What To Do If Your Duolingo English Test Was Not Certified

What To Do If Your Duolingo English Test Was Not Certified
Photo by Yogendra Singh / Unsplash

After studying for and sitting through the Duolingo English Test (DET), the worst feeling is receiving an email which says, “Unfortunately your Duolingo English Test could not be certified for the following reason:”. Below we’ll discuss reasons why your DET was not certified.

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Table of Contents:

  1. Why was your Duolingo English Test not certified?
  2. What to do after your test was not certified
  3. Can you retake the test?
  4. Can you appeal?
  5. How to make sure your results are certified next time

Why was your Duolingo English Test not certified?

There are many reasons that your Duolingo English Test was invalid. Here are some possible reasons that Duolingo provides:

  • You looked away from the screen for an extended period of time
  • Your camera did not work during the test
  • Your face was not always visible because the test area was too dark
  • We could not verify the security of your test environment
  • Your microphone did not work during the test
  • The test was not completed and uploaded
  • The test area was not always private
  • Outside materials or software were present during the test
  • You spoke very little during the graded speaking section. You must speak for 30 to 90 seconds in reply to each question.
  • Your speaking response appears to be rehearsed or written out in advance. This is not permitted. Your speaking response must be naturally given at the time of the test to receive a valid score.
  • Your microphone volume was too low. Due to this, your speaking could not be graded correctly. Please increase the volume of your microphone, and speak loudly and clearly.
  • You have already taken a test on another account using a different email address. You may not take the Duolingo English Test using multiple accounts.
Email from Duolingo explaining that a test taker's results could not be certified
Your test could not be certified

What to do after your test was not certified

If your test results were not certified, you may be able to retake the test within 21 days of your initial purchase. Unfortunately, purchasing a test does not guarantee a Certified Result. There are different scenarios of invalid tests:

  • If there is a problem with the ID you submitted, you will need to resubmit a valid ID to receive your result. You will not need to take the full test again.
  • If your result is invalid due to a broken test rule, and you do not receive an email saying your account is blocked, you may retake the test.
  • Certain broken rules, such as looking away from the screen too often, allow you to test again at no additional cost if you still have attempts remaining on the credit. 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.

While it can be frustrating to have to retake the test, especially if you got a good score, with some practice from Arno, you’ll likely get an even better score next time!

Can you retake the test?

Yes, you can retake the Duolingo English Test within 21 days of receiving your invalid result. If 21 days have passed before you receive your invalid result, or you have less than 7 days remaining to retake the test, you may receive a 7 day credit extension.

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.

Can you appeal?

Yes, 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.

Screenshot showing an invalid test in the Duolingo English Test dashboard
Test invalid

How to make sure your results are certified next time

Here are a few ways to guarantee that your results will be valid and certified the next time you retake the test:

  • Check the camera before taking the test
  • Use an external light source (i.e. a table lamp) if your face wasn’t 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
  • Try to keep your eyes on the screen as much as possible
  • Check your microphone before taking the test
  • Make sure to use a stable Internet connection and 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

We also share tips in this video lesson:

If you do end up having to retake the Duolingo English Test, you can boost your scores by joining Arno. We provide free, unlimited practice questions and instant feedback on your answers, allowing you to see whether your English has improved since your last test. Join today by clicking the link below.

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