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September 29, 2011


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hi Simon,

is it ok to write:

- in 1982, only Malaysian students among 4 different countries came to study in Australia, approximately 5,000 students.
- there was no overseas students from Hong Kong and Singapore in Australia from in 1982 until 1987.


The bar graph tells the information about the percentage of house prices in five countries, over a 13-year period from 1989.

Between 1990 and 1995, two nations tied at house pricing and fell by approximately 7% and these are Tokyo and London,Whereas New York city dropped by only 5%.By contrast, the city of Spain and Frankfurt, the average cost of houses are 2% and 3% respectively.

In 1996 to 2002, house prices in three major cities showed increased in sales. The price rose dramatically for Japan, at 12 per cent. Also, both US and Madrid marked improvement in selling houses during 1996 to 2002. The former had 5 per cent while the latter was just 1 per cent less. However, Germany did not boost its profit which fell by 1%,and also Tokyo remained weak in house prices with 5%.

Overall, The London cost of houses was by far the highest among the five nations, between 1996 to 2002, While over a period of five years after 1990 for Japan and London house prices remained weak.

Simon, I'd like to ask if you conduct an online review? Also, about the October 8 one day review. Is it possible to use the internet to listen to your lecture?

Questions always seem sort of easier when I'm reading your band-9 sample answers, Simon, but I'm always at a loss when I'm given some difficult-to-deal-with questions! Take this question as an example. It's not easy understanding the chart, not to speak of writing an organized answer.

By the way, rumor has it that flow charts / tables appear way less frequently than line graphs / bar charts do. Is this true? Or it's just a rumor circulated on the Internet?

Thanks for your band-9 sample answer, Simon.

Hi Ngan,

Your sentences are ok. Write 'there were...'


Hi Gwapo,

I'm afraid I can't help people individually. If you send me an email (ieltssimon@gmail.com) I can give you the address of a teacher who does offer essay correction by email.

I can't share my lessons online at the moment, but I'm looking at possible ways to do that, so I might be able to offer it in future.


Hi MT,

I'm glad you like the essay. For once a rumour is true! Graphs and bar/pie charts are the most common.

okay simon please send me his email. tnx

Dear Simon.
I find that your sample is very clear and good sample I can study something from. Then, I want to ask about some information in your essay. According to the graph, in the first period, there are two nations whose house prices increased. However you wrote that "We can see that house prices fell overall between 1990 and 1995". Is 'overall' exact in this situation

HI Simon,

IN your sentence (, while New York house prices went down by 5%. ) you mentioned New york house prices
can I write
,while new york(s') house prices went down by 5%
,while (in) new york house prices went down by 5%.

Thanks in advance.

hi simon,
i was practising writing task 1,test 3 in cambridge book 3,where 3 different bar charts are given,i tried to make it precise but i ended up in 190 words,,cant do shorter than that....is it too long?i mean three charts have three different informations,,

Hi simon thankyou very much for essay i don not have words to appreciate your work.I can only say god bless you.I have got essay topic to be honest with you, i don not understand what is the meaning of this essay and what i should write plz help me and give me some ideas.

Nowadays some secondary schools give children general education in a range of traditional disciplines, while others claim to be more specialized and pay attention to some particular classes, excluding some general ones. Which of two school types is better for children and why?


Hi Simon
May you plese put to those like me trying to take a General IELTS , Letter writing ?
Im wonderig if you start teaching Letter as well as you are teaching GRAPHS ...

Many thanks to you Simon

Hi Gwapo,

You need to email me first (ieltssimon@gmail.com)


Hi Hoang Anh,

Yes, 'overall' is the key word because it means that we are adding together all of the percentages rather than looking at separate cities.


Hi Tahir,

Yes, those are correct. Write: New York's...


Hi Amran,

There is no maximum, so 190 words is fine.


Hi rr,

I'm afraid that you are making the mistake of worrying about one strange question that will probably never be used again. It's much better to prepare for the common topics.

Look at this advice:



Hi Mh,

I'm afraid I haven't taught the general paper for a long time, and I only do lessons about the academic paper here on the blog. Sorry, I'm not the best person to help with general writing task 1.

hello Simon,
could you please,discribe the table which include data for future.for example( 2002-2015).
I have problem about comparing two sentences in diffrent tens.
Thank you.

sorry diffrent tenses.

Hi Samereh,

It's easy. Just use the past tense for past years (e.g. 20% of people were...) and 'will' or 'is predicted/expected' for future dates (e.g. the figure is expected to reach 30% in 2015, OR 'will reach...')

