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November 09, 2012


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Hi Simon,

I need to pass ielts exam on 17 of November, It is my last chance to apply registration of my degree.I have got my test result today l:5.0 r:6.0 w:6.5 s:5.5 over all 6 and I need 7.I am so panic now and disappointed.If I have your e-book, do you think it can help me to achieve this score in one week? I would be grateful if you can give me any advise.

hey simon.useful website.this topic is example of speaking topics that need some pre-test prep.
if u got some topic in which u think u have nothing in mind e.g if u have to talk about historical event and u are not able to remind it..can you request examiner to change your ielts task 2

Hi Joannee,

I'm afraid it's unusual for students to improve by a whole band in only one week - it's such a short time.


Hi Faryal,

You can't ask for a change of speaking topic I'm afraid.

Dear All,

Here is my description:


One of the most important and shocking events in history is the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

This event took place on the East coast of the US on September 11, 2001 and it consisted of a series of suicide attacks conducted by a group of terrorists. These terrorists hijacked commercial airplanes and directed them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center buildings in New York City. Part of the Pentagon was damaged, but both Twin Towers collapsed and were fully destroyed. Because of these attacks, thousands of innocent people were injured and killed.

I think this event really has had an effect on many people's lives, especially Americans because it was like a direct hit into their hearts. Since the attacks, the security at airports, government buildings, and popular public places has become extremely tight and that somehow has caused inconvenience on our daily lives. For example, if we want to travel by plane, we must get to the airport 2 or 3 hours before the flight in order to go through all the security check points.

All in all, I think the 9/11 attacks is an important event in the history of mankind because it showed how a country was able to rebuild and recover despite all the grief.


Sorry for choosing such a sad event, but this is the first thing that came to mind after seeing the question!

Have a great weekend everyone~


Hi Simon or Martin,

what about Jalianwala Bagh incident in India.can we talk about it or does it offensive if we take exam in the UK.

have a look at link below


more than thousand people were killed on that day.

Hi Id,

I've never heard of this massacre (sorry for my ignorance), but if you can explain why it was "an important event in history", then I think it's OK.

Good luck!


Hello Simon,

Does 3.11 Earthquake in Japan apply for this 'historical event' topic?

I recently started studying IELTS with your website.
It is much better than preparing by myself. I am catching up with your old materials.
This is a lot of work, but I love it!! Thank you!!

Hi Ako,

Yes, it definitely does. I'm glad you like the site!

is the invention of mobile phone an important event in history?

Greetings for all,

In the same spirit as Martin told us about the 9/11 attacks, I would like to highlight the importance, and the impacts of the atomic bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in Japan conducted by the United States in 1945.

These horrible events happened during the final stages of World War II. While in Europe, Nazi Germany signed its instrument of surrender on 8 May 1945,the Pacific War continued. Japan was resisting to stop the war and ignored the ultimatum given by the US threatening Japan with prompt and utter destruction. Then American airmen dropped 'Little Boy' on the city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 followed by 'Fat Man' over Nagasaki.

The effects of damage done surpassed all expectations. Within the first few months of the bombing, the acute effects killed about 170000 people in Hiroshima, plus half of that number in Nagasaki because of the explosion flash or flame, burns, falling debris.

However, later consequences were even worse, with long lasting results from burns, radiation sickness and many others severe illnesses like leukaemia or cancers. Genetic changes and increased susceptibility to diseases trespassed into new generations. These attacks compelled Japan to surrender, but it was no happy victory to anyone.

There was only one good result, in terms of highly increased awareness what a nuclear war may bring. Consequently, non-Nuclear Principles were implemented into the law international regulations ,since then, and generally maintained an international agreement on not using nuclear power in conflicts. Instead, these means should be conserved for peaceful purposes.

For me, the most important thing is when we can learn from our mistakes. This tragic event was a very difficult history lesson for all of us. If only we could use this knowledge, fully, into creation of more peaceful methods of solving world's problems it would be still a hope for the globe.

