Which is easier, the IELTS, TOEFL, or Duolingo?

Determining the difficulty of a test can vary from person to person, as it depends on individual perspectives.

The scores obtained in the Duolingo English Test accurately reflect the test taker’s command over the language. To gain a glimpse of your potential score, we offer a comprehensive practice test absolutely free of charge, which includes an estimate of your score.

For further guidance, we encourage you to explore our Official Guide for Test Takers. This invaluable resource elucidates the test’s structure and question types, providing sample questions along with their answers. Additionally, it offers invaluable insights into test-taking strategies, writing tips, and speaking tips.

What sets the Duolingo English Test apart is its inherent convenience and reduced stress levels, factors that resonate with numerous students. Discover why many individuals prefer this test format for its unique advantages:

Flexibility: Experience the convenience of taking the test from the cozy confines of your own home, using your personal computer. No more tiresome journeys to a distant test center are necessary.

Online Accessibility: Say goodbye to the hassle of scheduling appointments. Embrace the freedom of taking the test online at your own preferred time. No constraints, no limitations.

Time Efficiency: Save precious hours of your valuable time! Unlike other tests that consume over three long hours, completing this test will require less than an hour. It’s a swift and efficient way to showcase your language proficiency.

What’s more, the Duolingo English Test comes at an unbeatable price of just $49, making it exceptionally affordable compared to other language assessments. This is a mere fraction of the cost you would incur elsewhere.

Noteworthy to mention is its widespread recognition and acceptance by over 4,000 esteemed educational institutions across the globe. We strive to ensure that your testing experience is not only convenient and expedient but also light on your pocket.

Which is Easier, Complete Roadmap


Embarking on a thrilling voyage of learning a brand-new language unveils a realm brimming with boundless possibilities. Among the array of esteemed language proficiency assessments, the IELTS, TOEFL, and Duolingo have garnered substantial acclaim.

As language enthusiasts often find themselves contemplating which examination poses fewer challenges, this captivating discourse will plunge into the intricacies of these tests, delving into their frameworks, prerequisites, and levels of complexity.

By the conclusion, you will possess a crystal-clear comprehension of the test that aligns with your aspirations and the vital steps you can undertake to prepare for triumph.

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Grasping the Essence of the IELTS Examination

The IELTS examination, the abbreviation for the International English Language Testing System, stands tall as a universally acknowledged assessment of language proficiency. Its purpose lies in evaluating the English language aptitude of individuals whose mother tongue is not English.

Esteemed educational institutions, immigration authorities, and esteemed professional organizations worldwide accept this examination as a valid proof of language proficiency.

Structure and Components of the Examination

The IELTS examination comprises four distinctive segments: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Each section meticulously evaluates distinct facets of language competence and adheres to a unique structure.


Format: Four sections with a total of 40 questions.

Duration: Approximately 30 minutes, plus an additional 10 minutes to transfer answers.

Content: A range of audio recordings, including conversations and monologues.


Format: Three sections with a total of 40 questions.

Duration: 60 minutes.

Content: A variety of texts, such as newspaper articles, advertisements, and academic papers.


Format: Two tasks.

Duration: 60 minutes.

Content: Task 1 requires summarizing or describing visual information, while Task 2 involves writing an essay on a given topic.


Format: Face-to-face interview.

Duration: 11-14 minutes.

Content: Three parts, including an introduction, a short speech, and a discussion on a specific topic.

Unlocking the Difficulty Level of the IELTS Examination

Determining the complexity level of the IELTS exam is a deeply personal endeavor, as it hinges upon an individual’s linguistic prowess. Nevertheless, the IELTS test is widely acknowledged as an arduous undertaking owing to its exhaustive evaluation of all language proficiencies.

Amongst the various sections, the Writing and Speaking modules consistently emerge as formidable hurdles for exam takers, demanding unwavering fluency, impeccable coherence, and flawless communication.

Pearls of Wisdom for Conquering the IELTS Exam

To augment your prospects of triumphing over the IELTS exam, embrace the following invaluable pearls of wisdom:

Embark on an expedition through the exam format: Immerse yourself in comprehending the intricate structure and intricate prerequisites of each section, enabling you to adroitly manage your time throughout the examination.

Practice regularly: Engage in consistent practice sessions to improve your language skills and build confidence.

Develop a study plan: Create a study schedule that includes targeted practice for each section of the exam.

Seek professional guidance: Consider enrolling in IELTS preparation courses or working with an experienced language tutor.

Take practice tests: Simulate the exam environment by taking practice tests under timed conditions.

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language

Understanding the TOEFL Exam

The TOEFL examination, officially recognized as the Test of English as a Foreign Language, stands as an extensively acknowledged assessment of language proficiency aimed at individuals who speak English as a second language.

It is primarily used for admissions into English-speaking academic institutions.

Exam Structure and Components

The TOEFL exam comprises four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Similar to the IELTS, each section evaluates specific language skills.


