« IELTS Writing Task 2: really short conclusion! | Main | IELTS Advice: I should have been more direct »

March 21, 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Hi guys,

I have just got my Ielts result this afternoon. Listening: 8, Reading: 8, Writing: 7,5 and Speaking: 6.5. Overall score: 7.5. My target is 8 overall, so I felt a bit disappointed. Anyway, I would like to share some experience in Speaking part, which I earn the lowest point :( Hope it is useful to you.

1. Fluency is good, but take your time to think and speak carefully about the questions. The purpose of communications is mutual understanding, so in daily dialogues, effective language should be short and simple. However, in Ielts exam, it is a test of academic English. So try to avoid repeating simple, normal and neutral words (such as good - bad).

2. Your focus is to demonstrate the examiner your language skills, not your knowledge. This advice I have already known before, however, I failed to follow it. I paid too much attention on what I said, instead of how it was said.

You may not believe, but right after having taken the exam, I thought my Writing would get a low score while Speaking part would compensate for that bad performance. Now it turns out the opposite. So I hope you can learn from my mistakes. Good luck guys!

P/s, Thank you Simon. You are a great teacher, although I have not met you!

Nhu Quynh

1. In my country , generally people are hospitable. Its like a traditional value to treat guests with dignity.
2. Yes, definitely over a period of time things have changed. Now people are more busier with their own lives. Furthermore, TECHNOLOGICAL BREAKTHROUGHS have provided the opportunity to stay connected even from a remote distance. So the trend to visit each other is becoming less popular, as a result of that people are becoming more self centered ( and may be bit lazier).However, people still enjoy gathering together on special occasions like wedding etc, and the host is expected to take a good care of all the visitors.
3. It all depends on purpose and nature of our trip and how close we are to our friend.If we travel to another country specifically to see our friend , I think there is no point to stay in a hotel. Because otherwise things would get so formal, and we wouldn't be able to share the joys of living everyday life together, for example gossiping till late night whilst watching TV, preparing and then enjoying meals together and so on..

Hi guys
sorry for asking a stupid question as follows:
we are preparing slogan for tomorrow fotball match, and i propose one " working hard - play hader". However, my friend said that " working hard " is not grammartical, it must be correct " hard working - play harder".
so whether " working hard" or " hard working " is correct ?

Hi Simon,

Actually I want to know " how is your trip going" . Best Wishes for you!

Hello simon sir
yeasterday i bought your ebook.thanks to you.Its nice......

1. I our country we use welcome our relatives and friends from other countries with open arms and will love to give great hospitality so that they have good experience and love to share with their fellow friends.

2. Yes there is a change as compared to last 20 to 30 years We can see how things are changing in this competitive world. There are so many factors to look.Everyone has his own life and problems. Previously relations had a meaning in the society, but now there is no such things. Visitors are less now a days and in coming generation everyone will stay at home and use technology for gatherings.Around 1990's people use to go out and visit friends , relatives and don't need an occasion for visiting. So i think in this modern world things changes and Change is essence of life.

3.Well, when you have a friend in foreign country! You are saved....! Without knowing anyone in any country it is difficult to stay out there. Not only in terms of outing, but in all aspect you need someone who can guide you better and helps you in every conditions.

The phrase is what makes me impressive " A friend in need is friend indeed ". let me share you my experience , i went to Paris for a company visit and you won't believe . One of the greatest problem i faced is the Language. I don't know french. Its easy when you have some colleagues in office who are comfortable with the language, But i used to stay a hotel, its not that much easy, staying and going out for visit some places like museums, parks it was quite hard for me to get along. But thanks to the Facebook, there I got one of my old friend after three days and then i shifted to his room and it was completely changed i felt like home. So we enjoyed a lot. Thats what you need staying happy

SIMON and Friends : Can you please check the way i put it? please share ideas where to improve and how ??

Hi tuan.dq,

Personally, I would use "WORK HARD, PLAY HARD".
Have fun at the football match!!!


Hi Tuan.dp,

No question is stupid. In fact, it is stupid not to dare to ask any question.
For your question, the answer is "Work hard, play harder". The principle is Parallel structure (using same patterns of words to show two or more ideas of equal importance).
In details, in the second clause "play harder" you use V-infinitive/Vo. Therefor, in the first clause, you are supposed to use the same grammatical pattern. "Working hard" is not right because it is V-ing not Vo. Neither nor "Hard working", because it is an Adj, not a V-infinitive.

Hi , queserasera congrats u did really well . Plz could u share ur reading practice experience.. U scored really good in reading too .


Hi Simon,
I got 7 on speaking this time, but my writing dropped to 5.5! I memorized your work...


Hi Queserasera
well done you did a good job I believe that
you will get the score you need next time.

Can you please share your experience with
R&L I need 7in each and Icouldn't manage
more than 6 please tell me the sources you
used for your preparation .

