“Should I Use American Or British English For The TOEFL?”



American vs British English - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

Answer:  You Do NOT Need To Worry About It!

Even though this is a common topic for people to talk about regarding The TOEFL Exam (which is why I must address the issue) — this is NOT something that you need to worry about.  Just use the English that you know.  Do not spend any energy worrying about if it is “American” or “British”.

Yes — the exam was created, and is administered, by an American institution.  But it is understood that the people taking The TOEFL Exam will be from all around The World — and most will probably have been taught British English.  But it is NOT necessary to use American English when taking the TOEFL iBT Exam.  (That would be a completely ridiculous thing for them to expect you to do!)


It is stated in almost every text-book about The TOEFL Exam — that if a person uses either British or American English — they should remain consistent throughout the exam.  I can comprehend why they would say such a thing — but it is actually quite ridiculous…  Again.  This is because:

1.  This Has Absolutely No Affect On The Reading or Listening Sections

2.  The only way that the people who are scoring your responses in The Speaking Section would be able to tell the difference between the use of the two “forms” of English is in-reference-to things that have a different common name between BritishAmerican English.

For Example…

American:  “Truck” / British:  “Lorry”


American:  “TV”  /  British:  “Telly”

But if a person has learned the word “Lorry” because they learned English in Europe or India — they are not ALSO going to use the word “Truck” later-on.  That is just not natural.  So to tell them to be consistent about this is like saying to someone:

“Hey!  You Shouldn’t Punch Yourself In The Face.”

| GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

“Yeah, no shit…  I Had Absolutely No Intention Of Doing That”

And if you were to use a “British” word like “Lorry” in one part of a Spoken or Written response — but then used the term “TV” in another part — you will NOT be graded-down for being “in-consistent”…  That doesn’t make sense because it is all English.  So any teacher who tells you otherwise is not using basic logic.


3.  The only way that the people scoring The Writing Section would be able to tell if you were being “inconsistent” is with words that are spelled different between American & British English.

For Example…

American:  “Tire” / British:  “Tyre”


American:  “Color”  /  British:  “Colour”

But for the EXACT same reasons that this whole idea is ridiculous with The Speaking Section examples above — This is ALSO ridiculous for this type of situation.  if someone learns the “British” way of spelling a word, then THAT is the way they are going to spell it.  They will not spell it in two different ways.

And although there is a slight chance that you could get graded down in you spelled one word in the “British” way, and another word in the “American” way — it is far MORE likely that you would not have developed such a habit of spelling as this.


(Why This Is Something That You Should Not Even Think About)

YYou already have enough that you need to learn regarding simply Preparing For The TOEFL Exam.  Worrying about whether-or-not you are “remaining consistent” with your use of British or American English throughout The TOEFL Exam. is a COMPLETE waste of your energy.  (And to be able to do such a thing in the way that other teachers talk about — you would have to learn BOTH forms of English…  Which is ridiculous.)

Remaining consistent with whatever form of English you have learned is something that you will AUTOMATICALLY do!  You do not need to think about it.  And using “American English” will not earn you any more points than using “British English”.  Just relax, and use what you know.  😉

Keep Calm And Listen To The Teacher - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

“Seriously…  You’ll Be Fine If You Heed My Advice…  (but you still need to study)”

  —  If you need to Prepare For The TOEFL Exam, and improve your “Ability” to achieve the score that you need on the exam — then TOEFL Excellence is Absolutely THE BEST TOEFL Training System on The Planet (and probably in the known Universe & beyond)…  Designed to help you “Achieve Excellence On The TOEFL iBT Exam”.

I Know This…  Because I Created It  😀

  —  If there are any words or phrases in these posts that you do not know – then look them up!  Although you do not need to waste time memorizing long lists of Vocabulary before taking The TOEFL Exam — it is always a good idea to look-up words that you do not know.  Even if you think you know them — you may be surprised!  So, if you see a word that you think that you “know” but can’t actually define or explain…  Then Look It Up!  I suggest

And If You Have Any Questions — Feel Free To Ask!

Have An Excellent Day!


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