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October 21, 2015


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great, thank you very much, Simon sir

Dear Simon.
I really enjoy reading your writing. It is fully organised without using complex words.
Thank you

Nice essay, I love it

Lovely piece of writing ,without any difficult vocabulary

just outstanding

Dear Simon,
I m really confused with the use of "were" in the third paragraph sentence-if this were the case. Don't you think it should be-if this is the case-because it should be in present form.

Very easy to follow, thank you very much.

Simon, I have a question regarding 10/10 Ielts' writing topic. The topic was, In some countries, some celebrities complain about the way media publicize their private lives. Other argue that they should accept this as part of fame.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?

My question is could I use a politician for example as a celebrity??

I included my opinion with the others saying tha celebrities should accept this media scrutiny as part of being famous.

I mentioned a politician could take a bribe from particular companies in order to influence decisions in favor of them so, the argument goes, with media scrutiny which uncover this kind misconduct in a public office.

The other paragraphs were fine I think.


Thank you for GREAT essay!)

But i don't understand this : "If this were the case"

Waaal thank you Simon. Easy to follow


I'm glad you like the essay guys!


T sherpa and Jas,

Both first and second conditional could be used in that sentence, and I considered both when writing it. I chose the second conditional because we use that when we're imagining something e.g. "If I were rich, I would buy an island." Don't be confused by the use of "were" in the past tense - this is a special use of the past in a conditional sentence. It doesn't actually refer to the past - it means that we're imagining something unreal.



Personally, I wouldn't use politicians as an example of celebrities. The examiner might think that you're going "off topic" with that.

People have different views about whether students or universities should bear the responsibility deciding the subject taught in tertiary institutes. Although there are good arguments in favour of universities allowing the prospective subjects, I believe that students should be given the free hand to choose the course whatever they want to pursue their career.
There are compelling reasons why certain Scientifical subjects should only be allowed in universities to students to pursue their career. Disciplines such as Maths, Science, and Technology are certainly much more useful than any other module. From a personal point of view, studying stem subjects provide more job opportunities, career progression and a higher salary. Also, there are many societal benefits that are being associated with the studying of most challenging disciplines. Also, With having the equal level of studies, countries will be able to reduce a knowledge gap between different nations. So, this will come along with the economical advantages. Furthermore, equipped with the most challenging knowledge, students will likely to play an immensely pivotal role in boosting up the growth and prosperity of their country, if they can introduce inventions to this world.

However, I would agree with the idea of choosing the subjects of interests by the students on themselves own. It is inevitable that students tend to be more encouraged when they allow to study those subjects that interest them. Arts as a discipline, for instance, is the most likeable to many today's young people. If these youngsters forced to study those subjects that do not interest them, they would become bored and it, therefore, may lead to a state of resentment among them. Artists and Musicians can be seen as an example of the act of perseverance, hard work and passion just because of the decision they had made for themselves was by their interest-oriented acquirement. If they restricted to study scientifical degrees, they would not have been able to excel their innate skills to become successful celebrities. Because, people have had been putting themselves into doing immensely hard work in solely those area of studies that are interesting, engaging and appealing to them. In this way, they can transform their skills, knowledge and potentials into becoming a talented, prosperous and competitive worker. 

In conclusion, while there are reasons to believe that only stem subjects should be allowed in universities, My view is that students should not be forced to choose any course against their will.

Although i tried to mimic your style but still failed to write in that way .

Thanks for your essay.


Thank you Simon. This writing is very helpful.

how much choice???

Hi Simon,
Brilliant essay as usual. I want to ask a question which does not relate to the essay above.
When we talk about old buildings and historical sites, shouldn't we call them "historical"? And if we want to talk about an important events or sites, should'nt we use "historic"?
-Governments should spend more money to protect and preserve historical buildings. ( or should I say historic buildings?)

Many thanks

One more thing regarding this essay :)
In the conclusion part, you didn't precede the word "right" with an article, why is that? Can you clarify this, please?
I'm used to hear it as "I have the right to, or a right to"


Dear Simon,
I took the test twice,once got 7 and the other time 6.5. I usually use simple sentences with common vocabularies. I believe, I don't do much grammatical mistakes and my ideas are clear. How can I improve my band score-any suggestion?


Hi Simon,
For the university subject essay, I noticed you write more words for the second view (paragraph 2) than the first view which you are actually support for, may I know is it ok? shouldn't we spend more sentences in what we advocate ?


Thank you Simon! I'm always delighted to reading your sample essay!


Yes, 'historical' means 'related to history' while 'historic' means something that has a sense of importance. Buildings can be 'historical' (which in this case means 'old') or 'historic' (if there are important in some way').


