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March 02, 2016


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I have applied for IELTS general module. I get stressed because of my unawareness about some evaluation rules! For example, is it important having unique accent in speaking? I mean, can we use hybrid(British and American) accent? and also, what about in writing?

Thanks Simon for your nice work!

I feel really happy that almost every time I can learn something from your model essays even though I've gone through all of them.

Hi ,Simon
Thank you for nice work!
I want to ask my question:
Can we link drawbacks of living in big cities to migrant problems in this essay?

I think thật the 2nd paragrah is lack of topic sentence

Well noticed Nga! Although I usually write topic sentences, I decided to do something a little different in that paragraph :)


1. First paragraph gives a background information

2 . In second paragraph , problems are stated one after another by using linking words
The main problem ...is that
Another issue is that
As a result

3.In third paragraph ,there is a topic sentence after that measures are suggested for government
However + topic sentence
Secondly + one example
A third option would be ( to do ...)

4. Conclusion paragraph is very short but cut to the point . I wonder why u always end with "in conclusion " ?

Happy to see wordings that are not so complicated can be put together to make a cohesive and wonderful essay ... Thanks a million Simon :) have a nice day

what i got from this essay

1.major drawbacks of living in a large metroplis
2.inhabitants of cities
3. another is that urban areas
4. in the building of affordable or social housing
5 inplement a range of measures

thanks simon for this wonderful essay !
it seems so simple yet really well-constructed.

Thank you for your essay.

I just want to ask one question.
When you write a problem and solution essay, do you have to show solutions for each problem you mentioned in 2nd paragraph?

For example, if you listed high living cost, crime rate and air pollution as problems, do you have to give three solutions, how to reduce living cost, how to reduce crime rate, and how to solve air pollution?

Thank you.

Dear Simon,

General Training Task 2 topic on 18th February 2016 was " These days more and more older people try to look younger. What are the reasons for this and is it a good thing or bad thing?"

These were the exact wording "good thing or bad thing"

What type of topic is this? Is it a two-part question? But it is asking a question and an opinion.

Please help to organise a structure.


No, you don't have to address the exact problems.



That would be the same as a question that asks "is this a positive or negative development?" It's like this question:


Who will take exam tmrw 5 th march

Who took IELTS exam today

Thanks, Simon.

Hello there. Today i have had other parts of the test!!
I have to say that the listening and the reading tests are really similar to practice tests in Cambridge 10.
Task 1
it is a map and it is nearly same as the

writing take 1 in Cambridge Official materials!!! if you want to see that diagrams, you can also find them on ielts-simon.com.
Task 2
Some people believe that the main purpose of schools is to turn children into good citizens and workers rather than to benefit them individually!
to what extent do you agree or disagree?

Hi Simon,

Thank you for your example essay!
And I still have some questions:

1) I think "The main problem for anyone who hopes to migrate to a large city is that..." is still a topic sentence. Is it correct?

2) I noticed that some essays in the Official Guide adopt "five paragraphs". For example, in the discussion topic, the structure of the essay usually is: Introduction + The first opinion + The second opinion + My opinion + Conclusion

Is this method better than "four paragraphs structure"?

I'm really looking forward your reply and thank you for your time.

Best regards.

Hi Michael,

No, it isn't really a topic sentence. I decided to miss the topic sentence in that paragraph, but my usual advice is to start with one. I'll mention this in tomorrow's lesson here on the blog.

I much prefer the 4-paragraph approach. The essays in the official books all seem to be written in different ways, so they don't really help us in terms of which approach is best.

hi simon I need your help to improve my score
I am to poor in reading and writing also not too much good i taken date on 30th april for academic in ahmedabad india please give me a tips to improve it

hello simon..... the task 2 question which was asked on march 5th was a repeated question.you done the same question in 2011.

Although city life is most commonly seen to be full of advantages, at the same time it has a number of distinct disadvantages.

On the one hand, the denizen having to face the challenge life in urban sprawl

Hi,anyone here took the ielts general writing exam last week (29th Feb -5th March)? Can you please share your task 1 n task 2 topics? I'll be taking my exam this coming week. Thanks.

Could anyone help me answer this question: What does "average inhabitant" meaning?
I'm very confuse, because this word is not absence regularly

An "average inhabitant" means an ordinary person. A person who regularly lives in an area. So an "average inhabitant" of a large city would probably refer to a person who is employed and who lives in an apartment. At the same time, an "average inhabitant" of a country town might be a farmer or a regular worker. It might mean a persn with a family. The term doesn't usually mean the boss of of large company.