Hi Simon,

I want to ask a question regarding process diagram.How to write an overview or no of steps if we have two end products of a manufacturing process.or if two methods of preparing one product in the same figure. For reference ,I saw a process diagram for ielts,tea manufacturing and the other one is pulp and paper making process.
Kindly give your opinion and advice.
Looking forward to your reply

Thanks and regards

1. People in my country are considered as welcoming hosts. Most Vietnamese people are friendly with foreign visitors, we smile with them and are willing to give them a hand if they need.
2. I believe that hospitality is now more and more important nowadays than in the past, especially in tourism. Tourist industry has changed a great deal with more destinations, more services and plays a vital role to a country's economy. If your country want to keep a nice image in visitors' mind, the way local residents interact with them is very crucial.
3. Staying at friend's house has many benefits. Firstly, you have a chance to live in a local family, you can see the way they live, the food they eat, so you can understand more about the culture. Secondly, you will be share valuable experiences to have a nice trip there. And finally, you can save amount of money compared with staying in a hotel. With the saving, mau e you can visit more landscapes.
Hi guys, please give me the feedback. I'll take Ielts exam within 2 next weeks and I hope you can give me some advice to prepare effectively. Thank you so much :)


I'm glad to hear that you're visiting China currently.

I live in Xi'an City,which is full of traditional Chinese cultury.I guess you may hear about that.

Thanks and regards

Hi, Simon

I'm an Ielts speaking teacher in China and I have quoted a lot of your stuff to my students. Everything has been really helpful. I'd like to say thanks to you for me and all my students.

Is it OK to ask which city you are staying in right now?

Dear Veenu and Khairia,

To be honest, Reading was always my favourite subject at university, so I met no difficulty in that part. My only advice is Read what you interest and Read as much as possible. Remember not to read just for fun. For example, if you love watching movies, read the reviews in Imdb website, then make note of useful vocabulary, expressions and structures.

About Listening, I think it is important to make your ear get familiar with English daily, then it will come out naturally. I listen to "Women's Hour" program of BBC radio 4 everyday. Don't worry if you cannot catch every word the presenter said at first. During the test, remember to stay calm and focused. Don't get panic if you miss one question. Let it be, and come back later. After having listened the whole conversation, you will be more likely to be able to guess the right answer.

Hi Ethan and Yang Shuai,

I'm enjoying my visit to China. I spent a week in Beijing, and I'm now in Shanghai. I went to Hangzhou today, which was very nice!

Dear Simon,
I am highly elated today for my IELTS score.
I got a band score of 8 with the following points:
Listening -8.5
Reading - 8.5
Writing - 7.5
Speaking - 7
Thanks a lot for all your valuable inputs and feedback in each sections from time to time.
Good Luck.

Cogratulation Soumya
It is a wonderful score can you please share
your experience with ielts I need 7 in each part
can you please till me how did you manage to
got this high score in R&L.


Dear All,

Here are my sample answers:

1. I think Taiwanese people treat foreign visitors very well. We understand the hassle of traveling long distances so we tend to do our best to help visitors have a relaxing time. If it’s someone close to us, we will offer our home as the place to stay and show him or her around the city or town where we live. For example, last time when I visited my in-laws in Taiwan, they allowed me to stay at their home and spent plenty of time with me to take me to some nearby tourist spots as well as eat traditional Taiwanese foods.

2. No, I don’t think so. I think hospitality has always been part of human nature, especially when it comes to close friends or people who we really care. When there are relatives or friends visiting me from out of town, I’ve always been willing to take care of them. Since I also enjoy travelling, I would treat their visits as the perfect excuse to take time off and have a bit of vacation myself!

3. Well, I think there are plenty of benefits. Staying at a friend’s place is probably the most cost effective when it comes to traveling abroad, not to mention that he or she can show you around and take you to those secrets places where tour buses never go. Also, since it’s a friend of yours, you can ask for the activities you want to do and have a more personalized trip. For example, last time when my childhood friends from Argentina came to visit me, my wife and I made time for them and took them to shop at the outlets, do some wine tasting, and visit some of the most iconic places in San Francisco.


ưho wants to practise speaking english? please, contact to me because i also want to practise my english. skype rubylee6795

1. If you have a chance to visit my country, I suggest you will impress with Vietnamese's friendship.
2. In the moderm life, hospitality is more important than in the past time. Tousism is considerd as a kind of business sectors. the place visitors choose depends on several factors and hospitality is one of them.
3. I think staying with friends have several advantages compared to staying in a hotel when you visit a forein country. Firsly, stayting with friends helps you save money for hospitality. Therefore, you can spend more on explore more interesting places in there. Secondly, your friend is likely tuor guide because he/she live there for a long time.

1.Visitors are highly welcomed and well treated in China, because they can bring economic and cultural benefits to local areas. So people would do their best to cater to the foreigners. For example, to eliminate language barriers, some tourist attractions and hotels provide English service.
2.No, I don’t think so. Tourism is a booming industry in many countries nowadays and they depend on it for much of their income. For countries like Malaysia and Maldives, tourism even plays a dominant role in national economy. To sustain the development of tourism, we should pay special attention to being hospitable.
3. The best part of staying with a friend is to save accommodation fees. This can help to make our travel more economical, especially favorable for those people who are not financially well-off, because living cost usually accounts for a large part of travel spending. Besides, it is easier to find the best places to visit with company and guidance from local friends and gain an enjoyable experience.

Hope to get advice from Simon and all of you guys. Thanks.

The comments to this entry are closed.