Five years ago, we created the Duolingo English Test to make higher education more accessible to students around the world. This digital-first English proficiency assessment does things differently: It costs only $49, takes only 1 hour, and is the world’s first high-stakes test taken entirely online. Since the test is so different from other standardized tests, it makes sense that our approach to “test prep” might look a little different, too.

Test prep vs. test readiness

This is the time of year when many students are applying to university, and we receive a lot of questions about how to prepare for the Duolingo English Test. Traditional test preparation can involve long hours of study, expensive resources and classes, and rote memorization. That isn't necessary for the Duolingo English Test. The DET is designed to show your real proficiency level in English, so intense studying right before the test will not change your score. Your score improves as your English proficiency improves.

Instead of “test prep,” think of embarking on a journey to “test readiness.” Rather than memorizing test questions or strategies, we suggest this “test readiness timeline” to help optimize your Duolingo English Test experience. Note that this is only a suggestion—go at your own pace when preparing for the test. You can take the test tomorrow, next week, or next year!

A few weeks before test day: get to know the Duolingo English Test

Graphic of student researching Duolingo English Test

  • Conduct some informal research, like watching a quick video walkthrough of the test. Then, check out our YouTube channel and playlists for more useful videos.
  • Visit our Test Readiness page, featuring the Official Guide for Test Takers. The guide has helpful information on question types, scoring, the test experience, and more.
  • Practice your English daily, using all your skills! The Duolingo Blog has resources for how to practice English in your everyday life.
  • Take the free practice test as many times you want. This will show you what types of questions you can expect to see on the real test.

The day before: prepare your space

Neat and tidy desk with computer

  • Choose a comfortable, quiet environment in which to take the test. Your space should have ample light, a good place to sit, and full privacy.
  • Make sure you have all the equipment you need, including a government-issued ID, a computer, and a reliable internet connection.
  • Purchase the test in advance, so all you have to do is click “Start Test” when you’re ready to take it.
  • Choose a time of day when you’ll think and feel your best. You can take the Duolingo English Test any time, anywhere. Some test takers are early birds and others are night owls--choose the time that works best for you!

On test day: set yourself up for success

Girl sitting at her desk looking at a laptop

  • Ensure you have at least one full hour of uninterrupted time. Let everyone around you know not to enter your testing area. You can even print a sign to hang on your door!
  • Don’t wear headphones, as it will prevent your test from being certified. Your face and ears should be clearly visible.
  • Read all of the rules for test-taking carefully so that your test will be secure and valid. The test will also remind you of the rules right before you start.
  • Practice your English right before the test to get in the mindset. Try speaking out loud to a friend, watching a show or listening to a podcast in English, or reading an article.

During the test: stay focused

Person's face filling a computer screen

  • Since each test is proctored, you need to look at the screen for the entire test. It may be natural to look away when you are thinking or get distracted, but try to stay focused on the test as best you can.
  • Unlike other tests, the Duolingo English Test has only one section, with an adaptive series of questions across all English skills. These exercises are short and predictive, so you won’t have to complete lengthy reading and writing passages.
  • Notice the time limit for each question displayed on the screen, and do your best to write or speak as much as you can before the time expires.
  • At the end of the graded portion, you’ll complete an ungraded video interview and writing sample. These are shared alongside your scores to universities, so do your best to showcase yourself and your English ability.

After it’s over: continue your journey

Depiction of a university building

  • After you finish your writing sample and video interview, you’ll be asked to submit your test. Before you exit the testing window, make sure that your test has completely finished uploading. You will see a notification once it’s done.
  • Celebrate! You did it! Expect to receive your results from Duolingo within 2 days.
  • Once you receive certified results, you can send them to as many institutions as you want—for free!

Now, you’re in a great place to start preparing for the Duolingo English Test. You can visit our Test Readiness page anytime for more information. If you’re looking for an affordable, convenient English test that you can take from anywhere, this could be the path for you. Good luck!

中文: 多邻国英语测试备考指南


传统应试备考 vs. 基于考试内容的语言能力提升




Graphic of student researching Duolingo English Test

  • 有很多渠道可以让您提前了解多邻国英语测试,例如观看测试介绍视频。您也可以在多邻国英语测试官方YouTube频道下的播放列表中找到更多相关视频。
  • 访问多邻国英语测试官网的测试准备页面,下载官方考试指南,获取关于测试题型、分数报告、测试经历等相关信息。
  • 运用您的所有技能进行每日英语训练!您可以在多邻国博客上找到更多如何开展每日英语练习的资源。
  • 您可以无限次免费试做多邻国英语测试样题,这将有助于您了解真实测试中遇到的试题类型。


Neat and tidy desk with computer

  • 选择一个舒适、安静的环境参与测试。您的测试环境需要保证光线充足、座位舒适、并且全程无人打扰。
  • 确认所需的设备和证件齐全,包括由政府颁发的带有照片的身份证件、一台电脑、以及稳定的网络连接。
  • 提前购买测试,这样您在做好准备后只需点击“开始测试”即可进行。
  • 选择自己感觉最舒服的时间参与测试。您可以在任何时间、任何地点参与多邻国英语测试。有些测试者习惯早起,有些则是夜猫子——选择自己的最佳时间即可!


Girl sitting at her desk looking at a laptop

  • 您需要保证至少一个小时完全不受打扰的时间。请告诉您的家人和朋友不要在这一个小时内进入您的测试区域。您甚至可以打印并在房间门口悬挂“请勿打扰”的标志!
  • 不要佩戴耳机,因为这将影响您的测试认证情况。请保持您的面部和耳朵在测试期间清晰可见。
  • 认真完整地阅读测试规则,以保证测试的安全性和有效性。您也将在开始测试前收到关于测试规则的提醒。
  • 在开始测试前进行英语练习。您可以和自己的朋友大声用英语交谈、观看英文节目、聆听英文播客,或者阅读一篇英语文章。


Person's face filling a computer screen

  • 每一次测试都将受到监督,因此您的目光应全程停留在测试页面上。您很有可能会在思考或受到打扰的时候下意识将视线移开,但请尽您最大的努力专注在考试中。
  • 不同于其他测试的是,多邻国英语测试只有一个完整的测试版块,各种类型的测试题目将通过自适应的形式充分检测您的英语能力。这些预先生成的测试题篇幅都不长,因此您无需完成那些冗长的阅读和写作环节。
  • 请注意,每道题目的答题时长都会显示在屏幕当中,请在倒计时结束前尽可能地多说多写。
  • 在测试评分部分的结尾,您将分别完成一个不计分的视频面试和一个不计分的写作样本测试。这两部分将随着您的成绩报告一起寄送给您申请的院校,请务必在不计分的测试环节充分展示您的风采和英语能力。


Depiction of a university building

  • 完成写作样本和视频面试后,您将需要提交测试。在离开测试窗口前,请确保您的测试已经完成上传。一旦完成,系统将为您发送通知。
  • 恭喜您完成测试!您将在2天内收到多邻国官方反馈的测试结果。
  • 收到经过认证的测试结果后,您可将成绩报告免费发送给任何您想要申请的机构!