A couple of years ago I recommended that all of my teacher friends invest in the Duolingo IPO, as I thought the company’s little-known English test would hit the mainstream in four or five years.  Sadly, the cat is out of the bag on that front, and I am not sure the company is a great buy.  

Anyway, there are a few fun details about the Duolingo English Test to be found in their IPO documents, filed with the SEC just a few days ago.  Here’s what caught my eye:

  • In 2020, the test was taken about 344,000 times for about 15 million dollars in revenue. 
  • In 2020, 10% of the company’s revenue came from the test.  That reached 11 for the beginning of 2021.
  • The company hopes to extend the test to the immigration and workforce testing sectors.
  • Duolingo, as a company, lost 15.8 million dollars in 2020.  I can only imagine how frustrated ETS feels having to compete with a company that doesn’t really need to make money.
  • Duolingo expects schools to continue accepting the test after the pandemic ends.

Last week I took the Duolingo English Test.  I’ve been a big supporter of this test for the past couple of years, but I’ve been shocked at how quickly schools around the USA have embraced it.  The test seems to have certain strengths and weaknesses, but I’m not a linguist or an assessments expert. I don’t know how valid it really is.

My full report on the test is contained in this video.  It describes the six different question types, and provides a few basic strategies, particularly for the extended writing and speaking prompts.

 

Meanwhile, my final score on the test was 150 points (out of sixty).  My Duolingo score report certificate is as follows.

Duolingo English Test Score Certificate