What is the Duolingo English Test Format and Pattern? (2024)

What is the Duolingo English Test Format and Pattern? (2024)
Photo by Milad Alizadeh / Unsplash

The Duolingo English Test (DET) is formatted into five sections. In this article, you will learn what to expect in each one as well as how you will be scored.

Table of Contents

  1. Five Sections of the Duolingo English Test
  2. Frequency of Each Question Type
  3. How the Duolingo English Test is Scored

Five Sections of the Duolingo English Test

Source: Duolingo

There are 5 sections on the test:

  1. Initial Comprehension (~10 minutes)
  2. Comprehension (~10 minutes)
  3. Interactive Comprehension (~15 minutes)
  4. Production (~20 minutes)
  5. Shared (~10 minutes)

Initial Comprehension

This section consists of 2 question types: Read and Select and Fill in the Blanks.

These questions are adaptive, which means that the questions will adjust based on your level of English. When you get a question correct, the next question will get more difficult, and if you get a question wrong, the next question will be easier. This is why the DET is so much shorter than other English proficiency tests, like TOEFL or IELTS. You won't waste time answering a lot of questions that are too easy or too difficult for you.


This section consists of 3 types of questions: Read and Complete, Read Aloud, and Listen and Type. All of these questions are also adaptive.

Interactive Comprehension

Next, you will move on to the Interactive Reading and Interactive Listening question sets, which are also adaptive.


In the Production section, you will have the majority of the writing and speaking questions that you will see on the test; namely, Write About the Photo, Interactive Writing, Listen, Then Speak, Speak About the Photo, and Read, Then Speak.


Finally, you will have 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.

Frequency of Each Question Type

The different question types are listed below in order of most frequent to least frequent. Click on any of them to read our full guide to that question type.

To get an overview of all the question types, check out our article: All 19 Question Types with Answers

Appears 15 - 18 times:

Appears 6 - 9 times:

Appears 3-6 times:

Appears 3 times:

Appears 2 times:

Appears 1 time:

How the Duolingo English Test is Scored

The DET has its own scoring system, with scores ranging on a scale from 10 to 160. When you complete the exam, you will receive a certificate with your results within 48 hours. This certificate includes four subscores and an overall score, which is approximately your average of the four subscores. Duolingo’s subscores measure proficiency in the following four areas:

  • Literacy = Reading and Writing
  • Comprehension = Reading and Listening
  • Conversation = Speaking and Listening
  • Production = Writing and Speaking
Sample Score Report
Sample Score Report

Although there are many different kinds of questions on the Duolingo English Test, you can quickly become familiar with them by using Arno to practice.

We give you unlimited practice questions for every question type for free! And if you purchase credits, then you get instant scoring and feedback on your responses to writing and speaking questions.

Screenshot of Arno's feedback
Arno's feedback on your grammar and vocabulary will quickly help you raise your score.

To get started, just go to duolingo.goarno.io to register for a free account. You will also get a full, free mock test with scores and feedback on every one of your answers!