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May 02, 2016


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Dear Simon,
Thanks for such a great advice.i want to ask you,which type of newspaper articles can improve our reading.i mean should we concentrate on political news articles or something else.

Dear Simon,
I have exam end of this month so i have 2 questions:
1) Do the reading passages in the real exam like to cambrdige ielts readings?
2) are real exam tests same all over the countiries ?


I was told that Simon is an ex-examiner for speaking test. Is that true? If positive, how could he be so sure about his sample answers are all qualified to be scored as band 9?

Hi, Simon, your website's really helpful. I've followed it for some time and really acquired something.

Here is some questions for Listening, I wonder whether you could answer them.

In Cambridge IELTS 5, Listening, Section 1, Q1,
Type of transportation 1______
the answer key of the book is "by minibus/a minibus", while mine is "minibus", is it wrong?

In Cambridge IELTS 5, Listening, Section 2, Q16,
Spaces between the bars were 16_________
the answer key of the book is "too wide", while mine is "wide", is it wrong?

In Cambridge IELTS 5, Listening, Section 4, Q33,
33 Women tend to save for ________ and a house.
the answer key of the book is "children's education", while mine is "education", is it wrong?

Kind regards


Hello there, Simon.

Here is the reading question that I found quite tricky. Could you explain the right answer?(Cambridge IELTS 9,Test 2,Passage 2)

The parallax principle allows astronomers to work out how far away distant stars are from the Earth.

Extract from text:

The parallax principle can be extend to measure the distances to the stars.

It is true/false/not given question type. I thought it is false because question says DISTANT stars but in the text there is nothing about it. But the right answer is true. Could you explain it?


'minibus' might be correct in a real exam, but your other two answers contain different meanings to the correct answers, so they are wrong


The word 'distant' in the text here is not an important word and it is more 'descriptive' rather than 'exclusionary'. We know all stars are 'distant' (far away). The text does not mean 'distant stars in contrast to closer stars'.


Simon's writing and speaking samples are all band 9 because they are all fully grammatically accurate, use natural English that natives use, and answer questions clearly and directly. Half the speaking score is based on your 'delivery' (fluency and pronunciation), but we can assume Simon can fulfill that part of the test.

Thanks Simon....

Dear Kiran
I often read articles on this website:

so I share to you and hope it's help.

Thanks to the support of STA Travel and in association with LCOS (the London Conference on Overseas Students) International Students House now provides the service of an International Students Adviser. This new welfare service is open to all students at London's bona-fide academic institutions. It aims to provide welfare support to help students overcome any personal or practical difficulties they may be experiencing whilst studying in Britain. One of the key features of the Advice Service is that the Adviser can be seen during the evenings until about 8 pm, Monday to Thursday.

STA Travel help finance the Students Adviser

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