Hi simon,
Why did you say in Frankfurt remained stable? ,could we say ..decreased slightly?

Hi Moka,

'Stable' doesn't need to mean 'exactly the same', I just mean that prices in Frankfurt didn't change very much.

Yes, you could also say 'decreased slightly'.

hi simon
thank you so much for your useful site
i'm afraid i didn't understand wh define at does the sentence "the prices remained cheaper than they were in 1989" mean??? and i even couldn't figure it out from the chart! may be because "remaining cheaper" is not used in my mother tongue at all.could u define it plz?

correction " define " is extra in the third line!!!

Hi Ela,

I wrote "homes remained cheaper". This means that "houses stayed (continued to be) cheaper". In other words, the price of houses in Tokyo between 1996 and 2002 continued to be lower/less than the price in 1989.

I hope this helps.

Dear Simon
Please advise me whether or not we can be penalised for re phrasing the introduction using nearly the same words of the graph(not the orig introduction)
Pls answer me aASAP as my exam is on this Sat.
Is this considered enough rephrase
The bar chart illustrates the percentage change in average house prices in five capitals from 1990to 2002 compared with the year 1989 price.

Or should I omit the last price?
Thanks a lot for allll your help.

Hi Moka,

Your introduction is fine - you've made enough changes. Maybe you could omit 'price'.

Dear Simon,

I got confused, why you used while, there is not any contrast, both experienced fall in prices! Could I use also instead?

"Over the 5 years after 1989, the cost of average homes in Tokyo and London dropped by around 7%, while New York house prices went down by 5%."

Dear Simon,

is my introduction correct, I tried to paraphrase it?

The bar chart illustrates data about alteration in average house prices in five mega cities around the world for a period of twelve years in comparison with the cost of an average house in 1989.

Kind regards,

Hi Hoda,

"While" is not only used for contrast. It really means "at the same time".

You can't use "also" in the same way. It's best at the beginning of a new sentence e.g. "...around 7%. Also, New York house prices..."

Your introduction is fine.

Hi Simon,

Could you have a look at my paragraph for the second period?
Here is my paragraph:
However, from 1996 to 2002, there was an adverse change following an rising trend in the average house prices in almost cities comparing to 1989. Especially, there was a 12% dramatic rise in house prices in London. The prices in New York, Madrid and Frankfurt also increased but not as much as that in London, about 5%, 4% and 2% accordingly. But, there was a slight drop in house prices by 5% in Tokyo.

Thank you very much for your work.
Best Regards,

You've got the right idea UT.

Dear Simon

Can I say, SHOWED, in stead of SAW ,in this sentence(but most of the cities SAW rising prices between 1996 and 2002).

Thank you

Hi Ghyath,

No, we wouldn't say "the cities showed". You can use "experienced" if you want a different word.

Dear Simon:

Does "the cost of an average house" and "the cost of an average HOME" have the same mean?
House can be equal to home?
I thought house indicates the "building" and home is with emotional meanings.
Is it true?

Also, why you used the cost of "an" average house in the first paragraph, but you also used the cost of average home"s"? Any differences?

My third question is
the last paragraph, you wrote "Homebuyers in New York had to pay significantly more...."
Is it ok to write the task 1? because the question did not mention the homebuyers, should we put our personal ideas?

Thanks for your answering.

Hi PP,

Good questions!

1. You are right that 'house' and 'home' can have different meanings, but in the context of buying a house, it's very common to use both words as synonyms - it's something that you might see in newspapers or hear on the news. I think my use of the 2 words is nice variation that the examiner would like.

2. No difference, just variety to avoid repetition.

3. There is no need to add 'homebuyers', but this would impress the examiner as more varied use of language. It's the kind of thing that only a native speaker (or very advanced student) would think to write.

Hi Simon,
I wonder whether this introduction is correct "The bar chart COMPARES THE COST of an average house in five major cities over a period of 13 years from 1989"
I think the graph only shows the change in average house prices in terms of percentage in different cities, it cannot compare the COST among these cities (We even dont know in which cities the price was expensive or cheap)
Thank you for this great website, i have learnt alot from you!!!!!!!

Hi Ngoc,

Well noticed! I agree that it would be better to write "compares CHANGES in the average cost" or something like that. The essay would still get a band 9 though ;)

Its highly appreciated if any body can correct my report......

