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October 08, 2011


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Hi Simon,

I'm going to take ielts exam on 26 November 2011, would you please kindly guide me into the topics. so that i may have some practices with those topics, because usually i have no idea for specific topics.


hi simon:
I will take the ielts exam on 29th October 2011. And I think your advice on writing task2 is meaningful. If you can give more details about this part, I think it will be more hepful.

Hi Simon
Can we consider this paragraph as an example for 5 sentence paraghraphs
People have far more money and time than before to pursue their iterests but the ever-increasing number of activities does not automatically guarantee continuity . In fact new hobbies come and go. For example , sports such as roller-blading lose their fascination after a few months. Similarly , although snow boarding has taken over from traditional skiing it is doubtful whether its populaity will last. Other things like electronic games go out of date almost as soon as you have bought them because the manufactures promot th fact that only the latest version is worth having , and so ensure continues sales.

Hi Simon .
thanke you for every thing. I'm going to take an IELTS exam in 9th of November 2011. But I have no idea about IELTS. Would you mind giving me some advice how can I prepare to the test. I'm so emparresed and I can't do anything.

Hi simon,

just got my result and my band is 7.5 with L=8.5,R=6.5,W and S=7.5.Thanks a lot for all your valuable advice and support.
Your work is phenomenal.

Thanks and regards

Hello Simon,

I have some questions about "big words" in the writing paper.

My friend is proficient in English, and she sometimes uses uncommon expressions or words. (I know because I read her essays / papers at times.) She, for exmple, uses 'a cornocupia of something', 'run the gauntlet', 'do someone a disservice' (this one is fine, I think), 'ride roughshod over something' and 'an albatross for somebody' when writing essays and papers. I know these phrases, but is it good to use such phrases in IELTS writing? I don't know if English native speakers use such phrases, and am afraid if these phrases will be considered uncommon lexical items (as on the band descriptors) YET unnatural. Will using unnatural phrases adversely affect one's band score? Will this bar me from getting band 9? Do you, as an examiner, find these phrases good?

Thanks very much, Simon!

Hello Simon,
I'm learning English to take the IELTS exam. I found your website was very helpful.
However, I have some questions about the example No.2.
You said that: "5. Explain why they disagree with the opposite view"
I wonder what or who are they? the examples? Could you give us an model for the 5-sentences paragraph in order to help us understand clearer?

Hi Gita,

Have a look through the lessons on this site. For topics, start with this lesson:



Hi Batton,

All of my best advice is here in the lessons on this site.


Hi Mh,

Yes, that's fine.


Hi Diamond,

This website contains all of my advice. Just look through as many lessons as you can.


Congratulations Kani. That's great news!


Hi MT,

I wouldn't use those expressions for academic writing, and I probably wouldn't use them in the speaking test either. They are nice expressions, but the style is wrong - their style is more 'informal/journalistic' in my opinion.


Hi Vy,

"They" refers to "Many people" in the first sentence. I'll try to write an example paragraph for Wednesday's lesson.

Hi Simon!Can you please give me tips how to improve my reading?AS A DOCTOR,I NEED TO GET 7 IN EACH SECTION,but i have never got 7 in reading,i have attempted ielts so many times,please help me.Thanks.umber.

Hi Umber,

You need to do lots of reading practice (both tests and general reading of books, newspapers etc.)

My main advice is in the lesson linked below, but practice is the only route to success.


Hi Simons I v'e book the exam on 22/10/2011 I am quit poor with writing ana reading I need score 6.5 coul'd you give me some advise please to get good score. Thank you very much

Hi Simons
I'm here from Australia my academic ielts writing 5.5 and everyone keep telling me simplify my writing how could i simplify it how could i fit my sentences together just to let you know my results for writing was 50 for the first exam 2nd 4.5 the third is 5.5 and i'm having EXAM on 22/10

Hi Pistiwan,

All of my best advice is here in the lessons on this site. It's not easy to improve your score in just one week, but keep practising and try your best. Good luck!


Hi Abraam,

It's difficult for me to help you because I haven't seen your work and I don't know what your individual problems are. It would be a good idea to take a few lessons with a private teacher who can analyse what you are doing wrong. Best of luck in your exam next week!

Hi Simon

Is there any law or distinct number about the number of paragraphs in our writings?
For example, should we write just 4 or 5 paragraphs for especial kind of writing or it is voluntary to choose the number of paragraphs?

Thank you so much for your all kinds of helps.

Hi Hani,

There isn't a rule, but I prefer 4. Have a look through my lessons to see my 4-paragraph essays.

Currently, holidaying abroad and visiting various places have become a major preoccupation for people from different background. While there is a believe that visitors benefit the host country in many ways, there is also an argument that the drawbacks of this practice overweigh its advantages.
Tourism can improve a country in several aspects. Firstly, it generates employment opportunities for a number of local residents. For example, hotel industry grows fast when a country attract foreigner, and therefore they need to recruit profession and non professional servicemen. Secondly, tourism boosts the economy of a national through attracting foreign currency which are brought and spent by visitors. Finally, meeting people from different nationalities facilitates a chance for native residents to exchange information that can enhance people outlook on life.
Conversely, it cannot be denied that frequent visits from heritages can damage precious historical attraction. It has experienced several times that the material and spiritual cost paid by the host country was much higher than that what they gained from tourists. Take the recent destruction to some parts of pyramids in Cairo for example, which is not only leading to gradual demolishing of this unique art of the world, but is also eliminating the ancient human history. In addition to that excessive entrance of outsiders to a remote area imposes pressure on local resources that often leading rise in the prices of local produce not to mention the cost of public services such transport and housing.
From what has been revealed, although expansion of tourism may contribute to the economy of a county, the trouble it makes to local people’s life is also extremely crucial.

