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August 13, 2010


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Hi Simon,

One of my friend got a topic which i think its hard to answer under exam pressure:

Explain about one thing that could change your life.

How to answer this question?


I'm no Simon, but I want to try this one. I will probably talk about my mobile phone because it is something I am familiar with. However, I will emphasise on how it would change my daily life. I will mention some unique functions that are not available with my previous phones. I think it won't be wrong as long as I justify why I think it could change my life.

I also think I can talk about something I don't have but want to have. I can talk about anything which could potentially change my life, such as a car, a video game console and even a house.

Hi Felora and Jack,

As Jack has shown, you can talk about almost anything in your answer (although I think it needs to be something you don't have - so maybe you could talk about a new phone that you need because it has Internet etc.)

Another possibility is to talk about an achievement or qualification. "One thing that could change your life" does not have to be an object - it could be a degree or Master's or being able to speak another language fluently. It could be getting a certain job, buying a house, or even winning the lottery!

I think this is one of those questions that seems difficult when you first look at it. But when you think about it more, it's actually a great question to get.

Hi Simon and Jack,

Thanks for ideas.

Hi Simon,
Is it because of the word "could", the answer should be something I don't have?

No problem Felora.


Yes Jack. It's because of the word 'could'.

Hi Simon

What is the criteria for a phrase or a word to be classified band 7 ?

During your time as an examiner, how many person have you given band 8 or 8.5 or 9 for speaking and/ or writing ?

Is the reduced form of certain words ( function word ) one of the pronunciation creiterias for speaking ?
For example, would has a weak as well as a 'strong' form


Hi Saleh,

To get a band 7 or higher you need to use correct collocations (i.e. use words together correctly) and some "less common" vocabulary. I think the words and phrases underlined in this lesson are examples of both of these things.

I suppose the decision about what language is "less common" is a bit subjective, but examiners have all had many years of teaching experience, and they will notice when you say/write something that most students don't use (or that most students don't use correctly).

I can't remember how many 8-9 scores I gave, quite a lot of 8s and a few 9s I think.

Pronunciation is part of your speaking score, and correct use of weak/strong forms will make your English sound clearer and more natural. However, you could still get a 9 if you only used strong forms because this is not a big consideration for examiners. Clear speech and good intonation are more important.

Hope this helps

Hi simon,
I don't know how to answer these questions as follow. Please give me some suggestion.

Some people cannot keep up with the development of science and technology. What should they do?

Do you think it is important to develop science and technology?

How does scientific research benefit our life, education and so on?

What do you think is the most significant/important scientific achievement in recent 50 years?

What scientific research should be made in future?

Hi Chenchen,

You´ve given me too much to answer in a comment, but I´ll try to look at these questions in a lesson soon.

Thanks for the useful questions.


Hi Simon,
Can you suggest some ideas to answer this question,plz : how important is it to make a good first impression?why?

Thank you

Hi Azzurra,

Maybe you could think about what you would say in your own language to answer this question.

My advice is to think of some example situations like a job interview, meeting a new colleague/customer/boss, or meeting a friend of your parents. Why is it important to make a good impression on the other person in these situations?

Hope this helps


I am thankful to you for writing Target Band 7 ,a wonderful book.I would like your suggestions
to change my score in speaking(6)and writing(6) to 7 in both.I am planning to appear in first week of May.
Thanks &Regards

Hi Sultan,

"Target Band 7" is not my book. I think you are confusing me with the people at ielts-blog.com

Here's my take :

I would like to talk about a mobile phone my dad purchased it for me as a gift 2 months ago. It is an HTC HD 2 smartphone with lots of capabilities including 5 MP Camera, integrated WIFI, big storage and over 3 hours’ time of battery life.

I use the phone every day to keep in touch with my friends either by calling them or using the sms functionality to send them text messages or even video messages.
In my spare time, I like to hear music so I use my phone to listen to music using an integrated mp3 player. Sometimes I feel the need to check my Hotmail inbox so in a push of a button I use the phone’s browser to check my emails online. This is an extremely useful feature. It even has a calendar that reminds me about appointments. So I don’t have to miss any !

My phone is becoming an essential part of my life. It actually holds all my contacts, my photos, my music collection, my recorded videos. I also got an instant access to my favorite websites. It is like having my whole life in my pocket.

I simply can’t live without it.

Great preparation Joseph!

Rocking Answer boss.

hi simon
it is possible most of student speak about mobile phone.is it no problem?

Hi Goli,

No, that's not a problem.

Talk about a possession that you used to have you should explain:
how log you had it
what you used to use it for
how often you used to use it

sir,can i use this mobile phone topic for the above mentioned "possession" task?

Yes, use the mobile phone topic.

Hi Simon,

I'm facing a big trouble in reading test. I have given my exam three time but never score more than 5.5 bands. Can you suggest me good tips for reading test, especially for the matching paragraph and True/False questions. I have my exam on this 1st of sept.
Thanks for your help.

Hi Simone,
Can you please advice what can be said in these topics
- Describe somthing that you owned for a long time
- Describe a peace of you music you like

hi simon,
can u give me some tips of how to brainstorm ideas as fast as possible in writing task 2?
tks a lot :)
Linh Nguyeen

hai sir,
i am sankar actually i am from telugu medium,
i have a technical knowledge about my graduation but in gds,describe an object such kind of quetions raised i am not performing well.
so please consider me and give some valuable instruction regarding to how to say some thing fluent in english

I purchased a laptop through Amazon website one month ago. I received it recently because it took fortnight to be delivered.
My laptop made my life very cozy and colorful because it has lots of essential features that I need to use every day, such as staying in touch with my friends through social networks, talking with my sister who lives abroad and doing my daily assignments. It also gave me wide opportunities in preparing IELTS successfully surfing in the internet and recording my progress in documents.
When I haven’t got my laptop it was difficult for me to deal with my tasks so fast and successfully. Its speedy work allows me to gain lots of achievements in my career. I think my life and welfare is wholly depend on this laptop. So it manages to deal with all my problems.

