Choosing the Right English Test: Duolingo vs. TOEFL 2024

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Duolingo Vs TOEFL: With so many options for students to choose from when it comes to taking an English proficiency test in this day and age, it can be perplexing for students to conclude. At the core of such discourse lie two primary players, Duolingo and TOEFL, resulting in students finding themselves in a state of a conundrum regarding which proficiency test to go for. To help you get out of such an impediment, we have curated and enlisted the major differences between the Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL exam, putting an end to the debate in 2024. That being said, to learn more about Duolingo vs. TOEFL, read the complete blog. 


Duolingo Vs TOEFL: Advantages and Disadvantages 

To get a better understanding of both proficiency tests, be they Duolingo or TOEFL, we must delve deeper into their pros and cons. Only after going through all the advantages and disadvantages of both of these exams can you discern which to take in the end. That being said, let us have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of taking the Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL (iBT) exam. 

Pros and Cons of taking TOEFL iBT in 2024

Rising to the forefront of global English language assessments, the TOEFL iBT stands as a benchmark for measuring your Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking abilities. Designed for online administration, this comprehensive test provides you with a platform to showcase your linguistic competence and unlock numerous opportunities in education, immigration, and beyond. Delve into the key benefits of taking the TOEFL iBT and propel yourself towards your goals.


  • The registration process is substantially simpler than the traditional version. This simplicity is due to the implementation of a local payment policy for native applicants, which means that you do not suffer from payment hindrances. 
  • It is a faster-paced version of the traditional TOEFL exam, providing you with a dynamic and crisp experience.
  • You do not have to wait for their scores as a result of the implementation of a quick scoring system.


  •  Unlike some exams where you might be strong in one area (reading) that can make up for weakness in another (speaking), the TOEFL iBT requires well-roundedness in all areas – reading, listening, speaking and writing. This means you can’t just focus on improving grammar to get a good score.
  • The TOEFL iBT is internet-based, so basic computer skills are a must. If you’re not comfortable using a computer, the test format could add extra stress.

Pros and Cons of taking the Duolingo English Test in 2024

The Duolingo English Test (DET) is an internet-based exam widely accepted by universities, making it a convenient option for international students. This streamlined test assesses core English abilities: reading, writing, and speaking. 

As of April 2, 2024, the DET offers an enhanced testing experience. The revamped “fill-in-the-blank” questions now assess your vocabulary breadth and contextual usage. This can be a great fit if you’re confident in your real-world English comprehension. Have a look at the pros and cons of taking the Duolingo English Test in 2024. 


  • The Duolingo English Test is generally cheaper than other standardized English proficiency exams.
  • You can take the test from the comfort of your own home with just a computer and webcam.
  • Over 4,000 institutions worldwide accept Duolingo scores, including universities and colleges.
  • You typically receive your results within 48 hours.


  • While gaining acceptance, the DET isn’t universally recognized by institutions like the TOEFL or IELTS. This could limit your options for universities or programs that require a specific test.
  • The speaking sections in the DET are short, giving you less time to formulate your thoughts and speak fluently. This can disadvantage test-takers who need more time to express themselves clearly.
  •  Unlike established tests like TOEFL, the DET offers fewer official practice tests. This can make it challenging to fully prepare for the specific format and types of questions.
  •  Some parts of the DET might not be scored and are for institutional screening only. This lack of transparency can be frustrating for test-takers who want a complete picture of their performance.

Duolingo Vs TOEFL: Score Conversion in 2024

The Duolingo English Test (DET) has soared in popularity among students worldwide in recent years. As universities increasingly accept DET scores for admissions, understanding how they translate to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) model becomes crucial. This knowledge allows students to compare their DET performance to other popular tests like IELTS and TOEFL. The TOEFL, a standardized English language exam, helps international students and professionals gain admission to most notable universities around the globe. Now, let’s explore the correlation between DET and TOEFL scores.

duolingo vs toefl score conversion

Duolingo Vs TOEFL: Exam Pattern and Question Types

While both the Duolingo English Test (DET) and TOEFL iBT assess English proficiency, they differ in their format and question types. Here’s a breakdown:

Duolingo English Test (DET)

Refer to the following data to go through the format and question types of the Duolingo English Test. Have a look. 


