Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

TOEFL/ IELTS...British bias?

mzc86mzc86 Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
edited December 2010 in International Students
Hey guys,

I recently had to take the IELTS to certify that I had attained a certain level of English in order to get my master's degree at a French university.

Anyway, I got my results last week: 7.5 / 9 (9 reading, 7.5 listening, 7 speaking, 7 writing).

The score that I got is more than enough to get my degree, but I am shocked at how low it is- especially for the speaking and writing sections- considering that I spent half my childhood in the US and that I did all my schooling in English!

I have previously taken:

- TOEFL and got a 117/120 with perfect reading and writing scores
- SAT and got 710/800 for the verbal part (top 5%)
- SAT II with a 720/ 800 for the writing section
- International Baccalaureate English Higher Level exam and scored a 6/7

Isn't it a bit odd that I scored so low on a test that is supposed to be a piece of cake compared to the SAT or IB? Granted, I didn't prepare for this test, but I didn't study for the TOEFL either and still got a much higher score. I wasn't sick or tired the day of the test, nor did I leave the room under the impression that I had done badly.

The only reasons for scoring so low that I can think of are:

- This test needed preparation in the sense that a specific structure was expected for the essay, speaking part, etc...They do, after all, make millions selling prep material.

- There's some sort of British bias to this exam because of accent, spelling, etc. I learned English in the Midwest, and thus my accent and spelling are American. I find it odd that I scored a perfect score (9/9) on the only multiple-choice section that leaves no discretion to the examiner.

I'm considering asking for a second correction, but it costs 90 euros. I wanted to ask you guys if you have taken this test and what you thought of it just to know if I am crazy, losing my faculties, or what...
Post edited by mzc86 on

Replies to: TOEFL/ IELTS...British bias?

  • GhosttGhostt Registered User Posts: 1,658 Senior Member
    I have never lived in an English-speaking country, but I went to an American school and was taught English by American teachers, and I scored 9s on the Reading, Writing, and Listening sections of the IELTS without any preparation.

    So no, I don't think there's an inherent bias in the test. It's not anti-American to expect people to be able to understand accented English.

    Maybe you were just unlucky. It happens.
This discussion has been closed.