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September 18, 2014


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Thank you so much for your lessons, Sir Simon.
I know this lesson is for Writing task 1, but might I ask you a question about listening.

In Cambridge IELTS 5, listening test 3, section 1, question 1: the answer is "1.4 LITERS" for engine size.
My question is: if the number is lower than 1.0, I mean 0.6, etc., the answer will be "0.6 LITERS" OR "0.6 LITER".

Thank you and please forgive me if I disturb you.

Dear Simon,
Allow me to thank you for your invaluable lessons!

For Task 1 writing, when do we use "...by 2013" and "...in 2013"? Thanks again.

Hi simon,

I learnt from your website that in Writing Task 1, an overview includes 2 sentences to describe two main points in the graph. However, my tutor who is an IELTS examiner told me that I should write the two main points in one sentence, otherwise it is not regarded as an overview. Is it true?

Also, he suggested me to write Task 1 in the structure of "Overview - Main body (2 paragraphs)" because most people cannot paraphase the topic well and lose marks. Is it alright to write Task 1 without an introduction?

Hi Simon,

I m finding it difficult to write introduction for writing task 1. I end up copying same sentences as in d question please help how to write good introduction.

I improving my task1 with your help sir....thanks

Hi Simon

I got my results today and I am really sad that I missed the mark in speaking . I need a band score of 8 in each .. My scores are : writing 8
Listening 8.5. Reading. 8. And speaking 7.5.

I have given the test about 4 times before and got 8 in speaking several times . So do you thin a revaluation can help in this matter ? Please help


This is not true at all. It doesn't matter if the overview is one sentence or two sentences.

An introduction is not necessary in Task 1. However i suggest you write one because it is convention and many examiners like them. Your tutor is correct when he says that most people make mistakes in introductions, although to be honest, I would say it is easier to avoid mistakes in the introduction compared to other parts of the task.


0.6 liters/litres

Hi Sjm can you please advise me if I should go for rechecking .. My query is just one comment above yours ... Thanks a lot

Randeep Brar

Cynthia, I completely agree with sjm.


It's very hard to advise people to request a review unless there has been clear error which is usually a score of 1 to 2 bands below 'normal'. The difference between 7.5 and 8 is extremely small and because examiners vary and your performance varies I would say that your score would be very unlikely to be changed and you should probably invest the review fee in doing another test.


I respect Sjm's opinion, but in our experience, about 1 out of 3 candidates get favourable results when rechecked - especially where the scores in the other skills are relatively high. Worth trying, isn't it?

Thanks both of you for your honest opinion .. I will apply for a recheck inspite of the negativities surrounding the outcome ...!!!! Hope for the best


Good luck! Please keep me posted.


I can assure you that the 'success' rate on review here in Australia is significantly lower than one third. This may be different in other parts of the world due to other factors. Also, review success in the 7.5 to 8 range is more difficult to predict than in lower bands due to the amount of 'interpretation' involved. At lower bands for example grammar errors are more obvious and therefore there tends to be more agreement among examiners. The bottom line is that if the money and time are not major concerns then of course applying for a review is always fine. Just don't get your hopes up.

I completely agree with you Sjm.. It's really a grey area but at the same time i think it's worth applying in my case .. Also , if simon can please comment on this , I would love to hear from him especially him being an ex examiner ..!!!

Also I have a query : when we apply for a recheck , does the teacher knows my old score or does he marks it independently without having a look at previous scores ....

Any information would be greatest appreciated

In a recheck your paper goes to a higher level examiner who does not know your previous score. Higher level examiners are often stricter than the original examiner but fortunately they cannot lower your score in the review process.

Hi Randeep,

I required remarking my speaking once. It took 8 weeks to get remarked. Remarking is supposed to be independent of previous results. I did suspect my score would go up after rechecking, but I still went for it, meanwhile I also booked another test because I was desperately to pass the test before the required score went up to 7.5 overall. Unfortunately I failed both. It really depends on your own situation. We all take a chance sometimes in life.

Hi everyone, please help me to answer the concern below

Yesterday, my task 1 was about describing changes of Livertons docks between 1980 and NOW. When I say about the current construction, I used past tense; for example” Today, a new sidewalk for sight-seeing was built along the river and It’s also worth-noting that the right-hand side crane was no longer existed”

I wonder whether my sentences were right or not, please help me :(

Thank you very much


Suggested structure:
Today, there is a new sidewalk along the river and it is interesting to note that the right-hand side crane no longer existed.

Hi Simon
What is the difference between the number of and the numbers of?
Are they same meaning?
Thank you

Hi Simon,

I have exactly the same question. Why are they used different? ( the number of and the numbers of)
Thank you.

Hello sir..i got 6.0 in listening and reading.5.5 in writing and 5.0 in speaking..but I need 5.5 each acc to my requirment.i spoke good during my test.i want fill rechecking form in speaking.will it help me....pls sir

hi, im new to this website pls guide me how to follow . my ielts is in 1 week

can u please help me to get proper marks in ielts exam.. i'm very weak in essay writing and reading...so your little guidance would be a very helpful to me sir....

Thank you Simon. You lessons are great.

the numbers of people who cycled to work

the number of UK commuters who travelled to work by bicycle

total numbers of cycling commuters

When it would be numbers and when it would be number?????

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