The bar chart compares the changes in average house prices in five major cities,namely New York,Mandrid,Tokyo,London and Frankfurt over a period of 13 years,between 1989 and 2002 compared with 1989.

Overall, it can be clearly seen that the average house prices in the first half of the studied years ,fell considerably in almost every cities. while in the latter years its rose significantly in comparison with 1989.

Between 1990 and 1995,By far the greatest changes in cost of average house seen in London and Tokyo, dropped around 7%.likewise New York also experienced the 5% decline.by contrast price rose slightly at around 2% in both Madrid and Frankfurt.

There was a opposite trend observed in latter years (1996-2002).London house price jumped by 12% above the 1989 average.In New York cost of a home doubled in compared with 1990 and 1995.In addition,there was a further increase in house price in Madrid by around 2%.

Its highly appreciated if any body can correct my essay
The bar chart compares the proportional changes of average house prices in five different cities based upon the year of 1989 over a decade period.
It is clear that whereas London was the most fluctuated city among other certain cities as to average house prices in both two different periods (from 1990 to 1995 and from 1996 to 2002), average house prices in Frankfurt almost remained similar in those two periods.
Although the average house costs in New York initially fell by %5 levels in the first five years period, they then reached to their starting point and saw maximum level in the second period. (%5) . Average house value figures in Frankfurt and Madrid initially rose by % 2 and %1 levels respectively in the first period and then fell by % 1 in Frankfurt but gradually rose from the previous point and reached % 4 level in Madrid for the latter period.
Average house prices in Tokyo and London dramatically fell by around % 7 level from starting point for the five years. However, this figures then saw slightly increase and reached - % 5 level in Tokyo and considerably rose and reached at maximum level around % 12 in London for the subsequent period.

I wonder if we can write detailed 3 nd 4 paragraphs by comparing
1.. cities with both rise nd fall in price
2.. cities with either rise or fall in the price
is it ok ??

Hi Simon,

Could you please tell me about following wrting essay is it right or not?

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

Job satisfaction is an important part of every employee. Additionally, the expectation to have more stable job and salary depends on various factors such as: challenges, work experience, type of work and qualification. Most important, job satisfaction come after spending valuable years in an organization where an employee work and learn work skills.

A worker confront many challenges according to his skills and desire to learn for his career. Challenges made him learn how to meet deadlines, deliver quality work and time management. However, qualification plays a major role here; firstly a person can get a good job if he is highly qualified and can grasp skills easily.

Although work experience provides a good career growth and a handsome salary that is why a highly qualified employee that has many years of experience expects job satisfaction, for instance: I have seen my friend started to expect job satisfaction in terms of good salary after 8 years of work in a big software company, now he is a senior manager and satisfied with work and salary.

In addition, the criteria for desire a stable job that fulfil a employee need is also depend on type of work a employee does, that depends on qualification, area of interest and of course hard work. An employee with less education always has to work harder than others to achieve his goal and satisfaction in terms of type of work and wages. Besides that, interest for work is most important to get foundation of work and career growth.

Overall, it is clear that satisfaction in job for every employee come after a particular number of years which can be varied according to qualification, experience and area of work.

Hi Simon,

The graph shows "percentage change", but in your essay you wrote that "it compared the costs". Comparing prices and percentages have different meaning. Do you think it is ok to write in such way?

Hi dear Simon; thanks for useful sources for us as it's really like a treasure!

I have a question about this sample task1:
I got confused from where we have to recognize the number of changes in 1989; I mean we dont see the number; while I think its important to compare it with other years....
Thank you in advance

The bar chart compares average house price changes in New York, Madrid and three other cities over two periods since 1989.

It is noticeable that during year 1990 to 1995, three cities saw decrease in house prices, while over year 1996 to 2002, four cities saw increases, especially the fastest rate of London’s.

Among the period of 1990 to 1995, the fall of house prices were same for Tokyo and London, at around 7.5%. New York’s house price also dropped by 5%. There was a small amount of increase in house prices in Madrid and Frankfurt which was 2% for each.

As for 1996 to 2002, the average home price in London rose significantly by more than 10% in comparison with that of 1989. Madrid and Frankfurt remain a positive change. By contrast, New York’s house price rose by 5%. Only house price in Tokyo kept falling.

hi simon:
 I have a question about your overview in this essay: Why do you only write that London experienced greatest change and not mention that Frankfurt's house price is the most stable one? I think it should be mentioned in the overview to make the overview complete. I appreciate your answer , thanks!

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