Duolingo English Test: International Students’ Ultimate Guide

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a female student typing in her laptop

Duolingo English Test: International Students’ Ultimate Guide

Boost your future as an international student with the Duolingo English Test—a fast, affordable, and enjoyable way to prove your language skills, paving the way for academic success and global opportunities!

As you may know, mastering English is a passport to boundless opportunities, be they academic, professional, or personal.

So, whether you’re a college hopeful, a high school whiz, or someone who simply loves a good challenge, buckle up and join us as we explore the fantastic world of this English test!

Who is eligible for the Duolingo test?

Who is eligible for the Duolingo test? Inclusivity is the name of the game when it comes to this English test. Designed to assess English proficiency for speakers of all levels, this innovative exam is for everyone!

Two students talking while walking in a campus.

So, whether you’re a high school student eyeing a spot in your dream college, an undergraduate seeking further studies abroad, or a working professional looking to upskill, this English test has got you covered.

Age and Educational Requirements

  • Age: There’s no strict age limit for this English test! It’s open to language learners of all ages, including high school students and beyond. However, do keep in mind that individual colleges and universities may have their own age requirements for applicants. So, make sure to double-check the specific criteria for your target institution.
  • Education: No matter where you are on your educational journey, this English test is here to help you showcase your English language skills. High school students, undergraduates, and even postgraduate students can benefit from this versatile language assessment tool. Just remember to confirm the specific educational requirements of your desired college or university.

Is Duolingo accepted for international students?

Is Duolingo accepted for international students? If you are an international student with dreams of studying at a prestigious college or university abroad, you’re in for an exciting ride as we explore the world of this English test and its acceptance among institutions worldwide.

Students using a computer in a room.

Duolingo is indeed gaining widespread acceptance among colleges and universities across the globe. As institutions embrace their innovative approach to language assessment, more and more doors are opening for international students like you. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Rapidly growing recognition: The list of schools accepting the Duolingo English Test as a valid measure of English proficiency is growing by the day. From Ivy League universities to top-ranked schools across continents, there’s a good chance your dream institution is already on board!
  • A range of programs: Whether you’re aiming for an undergraduate, graduate, or even postgraduate program, Duolingo has got your back. Just remember to double-check the specific English proficiency requirements of your target program.
  • Trustworthy and accurate: Colleges and universities worldwide are recognizing the accuracy and reliability of this English test, which means your hard work and dedication won’t go unnoticed.

Benefits for International Students

Still not sure if this English test is right for you? Here are some of the amazing benefits that make it a top choice for international students:

  • Accessible and affordable: With Duolingo, you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank. It’s priced much lower than other English proficiency exams, making it accessible to a wider range of students. Plus, you can take the test from the comfort of your own home!
  • Quick results: You won’t be left hanging for weeks! Duolingo offers results within just two to five days. Talk about a speedy turnaround!
  • Widely accepted: More and more institutions around the world are embracing this English test, with many top colleges and universities now accepting it as a valid measure of English proficiency.
  • Flexibility: With the ability to take the test anytime, anywhere, you can choose a testing environment that best suits you. No more traveling to testing centers or waiting for test dates!

Tips to Prepare for This English Test

Feeling pumped and ready to take on this English test? Great! Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

  • Familiarize yourself: Take some time to explore the Duolingo website, where you’ll find information on the test format, scoring, and more. Knowledge is power!
  • Practice makes perfect: Check out the practice materials and sample questions provided by Duolingo. This will help you get a feel for the test and identify any areas that need improvement.
  • Test your technology: Make sure you have a reliable internet connection, a quiet testing environment, and a compatible device (with a webcam and microphone) ready to go. The last thing you want is a technical glitch during the test!

So, there you have it! Duolingo is a fantastic option for international students looking to showcase their English language skills to colleges and universities around the globe.

With its accessibility, affordability, and increasing acceptance, it’s a no-brainer for students who want to unlock new opportunities and pursue their dreams.

Universities and Institutions Accepting Duolingo Scores

In recent years, the educational landscape has undergone a significant shift, with universities and institutions around the world adapting to new trends and technologies.

Female student looking intently on her laptop.

One such development is the increasing acceptance of Duolingo English Test scores as an alternative to more traditional standardized language tests like the TOEFL and IELTS.

This change has made it more accessible for international students to pursue higher education in the United States. Below are some of the universities and institutions in the US that accept Duolingo scores.

  • Harvard University – One of the most prestigious universities globally, Harvard accepts Duolingo scores as a valid assessment of English language proficiency for international applicants.
  • Yale University – As a member of the Ivy League, Yale is a top choice for many international students. Yale accepts Duolingo scores in addition to TOEFL and IELTS.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Known for its world-class education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, MIT also accepts Duolingo scores as proof of English proficiency.
  • Columbia University – Another Ivy League institution, Columbia University accepts Duolingo, TOEFL, and IELTS scores for its undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech) – Recognized for its cutting-edge research and top-notch academics, Caltech accepts Duolingo scores for both undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • University of Chicago – With a commitment to intellectual inquiry and research, the University of Chicago welcomes Duolingo scores from international applicants.
  • University of Pennsylvania – This Ivy League institution accepts Duolingo scores for all its undergraduate and graduate programs, ensuring a diverse and inclusive learning environment.
  • Duke University – A renowned research university, Duke accepts Duolingo scores for undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.
  • Johns Hopkins University – Known for its dedication to research and innovation, Johns Hopkins accepts Duolingo scores as part of its international student admissions process.
  • Northwestern University – A leading research institution, Northwestern University accepts Duolingo scores for international students applying to undergraduate and graduate programs.

