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May 10, 2014


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Thank you Simon. A good teacher's help can play a very important role in this regard.

Your view is perfect Mr Simon.
Another idea is that we can focus on the specific grammar point where we having a problem and do some exercises like we did in the school times. But, first we have to identify our weaknesses in grammar and also need to learn from our mistakes which we normally do while practicing essay at home.

I thought that I was doing well with grammar, until I gave some of my essays to a teacher. It turned out that there was a mistake in every paragraph.

I would like to know about "something mysterious you have experienced" in speaking part 2 because my experiences are not mystery and find it difficult to express.

Simon,I am almost a native English speaker,I have lived and worked in UK and USA for over 10 years.I got a 9 in listening and a 8 in reading test.I believe my writing test looked very much like band 9 essay you have posted on your site.I got a 6.5 in writing.Is that possible.There was a problem with speaking test-they asked to talk about a local urdu comedian.I hardly know any Urdu and do not watch any urdu shows-so i am not surprised to get a 6.5 in it.But I went through all IELTS Cambridge books 1-9,and I believe I had presented several argument and stressed that a proposal to make public transport free might entice more people to use it which will help in government's crusade against global warming.I had to use second sheet to complete my answer.I cannot believe I got a 6.5 in writing.Is this possible.What do you advise

Hello everyone
I have problems in speaking and writing and according to my last test, they are both 5.5. How sad. Someone can help me?
I think I've already put it simple and clear but only with several errors, does that hurt my score so much? I need overall band 7 and each part must above 6 or 6.5.

BTW Kausar, I think you should put a "the" before "UK" and "USA", see this: http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2013/02/ielts-writing-task-1-charts-showing-countries.html


1. The Speaking Question you received was not about a local Urdu comedian. It was about a comic actor from your country. You could easily have chosen an American or British comedian to talk about as these are also your 'adopted' countries.

2. There are many reasons for a writing score that is lower than you expect. Here are some you may not be aware of:
a) most people do not answer the question directly
b) most people do not give a clear opinion
c) most people do not write paragraphs with a clear central topic
d) most people do a poor task 1 and they omit key features or give an inadequate overview.

I would advise you strongly to focus on Task 1. Many people focus only on the essay and they write a poor task 1 which makes an overall 7 almost impossible. In my view, one of the keys to a 7 in writing is to learn how to do a great task 1, because it can then take the pressure off your essay.

Simon,I know that in a previous post wrote that a conclusion is not necessary in writing task 1.However,I notice that the example essay written by examiner in cambridge books contain both an overview and an conclusion.And in the examiner's comment for a candidate essay, both overview and conclusion are referred by the examiner.
It seems to me that beside from an overview,a conclusion is also required in writing task 1.I'm confused by the idea wondering if a conclusion necessary?


In task 1, the following are necessary:

1. An overview of the main trends
2. A summary of the key details with relevant comparisons
3. Skilful paragraphing
4. A minimum 150 words

Nothing else is 'necessary' and if you write an extra conclusion you will almost certainly take away time and words from the other areas. The samples in the Cambridge books are confusing for people because they are written in a variety of styles. I tell people not to use them as models. Just follow Simon's four paragraph models - they cover everything you need and can be produced in an appropriate timeframe.

Thankyou very much for replying,
I still don't understand this.I believe my score in task 2 should have been higher,I did not make any mistakes you listed in task 2.Also they say that task 2 is 70% of the marks.I cannot understand how I lost so many marks in task 2.I agreed with the statement,made sure sentences and paragraphs were linked together, presented several arguments and made sure everything flowed together.You can probably asses my writing from what I am writing now.Have you noticed anything that will drop my marks-thanks

Sorry, my topic 1 written had introduction,overview,comparison and conclusion.What it did not have was a line by line description of every variation in every year.This was the only deficiency in written test.I cannot ask for re-mark because of problems with speaking test.Outside they had fought with me that I had to put down Urdu as my language,although I kept telling them I can hardly speak a sentence in Urdu.So when I got local comedian it blew me off-also last time I saw a stand up comedian was a few years ago.Despite this I am going to lodge a formal complaint against the marking of written test because it seems to me that it is skewed.

i know simon probably you wont reply because of your work committments.but i am really disappointed.i want 7.5 in each module..i managed to get 7.5 in writing.but got 7 in speaking..i appeared again and got same score.so for now , my writing score is consistent.and i always get 7 in speaking.please give me tips.please.how can i get 7.5 in speaking:( want to increase my 0.5 band

Kat,I think you might be able to appeal against IELTs test results.

