Duolingo English Practice Test with Answers

Ready to take a free and complete Duolingo English Practice Test? Just create an account here and gain access to this test and over 400 additional practice questions for the Duolingo English Test®.

But wait!

Taking a practice test is only half the battle. You also need to learn about the structure of the test and how to study in a way that will help improve your score.

By the end of this short article, you will know how the Duolingo English Test is structured and how the question types will look. I will also share my top five tips for students studying on their own who need to improve their test score.

Let’s jump right in.

The Duolingo English Test Structure

The TOEFL iBT® and IELTS® exams are organized based on sections. In the TOEFL iBT®, for example, you begin with the Reading, and then move on to the Listening, Speaking, and Writing sections.

The Duolingo English Test® is a completely different experience.

The main organizing principle you must become familiar with is the ten question types and how frequently they show up on the exam. The first five question types show up approximately six times throughout the test.

These questions are adaptive, in other words, they will become easier or more difficult as you progress through the test depending on your performance.

Duolingo English Test Question Types

Question Types Frequency Adaptive Subscore
01. Read and Complete 5-7 Comprehension, Literacy
02. Read and Select 5-7 Comprehension, Literacy
03. Listen and Select 5-7 Comprehension, Literacy
04. Listen and Type 5-7 Comprehension, Literacy
05. Read Aloud 5-7 Comprehension, Literacy

The other five question types involve extensive writing and speaking responses. These questions are not adaptive and each shows up once or twice, besides Write About the Photo, which will be presented as three consecutive questions.

Duolingo English Test Question Types

Question Types Frequency Adaptive Subscore
01. Read and Complete 5-7 Comprehension, Literacy
02. Read and Select 5-7 Comprehension, Literacy
03. Listen and Select 5-7 Comprehension, Literacy
04. Listen and Type 5-7 Comprehension, Literacy
05. Read Aloud 5-7 Comprehension, Literacy
06. Write About the Photo 3 X Literacy, Production
07. Read, Then Write 1 X Literacy, Production
08. Speak About the Photo 1 X Conversation, Production
09. Read, Then Speak 1 X Conversation, Production
10. Listen, Then Speak 1-2 X Conversation, Production

You can find much of this information in Duolingo’s Test Readiness documentation.

Now you know about the question types!

Still, if you’re anything like me, it’s tough to imagine how these questions will be presented on test day. Keep in mind that you will encounter one question at a time and can expect between 40-45 questions on test day. Below is a question flow example of a typical Duolingo English Test.

Note that this is just an example and do not expect to encounter the questions in the same order on test day. Here are three of the most important things to keep in mind when preparing for the exam structure:

  1. Speak About the Photo; Read, Then Speak; Read, Then Write; and Listen, Then Speak questions usually appear at the end of the test.
  2. Write About the Photo questions appear during the first half of the test and usually one after the other for up to three consecutive questions.
  3. Read and Complete; Listen and Select; Read and Select; Listen and Type; and Read Aloud questions will appear approximately six times and adapt in difficulty depending on your performance.

I haven’t discussed the Speaking Sample and Writing Sample questions at the end of the test. The reason is simple: they do not contribute to your final grade. Still, it is important to answer each question to the best of your ability because these speaking and writing samples will be sent to the institutions you apply to and judged based on your presence, personality, and English ability.

If you haven’t done so already, I recommend taking a practice test over at the Duolingo English Test website or checking out our complete Duolingo English Test practice exam on YouTube for a better idea of how the test looks and feels.

Five Tips to Improve Your Duolingo English Test Score

Tip #1 – Speak and Write as Much as Possible

There are five question types in the Duolingo English test where you will have to produce your own speaking and writing responses:

  • Write About the Photo
  • Speak About the Photo
  • Read, Then Write
  • Read, Then Speak
  • Listen, Then Speak

The directions for each of these questions will inform you of the least amount of words you have to write or the least amount of seconds you have to speak. No matter what the minimum requirement, aim for the maximum.

