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.
Hello, that is great news. However, it seems I cannot access it on my Chrome browser (it redirects me to the Google play store.) Is there a minimum version of chrome required?
Looks like this problem has been fixed -- the two options are now shown as "Google Chrome 34+" and "Android 4.0+".
Using Chrome version 37 - when I click on "Get Started", the only option listed is "Android 4.0+". Is this because I don't have a webcam on the computer I'm using?
Great news! I just hope the certification can start for other languages as well. When it does, will it certify that the person taking the test has reached a particular grammar level?
Out of curiosity, can you use a learner's permit (instead of a driver's license) for identity?
I believe that a learner's permit is classified as a type of driver's license for identification purposes.
@Samsta I have a learners permit (from USA). I use it whenever paperwork asks me for my License. I believe the ID number on it will stay the same if/when you get a License. So, I think it should be fine. But, this is not an official reply of yes.
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?
@Samsta wrote that when she took the test, there was a "Listen and Write" section, and a "Speak" seection, so deaf people would be unable to do those sections.
Thanks for the information. I'm sorry to hear that deaf people are still unable to benefit from Duolingo's testing program. Duolingo is great for deaf people who want to LEARN a foreign language, and it would be so nice if we could also get meaningful scores on Duolingo's tests.
I see that the test is for non-native English speakers. I'm learning Spanish. Is there a plan for other languages to test?
Okay thanks! Looking forward to taking the Spanish test in the future! Go Duolingo!
I'm a native English speaker and thus will not be taking the test (I also just don't have a spare $20) but I'm a little leery about the quality of the test. Are there any examples of the questions that are asked on the tests and the writing prompts (if there are any)? What sorts of questions are being asked? What are the reading sections like (how long, what topics, what's the complexity, etc)? Is the listening section of the test spoken by a human or is it computer generated speech?
I know it might seem like I'm being critical and to an extent I suppose I am. That said, if you're going to favorably compare your test with other English language proficiency tests that are widely accepted internationally then questions like the ones above are important. Additionally how do the scores compare with other English language tests like TOEFL and Cambridge English proficiency tests.
I also wonder about the Duolingo test because it appears to be abound 20 minutes long. That is shorter than all but one section of the TOEFL iBT (the speaking section is 20 minutes long) and also shorter than a number of other language proficiency tests (not just English but German, Japanese, French, etc etc).
I'm not trying to slaughter the people who put the test together nor Duoling as a whole, I just think that the above questions are important to ask if you're going to compare it to other language tests like TOEFL iBT. Additionally I think it would only be logical to expect organizations to ask these sorts of questions upon being asked to accept Duolingo's English proficiency test.
So, to answer some of my own questions - there is a short example that has example questions. I took the test myself which took somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes and I have some more thoughts as well as some constructive criticism. I think it would be ideal to allow the user to configure their microphone settings before the test starts - that way they would know that a. their microphone is working and b. they are speaking loud enough.
In terms of writing and listening you're only asked to type out sentences that you hear - one sentence per question. There's no listening comprehension nor is there really a writing section which answers my question about the writing prompts - there are none. Additionally there is aren't questions that test reading comprehension.
The longest of the questions consist of cloze tests which I think are useful though I will admit that a few of them threw me for a bit of a loop. There were also sections that required picking out words that were real words in English.
I understand and agree with the reasoning in wanting to create a language proficiency test that is accessible to as many people as possible in terms of price and location (where the test is given). That said having extensively looked at the Goethe Institute and TELC German practice tests and having taken cursory looks at the TOEFL iBT, DELE (Spanish), and TELC Spanish tests I don't think that Duolingo's test could logically be compared to those tests in the vast majority of the sections. The lack of reading comprehension, writing (as in writing a short essay), and listening comprehension make me question how one could accurately get a sense of of a test taker's ability in those skills all of which are needed in order to successfully participate in things like school and work.
Yes I read the article and I'm not sure how the author was able to derive concordance in general but especially with the reading, listening, and writing sections of the TOEFL iBT.
It is FREE - no payment for a limited time. Just spend the 20 min, and you might answer some of your questions yourself :)
I hope you finish these exams soon! We don't want Duolingo to go bankrupt, so you need some income.
Currently duo doesn't have many sources of incomes, does it? And it needs to pay salaries to all of its staff on a monthly basis, the salaries that correspond the work they put in. After all, duo can't rely on kickstarters forever.
Sure, but Luis von Ahn has had several other great projects and I suppose those guys aren't extremely poor, plus they are selling translations as this is the DuoLingo business model. DuoLingo has a lot of capital as far as I know and they won't go bankrupt in the next years.
10.0 / 10 in English, so it means I'm expert in english...Good to know. These tests are absolutely legit. :D :D
When I go to the test centre in Safari, it says that it's only available for Google Chrome and Android. So I switched to Google Chrome but it only shows the Android option! I have Chrome v36.0.1985.125 and I am logged into Duolingo already. Can somebody tell me what the problem is? Is it because I'm using a Mac?
So, when will the other browsers' support come in soon? twitches twitches
Not gonna use Chrome ATM since I'm on a low-end PC that can only run well on IE11...