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June 20, 2012


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Hi Simon

Your site is extremely helpful and I learn a lot of lessons from it.

Could you give me a piece of advice on writing task 2, whether providing 3 reasons to support my opinion is better than just providing 2 reasons?

I thought that unpaid work means doing the community service voluntarily. So, I want to write by saying I completely agree that active participation of teenagers on the community service will be beneficial to both the society and teenagers.

para 1- first reason: various benefits to the individual like- less competition for work experience, effective utilization of the leisure time,got an opportunity to learn the moral character like trust, humour and kindness, develop their interest in a particular fields.

para 2- second reason: bring a huge difference to the society- services like cleaning streets, planting trees, collecting rubbish and controlling traffic can create a cleaner and beautiful environment, less chance of the younger ones getting involved in crimes so reduces social crimes, secures the tranquility for the future society.

conclusion- repeating the opinion that today's youth should be encouraged to volunteer the community service as ti can bring a significant changes in the society and individual as well.

hi simon,

are there any differences in scoring general and academic exams(all modules)? I mean: it is easier to achieve 7(all mosule) at genaral exam?

thanks in advance!

HI, Simon,
For this topic, can I use "all-round" or cultivate?

volunteer work makes young people all-round individuals.
Volunteer work cultivates good members of community.


Can you help to check my composition? thank you!I will post it again.

Teenages are members of our society,and they should spend part of their spare time helping the local community without pay,which is beneficial to both the society and the youth.First,the young generation should do something to appreciate the society.The youngersters attract so much attention and all of the society are taking care of them and creating the best surroundings for them to grow up and study.So to help the community is a good way for the teenagers to show their acknowledgements to the society.Second,there are many meaningful things easy enough for those young people to do.For example , collecting plastics and assisting the blind crossing the roads are within their ability and they can do these efficiently.Finally ,it is a good opportunity for the teenagers to communicate with the rest of the society. When the youngersters take part in the social bussiness,they can learn a lot of experience which is not given in class.

However,many parents argue that we should not let the children take the responsibity to serve the community because the teenagers have so much homework to do and they should have a good relaxion during their free time .In fact they are much too afraid that the youngersters may get some unexpected hurt while doing voluntary work.

Though there may be some shortcomings for the teenagers to help the community as volunteers,The benefit may outweigh the drawbacks.And I am confident that these young people can do an excellent job and our society will also appreciate their work very much.

Hi BP_hun,

The main differences in the Academic and GT exam are the Reading, and Task 1 in the Writing Module.

An Academic Candidate would need around 30 correct to achieve a band 7 Reading, whereas, in the GT exam you would need around 34 to get the same score.

My students have said that they found each exam has its own level of difficulty.


Hi Simon,
I am more comfortable in writing a balanced view.For ex. Community work helps both the individual as well as the society but it should not be forced.

Hi Vinh,

It doesn't matter how many reasons you give. The important thing is the quality of the language you use.


Hi Nisha,

"should be required to" doesn't mean "voluntarily" - it means that they are forced to do it.


Hi BP,

Only the reading is scored differently. Look at the tables on this page:

Of course, writing task 1 is a completely different task.


That's fine Jessica.


Thanks Magi.


That's fine too Ana.

Hi Deng,

I'm afraid I don't offer essay correction or scoring. If I did this, everyone would send me their essays.

Hi Simon,

If we don't express our idea in the introduction and write some points for both agree and disagree in different paragraph , does it mean that we can not support only one side in the conclusion?

Pls ans this question.


Hi Simon
I got 7 this time in reading writing and listening but got 6.5 in speaking.I am from Bangladesh and its very hard to get native English speaker here.I took some lesson in writing from a tutor for few days.I have to appear the exam again bcz i need 7 individual.But my tutor live in another district,so its not possible to get in touch with him again.Is it possible to get a good score without any writing practice at home,i mean if i just monitor the sample answers of band 7 writing?

Hi Ritu,

I'm confused by what you are saying. Just keep it simple: express your view in the introduction, support it in the main body, and repeat/summarise it in the conclusion.