I would like know why use "the average inhabitant" instead of "average inhabitants".

Thank Pauline,
So "average inhabitant" means the "typical residents" of a city or town right?. It present for almost inhabitants who live and work at that place.

The cities are considered as palces of major civilization. People move to cities because there are more opportunities of employment, quality life and quality education but at the same time such cities have drawbacks which people suffer on daily basis. I will introduce most significant problems which habitants face in their daily lives and some ideas to tackle such challenges by the government.

Firstly, people in large cities suffer from traffic congestion . Similarly, people often at least twice time in a day have to deal with traffic jam. Moreover it leads to traffic accidents and driving car in such conditions is dangerous. To tackle this problem, government should take some meashures; for instance, to set up more traffic lights and also should allocate driveway for public transport and for other cars separately.

Another major issue in metropolis is crime which is steadily increasing and it is becoming dangerous walking through the dark streets at night. In such cities, criminals commit thefts and various serious offences every other day. To solve this issue, government should increase the number of police in more affected places. As a result it, crime rate can be reduced.

The third significant challenge in large cities is the cost of living. Cities are more expensive than countryside. The the cost housing; of education; cost of transport are much higher than villages. The forward way for the government might be to help poor people by building special economical housing projects and take some strict measures to control the inflation in cities.

To sum up, at the same time with good opportunities in large cities, people face with several problems in their daily life. Clearly, government can solve these issues and improve living conditions in big cities. Personally, I consider that cities is good for getting a quality education and creating a good career, but it depends on you if you couldn't accustom to stress and other drawbacks in such cities so living there would be difficult.

Hi Simon. Is this sentence gramatically correct? "the air quality in cities is often poor, due to pollution from traffic, and the streets and public transport systems are usually overcrowded."
To my knowledge, "due to", a preposition, is not followed by a subject plus a verb, in this case pollution + systems and are.

Hi Sunsword,

The sentence is 100% correct.

"due to" is followed by the noun "pollution" in that sentence. Everything that comes after the word "and" is a completely new idea (a new clause).

Dear Simon
Last month I know your website by coincidence.And It is strongly helpful and effective.Fortunately,I am glad to have an opportunity to make use of these resources. I noticed that you used these words and phrases repeatedly,such as "reduce " "help to".But my IELTS teachers have once told me that it is very important to use more and more Thesaurus in the writting task .What is your opinion? Thank you

hi, simen I wanted to know about 'comma' in the essay above, after furthermore, air quality is poor, due to pollution from traffic, and.
why we have comma before 'and' here?

With the advent of industrilization, more and more people are relocating to cities for a better living. This migration has stepped up a lot in recent decades. I would like to put forth the difficulties being faced by the people and the role of the governance body in providing better aminities the public.

Most people migrate for country side to bigger cities in search of livelihood. When the cities are not properly planned, it creates a lot of discomfort to people when the city suddenly sees a large migrant population. The worst affected are the commuters who get struck in the traffic as the roads,flyovers etc are not properly planned and are inadequate for the growing population.According to a recent statistics,Mumbai has been a victim of such migration.Another fear among the residents is the lack of proper sewage system. Every monsoon, all the low lying areas are flooded creating havoc among people.There is lot of pollution in the air they breathe beacuse of the industries.Food adultration has also become a serious phenomenon these days.

The onus of a providing a better life to the people is on the government.Firstly, government should plan proper sewage systems,roads, flyovers etc keeping in view the polulation for the coming ten years.Secondly,it should consider creating Special economic zones for industries, educational institutions,entertainment,hospitals etc. Keeping the pollution levels in mind,it should encourage planting trees to reduce the greenhouse emissions.A better example of a planned city is Chandigarh.The citizens should also be made aware of their individual responsibilities in helping keep the city clean.

To sum up,governments should work on implementing a range of measures to keep the city well planned and enhance the quality of life of its people.

In the second paragraph you say "to ban vehicles from city centres". How is that possible? vehicles include cars, buses....


It's just an opinion. Examiners are looking at your language, not the quality of your views. Also, it doesn't say which vehicles; I'm simply stating that politicians can ban vehicles if they want to.

Hi Simon!

Is this okay?

Urban cities are seen to be destinations of success wherein individuals transferring to these areas are continuously increasing. Although there are some hardships staying in such places, the government can take measures to make inhabitants' life easier.

