microphone, speakers, and a quiet well-lit room. You should also review our complete list of rules you must know before the exam - you don't want to accidentally break a rule and have your hard work go to waste!

2. Initial Comprehension

You will start with the Read and Select and Fill in the Blanks question types.

3. Comprehension

Then you will move on to more comprehension questions: Read and Complete, Read Aloud, and Listen and Type.

4. Interactive Comprehension

Next, you will answer the Interactive Reading and Interactive Listening question sets.

5. Production

In this section, you will answer most of the writing and speaking questions on the test: Write About the Photo, Interactive Writing, Listen, Then Speak, Speak About the Photo, and Read, Then Speak

6. Shared

Finally, you will answer the Writing Sample and Speaking Sample. This section is named "Shared" because your responses to these last 2 questions will be sent along with your scores so that the recipients can evaluate your English for themselves.

Below is how many times you will see each question type:

Question frequency on the Duolingo English Test

👉  Check out our popular article: 50 Speaking Topics with Answers

How the Duolingo English Test is scored

Each score lies between 0 and 160 points. You are given 1 overall score which is an approximate average of 4 subscores. Unfortunately, you cannot see your score on each question.

Here is what your score certificate will look like:

Sample score certificate for the Duolingo English Test
Sample score certificate for the Duolingo English Test

The subscores are not the traditional components of Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. Instead, Duolingo combines components to make 4 new categories. Here is a diagram that explains:

Duolingo’s official diagram explaining the subscores on the Duolingo English Test
Duolingo’s official diagram explaining the subscores on the Duolingo English Test

Duolingo explains that they use these categories because, “While reading, writing, speaking, and listening are important language components, research shows that combined skills can better represent how language is used in real life. Effective language use requires people to employ multiple skills simultaneously.”

The "Literacy" subscore combines scores from "Reading" and "Writing" questions. Questions on the "Literacy" Subscore include:

The average score for "Literacy" is 108.79, with the 25th percentile at 95 and the 75th at 125.

The "Comprehension" subscore is composed of "Reading" and "Listening" questions.

Questions that contribute to the Comprehension subscore include:

The average score for "Comprehension" is 108, with the 25th percentile at 105 and the 75th percentile at 130.

"Conversation" subscores are made up of "Speaking" and "Listening" questions.

There are 7 questions types that count towards the "Conversation" subscore:

The average score for "Conversation" is 98.68, with the 25th and 75th percentiles being 85 and 115. Ensure to review our article on ways to improve your conversation score to boost your results!

Finally, "Production" subscores are composed of "Writing" and "Speaking" questions to test your ability to produce English.

The following questions make up the "Production" subscores:

"Production" tends to be the most challenging subscore for students, with an average score is 86.32 and the 25th and 75th percentiles ranging from 75 to 100.

In 2023, the average score of all test takers was 108. The average score of 108 on the DET corresponds to approximately 75 on TOEFL and a 6 on IELTS. The 25th and 75th percentiles for the total score are 95 and 120 respectively.

The definition of a good overall or total score depends on what school or program you are applying to. Some schools require higher scores than others. In general, many schools require scores around 115. So, if you don’t know where you will be applying yet, 115 is a good score to aim for.

👉  To learn more about DET scores, check out our article: Explained: Duolingo English Test Scores

How to book the Duolingo English Test

The DET does not have a set date and time, giving you flexibility as to where and when you take the exam. You don't have to book a time.

Here are the steps to book the DET:

  1. Visit https://englishtest.duolingo.com/applicants
  2. Select ‘LOG IN’ to sign into an existing account or ‘SIGN UP’ if you’re a new user
  3. Fill in the required details
  4. Select ‘BUY NOW’ under Purchase the Test to register for the exam. Once you register for the exam, you have 21 days to take the test.
  5. Select ‘Take the Test’ when you’re ready to begin the test. Once you make this selection, the Duolingo English Test will begin immediately.

Here are the steps to cancel a Duolingo English Test credit that you purchased:

  1. Visit https://englishtest.duolingo.com/applicants
  2. Log In to your existing account
  3. Go to the test cancel option
  4. Submit your details and select 'Cancellation'

⭐ If you don’t take the test within the 21-day window, then the test will automatically be canceled with no refund. If you choose to reschedule, you will have to register for the test again and the 21-day period starts again. The only condition is that you cannot purchase the DET more than 3 times in 30 days.

How to prepare for the Duolingo English Test

👉 We also have a video about this topic!

1. Familiarize yourself with the question types

Although knowing the exact questions you will see on the test is impossible, you can become familiar with the types of questions that will appear on the exam.

Here is a quick overview of all the question types.