Hi Gangchil,

Yes, it's possible to get a very good score without taking lessons with a teacher. Of course, a good teacher will help a lot, but the work you do alone is often more important.

Thanks Simon , I will follow that.

However, could u please explain the following question for me.

Some people think that university should provide graduate with the knowledge and skills needed in the workplace. Others think that the true function a university should be a give access to knowledge for its own sake , regardless of whether the course is useful to an employer.

What , in your opinion , should be the main function of a university.

Hi Simon,
I had learned lessons from your website for about 2 months and I got 7 in my second IELTS test. I only got 5 in writting last time, it's 6 this time. Your lessons are reaaaally helpful! Thank you!:)

Hi Ritu,

I'll try to look at that question soon.


Congratulations Donna. I'm glad you like the website.

Hi Simon,

I have few questions I want to ask, first of all in the IELTS Writing Task 2: 'traffic' topic you wrote in the suggestion file about "band 7 vocabulary". How do you categorize particular vocabularies into specific band? Second, how can I get band 8 in writing? My main problem-for now- in writing is that the command of words. I have quite wide-range of vocabularies, as a matter of fact I often read novel. However, it seems that I have difficulties in using those words and bring them in to my essays. Any advice?

Hi Antonius,

It's difficult for me to explain exactly what "band 7 vocabulary" is - there isn't a specific list that I can give you. Basically, examiners have an idea of what words and phrases are used less often by students. If you look through my speaking and writing lessons, you'll see that I sometimes underline the less-common vocabulary that I think would help you to get a higher score.

To get a band 8, you need to be able to express your ideas in detail, using a wide range of words and phrases as accurately as possible.

I agree that "command of words" is the key to being good at any language. However, this isn't something that you can achieve quickly - it takes time. The lesson linked below explains my philosophy about this:


HI ALL IELTS TAKERS. This is an essay written by me. Every body is free to make it more error free.
Employers now tend to prefer employees with good social skills in addition to good qualifications .Social skills are getting more and more important compared to qualifications. Do you agree or disagree?
It is unquestionable that social skills are increasingly significant in varieties of jobs at work place. These days, employees who have smart social skills may gain favorable consideration of the sponsors than those who are well educated. I personally agree with this view point because of the following reasons.
For one, acquiring good social skills play a leading role in creating a pleasant sounding working environment. Actually, high competition and desire are increasing day by day at work places. In addition to this, enormous volume of work may put workers into strain, and this amends their behavior in dealing with the clients. To run a business successfully, people with effective social skills are preferred by their employers in many big corporations. For example, Staffs in Tokyo, in Japan are treated politely and friendly remarks are given to them in an attempt to ease the work related stress.
On the other hand, social skills are thought to be beneficial to boost the business. This advantage can be seen in jobs in banking and investment componies. When a customer visit the bank for personal finance, if the customer service is friendly and ready to lend a hand, he or she will be comfortable. For example, once I approached Saudi British Bank to credit a check from Canada into my account. First it seems to me very complicated, but the staff at customer service was very caring. Finally, my task was completed .As this shows that social skills have been proven effective in booming the business. Thus, it can be concluded from this example that social skills outweigh the qualifications.
Following a look from this, It has been shown that individuals with good social skills dominate over the well qualified people. It also grows the business universally.

Hi Simon,

Thank you for the advice. I just read your blog regarding the band 7 or higher vocabulary, as well as the link about repertoire and thank you for that. The problem is I'm "slow to heat up" and sometimes the idea and better vocabulary occurs way after the exam, and I just want to kick myself on the backside, because the ideas swirling in my head and with time constraints I have to choose which ideas I would use. I have done a lot of exercises to tackle that issue but, it still happens at some topics.
By the way I will have my IELTS test on this Saturday (30 June). Wish me luck. Any last advice?

All I can say is try your best Antonius. Good luck!

Hi Simon sir
I'm very poor in writing English.
Could you tell me how I can improve make the idea list by logically and appropriately.

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