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December 18, 2011


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Hi Simon
Thanks for the wonderful website
From my experience in IELTS Iwould say that subject specific vocabulary is the key factor to score well in Writing
Itook the exam months ago and i was lucky that writing task 2 was about whether governments or students should pay university costs.I read that before the exam in sample answer and wrote down the vocabulary related to it .on the exam it was very easy to me to write about the topic and i even finished before the time .Iscored 7.5

Hi Simon

could you please suggest how can improve my score in writing and speaking from 6.5 to 7 within 1 month? I would appreciate your suggestion.


Hi Maya,

You are exactly right, and that's why you got a good score. Well done!


Hi Jane,

There is no 'perfect' way I'm afraid. You just need to keep practising. It's a good idea to find a private teacher who can check your writing and help you to improve your speaking. Good luck!

PS. You don't need to post your comments more than once. I'll find them and answer them.

Hi Simon,

I think this is a tough one for students, but perhaps Wikipedia or other websites can help students build their own list of topic specific vocabulary. Even if students can have a very complete list, they still need to learn and understand how to use each one of the words/phrases by making sentences. Plugging in nice vocabulary without knowing how to use them properly can easily make the sentence, or even the whole essay, look very awkward and unnatural.


Hi Maya,

Your effort really paid off and I hope more students can follow your way of preparation! Congrats!


Hi Martin,

Yes, building a 'repertoire' of words and phrases that you can use is really the key to language learning, and it's the key to getting a good IELTS score. However, this is the thing that requires the hard work - daily reading, dictionary use, note-taking etc. As you said before, there are no shortcuts!

Yup, the bad news for all students is that there are definitely NO SHORTCUTS!!!

But the good news is that the process/time of learning/improving can be shortened with effort, dedication, motivation, perseverance, persistence, determination, etc... In my opinion, as long as the student possesses 2 or 3 of those "study attitudes", he is very likely to achieve his goals in no time!

I agree! Those are the key attitudes.

Hi Simon,

Merry Christmas!

Looking at two sentences below:

1_ I called off the wedding.
2_ I canceled the weeding.

My question is on IELTS's vocabulary. "call off" and "cancel" are same meaning but "call off" is a phrasal verb. The question is what will get a high evaluation on specified IELTS skill?

In my opinion, phrasal verbs will be valuable than same meaning verbs, in speaking part because phrasal verbs are usually used in conversation. On the contrary, in academic writing that is formal and clear, verbs overcome phrasal verbs.

How do you think? What is your advises on using verbs or phrasal verbs to maximize IELTS's score?

Many thanks,

Hi Vietnam,

It's difficult to judge just one example of verb versus phrasal verb. What really gets you a high score in the speaking test is the ability to use a range of words and phrases i.e. some normal verbs and some phrasal verbs.

In the writing exam it's probably better to use normal verbs. Some phrasal verbs are commonly used in academic writing (e.g. "set up" a business), but others are a bit informal (e.g. "continue" is probably better than "carry on").

Thank you very much for your reply.That's helpful for me.

I will try to figure it out what is relevant verbs should be used in specified IELTS exam part. I will no longer think just using only normal verbs or phrasal verbs.

Enjoy Christmas time.

Thanks Vietnam.

hi Mr.Simon.My name is Vinh.i'm vietnamese. i want to buy your ebook but i don't know whether my bank card is suitable or not.i'm 15 years old and i want to get 6.5 band.And do you use skype?i hope you will help me to improve my english speaking skill.In my country,i don't have the good condition to speak English.i hope you understand what i say since my english isn't good...i look forward to seeing your reply:)I leaved you a comment on Facebook.Bye Mr.Simon.
Best wishes to you

Hi Vinh,

I answered your email.

Hi Simon,

Is it possible for you to highlight every topic specific vocabulary in your daily lessons? it is difficult for us to distinguish the topic specific vocabulary from those common words.

Or is there any specific vocabulary mentioned in your ebook ?

Hi Mr.Simon

How I can find a private teacher with cheap fees.

Many thanks,

Hi Everyone,

I'm going for my listening, reading and writing test on the 17th of January 2015 in Malaysia. Anyone can share how to get band 7 for reading...

I'm crazy with Ielts test now, do you have any advise for me,Simon


I have gust a qustino
How can I get a copy of your lessons?


sir, how to i take individual 7 for each section and how any hours spend for one day. please give me a proper advice.

Thank you

Hi Simon,
I'm taking an intensive course of IELTS in a centre but I want to practice more at home because I only have 2 months for preparation before the exam. However, I find it difficult to determine what I should begin first. I'll tell you my learning strategy, could you please help me to identify whether it's a good plan or not, OK?
As for speaking and writing task 2, I think I will practice in accordance with topics (e.g education, environment, health...)
As for listening and reading, I will practice with the Cambridge IELTS Test or Recent Actual Test, or do you think that I should do the reading by topics as well (Psychology, art, history)?

Thank you, Simon!

Your strategy looks good to me Lin!

Hi simon
I read most of the stuff from your website and really it is so beneficial for me . But the problem i faced in my earlier exam is that i m good to make content and imagine ideas about topic but the problem i had is to express in a right manner .... if you suggest me some instructions or tips that i can do for my next ielts exam. Will really helpful for me.

Umesh bhaskar

Hi Simon
My name is Javlonbek and now Iam praparing for ielts so I'm seeking for a book in order to imprive my ielts vocabulary. Could you advice something?

Hi simon ,
My exam is on 13 february .I am not good in reading. I am unable to make difference between false and not given . Moreover for speaking ,please suggest me how to make begining and ending impreesive? Please suggest soon . I am looking forward to u .

Sir could you please explain some topic vocabularies so that we can learn those words and can use it

Hi Simon,

When we finish the letter in IELTS.do we have to mention the name at last or not. someone suggested me just finish the eletter at 'sincerely yours' without writing any name.
can you please suggest me what how we have to end.
I am looking forward to your reply.


Hey simon
Could you please give me some suggestion..I need 6 each and last time i got 6 in all three L,R,S but slipped in writing and here just 20 days are remaining in my next exam..I'm really worried about my writing and with this one module ohers are being affected..
Please reply ad libitum..

I need to ur help how can Improve mine reading skills as well as Spking..

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