One of the answers is in your statement: 'I believe, I don't do much grammatical mistakes'. You need someone to point out all your errors when you write. You might be surprised how many you make.


It doesn't matter. Generally, you wouldn't want to write a lot less for the side that you support, but in this case the difference is not noticeable.

Thanks again for your help sjm!



Well noticed! I don't know how the word "the" disappeared - I've added it now.

Hi Simon,
Thanks for your valuable essays.
The word limit in your essay exceeded the upper limit.Could you please tell if it is ok to write up to 300 words?

Hi Simon

My writing tutor advised me to read english literature for improving my writing score from 6.5 to 8 bands. Is this the only way to get band 7 and above?

Hi Simon,
You mean it should be'I don't make grammatical mistakes'

Hi Simon,

Nice to meet you. I have looked at your website and I found it really fascinating.

My IELTS teacher told me that re-writing the ideas that I mentioned in conclusion can lead to a penalty so I was told to write something like "At the end of the day, there are pros and cons in all choices we make, both as individuals and as a society. This issue is no different to the circumstances in any parts of the world.".

i would like to know if it is sufficient enough to give a strong conclusion.



There is no penalty for writing your ideas again in the conclusion, but it isn't a good idea, simply because it takes time and words away from other more important areas of the test.

Don't write something that's clearly memorised like what you wrote. Just quickly state your opinion again, so it is clearly throughout the essay. Large sentences of memorised language can negatively affect your vocabulary score, mainly because your 'style' will not be very consistent.

Hi Simon,

In your second paragraph, 4th line, you wrote.." From a personal perspective, it can be argued that these courses provide more job opportunities...".

I thought the sentence should be ....it can not be argued, rather than "it can be argued".

The reason is because your point there is obvious and, therefore should not be argued.

Please correct me if am wrong.


I am wondering that which one is your point andd which one is your arguement?I always give a point by using a short sentence and then give 2-3 arguement senteces to improve my point .
However ,I think your passage is queit smoother than mine.I don't koow why and how to improve my structure?

waiting for your reply.

Hi Simon

Very thanks for your article. But I have a question about this one.

After I try to figure out the method and demonstration used in this article, it makes me really confused that, the paragraph and proof that you write to demonstrate the opposite idea(certain key subjects) are seems more accurate, concrete, and convicing than your asserting one(course of their choice). And more visually, there are more words used to prove your oppsite view. Is it normal or not matter at all?

I was just quite confused about this. Look forward to your reply. Thank you!

Best wishes!

Myself Amit, I have my exam in the month of december and I am looking for people who are interested in practising speaking with me. Kindly message me on skype to start practising.
My Skype id: sriam255



Hi Simon,

I have been studying English for over 20 years, but my last IELTS writing score is still 6.5. I'm kind of depressed and confused because I seriously don't know how to achieve a higher band. I graduated from University of Melbourne with a master degree and I currently work at a risk consulting firm headquartered in US. English is a daily part of my life. So does the practice really make perfection? I think I need some constructive and tailored advice to find out any flaws in my writing, because I want to achieve band 8, and I firmly believe I can. So may you kindly give me some guidance? I wish I could get some comments on my essay from you. May I writing one with the same topic posted by you and get some advise?

Thank you so much for your time and help.



Greetings everyone.
Inspired by this essay format, I wrote my own essay on a topic "Advertisement". I hope you'll find it useful.

Some people say that advertising is a positive part of our lives while others say it is a negative one.
Discuss both views and include your own opinion. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Advertisements have immense power to influence our daily choices. While some people harbour negative perceptions about advertising, I firmly believe that it offers more benefits to manufacturers, consumers and society as a whole.

There are various reasons why advertising can be advantageous. Firstly, it plays a significant role in the introduction of new products in the market. While the size of production has been increasing over the years, an advertisement is considered as a key to reach potential customers. Secondly, the quality of products is likely to be relatively high when they are advertised. Since producers are convincing the public to buy their products they try hard to retain quality assurance. Finally, advertising benefits economies to large extend. This industry has been providing innumerable employment opportunities for many talented people like painters, singers, photographers and other individuals working in different advertising agencies.

In spite of these justifications, the disadvantages of advertising also exist. One of the major drawbacks is added costs. An organization has to spend large amount on advertisements and to meet this expenditure the price of the product is raised. So, advertising costs are passed on to customers in the form of high prices. Apart from this, advertising is usually thought to create artificial needs. Continuous images may cause the consumers to buy unnecessary products. However, in my opinion, everyone has a veto and ignore undesirable propositions.

