How to Study in Canada With the Duolingo English Test


If you’re aiming to get admission in a Canadian university for your Overseas Education, there is a good chance that you’ve been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

One of the major problems you may be facing is the closure of testing centres and suspension of IELTS and other major English tests, even as your deadlines are quickly approaching.

But there’s a piece of good news nonetheless – the Duolingo English Test is an English test specifically designed to be taken at home!

According to the Hurray Overseas Education survey several universities across Canada are now accepting the Duolingo test for international applicants’ admission for semesters starting in 2020 and/or 2021.

Read more at: Now Study in Canada – without IELTS

Frequently Asked Questions

Get ready to clarify all the questions that may come to you about the Duolingo English Test and your Canada admission.

About the Duolingo English Test

  1. How do I register for the Duolingo English Test?

The registration process couldn’t be easier.

Your first step is to make a free account on the Duolingo English Test site

You will have access to a 15-minute practice test, which you can take as many times as you like.

When you’re ready, pay the fee and unlock the test. You can then take the test any time that you want – no fixed appointment required!

  1. How does the Duolingo English Test work?

The test duration is 60 minutes – divided into 5 minutes for introduction, 45 minutes for the scored test, and 10 minutes for the interview and writing sample.

The scored test consists of a range of questions related to the 4 major English skills – Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

The skill-based questions are not divided into separate sections, but are mixed up – your listening question may be followed by a reading question and so on.

The test design is also adaptive – which means that your next question depends on your performance in the present one. If you get it right, the next one will be harder, and if you get it wrong, the next one will be easier.

  1. How much does the Duolingo test cost?

At just 49 USD, the Duolingo English Test is the most low-cost English language proficiency test at present.

  1. What are the Duolingo English test requirements?

To take the test, you would require the following:

  • Your passport, driver's license or government ID

  • A quiet, well-lit room

  • A computer with a reliable internet connection, a supported browser, a front facing camera, speakers and a microphone

  1. What are the Duolingo English test rules?

  • You must be seated alone. There can be no other person in the room.

  • You are not allowed to take any notes.

  • You are not allowed to deviate from the browser tab/window.

  • You are not allowed to use a mobile phone or any other device.

Your front-facing camera will be switched on and you will be recorded over the duration of your test. The recorded video will be viewed by proctors, or exam supervisors, and will be reviewed by 2 independent reviewers.

This means that any deviation from the rules, or any red flags like an additional face or background noise, will be seen. This can result in disqualification or cancelling of your test, or you may be banned from the test for life.

  1. How many times can I attempt the Duolingo English Test?

You can attempt the test up to two times within a 30-month period. 

Note: If a test fails due to a technical glitch, it will not be counted as an attempt – you would still have 2 attempts remaining.

About the Duolingo English Test scores

  1. How is my Duolingo test scored?

You will receive scores on a scale from 10-160.

Your scores are holistic – which means that you will only be able to see your overall score, not the sub-scores for each skill.

  1. What is a good score in the Duolingo test?

You can interpret your scores using a score range:


Low proficiency


Low intermediate




High proficiency

Most institutions in Canada require a minimum score of 115 – with some institutions or programmes requiring higher scores.

Some institutions may require a lower minimum score of about 90 – this is usually in the case of foundation courses, or certificate and diploma programmes.

So, in most cases – 115 would be a safe score, while 120-135 and upwards would be considered a good score.

  1. When will I receive my Duolingo test scores?

You will receive your scores within approximately 48 hours

  1. How long do my Duolingo test scores remain valid

Your scores will remain valid for a period of 2 years.

  1. How many institutions can I send my Duolingo test scores to?

Unlike most other English language tests, there is no limit on the number of institutions to which you can send your scores – at no additional cost!

Will the Duolingo English Test work for me

  1. What benefits can I get from taking the Duolingo English Test?

The Duolingo test is one the most cost-effective and flexible English language tests – which is also globally recognised and increasingly accepted by universities worldwide.

It is particularly useful right now, during the lockdown – as it can be taken at home!

  1. Under what conditions should I take the Duolingo English Test?

  • Ensure that the Canadian universit(ies) that you are applying to have mentioned on their websites that they are now accepting Duolingo, as fulfilling English language requirements. Remember – if the university mentions that Duolingo is accepted as a ‘supplement’ or on ‘supplemental’ basis, it could mean that your Duolingo scores alone are not enough.

  • Some Canadian universities permit you to submit Duolingo English Test scores only on the condition that you have been affected by closure of testing centres in your country. At present, and for the foreseeable future, testing centres in India have been closed due to the lockdown – however, you should pay attention to any updates as they arise.

  • When in doubt, reach out to your target Canadian university or programme coordinators for advice.

  1. Is the Duolingo English Test easy or difficult?

The Duolingo English Test aims to test your ability to communicate and comprehend English, not only for conversation purposes abroad, but also for academic purposes.

Accordingly, it is designed to compete with tests that are specific to academics – including IELTS Academic and PTE Academic, among many others.

That said, there are certain differences:

  • Duolingo uses topics, questions and content suited to a variety of contexts – from less academic settings, like everyday conversations, to general knowledge appropriate to the academic sector. 

  • The questions are very short – there are no long passages, and minimum word requirements are 50-100 words. Furthermore, most of the questions can be answered within 2 minutes or less, going up to a maximum of 5 minutes for the writing-based tasks. 

The latest edition of the Duolingo test also includes an interview and a writing sample – these are not scored, however they would be sent to your target universities and will often be reviewed to check your proficiency levels.

In the end, how difficult or easy it is, really depends on you! If you have reasonable language skills, you will be able to achieve a safe or even a good score.

You can also brush up on your language skills through simple, yet effective strategies. We’ve got a comprehensive list, which you can check out here (Top Tips On The Duolingo English Test Preparation).

Find your Canadian University with Hurray

Our Overseas Education counselling team has all the experience and expertise required to help you find the right university in Canada – based on your interests and strengths, your background and your goals.

Our services cover everything from the English proficiency test, to your application and SOP, and finally to settling you into your new home abroad!

With Hurray , your dream of studying in Canada can come true!

Reach out to us to book your FREE one-on-one session, at: or 8971357938 / 9900426501.

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