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October 10, 2012


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Thanks for this and everything on your site. An incredibly valuable, versatile, fresh and inspiring web site. Sorry if this isn't the place for 'general' comments, but wasn't sure otherwise, where to give feedback. As a fellow Mancunian, living abroad and preparing students for these exams, I'm extremely grateful for such a comprehensive and well-organised resource. Great!

Thanks Caroline. It's really nice to read comments like yours, and I'm happy to know that there's a Mancunian out there in a different country following the blog!

hello Simon
can i involve example from my own country singers . can i write their names or i have to mention the kind of music they perform.

Hello,friends! First of all, I am really glad that I found this website very useful in my preparation. Secondly, I would like to ask a piece of advice and recommendations from IELTS test takers as I am going to sit the IELTS very soon. I will really appreciate if anyone can reply. Good luck with your preparation and examination,too.

Hi Simon,

Thanks for the wonderful guidance you are providing through this website..God Bless...
I have a pblm with task 2 writing although I was able to get 7 in one of my previous attempts in writing this time I ended up getting L 7.5 R 7 Speaking 7 and 5.5 in writing ,,,,and I am really disappointed with the score .I have got your e book and it is very helpful but I still feel I do not have enough ideas regarding topics,,, Please give me some tips on how to improve my writing and build up ideas.

Hello Simon,
I would like to thank you first for all your work. I will attempt my second IELTS exam on 27-October-2012 but this time after follow your blog for a while, I will definitely improve from last attempt.(Was overall 6).
I have question regarding Task-1 writing:
your report looks simple and easy to follow and I learn to write the same way. But some sample essay (like behind the cambridge books) use a lot adverb+verb structure, like gradually increased, sharp dropped.

Now my question is, what impact should it put in term of band score? How frequently should it used? I mean if we use it in every sentence, I think it might be exaggerate.

Thank you,

Hi Simon

I am going to sit for IELTS on this saturday could you please give some tips that how can i boost up my writing module most of time i am not able to score above 6.5 so please help me.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Thanking you


Hi Simon,
thanks for all your works, they really helped me a lot.

I just have a little confusion about the second part of the question. Can I argue that the two types of music are equally important?

Thank you very much

Hi Ronnie,

I am going to take the IELTS on this saturday as well. I am in the similar situation as you are, expect to boost my writing score to at least 7!

Good luck!

Some people say how can you get band-9 with this simple type of essay.
I agree that this essay can easily get band-9,the reason for that is that it is easy to follow and understand,without scratching your head.
Another thing if you try to write essay like this you wont be able to do that.Its easy to read and follow,doesnt mean you can write.

Some students are at band-7 level,but they get 6.5 or 6.The reason for this is that they try to use different words and sentences in exam which they have not used in past before instead of using simple sentences,and end up with lots of mistakes.For band-7 you need error free senteces,which doesnt say error free complex senteces.So,try to use only few good vocabs and senteces that you are confident about and other sences are simple but error free would take you to band-7.
Hope this helps.

Hi, Simon
I agree your writing is good. But I see that your essay is quite short and doesn't use relative, adverbial and emphasic structures.
How can i get a high score? Are complex structures important in writing?

Thank you so much

Hi Simon,

Just a quick question. Do we have to make a "short conclusion" at the end of each main paragraph? Or it is alright to finish the points and start the second paragraph

Thanks a lot

Hello Simon,
This website is noteworthy to me. Thanks for what you're doing here.

Hi Simon,

Definitely this is a good essay. Some may wonder how it could be a great essay given a Band 9 score while using nothing but simple words. For those I’d much like to say that please notice in what has been written in the IELTS Task 2 Writing band descriptors when in the criteria of Lexical Resource for Band 9 is written: uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features; so you see that there is nothing to do with difficult vocabularies to get a high score. I think it is not a good idea to deal with those very difficult words hoping to achieve a desired band, as most have not such knowledge to use them properly, nor can manage time to think that much sophisticated. Then I think the way in which Simon chooses to write remains the best for me. If I could back and start learning English I did more with collocations and phrasal verbs than using pompous words to impress examiners, and did bury those words and left them in Reading module not applying to writing. I think to achieve the best results we should aim to write a native piece of writing as much as we can.