In conclusion, although it may seem sensible to admit some issues advertising might bring about, I agree that the role it plays in our modern life remains positive.
(258 words)

Hi. Simon. I'm struggling and desperately want to pass my IELTS.Have any review center here on Ireland? Or a book maybe that I could purchase? I'm aiming for a Band 8. Hopefully to hear from you and many thanks.

I'll try. Please correct if there's mistake..

People have different views in continuing their further education in university level. While some argue that students should be forced to take certain subjects, i believe that everyone should take a cource that they like.

The statement why learner should take certain subjects like those in technology and science has attract several reasons. First, the wider oppurtunity that a person can get after graduated from the subject mention. Second, the higher salary recieve which give great impact for future. Last, is the new generation for new innovation invetion that they could give for their country. For example. Technology, they could find a way to tackle the problematica by their knowledge at the university.

Inspite of these argument, i percpective believe that a student should take a course that they are interest too. There is no person that know what is best for us and what is not best for us except ourself. We know our passion and we know where to go and expand. In addition, taking a course that we like can lead us to a high motivation and spirit which effect us to get high score and active involve in many outdoor activities related to our course. Not only that, but also can get job easily.

In conclusion, eventhough there are varied opinions about the best way to choose our course. I definetly believe that choosing our own course would be more beneficial for us and people around us.

Hi Simon,
I am going to take a writing test whose part 2 requires me to write at least 350 words, a large numbers of words compared to tthat of your conventional essays. The types of the essays i am taking usually revolves around opinion and discussion + opinion. I, therefore, wonder if i should give an opinion inclined to one view, sparing 2 paragraphs to advocate the view on top of writing one paragraph about the counter-argument and giving a refutation, in which way could i meet the words number requirement.
Please answer my query, thank you.

Hello Simon, is it correct to say "if this was the case" instead of "were the case " ..? May you explain the difference please ?
your help will be greatly appreciated :)

In these modern days, there are lots of competitions for graduates to be able to land a job. University students have many course options to choose from to be able to build their career. Many believe that university students should study what interests them. However, some people prefer to take subjects that are useful in the future like those related to science and technology. This essay will discuss both sides and will arrive in a logical conclusion.

On the one hand, university students are given the chance to choose what they really like. For instance in Asian countries like China and Singapore, students have the opportunity to choose what subject they desire. This as a result will make learning more easily and will develop their skills faster because they love what they are doing. Thus it is hard to refute that many university students are free to choose whatever subject they like.
On the other hand, students are taking subjects that will enable them to use in the future such as in the fields of science and technology. In India for example, most of the parents are influencing their children to take up subjects like physics, geometry and biology. These subjects will be used in the future for medicine or engineering courses. These courses have a wide range of branches to choose from that will enable the students to land and have a career in the future. Because of the given example, it is agreed by many that selecting subjects that can be used in the future is the best option for university students.
In conclusion, though some people have their different perspective with regards to choosing the subjects for their university studies, I believe that choosing the subject that I really like to take is the best option because not only that I will learn easily but also the fact that I will enjoy what I really love. As the quote says “Find a job that you really love and you will not work a single day.”

Hi, Simon, just a short one. I wonder why you used "their choice" instead of "their choices" at the end of first paragraph?


English native speakers never say "the ___ of their choices". This sounds strange and wrong to a native speaker. We always say "of their choice".

Hi simon
Why you used how much choice instead of how many choices?

Hi Simon

The question requires to discuss both view and gives your own opinion. But I have noticed that you only discuss the first view and then gives your own option. I know your option is the same as the second view. Is that ok to discuss only one view if my opinion is the same as the second one?

Dear Simon
I saw that you use the word "besides" in your essay but some ielts teachers told me that "besides" is too informal to use in an ielts essay. Is that true?
Hope to receive your answer

Hi Linh,

I don't often use "besides". But if you use it properly (like I did in the essay above), it's fine.

Hi Simon.
I have one question.
I say my opinions about argument just in the last paragraph( conclusion) instead of introduction. Is it correct or not? i mean negative impact in my writing score like :
Some people say that the best way to improve public health is by increasing the number of sports facilities. Others, however, say that this would have little effect on public health and other measures are required. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
As a matter of fact, it is no clandestine issue to anybody that sport has indisputable impacts on overall health of people. While it is argued by some people that more number of sports facilities result in more public health, there still remains some arguments against this issue.

Hi Simon

Many thanks for this extremely useful site. As for the task 2 of the 13th of March 20016 exam "...humanities subjects (history, literature...)..." this was referred to subjects or assignments that can be selected by students of engineering for instance or as the main object of their studies, in other words students who opted to study history or literature or philosophy... I took it as assignments that a student of engineering may opt and finally scored only 6.5 Was this out of topic? Thanks

Dear Simon

This is absolutely a solid essay. However, some words make me confused.

