Duolingo English Test: Read and Complete Questions

Duolingo evaluates students on four criteria: reading, writing, listening, and speaking, much as previous proficiency examinations. Since then, some colleges, but not all, have begun to accept Duolingo English competency test results. However, with the pandemic wreaking havoc throughout the globe and everything changing to digital platforms, many colleges began exploring alternatives to conventional English proficiency assessments. Because the exam centers were closed, IELTS and TOEFL could not be administered. As a result, the number of educational institutions that accept Duolingo ratings is rapidly increasing.

This complete guide will take you through all the steps required to ace the Duolingo English Test. It will help you understand the structure of the test and how to approach the Read and Complete question type.

What is the DET?

The Duolingo English Exam (DET) is a quick and economical English proficiency test that can be taken online, on-demand, from any location in the globe, and is approved by hundreds of prestigious institutions.

Furthermore, the exam allows you to present yourself and your English skills to the university via a video interview and writing sample, which are shared with the institution together with your test result.

An internet connection, as well as a PC with a self-facing camera and microphone, are required for the test. For approximately an hour, you should be in a calm, well-lit room with your computer. The registration price is cheap ($49 at the time of writing).

The results are available in 48 hours, and you may transmit your score to as many universities as you choose. Once your exam has been scored and shared, you will get an email confirmation.

The Duolingo English Test is entirely web-based. It is intended to measure reading, writing, speaking, and listening abilities in order to evaluate real-world language proficiency. The competency of each test taker is presented as a holistic score in a range of 10 to 160.

What is the DET Exam Pattern?

The Duolingo exam pattern is not too difficult or constrained. To practice, you may use any English content. You should first learn about the kind of questions that will be asked and then prepare appropriately. The following are the exact details about it:

Adaptive testing

After the exam has begun, you will be expected to complete an adaptive test. This is a graded or scored section of the Duolingo exam. This exam evaluates your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in English. Here, you will be required to complete a number of short tests.

  • Read and Complete
  • Read Aloud
  • Write About the Photo
  • Listen and Select
  • Read and Select
  • Listen, Then Write
  • Read, Then Write
  • Read, Then Speak

Video and Writing Sample

After the adaptive test, you’ll have to record a video interview and pass a written exam. This component of the test will not be included in your final score, but it will be shared with any colleges that get your results.

  • Interview Sample
  • Writing Sample

The highlights of each question type within the Duolingo graded portion are summarized in the table below:

Question TypesTime LimitSubscoresFrequency
Read and Complete3 minutesLiteracy, Comprehension3 – 7 times each (average of 6)
Read and Select1 minuteLiteracy, Comprehension
Listen and Select1 minute 30 secondsComprehension, Conversation
Listen and Type1 minuteComprehension, Conversation
Read Aloud20 secondsComprehension, Conversation
Write About the Photo1 minuteProduction, Literacy3
Speak About the Photo1 minute 30 secondsProduction, Conversation1
Read, Then Write5 minutesProduction, Literacy1
Read, Then Speak1 minute 30 secondsProduction, Conversation2
Listen, Then Speak1 minute 30 secondsProduction, Conversation1
Writing Sample5 minutes1
Speaking Sample3 minutes1

Question Type: Read and Complete 

A candidate will be asked to fill in the missing letters in words. You will be given a paragraph with a few missing letters in which they must fill in the blanks using the context provided in the passage. At the same time as the question, the timer for the question will appear on the screen.

Highlights: Read and Complete

  • Between 3-7 times on the test (average 6)
  • 3 minutes to complete
  • Short passages (less than 100 words)
  • Variety of topics: general or academic
  • The first letter/s will always be shown
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Tips in Answering the Read and Complete Question

To help you in revising, here are some practical tips for the read and complete question type:

  • Speed-read through the passage to get the main idea. Focus on the keywords and try to remember them.
  • Make use of American spelling
  • Start looking for the options/answers as soon as the texts start making sense.
  • Make sure the option you choose makes sense when you read the passage.
  • The first slide of the reading section can take longer than the others.
  • Use the context and grammatical knowledge
  • Some of the blanks might be easier to fill than the others.
  • You will find clues to the answers in the text.
  • Keep practicing every day.