Hi, Simon
I have a problem on your 5-sentence paragraph structure.
- In the first way, why do you just add example on the first reason? What's about the 2 last one?
- please give me an example about second way. I'm confusing
Thanks alot ^^

Hi Ha Thu,

The example could go with any of the 3 reasons (you could write an example for reason 2 or 3 instead if you want), but one example is enough - you don't need 3 examples.

The lesson below contains a paragraph written in the second way:


which pattern will i follow for both paragraphs? both of them ? or just 1 pattern for both paragraph? please let me know....

Hi Zillur,

Either way is fine. You can use the same pattern or both patterns.

I want to know about my ideas are good enough which can give me 7 band
Subjects such as Art, Sport and Music are being dropped from the school curriculum for subjects such as Information Technology. Many people children suffer as a result of these changes. To what extent would you support or reject the idea of moving these subjects from school curriculum?

There are some negative sides for declined in curriculum subjects such as art, sport and music for children to introduce new IT subject in theese days. These subjects are playing pivotal role for child’s mental and physical development.Moreover,subjects such as art,music can enhance knowledge of children about tradition,custom and culture of ancient period.For example,if in schools children eduction about traditional subjects can guide students to select their career path by consedering academic and non-academic subjects.In schools main intention to teach some curriculum subjects is to reduce stress and strain of children for their study pressure and few lectures a day of these sujects can make them relax and refresh compare to IT subject.Furthemore ,in present era an importance to select Information technology subject rather than art or music may can be deprived them from their own heritage and overall growth.
There are, however, several reasons favour why selection of new subject is rising in comparison of other non academic subjects.The most important reason is that this is the world of technological advancement and computer invention is considered as the backbone for not only routine tasks but also in different fields.As a result,parents encourage their children to select this subject for present and future progress.For instance,nowadays,children from their an early age start to use computer to play games and surf some websites for their study and assignments and some of them are keen to learn more about IT subject for career purpose.Another point states that in this cut troat competition ,to secure admission in reputed universities ,parents have been an emphasising on essential subjects which comprises IT.

Hi Siya,

I understand that you would like to know whether your essay is good enough for a band 7. The problem is that if I give you a score, I will have to give everyone's essays a score. I'm really sorry, but it wouldn't be fair if I helped one person and not others. I just don't have time to read and score essays.

yes that i can understand but can tell by referring this essay.can you tell it is up to the expectation of essay topic.thas it

Hi Siya,

There are some good ideas there, but the essay still needs work. I think you need a bit of help from a teacher to improve your essay writing. Try to find someone who can analyse your essay in detail with you. I'm afraid I can't do that, but I can give you the contact details of a teacher who does essay correction and feedback if you want:


Is it ok if i also add examples in the 2nd and 3rd reason?or it will just make my essay too long?. will it affect the band?tnx

Hi Dave,

It's fine to do that. Just don't write too much.

hi Simon

i use 1st stucture to write the essay like
topic sentence
1st reason and example shpuld be linked to 1st reason?then
2nd reason
3rd reason
and i do not know how to explain detailed sentence for stucture.
i will very thankful if you will give me roughtly idea.

Hi Siya,

Your essay structure looks fine, but I'm afraid I can't explain how to write detailed sentences because there are so many different ways to do it. As I said before, you would benefit from taking some lessons with a teacher who can give you specific help.

thanks a lot

helo simon thanks for your kind help.. I am very much glad to read this site.. thank you very much.. i am also student trying to get 9 band in ielts.. can you give me any more idea about ielts.. thank you..kshitij

Hi Simon,
Unfortunately, it is very hard to write a introduction paragraph especially as well as body and conclusion .What can i do ? My examination date 15.06.2013 Until that time How can i study .am looking forward to receiving an e mail as soon as possible.
Hav a nice day !

Hello Simon !
I like to improve my General Writing Task 2. Would you please help me regarding this.

wishing your fine health.

hi simon
i want to improve my speaking . would you please help me about it,

will it affect my score if i only made 4 sentences each paragraph?

Hlw simon,
I have already got 6 in my writting bt I want to get 7 in writting.For this reason I m looking forward to ur ebook( completed studying) & ur rules bt I m so much confused about agree or disagree topic bcoz sometimes u wrote in ur num 2 paragraphs(on the one hand), 3-on the other hand, & 2-firstly,secondly & finally, 3(on the other hand).So pls cler me when I have to writte on the one hand & other hand,(firstly,secongly,finally & on the other hand).
pls know me

Hi Simon

I wanted to know if you've written sample essay for the topic: With the pressures on today's young people to succeed academically, some people believe that non-academic subjects at school (e.g:physical education and cookery) should be removed from the syllabus so that children can concentrate wholly on academic subjects.

If you've already written essay for this topic, could you share it with us

Hi, Simon
I wanted to ask about smth that encounters mostly in Task-1, writing maps. When you write e.g There were/was a fountain and a stage for musicians, which one is correct was or were?

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