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March 24, 2016


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Dear Simon
Is it ok when I leave a line after each paragraph in both Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2?
And do you recommend us to write all our answers in capital letters in Listening?
Thanks in advance)

Yes, leave a line after each paragraph in both tasks.

They don't care about lower / upper case in the reading and listening tests, so you can write your answers however you want.

Hi Simon

you have mentioned about "all" categoty only in the overview without going into details in a separate paragragh. Is it ok if we do like this in the exam, i mean won't welose any marks?

Thank you!

Hi simon..
I have to ask one question regarding this description of task one ..

Why did not you mention the (ALL BAR ) figures in the two paragraphs... Only boys and girls cohort are being discussed in this essay ...

nyc :)


Thank you for sharing a remarkable answer!

But, I'm afraid my dictionary says that 'favour A to B' is grammatically incorrect and you should instead say 'favour A over/above B'. Is it true?

Hi Simon,

I am trying to write paragraph 2 and 3 by comparing with the trend of playing games and chatting online. Since your example emphasized on comparing between boys and girls so you gave more details on the "boys" and "girls" bar. However, if I turn to compare between the two activities, can I give more details on the "All" bar and just overview on "boys" and "girls" bar?

Here are my 2 and 3 paragraph:
Referring to the chat, around 60% of children aged between 10 and 15 are keen to chat on the Internet and the majority of them chat online for more than one hour and 5% of them spend more than four hours each day doing this activity. Furthermore, of all children, it is obviously that more girls would like to do online chatting and the percentage is close to 70%, whereas only 55% of boys would like to spend time on this activity.
On the other hand, nearly 70% of all children prefer to playing on games console. Of this group who play computer games, the percentage for spending less than one hour and between one and four hours are almost the same, representing 30% and solely 8% spend more than four hours on it. Moreover, almost 85% of boys are willing to spend time playing on games console compared to only 50% girls who do the same activity.

Please kindly advise. Thank you


novice and Misha,

Remember that we have to make difficult decisions about which information to select and include. In this case I chose to write about the "all" category in the overview paragraph only. I personally think this was a good decision because there's so much information on the chart - I didn't have time to mention the same information twice.



Interesting and well noticed! As a native speaker, it doesn't "feel" wrong to me to say "boys favour playing to chatting". However, "favour A over B" does seem better. When I wrote that sentence, I originally used the word "prefer", and then changed it to "favour" - this explains why I used the word "to".

After doing a quick search online, it seems that both ways are used (so I'm not the only one!). I found the phrase "some employers favour men to women" in one of our national newspapers, although "favour men over women" does seem like a better choice of words to me. Anyway, I'm going to change "to" to "over" in my paragraph! Thanks for pointing that out.



That way works fine too!


In my opinion, it is not 'everyday' according to your statement. Because The question mentioned schooldays. In conclusion, weekends were not considered in the chart.

Well noticed Stuxnet. That's the kind of small detail that we would notice and change if we had more time. However, it wouldn't affect the score.

should we focus on the main details of the graph and not every single one???

The bar charts give details regarding the time has been spent by Britain students who aged between 10-15 on online chatting and playing games on an average day of the school.
What stands out from the graph is that most girls prefer engaging in online conversation, whereas boys favor playing online games.
To begin with, almost 70% of girls chat online every day of which, one quarter chatting for less than an hour, one third for 1-3 hours, and only one-tenth for more than 4 hours. Chatting online among boys is less popular. the proportion of boys who use Internet for less than an hour on chatting is equal to the girls proportion with an average of about 25%. The figures for online chatting for 1-3 hours is about 20% and for Less than an hour is about 5%.
Finally, a much higher percentage of boys play game consoles than girls. About 30% of boys play consoles for less than an hour per day compared to around 37% of girls. However,The figures for boys who play for 1-3 hours are three times bigger than that for girls, at a rate of 45% and 15% respectively, and six times among 4+ hours players with 12% and 2% in turn.
Greeting Mr. Simon, I wish you to read my answer and give me your valuable advice. Thanks.

Hi Simon,
I just think there is a typo in the last sentence. I think you meant "... so far more than..."

Thanks for all the information by the way.

Hi Theresa,

No, it is correct the way I wrote it.

It might help if we separate the 2 parts of that phrase:

1. most girls who chat online "do so" - means "most girls who chat online do that activity"

2. "for more than one hour" = they chat for over one hour

Hi Simon I would like to know why you put "of" before the subject girl
Is it about the number?
"Of the girls who do play on consoles, most of them play for less than an hour"

thanks :)

Hi Yean,

It's the same as saying "out of" e.g. "out of a group of 10 people, 8 liked chocolate" = "of the 10 people in the survey, 8 liked chocolate".

Thank you very much for your help Simon :)

I have found the other one is that it is clear that the population of india was younger than that of France

Is it same idea as you have mentioned above ?

Thanks :)

Overall,we can see that maximum number of male used to playing computer games.By contrast, female love to chatting on the internet

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