Hi, I am learning French.Is it possible to clear A1 and A2 level by completing Duolingo itself?
Grammar: A1 yes, A2 perhaps but I think most people would need further practice (there are awesome books for that for example).
Vocabulary: A1 yes, A2 yes I think
Pronunciation:no, don't learn it from Duolingo and its computer voice
Listening:A1 perhaps but A2 not sure, because the computer voice is very different from living people and I am not impressed with the French version of it. I'd say listening can easily be the biggest challenge for beginners, so it pays of to prepare.
Reading:A2 possible just with Duolingo, I'd say
Writing and speaking: I think this depends a lot on the kind of learner. A very creative person can put stuff together based on the Duolingo curriculum and could succeed at the A2 level despite mistakes. The lower levels of exams are very tolerant to some kinds of mistakes, basically they are about expressing yourself in spite of your mistakes and limitations. But many people would struggle.
In general, I recommend not relying on Duolingo itself ever. You might rely on it a bit more in case of German, which is an exceptionally huge course, but I was not too impressed with the French course, even though the new one is better than the previous version. But I think the best course of action is getting a real coursebook (book+audio) for the level. One of the great effects of Duolingo:I think a monolingual book might be much more accessible to you now than right at the beginning.
In general, it won't be too hard to prepare for the A2 exam. The catch:this level is about getting the basics for the following journey. If A2 is not your final goal, you should get solid basics, not just the bare minimum for passing an exam. I recommend courses like Édito (a monolingual one divided in volumes for each cefr level), Assimil (a great option for a self-teaching learner with different approach), Grammaire Progressive and Vocabulaire progressif by CLE (awesome workbooks that go with everything, level "débutant"), and you can get an exam preparatory book but I recommend borrowing it in a library if you can, as the low levels are doable with just a few examples that coursebooks like Édito tend to include.
by completing Duolingo itself?
Then you would be asking about your forward EN-FR course.
Ah cool, with 96 skills you have got the new 3.0 A/B test tree.
Writing and speaking: I think this depends a lot on the kind of learner.
The big problem with DuoLingo has always been, that you first would have to start the reverse tree, e.g French-English so the higher ratio gets switched in L1->L2 target language translations (instead of English you practice writing in French).
Crown levels L4/L5 may change / improve this....I have not already tested for crowns L2 skills and unfortunately I was not placed for my EN-PT forward tree in any L3 skill to give it a try.
This "writing practice concept in the target language" still applies to my PT-DE reverse tree where I have to type in Portuguese (my target language) even for crown levels L0 and L1.
I just wish I could turn ALL mixed "German exercise challenges" (fill in the blank, select the correct word, etc.) OFF and replace with Portuguese :-)
How much Portuguese do I already know to express in writing/speaking after 1-1,5 years?
Well, not yet that much as I can't fully immerse (that includes listening to more advanced content and speaking).
At least my Mondly tree highly focuses on EN-PT tapping translations; however, I would want to turn them into 100% typing.
For all my Memrise PT BR Basic + 1-7 courses (they include phrases/sentences) I can really practice writing/RECALLING in my target language (EN to PT) for my reviews by using Cooljingle's user script "all typing".
I think doing all of the courses IN PARALLEL to DuoLingo and reviewing weak words in a defined spaced repetition (e.g DuoLingo PT BR vocabulary course by MartinPen) helped me a lot over time.
DuoLingo is IMHO not enough to be used completely alone.
This is even more true for chatting (writing), speaking, listening to native audio content to reach any offical CEFR level tests.
I'm not familiar with the A1, A2, etc system, so I can't answer your question directly. However, doing Duolingo French for about 6 months did wonders for my ability to understand spoken French and to carry on a very basic conversation (e.g. ordering a meal or asking for directions) on a recent trip to France. I even attended religious services and could understand the sermon. (It helped that the rabbi wasn't a native French speaker, so he probably spoke a little slower!)
However, that took a real commitment of doing ~50 XP worth of work every day for six months.
In my opinion, the new crown system helps the process. You can do a first pass through the tree doing the basics, then a second pass, then a third pass. (For what it's worth, I'm currently working on getting things up to 3 crowns.) You won't get true fluency from Duolingo, which only comes from actually speaking the language in a setting where you can't switch to English every time it gets hard. But you can still learn a LOT.
Have fun with it!
Yes. Last year I took the Alliance Francaise verbal exam and passed up to A2.5 having not studied Duolingo for awhile so I had forgotten some of the more advanced verb tenses. At this time I also had not complimented my studies with other sources except reading a few children's books for vocabulary building. I believe if I had known the total Duolingo program I would have passed all of A2 and perhaps the beginning of B1. Bonne chance.
A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, as you know. I am supposing that at AF they have grouped A2 requirements and organized them according to difficulty in order to help them place someone into their learning program. I believe the A2 level went up to A2.8... so I am concluding that I knew more than half of the required material at the A2 level. This is solely my assessment of the rating. :) I am not sure if these sub levels (2.5,2.6) actually exist in the international rating system.