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October 09, 2014


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Thank you Simon,I make many mistakes in grammar when I do task 1. can you tell me how can i improve that problem

Dear Simon,

That sounds great. Do you mind if I ask you that it is a good idea to join the introduction and the overview of task 1?

It can be seen that you have been always trying to break the task into 4 paragraphs, compared to other trainers' tips to join both of them. Surely, I prefer to follow your rules, why not!

Thanks for everything you have done.


There is absolutely no benefit of joining the introduction and overview and in fact, one potential drawback. If you join them, it is more difficult for the examiner to find it. It is easy for a tired examiner to 'miss' the overview, so help them and place it in a separate paragraph.

Hi Robin,

You need to get someone to check your work and highlight the mistakes. Then you need to analyse the mistakes carefully, so that you understand what you did wrong.


Hi Ehsan,

sjm is right. The overview is really important, and we don't want the examiner to miss it.

Hi Simon

I have exam on Saturday please advice me is it OK if I use pencil for writing task... my tutor told me its fine but in some website I saw that the experts say not to use pencil for writing task please reply...

hi mustan :

you are very confused and asking a very simple question.nobody will answer your question, because it is not worthy .

any way you can use both,either pen or pencil and it is your personal choice what you want to use.

you should know that 4 things are important in writing tasks.
1- task achievement
2- vocabulary
3- cohesion and adherent
4- grammar

so there is no pen or pencil . if you have your own teacher or if you study here with simon, you will know these these things.
i hope it will help you .

Superbly written :)
The best paragraph is the general paragraph: general trends described beautifully.

Hi darimogh

Thnxs for ur reply
but actually I read in one of the websites that writing with pencil gives feel of immature essay writing n we shld avoid it...

Thanks Simon. You are the best!


Almost everyone (at least here in Australia) uses a pencil in the writing test. In fact, I can't remember seeing a writing test that was NOT written in pencil.

Dear Simon,
would it possible to clarify that will I able to write the listening answer in capital letter and the reading answer in small letters? IS THERE ANY NEGATIVE IMPACT ON ielts SCORE?I am looking forward to hearing from you near in future.

Hi sjm

Could you explain why 'again' was used? (This figure rose to 50% in 1991, but fell again by 5% in 2001)?

Thanks a lot!!


There is no negative impact on the score, however just write everything in capitals just in case.


That's a very good question. Sometimes the word 'again' can be confusing. Here, it is used not to describe another fall, but another movement, which happens to be a fall. The 'again' slightly stresses that the number had a further change. You could also write it this way that might be clearer:

'and/but changed again in 2001, falling by 5%'

Dear Simon and dear sjm,

Thanks for your attention to this matter. I would like to appreciate your replies.



Thanks a lot!!

I think this writing task lacks a little information. Like the figure resources and furniture/equipment. So in writing task 1, do we need to list all information ?

Hi Huy,

The question always tells you to "select and report the main features". This means that you are not expected to include every piece of information.

It's impossible to write about everything in only 20 minutes, and it requires some skill to select appropriately.

is it not necessary to write a conclusion for writing task 1?

Hi Simon,
just one quick question: is it mandatory to use the Saxon genitive in the sentence: [..] the largest proportion of the school's spending [...] ?
Could I write "the school spending"?

Is there a difference in meaning?

Dear Simon,

Why isn't it "proportions" in the sentence below? I think there are 3 proportions in 3 years.
"It is clear that teachers’ salaries made up the largest proportion of the school’s spending in all three years"

And can you explain why it is 20-year period, not 20-years period?

Thank you so much.

The pie charts compare the proportions of five different types of expenditures in the school in three different periods (1981, 1991 and 2001).

It is clear that out of the abovementioned period, the wages of the teachers were the highest expenditures among the others, though the figure had fluctuated in each of the three particular periods

40% of the annual school spending were disbursed for the teachers’ salaries in 1981. The figure then increased by 10% in 1991, but slightly dropped to 45% in 2001. The wages of the other workers accounted 28% of the school expenditures and it was considered as the second highest expense in 1981, but over the twenty-year period the percentage had declined to around half of the former figure.

It is noticed that the costs of resources such as books, and furniture and equipment were similar in 1981 at 15% each respectively, Although the resources cost grew to 20% in 1991, but it decreased to 9% in 2001. While the figure for furniture and equipment cost increased significantly to 23% over the mentioned period. The expense for insurance was considered as the lowest, stood at 2% in 1981, but the proportion had drastically grown by quadruple in 2001.

Dear Simon,

I had a question about your writing sample here.

Can we use fluctuation, increasing steadily, peaked for table or bar chart?
I thought these words can be used only in line graphs, which have evident trends.

Thank you in advance.

teachers salaries made up the largest proportion

by contrast,
was the snallest cost
expenditure on school
over the 20-year-period
spending went on to teachers salaries
figure rose from -- to --
then fell by --- in --
percentages/proportion/figure of spending


reached 8%
was highest in 2000 ,at 20%
spending on resources peaked in 200 ,at 10 %

reached its peak in 2001 , at 23%

Dear Simon,
How do you score my sample generally?

These pie charts compare the proportions of annual expenditure on various items in a British school in three years. As can be clearly seen, the school budget has by far the most been allocated to teachers’ salaries. The money spent on insurance, however, was not as remarkable as others.

Having examined the data, we can state that although salaries of teachers fluctuated from 40% of the total spending in 1981 to 45% in 2001, those of other workers faced a downward trend during studied years. To be exact, the proportion was 28% initially, then dropped by 6% in 1991 and then reached 15% in 2001.

Interestingly, the share of furniture and equipment as one item and resources in 1981 was equal at it was 15% in each. The former diminished to 5% and then expanded to 23% in 1991 and 2001 respectively, while a reverse trend occurred in the latter during the same period. The annual expenditure on insurance increased steadily in 1991 from 2% to 3%, but more drastically in final year (8%).

Thank you.

Dear Simon,

I've noticed the use of "proportion". I am sure that this is a mark boosting vocabulary but You used it for several times. Is it intentionally ?

Dear Simon,

In your overview, why didn't you mention the trend of all the expenditure? Is it insignificant?

Thank you!

Hello Simon!
Any useful tips for the student who will write essay this year?
I really do like your writing style, so want to hear some tips and tricks for students who going to write essays or research papers. And if you won't mind I will use some of them on my "do my essay online" blog.
Bests, Anita

Hello Simon,
The three pie charts in combination illustrate the annual expenditures of a school in UK for three years.
A glance at the charts reveal that teachers’ salaries remained the largest expense item while insurance expenses was the smallest but it had increased during the years. In addition, other workers’ remunerations had decreased.
At the onset, insurance expenses showed a sign of steady increase from the low of 2% in 1981 to the high of 8% in 2001. Whereas, other employees’ payments was the only item that demonstrated a steady declined over these years; hit its highest record of 28% in 1981, reduced to 22% in 1991 and reached its low of 15% in 2001. However, spending for resources, furniture and equipment were more volatile and unpredictable during the period studied. On the other hand, teachers’ salaries did not show a persistent uptrend; its 10% increase from 1981 to 1991 was followed by a 5% decrease in 2001.
It follows that, through approximately twenty years, the total spending on different things of this UK school changed considerably.

From your point of view,what is my score?

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