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February 02, 2011


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Hi Simon
I've got two questions about writing task 2 in the real test please.
First, do we have to discuss the two sides of the given title like agree or disagree, aruge for or against and so on, or we should only stick with one of them and do I need to give my personal point of view or opinion and build my writing up accordingly.
Secondly, is it OK to use verbal phrases in our writing test and probably speaking too or not and does using them weaken our writing and speaking score.
thank you so much .

Hi Omar,

1. If the questions says 'discuss both views', you must give both sides. If the question asks 'Do you agree or disagree?', you can choose e.g. if you completely agree, you don't need to discuss the other side.

If you want to discuss both sides of an 'agree/disagree' question, see the lesson below:


2. Some phrasal verbs are normal in both writing and speaking (e.g. 'set up', 'carry out'). Other phrasal verbs are more common in spoken English (e.g. many phrasal verbs with 'get').

Correct use of phrasal verbs is considered to be VERY difficult, so they can help you to get a good score, but only if you use them correctly and naturally, so be careful!

Hi Simon,

Could you please check your email as I haven't received an email from you regarding your e-book.

Thanks a lot for your help

Thank you so much Simon . I'm hugely grateful.

Hi Clement,

I sent the ebook to your other email address. Please check and email me to confirm whether you received the ebook or not.


No problem Omar.

Hi Simon,

I have notced that task 2 is related to the world situation. Curently, there are political problems in Eygpt and Tunis as well.So, I think in the exam the tpic related to politic issues, but I could not predict the Q might be. Can you help us, please?


Hi Sara,

Those political problems are too technical to be used as IELTS questions. I've never seen a political question, only general questions like "should rich countries help the governments of developing countries?"

Hi Simon,

I took the IELTS exam on 15th January and got 7.0. I did not do well in the speaking test. I got nervous and just forgot the vocabulary to express my idea. As a result, I just got 6.0 for speaking. Anyway, thank you very much for your website.

Speaking part 2: Describe a vehicle that you want to buy in the future?

Writing part 2: Nowadays, some workplaces are trying to employ an equal number of men and women. Do you think it is a positive or negative development?

Hi Cuongcoc,

I'm glad you found the site useful. 7 is a really good score - maybe next time you won't get so nervous.

Thanks for sharing your questions!

Could you show me the example of body paragraphs,please?

Thank you

Hi Partasia,

Have a look at the lesson below:


I'll do another lesson about main body paragraphs next week.

i need to you for my ielts exam .

i took ielts on 8th oct 2011 & i got this topic

Hi Abbas,

I can't help you individually, but all of my best advice is here on the site.


Thanks Joy. It's interesting to see that they re-used this topic.

Hi simon,

Is it alright to use words pronouns such as them, they, her, him, themselves in academic writing task 2?

I took my exam last july and got an overall band score of 7.5. I got the required band from the 3 subtests but unfortunately, my writing did not meet the grade of 7. I just got 6.5. More advice please. Thank you very much

Hi Michelle,

Yes, those are 'normal' words that can be used in any context.

hi simon
i loved your viewpoints.I really need help for ielts writing task.can u help me for that?

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