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Duolingo English Test Tips 2

Hello, everyone! In the previous article Duolingo English Test Tips 1, we learned what Duolingo English Test is and the difference between Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL and IELTS exams. This time we will focus on explaining the test types and structure of Duolingo English Test.


Duolingo English Test can be roughly divided into three parts according to the test types, they are:

1. Adaptive objective questions, including reading selection, reading fill-in-the-blank, interactive reading, dictation, sentence reading, interactive listening-listening response

2. Subjective questions mainly based on speaking and writing, including picture speaking, picture writing, reading speaking, reading writing, listening speaking questions, interactive listening-listening summary (writing type)

3. Interview questions mainly based on speaking and writing, including: sample writing, sample speaking


In addition, unlike the conventional English proficiency test, which divides English proficiency into four items: listening, speaking, reading, and writing, the Duolingo English Test redefines four different assessment dimensions, they are: Comprehension, Literacy, Conversation, and Production. Next, we will explain these four abilities in detail:

1. Comprehension, mainly tests the reading and listening abilities of English. This item has the highest weight in the overall four items. For students who are relatively weak in speaking and writing abilities, they can focus on breaking through the comprehension item. If the comprehension item score is high, the corresponding total score will also increase.

2. Literacy, mainly tests the reading and writing abilities of English. This item has the second-highest weight of the overall four items, and it is also relatively important for the total score.

3. Conversation, mainly tests the listening and speaking abilities of English. This item has the third highest weight in the overall four items, next to Literacy.

4. Production, mainly tests the speaking and writing abilities of English. This item has the lowest weight in the overall four items.

Now, we have learned the four abilities that Duolingo English Test assesses, and we can find that each ability is a combination of two traditional listening, speaking, reading, and writing items. You can also refer to the picture above so that you can see the corresponding English abilities of each item very intuitively.

So, which types of questions do they correspond to in the actual test? Let’s take a look at the table below:

Question Categories Question Types The frequency of questions in each test Times of each audio plays Duration Importance Score items
Vocabulary Read & Select 4-6 times / 60s *** Literacy & Comprehension
Listening Listen & Type 4-6 times 3 times 60s ** Conversation & Comprehension
Interactive Listening – Listen & Respond 2 times / 5-6 questions each time 1 time 4 min. ** Conversation & Comprehension
Reading Read & Complete 4-6 times / 3 min. *** Literacy & Comprehension
Interactive Reading 2 times / 6 questions each time / 7-8 min. *** Literacy & Comprehension
Speaking Read Aloud 4-6 times / 20s ** Conversation & Comprehension
Speak About the Photo 1 time / 30-90s * Conversation & Production
Read, then Speak 1 time / 30-90s * Conversation & Production
Listen, then Speak 2 times 3 times 30-90s * Conversation & Production
Speaking Sample 1 time / 1-3 min. * Conversation & Production
Writing Write About the Photo 3 times / 60s * Literacy & Production
Read, then Write 1 time / 5 min. * Literacy & Production
Writing Sample 1 time / 3-5 min. * Literacy & Production
Interactive Listening – Summarize the Conversation 2 times / 75s * Literacy & Production


I believe that through the table above, you have a preliminary understanding of the types of questions corresponding to each Duolingo English Test assessment item. In addition to the table above, we can also look at this picture to quickly determine the assessment item corresponding to a specific question:

Okay, by now we should have a general understanding of the distribution of question types. This article mainly introduces the abilities assessed by the Duolingo English Test, the types of questions that appear, and the distribution of question types. In the following articles, we will explain in detail all the question types that appear in the Duolingo English Test, as well as the preparation and test-taking strategies. See you next time!

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