Duolingo English exam preparation tips

Duolingo English Test Preparation Tips(with Sample Questions and Answers)

For more information about the exam and where it is accepted click here

In this article, I will give you all the different types of questions that are involved in the Duolingo English test.

We will work with sample questions and answers to help you understand what is involved in the Duolingo English test.

To receive a good score in the Duolingo English test, it is very important to practice each type of question. You should practice each question with a timer.

Question Activity Skills

Read and Complete

Read a text and complete the missing letters.

Reading, Grammar, Vocabulary

Read and Select

Choose words that are real English words 

Reading, Vocabulary

Listen and Select

Listen to a word and decide if it is a real English word

Listening, Vocabulary

Listen and Type

Listen to a sentence and write what is said

Listening,Grammar,Vocabulary

Read Aloud

Record yourself reading a sentence out loud

Reading, Speaking

Write About the Photo

Describe a photo that you see in writing

Writing, Vocabulary

Speak About the Photo

Record your voice describing a photo

Speaking, Vocabulary

Read, Then Write

Read a question and respond to it in writing

Reading,Writing, Grammar,Vocabulary

Read, Then Speak

Read about a topic and then speak about it

Speaking, Reading, Grammar, Vocabulary

Listen, Then Speak

Listen to a question and then speak an answer to that question

Speaking,Listening,Grammar, Vocabulary

Let’s look at these questions in more detail now

Read and Complete 

The read and complete question asks you to complete the missing letters in a text. The idea of this test is to check how much you understand English in context. If you don’t understand the text, that is ok. Try to make an educated guess at the possible words that might work in this situation.

To practice this question you should practice/study:

  • Reading
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary

Sample Question

Duolingo english test sample quesiton

Sample Answer

Tips to help you

  • Read the whole sentence that you are reading to understand the context.
  • Type slowly as sometimes the letters appear quickly
  • Check the text again for mistakes

Read and Select

In this question, you need to show your knowledge of English vocabulary. You need to know which words are real English words and which ones are invented. Use your instinct to help you decide if a word is real or not. 

To practice for this question you should study

  • Reading
  • Vocabulary

Sample Question

Read and complete

Sample Answer

Read and select

Tips to help you

  • Some words seem real but are not
  • Check again before you click next
  • Study vocabulary lists and flashcard

Listen and Select 

Similar to the previous question, this time you need to listen to a word and decide if it is a real word in English. It is impossible to know every word in English but you have to trust the words that you do know and only select those ones.

Click on the word button to hear the word. You need to check the orange box for the real words.

To practice for this question you should study

  • Listening
  • Vocabulary

Sample Question

Sample Answer

listen and select

Listen and Type

Listen and type is a question where you need to write down what you hear. Dictation is the best practice to help you with this exercise. You can listen to the audio 3 times.

To practice for this question you should study

  • Listening
  • Grammar 
  • Vocabulary

Sample Answer

Listen and type

Tips to help you 

  • Write what you hear the first time you listen
  • Then check what you have written
  • Practice dictation
  • It is better to write an incorrect answer than nothing at all.

Read Aloud 

In this question, you need to read a sentence out loud. Read the sentence out loud once before you record. Try to start reading out loud when you are practicing your reading skills.

Again, dictation will help you. My method of studying will help you with this question.

To practice for this question you should study

  • Reading
  • Speaking
Read aloud

Tips to help you 

  • Read slowly and clearly
  • Use punctuation to help you know where to pause
  • Check the time, you only have 30 seconds

Write About the Photo

In this question, you need to describe a photo in one or two sentences. This tests your ability to describe things in written English.  A clear description is best in the first sentence. You can speculate what is happening in the second or third sentence

“This rocket could be part of a class project”

This question will appear 3 times during the exam so it is very important that you practice it.

To practice for this question you should study

  • Writing
  • Describing vocabulary
Write about the photo

Tips to help you 

  • Write one short sentence with an overall description.
  • Continue with another sentence going into more detail if you can.

Speak About the Photo

In this question, you need to describe a photo again, but this type you need to record yourself speaking. I recommend practicing this question together with the “write about the photo” question. Practice describing vocabulary and each time you practice with a photo you can also practice speaking. 

You have 20 seconds to look at the photo and decide what you are going to say. You can speak about the photo for between 30 and 90 seconds.

To practice for this question you should study

  • Speaking
  • Describing vocabulary
Speak about the photo

Tips to help you 

  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • First sentence or two, describe the photo, then describe what could be happening “There could be a marathon taking place in the city”

Read, Then Write 

In this section of the Duolingo English exam, you need to read something and then respond to a question. It will be a shorter or longer question depending on your level.In the sample question and answer below, you can see one of the longer questions.

You can write as much as you want. Try to include relevant and correct English

To practice for this question you should practice/study

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Grammar 
  • Vocabulary

Tips to help you 

  • Try to get used to writing in 5 minutes. It is sufficient time to write 50-100 words but you should also leave some time to check your work. You can use grammarly to check your spelling.

Read, Then Speak

In this question, you will have 20 seconds to read the text and then you will need to speak between 30 and 90 seconds about the topic. 

If you can’t answer one of the questions, explain that you can’t remember or that it is difficult to answer that question for some reason. This question is similar to IELTS speaking part 2. 

This question will appear twice on the exam so it is very important that you practice it.

To practice for this question you should practice/study

  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
Read then Speak

Tips to help you

  • Write some keyword notes during your reading time
  • Practice this activity with teachers on Cambly
  • Use personal experiences

Listen, Then Speak 

In this question, you will listen to a question and you will need to record yourself answering the question.

You will have 20 seconds to listen to the question and you can listen up to three times. You then need to speak for at least 30 seconds and a maximum of 90 seconds.

To practice for this question you should practice/study

  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary

Tips to help you

  • Speak clearly and slowly
  • If you don’t understand the question, speak about a related topic that you do understand.

The following sections are not included in your score but are sent to your University so they can see your Speaking and Writing skills.

Speaking Sample

The speaking Sample will ask you to also record a video and it is not just recording your voice. This video will be available for the Universities so that they can see how you speak in English. 

You will see 2 topics for 30 seconds and you need to choose one of them. You then need to speak between 1 and 3 minutes.

To practice for this question you should practice/study

  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
Speaking Sample

Tips to help you

  • Do not stress about the time, You have plenty of time to speak
  • Don’t worry about making mistakes, it happens, try to move on quickly.
  • Keep on topic
  • Try to practice speaking about a topic for this 3 minutes.

Writing Sample

This is similar to the speaking sample above but you need to write your answer. It will also be available to your University so that they can see your writing skills.  You will be given 2 topics and you need to choose one. 

To practice for this question you should practice/study

  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
Writing Sample

Tips to help you

  • Keep your sentences short and clear. 
  • Leave time to check spelling and punctuation