What are the requirements for Duolingo for international students?

What are the requirements for Duolingo for international students? If you are gearing up for the Duolingo English Test but feeling a little overwhelmed by the technical requirements, worry no more because we’re here to guide you through the tech jungle, ensuring a smooth and stress-free testing experience.

Young woman using a laptop in a library.

In today’s fast-paced digital age, Duolingo stands out as a modern and convenient alternative to traditional language assessments.

By offering a fully online testing experience, it eliminates the need for test centers and long commutes. But with great convenience comes great responsibility: ensuring your tech setup is ready to go!

Technical Requirements

  • Device: To take this English test, you’ll need a reliable computer or laptop with a Windows or Mac operating system. Unfortunately, smartphones and tablets won’t do the trick, so make sure you have a compatible device on hand.
  • Webcam and Microphone: Your device must have a built-in or external webcam and microphone so that you can communicate effectively during the speaking and listening portions of the test.
  • Internet Connection: A stable and reliable internet connection is essential for a glitch-free testing experience. Aim for a minimum upload and download speed of 2 Mbps to ensure smooth sailing.
  • Quiet Environment: Last but not least, find a quiet and well-lit space to take your test. This will help minimize distractions and ensure that you can focus on showcasing your English language skills.

Tips for a Smooth Test Experience

Now that you know the technical requirements, here are some tips to help you sail through your test with ease:

  • Test Run: Familiarize yourself with the testing platform by taking a practice test or exploring the demo on the Duolingo website. This will help you get comfortable with the test format and identify any potential tech issues.
  • Updates and Backups: Make sure your device’s operating system, browser, and antivirus software are up to date. It’s also a good idea to back up your data in case of any unexpected surprises.
  • Device Maintenance: Ensure your device is in good working order by cleaning the screen, keyboard, and webcam. You’ll also want to check that your microphone is functioning properly.
  • Power Up: Charge your device fully before the test, and keep the charger handy just in case. The last thing you want is for your battery to die midway through the exam!
  • Tech Support: If you encounter any technical difficulties during the test, don’t panic! Reach out to the Duolingo English Test support team for assistance. They’re there to help you!

Preparing for the Test

Duolingo is an innovative, accessible, and affordable language assessment tool designed to help international students like you showcase their English skills to colleges and universities worldwide.

Two students attending an online class.

With this game-changing test, the sky’s the limit! But to make the most of it, you’ll need a solid preparation strategy.

  • Know your opponent: Familiarize yourself with the test format, structure, and question types by visiting the Duolingo website. Knowledge is power, so the more you know about the test, the better equipped you’ll be to tackle it.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Duolingo offers a variety of practice materials, including a free practice test and sample questions. Take advantage of these resources to hone your skills and build your confidence.
  • Set SMART goals: Be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound when setting your test preparation goals. This will help you stay focused, motivated, and on track.
  • Develop a study routine: Consistency is key when it comes to test prep. Establish a regular study schedule that suits your lifestyle and stick to it. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!
  • Focus on your weaknesses: Identify the areas where you need the most improvement and devote extra time to practicing those skills. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from teachers, tutors, or fellow students if you’re struggling with a particular concept.

 Tips and Tricks for Duolingo English Test Success

  • Embrace a growth mindset: Believe in your ability to improve and succeed. Adopting a positive attitude toward learning will help you stay motivated and make progress faster.
  • Get creative: Mix up your study methods to keep things fresh and engaging. Try watching English-language movies, listening to podcasts, or participating in language exchange programs to improve your listening and speaking skills.
  • Build your vocabulary: The more words you know, the better equipped you’ll be to tackle the reading and writing sections of the test. Practice with flashcards, word games, or simply read more in English to expand your vocabulary.
  • Stay informed: Keep up with current events and global issues by reading English-language newspapers, magazines, or websites. This will not only improve your reading skills but also give you valuable context for understanding and discussing complex topics.
  • Practice under pressure: Simulate the test environment by setting a timer and completing practice questions under exam-like conditions. This will help you develop the mental endurance and time management skills needed for the real deal.

Registration Process and Fees

As an international student, this English test is your ticket to showcasing your English prowess to colleges and universities around the globe. But before you can strut your stuff, you’ll need to get registered and understand the fees involved. So, let’s get started!