Ways to Improve Reading and Vocabulary Skills

Adding new terms to your written vocabulary is one of the simplest methods to improve your present reading and writing abilities. Because the English language is one of the broadest of all languages, you’ll never run out of vocabulary terms to learn and utilize. A vast vocabulary helps all sorts of writing, from fiction to journalism to essays to poetry. As a consequence, the time you spend practicing your vocabulary becomes time spent practicing your writing skills.

How can you increase your reading abilities?

You may enhance your reading abilities in a number of ways. To increase your fluency, try speed-reading or taking notes whenever you come across unusual language. The stages that follow will also detail what you may do to strengthen and grow your reading abilities.

  1. Set aside time each day to read.

Practicing is one of the most effective approaches to improve your abilities. Improving your reading skills will require time and effort, but you may set aside 10 to 15 minutes each day to do so. As long as you improve your reading skills, you can read anything, including news pieces, fiction, magazine issues, and other forms of writing.

  1. Define your reading goals.

You may set reading goals for yourself to help you grow your vocabulary, get a better understanding of a variety of books, and improve your ability to connect what you read to your own ideas and thoughts.

For example, you may set a goal to learn new vocabulary related to a key topic like business management, technology, or another area that interests you. Then, while you’re reading, check out meanings for unfamiliar phrases to help you broaden your vocabulary. As your vocabulary expands to higher-level words and phrases, you may modify the difficulty level of the texts you read.

  1. Get a sneak glance at the texts you’ll be reading before you start.

Previewing and scanning documents is another way to improve your reading skills. This strategy may be utilized to get a feel of what you’re reading by looking at titles, captions, headlines, and other text qualities. This could help you create important notions about the book before you start reading it.

  1. Set a goal for yourself.

As you read, practice determining the purpose of particular passages. Consider why certain texts were written and what meanings or themes might be drawn from them. You might also say why you’re reading, such as to learn something new, follow instructions in a manual, or just enjoy a story. Knowing why you’re reading a text might assist you in finding important ideas and information that can aid you in achieving your objective.

  1. Make use of crucial reading techniques.

When reading a variety of books, you may apply a few key strategies to help you enhance your understanding. You could identify the text structure as informative, persuasive, or instructional while previewing a work. It is also possible to discern key aspects of various texts, such as fundamental themes, problems, solutions, or similar notions represented in what you read. Identification of text components, recognition of the aim, and taking notes are all strategies that may help you improve your reading skills.

  1. Maintain a record of what you’re reading.

Another really effective approach for improving your reading ability is to take notes while reading. For example, you can take notes while reading a fiction novel to have a better understanding of the author’s linguistic choices, or you might scribble down new terminology while reading a scientific journal. You’ll be more likely to ask questions and make connections about what you’re reading if you take excellent notes.

  1. Use visual representations like charts, tables, and diagrams.

Using visuals may also help you understand themes and ideas and draw conclusions based on what you’ve read. Taking notes may also help with comprehension skills like summarizing.

  1. Write a summary of what you’ve learned.

Summarizing what you’ve read might also help you enhance your reading skills. Summarizing tasks need you to recollect essential details and topics from what you’ve read in your own words and from your own unique perspective. To help you recall and absorb what you read, consider orally summarizing it with a buddy or writing a quick description. Read our article on ‘Top 3 Easiest Ways to Write Summaries‘ for some additional advice.

Your communication and general ability to engage with people and function in your profession may improve as you improve your reading abilities.

How to improve your vocabulary skills?

Most of us haven’t spent much time learning new terms since high school or college. Thankfully, you can always take up where you left off. Here are some helpful hints to get you started learning new words:

  1. Make reading a routine. 

It’s simpler to expand your vocabulary when you encounter concepts in context. Seeing words in contexts, such as in a book or a newspaper article, is much more valuable than seeing them on a vocabulary list. You not only pick up new vocabulary, but you also get to see how it’s put to use.

  1. Refer to the dictionary or thesaurus.

Online dictionaries and thesauruses may be quite useful when used appropriately. They may help you remember synonyms that are really better terms in the context of your work. Another technique to acquire vocabulary is to look up antonyms, root words, and similar terms in a comprehensive dictionary description.

