Duolingo vs PTE: Difference and Comparison

Over the years, foreign education has become a dominant trend in many countries. However, every student or worker needs to show minimum English language competency before moving to countries of English origin.

Duolingo and PTE are two popular English language tests that are chosen to prove this competency. While Duolingo and PTE may seem similar, they have comparable differences. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Duolingo is a free language-learning app that teaches a language’s basics. At the same time, PTE is an English language proficiency exam that measures one’s ability to use English in an academic setting.
  2. Duolingo can be used by anyone who wants to learn a language, while PTE is mainly used by non-native speakers who want to study or work in English-speaking countries.
  3. Various language-learning resources and test preparation materials are available for Duolingo and PTE, respectively.

Duolingo vs PTE

Duolingo is a language learning platform that focuses on teaching basic vocabulary and grammar through gamification. It allows users to learn at their own pace. PTE is a standardized language proficiency exam used to assess English language skills for academic or professional purposes.

Duolingo vs PTE

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Duolingo is an English Language test available for international students and institutions.

The features offered by Duolingo include an English proficiency score, video interview, and writing samples along with a safe testing experience.

The duration of the test is one hour. The scores for the test are available after 48 hours.

PTE is a language test dedicated to determining the English proficiency of non-native speakers. PTE has three sections, namely Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.

Universities such as George Mason University, University of Oxford, and Aston University accept the PTE scores for admissions to their undergraduate and graduate programs.

The approximate duration of PTE is 2 hours 15 minutes. The main purpose of the test is to assess the test taker’s proficiency in English.  

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDuolingo PTE 
Cost Duolingo is less expensive than PTE.PTE is far more expensive than Duolingo.
Test Administration Duolingo exams are conducted online. PTE exams are conducted in a physical setting, the test center. 
Registration Prospective test-takers can register on the Duolingo website. Prospective test takers can register on the PTE website to book a test.
Validity Duolingo is acceptable to more than 3000 countries across the globe. PTE is accepted in countries like Canada, New Zealand, the USA, Germany, China, and Australia. 
Highest Score The highest score on the Duolingo test is 155-160. The highest score in PTE is 89-90. 

What is Duolingo?

Duolingo refers to a test of English language proficiency. It has a practical application in English-medium settings.

The main purpose of Duolingo is to assess the level of literacy, conversation, comprehension, and production of the test taker.

Duolingo is an accessible test because it is delivered online. The results of Duolingo lay the basis of admissions for many post-secondary programs. 

The test needs to be taken in a quiet environment either on a laptop or a desktop computer. A stable internet connection with a front-facing camera, audio, and speakers is a prerequisite to access the Duolingo test.

Demographically, the Duolingo test is administered by approximately 50% of males and 49% of females. The most frequent test takers are people of Chinese origin. 

There are several rules of test administration.

Some of the prohibited actions during the Duolingo test include leaving the camera preview, speaking unless instructed, looking away from the screen, communicating with another individual at any point, writing or reading notes, disabling the microphone or camera, using a phone or other device, covering ears, and leaving the web browser. 

The dominant reason behind taking the Duolingo test is for undergraduate studies, followed by postgraduate studies.

The most immediate benefit of Duolingo is that it is an accessible test at a budget-friendly price.

In addition, test takers can send Duolingo test scores to unlimited colleges and universities without any extra charges. To conclude, Duolingo is one of the most convenient tests available to prospective students.  


What is PTE?

PTE stands for Pearson Test of English. The test is dedicated to accessing and validating the English language usage, particularly of speakers whose first language is not English.

Test takers prefer PTE due to its relative ease and quick results, within 5 business days. Additionally, test takers have the option to schedule tests even 24 hours in advance. 

The PTE speaking and writing modules last for 77-93 minutes and consist of a personal introduction, reading aloud, describing the image, retelling structure, summaries of written text, and short essays.

The PTE reading module is approximately 32-41 minutes and consists of reading and writing, answering multiple-choice questions, reordering paragraphs, and re-ordering passages. 

The PTE listening module has a duration of 45-57 minutes and consists of summarizing spoken text, multiple-choice questions, filling in the blanks, highlighting the correct summary, selecting a missing word, highlighting incorrect words, writing from dictation, and choosing multiple answers.

Several countries and educational institutions approve of PTE. 

PTE test is offered in 18 locations across India and 50 countries. The PTE test measures real-life language. However, the test may be slightly on the expensive side and therefore, unaffordable for many.

In addition, the speaking test may give a low score precisely because the result is generated by a computer. PTE listening may be difficult to decipher. To conclude, the PTE test has its respective features to offer.  

Main Differences Between Duolingo and PTE 

  1. Duolingo consists of four sections: Reading, Speaking, Listening, and Writing. On the other hand, PTE consists of three sections: Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.
  2. Duolingo test is easier as compared to PTE. 
  3. Duolingo is a more convenient test as compared to PTE because it is administered online. 
  4. A Duolingo score of 135-140 is considered very good. On the other hand, a PTE score of 83-85 is considered very good. 
  5. Some universities accepting Duolingo are Arizona State University, Middlesex University, and the University of Alberta. On the other hand, some universities accepting PTE are Dalhousie University, University of Bath, and Pace University. 
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearson_Language_Tests 
  2. https://duolingo.fandom.com/wiki/Duolingo_English_Test 

Last Updated : 14 July, 2023

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