Hello everyone! I'm Saori who lives in Japan, I will take the IELTS-test in December, for the first time. Your blog encourage me to study, even though I am not good student. I aim to improve my English in order to get overall band 6.0! it seems easy for other students, but I'm struggling to reach it now. I would like to write essay which cite your sample answers. Please, write more sample answers!!

Hello, Simon,
I think you need to put a comma after "the international music" in the first sentence of the third paragraph.

it should be a non-defining relative clause.

kind regards

Hi Gabriel,

Yeah mate i have read your post, i agree with you that, we are standing in the same line at the battalion.

All the best for your exam.


Dear All,

Here is my essay to contradict some of Simon’s opinions about music!


Different kinds of music can be found throughout the world nowadays. We all need music for various reasons and I think international pop music is more important than traditional music.

Music plays an important role in different stages of our lives. Music is a commonly taught in elementary school, and it allows children to express themselves by singing or playing an instrument. Songs are also played in class for language learning, which not only allows students to learn the different expressions and vocabularies, but also gives them the chance to have a better understanding of the foreign culture. Music is also an essential ingredient for special occasions. For example, it is practically impossible to have a birthday party without playing or singing the birthday song, or to have a wedding ceremony without the proper melody to fill that romantic atmosphere. In short, music is everywhere and people naturally need it as part of their lives.

From my perspective, traditional music is not as significant as the music we listen from all over the world. Globalization is a concept that is spreading and developing in most parts of the world. For this reason, international music should be accepted for countries to be united and have fun with the latest in the entertainment world. Moreover, we can see that the younger generation is much more attracted by international pop music and it seems that traditional music will eventually die out. Singers and bands from countries like the United States, England, and South Korea are widely accepted and becoming so popular that teenagers from different cultures are now identifying themselves with such music.

To conclude, music is extremely important in our lives and we should focus more on international music because traditional music will no longer exist in the near future.


Hope you enjoyed reading my essay.


PS: I admit that it is actually easier to write that traditional music is more important than international music... but well, life is more interesting if you sometimes challenge yourself, right?

good one Martin, nice to see your post after long time,, hope u doing good,,

Hi Raj,

I've been fine, just quite busy recently but still managed to spare time to write and share this essay with everyone.

Thanks for asking and thanks for following my posts!



I guess it's a defining relative clause. I think we never use that relative pronoun in non-defining relative clauses. Please correct me if I am wrong.


In the writing task2 part, is the response for these two question types the same?

"Do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?"

"Is this a positive or a negative development?"

Simon, could u please start a blog about this particular topic in task2 of the writing exam? thanks!

"Today, the population of some countries is a mixture of different cultures and ethnic groups."
Why is this the case?
Is it a positive or a negative development?


I'm afraid I no longer have time to answer everyone's questions individually. However, I do still read them all, and I try to use them as the basis for future lessons.

PS. Please read Martin's essay above. It's a good example of how you can choose either viewpoint and write an equally good essay!

Hi Simon,

If I were to memorize some sample writing tasks in the Cambridge IELTS book, and if I was lucky enough and if one of the topics that I memorized comes up in the exam, is that okay to write exactly the same sample essay?


Hi Joder
I think you will be really lucky to get the same essay, if that happens at all, but I think that will be counted as Plagiarism. I think in the Cambridge books, it is clearly stated that if any idea that is copied or even part of is being used from the help or using someone else's idea, it will have negative effect on your answer. Hope this help. i know it is difficult to get good band but trust me this website and a lot of practice will make it a lot easier. hope this help. So try reading the sample essays for your benefit, but try not to use the ideas that are already being sued by others. your expression or your opinion is really important. Hope this helps.

Good luck.

Essay 6
There are many different types of music in the world today. Why do we need music? Is the traditional music of a country more important than the international music that is heard everywhere nowadays?