Hi Aleksandra,

Thanks for sharing your description and for reminding us of the harmful effects of the war. However, I'm not sure if you will be able to finish saying all that in just 2 minutes. You may need to summarize some ideas and simply make sure to answer every question in the task.


Hi Martin,



The disaster released at least 100 times more radiation than the atom bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

You must have hear about this.I think this is best topic to speak,if you know enough about it.

Hope after reading this,this incident will come in Martin's mind first.

I think everyone should know about this incident as only very few people are aware of it.

Hello Martin,

I like your descriptions really with any valuable comments, and our page leader Simon's, of course.
I learn so much from that.
Your last example inspired me to present mine.

I totally agree with you that within these 2 minutes allowed it is difficult to express everything what you would like to say on the topic, especially if you found a very good one, rich in concepts. So, your hints are just right, how to make it shorter.
The same is with the writing tasks where sometimes I feel very unhappy with limitations in terms of time and in the number of of words recommended not allowing you for the full expression of your ideas. I do my best to make it shorter, just to the point. Although I would prefer more free style in writing and longer speech I know that we have to keep these limits to be successful at IELTS and Simon said once on the side: originality, leave it for novelists.

It is according to, I think, with the modern world’s demands with its pace during the digital era: to be perfect in a short form of communications and to keep everything within stiff standards. However, there is less charm in that.

Thank you for your advice.


Dear Mr./Ms. IELTS,

I am perfectly aware of the catastrophic event occurred at Chernobyl. However, since I am personally not very knowledgeable about it, this is something that I would not choose to speak about if I were in a test.

I'm not sure, but the way you directed your post to me seems at bit offensive and I feel that perhaps you are not happy that I chose to talk about the 9/11 attacks. To be honest, I don't really spend that much time to think before sharing my descriptions (simply because you only have 1 minute to prepare in the real test), and I am sorry if I have offended you.

Maybe the event I chose is too sensitive, but I think we must focus on IELTS practice (because this is the main purpose of Simon's blog), which in this case is simply to talk about "an important event in history". The event you choose could be a sad one or a happy one, the examiner will not care. As long as you can use good English to answer the questions clearly, then you will get the band you want.


Hi Simon,

Sorry if I created a bit of trouble here in your blog. If you find something from me that is not suitable or inappropriate, please feel free to delete it!


Dear Martin,

Your description was perfect for me and I do not think that it could offend anyone. There were facts presented and a bit of natural feelings of people suffering while facing this tragedy.

Thus I do not understand why IELTS wrote to you in such a style. I agree that you could feel touched by his words questioning your awareness about Chernobyl tragedy and suggesting that it should be another topic mentioned.

It should be said to Mr or Mrs IELTS:
I do not think that it is something like the best topic. We are all individuals, free in our choices to say what we feel is the most suitable for us, according to our private believes. All of these tests judge our language capacities not knowledge or believes. Thus the topic is less important. We should all be grateful for the people like Simon and Martin willing to help us selflessly to improve our English.

So please Martin don't worry and continue your contribution to all students language acknowledgement. I write in my name only, but I believe that others feel the same(with our dear teacher Simon)

Or perhaps IELTS did not mean to offend you, and it is only language misunderstanding.


Hi Martin

Reading the comment by 'IELTS', I agree with Aleksandra's final statement above - I think it's a language misunderstanding rather than an attack.

Please don't let something like that stop you from commenting. I can see that students really appreciate your contributions.

All the best

Hi Aleksandra & Simon,

Many thanks for your comments and support.
Maybe I overreacted, and I do hope it was just a language misunderstanding!


Hi Simon
I am new here.I just hadw a look into your site & realised that it is very useful for IELTS.I need 7 in each module.My recent score is 6.5 except writing.My exam is in 19th Jan'13.Could you pls suggest me how should i prepare myself in this period?

When I saw your blog I couldn't decide where to start pls help me.


This is an interesting topic. I thought most topics would be something very personal - like the effect it had on you. Rather than something that's more general like what this one is about - "what effect you think this event had". Isn't the first 2 parts of IELTS meant to be more personal in nature? Would appreciate your comments. Thanks

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