The Duolingo English Test is an online exam that candidates can take on their personal computers. Candidates need to prove English language proficiency can give the Duolingo English Test which can be taken online from anywhere anytime. In this time of crisis when students and aspirants are not able to go to the test centers and give the English Language Proficiency test, Duolingo has given an alternative to those, as it can be taken online anywhere anytime.
English proficiency tests are one of the crucial factors in the study abroad process and lately, there have been various alternatives available such as, TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, etc. While they serve the same purpose i.e., to evaluate the English language skill level of test-takers, they are not exactly similar in terms of syllabus, mode of examination, scoring, fee structure, etc.
A comparative analysis for the popular English language tests: IELTS, TOEFL, and Duolingo English Test is provided in this article. This thorough analysis will help provide clarity on their differences so the applicants can choose the test that suits their needs.
The International English Language Test (IELTS) is one of the most widely accepted and well-recognized English proficiency tests. IELTS is jointly owned and conducted by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.
Introduced in 1989, IELTS quickly gained recognition from the universities worldwide. Many academic institutions in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, UK, and New Zealand accept IELTS scores as the proof of English language proficiency.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is the oldest English proficiency test around since, it was introduced in 1964. TOEFL is managed and conducted by ETS, which is the same institution that conducts GRE. Most universities in the USA accept TOEFL scores as a proof of English Language Proficiency along with many universities all around the world.
Duolingo English Test
Duolingo English Test is the newest addition to the list of English proficiency tests that are accepted by universities and colleges around the world. Although, it isn’t as widely recognized as IELTS or TOEFL, it is gradually gaining popularity in study abroad space.
An increasing number of students are choosing to appear for this test due to Duolingo’s in-depth course material, comparatively economical exam fees and an online mode of examination which can be taken from anywhere unlike other tests.
Also, with each year, more and more international universities are accepting Duolingo English Test results as the certificate of English language proficiency.
Duolingo English Test vs IELTS vs TOEFL
The following table provides comparative insights along the different parameters for all the 3 tests:
|Mode of examination||Computer-based
Paper-based (Available in limited centers)
|Exam Fees (USD)||$49||$149||$185|
|Duration (Total)||45 minutes||164 minutes||206 minutes|
|Results Declaration||48 hours||3-5 days (Computer-based)
|Number of sections||2||4||4|
|Sections||1. Adaptive section (reading, writing, listening, speaking)
2. Video Interview
2. Structure and written expression
3. Reading comprehension
|Scoring Range & Methods||Score (10-160)||Bands (0-9)||Score (0-120)|
Each of these tests have their own scoring method. While Duolingo and TOEFL choose to give results in terms of score points, IELTS gives you a specific band depending upon your proficiency in the English language.
Despite the different scoring methods, they can be compared on the basis of the level of proficiency the score/band represents. The tables below depict Duolingo English Test scores compared with its equivalent IELTS band and TOEFL scores.
Duolingo English Test to IELTS Score Conversion
The following table provides an overview of the Duolingo English Test score compared to IELTS bands:
|Duolingo Score||IELTS band|
Duolingo English Test to TOEFL Score Conversion
The following table provides an overview of the Duolingo English Test score compared to TOEFL scores:
|Duolingo Score||TOEFL Score|
Duolingo English Test, IELTS, and TOEFL have their unique attributes. Each test has its own features that might suit different individuals according to their requirements & interests. Test-takers are advised to go through the syllabus and exam pattern of all three tests and choose the one which suits their needs the most. Also, make sure to check which English proficiency test is accepted at the university/college you are planning to apply to beforehand.