We also have a video walkthrough:

2. Review high-scoring answers

One way to improve your Duolingo English Test score is by reviewing model answers. Below are some articles on our blog where you can do just that:

You're welcome 😉

3. Focus on your low subscores

If you have taken the official DET, then you will have your overall score and your subscores. If you need to raise your score, start by focusing on improving your lowest subscore.

For most people, this is the Production subscore. So, if you haven’t taken the full test, start by practicing questions that count toward your Production subscore.

To practice, you can use Arno. We give you unlimited practice questions with instant scoring and feedback 😁

Just to go duolingo.goarno.io and create your account. Then, practice the Production questions.

Screenshot of Production questions in Arno
Production questions in Arno

You can read more Duolingo English Test tips & tips on practicing for the test on our blog.

4. Practice with feedback

This is the most important, but most difficult, part of preparing for the DET. In order to improve, you need feedback. Some people can get an English tutor, but most people can't afford to do that. Duolingo offers an official practice test. However, it doesn’t allow you to focus on specific question types. Also, it does not provide you with helpful feedback, just a single, imprecise estimated overall score that is typically lower than what people get on the actual exam.

That’s why we built Arno. Now everyone can get high-quality feedback, improve their English, and get a great score on the DET.

When you answer a Production question in Arno, for example, you will get feedback like this:

Screenshot showing how Arno provides instant scoring and feedback.
Arno provides instant scoring and feedback.

We will give you an estimated score and show you how advanced your vocabulary is.

Arno will also explain your grammar mistakes, provide suggestions to improve your vocabulary, and provide a high-scoring, rewritten version of your response.

Screenshot showing how Arno gives you grammar feedback with explanations.
Arno gives you grammar feedback with explanations.
Screenshot showing how Arno gives you tips to improve your vocabulary.
Arno gives you tips to improve your vocabulary.
Screenshot showing how Arno will also provide a high-scoring, rewritten version of your answer.
Arno will also provide a high-scoring, rewritten version of your answer.

Arno has unlimited practice questions for every question type, so you can use it no matter which subscores and questions you’re focusing on!

Understanding your scores

Once you take the Duolingo English Test, you will receive an email informing you that your test has been scored. You will then need to log into your englishtest.duolingo.com account to access your score report. It looks like this:

An example Duolingo Scorecard
An example Duolingo Scorecard

The score certificate will show personal information such as your name, photo, test date, and certification URL. You’ll also see your overall score and subscores in bold. The black arrows shown above point to your actual scores, overall and on the subscores; the orange bar represents the range of scores on questions in this area.

The overall score will fall between 10 and 160, with 10 being the lowest score you can get and 160 being the highest. These scores rise in 5-point increments and are the average of the four subscores that we will describe below. In 2023, the average overall score of students was 108. Scores at or above 125 (like Beatrice's) are considered "advanced".

Your overall Duolingo English Test score is the average of four subscores: Literacy, Comprehension, Conversation, and Production. Each subscore is equally weighted and counts for 25% of your overall score.

⭐ To learn more about what a "good score" is on the DET, check out our article: What is a Good Duolingo English Test Score?

Most universities that accept the Duolingo English Test require a score of between 110 and 130, but some schools have lower minimums or no minimum score at all! For this reason, it's best to base your desired score on the specific minimum requirement of the schools you are applying to. Ultimately, the most important thing is getting the score that you need to apply to the schools you want to apply to.

Check out our blog to see a step-by-step breakdown of an example Duolingo English Test scorecard.

After logging into your Duolingo account to view your scores, you can share them electronically by clicking "Send Results" and entering the schools that you wish to send your results to (for free 🎉). There should be a checkbox beside each school, so make sure to check off all the schools you wish to send your results to before clicking 'Send'. After you click 'Send', schools will automatically receive a copy of your overall score, subscores, writing sample, and speaking sample.

What to do if your Duolingo English Test was not certified

There are many reasons that your Duolingo English Test could be considered invalid.

If your test results were not certified, you may be able to retake the test within 21 days of your initial purchase. If you encounter a technical error that prevents your test from being uploaded or certified, you may retake the test at no additional cost if you still have attempts remaining on the credit.

Certain rule violations are eligible for an appeal. You may appeal your invalid test result within 72 hours of receiving the result if you receive an email saying your account is blocked or if your invalid result immediately consumes your credit.

If you have two tests with broken rules on the same credit, the credit expires, even if you have only used two attempts. You may purchase a new credit to test again. You are not eligible to appeal your results in these cases since you have already had at least two chances to take the test.

Suspected help from another individual will immediately cause your credit to expire, even if you have attempts remaining. In this case, you may purchase a new credit to test again. You may also appeal your result.

Having an impersonator take the test for you will result in your account being blocked for a certain period of time or permanently. If your account is blocked, the credit expires and you are no longer able to take the test, no matter how many attempts you have used. You may appeal your result in this case.