  1. Play word games with your friends. 

There are some classic games that may help you enhance your English vocabulary like Scrabble or Boggle. Crossword puzzles are another option. Follow up rounds of these word games with some note-taking if you really want to be efficient. Make a list of the various terms you learned while playing the game, and go through it again and again.

  1. Make use of flashcards. 

Using flashcards to learn a lot of words is a rapid approach to creating a wide vocabulary. In today’s digital environment, a wide choice of smartphone apps make flashcards accessible and simple to organize. Setting a goal of learning one new word every day is a good idea. You can always aim for more, but learning hundreds of English phrases every day may not be feasible.

  1. Subscribe to “word of the day” feeds.

To aid you in developing your vocabulary, certain online platforms will send you a new word every day, either via a website, an app, or an email. These words may be added to running word lists.

  1. Make use of mnemonics. 

A mnemonic device is a kind of word association that helps you remember meanings and how to use words correctly. Consider the phrase obsequious, which means “seeking to obtain favor with influential people by flattery.” Dissect the word into its component parts: “Obsessed” begins with “obse,” and “obsessed” ends with “obsessed.” In addition, “Qui” is pronounced similarly to “oui,” the French word for “yes,” while “us” is pronounced similarly to “us.” Consider the big word obsequious to mean “obsessed with saying yes to us”—because that’s precisely what it means!

  1. Practice conversing with new terms. 

It’s possible to have a broad vocabulary but not know how to put it to use. This means you’ll have to use your own dictionary on your own time. Make a point of bringing up a fascinating phrase from your reading in conversation. By testing in low-stakes situations, you may practice the art of word choice and, with a little trial and error, zero down on the perfect word for a specific context.

Practice Read and Complete Questions 

Try to answer the following exercises in 3 minutes. 

Exercise 1:

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Exercise 2:

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Exercise 3:

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Exercise 4:

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Exercise 5:

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Exercise 6:

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Exercise 7:

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Exercise 8:

Answer Key:

Exercise 1:

Wind and water erosion of America’s cropland has been an issue since settlers first ploughed the plains and grasslands in the eighteenth century. More than 282 million acres of cropland had been eroded by the 1930s. Soil erosion has intensified despite 40 years of conservation measures, owing to increasing demands imposed on the land by high agricultural production. Soil erosion and the environmental issues it creates are expected to supplant petroleum shortages as the country’s most pressing natural resource issue in the coming years.

Exercise 2:

Opera is a theatrical art form that originated in Europe and in which the emotional content is transmitted to the audience via music, both vocal and instrumental, as well as lyrics. Musical theater, on the other hand, emphasizes the theatrical performance of the actor above the music. The drama in opera is expressed via the use of traditional theatrical elements such as set, costumes, and acting. The opera’s words, or libretto, are, nevertheless, sung rather than spoken. A musical group, ranging from a small instrumental ensemble to a large symphony orchestra, backs up the vocalists.

Exercise 3:

Dolphins are the sea’s nicest animals, and legends of their saving drowning sailors date back to Roman times. The more we study about dolphins, the more we discover their social structure is complicated. Like us, they tend to sick dolphins, pregnant moms, and the weakest in the population. Some experts believe dolphins have a language, although it is more likely that they communicate nonverbally. Is there an animal smarter than man? The most prevalent justification for man’s supremacy over them is that we can kill them easier than they can kill us. In fact, the more we learn about these amazing animals, the less superior we seem when we kill them.

Exercise 4:

The Estonia passenger-and-car ferry should never have sunk in the Baltic, according to naval experts. It was well-planned and maintained. It had enough lifeboats. A comprehensive inspection before its tragic journey. Soon after, the Estonia capsized in a chilly, windy night. Only 139 of those who managed to scramble overboard survived. The others perished of hypothermia before rescuers could reach them. There were 912 individuals perished in the end. It was not clear why the Estonia fell and why so many survivors were young males, while the majority of the fatalities were women, children and the elderly.

