Duolingo English Test Subscores

Duolingo created the Duolingo English Test as a quick and accurate tool for English learners to verify their level of English. People need to demonstrate their English language skills for a variety of reasons, including going to university or securing a job.

This exam is created to measure your English ability and determine how effectively they can convey their thoughts through language. Their total competence is measured on a CEFR-accredited 160-point scale. 

This article will provide you with a thorough understanding of a new concept known as ‘Subscores,’ which was used by institutions to assess an applicant’s (international) English abilities.

What is the Duolingo English Test?

The Duolingo English Exam is a language competency test that helps students prove their English ability while applying for higher education and well-paying professions. The exam focuses on reading, writing, listening, and speaking, which are the four components of a language. It employs an adaptive testing system that connects all four portions rather than separating them, as the TOEFL and IELTS, which are the most widely acknowledged examinations in the field, do.

The advantages of taking DET over TOEFL and IELTS are that it costs less than a third of the price of the popular tests, with a total cost of $49 that includes score reports sent to all of the institutions and schools the student wishes to apply to, enhancing their chances of acceptance. The exam also takes just one hour in total, compared to almost three hours for the other tests, and it is performed entirely online, making it available to students from all over the globe.

What are the Scoring Criteria of DET?

The Duolingo English Test score report includes an overall score and a subscore that are based on a variety of factors such as literacy, comprehension, conversation, and more. This allows colleges and companies to consider all factors before admitting a candidate and to gain an understanding of where you stand as a candidate in terms of language proficiency based solely on the test report.

The Duolingo English Test’s total score runs from 10-160, with each question having a 5-point increment, with the lowest possible score being ten and the best possible score being 160. The lowest score indicates that the applicant is not fluent in the language and can only comprehend basic spoken English, while the highest score indicates that the candidate is fluent in the language and can successfully communicate in social, academic, and professional settings.

When compared to other proficiency examinations, the subscores use a more sophisticated process. While it is typical to compute subscores in the many sections presented, such as Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking, the Duolingo English Test provides subscores in components such as Literacy, Comprehension, Conversation, and Production, which are areas where the former elements intersect. The subscores are more dependable in this scenario.

What is the DET Subscores?

Subscores, on the other hand, are usually centered on the overlap of the four components that most proficiency exams are built on. Subscores are often used by colleges and companies to choose applicants based on the language competence that is most necessary in the course/job that the individual has applied for. Candidates with a higher Conversation score, for example, will do better in courses/jobs that place a greater emphasis on group activities and presenting abilities than others. 

The following is a list of the criteria that overlapped in the construction of the subscores: 

  • Literacy: combines reading and writing
  • Conversation: combines speaking and listening comprehension
  • Comprehension: combines listening and reading production
  • Production: overlap between writing and speaking

The Duolingo English Test includes seven distinct kinds of questions that are based on language testing research and assess various areas of language proficiency. Two subscores are calculated from each question type.

LiteracyC-test, writing, yes/no (text)
Conversation Speaking, dictation, elicited speech, yes/no (audio)
ComprehensionC-test, dictation, elicited speech, yes/no (text), yes/no (audio)
ProductionSpeaking and Writing

You needed to meet three requirements in order to develop subscores that were valuable to all stakeholders. They have to:

  • Reflect on the test’s internal structure.
  • Be dependable.
  • Possess added worth.

Why did DET add subscores?

On the other hand, this subscore will provide applicants with more detailed feedback, allowing them to see where they can improve; in addition, institutions and universities will get comprehensive information about your language ability without having to take another exam.

The integrated modalities of the Duolingo English Test are meant to resemble genuine language. On a standard English test, subscores are read, written, spoken, and listened to. Language skills are often integrated into practice because people employ numerous abilities at once to communicate.

Duolingo English Test’s goal is to make it easier for institutions or universities to make “better-informed judgments” about candidates by using subscores. Listening and reading comprehension abilities are required, but comprehending lectures and participating in study groups will need extra skills.

While all these macro skills are significant aspects of language, research in applied linguistics suggests that integrated modalities better reflect how language is utilized in practice. In many situations, including academic contexts, effective and natural language usage necessitates the application of numerous abilities at the same time.

Practical Tips to Improve Your DET Scores

The Duolingo English Test measures reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, among other things. You may study for the test in any way that allows you to gain and practice your English language skills on a regular basis. Viewing English-language films, speaking with friends, reading newspapers and journals, and writing practice are all examples of this. There are also a number of fantastic free resources on the internet.

Take a Practice Exam

A practice test will allow you to gain a sense of the kind of questions you’ll encounter on the Duolingo English Test. We suggest taking a practice exam, so you know what to anticipate on the actual test and can concentrate on doing well. You are able to take the practice test as many times as you like. After you’ve completed the practice test, you’ll be given a rough estimate of your score range.

