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September 15, 2010


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Hi Simon,

I wrote an introduction and a conclusion of this topic.

In the contemporary society, increasing number of people suggest that children should be taught practice skills at school besides traditional academic subjects. However, I do not believe that it is necessary for schools to teach such skills as bank account managment and car maintance.
From the points enlisted above, it seems evident that it is more important for school children to learn academic subjects, while practice skills like bank account management and car maintance could be learned in the leisure time if chilren are interested in them.


Great work Jean. It's good to see that you're following my advice. Keep using this approach!


Hi,Simon.could you tell me some benefits about learning practical skills? thanks.

Hi Sunny,

I've written the full essay for this question. If you have bought my ebook, you will have received the essay already.

Hi Simon,

I know you are busy, but .. if you have time, please have a look at the essay and advise which band I can get.

Thank you very much.

Topic: Some people think that a sense of competition in children should be encouraged. Others believed that children who are taught to co-operate rather than compete become more useful adults.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

It is thought that people should encourage a sense of competition in children. However, it is also believed that the co-operation which is taught to children is what makes the children become more useful adults. This essay will take a closer look at the issue.

It cannot be denied that there are many advantages in encouraging children a sense of competition. First, if the children have that sense, they will always try their best to achieve the best things in life, and are not inert at all in anything they do. Second, competition is considered to be one of the crucial factors that improve people. Children are no exception. They need to know that they have to compete with others in order to attain new knowledge and cannot remain motionless. What this will lead to is that there is always motivation inside each child, which helps them make good progress in life.

However, every coin has two sides. There are also disadvantages in this. First, when the children have too much of that sense, they will become belligerent or warlike because they always want to be the top of the crop. Simultaneously, it can lead them to the situation in which they will do things by hook or by crook just to achieve what they want. Second, the thought of having to compete with someone will surely haunt them and when they are defeated, they will feel shocked and will not accept the failures.

This is why it is generally believed that children should be taught to co-operate with others to become useful citizens rather than taught to compete. Children will have less pressure because they do not have to gain a victory over someone, but just need to co-operate with others in order to learn from them and share experience with one another. Only when the children know that the precious thing is learning something new from others and the techniques of cooperating do they grow up and become useful in life.

In conclusion, my contention is that both competition and co-operation should be taught to children but should be in a way of moderation, which will certainly help children become more useful adults.

Hi Captain Bear,

I'm afraid I can't help people in this way. Too many students ask me to check their essays, and it wouldn't be fair if I did this for one person.

Hope you understand my reasons


Sorry. I understood ;) Thank you.

No problem. Thanks for your understanding

dear Simon
this is the template you have offered for mentioning only one side of the srgument:
A) Essay structure for one side of the argument:
1. Introduction: topic + your opinion (either agree or disagree)
2. First idea to support your opinion
3. Second idea to support your opinion
4. Conclusion: repeat your opinion

However, in the above essay you have also mentioned the opposite opinion in the introduction, I thought we only do that when we want to have a balanced argument. could you kindly help me with that?

Hi Iman,

I didn't explain the opposite opinion in a balanced way - I explained why I disagree with the opposite opinion. Therefore, both paragraphs support the same view, so they do follow the "first reason, second reason" structure.

Hi Simon,

I wrote this by linking your ideas. Could u please tell me whether the essay is good. i haven't written the conclusion yet.

It is true that children learn many academic subjects at school and no practical skills are taught. However, although, increasing numbers of people find practical skills to be extremely useful, I do not agree with idea that schools should teach skills as bank account management or car maintenance.

One main reason why I believe that children do not need to learn practical skills at school is that academic subjects like math, science and languages are much more important for children and play an essential role at school education system. With timetables already full, schools do not have time to teach children anything else and overloading them with practical skills such as bank account management or car maintenance will just be waste of their valuable time.

