Proven and Tested Tips on How to Make Yourself Familiar with the British Accents in the IELTS Listening Exam

Have you ever heard Hugh Grant speak? Have you had a little difficulty understanding what Harry, Hermione and Ron were saying in the Harry Potter movie series?

British English poses a challenge for any individual. For Filipinos who are accustomed to using and hearing American English, it is best for Filipinos to undergo some training for British English most especially when you are taking an English proficiency exam like the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System.

How can one be familiar with the said accent? Here are some tips on how to be good at listening to British English accent.

• Watching English movies using British English is one practice candidates must do. Watch films like the Notting Hill, Harry Potter and Bridget Jones’ Diaries. These films star English actors and they use their accents quite strong. If you are having a hard time understanding what they are saying, do not hesitate to switch the subtitles on. In this way, you will be able to list the words that you hear that sound quite unusual in the British English accent.

• Practice British English accent and pronunciation through different tutorial videos online. These videos online teach candidates on how such words are pronounced in the British English accent. For example, in this Youtube video (, the speaker practices with the introduction of himself and has also provided subtitles for better understanding. There are also other links that are focused in British English accent training.

• Furthermore, knowing some words in the British English that are commonly misused is a plus. Here are some British terms that are commonly misused and their right usage.

1. Plethora
People often use it as “a lot”, but it actually means “an excess of something.”

2. Alas
Thought by many as “finally”, yet it really means “an expression of grief.”

3. Battling down the hatches – batten down the hathes

4. Find a penny pick it up – find a pin pick it up

5. A mute point – a moot point

6. One foul swoop – one fell swoop

7. A damp squid – a damp squib

8. On tender hooks – on tenter hooks

9. Nip in the butt – nip it in the bud

10. Champing at the bit – chomping at the bit

Source: and

• Practice with speaking coaches. There are a lot of IELTS review centers that teach the pronunciation of words in American English and British English. Enrolees in IELTS review centers are given exercises until they become familiar with the accent.
The secret in getting a good score in the IELTS listening exam is getting the right amount of training on words in the British English accent. Try the tips mentioned above and be ready for the real IELTS test.


Get more IELTS tips here:


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