Paragraph 1
It is true that a rich variety of musical styles can be found around the world. Music is a vital part of all human cultures for a range of reasons, and I would argue that traditional music is more important than modern, international music.
No major mistakes in the first paragraph. ... expresses his ideas clearly.
Paragraph 2
Music is something that accompanies all of us throughout our lives. As children, we are taught songs by our parents and teachers as a means of learning language, or simply as a form of enjoyment. Children delight in singing with others, and it would appear that the act of singing in a group creates a connection between participants, regardless of their age. Later in life, people’s musical preferences develop, and we come to see our favourite songs as part of our life stories. (1) Music both expresses and arouses emotions in a way that words alone cannot. In short, it is difficult to imagine life without it.
1. This clause is a bit confusing. It could perhaps be written as: and our favorite songs become a part of our life
Paragraph 3
In my opinion, traditional music should be valued over the international music that has become so popular. International pop music is often catchy and fun, but it is essentially a commercial product that is marketed and sold by business people. Traditional music, by contrast, expresses the culture, customs and history of a country. Traditional styles, such as connect us to the past and form part of our cultural identity. (1) It would be a real pity if pop music became so predominant that these national styles disappeared. (2)
1. Remove such as. The expression such as is used to give examples. However, no examples are given in this sentence and hence it is useless.
2. This sentence is grammatically correct.... uses the conditional forms correctly. But these unreal second conditional sentences aren’t exactly the right choice here. This sentence can be rewritten as:
It will be a real pity if pop music becomes so predominant that it leads to the disappearance of these national styles.
Paragraph 4
In conclusion, music is a necessary part of human existence, and I believe that traditional music should be given more importance than international music.

A very good essay. There are no real mistakes in this essay... has a clear understanding of the topic and manages to present his arguments in a convincing manner.
...has good command over the language and uses vocabulary that is familiar yet powerful. He will have no trouble getting a band score of 8 or above.
Suggestions.No big suggestions. Keep writing.LOL!

really good effective guidence sir

Dead Simon,

Thank you so much for your tips. I have my examination on the 8th of November and your blog became my tutor.

No problem guys. I'm glad I'm able to help!

Dear Simon

Is it possible to argue that both, traditional and international music are important?
How can I know whether giving a "radical" answer or a balanced one.

Many thanks,

Hi Simon,

I really stupid, I was studying in Manchester last year for 6 months on Manchester Academy, and I didn't enroll on your course, you don't know how much disappointed I am.

Anyway, I wanna ask you, why did you write "In my opinion", although the question doesn't ask you about it?

Thank you in advance,

really helping me for the esam preparation

thanks for your great writing...it helped me for my lecture.

pls explain writing task2 problem and solution question

Someone help me plz.I dont know what to do in real exams. It takes 1 hour to prepare for this unfamiliar topic.

It is true that a various types of music can be found in the world today. In my opinion, music, not only traditional music, but also international music, is an essential part of all human cultures for a range of reasons.

Music is vital to personal life for a lot of reasons. Firstly, music can be helpful for us to be energetic and recharged after a day of busy working. Moreover, it even can help to recovery from emotional trauma by reducing pain and stress. Secondly, music achieves great contribution to cultural diversity. For example, popular music, which is fairly common in one’s daily life, can improve individual’s life quality. Finally, music composition is an expression of imagination and inspiration in a creative and abstract way.

On the one hand, some people favor traditional music rather than international music as it is one way to express cultural identity. For example, traditional music sounds more familiar, confortable and natural to native inhabitants. Furthermore, traditional music can express and arouse emotions in a way that international music cannot. On the other hand, I agree that compared to traditional music, international music should be value more in commercial field. For example, international music has been playing a vital role in movies and computer games, which makes enormous profit for international entertainment companies. Another example is that international music is more popular and welcomed among internet content providers, such as YouTube, Google and Facebook. Also, international music, which is more attractive to foreigners, has been speeding up the process of internationalization in large cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing.

In conclusion, music is a necessary part of our experience and I believe that international music is as important as traditional music is.

Hi simon, can u plzz give me some tips for academic writing task 1...am very weak in writing plzz give me some tips..plzz help me

Hi dear Simon
I’m preparing for IELTS exam and I write an essay almost every day but I don’t have any idea about my essays. Because there isn’t anybody to read and correct my essays. Would you mind helping me and give some advice to me?

Hi Simon,

This essay is excellent for some tips in my writing task for my IELTS preparation, I live in Indonesia and want to study abroad. But I want to ask one thing, how do we express our own opinion without using "I", because in my class, my teacher said that in writing we can't use our point of view.

