Duolingo Test Center for Web: Bringing quality language certification to your browser
Two months ago, we announced the Duolingo Test Center for Android, which we created to give everyone equal access to jobs and educational opportunities that require proof of language skills.
Today we are happy to announce that the Test Center is also available on the Web, furthering our mission to make language certification fair and accessible to as many people as possible. Now anyone can certify their English skills from home, for only $20 (1/10th the cost of existing tests), from a mobile device or personal computer!
Here are some more details:
The reason behind the $20 fee is that each exam is verified by a human proctor, who uses your computer's camera and microphone to ensure the identity and integrity of each test taker.
For security reasons, Test Center for Web currently requires the latest version of the Google Chrome web browser (which is free for all major computer platforms).
Both Android and Web versions of the exam are currently in "beta," and during this time all exams will be free. :)
Don't be fooled by the "beta" label, though: this is a high-quality English exam. In fact, an independent study found that scores on the new Duolingo Proficiency Exam in English are reliable and significantly correlated with the TOEFL iBT (a standard English certification test). Plus, we are improving the exam every day as we gather more data from test takers.
The Test Center app for iOS is in development and will come out soon, as well as certification exams in many other languages.
We expect the number of institutions who recognize Duolingo certificates to grow reasonably fast, since many share our belief that everyone should have the chance to apply for positions. If English is your second language, you can help spread the word by taking an exam and adding your score to your resume!
We hope this will help convince other proficiency exams to make their prices more reasonable.
The new Test Center for Web is available here: https://testcenter.duolingo.com
We expect the number of institutions who recognize Duolingo certificates to grow reasonably fast, since many share our belief that everyone should have the chance to apply for positions.
Are there any institutions that currently recognize it?
It seems important to inform participants that a microphone, and a camera are necessary for this test before they even start. It also seems prudent to ensure the link guiding us to the testcenter is clearly visible. Currently it is hidden below with the FAQ, and other links.
P.S. I think this news is sticky-worthy ( should be added as a sticky).
Anyway, this is great news!
I took the exam (as a native English speaker), so here's my overview:
There are four types of "exercises." We have Listen and Write, Speak the sentence into the microphone (the audio is recorded using a real person, so it is much easier to make out than normal), Choose only the English words (lots of words that don't exist mixed with words that do and you must click the ones that exist), and, probably the hardest, Choose the words that are missing using the drop-down menus. The last one definitely makes you think, and I could see how it would be difficult in a second language (make sure to take the practice test here to see what I'm talking about). I scored a 10.0, but I'm definitely curious as to what that means. Did I make no mistakes? Or just very few? Here's what was listed as my "Language Status":
10.0 / 10 in English
Expert. Can understand virtually anything heard or read, even intellectually demanding material such as an academic lecture or a book on philosophy. Can use the language fluently and spontaneously in a way that can even be more advanced than an average native speaker.
So that's what a 10.0 means. I'm very interested in what the "Language Status" is for other scores, so if you've gotten a different one, I'd love to hear what it says.
The exam only took about 20 minutes (as we've been told), and my exam was verified in less than half a day. I'm definitely looking forward to taking it in another language (and I'm interested in knowing when the other languages will be available).
8.6 / 10 in English
LANGUAGE STATUS Proficient. Can understand a variety of demanding texts and conversations, also grasping implicit or figurative meaning that is hidden. Can use language flexibly and effectively for most social, academic, and professional purposes.
I was kind of passive, selecting real English words, and only selected words that I knew. There were some obvious mistakes (e.g. grossroad), but also some words that sounded somehow technical from a different domain. Choosing the words from the drop-down menu went well most of the times. There were different categories, such as a fairy tail, an economical essay etc ... One of text I did not understand and I just tried to adjust the words. I failed in one of the speaking exercises. It contained the word phenomenon. I re-recorded several times - and run eventually out of time. I'm not sure how they evaluate - It could have been that "fnmmeon" just sounded accurately enough. When I re-do the exam I will just keep my first recording. In the dictation, I did at least one mistake. The Auto-correction marked two words red (mac os, chrome), but the drop-down menu with word suggestions were disabled and I really did not know how to write the word correctly.
OK, I am probably going get some different response:) Will post it as I receive it. I've just taken the test and, surprisingly, didn't seem to be confident through "fill-in-the-blanks" tasks. That is not to say the materials could not have been better. That one passage has almost had me look for my jaw on the floor (though I couldn't since you are not supposed to be looking off screen):
From inexistence to existence he ( ) to many and ( ) as one ( ): existence with existence he ( ) with any as any with any: from existence to nonexistence ( ) he ( ) ( ) by all as none ( ). (was/would/came/went/receive/received/perceived/had/gone)
Actually, now when I see the whole passage with blanks correctly filled up, I kinda see how the sentence can make sense but on its own it feeled more like a puzzle, completing the author's thoughts for him. Possibly, that's a task carefully included to eliminate well-read native speakers in disguise ;). When gathering material about tests of Russian as a foreign language I looked through many sample tests, and they definitely seemed test your knowledge of the language and the ability to discard variants that do not make sense. Maybe, I am biased as I am a native speaker. Gotta try more advanced samples.
How do I get my exam? Will it come as a .pdf data sheet or do I really receive a nice exam? I already took a Cambridge Test} two years ago and would love to make a new DuoLingo exam at the end of the year. But in which form will I receive it? And will there be a score or will it show that my reading skills are C1 and my speaking skills B2 or how does it work?