Originally posted by Erin Billy
Wow, you truly are a citizen of the new world, aren't you? What is "Mancunian," by the way?
I hate to say it, but yes, if your accent is strong and hard to understand, then your TSE score will be lower. The whole point of the TSE is to see whether others can understand you. If you have a rather thick accent but it is perfectly intelligible, then it should be okay.
I had a Korean student once who could write some of the most beautiful essays I'd ever read, native or non-. But his accent was so heavy that I couldn't understand him when he spoke. We had to communicate by letters. He told me (in his letters) that he was an English teacher in Korea. He was a very interesting guy, and even today, I still think about him and hope that he's doing well.
So, do others have a hard time understanding you? Or can you carry on a conversation normally?