Last Updated: May 22, 2022
Duolingo vs IELTS: Which is Better?
Duolingo and IELTS are English language proficiency tests that are conducted at an international level for candidates who wish to study or work abroad in an English-speaking country. Out of these two proficiency tests, IELTS has been internationally recognized and is one of the most popular tests conducted around the world. Duolingo, on the other hand, is a more recent platform that made taking the test easier by making it an online test.
While IELTS is accepted at all workplaces and educational institutions worldwide, Duolingo has only been gaining popularity around the world. But there is an exponential increase in the number of universities that accept Duolingo scores from candidates making it an easier option for candidates who wish to apply to foreign universities. Most of the language proficiency tests assess candidates based on skills like reading, listening, speaking, and writing but how these skills are assessed are different. The formats, syllabus, and pattern in which the examinations are conducted can be especially different when comparing exams like Duolingo and IELTS because Duolingo is only conducted online at home spaces whereas IELTS is conducted online in exam centers.
Making the Choice- Duolingo or IELTS
Candidates who have to take a language proficiency test will have to deeply contemplate and weigh their options before they choose between Duolingo and IELTS. While the Duolingo score is accepted at universities and most workspaces, this has to be personally verified by the candidate since this might not be the case at most times. And at the same time, while IELTS is accepted worldwide, it is not one of the most affordable options one can have among language proficiency tests.
The difficulty level of examinations can also vary based on the strengths of the candidate and their weaknesses. This is one of the subjective elements one will have to analyze before applying for the exam if both these examinations are accepted for the intended purpose. At the end of the day, students will have to prioritize between the choice of the universities they wish to apply to, the affordability of the exam, and the format and syllabus of the examination. They will have to choose the option that is best for them, without blindly following the most popular trend among their peers.
Applicability of Duolingo and IELTS
Candidates will be able to apply for the Duolingo English Test and the IELTS by registering at their official website and paying the required fee. The main reasons that make one choose between the two examinations include the reason for which one is applying for the test and the availability of exam centers for the test. While universities might accept the Duolingo English Test more commonly than before, it is still not one of the popular language proficiency tests when it comes to visa requirements. So candidates will often have to cross-check the recommended language proficiency test for the visa application before they choose an examination. The other factors include-
- University Requirement- One of the most important factors that candidates will have to look for while choosing a language proficiency test is the language eligibility requirement listed by the universities to which they are applying. Universities often provide a list of language proficiency scores they will accept for the next academic session along with the scores that one will require and candidates will have to choose accordingly. Most often, universities will accept both IELTS and Duolingo. In such cases, they will be able to look at other factors before applying for an examination.
- Exam Center Availability- For exams like IELTS, candidates will have to check for the availability of exam centers near them if they wish to take the test. While applying for the IELTS examination, one will have to specify the location in which they can take the test and they will be provided with a list of test centers they can take the test. Duolingo, on the other hand, has a completely home-based system that allows candidates to take the examination in the comfort of their homes without having to find and travel to a test center on the date of the test.
Similarities Between Duolingo and IELTS
The similarities between Duolingo and IELTS include-
- Both the exams assess language skills like reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
- IELTS and Duolingo are standardized examinations with scores having the same value throughout the world. The scores also have their equivalents to other language proficiency tests making it easier for educational institutions and workspaces to analyze the skills of candidates.
Differences Between Duolingo and IELTS
There are plenty of differences between Duolingo and IELTS. These include-
|Has 2 sections- Graded and Ungraded||Has 4 sections- Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening|
|Questions for all skills are mixed and graded together||Questions are split into different sections based on the skill assessed|
|Has a Time Duration of 60 minutes||Has a Time Duration of 2 hours and 45 minutes|
- Test Fee- When compared to IELTS, Duolingo is a way more affordable option for students. The fee for the Duolingo English Test is $49 whereas that for IELTS is between $245 and $255.
- Test Location- The IELTS examination is conducted online or in a paper-based format in test centers and candidates will have to choose an ideal test center for them while applying for the examination. Duolingo on the other hand is a home-based test that allows all candidates to take the test from their homes as long as they have the necessary devices.
- Exam Date- The IELTS examination is conducted only 48 times in the paper-based format and 5 times a week in the computer-based format. Candidates will have to choose a time that is convenient for them to go to the test center if they wish to take the test. Duolingo, on the other hand, can be taken as soon as one registers online for the examination and pays the necessary fee for the same.
Score Conversion from Duolingo to IELTS
The scores for Duolingo and IELTS are calculated differently with Duolingo opting for the marks a candidate receives and IELTS providing a band score that depicts the range within which the candidate scored for the test. The scores for both the examinations can be compared if one has the following conversion table.