Mr Simon
I am very grateful to you for this web-site. You really are a great man.

Thanks to everyone

Thank you Fira it was very helpful for me

My exam next saturday and iam guite confusing. I feel there is many subject. In speaking still i donot read it yet

is pet condsidered?

hi Simon, here's my describe

I am going to describe my ipad 2. I bought it from a local Apple Store in Shanghai last year.

It’s a very useful device with a beautifully sleek apple design. It has various functions and features, powered by its hundreds of thousands of apps. I can use it to play games, to read my favorite books, to listen to the music, and of course to surf the internet. Also it’s a efficient assistant in my business related jobs, like giving presentations, taking meeting notes, receiving and replying emails, for example. Most importantly, it’s very light and amazingly portable. I use it almost every day.

I can’t be more satisfied with my ipad 2. It makes my life and work much easier than I have ever imagined. It allows me to share my articles and photos in a simple and easy way. It’s like having my whole life just under my fingertips. I couldn’t live without it.

please help me in ielts speaking partner my skype id is mudasar.rehman55

Hi Simon,

I do want a band 7 and actually I think I know how to use some uncommon expressions, but sometimes I cannot well organize them, maybe a sentence would sound okay, but it's hard to connect them together. I mean my cohesion and logic are quite poor.

What can I do?

can we speak about a pair of glasses? it does hold importance in some people's life

helloo...everyone ,,,i haven't book my exam yet and am very nervous. at first i thought i could just study and try to work it out but whenever i feel like its okay i got this so many subjects and topics appear and i feel like am not keeping up and i get disappointing ,,so could u guys plz just give me some tips

yes i know but we can live without it we are just addicted to this object
me too i am addicted but i know i am wrong
we have a books , true? we have our family , true ? I recommend to change this behavior

Is this enough for 2 minutes talking in part 2, Mr.Simon?

I purchased an android phone last week via online. It is quite helpful for me to keep in touch myself with my friends, family, relatives, near and dear ones.
It is of black colour with 8 megapixel camera. It is slim n light in weight. It feel like having an entire world in my fist because it comprises of many features like camera,google, contacts, music,applications downloader n many more.
I can save picture,Videos, movies for longer duration as long as i wish to. I love my phone not only due to its features bt also a lot of memories are related to it as i purchased it on my marriage anniversary.
With a single click i can have the information what i search for.
I can not even think my life without it. I can give/sell it to anybody but i need another one.

Its I* not it* in second line of second paragraph

Tht gud am gng 2 wrte a gd assy

Hello Simon,

My name is Mary and I'm interested in taking the IELTS exam this summer, so I'm preparing for it.
I'm working on a subject, could you be so kind in offering a feedback to a speaking subject, please?
The subject is about describing a historical place that you know about

I have a special interest in visiting famous places and on my list historical places always get preferences. I have visited many historical places like castles, museums and many others. Such historical places and site attractions mesmerized me. The historical place that I would like to talk about is the Peles Castle, which is situated in Sinaia, on Prahova's Valley and 44 km from Brasov, Romania. It is basically one of the most important historical monuments from our country. It has a unique feature and both a historical and artistic significance. The construction of the castle began in 1873 and ended 10 years later.
The historical meaning of this place is connected to king Carol the first, king of Romania, who reigned from 1866 to 1914. Interestingly, the king visited first time Sinaia in the summer of 1866. He was deeply impressed about the beauty of those places so he decided the construction of the castle. Arguably, the location of the castle wasn't a coincidence as at that time it was close to the Romanian border with Austro-Hungary.
Its historical importance grew throughout time as it became the summer residence of the royal family. Here were also held important political meetings, like deciding Romania's neutrality from the First World War.
Clearly, the castle also housed many important people, like writers, musicians, but also kings and queens, such as Franz Joseph.
In this place took place different events, such as the birth of the future king Carol the second and of Michael the first, not to mention the wedding of Princess Ileana.
Personally, I have heard and seen this famous place and when I witnessed it for the first time, I became speechless. I was impressed about the beauty of the place, the way the castle was decorated, about its historical objects such as coins, money, the room in which the Royal family dined or signed treaties, about its jewellery, pottery, the architecture of the castle and last but not least its unique style.

Thank you,

Looking forward to hearing from you soon

i got a speaking cue card in jan 23 ..describe a song which influenced you in particular period of your life
could u pl tell me how to answer

Hello simon
I recently took place in a free discussion class
for this week we are going to talk about an object and I really prefer not to talk about my phone!
Do you have any other objects in your mind that is easy to talk about?

Hi Here is my answer
I am going to describe phone. I bought new phone in a mobile phone shop when Screen of my old phone broken

I use the phone to study english material for improve my english skill by reading,listening etc. It has various features like big screen, wireless, video player. It is simple to read a news, listen to podcast, take to photos. I use it for almost everything it even has notebook that forget what ı want to remember.

My phone is essential part of my life. İt holds my contact list, my photos that ı dont want to lose. But ı can live without it because if ı dont have phone, ı can use computer.

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