2022 was an exciting year in testing, as policy shifts and security issues made headlines—and Duolingo continued to lead the pack in testing innovation and access. Just like our learning app uses technology and data to make language learning fun, the Duolingo English Test harnesses technology to make language testing more efficient and effective—and far easier to access.
How exactly did we do that in 2022? Let’s review!
We expanded access to testing worldwide
As our CEO Luis von Ahn explained, ensuring equal access to testing is a huge step towards leveling the playing field in international education. Creating an affordable, accessible test removes a major barrier to accessing higher education—which is good news for everyone.
We’re seeing more people taking the Duolingo English Test in more places, suggesting continued demand for study abroad, and for convenient, reliable, and secure English testing. Most recently, students in Vietnam turned to the DET when test centers closed en mass in November; in Indonesia, we supported thousands applying to the IISMA program to pursue their dreams of studying abroad. In China, we were available to test takers through continued periods of lockdown, and saw test takers nearly double year over year.
But it’s actually India that takes the top spot for most DET test takers, the majority applying to graduate programs in more than 76 countries to study business, computer science and math, and engineering, among others! Worldwide, test takers certified their English from more than 213 countries and regions and over 20,000 cities.
Those test takers have plenty of options for studying internationally. The Duolingo English Test is now accepted by more than 4,000 academic programs in over 100 countries, including some of the most well-known and prestigious universities in the world, like Australian National University, Imperial College London, New York University, and University of Toronto. In the U.S., this includes all of the top 25 highest-enrolling universities for international students. In Ireland, over eighty higher education programs now accept the DET as an official English proficiency standard for Irish study visas.
We doubled down on our mission
We’ve continued to work with experts to prioritize accessibility via our test design and administration, and we’ve strengthened our commitment to making tests available to those most in need—from disadvantaged students, to refugee scholars.
In 2022 the Irish government began accepting the DET as proof of proficiency for displaced Ukrainian students wishing to continue education in Ireland in the 2022-23 school year, and we donated 3,500 tests as part of the partnership.
As part of our mission to break down barriers to higher education, this year we partnered with UNHCR to help support 25 highly-qualified refugee students through the application and admission process—many of whom have already been accepted to world-class universities!
We improved the TTX, or Test Taker Experience
The scientists and engineers on our research team push the boundaries of test development, using cutting edge AI to add new item types and refine test administration. By using AI and ML methods and technology, we’re able to prioritize validity and efficiency.
And, because we know that taking the DET online is a little different from legacy tests, we continue to expand our free test readiness library. Traditional test prep can be costly and prohibitive, but we are leveraging widely-loved free platforms like YouTube to provide test takers with the tools they need to succeed.
And we’re just getting started!
Prioritizing the test taker experience is a welcome change from the status quo, and something students clearly prefer, even as testing centers are opening back up—as evidenced by our steady increase in test takers year over year. But as we like to say at Duolingo, we haven't won yet! We’re more committed to our mission than ever, and we’re ready to hit the ground running in 2023.