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December 15, 2011


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Fantastic! You are really doing a great job here, Simon. This is an excellent review for writing Task 1 before my test on Saturday;). Thank you very much.

Hi Simon!

I have a question. " A large proportion of expenditure went on food" or " A large proportion of Expenditure went toward food"? sometimes, when I read model reports, I see author use " went on". However, when I use it in my report, my teacher crosses it and replace by " went toward".

hi i am prabhjot kaur from australia......this is my---- writting topic 2...........today's foods are often travelled thousands of mile from farm to consumer.u agree or disagree.... (3rd dec.2011).............i don't understand this topic ?

Simon thanks so much I got IELTS7.00 today. your site was very helpful :) again thank you

Hi simon.
i am from Iran and Came to Finland 4 month ago so I have to pass ielts exam on 14 January 2012 but the important part is that i have to got 7 score .
another factor that i am worried about it is speaking because i heard ielts examiner in Iran speaks better than ielts examiner in Finland in order to that Finland is a European country that most of its people can speak English better than people who live in Iran.
i saw your website then i like to know how can i get this score and what should i do?
would you please tell me your opinion?

thanks in advance

Hi Simon!!

Very excellent!! You are really good teacher! Step of thinking help someone to think systematically and apply this strategy for every task.Thank you very much.I will follow step of your thinking to apply myself for test on this Saturday.

Hi Sir,
I did my ielts exam in the begining of this month and got my score today.I need 7score in each module and i got7.5 in listening,6.5 in reading,7 in writing and 7.5 in speaking and the sad thing is reading was not that much difficult for me this time.Do you think is it worth to apply for a revaluation.please give me an advice.
Thankyou very much.

No problem Ahmed. Good luck on Saturday!


Hi Thao,

Both are correct. If you use it correctly, "went on" is good.


Hi Prabhjot,

Some of that question is missing. It's incomplete.


Well done Dana! That's great news.


Hi Zahra,

You just need to keep practising and working hard. Try to follow the daily lessons on this site, use the Cambridge IELTS books for test practice, and try to find a teacher or native speaker who can check your work, correct your mistakes, and help you to improve.

Don't worry about differences between countries. All examiners are trained in the same way.


Hi Patty,

I'm glad you found my thinking steps useful.


Hi JJ,

Unfortunately I don't think your reading score will change because reading answers are either right or wrong.

Don't give up! You nearly got the scores you need. I'm sure you'll get them very soon.

Hi everybody, and special thanks for Simon and this website
I visit this site everyday and I read all comments. A lot of people who get high band in ielts exam write comments to improve themselves and I think they can help the other people who are weaker. I know Simon can’t help everybody because he doesn’t have enough time while maybe the others can do that by person to person.
So who can help me, my band were 5 and I would like to improve myself, please???
For example who can edit my essays? By email.
Thanks in advance.

Hi Simon,
my question is regarding your lesson of Monday, October 04, 2010

In linguistics, a corpus (plural corpora) is a large and structured set of texts (now usually electronically stored and processed). A corpus may be used to help linguists to analyse a language, or for the purpose of dictionary writing or language teaching. 1. What is a corpus?

A) A type of large dictionary.
B) A single written text.
C) A tool for language analysis.
In the text there are 3 uses of corpus.But in the question only one is mentioned.
Why it is not A INSTEAD OF C

The table shows people in some countries how paid out their money in 2002.
In this country, people spent most of their incomes in food/Drink/tobacco, while they spent lowest of their incomes in Leisure and education. For example in Ireland more than of 28% went on Food or drinks or tobacco while they spent less than of 3% for leisure and education.
In this country, Turkish has spent highest percentage for food/drinks/tobacco about 32% and highest percentage in leisure and education about 4%. Italian spent most for clothing/footwear about 9% while Spanish has lowest percentage for leisure and education about 2%. Swedish spent lowest percentage for food/drinks/tobacco about 16% and clothing/footwear about 5.4%.

Thanks Simon.
I got 7.5 all because of you.

Hi Simon, Many thanks for your useful and thoughtful website.
Can I put an overall trend as my conclusion? because I get used to it.

Regarding question above which has some part missing.

"nowadays food travel long distance from farmer to consumer.
Why is it?
is it negative or positive?"
something like this.

I always begin with your wonderful blog when I start studying for IELTS every morning and really feel happy with that. Today, I have a question. I'm so confused when I use preposition, especially, "for" and "of". Could you please tell me what is the big difference between "for" and "of"?
eg. "the figures for ..." "the percentages of ... "
Many thanks and hope you have a nice day~ ^^

The table illustrates the percentage of the total consumer spending on various items categorised in food/drinks/tobacco, clothing/footwear and leisure/education in Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Turkey in 2002.
It can be clearly seen that the largest proportion of the total consumer spending in country went on food/drinks/tobacco. In contrast, the least amount of money spent on leisure/education category compared to other categories.
The significantly higher amount of money spent on food/drink/tobacco and leisure/education, at 32.14% and 4.35% respectively, in Turkey out of the five countries, while Italian spend noticeably larger proportion on clothing and footwear, at 9%, than any of the other countries. Nearly 29% of consumer spending went toward food, drink and tobacco in Ireland that is the second highest for this categoy in the five countries.
On the other hand, Sweden had the lowest figure for consumer spending on food/drink/tobacco and clothing/footwear, at 15.77% and 5.40% respectively. Spain had slightly higher figure for these categories, but the lowest figure for the leisure/education at only 1.98%.
(166 words)

this means if I plan like Simon, I can keep the word limit nearer to 150 words. that's not easy for me!
So big thanks for showing us how to select the information.

