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April 24, 2014


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Hi Simon, sorry to bother you.

I am having a little bit trouble with a topic:
some people think that education should help students to be useful to the whole society, other people think that education should provide students with opportunities to achieve personal ambitions.(Discuss both views and give your opinion)

I think the first statement are not in conflict with the second one...and they sort of seem like the same thing to me. Here's some of my ideas: Education definitely help students to be useful to the society as it gives people knowledge and skills. Students,either becoming a doctor or a plumber,are useful people to the society(as long as they don't commit a crime or unwilling to work) As for personal ambitions,aren't helping students to achieve their ambitions(to be a doctor/plumber/teacher) the same as prepare them to be useful to the society?

I've thought of the topic for some time and I think, maybe the two are not exactly the same. Becoming a rich businessman or a celebrity may be considered as personal achievement, but it doesn't necessarily does society good(If they involve in embezzlement etc.) To prepare students to be useful to society, school does not only impart knowledge, but also teach moral values. Secondly, school can't not provide every student chances to fulfil their ambition.

If it's not too much trouble,could you please share some ideas on this topic? I really confused about this topic.

Thanks a lot for your materials .I find it helpful.Thanks to it I have known how to write Task 1 and Task 2.

Sorry Simon
I have not read yet your two writings, because without any inspiration from outside I want to write essay all by myself and see whether I follow the same pattern / rules that you taught. would you please put the question on essay, too.

Intro:the map represent the information about supermarket,which going to be new establish in garesdon town

Hi Simon,

I see that the whole map is about Garlson town and therefore, in the 2 reports, I think it is more accurate and better to describe that: S1 is in the countryside IN THE NORTH WEST OF GARLSON or TO THE NORTH WEST OF GARLSON TOWN CENTER.

The difference here is the point from which we use to describe location.

Thanks Simon for youe lessons.

May I just suggest something, would it be doable to make for us a quick link to your answer for questions, I mean just to click on yours besides the comments link?

Hi Aria,

Just open the document and look at the first page only. My answers are on the second page.


Hi helicha,

Fair point, but that kind of thing doesn't matter to the examiner. It's really a technicality, and doesn't affect the essay or score.


This was a recent question and it is about 'the purpose of education' which means 'what education should do'. The question basically asks, should people be educated to fulfil society's needs, or should people be encouraged to pursue education that meets their individual goals and desires.

To help you out, here are a few ideas:

Ideas to support the purpose of education is to prepare individuals to be useful to society
1. This benefits society as a whole because it allows countries and communities to produce workers that they need, and this helps them to fill job vacancies and compete internationally
2. This benefits students because they are more likely to find a job when they leave university. This also reduces government stress on unemployment and other welfare systems

Ideas to support the purpose of education is to help people achieve personal ambitions
1. People are generally happier studying things that they want to study and are motivated to study. Happy students tend to be happy workers and this benefits everyone
2. If people study what they want, then society will have a more diverse range of workers, and this can enable a society to be more flexible in times of crisis.

You have to be careful with IELTS questions. If you change a word or two, the whole meaning of the question can change. You understand the question as 'what does education do', but the actual question focuses on what it 'should' do.


Thank you so much for your illustration and help.It has become more clear to me now that I understand what it really want to ask.

I haven't intended to trouble Simon with the same question twice.But I happened to came across this topic lately,which I felt really stuck with. As my exam was due today, I didn't want to go to the exam with an unsure question in mind(what if that was the same question I would come across!). So please understand my persistence to try to figure out this question.

Again,thanks for the help! I really appreciate it.

Hi Simon,
I don't know when we use: the figure or figure, the proportion or proportion
Could you please explain it to me?

Thanks a lot.

Hi Simon,

I saw it in your essay:

"It is clear that the largest proportion of consumer spending in each country went on food, drinks and tobacco. On the other hand, the leisure/education category has the lowest percentages in the table."

Why you use "the largest PROPORTION " while you use "the lowest PERCENTAGES"?

personally, i prefer the second essay, describing these two sites separately tends to make it clearer to readers. and also ignoring the addiction population figures appropriately will not impact the essay as a whole. the simplicity of sentence structure and flexibility of words using made more sense overall.

The map compares two proposed locations for the construction of a supermarket in a town called Garlsdon.

It is clearly noticeable that the first suggested site called S1 is in a rural area in the northwest of the town, while the second site which is planned is in the town centre of Garlsdon, adjacent to an industrial estate to the south of Garlsdon.

According to the map, S1 is in the countryside which is in close proximity to the residential area of the town. It can be easily accessible by a train, from Hindon, the town centre and Cransdon. Inhabitants of Hindon can also get to the supermarket by a main road that connects it to the town cetre of Garlsdon. However, there is no direct link from Bransdon to the market by a road or railway.

S2 has been shown in the middle of the town centre of Garlsdon. It is surrounded by the housing area of the town. It can be reached from Hindon, Bransdon and Cransdon by a car or bus. However, as there is a traffic free zone in the immediate vicinity of the market, people would have to walk after reaching the town centre. By contrast, it is directly accessible by a train from Cransdon and Hindon as it is situated next to the railway line connecting these areas.

Ohhhhhh. I tried to copy your style Simon, but again ended up writing a bit too long essay. I just couldn't stop myself describing all those details.

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