Cheating Uncovered in Duolingo App’s Leaderboard – How it’s Affecting the Learning Game

Cheating in Learning Contexts: A Reality in Duolingo App

Yes, cheating even exists in learning contexts where competition is not the key word! This is happening right now on the “Duolingo” app. Let’s do a quick refresher on the hit app. The application is extremely popular, counts 500 millions of followers and qualifies itself as “the most downloaded educational app in the world”. At its core, it is a “game” involving exercises in word association, listening, speaking, and writing. Duolingo offers more than forty languages ​​and the version Basic is free, although there is a paid tier that offers additional benefits.

In all this, there are even “leagues”, a form of competition ranging from bronze to diamond in which players are ranked according to the number of drills completed in the week. A fairly classic method of retention, but which can also be very effective in pushing players to learn. However, people at the very top of the leaderboard seem to display a score impossible to reach even playing all day without stopping, the survey tells us. This is where the suspicions of cheating began.

An endless race

The competition on Duolingo app is never-ending, players are always striving to get to the top of the leaderboard, no matter how difficult the climb is. With this never-ending race, there are bound to be some who take shortcuts and cheat their way to the top.

Suspicions of cheating

As more and more players started analyzing the behavior of some users at the top of the leaderboard, they realized that there was something fishy going on. The scores displayed by these users were way too high to be achieved even if someone played all day non-stop.

The Cheat Methods

Players found out that there were several ways one could cheat on Duolingo. Some users seemed to be using bots to complete their tests, while others were using cheat codes and scripts to get through the exercises faster. Some went to the extent of paying for services that promised to complete exercises on their behalf and increase their leaderboard ranking.

Duolingo’s Actions

Duolingo is aware of the issue and has taken several measures to tackle cheating on its app. It has ramped up its security measures and started blocking bots and scripts that were being used to cheat. It has also enforced stricter rules and guidelines for users to ensure fair play.

The Impact of Cheating

Cheating on Duolingo not only affects the competition aspect of the app but also undermines the very purpose of the app, which is to learn a language. The users who cheat may get to the top of the leaderboard, but they are not really learning anything. This puts them at a disadvantage in the long run as they may not be able to apply the language skills they “learned” effectively in real-life situations.


Cheating in learning contexts like Duolingo is a harsh reality. With the increasing popularity of these apps, it is important to ensure that fair play is maintained. This not only ensures that users learn effectively but also establishes the reputation of the app as a genuine and trustworthy platform for learning. Duolingo’s actions to tackle cheating are commendable, and users should strive to learn the language genuinely instead of resorting to shortcuts and tricks.

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