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December 07, 2016


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Hi Simon,
I have been working on academic test for half a year,but I found the admission also accept general training score recently. Do you think it's easier to get a higher band of reading and writing in general training test?



Reading scores tend to be the same. The general reading test is 'easier' but you have to get a higher score than in academic to reach a level.

Having worked with a large number of candidates who switched from academic to general, I can tell you that most of them end up doing better in General Writing than in Academic Writing. There are three reasons for this. Firstly, many people find letters more familiar, as they often write emails. Secondly, there are fewer 'penalties' in the letter, because there is no need to identify and sort through data. Finally, the letter question always tells you basically what to write, and in what order to write it. All you really have to do is add some details. This makes the task more straighforward, and can give you more time for the essay.

Dear Sjm,
Thanks for your practical advice.

Hi Simon,

Thank you for the video. When a video about semi-formal will be published as it is most argued topic in general IELTS writing task 1.


Dear Simon
I just paid $8 for Lifetime subscription of GT Writing, lesson 2 from IELTS-Simon's video course, but I still cannot see the video, please help me.



I completely agree with sjm. Improving your GT task 1 letter-writing might be the fastest way to improve your overall writing score.



It will be ready at some point in the next week. Here's a question that might reveal my views on "semi-formal" letters:

If we can use contractions (I'm, don't, what's) in informal letters, but we should write the full words (I am, do not, what is) in formal letters, what would we do in a semi-formal letter? Is there a middle point between using contractions and not using them?



Have you received your password by email?

Hi Simon,

can the phrase "due to" be included in formal letter?
is it correct.


and also the same for "as you know"


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