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June 06, 2013


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Hi Simon,

Just a quick question about the following sentence: 'we can see that small huts have been built to accommodate visitors to the island'. Why do you use 'to the island' and not 'on the island'?

Just thought I'd share this with everyone. I found some good english vocabulary tests (among other things) on this website: http://dynamo.dictionary.com/. I learned quite a lot of new words in the last couple of days just by looking through the language games :-).

'visitors to the island' means who come to the island for visit.

Dear IELTS test takers,

I welcome anyone who is living in Cardiff and willing to perform a combined study(Accademic IELTS)with me.
There is also a Library where we can have a peacful time, access to computers, improve our speaking and important materials to be shared.Only serious persons need to contact plz.

My email : [email protected]

Hi simon, i really get confused in map description when we write abt north, south, west and east.In some paragraph we can cleary see arrows which shows abt these sites. But as i can clearly see in this map i cann't see .plzzzzzzzzzzz reply me how u hv described (a resturant to the north of receotion)andswimming area on the western area.


Dear Simon, as my teacher said, for the case of "to the north of sth", sth must indicate the entire area (e.g, the island), if sth refers to a place within an area, I should say " to north of the reception" (without "the")

Would you please clarify what is the right way for me?

Hi Simon,
I see that you use present perfect tense in some sentences:
which has been developed for tourism.
The other physical structures that have been added are a reception building
Is it any problem if i use past simple tense here?

Dear Simon,

I have just received my result in the morning.
I got 7 7.5 7 7 for listening, reading, writing and speaking.
Thank you for your valuable website with all necessary information for IELTS. Now I can apply for PR after 6 months practicing IELTS.

Hung- Melbourne

Hello Simon,

I had given IELTS Exam General Module three time but it's very hard to get 7 band. How can I practice in each module? I got lowest band in reading 5 or 5.5, so please give me some some suggestion to improve..

Dear Simon,

This is my writing. Please tell me which band for this? Thank you so much.

The two maps compare the development of the same island which has been constructed facilities for tourism.

It is clear that the island has changed considerably after the construction of various tourist facilities. The main developments are that the island is accessible and there are a lot of accommodations for visitors.

The total length of the island is approximately 250 meters. In the first map, the island seems to be inaccessible for tourist without somewhere for staying and tracks. In the second map, however, two area of accommodations are built around the reception, which is surround by vehicle track. This track links the reception and the restaurant in the North of the island.

In additions, the visitors can enjoy some activities on the island. All of them are activities on the sea. People can go swimming near the beach, or they can go sailing near the pier which is built in the South.

(154 words)

Hi Feline

I'm HJ.
My quick answer for your quick question.
You can easily find the answer if you analyse this phrase. Like this,

'we can see (that small huts have been built to accommodate (visitors to the island))'. When you are going to the trip, you would be going to somewhere. (not on somewhere)



Agreed. sounds logical

I'd just like to thank Simon and your very helpful lessons.I just received my IELTS result.Overall 7.5/wr 7/sp 7/rd 7.5/ls 7.5
I didn't attend any kind of IELTS course and I just used Simon's points specially in writing and they were helpful indeed. I couldn't not say how much you helped me.
Thanks again.

Hi everyone,
yesterday I found a good article on BBC's website which contained lots of useful statistical expressions.
The article was about the likelihood we got a cancer (in the UK). Sad but interesting.
Here is the link:

Have a nice day!

Hi HJ,

Thank you, sounds logical when you put it like that indeed. Would the word 'on' be wrong though?

I think this is band 7 !!

hello Simon
I think there is a mistake in "footpaths connect the huts", should it be "footpaths connecting the huts"?


Hi Danielle,

It isn't a mistake. It's just a normal 'subject-verb' structure: 'footpaths' is the subject and 'connect' is the verb.

You could also write "and there are footpaths connecting the huts".

good morning Simon)) i've got some questions. Is it possible to use phrases like "the most striking feature is that, another noticable aspect of the data is that"??? also, can I use "accordingly" insted of respectively?

I learned result of IELTS 3days ago. I got 5 for all section but i need 6.how can i improve??please help me

hi Simom

Could you please clarify when to use capital lettet and when to use small letter for north south east and west?


hello every one
My exam on 28th June in Australia. Plz could anyone help in speaking and reading. my email is [email protected]

Plz could anyone send reading tips regarding true flase

Hi Simon,

If there are a lot of changes in the map, do we have to describe all changes or just need to mention the markable changes?