Course: should be equal to a major(Eg, Engineering) administered by a faculty

Subjects: should be several subjects that used for students to choose in a course.

Therefore, the course and subject in this essay seem to be used in the same way. Could you please tell me why?

Anyone would like to answer this for me? thank you.
You can check online by "the difference between subject and course" to see what i mean

excellent essay always,
short,clear,easy to understand,

thanks a lot ,simon

Thanks for the sample essay.

I need some help with this argument "society will benefit more if our students are passionate about what they are learning." How can the society benefit from motivated students? Better learning outcomes? I couldn't think of some specific examples. Thank you!

Awesome sir

What is the meaning of 'certain art degrees'?


'certain' just means 'some' in this context.


dear simon

i just would like to know if you are part of this website as well because your essay was identical with the sample answer that they gave..

if they copied it, i think it would be proper if they acknowledge that it's from you.


I've never seen that site before, so it looks like they've copied my task 2 answer.

hi Simon,i wonder whether it should be how much chioce or how many chioces . Confused by it . Hope for your reply ,thanks!


"Choice" can be a countable OR uncountable noun, so "much choice" and "many choices" are both possible, but the meaning is slightly different.

Hi Teacher Simon,

In this essay, instead of using "how many choices" it uses "how much choice," I think it's because how the two views stated in the question which is about "students' right to choose", if meant so, then "Choice" should be used as uncountable in here.

I would like to know whether my understanding about choice here is correct?



Yes, that's right. I'm writing about "the right to choose" in general, rather than the individual choices of subjects.

Hi Simon,

Thanks for your useful website. I wrote the topic by myself as well, and find that my structure is a little bit different from yours? And I am confused.

Here's mine,

Introduction: two arguments exist, I agree with students should learn subjects serve the best interest for future.
Numerous reasons that people think they should learn according to their favourites. And list reasons 1,2,3.
Reasons why people think they should learn useful subjects. List reason 1,2,3.
Conclusion: people have different views, I agree that learning useful subjects have more benefits.

And yours is:
Introduction: different views + agree with people should learn whatever they like.
Various reasons why some people think they should learn useful subjects.
You believe that students have right to choose for themselves. Instead of explaining why people think in this way, you list one benefit and one prediction.
Conclusion: although learning useful seem to be sensible, you insist your idea.

The difference is: in my structure, I only address my opinions in the introduction and conclusion, while you explained in your 2nd body paragraph as well.
Does mine also work or I probably will lose some marks regarding the task response?

Hi Simon- your idea in the second paragraph in the body is not vivid to show how you are going to support it. if nor, persuade me plz.

There are various views about what courses should university students choose. Some people advocate that it is beneficial for them to select courses directly linked to their career, while I would argue that students could develop better by attending courses based on their interests.

On the one hand, considering tuition fees and occupation issue after graduation, it is vital to choose job-related courses. School loan is undoubtedly a huge financial burden for graduates, so a well-paid job is a realistic goal to pay off the loan. Also, employment is a cruel reality that every student will face, so the selection of courses is a crucial point that it will largely determine the competence of a graduate. For example, robot, mobile app, and illustration are top three popular courses in the universities in Taiwan because most undergraduates believe that it will enhance their job skill. Therefore, linking the courses to the career is a wise decision that it will not be a waste of time and money in the university.

However, I agree with the idea that undergraduates could freely select their courses according to their interests. To begin with, the meaning of college education is the cultivation of self-interest and the learning of advanced study. That is, students could looking for their passion through a wide range of courses, and go deeper in some academic fields they are keen on. For example, I fall in love with poems by attending a series of literature classes, and now I endeavor to be a writer. If every undergraduate could find their enthusiasm in the university; then they will be competitive in their interested fields.

In conclusion, it makes sense that students should think for the future when selecting courses; but I think the freedom to attend courses they like is even more critical.

Could anyone tell me what does "subject areas" mean?

Dear simon,
Can we devide our essay to 5 paragraph ? 1st - intro
2nd- discuss the first group ideas ( 2 supports)
3rd- discuss the second group ideas ( 2 supports )
4th - our opinion ( very short and in 2 sentences )
5th - conclusion

thanks a lot~

Whether University students should master subjects of there interest or they should follow leading subjects i.e., science & technology this a most debating topic. This essay agrees that student should pick subjects in which they are most involved in order to achieve well in future. This essay will discuss both points of view.

some people believe that univerties should only offer place to student with high marks while other believe that people should be allowed even if they donot do well in school discuss both views and with your opinion

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