Duolingo IELTS Conversion and Score Interpretation

Duolingo IELTS Conversion and Score Interpretation

English language proficiency is a mandatory eligibility criteria for students aspiring to study abroad. The Duolingo English Test is one such English proficiency exam gaining popularity in recent times. In this dynamic world where convenience and ease of access are essential, Duolingo provides students with the opportunity to attempt the test online from the comfort of their homes. Due to the gaining popularity of Duolingo, it gives a strong competition to IELTS. In this blog, we will be discussing DuolingoIELTS conversion and score interpretation of both!


Duolingo English Test is the newest addition to the list of English Proficiency tests that are accepted by the universities and colleges around the world. An increasing number of students are choosing to appear for this test due to Duolingo’s in-depth course material, comparatively economical exam fees and an online mode of examination which can be taken from anywhere unlike other tests. 


The International English Language Tests is one of the most widely accepted and well-recognized  English Proficiency Tests. IETLS is jointly owned and conducted by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English. It has gained popularity from universities worldwide. Many academic institutions in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, UK accept IELTS scores as proof of English Language Proficiency. 

How is Duolingo Test Scored?

Like the conventional IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE, the Duolingo English Test also evaluates candidates on real-world language skills like Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. The candidates receive a holistic score on a scale of 10-160. This score is comparable to the conventional study abroad exams through easy Duolingo/TOEFL, Duolingo/CEFR Level, and Duolingo/IELTS conversion. Top universities usually prefer a DuolingoScore of more than 120, which is equivalent to an IELTS score above 7, according to the DuoLingo IELTS Conversion. 

Duolingo Test is adaptive. The difficulty level of questions increases with every correct answer, and the subsequent questions become easier if your answer is wrong. Although the test duration is only around an hour, because of this feature, it can quickly evaluate the test taker’s ability.

Duolingo – IELTS Conversion

The following table contains Duolingo IELTS Conversion scores, analysed from a research study conducted by Duolingo:

Duolingo Duolingo IELTS Conversion
10 1.5
15 2
20-25 2.5
30-40 3
45-50 3.5
55-60 4
65-70 4.5
75-80 5
85-90 5.5
95-100 6
105-110 6.5
115-120 7
125-130 7.5
135-140 8
145-150 8.5
155-160 9

Score Interpretation – Duolingo IELTS Conversion

Duolingo Score 10 – 60 

  • Understand basic English words and phrases
  • Understand straightforward information and express their thoughts in familiar contexts

Duolingo Score 65-90

  • Understand the key points of the speech or writing on routine things like school and work
  • Describe opinions, plans, and experiences (with some hesitation)

Duolingo Score 95-120

  • Communicate well and grasp unfamiliar topics too
  • Understand the key ideas of concrete and abstract writing
  • Interact with proficient English speakers fluently

Duolingo Score 125-160

  • Understand various challenging written and spoken language along with some specialized language-use situations
  • Understand implicit, figurative, pragmatic, and idiomatic language
  • Can use language flexibly for academic, social, and professional purposes

How can I take the Duolingo Test? 

One can take the Duolingo English Test anytime, anywhere in the world. The only requirements for candidates to appear for the test are: 

  • Candidate’s passport, driver’s license, or government ID
  • A quiet, well-lit room
  • 60 minutes of free time
  • A reliable internet connection
  • A computer with a front-facing camera, microphone, and speakers

As the exam can be taken from home, Duolingo has set stringent rules for candidates to appear for the test without any kind of help. Candidates must be alone in the room, and nobody should be speaking to them while the test is ongoing. Aspirants cannot navigate from the browser during the exam. There are other sets of rules which also need to be followed while taking the exam. 

Test Duration and Fee – Duolingo IELTS Conversion

The total duration of the test is 1 hour, which consists of a quick setup (5 minutes), an adaptive test (45 minutes), and a video interview (10 minutes). The video interview is an ungraded section that records the candidate’s answers to open-ended questions. 

The Duolingo English Test is the most affordable English Proficiency certification, with an examination fee of only $49. Test takers can get the results within 48 hours or two days of completing the test and send the score reports to as many universities as they want. When the scores are ready, the candidate will receive an email notification. Candidates can take two certified tests within 30 days, and the scores are valid for two years. 

Duolingo IELTS Conversion – Acceptance

According to Duolingo, thousands of institutions around the world accept the Duolingo English Test. Hundreds of educational institutions in the US, including the top universities like Columbia University, the University of Chicago, Duke University, and Yale University, have recognised the test as an acceptable proof of English proficiency. As acceptability increases, the Duolingo English Test can pose as a convenient, fast, and affordable language proficiency exam for students worldwide. 

IELTS vs Duolingo

Wondering what’s the better option for you? We have compared IELTS and Duolingo with major key points. Here is the difference between IELTS and Duolingo:

Nature of Test

For IELTS, you have to choose between a Paper-based Test and a Computer-based Test. However, the Duolingo English Test is an entirely computer-based English Proficiency test. 

Where is the Test Conducted?

IELTS – Candidates have the option of booking from 48 test dates in a year of a paper-based test and 5 days in a week when it comes to Computer-based Test. 

Duolingo – You can appear anytime after your complete preparation, registration and after you have made your payment. 

