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Duolingo test: confirm your English level to study in Canada

Duolingo test: confirm your English level to study in Canada

What language tests are accepted by Canadian universities and what makes the DET (Duolingo English Test) stand out from them.

One of the requirements for admission to colleges and universities in Canada as an international student is proof of proficiency in English or French. As a rule, most candidates choose English because it is an international language and more popular with foreigners.

To prove their English level, students must take an official test and submit the results with the required score for admission.

The most popular English language exams are traditionally IELTS and TOEFL. Many people have heard about the specific structure of these exams. They usually require a long period of specialized preparation, their cost is quite high, and as a result, the process of passing them is very stressful for candidates.

Many universities in Canada also accept the Pearson English Test ( PTE ), which is considered easier than the above-mentioned tests due to its automated nature. However, its price is still quite high, and you may need to travel to another country to take the test, as its geography is limited.

If taking IELTS and TOEFL exams is discouraging, it's worth looking for alternative solutions.

DET (Duolingo English Test)

Duolingo is a company that creates language learning platforms and is currently one of the most popular in this field. Duolingo has also developed its own English language test to determine the level of knowledge.

The Duolingo test is a relatively new test of English language skills. However, recently it has been gaining more and more popularity around the world. Currently, this test is accepted for admission to more than 5,000 educational programs in more than 100 countries around the world.

The DET can also be taken to obtain a study visa to Canada. Not all Canadian universities are ready to accept the DET yet, but the number of those that consider the test as language level proof is constantly increasing. As of today, the list of Canadian institutions that accept the DET includes 396 names. Among the popular universities there, you can find the following:

At the same time, a number of these universities are also partners of our company Immigrant.Today.

Benefits of taking the DET

Compared to other language tests, the Duolingo English Test has a number of significant advantages.

Place and time to take the exam. Since the Duolingo exam is designed to be tested online, you can take it almost anywhere and anytime, without long appointment times, waiting lines, and traveling to another city or even country. The main prerequisite is to have internet access, a laptop or computer, and approximately one hour in which you will not be disturbed by anyone or anything.

Low stress level. Taking a test, which can determine your future prospects, is always a powerful stressor. The Duolingo test minimizes this stress by using a remote format and allowing you to complete all tasks alone, without direct contact with examiners.

Fast results. While you may wait weeks for the results of other tests, you will get your DET results in as little as two days. This is largely due to the automated verification of test results using artificial intelligence and adaptive computerized control when moving from question to question.


One of the most attractive aspects of the test from Duolingo is its cost. Right now, taking the test is only $59 USD. However, the company will soon raise the price of the test: from April 15, 2024, the cost will be $65 USD. The price increase is insignificant, but if you want to take the test at the old price, you'd better hurry up.

The structure of the DET test

The test aims to assess 4 skills:

  • Literacy: reading and writing skills.
  • Comprehension: listening comprehension and reading skills.
  • Conversation: speaking and listening skills.
  • Production: written and oral communication skills.

The adaptive system of the test selects the number of certain question types based on the previous answers you have given.

On April 2, 2024, the test was modified, some tasks were added or replaced:

  • Fill in the blanks. This is a new task in which you will have to fill in the word that matches the meaning of the word yourself.
  • Read and Select. In this task, you have to note whether the word shown on the screen exists in English. This task was previously available, but now it has been modified.
  • Interactive Writing. An assignment in which you have to write your answer, followed by an interactive supplementary question that requires another written answer. Previously, the assignment was Read Then Write instead.

You can learn more about the structure of the test by taking a trial test on the company's website.

Is a language test compulsory?

In order to enroll a student, a Canadian university must be satisfied that the applicant has sufficient knowledge of a foreign language to study, attend classes, and complete required academic assignments.

However, there is an alternative way to improve your English for university entrance and free yourself from taking an additional exam.

The ILAC Academy has developed a special program to prepare students for higher education in Canada — University Pathway. Upon completion of this program, a student has a unique opportunity to enter a partner university or college without taking an additional language exam, as the University Pathway certificate counts as an indicator of appropriate language training.

In addition to this program, ILAC also trains its students in other popular areas of English, such as General English or English for Language Exam Preparation.

We are partners with ILAC and provide the best learning conditions for our clients. Sign up for English courses at ILAC and get the best knowledge.

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