I took Duolingo’s standardized language test of the future on my phone


Standardized tests are part of the educational process, but their primary purpose is not educational: Most tests are designed to give a score at the end, a credential which presumably indicates the test taker has a certain level of knowledge. While massive open online courses (MOOCs) and other internet-based tools have focused on providing quality instruction cheaply through the internet, there haven’t been many efforts focused on using the same tools to provide useful certifications.

In July, Duolingo, best known for its translation and language learning app, released Test Center. It’s an Android and web app that lets users take a proctored exam and provides a statistically validated score, which hopefully will eventually be accepted by schools and institutions. So far, it’s been a success: the Android app has been downloaded 157,000 times and 9,000 tests have been completed and scored.

The tests are currently free, but eventually, they’ll cost $20. “We…

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