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May 28, 2012


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Thank you Simon for sharing with us such helpful hints (or I should say...the only ones that actually make the difference).

I am going to take my IELTS in two weeks and - not uncommon for me - after plenty of good strategies, the small details are giving me even more troubles. I don't want them to hack my final score after studying so hard!

Here's what I mean.

Listening: use of Prepositions in short answers task

Q: when is the project due?_____
Script: "we have only three more weeks"

Correct answer: IN three weeks.
My answer: THREE WEEKS (Without preposition).

I know that including the preposition we have a proper answer, but I didn't write it because I DIDN'T listen it.

Are we requested to "adjust" gramatically our answer REGARDLESS what we hear or my answer is correct anyway?

Thanks for your help and patience!

Hi Daniela,

Fortunately, the preposition issue isn't very common. Try your best to check that the grammar of your answer is correct, but hopefully you won't encounter too many of those problems in your test.

Best of luck!

cheers simon for your immediate reply!

Hi Simon,

As you mentioned whether you save or spend= saving money and financial security is also given in paragraph, save(saving money) or spend have huge impact on financial security. all these mentioned in paragraph, than how question 2 is not given? please clarify it. thank you

Hi Raja,

It says that saving has a huge impact, but that doesn't mean that saving is THE key to financial security. There could be other 'keys' too (e.g. earning a good salary).

The main thing is that "the key" means "the most important thing" but it's not clear that this is true.

Thank you Simon

your style of teaching is unique and understandable.

can you please suggest some reading materials same as ielts reading passages to improve my reading skills.

Hello Sherin,

IELTS reading passages are adapted from real-world passages such as news articles and publications. Any formal material written by a native English-speaker is fine for practice. Read any interesting material in books, newspapers, journals or magazines. If you enjoy the material that you are reading, you might learn more!

If you have an Internet connection, you have unlimited reading material. My favourite news website is Google News. Almost anything that appears there is written at a professional level and makes for good reading practice!

Hi Simon,

I have some problems with answering some questions so i was hoping for your help,

In Cambrige 5, test 1, reading passage 1, the first three questions I find difficult, mainly why is the statement D correct, as the text mentions that he used writings or texts from the Elizabethans to his own time. So, how could I know from this in the text that Johnson`s Dictionary is focused MAINLY on language from contemporary texts.

Also in Cambirge 5 in test 3, question 21., the sentence is correct, that is YES --"Stanley found that the levels of sediment in the river water in Cairo were relatively high" but in text states that water samples taken in Cairo, just before the river enters the delta, indicated that the river sometimes carries more thatn 850 grams of sediment per cubic metre of water - almost half of what it carried before the dams were built. So i think that the level of sediments in the water in Cairo is lower than previously, should be NO. So confusing!!! This relatively is confusing, whith what should i compare the levels of sediment?

In Cambridge 6 in test 1, I think the answer to question 13 should be 2%, not 20% as this is never mentioned in the text.

Thanks in advance.

Hi Sa,

I'll check those questions and try to help when I've got a bit more time.


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