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June 21, 2017


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Hope you can come here in the Philippines and teach us your style.

Hi Simon,

Good essay was written.But, has it really shown a wide range of vocabulary?? I just found the list below that seems, in my view, NOT enough for a band more than 7!
Here are few words that sounds uncommon to use, which has been used here:
1. Top (verb)
2. outperform
3. consolidate
I am afraid this essay can face band 7.5 in terms of Wide Range of Vocabulary. Can it?

* sound
* have

Hi Kami,

The three words that you mentioned are actually popular when it comes academic writing.

I often write many reports which require formal writing style and I find it normal.

Hi Simon,

I highly evaluate your essay which is very concise.

However, is it possible to use another structure as follows?

+ Introduction
+ The first view
+ The second view
+ Conclusion



This essay is a clear 9 for vocabulary for the following reasons.

1. There are many examples of less common words and particularly phrases. Examiners especially look for groups of words together, such as: 'an unnecessary burden on' 'improve educational outcomes' 'is the norm' and many other examples in this essay.

2. All the words and phrases are natural and follow the same 'style'.

3. There are no spelling or word formation errors.


That is basically the structure that Simon followed. He looked at the first view in the first body paragraph and then the second view in the second body paragraph.

To add just one more thing, it is ESSENTIAL that you state your opinion in the introduction and carry it through the whole essay. Simon's opinion is in the introduction. He then carries it into the first body by using expressions like 'might be' 'it is recognised that', which tell the reader that he doesn't completely support this view. He then states his opinion in the topic sentence of the second body paragraph, and again in the conclusion.

Many IELTS teachers don't advise doing this, but it is clearly in the IELTS marking criteria, so focus on communicating your opinion throughout the essay.

Hi Simon,

first of all, many thanks for your website and daily IELTS materials. I have taken IELTS test on 8 June at British Council, Indonesia. this was the second test for me. At the first test, i only got L 5, R 5.5, W 5,S 5.5 Overall: 5.5. Whereas, at the second test I got overall 6 with L 6, R 6, W 6.5 and S 5.5. All skills increased, especially in writing. As you know that I learned from your website for 1 month. Although, the result is still lower than my target 6.5, I pleased with my result. Now, I am learning again from your website to prepare my third test.

Once again, thank you simon.


You're right! I missed it.

Thank you.

Very good written essay, learned new way to structure my essay now.

Dear Simon,
One examiner in Iran has said that your essays deserve the score of 7 or 7.5 .
I have become confused. How their scoring definitions have changed and why?

Hi Zahra,

That person has the wrong idea about what good writing looks like. Or maybe he/she hasn't studied my essays properly - they seem "easy" when you first read them, but that's because they are well-written. Remember, good writing flows well and is easy to read.

Honestly, my essays are better than what anyone would expect from a candidate in an exam. They answer the question fully, they contain lots of relevant, natural language, and they contain no mistakes at all. Really they are at band 10 or 11 level!! ;)

Thanks Simon,
You are such an amazing teacher. Great work. Great essays. Great help.
GoD bless you.

Excellent write up

Thanks alot Simon for your great effort but may I know why you use 3 againest resons and only one with reson despite ur are with in your essay .

Hi Simon,

Can you please check and comments on this essay, if possible please give a band#.
Some people believe that school children should not be given homework by their teachers, whereas others argue that homework plays an important role in the education of children. Discuss both of these views and give your own opinion.
In most of the countries, giving assignments to students is a part of education system. Some people believe that it is an unnecessary burden on students, whereas, others find it beneficial and considers it as an important part of learning. This essay will consider both the sides before giving an opinion.

A group of people have an understanding that schoolwork is an extra burden for students and leaves no room for their personal activities or for learning any additional skill. They think that instead of spending time in completing assignments, they can utilities the same time to learn skills like dancing, painting and signing, which makes them physically active and good for relaxation too.
They also claim that, after spending 06 hours in school, children need time to spend time with their families without any tension of pending tasks related to school. This will be good to develop their social interaction skills, which is necessary to develop their self-confidence. For example, it is commonly noticed that position holders are not socially active as they study all the time to maintain their grades.

Whereas, others believe that assignments are important to develop independent learning skills which helps them in future studies and job. They find it good for their kids to learn meeting project deadlines from their early age, which can be helpful at university level where students are supposed to work independently to submit their projects on time.

In conclusion, although school assignments play a vital role in student’s education, but I still believe spending extra time to finish homework after school hours is unfair to students and they should have a right to enjoy their spare time.

Dear simon

can we write opinion for both views?

for example,

one the one hand (homework is important because improve self learning and problem solving.....).
However,i believe that doing homework is not so beneficial because children may copy answer as there is no direct supervision of teacher

On the other hand(peolple think that homework is unnecessary burden............................).
I believe this view of giving homework free education is advantageous because of less stress on students...)

