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November 04, 2010


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Hi Simon,

In this type of question should you try to express the numbers in other ways,
For example "a 50% rise in immigration" or "Emigration increased by a third"

Also, is just copying numbers what the public rubric terms 'mechanical' (i.e Band 5 for Task Achievement) ?

Hi Dave,

Don't worry too much about expressing numbers in a different way. It can be nice for variety, but in my experience it also leads to mistakes and loss of clarity.

"Mechanical description" doesn't refer to copying the numbers. It refers, in the case of a graph, to describing each line separately from beginning to end with no comparisons between each line. A mechanical description would be like a list (e.g. the number increased, then it decreased before rising again etc. etc.)

Hope this helps

Thank you Simon, it's clear now.

No problem Dave

How can we define rate, such as the rate of immigration?


Hi Antonela,

"Rate" can mean different things e.g. amount, quantity, frequency, speed, price, percentage.

The rate of immigration means the number of people coming into a country.

thanks simon,
does it better?
Both immigration and emigration rates rose over the period shown, but the figures for the former were significantly higher.?

Thank you Simon, I think I understand now.

Hi Nguyen,

That's a good sentence. It's not better or worse, but it's a nice alternative.


No problem Antonela.

this all is really helpfull

No problem Maha.

Hi Simon,

May I ask you a question about the changes of immigration after 2004. I see it slightly fluctuated. So, it is ok if i do not mention this feature?
Thank you! :D

Hi Cherry,

It's impossible to describe everything in only 20 minutes, so you have to make decisions about what to include. It doesn't really matter if you miss something - it just matters that what you write is good.

Hi, Simon
You wrote a sentence in the last paragraph of your model essay as "Emigration fell suddently ...". But I usually write it as "The emigration rate fell", "The number of emigrants fell" or "the figure for emigration fell".
Can I use subjects simply as "emigration fell" or "crime fell"? Err..now I'm confused..

P.S. I recently purchased your book, and fell in love with it <3

Hi Rebecca,

Yes, it's normal to say "crime fell" etc. The other ways are also correct.

I'm glad you like the book!


This website is very useful for me.regarding the above essay is it possible to write status of immigration.................in introduction.is it necessary to describe all the trends.
thanking you

Hi Minu,

Personally I wouldn't write "status of immigration". In 20 minutes you don't have time to describe everything.

Hope this helps


Hi, Simon I just wants to know if we give overview in second passage, should I write a summary again in the last passage. plz let me know soon becoz I have a exam this Saturday.

Hi Veena,

No, you only need one summary. You can either put it second or last. As you can see in my essay, I prefer to put it second.

Hi Simon,

I wonder if I am on the right track for the following?

In the next six years, the immigration rate rises by nearly 150, reaching a peak of around 600 but there is a much smaller increase in emigration. After that, the immigrationi rate remains high, while the emigration undergoes fluctuation, peaking at 420 in 2008.

Moving to the fiture for net migration, it begins at around 160 and remain at a similiar level until 2003, followed by peaking at 250 in 2004. In the period 2004-2008, the net migration figure fluctuates and falls to around 180 at end of the last year.


Hi Karen,

You're on the right track. Personally, I'd use the past tense (rose, there was, remained etc.), but the present tense is not wrong - it won't affect your score if you use the present like you did.

Hi Simon,

Thank you very much!!
I like this website very much and read your articles everyday. In addition, I also paid for the e-book. I learn a lot from there as well. Hopefully, I will enjoy my learning during the preparation for the IELTS exam.

Thanks a lot!

HI Simon,
I think that we appear to have to add "at" after "was" in the following sentence like that
"The figure for net migration was AT around 160,000"
Thanks so much!!1

No problem Karen. I'm glad you like the materials. Keep following the blog!


Hi Dung,

No, it seems strange to add "at" in that sentence.

Ok, I got it!!!

This graph is similar the real test on 6 Apr 2013 . Many thanks for Simon , it is unbelievable.

hi simon
unfurtunately i did not understand the mining of "net migration". would you explain it please?
thank you

Hi Simon,
1-Is it ok , if we describe this graph in 2 separate paragraphs , as you have taught us for describing Two Charts, rather than giving a compared description ? Because i find it easy to describe it that way. Will i still get the good score ?
2- if we use the word "net difference in population " instead of net migration , will it be ok or will it be wrong ?

Please please reply simon.

Hello, everybody.
What does 'net migration' exactly mean? As I'm hopeless in economics I can't understand. Thank you in advance!

"the figures for immigration were significantly higher"
why this sentence is not "the figure for immigration was significantly higher"

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