Format: Three to four reading passages with a total of 30-40 questions.

Duration: 54-72 minutes.

Content: Academic texts from various disciplines.


Format: Lectures, conversations, and classroom discussions with a total of 34-51 questions.

Duration: 41-57 minutes.


Format: Six tasks, including expressing an opinion and summarizing information.

Duration: 17 minutes.


Format: Two tasks, including writing an essay and summarizing information from a reading and listening source.

Duration: 50 minutes.

Difficulty Level of the TOEFL Exam

Like the IELTS, the difficulty level of the TOEFL exam depends on individual language proficiency. The TOEFL is renowned for its academic focus, making it more suitable for individuals aiming to pursue higher education.

The Reading and Writing sections often pose challenges due to the need for in-depth comprehension and critical thinking skills.

Preparation Tips for the TOEFL Exam

Boost Your TOEFL Exam Success with These Effective Preparation Strategies

Understand the exam structure: Familiarize yourself with the format and requirements of each section.

Improve academic vocabulary: Enhance your understanding of academic language by studying and practicing specialized vocabulary.

Read academic texts: Engage in extensive reading of academic articles and publications to develop critical reading skills.

Practice note-taking: Develop efficient note-taking strategies to capture important information during lectures and conversations.

Take simulated tests: Practice under timed conditions to improve your speed and accuracy.

Duolingo English Test

Understanding the Duolingo English Test

The Duolingo English Test is a relatively new language proficiency test that assesses an individual’s English language skills. It is administered online and offers the convenience of taking the exam from home.

Exam Structure and Components

The Duolingo English Test consists of several question types to evaluate various language skills, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Reading: Multiple-choice questions that assess reading comprehension.

Writing: Short-answer and essay questions that require written responses.

Listening: Questions based on audio recordings to test listening comprehension.

Speaking: Recorded video responses to assess spoken English skills.

Difficulty Level of the Duolingo English Test

Compared to the IELTS and TOEFL, the Duolingo English Test is often considered less challenging. The adaptive nature of the test allows questions to adjust based on the test-taker’s skill level, providing a tailored experience.

However, this does not imply that the Duolingo test is necessarily easier for everyone, as individual abilities and familiarity with the test format play a crucial role.

Preparation Tips for the Duolingo English Test

To prepare effectively for the Duolingo English Test, consider the following tips:

Understand the question types: Familiarize yourself with the different question formats to know what to expect.

Practice time management: Learn to allocate appropriate time for each question to complete the test within the given time frame.

Enhance typing skills: Since the test is administered online, developing fast and accurate typing skills is beneficial.

Improve fluency: Engage in regular conversation practice to enhance your spoken English skills.

Utilize Duolingo resources: Take advantage of the Duolingo platform and its extensive learning resources to practice and gain confidence.


Q1: Which test is easier, the IELTS, TOEFL, or Duolingo?

A: The ease of these tests depends on individual strengths, weaknesses, and familiarity with the test formats. While the Duolingo English Test is often considered less challenging due to its adaptive nature, both the IELTS and TOEFL have their own difficulty levels, with certain sections posing more challenges.

Q2: Are these tests mandatory for everyone learning English?

A: No, these tests are not mandatory for everyone learning English. The requirement for these tests usually depends on specific circumstances, such as educational institutions, visa applications, or professional certifications. It is advisable to check the language requirements of the institution or organization you are targeting.

Q3: Can I take multiple tests to improve my chances?

A: Yes, you can take multiple tests to improve your chances. However, it is important to note that each test has its own purpose and is accepted by different institutions. It is recommended to research and understand the requirements of your intended institution or organization before deciding which test(s) to take.

Q4: How long does it take to prepare for these tests?

A: The duration of test preparation varies depending on individual language proficiency and familiarity with the test format. It is advisable to start preparing well in advance, allowing several weeks or months for comprehensive preparation.

Q5: Are there any online resources available for test preparation?

A: Yes, there are numerous online resources available for test preparation. Websites like Khan Academy, official test websites, and online language learning platforms offer practice materials, sample questions, and study guides to help you prepare effectively.

Q6: Can I retake these tests if I am not satisfied with my scores?

A: Yes, you can retake these tests if you are not satisfied with your scores. However, each test has its own policy regarding test retakes. It is essential to review the specific guidelines and policies of the test you wish to retake.


In conclusion, determining which language proficiency test is easier, the IELTS, TOEFL, or Duolingo, depends on various factors such as individual strengths, weaknesses, and familiarity with the test formats.

While the IELTS and TOEFL are established exams with comprehensive evaluations, the Duolingo English Test offers a more adaptive and flexible experience.

It is crucial to assess your specific requirements and target institutions before choosing the test(s) that align with your goals.

Remember, thorough preparation, consistent practice, and familiarity with the test format are the keys to success. So, start your journey toward language proficiency today and unlock a world of opportunities.

Chinese (Simplified)
Myanmar (Burmese)
Optimized by Optimole