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July 05, 2014


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Dear Simon,

Thank you Simon I like these words "Don't give up!". I am one of those who have been trying to get the Band Score of 7 in my Speaking and over all should be 6.5. I will never give up!!!. God Bless.

Thanks Simon supporting in technical and emotional way!! I did a overall 7 in May. My target is 7777 and I will take an exam again in Aug!!

yes. I agree. nothing is impossible. on 19/7 I will have an vital exam, and my target is 6.5, and at least 6 each skill.

Thank you Simon! i will not give up and i will do my best this July 12


I have a question for you please answer me.

In writing part 1, I made a big mistake , I wrote "had rose" rather than "had risen". I think if I didn't made this mistake, my score for writing 1 would be 7.5 or 8. How is it affect my score please tell me.

Hi Simon, thank u for ur support and encouragement everyday. I have got 877 and 6.5 , it is really a shame that I failed in the speaking part, which part I definitely did not well enough with theCute card. I will stick to your rule and never give up as I know persistence is the most important thing. Thanks in millions again.:)

Hello Mr. Simon,
Recently I joined "IELTS" group on facebook. I have read your suggestions regarding IELTS tests, and finally got this website link. I am planning to take IELTS test in Nov'2014 and apply for admission to Music Mind and Technology - Master's Programme. I am sorry if I am asking questions in the wrong place, but I have a lot of questions, how can I ask you?
(I haven't read all your lessons and tasks)
Thank you.

In my view, hard work should go with a proper method. For instance, I know people who study speaking without practising listening, which results in wrong pronunciation. Another good example is your method of writing task2 you advised us - "freestyle" method. It really works, compared to the method of learning templates. However, when it comes to listening, I do not know whether it is worth listening to BBC, CNN or sitcoms. My real test is coming soon and I wonder if I would rather spend time doing mock listening tests. What is your advice? Please reply ASAP.
P.S: Thank you so much for your website because I can save a large amount of money from buying those expensive books.

I have exam on the same date as you and I need the same score as you.

Thank you for sharing the useful tips with us.

Dear Simon,

Greatly appreciated for your effort for the ielts students. I would like to ask you about Task 2 Question "Discuss both views and give your own opinion" . There are 3 requirements for the essay, 2 sides and opinion.

For this question type, You have mentioned that we should make clear of our opinion in the introduction, body and as well as in conclusion.

However, I was told that to make my opinion clear I need to keep my opinion out of introduction and body of the essay.

If I put it into the introduction there is risk of making it sound like the essay is just about your opinion, which is misleading to the reader. In addition, if I put my opinion in the body of the essay,then there is a risk that it becoming unclear to the examiner whether I have completed all 3 requirements.

I would appreciate if you could clear my mind before my exam which will be in coming week.

Thank you so much.


What you have been told is wrong. The requirement in ielts is just that the opinion is clearly expressed and it is consistent. The best way to fulfil this is to state it in the introduction, topic sentences and conclusion.

Thank you so much sjm.I really appreciate it.

I completely agree for the opinion essay like "To what extent do you agree or disagree". My opinion should be in the introduction, body and conclusion.

However, due to the reasons that I said before, I am still puzzled about "Discuss both views and give your own opinion". My opinion should be only in conclusion OR in the introduction and body paragraphs as well.

Thanks a lot.

Just want to say thanks Simon.

I am working hard and won't give up!

Hi Simon,
Thanks for your encouragement.
I understand that English is one of the most important skill in working today. I intend to take the IELTS test in this December. I just started to get acquaintance with IELTS test 2 weeks ago. I found your website very interesting and useful. I hope I can get 6.5 points at least. I will study hard and never give up my target.

Hi Simon,
I have been studying for 3 months and I took 6.0 on 21st june but I need 6.5 . listening 6 reading 7 writing 5.5 speaking 5.5
I think they evaluated my exam unrighteously because I have not deserved 5.5 from writing and speaking . I need your tips and advices.


There is no difference between these types of essays except that 'discuss both sides' requires you to look at both sides. In both these essays you have to provide a clear opinion. The best way to make it clear is to state it in the introduction, topic sentences and conclusion. This also satisfies the marking descriptor 'presents a clear position throughout the response'. This means that the position (opinion) is consistent. Again, you make it consistent and clear by 'leading' the reader through the essay and this means by mentioning it a few times if you can.

The marking descriptors in IELTS cover ALL essays. Examiners do not make any distinction between essay 'types'. They are trained to assess the essays based on the descriptors. Consequently my advice is, for all essays, and especially those that ask for your opinion, place it in the three sections I mentioned, because then it will be clear, and 'throughout the response'.


sjm's advice is spot on*. Please follow it!

*spot on = exactly right

Dear Simon and sjm,

Thank you so much for clearing my mind. I greatly appreciate all the help you gave us for ielts exam.

Thank you so much.

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