Another argument is that we are living in knowledge-based economy where independent thinking and problem solving abilities are the most important skills and focusing children’s attention on something else can cause some difficulties. Without proper basic education it will be difficult for children to continue their high education. Also, it will create even more problems for those who are intending to study away from home. For example, those students studying IELTS, TOEFL or G-Math are unlikely to have either intention or time to learn practical skills. Therefore, it is better if students focus on studying traditional subjects rather than practical skills.


hi simone,
can u please let me know that in an ielt essay writing, are we allowed to use 'I' or not? because in some topics, they ask for ur opinion: agree or disagree then provide the support idea, as I've learned, it's not appropriate to use 'I' in any essay.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

This means you can partly agree or disagree,hey? I do not understand Simon said that we can't agree 'partly'.Advice me:)

Hi simon,

I have been reading your essay and it has been a great help for me.thank you :-)

Hi simone,

Please help me if this essay is good enough to get a 7.I will be taking the exam on the 28th of september.Thank You so much for your help. :-)

Topic:As most people spend a major part of their adult life at work job satisfaction is an important element of individual well being.
What factors contribute to job satisfaction
How realistic is the expectation of job satisfaction for all workers?

As a person reaches the age of maturity one is expected to naturally work to earn a livng.Because of this,most of their time is spent on working.However,most people do not find satisfaction on their occupation when it is believed that contentment of one's work is essential for an employee's welfare.In this essay,the two main factors that could help promote job satisfaction will be enumerated.

To begin with,when a person finds employment ,the salary would be most likely their concern.It is because most job seekers are looking for a well compensated job that could pay them according to their qualification.For example,based on my own experience,working as a nurse in a government hospital demands a lot of effort and hard work but since we are being paid considerably well we are already contented with our job.

Furthermore,a peaceful working environment is also one of the factors that could satisfy an employee.In other words,it is important that the place where a person works should have mutual trust and friendship amongst co workers and employers to gain a harmonious working atmosphere .To illustrate this,if a person has a good working relationship with his or her colleagues,it is unlikely for conflicts to arise and easier for them to achieve a company goal.If this is the kind of environment ,then working would be a pleasurable experience for all.

To sum up, a well paid job plus an environment in harmony are the two main aspects that could make a person satisfied with his or her job.This expectation is realistic if the employee has gained skills that are worthy of a raise in salary. However, when it comes to the workplace environment, I do not think that job satisfaction is realistic because of the different persanalities. Nevertheless, there is something that can be done to the environment of the workplace if there is a participation by both management and employees.

hi simon,
please take a look at my introduction below, many thanks.

Some people think that school children need to learn practical skills such as car maintenance or bank account management along with the academic subjects at school. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

It is true that what people taught at school are mostly based on theory therefore they suppose to learn practical skills which may bring more opportunities for them to find a job. In my opinion, I completely agree with this idea.

today GT speaking topic is

the handsome and beautiful person whom u met

Some people think that school children need to learn practical skills such as car maintenance or bank account management along with the academic subjects at school. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

13 dec writing task 2 idp test

Too much emphasis is placed on testing these days. The need to prepare for tests and exams is a restriction on teachers and also exerts unnecessary pressure on young learners.

What extend do you agree or disagree ?

___Any help ? ___

Hi Simon. I just want to ask if I will get a negative mark if I placed my conclusion as the 2nd paragraph in my writing task 2?

Hi Leng,

A conclusion is a 'final opinion or decision', so it doesn't make sense to put it second. I'm afraid that doing so might affect your score.

Hi Simon,
My name Alicia,and I've recently purchased your book. I loved it and trying to work with it. But articles are my week point and at times I am at lost with their use, like in this example below. I am not sure if I should use the article with generalization or if I should omit it? Or if should I use a or the with the expression "a shortage of finance or "the shortage of finance"? Can you give me a hint to overcome my doubts.

Nowadays, increasing number of people suggest that that learning useful practical skills at school along with mandatory school curriculum can be effective in students’ future. However, I would argue that teaching accounting or car maintenance should be prioritized in the school curriculum

Hi Simon,

I've bought your ebook but I can't find this topic!?

Hi Bindi,

I do not think we could get every idea from simon's ebook, but it helps you to learn the way native speakers compose their essays. Incidentally, I suggest you could use some of the benefits of education under the topic 'education' to support your idea!

Hope this could help you!

Hi Bindi,

My ebook contains the topics that I consider to be the most common ones. I've covered many more "less common" topics here on the blog. So, if you use the ebook and the blog lessons, you should be well prepared.

Hi dear Simon,
First thanks a lot for your worthwhile website.
Is it true and meaningful if I change your sentence and write, " as human beings go into self-reliance and individuality, independent thinking and problem solving are the most important skills."?
And should I link this sentence to academic subjects?

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