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29 August 2023

5 minutes read

Duolingo English Test vs TOEFL: The Comprehensive Guide on English Proficiency Tests

English proficiency tests are essential for non-native English speakers who are looking to study, work, or immigrate to English-speaking countries. Two of the most popular tests available today are the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and the Duolingo English Test.

Both tests are designed to assess a candidate’s ability to read, write, speak, and understand English. However, there are significant differences in the test format, cost, and acceptance which can influence a candidate’s decision on which test to take.

This blog will provide a comprehensive comparison of the Duolingo English Test vs TOEFL, including score comparison, cost, test structure, and other factors that may help you decide which test is more suitable for your needs.

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TOEFL vs Duolingo English Test Score Comparison

AspectTOEFLDuolingo English Test
Test FormatFour sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing)Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing
Score Range0-12010-160
Score ValidityTypically 2 yearsTypically 2 years
Test CentersOffered at test centersTaken online
Test FeeVaries by location$49 USD
Score Reporting TimeAbout 10 daysWithin 48 hours
Widely Accepted UniversitiesMany universities worldwideSome universities, check with schools
Speaking and Writing AssessmentHuman ratersAI-powered assessment
Exam DurationAbout 4 hoursAbout 1 hour
Test Preparation ResourcesOfficial materials, study guidesOfficial resources, practice tests

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Exam Fees: Which Test is Cheaper?

The cost of taking an English proficiency test is a significant factor for many candidates. The TOEFL iBT fee varies by location but typically ranges from $180 to $300.

On the other hand, the Duolingo English Test has a fixed fee of $49, making it a more affordable option. However, it’s essential to consider that while the Duolingo English Test is cheaper, it may not be as widely accepted as the TOEFL iBT.

Therefore, it is crucial to check the specific requirements of the institution or organization you are applying to before deciding which test to take.

Test Structure and Content

TOEFL

The TOEFL iBT consists of four sections: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The test takes approximately 3 to 4 hours to complete. The reading section has 30 to 40 questions based on 3 to 4 passages, and the listening section has 28 to 39 questions based on audio clips. The speaking section consists of 4 tasks, and the writing section consists of 2 tasks.

Duolingo English Test

The Duolingo English Test is an adaptive online test that takes approximately 1 hour to complete. The test consists of a series of questions that adjust in difficulty based on the test taker’s responses.

There is no fixed number of questions or tasks, as the test adapts to the test taker’s performance. The test includes a variety of question types, including multiple-choice, fill in the blanks, and speaking and writing tasks.

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Which Test is More Widely Accepted?

The TOEFL iBT is one of the most widely accepted English language tests globally, accepted by over 11,000 universities and institutions in more than 150 countries.

The Duolingo English Test is relatively new, but its acceptance is growing rapidly. It is currently accepted by over 3,000 institutions worldwide.

However, it is essential to check the specific requirements of the institution or organization you are applying to, as some may have a preference for one test over the other.

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Convenience and Flexibility

TOEFL

The TOEFL iBT is offered at test centers worldwide, and there is also a home edition available, which allows test-takers to take the test from the comfort of their own homes. The home edition is identical in content, format, and scoring to the test center version. However, not all test takers may find the home edition suitable, as it requires a quiet, private space and a reliable internet connection.

Must Read  How to Prepare for the Duolingo English Test: Essential Tips for 2023

Duolingo English Test

The Duolingo English Test is entirely online and can be taken from any location with a stable internet connection. This makes it a more convenient and flexible option for many test-takers. However, it’s essential to consider that the test requires a quiet and private space, as the test-taker’s environment is monitored during the test.

Preparation and Study Materials

TOEFL

There are a wide variety of study materials available for the TOEFL iBT, including official guidebooks, practice tests, and online resources. The official TOEFL website offers a range of free and paid resources, including sample questions, practice tests, and interactive online courses. Many language schools and online platforms also offer TOEFL preparation courses.

Duolingo English Test

Duolingo provides a range of free study materials on its website, including sample questions, practice tests, and test tips. Since the Duolingo English Test is relatively new, there may not be as many preparation resources available compared to the TOEFL iBT. However, the official Duolingo website provides a good starting point for test preparation.

Conclusion: Which Test Should You Take?

The decision on which English proficiency test to take depends on several factors, including the specific requirements of the institution or organization you are applying to, your budget, and your preference for test format and delivery. Both the TOEFL iBT and the Duolingo English Test are widely accepted and provide a valid and reliable assessment of English language proficiency. Ultimately, the best test for you will depend on your individual circumstances and needs.

FAQs

Can I retake the Duolingo English Test or TOEFL if I am not satisfied with my score?

Yes, you can retake both the Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL iBT if you are not satisfied with your score. However, for the Duolingo English Test, you have to wait 48 hours before taking the test again, and for the TOEFL iBT, you can retake the test as many times as you want, but you cannot take it more than once in a 3-day period.

How long are the Duolingo English Test and TOEFL scores valid?

Both the Duolingo English Test and TOEFL iBT scores are valid for two years from the date of the test.

Can I send my Duolingo English Test or TOEFL scores to multiple institutions?

Yes, you can send your Duolingo English Test and TOEFL iBT scores to multiple institutions. For the Duolingo English Test, you can share your score report with an unlimited number of institutions for free. For the TOEFL iBT, you can send your scores to up to four institutions for free when you register for the test. If you want to send your TOEFL iBT scores to more than four institutions, there is a fee for each additional score report.

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Do all universities and institutions accept the Duolingo English Test?

While the TOEFL iBT is accepted by over 11,000 universities and institutions in more than 150 countries, the Duolingo English Test is relatively new but its acceptance is growing rapidly. It is currently accepted by over 3,000 institutions worldwide. However, it is essential to check the specific requirements of the institution or organization you are applying to, as some may have a preference for one test over the other.

How long does it take to get the results of the Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL iBT?

For the Duolingo English Test, the results are typically available within 48 hours after completing the test. For the TOEFL iBT, the scores are usually available online within 10 days after the test date.

Are there any technical requirements to take the Duolingo English Test or the TOEFL iBT at home?

Yes, both tests have specific technical requirements. For the Duolingo English Test, you need a computer with a front-facing camera, a microphone, and a stable internet connection. For the TOEFL iBT home edition, you need a computer with a webcam, a microphone, speakers, and a stable internet connection. Additionally, for the TOEFL iBT home edition, you need to install the ETS Test Browser and the ProctorU Systems Check on your computer.

Is there a speaking section in both the Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL iBT?

Yes, both the Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL iBT assess speaking skills. In the Duolingo English Test, you will be asked to respond to speaking prompts, and your responses will be recorded and evaluated. In the TOEFL iBT, there are four speaking tasks, and your responses are recorded and evaluated by human raters.

Can I take notes during the Duolingo English Test or the TOEFL iBT?

Yes, you can take notes during both tests. However, for the Duolingo English Test, you are only allowed to use a whiteboard or a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. For the TOEFL iBT, you can take notes on the scratch paper provided at the test center or, if you are taking the test at home, you can use a whiteboard or a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.

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