Is the IELTS easier in some countries?

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,030 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 2017 in IELTS Test
I was talking with a student recently.

She said to me, "I'm going to take the test in Russia because it's common knowledge that it's easier to sit the test in Russia than in Australia."

Is the IELTS exam easier in some countries than others? For example, do examiners mark higher in China or the USA, etc.? 

Students think that the IELTS test might be easier if the examiners are used to the local way of speaking English e.g., the accent, common grammar mistakes, difficulties in pronouncing certain words.

Is there any truth to this?

It is certainly true that the examiners working in your country will be used to the local ways of speaking English. They will be used to the typical pronunciation difficulties in a particular area of the world because...they live there!  As a result, you could expect that they would find it easier to understand test takers because they hear the locals speaking English in their daily lives and become used to common mistakes.

However, IELTS examiners go through strict training to make sure that they do not give higher scores to people because they are 'locals'. The IELTS organisation makes sure examiners do regular training so they are always up-to-date with IELTS' international standards. Examiners must pass tests where they give sample grades on a wide variety of nationalities speaking and writing English.  The IELTS organisation also does random checks to make sure the the scores the examiners give are accurate according to the company's strict standards.

In my opinion, it is a waste of time and money to travel to another country to take your IELTS test.  The best way to get a good band score is to understand how the test works and practice improving your English! 

Feel free to share your experiences below.

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