According to last week’s SEC filings, revenue for the Duolingo English Test in Q1 2022 was $8,080,000.  That’s almost exactly the same as Q4 2021.  It is up about three million dollars from Q1 of 2021.

At $49 a pop, we might extrapolate that the test was taken 165,000 times in the quarter. The actual number is probably a little bit higher than that due to discounts and free tests.

Here are the historic revenues:

Q1 2022 – 8,080,000

Q4 2021 – 8,095,000
Q3 2021 – 6,695,000
Q2 2021 – 4,833,000
Q1 2021 – 5,035,000

Q4 2020 – 4,197,000
Q3 2020 – 5,607,000
Q2 2020 – 4,598,000
Q1 2020 – 753,000

There are new reading question types on the Duolingo English Test the starting today! 

These are called “Interactive Reading Questions.”

When you take the test, you’ll now get two short reading passages with six questions each.  One passage will be a narrative style reading (it will tell a story), and the other will be expository (like a short academic article).  You will have seven or eight minutes to complete all of the questions for a given passage.  Interestingly, you may not get to see the whole passage at first.  Instead, parts of it will be revealed at you move through the questions.

Question types are:

  • complete the sentence (pick best words to finish a sentence in the reading)
  • complete the passage (pick the best sentence to finish the reading)
  • highlight the answer (locate the answer to a given question and highlight it within the passage)
  • identify the main idea of the passage
  • select a title for the passage.

These questions are all showing up now in the free practice test provided by Duolingo, so you can check out examples if you like.  I’ll take the practice test a few more times and update this post if necessary.

The test will still be one hour in total. To make room for this new content, fewer instances of the existing question types will be included.  Note that no question types have been removed.  You’ll just get fewer of each.

Update: DET has a YouTube video that describes the questions.

The folks at Duolingo are “working with partners including UNHCR and Ukraine Global Scholars to expand its Access Program and provide fee waivers so Ukrainian students can take an English proficiency test required for their university applications.”

This is the sort of thing I’ve lobbied my contacts in Big Test to provide in times of crisis – most recently when the government in Afghanistan fell. I’ve come close to convincing them to implement such a program, but have always hit a bureaucratic brick wall in the end. I’m glad to see that Duolingo appears more open to the possibility than other testing firms.

When a single step in the process of becoming an international student is missed (say, a standardized test) sometimes the whole process must be repeated from the beginning. That can take a whole year, or more. Testing organizations must be more nimble and step up to provide more support when needed.

According to last week’s earnings call, revenue for the Duolingo English Test in Q4 2021 was $8,095,000. At $49 a pop, we might extrapolate that the test was taken 165,000 times in October/November/December of 2021. The actual number is probably a bit higher than that due to discounts and freebies.

This is up from a revenue of $6,695,000 in Q3 2020, and $4,197,000 in Q4 of 2020.

Here are the historic revenues:

Q4 2021 – 8,095,000
Q3 2021 – 6,695,000
Q2 2021 – 4,833,000
Q1 2021 – 5,035,000

Q4 2020 – 4,197,000
Q3 2020 – 5,607,000
Q2 2020 – 4,598,000
Q1 2020 – 753,000

According to yesterday’s earnings call, revenue for the Duolingo English Test in Q3 2021 was $6,695,000. At $49 a pop, we might extrapolate that the test was taken 136,000 times in July/Aug/Sept. The actual number is probably a bit higher than that due to discounts and freebies.

This is up from $5,607,000 in Q3 2020.

Here are the historic revenues:

Q3 2021 – 6,695,000  
Q2 2021 – 4,833,000
Q1 2021 – 5,035,000

Q4 2020 – 4,197,000
Q3 2020 – 5,607,000
Q2 2020 – 4,598,000
Q1 2020 – 753,000

Update:  I found Q4 2020 numbers!

The third quarter earnings call for Duolingo will stream live tomorrow (November 10). I won’t watch the livestream since I’m not a shareholder (too poor) but I imagine it will include the latest registration numbers for the Duolingo English Test.

In case you are wondering, there were 340,000 registrations for the DET in 2020. There were slightly less during the 12 months ending in June of 2021.

In comparison, the TOEFL iBT Home Edition was taken about 500,000 times between March 2020 and some undisclosed time in the recent past (according to a recent webinar for stakeholders).

The Duolingo English Test is experimenting with some new question types.  These types are not used on the test right now.  They might be added to the test later, or they might never be added to the test.  Currently, students are being exposed to them in unscored situations.

They look like this.

  1. You are given a short paragraph about some subject.  It might be about five sentences long. You are then asked what question can be answered by paragraph and are given four options.  You can read the paragraph while picking your answer.

    For instance, the paragraph might be a story about how Michael got a low score in math class, and then studied hard to pass the final exam and improve his score. The correct choice might be: “Why did Michael want to improve his math score?”

  2. You get a short paragraph and are asked to pick the best title for the paragraph. You are given four choice. For instance the paragraph might be the same as above, and the title could be “Michael Tries to Impress his Family.”

Let me know if you see these in operation.

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