Which other Language tests/certificates are recognized other than IELTS and TOEFL, especially if one wants to study a Masters in European countries like Italy ?

IELTS and TOEFL may not be affordable for many people from poor countries.

I heard from a friend that a test Duolingo is also recognized by many universities in world.

  • this seems to change from country too country and may change also from university to university. May 23, 2023 at 0:00

2 Answers 2


Unlike Duolingo, the Pearson Test of English (PTE) seems to have gained traction. However, this is not standard.

Most universities would list alternatives to test/proof of English they accept. Check on each universities or school or course page.

In Italy, the university can use its discretion in issuing the LoA (letter of acceptance) which is required for visa purposes.
By the way, you may need more of Italian than English. The following, among others, might become relevant: DITALS, CELI, CILS, DELI, DILI, DALU, PLIDA, CEDILS ...

Note that IELTS itself has a list of 'alternatives': Comparing IELTS to other tests

If you don't want to write an English test, you may consider 'evaluating' your English proficiency based on your previous UG degree. ECCTIS (formerly NARIC) offers the Visas and Nationality services for this.

Just to add for completeness, the various test bodies test/evaluate against the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Duolingo was well received during the COVID period. Whether it's still regarded, I do not know.

For the category of persons in questions, seeking university admissions overseas, in my view, IELTS and TOEFL, I don't think they are not affordable. Pegging validity at 2 yrs might be the concern. Perhaps, making the results valid for at least 5 yrs.


For what concerns Italy, each university has its own requirements, which are usually described in the university website and may also change from year to year.

For instance, the requirements for my university are listed in this page, showing the accepted certificates.

You may look at other universities, but I'd be rather surprised to find a university accepting Duolingo, at least in Italy.

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