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September 23, 2015


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Thank you very much, Simon. I am Chinese tester, and one book for guiding writing techniques always focus on linkings instead of ideas or the contents you mentioned here, which really puzzled me. Your advice today is just what I am concerned, and I suppose that if you got good ideas as the topic, you would give a good essay with proper words and linkings. Thanks again for giving such a precious advice.

Hi simon,

I paid $48 to purchase all video courses of writing task 1 yesterday and the transaction was successful, but so far I haven't receive the password to get access to these lessons. Would you please help me have a check what's wrong? Many thanks.

By the way, my receipt number for this payment is: 4512-0422-2634-4690


Hi Wan,

I've just seen your email message, so I'll check to see what has happened and I'll email you with the solution.


Hi Wan,

I've sent you instructions to reset your password. Please check your junk mail folder if you don't see my messages in your inbox.

Hi Simon,

Many thanks. I checked my account again and now I realise that the password needn't to be changed and the video course have been listed in my previous account.



Hi simon,
I have IELTS exam on 10th of october in USA. I have to score each module 7 bands and for speaking,I don`t have anyone to practice with. how can I practice for speaking? Please let me know if you have any suggestions for me.

Hi simon,
I am preparing for ielts exam.I have to score each brand 6.I have problems in reading.Would you please give me some tips for reading so that I can get 6 or above 6 in reading.

@Donna, I totally agree with you , here one point to mention , while jet down the own idea ,shall be careful to avoid common mistake those idea are chinese English

Hi simon,
I am preparing for ielts 10 oct attempt.I am having trouble with speaking part as I don't have anyone to practice it with. My question is that I tend to rephrase my sentences alot especially when i get stuck. Will correcting myself again and again while speaking affect my score?

thank you for your great advise

I have a question about give solution question type

there is the topic: Nowadays, many students leave school and give up their studies. How do we solve such problem?

My question is :
is that OK to use about 100 words to explain why young people quit school? or according to the question, just explain how to resolve the drop out situation.

thank you again

Hi Simon,

Can you give some advice on a topic of Speaking Part 2:
Describe a success you had in your life.
You should say:
What you did
When you did it
What difficulties you met
and explain how you felt about it.

This topic is quite ambiguous for me.

Hi Simon

It is the first time that I written somethimg there.I have a question that why the expression"have a powerful impact" belongs to "good content". I mean, is this phrase a kind of cliche?

Thanks for your reply.

Hi Simon and all,

First, thanks for the great tips on this site! I have written an essay as an exercise on this task:

Some people believe that electronic calculators should not be allowed in school until after the pupils have mastered mental arithmetic. Others believe that calculators save pupils time, especially with complicated equations.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

The following is my essay. Could someone give me some feedback on it please? Thank you :)

The use of calculators in schools has enabled students to perform arithmetic and other calculations with relative ease. Whilst some embrace their use for their time-saving capabilities, others argue that pupils need to be able to perform mental arithmetic before being introduced to calculators.

The ability to perform at least simple equations in one's head certainly has many advantages. Firstly, there is not always a calculator at hand, for example for adding up prices in the supermarket. Secondly, doing arithmetic requires logical thinking. In training this trait there is also an increase in general intelligence. Finally, performing mental arithmetic helps in achieving a deeper understanding of maths. For example, by being able to reorganise equations or fractions, one can often find links between different equations by oneself.

On the other hand, being able to use calculators enables students to do more complex tasks in a shorter period of time. Many complex equations – for example polynomial equations – are unsuitable for mental arithmetic and require at least pen and paper to solve, and in today's world, a smartphone with a built-in calculator is often easier available than pen and paper. Such complex equations are also rarely applicable to everyday life, so learning how to solve them mentally is usually a waste of time. Furthermore, many more complex operations like logarithms are only solvable with complicated approximation algorithms that a calculator can execute in fractions of a second, but would take a human a few minutes at least.

In conclusion, I do think that students should be taught how to do basic arithmetics in their heads, but should also be allowed to use calculators for anything more complicated than that.


Make sure your opinion is clearly expressed 'throughout' the task. Don't hide it, or save it for the conclusion. To do this, include the opinion in the introduction and the two topic sentences.

Thanks for the tips, but should I really include it in every topic sentence? The topics of the second and third paragraph are the two points, so should it really be in there? I will definitely include it in the introduction though.

When I get to the conclusion of your essay, it is clear that you actually disagree with the first view quite strongly, but there is no indication of this from your introduction and topic sentences. It is very good practice to guide your reader clearly through your view. Don't be afraid of using words like 'admittedly' or 'I believe' to do this. For example, you could have said something like this in your topic sentences:

Admittedly, there are benefits of not allowing students to use calculators.

I believe, however, that calculators are important for tasks beyond simple arithmetic.

This would make your conclusion a summary or 'rephrasing' of your opinion, rather than a surprise.

Hi simon,
I am from Bangladesh.last week I got my result.my writing score is 5.i have to get minimum 6 in each part..now I am going for exam 31of October.I think my main problem in writing is that,I can't understand topic and related ideas.could u give me some advice for this please?

Hi Simon,
I got 6.5 in writing,need 7 or more.How to improve content and vocablary.

Hello Simon
I have made ilets exam last month but i got just 5 bands. I have problem in every medoul. What should i do? I need 7 bands. Pls help me.

Can you suggest any advanced vocabulary book for IELTS?

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