Some students are so concerned with their accents affecting their PTE speaking scores, that they try to use a different accent or fake an accent. They wonder whether their non-native accent will somehow lower their score.
In short no, you don’t have to fake an accent to score well in the exam. However, you do have to improve your pronunciation to get a good score.
Pronunciation vs Accent
I’m sure many of you are unaware that an accent is different to pronunciation.
Pronunciation refers to a specific set of speaking features like word stress, intonation, and enunciation, while the word accent refers to how people from a particular area speak. All accents in the PTE exam are generally fine unless of course your accent somehow hinders the understanding of what you are trying to say
Most speaking candidates tend to focus on what they say during the PTE speaking test, and pay far less attention to how they say it. A significant portion of your score goes towards your pronunciation. Unfortunately defining good pronunciation features is quite difficult and improving you pronunciation is even more so. Most speaking candidates tend to focus on what they say during the PTE speaking test, and pay far less attention to how they say it. A significant portion of your score goes towards your pronunciation. Unfortunately defining good pronunciation features is quite difficult and improving you pronunciation is even more so.
Here are the pronunciation criteria for high scoring responses in the PTE exam:
All vowels and consonants are produced in a manner that is easily understood by regular speakers of the language. The speaker uses assimilation and deletions appropriate to continuous speech. Stress is placed correctly in all words and sentence-level stress is fully appropriate
This all means that your pronunciation of a word or phrase can be wrong but your accent can never be wrong. You don’t need to change your accent but your speech should be easily understandable to most regular speakers of the language. Regional or national pronunciation variants of words or sounds are considered correct in the PTE speaking exam to the degree that they are understandable to most regular speakers of the language.
The PTE Speaking AI
In addition to this the PTE AI is designed to recognize a wide variety of accents. The computer algorithm contains accent data from over 126 countries and for more than 90 diverse languages. This assures that the scoring system recognizes accents from around the globe.
This ensures that every candidate is evaluated in the exact same way, regardless of where they take the test, and that there are no biases made by human examiners. So the ai will assess a candidate’s pronunciation using the criteria and it does not matter if they speak with a British or American accent, or if they have a non-native Chinese or Indian accent.
Why Faking An Accent Is Never The Answer
If you are still concerned about your accent affecting your PTE speaking score, then think about it like this. When you speak in English at work or at home, do the people around have trouble understanding what you are trying to say. If your answer is no, then you probably don’t have any major issues with your accent.
If the answer is yes, then you should definitely not try faking an accent, but rather focus more on improving your pronunciation. Faking a native accent would only cause more problems. If you speak with an unfamiliar accent you will be more likely to stumble and make mistakes, and this will only make you sound more unnatural. Rather speak the way you would naturally in a calm and confident manner.
You should improve your pronunciation skills before you sit for the exam. However, it is very difficult for second language learners to objectively point out their own weak areas when it comes to productive skills like speaking. This is why the best approach would be to work on your pronunciation with a trusted PTE professional, who can guide on all the best methods and tips to improve your pronunciation.