  • Create an Account: Head on over to the Duolingo website and sign up for a free account. You’ll need to provide your name, and email address, and create a password. Don’t forget to check your inbox and confirm your email address to activate your account.
  • Complete Your Profile: Once you’ve logged in, fill out your profile with your personal information, including your full name, date of birth, and country of residence. Make sure all the information is accurate, as it’ll appear on your test results.
  • Verify Your Identity: To ensure a secure and fair testing environment, Duolingo requires you to verify your identity. You’ll need to provide a clear, color photo of a valid ID. Make sure your ID is current and hasn’t expired.
  • Schedule Your Test: Now that your account is set up, it’s time to book your test. Choose a date and time that work for you, keeping in mind that you’ll need about an hour to complete the test. Make sure to pick a time when you’ll be well-rested and able to focus.
  • Pay the Fee: This English test costs $49 USD, which is significantly more affordable than other English language tests.

Is Duolingo easier than IELTS?

Is Duolingo easier than IELTS? The world of language proficiency tests has long been dominated by TOEFL and IELTS, but in recent years, a new contender has entered the arena: the Duolingo English Test.

As more universities and institutions accept Duolingo scores, many prospective test-takers are left wondering how it stacks up against IELTS in terms of difficulty. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the differences between Duolingo and IELTS and discuss whether one test is easier than the other.

Test Format and Content

Before diving into the difficulty levels of both tests, it’s essential to understand their respective formats and content.

Duolingo English Test:

  • Administered online
  • Adaptive test that adjusts question difficulty based on the test taker’s performance
  • Consists of two main sections: language skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) and a video interview
  • Test duration: approximately 1 hour


  • Offered in two formats: paper-based and computer-based
  • Divided into four sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking
  • Test duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes (listening, reading, and writing sections) + 11-14 minutes for the speaking section, typically conducted on a different day

Difficulty Comparison

Test Environment and Flexibility

Duolingo offers a more relaxed test environment, as it can be taken from the comfort of one’s home, while IELTS is administered in a testing center under strict supervision. This flexibility can make Duolingo less intimidating and easier for some test-takers.

Test Format and Adaptability

Duolingo’s adaptive nature can be both a blessing and a curse. The test adjusts question difficulty based on the test taker’s performance, which may lead to a more accurate assessment of language proficiency.

However, this adaptive approach can also make it more challenging for test-takers who struggle with certain language skills, as the test will continue to present questions that target their weaknesses.

IELTS, on the other hand, has a fixed format with consistent question difficulty. This can be advantageous for test-takers who excel in specific language skills, as they can predict the types of questions they’ll encounter.

Time Management

The Duolingo English Test is considerably shorter than IELTS, which can be a significant advantage for test-takers who struggle with test anxiety. On the other hand, IELTS requires more extended periods of focus, which some test-takers may find more challenging.

Speaking Section

The speaking section of IELTS involves a face-to-face interview with a trained examiner, which can be more nerve-wracking for some test-takers. Duolingo’s speaking section requires test-takers to record their answers, which may feel less intimidating and more manageable.

So, is Duolingo easier than IELTS? The answer largely depends on the individual’s strengths and preferences. Some may find Duolingo’s online, adaptive format less intimidating and easier to navigate, while others may prefer the predictability and structure of IELTS.

Ultimately, both Duolingo and IELTS have their advantages and disadvantages, and test-takers should consider their personal learning styles, language strengths, and test-taking preferences when choosing the best option for them.

It’s worth noting that while Duolingo is gaining popularity, IELTS is still more widely accepted by universities and institutions worldwide, so it’s essential to research the specific requirements of your desired institution before making a decision.

Duolingo Study Resources and Practice Tests

  • Official Duolingo practice test: The best way to get a feel for the real test is by taking the official practice test on the Duolingo website. It’s free, adaptive, and a perfect introduction to the format and question types you’ll encounter.
  • Duolingo app: Download the Duolingo app and use it daily to practice your English skills. The app is fun, engaging, and offers a wide variety of exercises, making it an excellent resource for building a strong language foundation.
  • Sample questions: The Duolingo website also offers a selection of sample questions to help you familiarize yourself with the test format and question types. Use these questions to gauge your strengths and weaknesses and plan your study strategy accordingly.
  • English language resources: There are countless resources available to help you improve your English skills. Try reading English-language books, newspapers, or websites, watching movies or TV shows with English subtitles, and listening to podcasts or radio programs in English.
  • Language exchange programs: Join a language exchange program or conversation club to practice speaking with native English speakers. This will not only improve your speaking skills but also help you gain confidence and build a network of supportive language learners.

In conclusion, the Duolingo English Test has emerged as a game-changer for international students seeking to demonstrate their English proficiency in their college applications.

With its user-friendly, adaptive format, and affordable pricing, this English test levels the playing field for students from diverse backgrounds, empowering them to showcase their language skills and stand out in the competitive world of college admissions.

By acing this English test, you’re not only opening doors to top-notch institutions worldwide but also giving yourself an edge in the increasingly competitive realm of college applications.

But don’t stop there! Now that you’ve got your Duolingo score in your application, it’s time to maximize your potential and take it to the next level. At AdmissionSight, we understand the unique challenges faced by international students and are dedicated to helping you navigate the complex world of college admissions.

Our expert team will guide you through every step of the process, from choosing the right schools to crafting compelling essays that will make your application shine.

So, don’t wait another minute! Book an initial consultation with us today and let us help you transform your college dreams into reality. With our expert guidance and your hard work, the sky’s the limit for your academic success!



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