  • One-hour online test with two sections:
  1. Adaptive Test (45 minutes): Listen to your responses and adjust difficulty accordingly. Tests reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills.
  2. Video Interview (10 minutes): Unscored section with prompts for speaking and writing samples.

Question Types:

  • Reading: Fill-in-the-blanks, comprehension questions based on short texts. (New as of April 2, 2024: revamped to assess broader vocabulary and contextual usage)
  • Listening: Short audio clips followed by multiple-choice or typing responses.
  • Speaking: Respond to prompts with short voice recordings (30-90 seconds).
  • Writing: Respond to prompts with short typed responses (50-100 words).
Question TypeDuration Sub-ScoreFrequency Detail 
Read and complete3 Minutes Literacy and Comprehension6 times on averageComplete the missing letters in the given text. 
Listen and speak30 Sec- 1 MinuteConversation and Production2 times on averageSpeaking on the given topic/audio. 
Listen and select1.5 MinutesComprehension and Conversation6 times on averageSelect the correct English words from the list after listening to the given audio clip.
Read aloud20 SecondsComprehension and Conversation6 times on averageStudents are required to record themselves reading out loud. 
Write about the photo1- Minute Production and Literacy3 times on average Describe the image through your writing. 
Speak about the photo30 Sec-1 Minute Production and Conversation1 time on average Describe and speak about the given image. 


Individuals who wish to take the online TOEFL exam, i.e., TOEFL iBT, must keep abreast of the standardised exam format. ETS, the conducting body of the TOEFL iBT test, made certain alterations to the TOEFL iBT exam format in 2023. Going by the revised TOEFL ibT exam pattern, students will now see the following changes in the TOEFL exam format (iBT): 

Format: Refer to the infographic given below to get an overview of the TOEFL exam’s exam pattern. 

toefl ibt exam pattern

Question Types:

  • Reading: Passages with varying difficulty levels and question types (multiple-choice, open-ended, graphic organizers).
  • Listening: Lectures and conversations at academic speed with multiple-choice questions.
  • Speaking: Integrated tasks requiring responses based on reading and listening material, and independent speaking prompts on familiar topics.
  • Writing: Integrated writing tasks summarizing reading and listening material, and independent writing tasks expressing opinions or arguments.

So that was all about Duolingo Vs TOEFL. Hope the blog has answered your queries regarding the topic. 

                                                              Related Blogs 
TOEFL iBT – Exam Dates, Fee, Eligibility, PreparationTOEFL iBT vs. TOEFL PBT: Understanding the DifferencesTOEFL Eligibility Criteria Check Qualification, Age
Duolingo Accepted Universities In the UKDuolingo Accepted Universities In the USADuolingo Accepted Universities in Ireland


Q1. Is Duolingo harder than TOEFL?

Ans: The Duolingo English Test (DET) measures the same core English skillset as the TOEFL and IELTS.  In addition, the DET is a fast and adaptive test, which means the difficulty level adjusts based on your performance. You’ll see harder questions if you answer correctly and vice versa.

Q2. Can Duolingo replace TOEFL?

Ans: Although the DET test cannot replace TOEFL or IELTS, it surely has garnered a lot of popularity among study abroad aspirants over the years. The Duolingo English Test is a standardized test, akin to the TOEFL and IELTS tests. As a result, as of June 2023, over 4,000 universities and institutions allow you to use score reports in place of these tests. 

Q3. Which exam is easy IELTS or TOEFL or Duolingo?

Ans: It’s difficult to determine which English language proficiency test is easier as it depends on an individual’s language skills and familiarity with the test format. The IELTS and TOEFL are both standardized tests that assess an individual’s reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in English.

Visit the Leverage Live page of Leverage edu or contact our study abroad experts at 1800-57-2000 to strengthen your scores and application to secure your spot in your dream college. 

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