Hi Jasson,

I'm afraid your teacher has given you the wrong advice for IELTS.

For normal academic writing (e.g. at university) it's true that we try to avoid giving personal opinions, and it's best not to use the word "I".

However, IELTS is different. Many questions ask for your personal opinion, and so you have to answer in a personal way, using "I" or "my". If you don't, you'll get a lower score.

It is really good to know that someone had scored.score9 band

It is true that today, all of us witness various kinds of music styles which are famous and well-known. There are so many reasons why we listen to different kinds of music and I am in favor of view that traditional music is more important than international one.

There are several reasons why people listen to music. Firstly, it is sometimes best option to use it as a method of learning language at school. For example, children are still being taught several languages and learn them more easily by singing it as it is becoming appealing to many learners. This also makes learning period more enjoyable and interesting. Secondly, music is an indispensable part of our life, since it helps us soften our negative emotions, cultivate our hearts, and prevent to breed hostility, violence among human beings. Finally, due to fast-pace of life, more stress on workplace and other unwanted problems require from us to take a break in order to recharge our batteries and get away from problems for some time and this could be done, of course, by listening our favorite music.

Although many people find international music indefinitely preferable to others, I believe that the role of traditional music is irreplaceable. I think international music is just a market product designed temporarily for sales and has no connection of who we are. While we should be more aware of importance of our national music styles and respect them, as they talk something regarding our past ancestors, traditions, cultural identity and so on, it is also important to some extent to pay attention and observe international music. Having an understandable and clear lookout for people is needed and listening to any international music might give someone information about its own culture, tradition etc.

In conclusion, it seems to me that music is a necessary part of human existence, and I believe that traditional music should be given more importance than international music.

Here is my essay about this topic, and it took me nearly an hour to finish :(

We can not deny that there are various kind of music in today society. Music seems to be an essential aspect of the culture and life. In the following paragraphs, I will explain the reason why human need music and answer the question whether the traditional music of a nation is more important than the International music that is heard all over the world nowdays.
First of all, music is something that accompanies all of people through their life span. In particular, as children, people are taught songs by their parents and teacher as a way to learn language and communicate or simple as a form of enjoyment. Later in life, music plays many role in society such as music is the food of soul, it brings to people’s mind a way to entertainment and helps to release all stress that they have to surf. Moreover, music is able to express and arouse the emotions that words alone cannot.
Secondly, in my point of view, I believe that traditional music is more importan than Internation music because International music like Pop, Rock , RnB … is just commercial product that is used to earn money to business people. However, not only can traditional music express the culture, customs and history of a nation but it is also the connection between present and the past. In addition, music is a form of culture identity.
In conclusion, I absolutely believe that music is one of the most vital factor in the existence and development of human. Besides that, I also think that each individual should contribute to conserve the traditional music to avoid the domination of the modern International music.

278 words

it is irrefutable that music accompanies us throughout our entire life.There are a variety of music styles nowadays, and the two main musics are the traditional music and international music. Traditional music represents one's own culture identity. In contrast, international music represents the current famous pop music. I am in favor of view that traditional music plays a more pivotal role than international music.

Music is needed for several reasons. People can relax their mind and relieve stress through music. For example, some students prefer to listen to their favorite music while they are on their study during exam preparation. People who are constantly under working stress listen to music too and this can help in releasing the tension. Moreover, we can learn languages through listening to music, it can improve one's language skill through music to some extent. In schools, children are involved in music classes, like singing and learning musical instruments, that helps in improving their language skills in an effective way.

Although we can see that international music is more preferable to people especially youngsters, I still believe that traditional music is essential and should be introduced to everyone. First of all, traditional music represents a root of each culture, a religion from ancestors.It shows cultural identity that should not be forgotten. Listening to international music is a current trend, however it seems to be just a commercial product for business purpose. It leads to globalization and eventually cultural identity will fade.

In conclusion,it is an undeniable fact that music plays an vital part to human. I truly believe that people should still conserve traditional music to make the cultures alive.

Hi Simon, it's really helpful. Can you please give some tips for academic reading.

