What programs should I close before taking the Duolingo English Test?

When you're ready to take the test, your test session should be the only thing running on your computer. Before you start the test, close all programs, including:

  • browsers (Chrome, Firefox, etc.)
  • telecommunication software (Skype, Discord, etc.)
  • remote desktop software (TeamViewer, AnyDesk, etc.)
  • spelling or grammar checkers (Grammarly, etc.)
  • messaging apps (WhatsApp, Slack, WeChat, etc.)

Do not use a virtual machine, which is software that allows one computer to operate as several computers.

You can double check that there aren’t any programs running in the background without you knowing. 

For Mac users: Do this by right-clicking on the application icons and selecting the "quit" option.

For Windows users: Do this by quitting all programs, then going to the system tray/notification area and closing every program that is visible.

In addition to closing all programs, it is a good idea before the test to completely uninstall any application that can do any of these things:

  • Make video or voice calls
  • Send messages
  • Share or record your screen
  • Provide remote access to your computer
  • Check your spelling or grammar
  • Access your webcam
  • Provide predictive text input or word suggestions

After you have taken the test, you can re-install these applications as needed.

Finally, ensure no processes for any of the programs listed above are running in the background. You can do this by checking the Processes section in Task Manager.

Watch this video for more information about closing external programs before taking the test. In addition, the video below walks through closing background programs in the Windows system tray/notification area.

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