People tend to move to major cities in order to have a better life. However, living in big cities has its own problems. Authorities should tackle these problems to improve the quality of life in metropolis.
There several main issues with the urban life. Firstly, the cost of living is higher in major cities compered to small towns. Secondly, because of a huge population, life is normally too stressful in large places. Also, unemployment rate is high or at least many families have low-income occupations. Therefore, they may not be able to afford buying a suitable accommodation. Another major difficulty of residing in large cities is air pollution and traffic congestion. Both of these problems have detrimental impact on life. Air pollution, which is mainly due to the emissions from cars and automobiles, can cause serious diseases such as lung cancer. Moreover, traffic jam makes day-to-day life very slow.
City councils should take some steps to mitigate the problems that people encounter in metropolis. Firstly, they can create more job opportunities for young people by investing the majority of governmental fund in businesses. If people have a decent job with a reasonable salary, the crime rate and juvenile delinquency will reduce in the society. Another way to improve the standard of living in big cities is to give loans to citizens so that they can buy a house or give subsidy for the education of their children. Alternatively, government can provide better facilities for the residents of small towns and villages in order to encourage them staying there. Finally, if a cheaper, faster and more convenient public transport system such as buses and trains is available, individuals prefer to use that rather than using their own private cars. In this way, the air pollution will decrease dramatically and residents will enjoy a cleaner city.
In conclusion, although city life has many difficulties, government can improve the lives of citizen of large cities in several ways which have been mentioned above.

An increasing number of people choose to live in big cities. What problems will this bring about? Should the government encourage people to live in small towns?

Nowadays by increasing population, more people tend to live in large towns. In fact, overpopulation in large cities is one of the consequences of concentration on urban development. The government should take some initiative and utilise some incentives to persuade people to live in small cities.
In spite of abundant positive points of living in metropolises there are some difficulties related to urbanisation. For example those who live in the Tabriz have more opportunity to find a well-paid job or to study in better universities compared with those who live in the Salmas. But relocating people to big cities results in overcrowding which is associated with traffic congestion, air pollution, high rate of crime and various diseases. It has been proven that rural sitters are healthier than a large city dwellers. Surely the longevity of people who live in rural areas are longer than big town sitters.
One of the most significant tasks of the government is to take initiatives to decline urbanization. Trend of people to move to metropolises is because of lack or shortage of many facilities of their own area. Therefore it is the government duty that to reward rural sitters by providing better education system, highly standard of health care centers and more job opportunities. For example the Sarab University has around 500 student, so it means the being of this university has prevented of migration of 500 student to large cities. Meanwhile low interest loans and subsidies should be provided by the government to promote industrial and agricultural opportunities in small towns.
In conclusion, regarding the problematic consequences of urbanization the prompt acting of the government is a must.
274 words

It is widely argued that the number of people leaving rural areas for urban places is on the increase. While there is a strong case for this view, several remedies must be applied to tackle a handful of issues which have arisen. In this essay, the matter would be discussed more in depth.
The phenomenon can be attributable to two principal factors. One of the most obvious problem is overpopulation in cities. With such huge amount of residents rushing to suburb areas continuously, the rental agencies would be working full capacity and costing a lot higher than ever. Cramping and poor living conditions are expected, by illustration, Ho Chi Minh City's residents from various provinces across Vietnam. Another aching problem to be mentioned would be traffic congestion. It is easily to predict from the quantity of public transports in cities nowadays. Rush hours seem to be longer due to congestion between large public transport rather than between individual's vehicles.
Measures should be taken in order to overcome the issues. The under-average living conditions could be improved if the government build more affordable block apartments. Traditional paying method should also be modified to monthly charged. When it comes to heavy traffic jams, more routes and directions for drivers must be taken into consideration as public transportation has it very own routes.
In conclusion, it is not against nature that so many people from the countryside rushing to cities as more opportunities awaits. However, there are various negative consequences that must be solve by taking appropriate approaches to better people's cities life.

Dear Simon,

Could we use the structure as follows?

Paragraph 2: On the one hand... (what are the disadvantages of living in the cities?)

Paragraph 3: On the other hand... (How could governments do to improve the city life?)

Thank you very much for your great work!

Hi Simon,

I get confused after reading your sample essay.
In the first paragraph, you explained 3 difficulties without any examples. Will it be graded as overgeneralized? My IELTS teacher always reminds me to support my view by including an example in order to avoid overgeneralizing.


The question asks for 'some' difficulties, so we need to give more than one. There's a named example in my second body paragraph, so that's enough for an essay of this type. Examples are great, but you don't always need them.

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