Here are the steps to appeal:

  • Log in to englishtest.duolingo.com and click on "My Results” where you will see a status of "Invalid" next to your test result. The reason your test is invalid will be listed.
  • Click on a button beneath this that says "Appeal This Result” and enter your reason for appealing the result. Note that the "Appeal This Result" button will only be available for 72 hours after receiving the notification that your test was not certified. You will not be able to submit an appeal once 72 hours pass.
  • Once you submit, the "Appeal This Result" button will turn gray and change to "Appeal Submitted." An appeals specialist will review your test session and send a decision to the email address you used to take the test within 4 business days.

You may only appeal an invalid result once. All decisions made by appeals specialists are final.

Retaking the Duolingo English Test

There are three main reasons why a student decides to retake the Duolingo English Test:

  • Your old test results expired
  • Your Duolingo English Test could not be certified
  • You want to get a higher score

When deciding whether to re-take the Duolingo English Test, consider what a good Duolingo English Test score means to you. These are some good questions to ask yourself when deciding whether to take the Duolingo English Test again:

  1. Did I study as hard as I could have?
  2. Could I score better than I did?
  3. Did I score higher on my practice tests than I did on the actual test?
  4. What is the minimum requirement for the Duolingo English Test for the schools I am applying for?
  5. How do I compare to the average scores and percentiles on the Duolingo English Test?

The average scores between May 2022 and April 2023 were as follows:

  • Overall Score = 108.12
  • Comprehension Subscore = 115.86
  • Conversation Subscore = 98.68
  • Literacy Subscore = 108.79
  • Production Subscore = 86.32

The 25th and 75th percentiles for the Duolingo English Test were as follows:

  • Overall = 95; 120
  • Comprehension = 105; 130
  • Conversation = 85; 115
  • Literacy = 95; 125
  • Production = 75; 100

However, the decision you make shouldn’t just be based on other people’s scores! The choice to retake the test should be a choice based on all the factors listed above. If you scored lower than the average, but your school only requires a 90 then you may not need to retake the test.

Duolingo’s policy for retaking the test is that you cannot purchase the DET more than three times within a month (30-day period). No one can see your results on a particular test unless you share the results with them. So, if you only share your best results, no one will know if you took the test multiple times.

When you purchase a single Duolingo English Test, you receive one credit. You have up to three attempts to use the credit to complete the test. Anytime you begin the test, it counts as an attempt.

If you encounter a technical error that prevents your test from being certified, you may retake the test at no additional cost if you still have attempts remaining on the credit.

There are many reasons why your test may not have been certified, and different circumstances will result in different courses of action:

  • If your test is not certified due to a technical error, such as your internet connection cut off, your test will not be certified. This counts as the first attempt. You will have two more attempts to complete and upload the test on that credit.
  • If your test is not certified due to an ID error, you do not need to retake the test. You will just need to resubmit a valid ID.
  • If your result is not certified due to breaking a test rule such as looking away from the screen too often, and you do not receive an email saying your account is blocked, you may retake the test if you still have attempts on your credit.
  • If you have violated more serious rules such as receiving help or having an impersonator take your exam, your credit will expire and your account may be blocked for a period of time or indefinitely.

For these reasons, you must be familiar with all the test rules before you start your exam.

A note on credits: when you purchase a Duolingo English Test, you receive one credit per test purchased. Each credit can be used to "pay" for one certified scorecard and comes with three attempts to use the credit. Usually, your credit will only expire once you complete and upload the test.

Luckily, in some cases, you can retake the Duolingo English test for free 😍.

✅ If you experienced a technical error during your test, you can retake the Duolingo English Test for free.

✅ You can also retake the test for free if your test results were uncertified for some broken test rules like looking away from the screen too often; however, this only applies if you still have attempts remaining on that credit.

❌ More serious rule violations, such as seeking help during the test, will lead to your credit automatically expiring; you will need to purchase a new test.

❌ Similarly, if you have two tests with rule violations on the same credit, the credit expires no matter how many attempts you have used. In this case, a new test must be purchased.

❌ If you received a certified test result, you cannot retake the test for free.

Please note, Duolingo English Test results are valid for two years after you take the test, so you will not need to retake the test if you decide to apply to schools after some time away from the process.

Have further questions?

For any further questions you have about the Duolingo English Test, Duolingo offers a Test Support chat in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

Screenshot Duolingo English Test Support Live Chat
Duolingo English Test Support Live Chat

You can also review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Conclusion

Now you understand the DET and can decide if it is the right test for you. If you do decide to take the DET, we hope you’ll check out Arno 🙂

Just click the link below to create your free account and access endless practice questions!

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