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Compared with CEFR

The Duolingo English Test (DET) and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) are both systems for assessing language proficiency, but they differ in terms of purpose, structure, and application:

1. Purpose and Recognition:

   - DET: It is an online English proficiency test recognized by numerous institutions worldwide, used to assess an individual's English reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.

   - CEFR: It is an international standard for describing language proficiency, widely used in the fields of education, teaching, and assessment, defining what learners need to know and be able to do in a foreign language.

2. Scoring System:

   - DET: Uses a scoring system from 0-160, with scores increasing in increments of 5, including an overall score and four individual scores (Literacy, Conversation, Comprehension, and Production).

   - CEFR: Utilizes six levels (A1 to C2), with each level detailing the learner's language proficiency, focusing on practical communication skills rather than just test scores. 

3. Examination Structure and Content:

   - DET: It is an adaptive test that adjusts the difficulty of questions based on the correctness of the candidate's responses, including activities such as filling in the blanks, distinguishing between real and fake vocabulary, transcribing sentences heard, and describing pictures with words.

   - CEFR: Not a specific exam but a framework for describing language competencies, providing a common reference for language teaching and assessment that can be used by various language tests and courses.

4. Application Scenarios:

   - DET: Often used for study applications, job requirements, etc., candidates can take the test from home, with a test duration of about 1 hour and results available within 48 hours.

   - CEFR: Used for designing language teaching syllabi, writing textbooks, interpreting language test results, and as a standard for educational institutions and employers to assess language proficiency.

5. Conversion and Comparison:

   - DET: Its scores can be mapped to CEFR levels, providing a more standardized interpretation of a candidate's language proficiency.

   - CEFR: Due to its universality, CEFR levels are often referenced by various language tests and certificates, including DET, to facilitate comparison of language abilities across tests and courses.


In summary, DET is a specific online English proficiency test, while CEFR is a widely recognized framework for assessing language competencies. Both provide tools and standards for evaluating and comparing an individual's language skills.

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