For all three speaking questions, you are instructed to speak between 30-90 seconds, aim for 90 seconds.

For Write About the Photo questions, write as much as possible in the 60 seconds you are provided.

For Read, Then Write questions, write as much as possible in the 5 minutes you are provided.

Part of your grade is based on your grammatical and lexical complexity. The more you write and speak, the more opportunities you will have to show a wide range of grammar and vocabulary. If you hurry through these questions and follow the minimum requirements, it will be difficult to earn a score higher than 120.

Tip #2 – Plan Out Your Week

When you begin to prepare for the Duolingo English Test, you will find a ton of free and paid resources that you can use to prepare for the exam. All of these materials are extremely helpful but overwhelming. It is confusing when you sit down at your desk and try to figure out where to start.

A quick fix is to take an hour out of your day on Sunday and plan out your week. People do this when they diet. They prepare their lunch for Monday to Friday on Sunday, store it in the fridge, and grab each day’s pre-prepared meal without thinking about it. Do the same for your studies.

Set the time, place, and materials you plan to use Monday through Friday so you know what to do each day of the week. And then take Saturday off, you’ve earned it.

Tip #3 – Challenge Yourself

On the TST Prep practice platform for the Duolingo English Test, we have questions that are both basic and advanced. In other words, some questions are designed to be easier than others. Remember, the Duolingo English Test contains five adaptive questions that become more difficult if you perform well at the beginning of the test.

  • Read and Complete
  • Read and Select
  • Listen and Select
  • Listen and Type
  • Read Aloud

Do the harder questions. Seriously. Challenge yourself. When you practice with more complex problems at home, it will build your confidence and improve your performance on test day.

Tip #4 – Record Your Voice

Speaking and writing questions are the hardest to prepare for because they require feedback from someone, usually a teacher, which is why I recommend working with a Duolingo English Test instructor like this one.

However, many test-takers will prepare on their own, which is why it is critical that you record your voice when you practice speaking. After you record your voice, listen back to your response and identify one or two ways you can improve. After that, do the same response again.

Here is an example of the questions you should ask yourself after recording your own response.

Speak About the Photo Self-Grading Rubric

Questions Notes
1. Did I speak for at least 45 seconds?
2. Did I start by describing the foreground?
3. Did I provide additional details or inferences to expand on the foreground?
4. Did I give a description of the background?
5. Did I make at least two inferences in my response?
6. Did I provide enough descriptive words and specific vocabulary?
7. Did I speak at a natural and conversational pace for the majority of my response?
8. Did I have less than five vocal fillers (uh, um)?
9. What can I do next time to improve my score?

You can download a PDF guide with all these self-grading rubrics for free here.

Tip #5 – Set Up Your Testing Environment

“Your test score could not be validated.”

You do NOT want to see this message on your score report. Unfortunately, this happens to a ton of students. Since the Duolingo English Test is a completely automated testing experience, there is extensive technology in place that tracks your eye movement, mouse movement, computer behavior, and room environment to ensure that you do not cheat when you take the exam.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind when you are setting you your testing environment for the Duolingo English test:

  • Keep your eyes on the computer. If you look away for too long, it will invalidate your score.
  • Do not have any other browser window open. If you try to navigate away from the test, it will invalidate your score.
  • Take the test in a well-lit room. If you are ever in the dark, it will invalidate your score.
  • Be sure you are alone in a quiet room. If there is too much background noise, it will invalidate your score.
  • Check your microphone and Internet connection. If at any point your Internet connection drops off or your microphone does not work, it will invalidate your score.
  • You are not allowed to use headphones during the test. Be sure your computer speakers work.

If you have made it this far, you are ready to take the practice exam for the Duolingo English Test. Take it here right now.

But what do you think? Are there any tips I missed that you believe would be helpful for students studying for the Duolingo English Test? Be sure to leave it in the comments below. I respond to all of them.

Good luck and see you in the next one. Don’t forget to claim your free practice test.

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