Where can you appear for the Test? 

There are designated testing centers at numerous locations for the purpose of conducting IELTS whereas you can appear for Duolingo anytime at home. 

How much is the Fee?

IELTS – 1400 INR while you can take the Duolingo test for just 49 USD, which approximately ranges from 3600 – 4000 INR. 

What is the Test Structure? 

IELTS consists of 4 sections on the basis of which evaluation is done. Sections are: Reading, Writing, Listening and for Speaking you can opt for it anytime within 1 week, before or after the exam. 

In the Duolingo test, the test involves mixed-up questions instead of separate sections. 

What is the Test Duration?

IELTS – Reading and Writing Section; 60 Minutes, Listening Section; 30 Minutes, Speaking; 11 – 14 Minutes. 

What are the Types of Questions? 

In IELTS, there are passages given in the reading section and the writing tasks include writing of a minimum 250 words. Duolingo is inclusive of short questions with 50 – 100 words as the maximum limit for writing tasks. 

Testing Your Four Primary Skills

Section IELTS Duolingo
Reading Has lengthy passages, based on which you will answer questions includes Match Columns, Match Headings, Fill in the Blanks, etc. Questions mainly on vocabulary skills and determining the ability to make inferences based on limited information include questions like ‘Identify correct English words’ and ‘Complete words in a passage’. 
Writing  Writing the information presented graphically essay-writing, with a minimum word limit of 150-250 words.  Describing an image in some sentences, and writing a short passage, with a minimum word limit of 50 words. 
Listening Four recorded passages of conversations/monologues in general and academic contexts – based on which you will answer questions. Two types of questions: Identifying correct English words and transcribe a recorded sentence.
Speaking An examiner conducts an introductory conversation, a short monologue on a topic, and follow-up questions.  Short questions answered by speaking into the computer microphone includes ‘Label the object’, ‘Speak aloud a written sentence’ and ‘Speak on a short topic’.

Test Scores 

IELTS scores are processed between 5-7 days for computer-based and up to 13 days for paper-based. Duolingo is quicker and delivers your results within 48 hours.

For How Long IELTS and Duolingo Score Valid?

For both tests, IELTS and DuoLingo scores are valid for two years. The IELTS is a well-established and globally accepted examination – with a good score, your proficiency can be proved. However, owing to test center closures due to the pandemic, the possibility of taking IELTS is uncertain. Duolingo English Test, on the other hand, is ideally suited to current circumstances. Hence, for now, Duolingo remains a great and highly convenient alternative to conventional English tests like IELTS.

Is Duolingo easier than IELTS? 

The IELTS exam assesses test taker’s ability to read, write, speak and listen to a variety of dialects and accents of the English Language. It includes both productive and receptive components that means test takers must be able to comprehend and produce english. Duolingo consists of short questions that generally pertain to general knowledge of English and Everyday life situations. 


Can Duolingo replace IELTS?

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, it has become impossible to go to the IELTS test centers for appearing for the tests. You can appear for Duolingo from home. Duolingo Test is accepted by many education institutes alongside IELTS and TOEFL. However, with time IELTS has also come up with an online exam IELTS Indicator. Still, if the acceptability for Duolingo increases, and it remains more convenient, fast, and affordable, Duolingo English Test can replace IELTS in the near future.

Is Duolingo easier than IELTS?

No, the Duolingo Test claims to be more convenient and less stressful but equal in difficulty. IELTS is a lengthier and more comprehensive test. However, the Duolingo test has also been designed to test your proficiency within a short period of time.

What is a good score on the Duolingo English test?

A Duolingo score of 120 and above is considered a good score. According to the Duolingo IELTS conversion, it is equivalent to grade 7 and above of the conventional IELTS.

Is 120 Duolingo good?

Yes, most top universities around the world prefer a Duolingo score of 120 and above. This is Grade 7 under the Duolingo IELTS Conversion table.

Is Duolingo better than IELTS?

Duolingo is currently providing strong competition to IELTS. It is more convenient, affordable, and fast. However, the IELTS is more universally accepted as it has been prevalent for years. Currently, hundreds of universities are accepting the Duolingo English test scores. If this graph keeps on increasing then there might be a day Duolingo would have a better pitch due to its affordability.

This was all about Duolingo IELTS conversion. Want to know more about the universities accepting Duolingo? Get in touch with Leverage Edu experts now! You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn

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  1. Hi,
    Greetings to you!!
    Myself Anusha Ganapathi. I wrote the Duolingo exam and got overall score 115. Is it good score? May I know What is the score to qualify in exam? Am i qualified or do I need to write the exam again?
    Kindly help me with details.
    Thank you very much

    Anusha Ganapathi.

    1. Hi Anusha,
      It’s great to know that you have given the Duolingo exam. Well, let’s congratulate you on passing the exam with flying colours. Since a Duolingo score between 115-120 is equivalent to an IELTS score of 7, you have performed well in your exam and hence you’re ready to kickstart your study abroad journey with us. Here is a blog that will tell you more about the Duolingo accepting universities from around the world:

      After going through the above-mentioned blogs, give us a call at 1800572000 to get in touch with our highly professional and skilled student counsellors that will do anything and everything to kickstart your study abroad journey.

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