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November 04, 2012


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Hi Simon,

Many thanks for this advice and I hope all students can start using the dictionary more!!!


It's easy to understand a word and to spell it right. It's the hardest when you try to recall the right word to express your idea.
I'm just posting in this hopefully I can get some notice from Simon.
Hi, Simon, I've been diving through your blog and even your ieltsblog. I'm desperate to get an 8 in writing and it's exactly another 9 days that I've got left. I had 6.5 last year and after I've searched through your blog and had my essay check by your team I always stands at 7, one of them is 8.5
Can you please let me know the criteria for a band 8 or 9 essay? Would be really appreciated if you can give me some advice on this. I think I'm going too crazy too stressful and panicked now already.

Hi Vy,
Not sure if you have done this yet, but I suggest you take a closer look at the band descriptors and perhaps that can give you a better idea on how to achieve your goal!


Best of luck!!!!!


I have a plea: if you were thinking of sharing another process description sample writing with us, I wanted to suggest tackling the one from IELTS 8, Test 3, regarding cement and concrete production. Organising this task is particularly challenging for me and I always end up writing more than 200 words.
The main enigma is whether to have a separate paragraph focusing on the dissimilarities of the 2 processes or to contrast them simultaneously.
'Tis rather mind-boggling and I would appreciate it tremendously if you could help us out with this one.

Hi Martin
Thanks a lot for your suggestion. I've read this one before and I thought there could be another "private version" so I just wish I could get a little bit of help from Simon.
I thought this public version is kind of general. Anyway, I'll keep that in mind and try to stick to it. Thanks again

Hi Vy,

My "private version" for a band 8 or 9 essay is to demonstrate really good (or perfect!) control of the language. All the ideas must cohere in a logical, reasonable way and your entire essay must be extremely easy to follow and understand. Oh, and 99% of the sentences must be error free!!!

By reading your posts, I think your English is pretty good, so just keep practising and I'm sure you will eventually get the score you need.

Good luck!!!


Thanks Martin
I think my biggest problem is that I can write colloquial language really well but academic is kind of hard for me. I'm trying to read all the materials on Simon's blog but I wouldn't think that I could get the score I need in another 7 days.
It's pretty hard to get all the good ideas and integrate them into paragraph. Also, I know I'm really bad at brainstorming. I find it hard to recall a word when I need to use it, even though I can understand it in a sentence. and the pressure of time..
I'll just keep practising until next Saturday.
Very much appreciated for your advice.

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