Keep in mind that the sample exam is just eight minutes long, and the score range is unofficial and inaccurate. You may try it out on the Duolingo official website.

Make your testing environment ready.

Because you’ll be taking the Duolingo English Exam from your computer, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you’ll need to prevent any problems throughout the test. You must have the following:

  • A government-issued picture identification card
  • A room that is peaceful and well-lit
  • Approximately one hour of unbroken time
  • A computer with a built-in camera on the front.
  • An internet connection and a browser that is compatible are required.

Recognize the Rules

After you’ve completed the test, a proctor will review the video to ensure that you followed all of the rules. Earbuds, conversing with others, using your phone or other electronic devices, and looking away from the screen are all banned. You will have to repeat the test if you do not follow these recommendations during the exam. 

Prepare to Demonstrate Your Skills

The Duolingo English Test includes a written part as well as a video interview. Both are covered when you share your results with a university. This is a fantastic opportunity for international admissions officers to learn more about you and for you to exhibit your English language competence. For each video interview and written sample, you have a choice of two question themes. Then you’ll give a one-to-three-minute speech and write for up to five minutes.

Don’t worry, and a timer will keep track of everything for you. Don’t get irritated if you get stuck; take a deep breath and answer each question as best you can. Before sharing your findings with colleges, you will have the opportunity to examine your replies. You may retake the exam if you are not satisfied with your results. 

Below are ways to help you in showcasing your skills, especially in boosting your production score:

  • Take advantage of the time alone or at home to practice speaking English with yourself. Describe what you’re doing, ponder out loud about your goals, or try to recall treasured rituals or childhood experiences! Retrieving words from memory is an important part of speaking, and you may practice this on your own from anywhere.
  • Repeat what you hear while you’re alone and view English movies or videos to assist your tongue and brain adjust to the new sounds. Write down or record especially funny quips or catchphrases to incorporate in your around-the-house speaking practice.
  • In English, there will be certain sounds that are especially challenging to grasp. If you’re having problems understanding a sound or a combination of noises, the chances are that others are as well. To improve your pronunciation, look for supplemental information on the internet in the form of guides and videos.
  • For fast and easy practice, try making a shopping list in English. If you have one, you may try writing a list of daily responsibilities in English.
  • Install an English keyboard on your phone or computer to practice messaging, Googling, and social media were posting in the language.
  • Find English-speaking online forums and organizations, and use some of your social media time to post short remarks in English. You could soon be producing messages that are much longer!
  • Reading blogs, joining organizations with English-language content, and following social media profiles are all good ways to start.
  • Read English-language news and articles. You’ll be able to apply your comprehensive understanding of current events to a variety of tasks.
  • Read English-language Wikipedia and books, maybe starting with topics you already know about. It is also possible to read English translations of your favorite works of literature.
  • Listen to music in the English language. Music is memorable, has a lot of repetition, and maybe a pleasant method to recall important phrases. Check the lyrics to make sure you hear things correctly!
  • To view episodes or movies in English, change the audio language to English. You may view English-language films and check if there are any options for subtitles in the language, or you can look for English-language apps or podcasts. Look for selections for news, sports, history, and fashion—anything you’d want to hear about in your own language! Instructional films may be available in certain programs.

FAQs about the DET Subscores

Do Duolingo subscores matter?

Subscores are important because they may assist organizations in making better decisions regarding applicants by identifying the skill profiles that are required. For example, if a school values its applicants’ ability to speak in study groups, it may set higher minimum Conversation admissions scores. Subscores may help test takers identify their strengths and limitations, enabling them to better concentrate on future language study.

What is considered a good score on the Duolingo English test?

The Duolingo English Test measures applicants’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities in order to evaluate real-world language aptitude. The Duolingo English Test is evaluated on a scale of 10-160. Applicants should have a total score of 120 or above to be considered.

Is 125 a good score on the Duolingo English test?

Yes, this is a competitive score. A strong Duolingo score is regarded to be one with an overall score of 125 or more and subscores over 100, which is equivalent to 7.5 Band in IELTS. This Duolingo score range is accepted by the majority of elite colleges. 

Is the Duolingo English test accurate and secured?

The exam is adaptive, which has important implications for you. In general, if you answer a question properly, the following one becomes more difficult. If you get the first one incorrect, the following one becomes easy. This way, you are tested based on your ability which will give you a far more accurate score. 

The results of the first Duolingo English Test were strongly associated with the results of a second test two weeks later, demonstrating that Duolingo test scores are dependable and have a high test-retest reliability coefficient.

In terms of the test’s security, several safeguards were in place to ensure that you did not cheat. You must identify yourself to the camera, you may not use headphones, you must be the only one in a well-lit room, and you must always be visible on the video. It would be difficult to cheat with someone helping you or assisting you.