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Is it better to have a British or American accent for the IELTS?


 I get lots of students asking me about accents in the IELTS exam and they worry about what accent the examiner would prefer. Remember that this is a global English exam and your examiner may be from any English-speaking Country. Here is my guide on this subject. 


 It is a common belief that having a British accent is somewhat ‘better’ and going to improve your IELTS band score. This is not true. IELTS is administered by Cambridge English Language Assessment, the British Council and the IDP. The British Council is British and the IDP is Australian. The International English Language Test (IELTS), tests international English and therefore not just British English. 


You may hear a range of accents during the test such as American, Australian, British, Scottish, Irish, New Zealand and North American English. Neither one of these accents is ‘better’ or worth a higher band score than the other and simply put it is your choice which accent you would prefer to have. 



Can I mix American and British English in the IELTS?

 Yes, as a native British speaker I do this in my daily life and so do many other native speakers. I sometimes use the American pronunciation of Advertisement. The examiner will not give you a lower band score if you mix the accents, that said, try to be consistent as this will be less confusing for the examiner. We wouldn’t want to hear Irish, Australian and American and British accents all in the 15-minute exam because this could get confusing and not sound natural. Just for a bit of fun, I have made a recording of what that could sound like. Have a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below.

About me… Hello, my name is Victoria, an IELTS instructor at EasyEnglish and an English teacher for 8 years. This site is where I share my IELTS exam strategies to help people get the band score that they need. I hope it helps you!

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