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April 20, 2012


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sir idea is important or vocabulary bcz its a english testing exmam sir than hw can idea is important bcz idea is related to knowledge simon sir

Dear simon,

Millions thanks for your marvelous website,I am wondering that how some peoples without any expect help us to increase our knowledge.

I took IELTS exam in January 2012 but unfortunately I didn't obtain good score : W5.5,R5.5,L6,S7.

Therefore i will set again to IELTS exam next Saturday.I found your website 2 weeks ago and started to reading your posts from first month and doing your exercise. Honestly your websites excellent source for preparation to IELTS, I wish,I could found your website in past.I have my master degree in psychology and recently I applied for PhD in some top universities, fortunately I got a very good conditional offer ( due to my low score English result) from some universities like University of Utrecht, Free Berlin University and University of Munich,New South West University.I have to show that my English knowledge is perfect to get final offer.

My main problem is writing, if I couldn't increase my score I will lose my offers.

Juliet form Iran

hi simon,
i took the ielts many times befor, the speaking test was fine for me where i got 7 many times excpt the last one i got 6, the question was about civil buildings.to be honest i didn`t know any example for it so i couldn`t answer it well.the examinar ask me about my opinion about it,the nigatives of this building ,any suggestion to improve it, its role in our life.
so please simon can you tell me what it is?
thanks very much

hi Juliet
you are very good in English,can you help me to improve my English?
If its possible i contact with you by email.

Dear saman

I am glad to have your message. Honestly I have to say thatI am not perfect in English,therefore I think I cant help you so much, but i suggest you to focus on this website. I promise that you'll improve your knowledge in English so much by this website.

Good Luck

Hi Simon,

Thanks for the speaking tips for Part2, but I'm afraid I don't fully agree with tip#3.

It is true that there is very little time for candidates to think of grammar during the exam as it may affect their fluency. However, using proper grammatical structures is a good way to "show off" one's English abilities and perhaps get a good score.

That being said, my advice is to choose a number of grammatical structures during training and try to use them for different topics. If students practice and force themselves to use their selected grammatical expressions all the time, they should be able to use them naturally and correctly during the exam.

Anyway, my advice may not be suitable for everyone, but I just wanted to share my view on this.

Have a nice weekend!!


Hi Hussain,

When I use the word 'ideas' I don't really mean special 'knowledge', I mean 'opinions' in response to the question. Ideas are expressed using vocabulary, so it's impossible to separate these two things.


Hi Juliet,

Keep practising! I'm sure you'll improve if you work hard.


Hi Mesoo,

A civil building is a public building, so a good example would be a library. Try to think of some ideas for that.


Hi Martin,

Yes, I sometimes try to be a bit provocative with my advice. I suppose my main point is that grammar shouldn't be the main focus, but students should certainly still study it. I agree that it can be useful to practise a few selected structures in different contexts. That's a good idea!

Enjoy your weekend too!


Hi Simon,

I had recently taken ielts, and the task 2 question was;
In some cultures old age is given importance, whereas in other societies youth is more valued.

Discuss both the views and give your own opinion.

Now, where should I put my opinion if it differs from both the views (I want to say that both age groups are equally important).


sir i asked this question to so many teachers but no one has given me such correct answer.thanks a lot sir

I suppose Simon meant students should not worry too much about what grammatical structures to use during the speaking test. I guess what examiners want to see is the spontaneous response of the student with grammatical structures naturally and appropriately integrated, helping the examiner better understand what he/she is trying to say, instead of the ability to match his/her thought with different grammatical structures on purpose. Having said that, I agree with Martin that students should practise how to use different grammatical structures (or stuff) properly when they are preparing for the test. It is vital that, in my opinion, students know when to use and what to use in the test, or it sounds really awkward because the examiner can tell whether the student is showing his/her capability or not.


hi simon! if you have time please answer this question. I just took ielts this morning and task 2 question was agree or disagree. The question was this- Some people believe that planning for the future is just a waste of time and we should focus more on the present?
A.) Can i have a balanced opinion even if To what extent is not included in the question?

B.) You mentioned in some of your lessons that we should not start by saying some people believe.... in this kind of question but what i did was like this:

people have different views about what should we focus on in our lives. I agree that we should give attention on the present, however, I disagree with the view that planning for the future is a waste of time.. something like this.. will i loose marks because i wrote people have different views? i made it clear what my opinions are. thank you

thanks for your advise Juliet.
I hope.

Hi Messo,
i think the examiner has asked about a civic building relating to the town or city.because he asked you about conservation and restoration.In my first attempt speaking test i had to answer this type of question in part three.i do not know civil and civic are the same

Hi KP,

Put your own opinion in the introduction and conclusion, and write one main paragraph about each view.


Hi Dave,

Nothing to worry about - the answer to A is yes (it's fine to have a balanced view even if the word 'extent' isn't in the question). B: your use of 'people have different views...' is fine. I sometimes use that in my introductions for this kind of essay.

simon thank you very much for your effort on answering my questions. This is my 2nd time taking the ielts. i hope that i'll get all 7 in every subtest this time. Godbless simon.

if any one want to study IELTS speaking, please add me on skype. my skype id is rajas8099


Hi Simon,
My teacher always says that adding signals into ielts speaking task 2 is very important to make examiner understand which questions u are answering.
However, I dont know how to give these signals when starting speaking. Can u clarify this point for me?

Dear Simon

i want know about reading ..i cann't do it fast and in time true false and ng is difficult for me. how can i improve this? please help me.
i have 60 days left for my exam .


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