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January 21, 2012


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Hi simon,
I have given IELTS test 3 time but did not get score in writing, only scored 4.5 but rest of other part i got 6.5, how can i improve my writing skill with next exam day on 4 Feb 2012.

Simon, I do agree with your advice about the importance of topic-specific vocabularies. The rich content resembles the flesh of a human being and the linking words or phrases are similar to the bones.
Without sufficient and good-looking flesh, the bones itself can only be called a skeleton.

Hi simon
please help me with these sentences whether they are right
these two things are of government priority in most
This is of great benefit to me

Hi simon
Sorry for two many questions
What is on for in the Following sentence
This is on which parents cannot afford it....

Hi Simon,
Thank you for your useful website.
I live in Vancouver and i took the exam just today.
Listening, reading and speaking was fine.
But i couldnt manage the time for writing and i missed task 1.
Can u tell me how does it effect my whole score in writing?
By the way i'd like to share with u the topic of task2
"Some people believe that in this modern life it is not necessary to teach children skill of handwriting.
To what extend do u agree or disagree?"
Thank you

I think this article gives some ideas about the topic.

I took my IELTS in Malaysia yesterday.
Speaking test Part 2 is to talk about a thing that you lost - where, when, what had happened, how you feel,
Speaking test Part 3 is to talk about lost and found - why ppl lost things, ...
Writing Part 1 - a bar graph comparing the percentage of ppl used internet from library, workplace, college and home.
Writing Part 2
" Many of today's urgent problem can only be solved by international cooperation" to what extent you agree or disagree?

Hi Simon,
can you tell me which is right when we use it in writing.
In recent time or In recent times

Hi Sarah,
I would like you send you an Email of my essays if you dont mind. Leave you here my email
[email protected]

Many thanks

Hi Rohit, just look up 'recent' in the Cambridge Dictonary

In recent times/years/months, etc. there has been an increase in the amount of violence on television.


Hi Vivek,

It's difficult for me to help you because 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.


Exactly right Vincent!


Hi Mh,

"of government priority in most" and "This is on which parents cannot afford it" are both a bit strange. Try to change them.

"This is of great benefit to me" is fine.


Hi Sarah,

Task 1 is worth one third (33%) of your writing score, so I'm afraid it's quite a bad mistake to miss it. Try to practise organising your time better.

Thanks for sharing your question and the useful link. I hope you do ok!


Thanks Zeeb.


Hi Rohit,

We say "In recent times". Have a look at Christina's advice above.



I'm afraid I don't check students' essays. Have a look at what I wrote here:


simon hear is my some idioms which can improve students band score .....plz recomend these 2 all.....Vijay Sharma
1. Every body should keep affirmative think…….
2. Bad habit should be nipped in the bud….
3. This is null & void ……….
4. In the long run…..
5. English is spoken far & wide….
6. There is a need to keep pace with changing time….
7. Fast & furious life………..
8. I lost doom & gloom……
9. I went there off & cuff ……….
10. Down in the dumps…….
11. I was feeling lose heart……..
12. It is very inevitable for everyone………
13. I have seen many ups and down in my life……..
14. Every body wants to reach on the top…….
15. Dark horse……..
16. Put dumper on…….
17. There is no scarcity of resources…….
18. Barking dog seldom bite………
19. Excessive use of everything is dangerous……
20. Failure is proof that the desire was not strong………
21. Utopia….
22. Whatever happen it goes to well…..
23. His views riddle my heart……….
24. I assume that it’s a kind of temptation………..
25. In this world everybody wants to grain his own axe………
26. A man is slave of his stomach……..
27. A friend in need is a friend indeed………
28. Time once lost can’t be regained……….
29. The station within stone throw from my home………..
30. Tit for tat……..
31. Through thick & thin……….
32. I have got job offer even before my graduation this is the study advantage……..
33. The powerful call the shots………
34. Unpredictable………
35. Life is fast & furious……
36. Childhood is supposed to be worriless period of life……..
37. Some people awake when sunset …..
38. Hard works lead us toward success……….
39. He is not devoid of any identity ……
40. Bare your soul to someone……….
41. It does take to make a quarrel………
42. With an iron hand……….
43. Thick & thin ………..
44. Adds fuel in the fire…..
45. Rome was not built in a day………
46. Practice make a man perfect………..
47. Breathtaking performance…….
48. How we can get rid from this problem……
49. Pass the buck………
50. Ostracize……..
51. Split…
52. on the contrary
53. obviously
54. moreover

simon this is recent exam question plz give a 9 band answer of this 2nd task.....

Q.People today still greatly value artist (such as musician, painters &writers)even in the age of advance science and technical era. why is this so are arts as important to people's life as science and technology are?

Hi Vijay,

Be careful with those idioms - most of them should not be used in the writing exam because they are informal/chatty i.e. not academic style. The list is also a bit 'random' - the key to a high score is to be able to use relevant vocabulary in the right context.

Here's some more advice:


I'll try to do a lesson about that question soon. Other students have already asked for help with a couple of other questions first.

Hi Simon. Please have a look at this sentence:

Having hit more home runs than any other player in the history of baseball, Hank Aaron's record is famous.

Well I think this sentence has problems at both "player" and "Hank Aaron's record". But my friend think that the word "player" is right. What do you think? Thank you so much!

Hi Tuan,

I'd write:

"Having hit more home runs than any other player in the history of baseball, Hank Aaron is famous."

OR even better: "Hank Aaron is famous for having hit more home runs than any other player in the history of baseball."

Hank hit the home runs. His record didn't hit them.

hi sir,
I am Bikram Sharma from Nepal.
I am going to take ielts test on coming june 30 i already take another test at last march 30,when i got each band 5. how i can improve in my english language and my marks? please help me............

Just keep working hard and practising Bikram!

Dear Simon,

This site is really amazing and helpful for all of us. I am going to take IELTS in this month. Earlier I had a plan to take it early in this month but I feel that still I’m not ready for it. Currently I’m following a IELTS preparation course with a local instructor in here. I found that I have some weaknesses in some weakness in reading. I have done about 10 reading test papers in IELTS level and every time scores were between 5.5 to 6.5. But I need at least 7 for each. As I identified I’m somewhat weak in reading section 03 and also I’m weak in true, false, not given type question. Please advise me to improve my weaknesses and archive my target. Your supports and advises are highly appreciated.

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