Thanks in advance,
Duy Tran

The two maps illustrate an island with an approximate length of 250m which is before and after construction of some tourist facilities.
The first map before construction depicts an island with a beach in the west. There are few trees in the west near the beach and few in the east as well.
The second map, after construction, displays two areas of accommodations. One is in the West near the Sea while the other in the center of the Island. There is a Reception block in the middle of two accommodation areas which is surrounded by a vehicle track. This track also goes to the restaurant block is in the north and to the pier where people can go for sailing in the South Sea of the island. The footpath, which connected to the accommodations in the west, connects towards to the beach in the west where people also can go for swim.
Overall, there is a considerable change to the Island after construction but no harm to the natural features of the Island since in the first map there are few trees which remain as it is after construction. And also the beach has used for swimming.

The two maps compare changes that were made to an island for tourists' attraction.

It is clearly noticeable that initially the island was completely bare apart from a few palm trees and a beach to the west. After that several developments occurred to increase tourism. Six major structural changes can be seen including: a restaurant, reception area, pier, accommodations for the visitors, and foot paths and a track for vehicles. However, in spite of all the constructional changes, trees were not cut down.

Looking at the maps in more detail, it is evident that the island have completely transformed after the construction of new features. A plenty of huts or accommodation facilities are built over a major part of the island, while foot paths connect the huts to each other and to the beach.

In the middle of the island, a reception area is built to welcome visitors; to the north of the reception building a restaurant is constructed, while to the south coast a pier is built. These areas can be accessed by a vehicle. At the pier, tourists can sail , whereas at the beach on the western tip of the island swimming facilities are provided.

Dear Simon,

This is my response. Please give me some recommendations. Thank you so much.

The provided maps indicate the developments in tourism and the growth of population in an island between 1950 and the present.

Overall, there were dramatic changes in the island. People have immigrated to this area and implemented an array of adjustments to this deserted island in order to turn it into a tourist destination. Particularly, a reception and a restaurant were built exactly at the center of the island, and they were surrounded by vehicle tracks. A footpath was also constructed and became the most popular means to reach all places in the island.

The most conspicuous development is about accommodation. Specifically, two sets of self-catering holiday homes were finished on the two sides of the reception. A Pier was established toward the South of the island to serve as a connection between the island and the outside world. Another change took place at the beach at the left-side of the island, which transformed the beach into a swimming place.

Although there are a lot of new features in this island, the jungle to the West and the East of the island remains nearly the same over the time.

The map shows the construction plan on an island which is around 200 meters long and 100 meters wide.

It is noticeable that the island become a tourist attraction after completion of plan. By contrast, the island was incapable of receive tourist before construction.

In the south of island, a dock is expected to be built. Visitors could get on to the island with boats there. A reception center is supposed to set up in the middle of island. In the north of island, a restaurant is predicted to develop. Vehicle track will be paved in connection with dock, reception center and restaurant.

Nine and six accommodation sites will be built along the east and west side of reception center respectively. These hotels will be in a circle and connected by footpath. In addition, a new footpath will be expanded to the west part, a beach, from west hotels. Visitors could swim at the beach. The trees remain unchanged before and after the plan.

I'm an NES English teacher whose favorite thing to teach is IELTS. At our language school here in Yangon, Myanmar, we use this maps task in one of our courses. There's no model answer in the back of the Cambridge book, so I needed to write my own.

For the students out there, note that both essays use the same 4 paragraph structure: paraphrasing what the maps show, an overview describing main features and then two body paragraphs detailing the features.

As the rubric (not shown above) asks the examiner to "Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant". If you are writing about details which aren't main features, then you're not answering the question and won't get high marks in task achievement.

How do we know what are the main features? That's the only real subjective part of the criteria, but in my mind (and I've never been an examiner) if they're unrelated to your overview, leave them out.

Both model overviews focus on transformative change. Simon's essay also highlights improved accessibility. Any details which aren't about change, and as always, any details which aren't actually on the maps, should be left out. They hurt your TA score.

These are details better left out:
an approximate length of 250m
trees were not cut down

Details not on the map at all:
the jungle
self-catering holiday homes

I'm fairly sure my essay is a model answer, and I hope I don't come off as arrogant posting critiques on 5 year-old threads.

I'm also trying to keep my students from copying your model.

There are two maps which show how an island has developed prior to and after the building of some tourist facilities.

Overall, we see that significant changes have occurred, and this development has mainly impacted the central, western and southern parts of the island.
Initially, no significant structures whatsoever were marked on the island. A few scattered trees and a single beach were the only features of note. On the first map, the island appears uninhabited.
After the improvements, the island has taken on a very different look. In the center of the island, two areas of accommodation have been built with footpaths connecting them. Between the two areas, a restaurant and a reception building have been constructed. This central compound is connected via a roadway to a pier on the southern shore. On the western tip of the island, the beach has been improved to allow for swimming.

(150 words)

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