Duolingo English Test: The new face of language test for acceptance into US universities

 

It is no surprising information to anyone that if we desire to be accepted into US universities or any other university abroad, giving an English language test is mandatory. India has many institutes working towards preparing students for these examinations, such as TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, etc. Some institutes are specifically indulged in guiding students regarding these language tests and are associated with the test management to conduct examinations such as IDP. The language test is essential to measure any international or native student’s ability to understand the medium of study in the universities abroad and their efficacy in performing well in academics outside their subcontinent.

The coronavirus pandemic put a halt on many processing and mechanisms between students aspiring for his/her dream college abroad till sitting in their varsity and hearing lectures delivered by some of the best teachers. With Indian colleges a tough nut to crack amongst growing competition and population, the foreign university does not make it any easier to cross the hurdle quickly. US universities are demanding too much documentation and proof of capability to fit into their academic and social culture.

All the traditional test centers responsible for conducting the language test every year preferred not to go ahead with the process keeping in check the safety and health crisis worldwide. The scores to this proficiency test are a halfway gate into entering a US university. The present situation asks for social distancing and protecting each other more than trying to secure admissions into a good university; Duolingo, a language learning app introduced a few years ago, came forward to grant the feasibility of attempting a test within the secure zone of our home. It provided the quality and accuracy required for declaring a candidate eligible for admission into the US or any university abroad.

What is even more, a piece of great news is that the US and UK universities are now willing to consider the Duolingo English Language Test equivalent to any TOEFL IELTS or SAT score. This 60-minute test designed by the expert team of Duolingo helps to access your English language knowledge thoroughly base on three levels of examination to assess reading, listening, and writing skills in the English language. In this article, Student Cover will discuss the Duolingo English test’s specificity and analyze all sections. We would also discuss the steps that make this step easier to take at home.

Duolingo English Test: The New Normal for Acceptance into US universities

Duolingo is a language learning application introduced a few years ago which grants an individual the ability to learn a new foreign language, as the name of the application suggests.

A mandatory proficiency score in the English language is needed to qualify as an eligible candidate to study at US University; an English language test certifies students’ sound knowledge of the English language. Duolingo’s English Language test has been proved similar to any traditional form of the language proficiency test. A candidate’s ability to follow and understand the mode of instruction in a curriculum is tested.

The test has been divided into three parts;

  1. to assess your communication and comprehending skills.
  2. The second part involves a video interview from the test makers and sending it to the universities, which increases the probability rate of getting enrolled.
  3. The last section of the test consists of a writing sample for assessing knowledge about things, and how fluent one is in their thoughts.

It takes less than an hour to take the test and is feasible in monetary terms costing about only $49 worth. A candidate giving the test could expect to receive his score within 48 hours, further sending it to prospective universities. The only things required to complete your test involves a laptop/desktop with a stable internet connection, an ID which could include your license, passport, or anything giving proof of your identity, and a webcam or front camera with a microphone.

The Setup Process: Before proceeding towards the primary test, Duolingo provides a setup that guides through the test parts. The setup stage’s main aim is to get the student acquainted with the test before buying it. Along with showing you through the test, Duolingo would allow you to check your camera and microphone to see whether they are working correctly or not. You need to submit your ID proof successfully for proceeding further into the main test area.

The Main Test Sections

There are three sections to the Duolingo proficiency test series:

The Adaptive Test Section

This section in the test is marked based on listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. Several short tests are lined up to access these factors and mark an individual based on the same. You should know that these quick tests involve typing phrases that are read out by the system, describing a picture, and answering a quick essay-type question where you would be required to speak out loudly. Apart from these short tests, there are other sub-sections to it such as:

  1. Finding out a fake or real English word from the list of words given
  2. Completing a sentence by adding missing letters to it.
  3. Answer to a question by writing it.
  4. Read a sentence loudly for speaking assessment.

Your score would be rated based on the performance between the range of 10-160 within 24-48 hours that would also separate breakdown scores granted to each section.  A bot marks the test, but a human expert also reviews a recorded version.

The Video Assessment Test Section

 It is an ungraded section of the test where you are given 1-3 minutes to record a video by speaking on any given topic. Once you select from the given number of assigned topics the timer will begin, which indicates that you need to start talking on the same. This assessment though not graded, could be sent to universities that could help you increase the probability of getting an offer letter from the varsity of your choice.

 The Writing Sample

The last step of the assessment involves a writing sample on any of the topics provided for about 3-5 minutes. Just like a Video sample has a set timer to it, the same goes for writing a sample test, too, where as soon as you choose a topic, a three-five minute timer begins, and in the same time frame, one needs to complete writing on the selected subject.

 

Let’s Wrap Up!

In these challenging times, just like people have managed to adapt to a new norm around them, proficiency test like Duolingo has made it easier for the prospective students to take the test at the comfort of their homes and present these scores to the university for claiming their eligibility as a potential candidate to learn and study in a foreign university. Many US universities are now up for accepting Duolingo proficiency tests and might make the language test optional in the coming years.

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Disclaimer: This blog was written based on the personal research of the writer. Readers’ discretion is advised. Neither Student Cover nor the writer will be held liable for any wrongful interpretation of this blog’s content.

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