duolingo english test syllabus

Duolingo English Test Syllabus : Complete Details

Updated on 18 July, 2022
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Duolingo English test is a globally recognized assessment that you can undertake to certify your English proficiency. It is fast, convenient and affordable. The test fee is $49 or INR 3678 * (excluding taxes). Around 3000 colleges and universities from more than 50 nations accept the Duolingo English test certificate as a reliable proof of English proficiency of the international students during the admission process. 

So, if your next target is to go for a Duolingo English test, you ought to have a distinct idea about the syllabus and the patterns of the test. There are two well-defined stages to complete the test - an adaptive test and a video interview. However, a syllabus-oriented study would be more helpful in achieving good scores.

Understand the Overall Syllabus Requirements

There is no defined Duolingo English test syllabus as the test assesses you on your existing knowledge of the language. A language fluency test requires your aggregate reading, writing, and grammar skills and how you go on with a conversation speaking that language. 

Duolingo Syllabus For the Adaptive Test

As there’s no particular Duolingo English test syllabus, the question pattern is something an aspirant should understand clearly. This test is AI-powered, meaning your questions will appear algorithmically, and the gradation process will also be computerised. You will encounter a variety of questions that will examine your reading, writing, and conversation skills in a given time. You will have 45 minutes to undertake the test and prove your English proficiency. To know more about the questions, continue reading. 

Graded Section

  1. Complete a given text typing the missing letters

In these questions, an incomplete sentence will appear on the screen. It will have a few missing letters in some of the words. You have to fill those gaps by putting the correct letters so that the sentences make sense. 

2. Select the actual English words from the options below

Such questions check your literacy and comprehension skillset. You need to go through a given list of words and find out the actual English words from it. After that, you have to select those exact words to proceed with the answer. 

3. Select the real English words listening to the pronunciation

These questions are similar to the question type discussed above. A list of audio clips will appear on your screen; you have to listen to them very carefully and look up English words among them. Then you need to select only those clips as your answer that you think contain English expressions. 

4. Write the sentence you hear

These types of questions examine your depth in both conversation and comprehension. When these questions appear, an instruction will come up on your screen saying, “Type the statement that you hear.” Accordingly, you will hear a clip you need to give in written form.  

5. Speak aloud the sentence that appears on the screen

These questions are easy to understand and easier to answer. It just commands you to read a given sentence and say it loud into the microphone. You must follow the usage of punctuation while speaking, maintaining a natural pace and loud voice.

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6. Describe a photo writing one or more sentences

In such questions, you will find a random picture on the screen. As per the instructions, you will have to describe the image by writing at least one sentence about it. You may respond by writing more to justify your view in a better way on the picture. 

7. Speak about a photo

It is similar to the previous type of questions. Here, you have to describe the picture verbally instead of writing it. You need to record your response for a minimum of 30 seconds. The image will appear 20 seconds before the recording starts, and you can also look at the picture while delivering your description.

8. Read a prompt and write in expansion

You will notice a prompt for these questions while answering such a question. In a box beside the prompt, you will have to write an expanded version using at least 50 words. Write as much as you can and cross-check for spelling errors or comprehension issues. 

9. Listen to a question and speak out the answer

This question will ask you to listen to a given prompt and record your reply as the answer. Do not meander from the topic while recording your response. You will have to keep recording for at least 30 seconds. Try to keep your vocabulary diverse.

10. Speak the answers to the questions given

Here again, will appear a written prompt directing you to some questions. You need to respond by speaking the answers aloud for at least 30 seconds. You may take more time to answer. Make sure you don’t miss out on any questions. 


Types of the questions

What kind of skills does it test

How often they appear


Complete a given text typing the missing letters


Literacy, Comprehension

6 times each on average


Select the real English words from the options below



Select the real English words listening to the pronunciation


Comprehension, Conversation


Write the sentence you hear



Speak aloud the sentence that appears on the screen



Describe a photo writing one or more sentences


Production, Literacy



Speak about a photo


Production, Conversation



Read a prompt and write in expansion


Production, Literacy



Listen to a question and speak out the answer


Production, Conversation



Speak the answers to the questions given




The video interview and writing test

You will not receive any grade points for this section of the test. But do not think that it is less significant than the adaptive test. The writing and speaking samples, the two sections of the video interview, and writing test will be sent to a recipient who will also receive the computerised result of your adaptive test. Note that the recipient will be able to see your video interview. Your manner of speaking and writing will be judged based on the score of your adaptive test. 

Ungraded Section

  1. Speaking sample

In the “speaking sample” section, you will have two prompts to choose from. You ought to select a prompt you know more about or have a clear understanding to speak on. You will have 30 seconds to choose between the prompts. Once the recording begins, you will have to continue speaking for 1 to 3 minutes. If you can, try to speak more. Come up with a natural introduction and conclusion respectively at the beginning and the ending. Have a confident voice, use different words, variety of sentence patterns, and lastly, do not say anything irrelevant to the topic. Make sure you pronounce the words correctly.

2. Writing sample

Again you will have two prompts and 30 seconds to choose this test segment. You should take the one you believe you can write about with more confidence and less difficulty. You will be given 3 to 5 minutes to write your response. Write as precisely as you can. Make sure to check the spelling, punctuation, grammar, and pattern of the sentences. You may think of it as a short essay you wrote in school. Do not write any portion that does not go well with the topic.


To cover all aspects of the Duolingo English test syllabus, develop a habit of reading newspapers, journals and books and listening to podcasts to improve conversational and writing/comprehension skills. Self-preparation keeping these points in mind can surely help you ace the proficiency test.


* "Disclaimer! All course fees/salaries/expenses are indicative."

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