Exercise 5:

NASA’s Pioneer spacecraft data seem to support the notion that Venus’ high surface temperature is due to an atmospheric greenhouse effect dominated by carbon dioxide. The greenhouse effect occurs when sunlight readily flows through a planet’s atmosphere, warms its surface, and is transformed to heat radiation by the atmosphere. Venus’ atmosphere is similar to Earth’s, although it contains more than ninety percent carbon dioxide, compared to less than four percent on Earth. Venus’ atmosphere traps much more heat radiation than Earth’s due to its greater carbon dioxide content. Thus, the Venus studies are thought to be vital to understanding the long-term implications of using fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Exercise 6:

Brain theories are still hotly debated. The hippocampus, a brain region, is unquestionably vital for remembering. When we perceive anything, our senses send the data to the hippocampus for processing. Neurons, scientists think, initially convert sensory inputs into pictures in our immediate memory. The pictures are then transmitted to the hippocampus for short-term storage. The hippocampus organizes information, and throughout this process, pieces of our experience fade away. Finally, information is stored in long-term memory in the cerebral cortex of the frontal lobe. Scientists believe this occurs when we sleep, but how information is transported from one part of the brain to another is unknown.

Exercise 7:

People have long been fascinated by fictional characters with amazing skills. One of them is Vera Petrova’s narrative, who can see through solid walls and through various areas of her skin. She walks into his father’s office and opens a locked safe. Suddenly, she inquires her father why he keeps so many old newspapers hidden up there. Vera’s unusual skill is noticed by a scientific research institution, and she is put through a series of tests. During the tests, she can read a newspaper through a screen and describe a picture hidden under a carpet. Vera is blindfolded for all of these tests, and she is unable to detect objects with her skin except while blindfolded. Also, she could see things with her fingertips, but this talent vanished when her hands became wet.

Exercise 8:

The Emperor Penguin lives in Antarctica. It is the largest penguin. Emperor Penguins are black and white, but their necks are golden. A winter palace for Emperors. They reproduce on the ice near the Antarctic continent between March and April. Their body shape helps them survive. They can dive up to 900 feet deep to capture bigger fish with their short wings. They can swim up to 12 mph for a brief period, escaping the Leopard Seal. Their blubber keeps them warm. The soft feathers also trap air, keeping chilly air and wetness out.

FAQs about Duolingo English Test

What is the duration of the DET?

The exam is just 45 minutes long, but the TOEFL takes almost 3 hours. The DET gives you your score within 48 hours after taking the test, while the TOEFL takes around ten days. You may take the DET as many times as you like, as long as you don’t do it more than twice in a 30-day period.

What type of questions are asked in DET 2022?

The test has a new structure that is considerably distinct from IELTS and TOEFL. Duolingo doesn’t have lengthy questions. The exam measures your language skills based on tone and idiom knowledge. The same abilities are examined as in TOEFL and IELTS. However, the questions are different and not typical of an English language examination. Typical Duolingo test questions include:

  • Read and Complete
  • Read Aloud
  • Write About the Photo
  • Listen and Select
  • Read and Select
  • Listen, Then Write
  • Read, Then Write
  • Read, Then Speak

What is considered a ‘good’ amount of practice for the DET?

Although Duolingo is less time-consuming than IELTS, strong language proficiency is required to answer the questions within the time limit. Any test’s difficulty level is subjective, yet Duolingo is on par with the other two English language competence examinations, the IELTS and the TOEFL.

Allow an adequate amount of time to prepare for the big day. Starting at least one month before your probable test date, or perhaps six weeks to be safe is suggested.

Is the Duolingo English Test safe?

The Duolingo English Exam is a test that uses artificial intelligence (AI). Prior to taking the exam, your identification credentials are verified. For verification, the test-ID taker’s face and fingerprints are scanned remotely.

Duolingo does not own, endorse, or operate any third-party websites, services, or other events or activities. Please note that your personal information is collected only for the purposes of establishing identification, verifying the validity of the exam, and ensuring the security of the test. Duolingo employs cutting-edge technology to ensure the test’s reliability and accuracy, as well as regularly upgrading its versions.

What is the degree of difficulty of the DET questions?

The Duolingo English Test includes a variety of demanding questions ranging from easy to difficult, with each question becoming more difficult as you respond, due to its adaptive methodology.

So, if you’ve studied adequately, the Duolingo exam is no more tough or challenging than any other examination. The Duolingo English exam does not need any special or unusual equipment.