TOEFL will now include English accents from other English Speaking countries. Following change was made to TOEFL Listening and Speaking Sections.
From TOEFL Website:
Beginning in March 2013, the Listening and Speaking sections of the TOEFL iBT test include other native-speaker English accents in addition to accents from North America. You may hear accents from the United Kingdom, New Zealand or Australia.
ETS is adding these accents to better reflect the variety of native English accents you may encounter while studying abroad.
Below are examples similar to what you might hear in the Speaking and Listening sections.
TOEFL Test website have provided few examples. Following example is for Listening section.
- Listen to a talk about the greenhouse effect (MP3). The lecturer is from Great Britain.
So, watch out for English Accents from other English peaking countries in your TOEFL Test.
It was not possible for me to identify the difference in English Accent from UK, Australia vs USA before coming to USA.
But, after living in USA for a while, it’s easy to identify the accents.
I never had trouble understanding other English accents. So, I don’t think this change will have any impact on your TOEFL test scores.