Monthly insights specific to TOEFL® test day.

All About Accents

Jul 25, 2017

The Speaking section of the TOEFL® test is a great opportunity for students to shine and showcase their speaking skills. However, some students may worry about their accent, or the accents they will hear in the test material.

Here are 4 important things to remember while you prepare for the speaking section of the TOEFL® test.

  1. Everyone has an accent! Even native English speakers have different accents. No two test takers from around the world will sound the same.
  2. The test and test prep materials include many different examples of native English accents that you may hear while studying abroad. Listening to these accents while you study may help you become familiar with the way words sound in different parts of the world.
  3. Work on speaking with clear pronunciation, proper sentence structure and organized thoughts. If you practice these 3 important skills, it will be easier for the TOEFL® rater to understand your responses. Raters are trained to score responses from all over the world, so your accent, in itself, should not affect your score.
  4. Speak naturally. Forcing yourself to speak in an accent you are uncomfortable with will not help your score. A well-paced, intelligent response with a few mistakes is more important than having a perfect accent.

Learn more about how the Speaking section of the TOEFL® test is evaluated by taking a look at our Scoring Guide, which can be used as a guide while you practice.