Hi Simon,

Could you please explain folowing:
Big thanks for showing
or big thanks to show
I was about to write thanks to but than it was not wounding right so I changed. but not sure which is correct and why.


Essential to OR essential for?
For example, there is an increased rate of depression among the parents due to lack of skills which are essential to raise a child.
There is an increased rate of depression among the parents due to lack of skills which are essential for raising a child.

Thanks in advance.

Hi simon
except IELTS Cambridge ,are there any other suitable books for ielts?I found many of them but most of them are not standard and there questions are too easy or too difficult


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.


The table releases the rate of money which is spent on different item which is consumed in 5 countries 2002.It can be clearly seen that , food drink and tabacoo had the most more consumption in comparison to other options , while amount of money which was spent on leisure and education is recorded much less than other items.
According to the table , turkey was a bigger consumer of food, drink and tabacoo (32,14%), while it had less rate of consumption on leisure and education(3,45%)Ireland is the next county which was fallowing turkey as a high consumer in food drink and tabaco (29,91) , but it consumed just 2,21% on lisure and education .
The next three countries Italy , Spain and Sweden fallowed closely each other in whole items, spain almost recorded 1.19% that it is the lowest mony which was spent on leisure and education.

with advanced thanks

Hi simon
I m always confused in using a "tense" whether to use a present tense or not, if there is not given a particular year or date in the writing task 1 question. Could you please make it clear?


The table indicates how many people from the five different countries spend their money on various stuffs in 2002.

As an overall trend, shoppers expend more on food/drinks/tobacco and less on leisure/education.

Among the five countries, Turkey has recorded the highest percentage of expenditure on food/drinks/tobacco and leisure/education at 32.14% and 4.35%, respectively. While Italy spent more on clothing/footwear at 9.0%.

On the other hand, Ireland consumed more on food/drinks/tobacco at 28.91%, whereas, Spain paid out the least on leisure/education at 1.98%, and like Spain, Sweden disbursed a little part of their income on food/drinks/tobacco and clothing/footwear at 15.77% and 5.40%, respectively.

I appreciate if you can give me feedback and rate my writing. I am in the middle of ielts preparation.

Thank you very much.

Hi Simon,
Could you please make a post about using 'it' instead of nouns in essays?
Thank you in advance

Hi Saman,

If you don't find anyone, a colleague of mine does an essay correction service. See this link:



Hi Jawairia,

A corpus is not a dictionary, but it can be used to help people who write dictionaries.

Answer "C" is a summary of all the uses of a corpus.


Congratulations Priyanka. 7.5 is a great score!


Hi Negin,

Yes, you can put the summary at the end instead of second if you want.


Thanks Kai.

That's what I call a "2-part" question because there are 2 separate questions. Just write one main paragraph for each.

We say "thanks for showing"
"essential to raise" and "essential for raising" are both correct.


Hi Bessie,

Small words like "of" and "for" are the most difficult to explain. It all depends on the words you are using with them, so it's impossible for me to give you some simple rules. Just learn that we say "the figure for" and "the number/percentage of". It's pointless trying to understand why - sometimes we just need to accept that "this is what people say in English".

I'm glad you like the blog!


Hi Mehran,

No, the Cambridge books are the only 'real' test books. They are the only ones I use.


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!


Hi Zahra and Lilian,

I'm afraid I don't offer essay correction, feedback or scoring. If I did this, everyone would send me their essays. Try to find a teacher who can help you.



If you can see past years, use the past simple. If no times are shown, use present simple.


Hi Kiril,

Te problem is that the uses of "it" are infinite! Basically we use "it" instead of a noun when the noun has already been mentioned e.g. "Junk food is bad for people's health. I believe that IT should be banned." (IT = junk food).

Hi Simon,
Is it ok if I write like following sentence:
1, MORE leisure time was enjoyed by males than females.
2, Leisure time was enjoyed by MORE males than females
Thanks indeed!!!

Hi Dung,

Both are grammatically correct, but they have different meanings:

1. means that men spent more TIME on leisure
2. means that more MEN enjoyed leisure


As I came through this certain post on your blog I found it very beneficial, this will serve as a guide and a good practice for those people who's into IELTS writing. TheIELTSSolution.com

Thank you.

hello simon please answeer me .can i write introduction like this one?the graph represents an overview of the expense on 3 items by different 5 countries in 2002

Hi Aytaj,

That's fine. Just change 'expense' for 'expenditure' or 'spending'.

Hi simon, can you tell me please what do you think about my introduction?

The table compares the amount of money spent on three different categories by people in five countries in 2002.

great, i find it really useful. Come on!

The given table illustrates comparison between five countries Ireland,Italy, Spain, Sweden and Turkey regarding there spending on food items, clothing, and Leisures. The Citizen from all countries spends highest amount of money on food and drinks followed by clothings. And the least expenditure is on leisure or education.

Turkish people spends maximum persentage of money on food items as well as in Leisure among given five countries recording 32.14% and 4.35% respectively. In case of expenditure on clothing, Italians spends most among all countries that is 9%.

People from Sweden spends least amount of money on food items as well as clothings over all given countries spending only 15.77% and 5.40% respectively.Similarly, Spainish spend least money on Leisure which is less than 2%.

To conclude, Looking on table,highest persentage of expenditure is on food items and least is on Leisure among all given fivecountries.whereas,Turkish seems to be spending most on food and Leisure over all other countries.

Please comment on it . Thanking you!!!

Thank you Simon! This lesson was in 2011, but it is helping me now. I am grateful.

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