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September 09, 2015


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Thanks Simon for your hard work, which encourage me and other students to achieve their goals. Much appreciated you help.

Thanks for the great lesson. :)

Dear Simon,

I find your site very helpful for the exam. Thank you! Although I have one question regarding the Speaking test. Will we have the opportunity to keep tracking the time during the 2-minute-long monologue? (I have heard that we are not allowed to wear a watch on the exam.) I think it could be useful to be on time and cover all points.

I look forward to your answer.

Thank you and best regards,


Would u tell me how writing assesses? How do listening n reading assess??

Thanks for the best advice I ll definitely do my writing according to your suggestions :-)

Thank you for this useful advice . I will work very hard to follow them during the exam

I am a Chinese ielts student, I have no idea about how to write an instruction and a conclusion involved with a question which just ask me advantages and disadvantages (not include a option).

Should I talk sth about my option?

For example , "

Some parents buy there children many toys to play with .

What advantages and disadvantages for the child of having a large number of toys ?


Thank you so much!

Sorry Simon, but in the second sentence of your introdution, why did you use "that allowing". I think it would be "...that allow people..." or "...the idea allowing such people ..."

Hi Simon,I am confused that why you suggest us to write with 4-paragraph,while I found that most of the high-score sample essays from Cambridge IELTS books are not like that. Those high-score sample essays are usually with more than 4 paragraphs,and sometimes only one sentence occupies one paragraph. What is more,I found a band 7 sample essay is without any high class words which I think Chinese must find a way to use if we want to get higher scores.Maybe you will say because those essays were written by native speakers who could expertly use the language.Whatever native speakers write,they can get a good mark easily. But is it that when I,a Chinese men,feel the high-score essays are illogical in Chinese thinking,then they are logical in British or American thinking? I read some essays from Cambridge IELTS 4 & 5,and I think they are illogical with confusing structures.Something wrong with my thinking?Thank you.

@ Harry son

What is the difference between "that allowing" and which you mentioned "the idea allowing". they both similar.

@ Biks

But I was taught that "if we use a reduction of relative pronoun , we must get rit of the pronoun and change the verb into present participle - ING"

@ Harry

allow you can use as a gerunds.


You need to see these 2 phrases as separate from each other:

1. I agree with the idea that...
2. Allowing... is the best way



I think it's fine to wear a watch and track the time if you want.



Reading and listening questions are worth one mark each. Here's a lesson about writing scoring:




A lot of people have the same problem as you. I really hope that my lessons will change your way of thinking, especially regarding your ideas about 'high-class' words and high scoring essays.

Dear Simon,

Thank you!

Best regards,


i hope so.i am going to read some essays of READING parts and yours instead of the WRITING parts.
thank you.

I have questions. If I use your phrase do I loose point. like It true that ...In one hand ...In the other hand...


I have questions. If I use your phrase, do I loose point? like It true that ...In one hand ...In the other hand...



No, you won't lose points for using anything that I have used.

Hi Simon,
my writing (task 2) has improved greatly with lessons from this site, but my problem is crossing out words. Sometimes, I scribble and rewrite then end up with a rough :( but good work. Is there a penalty for this? Would my marks be deducted?
Thanks for helping

Hi Sir,
I hail from India and preparing for ielts for a band 7 score which are important for my career. I feel difficulty in forming ideas especially in govt. related issues.can you provide me some ideas about this topic "some people think that developing countries should provide aid to countries with poor rights record.Agree or disagree?
kindly help me out with such issues.

I entirely support the opinion that people who live a normal lives after having a miserable life in prison will help young people keep far away from breaking law.

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