2023 Language Assessments India: Data & Highlights by Duolingo English Test

2023 Language Assessments India: Data & Highlights by Duolingo English Test

2023 was another busy year for the Duolingo English Test, as it continued to harness the latest tech to deliver the most modern, convenient testing experience to people around the world!

Supported test takers worldwide
Year after year, the Duolingo English Test is witnessing more people taking it in more places, suggesting continued demand for convenient, reliable, and secure English testing that people can actually afford. Last year test takers certified their English in over 225 countries and regions around the world. 2023 was the first year of full reopening in China, where the DET served test takers in over 950 cities and counties!

But for the second year in a row, India saw the highest volume of test takers, most of whom plan to pursue graduate degrees, with business, computer science and math, and engineering among the most popular subjects. In 2023, students in India applied to programs in over 83 countries, up 9% from last year.

Demand is high for international study, and test takers have plenty of options—the DET is now accepted by more than 4,900 academic programs, including the top 25 highest-enrolling universities for international students in the US!

Anika, a DET test taker

The DET led innovation in testing
The Duolingo English Test has been using AI from the start to make it do everything a traditional in-person, paper-based test can do, but in half the time, and less than half the cost. In 2023, it upped its game, gaining exclusive early access to GPT-4, and introducing their latest, interactive test item, which simulates a real-time conversation with one of the Duolingo characters!

The DET’s newest interactive test item puts you in conversation with the Duolingo characters

The DET wants tests to be better for everyone, and eager to see the testing industry as a whole strive to further improve access and experience while maintaining a high standard. Last year the team of assessment scientists and engineers published groundbreaking work on everything from score concordance to ensuring fairness of human and AI-generated test items to evaluating complex sources of measurement bias, to name a few!

The DET used AI for good
At Duolingo, making sure the products are delightful is a priority, But it’s about more than a delightful experience — by using AI to optimize the test for access, the DET is disrupting a decades old testing system that is inaccessible for millions of people.

As it leads the way in AI-driven test development, the DET is also helping to develop industry best practices for working in this rapidly-developing area. In 2023, it used AI in countless ways to improve the test taker experience, including making the free practice test available on mobile, and fine tuning its scoring algorithm to more accurately predict scores. At the same time, the DET published the first Responsible AI standards for Assessment, with the hope that it will serve as best practices for ensuring accountability, transparency, fairness, privacy, and security in testing.

The DET’s free practice test, now available on mobile!

The DET stayed true to its mission
In line with the commitment to improving access to quality education for all, the DET proudly endorsed the UNHCR’s 15by30 pledge at their Global Refugee Forum in December. This ambitious goal seeks to increase refugee enrollment in higher education to 15% by 2030—currently it stands at only 7%. This commitment comes at a time when only 7% of refugees worldwide are able to access higher education.

To help realize this goal, the DET partnered with the UNHCR to launch the Duolingo University Access Program, which aims to create improved pathways to higher education for refugee students by offering one-on-one guidance and assistance with the university and financial aid application processes, as well as immigration and visa processes. It recently selected a second cohort of refugee students for this program, who have already begun the process of exploring their best-fit university pathways for Fall 2024 enrollment!

Jessy, a DET test taker and Duolingo University Access Scholar

The DET also partnered with Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB), a non-profit organization that helps refugees find jobs and immigrate to other countries. It aims to help place 15,000 doctors, engineers, and other skilled refugees over the next five years, and the DET has committed to providing free Duolingo English Tests for every one of them.

Onward and upward!
As the year concluded, the DET reflected on their journey, recognizing that there are ample opportunities ahead to continue improving access, enhancing the testing experience, and making a positive impact on education worldwide. Together, the DET anticipates shaping a future where quality education knows no boundaries, and every individual has the chance to achieve their dreams!