Did you know if you want to go abroad you don’t have to take the standard exams like IELTS or TOEFL?

There is another avenue and exam out there, and we’re going to talk about this today.

Today on our show we have Josh MacPherson who is here from TST Prep, who normally focuses primarily on TOEFL preparation.

In this interview you can learn about this exam and decide if it’s a good match for you or not when it comes to an English exam.

Understanding These Exams

Josh is here to talk about the new Duolingo English test.

This is new and came in a little while ago, and it’s important to understand.

The background here is that many people didn’t know about this test until the pandemic.

You would only take IELTS and TOEFL in a testing center–and these were all closed during the start of the pandemic.

Since some of these testing centers still remain closed, there was a need to look into other options.

TOEFL did develop an online version, but some students couldn’t wait and had to find another option.

Students for example that wanted to get into a university needed an exam that they could take online and get done quickly.

How can you take it?

Go to Duolingoenglishtest.com and it’s about a 15 minute prep test.

It’s simple compared to the other two tests that are rather complex and involved.

There are only 10 types of questions and about 50 questions in total and it’s not something that you would study or prep for like the other two exams.

You do it online and so it can be done from anywhere, though they do make sure that it’s a secure site.

You have to take it in a room and can’t be interrupted, there’s a camera on you that tracks your eye movement.

You can’t look down at your notes or get distracted by somebody walking into the room, as this will shut the test down immediately.

Your test score will be cancelled right on the spot if any of this is violated, and so the tracking and camera are always on you.

What institutions are accepting this test?

There are over 15,000 schools that are accepting this right now, up from a couple hundred a year ago.

It has grown exponentially in just a years time.

If you are applying to go to school in the US or Canada, especially if you are going for an undergraduate degree, then the Duolingo exam may work well.

It’s only $50 for this exam, and it takes about 30 minutes to an hour for this.

If you are a student and you have this as a viable option, then this can be an excellent choice.

It’s about getting to know the test, which is a main focus of the IELTS for example.

Duolingo has harder questions at some points, and either you know it or you don’t.

However this is about testing your fluency, as that’s the main focus of this test and why people are using it.

If you’re not doing well, then you need to figure out how to improve your English speaking.

Through the process of preparing, you do improve your English skills in the process.

Duolingo is better at focusing on the basics and limiting the test jargon that you may have to learn and really take in.

Are there any drawbacks?

For administrators it’s new and so you may not be sure if it’s an accurate measure.

It’s probably not going to be accepted for the more professional types of focus areas, such as nursing for example.

It may not go to all fields, but rather stay in the university landscape.

It seems to fit well for university applications, and mostly undergraduate programs at that.

It depends on the school, but overall this is mostly for undergraduate degrees.

It’s focused on the basics, so this may not be suitable for someone going for an MBA.

You can find out more about the Duolingo exam.

Follow Josh at TST Prep,


It’s good to know that there is another option out there when it comes to this type of exam.

You do want to look into it and be sure that it’s a match for your needs.

If you are trying to get into a university and are focused on an undergraduate degree, then this may be a good match.

There is still great merit to the other two bigger exams, and so this is where you need to do your research.

Determine what your plans are, what you are trying to measure, and then you can select which exam might best fit your needs.

Josh Bio:

Josh MacPherson is the head instructor, presenter, and curriculum developer at TST Prep. As of February 2021, his TST Prep Youtube channel has amassed over 160,000 subscribers. His Emergency Course for the TOEFL® on Udemy has enrolled thousands of students from over 100 countries and, at the time of writing, has earned a 4.6/5 star rating.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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