'Assalam o alaikum....may u please give me some mini tipes ...so that i improve my academic session of writting

Here is a band 9 score response to the prompt.It was found on Facebook,written by Arun Anand an IELTS Course teacher from India.His Facebook page is IELTS Essays by Arun Anand.You may want to check it out.

Our association with music begins as early as in childhood,dozing off listening to a sweet lullaby and continues throughout our lives indulging in it often,deriving excitement or solace.Music is not directly important for our survival,but for most of us life would be less interesting without it as we still have not come up with a better way to communicate our emotions,intentions and identity.Among the different genres of music in the world today,in my opinion,the traditional music of a country is more important than the international music that is heard everywhere nowadays.

In the first place,music is an essential part of how most of us enjoy our leisure time.It is so engrossing that we forget about our trials and worries of everyday existence.It has the power to elicit deeply personal and specific patterns of thought and emotion in us.Further,we need it to celebrate special occasions.Without music,it would not be the same celebrating at sporting events or embracing landmark moments such as wedding or birthdays.It also has the potential to help us perform better.Exposure to music activates and engages different areas of the brain,and has been shown to enhance memory and other cognitive functions.

What makes traditional music more important is the role it plays in preserving a nation’s culture,history and identity.It reveals the evolution of a society in terms of livelihood,values and aspirations.The knowledge can motivate its members to work towards achieving common goals and sharing their concerns. However,it is admitted that global music might always have wider audience as it plays to universal human feelings namely love, loneliness and loss but it can never fulfill the functions of traditional music better.

To conclude, the creation and performance of music maybe the exclusive domain of a few but its appeal permeates age and region and will never lose its sway in our lives.

It's not thoughts it's as children we are taught songs by our parents and teachers..........
Please correct me if I'm wrong


Dear Simon,

I am using kind of mistakes (like below), and i can't change my writing style anyway, i tried.
can it affect my score ? Please answer cause i am worry about that, Many Thanks

InteRnational, or moRe

Dear simon

You are really doing a good job.This website ranked one if I categorised. But it has some weak side, suppose we needs plenty of answer of our question as you are lone teacher who guide us.


Hello Simmon and everyone here,

This is my first time here and I really do appreciate the opportunity this platform provides. I wrote an essay on this topic. i hope you all can read this and criticize. I will be looking forward to cooments from Simmon and everybody. Thanks a bunch.

Undoubtedly, there numerous genres of music throughout the world today. A few examples include rap, pop, rnb and so on.

Music, being one of the four ways (meditating or praying, observing nature, observing art and listening to music) by which humans can have an unmediated experience with essentials like hope, love and faith, is undeniably an important ingredient of life. Humans are emotional beings and as a result of that, the few things that nourishes that emotional side of is needed. Our everyday troubles like traffic, stress from our hustling and bustling nature of life, etc needs to be balanced to prevent us from been overwhelmed. this can only be achieved if our emotional stated is in the perfect condition, and this is one of the significant benefit of listening to music.

Not abandoning the fact that music from a certain culture paints the pictures of the history, essence and traditions, of such culture. Such songs are categorized as traditional music. Music in this regard is important and must be protected because it serves as a reflection of that tradition. Examples of this kind of music are Ijala, a traditional song from Ogun State in Nigeria, also there is Obitun, a song that represents the indigenes of Ondo state in Nigeria. This genre of music tells stories of their past, of their heroes, of their culture.

Asides traditional songs there are other types of songs, songs that transcends linguistic barriers and have crossed national borders, international music. This category of music is fast growing round the world, gradually over shadowing traditional songs in our various communities, resulting in a disappearance or a gradual fading away of folk songs. This will inevitably lead to the disappearance of our culture, essence and history.

Although, these international songs are catchy and enjoyable but regardless of the excitement and fun that comes with it, our traditional practices should not be lost in the ecstasy of something new and unusual. With these, I believe traditional music is much more important than the exciting international music.

Thank in advance for reviewing and commenting on my essay. I hope to get a good grade. (smiles).

Here is my introduction:
Music ,as a way of perceiving emotions and thoughts, is divided to many categories. It is true that the international music is known by most of the people, local music also should be noticed as it conveys specific cultures and histories.

Plz suggest me writing task two tips because am very confused in writing task

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