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May 26, 2012


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Dear Simon
I just took the IELTS test. This is a sentence i wrote for conclusion.With the number of deaths caused by traffic pollution on the RISE, it is high time governments took drastic actions to....
I wrote rise instead of increase, how much do you think that will affect my grade, the rest of the sentences were just fine I guess
Thanks a million

There is a writing task about work satisfaction in Cambridge IELTS 7.
Why not add this topic into your ebook?
The factors contribute to job satisfaction:
These are these factors from the model answer:
Training opportunity
The sense of belonging to a team
The sense of responsibility for and loyalty to a team

I would also add these:
Working environment
Labour relation
Promotion opportunity

thank you, I find your words always full of wisdom :X

I have taken the test today, the listening and writing task 2 were medium but the reading test was quite tricky, also the writing task 1 was describing maps, on which I hadn't prepared much, so I didn't meet the requirement on the minimum words, I just wrote 134 words, and my vocabulary was not "appealing" and pretty simple.
too bad hu hu...

hi simon, my question is about giving examples. in most of the writing task 2 questions it is also required to give examples. i just want to know if examples need to be specific and not to general? or does it need to be in your home country? like for example to state about the people who are sent to prison in the UK but your in the Philippines? is this ok?tnx

hi simon!
My speaking is the poorest of the 4 modules. i'm just wondering how people get 7 -8 from speaking
how can i improve my speaking ? If you have any helpful strategies pls aware me.
Hopefully, Otabek

I think in writing or speaking we should use common used words or phrases. there would be an irrational concept if we did not try to make a balance in using our words in the sentences. in other words it is inappropriate to use sophisticated words in one or two sentences in our article whereas normal words were used in the other sentences in the article.

thanks sulaiman

It's correct Iman.


Hi Moody,

Here's a lesson I did about that topic:



Good luck Hiep!


Hi Dave,

Any kind of example is fine. There isn't a strict definition.


Hi Sulaiman,

I agree - it can seem strange when students suddenly put a 'big' word in the middle of a very normal sentence. It's important (but not easy) to get the balance right.


Hi Otabek,

For band 8, you just need to be a bit more fluent, demonstrate more flexible use of vocabulary, and reduce the number of mistakes you make. Sounds easy :)

Hi Simon,

About the use of "big" or "original" words in writing and speaking, I always tell students NOT to be too smart and just use words/phrases that they are comfortable using.

As you once mentioned, it is quite unfortunate that some teachers keep telling students to include such words in order to improve their scores.


Dear Simon,

I have a simple question about my IELTS preparation. I have just worked on a reading test taken from Cambridge IELTS 6 and I've found it quite easy. I read somewhere that the number contained in these books corresponds to the level of the tests they include. According to this, all the tests contained in CAMBRIDGE IELTS 7 were designed to aim at an overall band score of 7. Likewise, all the tests in CAMBRIDGE IELTS 5 would aim at an overall band score of 5, and so on.
Could you please confirm if this is true or not?


Hi Domenico,

That's not true at all! Please don't believe that rumour!

Hi MR.Simon this essay is difficult write to me, I have no idea what to write. could you give me some advices and support what to write?? essay:We have been living in the nuclear age for over half a century. Since the first atomic bombs were developed, nuclear technology has provided governments with the ability to totally destroy the planet. Yet, the technology has been put to positive use as an energy source and in certain areas of medicine. To what extent is nuclear technology a danger to life on Earth? What are the benefits and risks associated with its use?

Hi Asad,

Here are some lessons about that topic:



thanks very much for you HELP!!!

Hi Simon
I have some problem about speaking ,I did twice ELTES exam but my score was bad in first exam I got 4 and second exam I got 4.5
please help me how can I get 6

Hi Muayad,

You probably just need more practice. Some lessons with a (private) teacher might help.

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