Community Web Version Now Available
How important is having a native accent in international exams such as IELTS?

I mean, is it possible to get a high score without having a native accent? Does it depend on the examiner?

Mar 2, 2015 6:26 AM
Comments · 7


Your sentence is understandable, but these would be smoother in my opinion:

Your answers are exactly what I hoped to hear!

Your answers are exactly what I wanted to hear!

This is exactly what I wanted to hear.

March 10, 2015

Nobody is expecting you to sound like a native speaker.


What matters is that you are clear and understandable. You are marked according to the content of what you say, but you may be marked down if the examiner has trouble understanding you. Clarity is the most important factor.


And, no, it does not depend on the examiner. All examiners use the same set of standard criteria for assessing spoken English.

March 2, 2015

@Peyman, the IELTS exam is accepted by immigration authorities and universities all around the world because accent is not tested. The most important thing is to be understood. Your accent might make your English less understandable, and you might want to take "accent minimisation" classes with a private teacher, but this only means you can be understood. Millions of people every year pass the IELTS without a native sounding accent. Work on good pronunciation, and don't worry so much about accent.

March 2, 2015

I am afraid to say that accent in IELTs test is not included into the criteria of grading, recognizable intonation is necessary in terms of pronunciation though.

March 2, 2015

Yes, you can surely get a high score even without having a native accent. Accent carries our identity. As long as the examiner understands you, you are fluent and you use relevant vocabulary, you won the game. What's more important are expressions such as 'sort of, basically, really, I reckon, I think…" that make the conversation very native-like. Once you master these without thinking you'll sound very natural and in control. Good luck! 

March 2, 2015
Show More
Language Skills
English, Persian (Farsi), Spanish, Turkish
Learning Language