Visa Crunch

Ireland Permanently Offers Duolingo’s English Test For Student Visas

The English Test from Duolingo has been made available permanently as a current minimum English language standard for Irish study visas.

It comes 18 months after the exam for the language learning software was placed on the list as a temporary precaution. A minimum score of 55 is required for a second level and foundation level or preparatory English course, while a minimum score of 75 is required for all other courses. “We’re thrilled Ireland is recognising the Duolingo English Test at parity with other tests,” Duolingo Research Communications Specialist, Sophie Wodzak said.

The move was largely influenced by the widespread adoption of online testing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Traditional English language examinations approved in Ireland comprise of IELTS and TOEFL, among others, however, student demands have altered as a result of the epidemic.

“There are already over 3,500 programs that accept the Duolingo English Test – that number continues to increase because more and more universities, countries, and companies are finding that accessibility is critical for achieving their goals, but don’t want to sacrifice security or test validity,” Wodzak said.

“Already, test takers come from more than 12,000 cities across the world. We use computer adaptive testing to allow test takers to get a valid and reliable English proficiency score from home in under an hour,” said Wodzak.

“Whenever the Duolingo English Test can be used to access immigration or higher education pathways, we view it as an extension of our mission of lowering barriers. “The Duolingo English Test is being used by higher education institutions in issuing student visas across the world. IELTS can be a barrier to both students and migration visa applicants, so we’re actively working with governments and the higher education sector to lower those barriers,” Wodzak added.

The University of Limerick, on the other hand, decided not only to accept the test but also to push for its continued inclusion on the list. “We looked at how the students were doing in the last academic year and they did really well,” Page said.

Duolingo is a free online English language exam. Many IELTS and TOEFL test centres have been unable to conduct tests since the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, Duolingo grew in popularity. It takes only 1 hour to complete, and the results are accessible in 2 days. Duolingo is the most popular language-learning programme in the world, with over 500 million downloads.

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