Hai Everybone,
I am trying to write a errer free paragraph.
The most widely used communication technology is the TV. Telivision has touched the lives of all group of ages to watch the shows they like. It has reached the remottest areas of any country to entertain the people of all ages. The sattelite TV broadcasts the programms with innovative and most upto date knowledge arrount the world. So, many individuals enjoy watching these shows at the comfort of its time. Thus, it can be concluded that every has benifitted from some form of communication technology.
Comments are welcomed.

Kausar Thanks for sharing your Story- Impressive!

Ziaul Huda

An error free
technology is TV
entertain people / not the people
I think it should be - from the comfort of their home/ instead of comfort of its time.
Everyone has /not every has
And few deliberate spelling mistakes !

For those students who are aiming at band 7 in writing and still struggling to write at least one error-free sentence in an entire paragraph or essay, I suggest they lower their expectations and be aware of their current English levels.

Having an experienced teacher to correct your essays and point out your mistakes is a good start, but you also need to put your own effort to understand those errors by using a good dictionary or reviewing specific lessons of your grammar books. Also, one "easy" way to write error-free sentences is by imitating how Simon or your teachers express different ideas and then replacing certain vocabulary to make things suitable for your essay; however, to do this successfully you still need to have sufficient knowledge of grammar.

Hai, Maha and others
I am writing another errer free paragraph.
There are several reasons for changing the personality. Firstly, a majority of people aged 40 or over use some market products in order to look younger and more energetic. Secondly, varying appearance can be benefitted in a way, if you are seeking a job in this competitive era. Thirdly, altering the figure and keeping in a good shape has become an essential tool especially for women, because they are more beauty conscious than male gender

Here is an exercise that has many errers. Try this one. I will post next week with detailed explanation and correction.
“Advances in technology have led to many improvements in the field of communication. Today, sitting in the office we can talk with clients who are far away in some other country and we have access to video conferencing, emails and Whatsapp applications. For instance, with video conferencing one can interact face-to-face with their loved ones who are located in different nation. News and information can be shared on real time basis and this is only possible with new invention. The world seems to have come closer as people do not have to write letters and then wait for days to get reply as used to happen many years back because communication happens much faster. There are also many social networking sites where an individual can stay in touch with friends and relatives at the same time and find friends with whom he might have lost the contacts.

Hi Martin
Thank you very much for your valuable advice. I completely agree with that, some students perhaps do not want to do MUCH hard work. ( may be we just take it too easy)

ziaul huda
Errer / error (Please)

In the first Paragraph --I think benefitted should be replaced by BENEFICIAL

2nd Para -- 1Talk with clients / talk TO clients
2.Some other country / another country
3.Located in different nation / live in a different country or live at a different location
4.On real time basis / not sure about this but I would use INSTANTLY...with new inventionS.
many years back / many years Ago
5.Add NOW after faster/ Much faster now
6.lost the contacts / lost contact

P.S ideas in your both paragraphs are v good. I m really Impressed by the First one . But I would suggest that Changing the personality OR being beauty conscious or looking after oneself are two different entities!
Ziaul huda , can you please tell me which sentence is right:
why a cat chases the rat??? OR why the cat chases the rat? OR why a cat chases a mouse?

Hai, Maha
Why a cat chases a mouse? -is grammatically correct. cat and mouse are both countable nouns-
The idea is that in the first pargraph- the question is -
Nowadays, some people are changing their way of look through hair colour, clothes, cosmetics even plastic operation. What are the reasons? Is this a good thing?
Actually, I have tried to write on this topic.

Ziaul huda.

That is an interesting but a debatable topic. Of course nobody would want to look untidy or unkempt. The extent to which people go in order to change their appearance determines that whether it is right or wrong.
Reasons: increased marketing and availability of the products,personal requirements ( for e.g people in show biz) and perhaps women always pay more attention to it than men.(like men are always into gadgets n stuff -LOL)
Good thing or not: well again , paying too much attention to the looks is definitely not good! Keeping ourselves in a good shape is important but modern life's Obsession to look perfect is a negative trend.
I would write an essay like that. Well, you are already very good at ideas.

Bekar hai 😡😠

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