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April 13, 2014


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Thank you Simon for answering my question. That is very kind of you.

I'll take the exam in about 3 or 4 months or so. I'll inform you the score then.

Thanks very much, Simon! Your lessons are really helpful.
By the way, I'm looking for a partner for speaking part, aiming at band 7. Anybody, please contact me if you are interested.
Email:[email protected]

Great,.. Thaaaaaaanks , Simon!

Hi Simon, I have several questions here

1. Someone told me that the phrase "You know" should be avoided since the examiner may not know what I'm going to say. Use "You may know" instead. Is that right?

2. Sometimes I start a sentence but then do not know how to continue it. Is it okay to change to a different sentence? Will it affect my score for grammar
For example:
"The popularity of country music...I mean.... People nowadays tend to listen to country music more than in the past"

Thank you.

Thanks alot Simon! Very helpful indeed :)

Thanks Simon!
The answer of question 2 helped me a lot.(:

Thank u very much Simon. These are the questions I often ask myself. Thanks again for the helpful answers.

Hi Simon.
Thank you for your lessons and the time that you devote for us.
I need seven score in each skill and I'm living in Iran.In my exam (Academic test) in 10 may,I got:
and that was my second exam.In my first exam which was held in 16 September I got:
Do you think that by asking for re-mark ,they would get me 7 in writing. personally I think, if my first writing deserved really 6 score, the last one deserved at least 7.5
one more thing!is it rally possible to get 8 in each skill? how?


1. Natives say 'you know' as a filler all the time. If you use it as a filler (as a pause when you are thinking of ideas), and not too much, then of course it's fine

2. Again, natives also begin sentences and then abandon them, and then start another one. We don't do it very often though. If you clearly show that you are going to use another sentence (by using your example, 'I mean') then it won't affect your grammar score. However, if the examiner feels that you are doing this to avoid vocabulary you don't know then it could affect the vocabulary score, and if you do it too much then it would almost certainly affect your fluency score.


1. I would strongly advise you not to apply for a review. The difference between 6 and 7 is very large and it is unlikely to be raised.

2. Yes it is possible to get an 8 in each skill. Some of the things you need are a very high level of English, especially in terms of natural vocabulary and collocations, and you need a very low rate of error. Also, you need to understand fully what examiners are looking for in the writing and speaking, and then give it to them.

thanks for your help sjm

Hello !

Looking for a speaking partner.

My skype ID : tiashbd
Email : [email protected]

Thanks again sjm!

hey @malihe, would be so kind to spare some spare time. I need your help in reading section. Hoping to hear from you soon.

[email protected]

Hi Simon, and all,

I just got my third test result, and it is wise than my expectation.
My first test was in last September. I had not prepared much for that test, only tried 2 samples from the Cambridge test book 9 to get familiar with the test structure. And my result was 7.5, 9.0, 6.5, 7.0.

Because I need 7 in all skills, thus I started practicing, following guides on the internet, hoping to increase my writing score from 6.5 to 7.0. I got to know about Simon's site since last January, and tried to follow the suggested essay structure.

My 2nd test was on March 15th, and the 3rd one was on April 05th. My scores on all three skills: L, R, W were kept unchanged thru the 3 tests, but my Speaking score reduced gradually, to 6.0 and then 5.5.

Could you please help give me some advices?

Thank you very much.

It is wise than... << my typing mistake. I meant "worse"


Well about the 4th question, I guess it depends on the examiner. Recently in India, a candidate was provided a different cue card by the examiner himself when he said that he had no idea about it and still he scored 6.5 in speaking.

hi to all simon blog reader's my name is Salman iam from india if any one want's to practice speaking test for ielts can add me on Skype;faizanhunk thank you .. all are welcome

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