Kindly reply

@ Hanna



You don't need "but" in your final sentence. You already have "still" which is okay.

Hi Simon, I try to follow your essay structure but was told that I didnt follow the instructions because I didnt discuss both views then give my opinion, that i discuss the negative side then jump to my opinion, and I should have 5 paragraphs instead of 4. Have I done something wrong here?

People have different views on whether schools ought to give any homework to children. Some argue against the presence of homework as it put too much pressure on the children but in my opinion I believe it is necessary and of vital importance in children's education.

People think that homework is unnecessary for several reasons. Firstly, parents often find that their children are exhausted after attending a full day at school. They should have enough time to rest instead of doing homework in order to replenish and be ready for tomorrow's challenge. Secondly, studies have shown that playtime is equally important to children's development as study time. For example, doctors suggest daily exercising helps promote our brain development and will make us smarter. Finally, parents working full time disapprove the idea of homework because they often have to help their child in solving homework problems after work which is not desirable from their perspective.

In spite of the above arguments, I support the view that homework is important in educating our children. For example, by teaching students to complete their assignment on schedule, they can develop a sense of responsibility and self discipline. In addition, some kinds of challenging questions in the homework can simulate children to think and become more intelligent. Another benefit is that homework provides a way for teachers to understand what kind of difficulties the students are having so that they can revise the syllabus and be more focus on those problematic area during their teaching.

In conclusion, homework certainly has its drawback on our children, but I strongly believe that the benefits outweigh them in the long run.

Hi Simon,
Thank you for your sharing.
I read the following sentence so many times but can't find the subject of 'is the norm'.

Countries such as Finland, where school children are not given homework, regularly top international educational league tables and outperform nations where setting homework is the norm.

Could you kindly help me? Thank you very much.

the subject here was setting homework

Hi Simon,

I have a question here.
Quoted from this essay, "Secondly, many parents would agree that the school day is already long enough, and leaves their children too tired to do further study when they return home. "

Why here use "Leaves" instead of "leave", or it has been typed wrong?

Thank you!


Hi Simon,

i have learnt that one's own opinion should be presented in the second paragraph after the introduction.Is there a specific pattern of structuring the essay?

People view differently on whether students should be given homework. In my opinion, I believe a certain amount of homework is necessary.

Some argue that school children shouldn’t be burdened by homework, they claim children’s time after school should be controlled by their own interests instead of extension of school hours. Children need develop a variety of skills and abilities. They are expected to play with others, visit museums, take part in social activities and understand the mysterious nature. Too much homework will definitely kill their possibility of versatility. To recognize and develop children’s curiosity about the world, free time is crucial. In addition, in order to maintain good health condition, they are supposed to relax and go to stadium after school.

But I think a certain amount of homework is necessary. First, students are busy with listening and making notes on classroom, they rarely have time to think deeply and independently. By doing homework, students could absorb more knowledge and develop self-study habit. On the other hand, I don’t support too much homework. School education is only part of children’s life. They have to learn from people as well as society. Teamwork spirits and respect for others can’t be got from books, they are more important than specific knowledge in future work.

In conclusion, although this is a controversial issue, opinions differ as to whether homework should be given, I think limited amount of homework is a better option.

it's' The SChool day' which is singular and and it leaves their children too tired.... agree?

does it make sense kira?

Hi Simon! thanks for the material. But I'm confused that because you put the supporting views and my own views together into one paragraph. If I were you, I would prefer to illustrate these two parts separately in two different paragraphs because I think this is more clear to respond the task. But then there may be some overlaps over the reasons.
Could you please give me some suggestions? Thank you in advance:)

Dear Simon,

I'm curious that why there are three opinions in paragraph 2 which argue for the opposite opinions, while there is only one topic in paragraph 3,with 2 explanations , an explanation and a conclusion followed by.

Are these sentences all supports for one opinion?

If yes,Why don't we use the same structure as the second paragraph? is it fixed?

thanks and regards!

Dear Simon,
i cant find the definition of 'the setting of homework'. i dont understand what 'setting' in this phrase means. could you help me ? thank you!

here you use "there" , does it not weak writing?

Hello Simon

Here several time you use the word "there" , does it not weak writing?

Please kindly clear me


Nobody will ever notice repetition of simple words like there, and, but, the, a...

It's not a problem at all.

Hi. Simon

It hasn't been suggested to me that I should not state my opinion at the very start of my essay when given such topics. Is better off leaving it to the last?

Hello Simon

Its often said not to use personal pronouns in body paragraphs. Is it appropriate to use "I" in body paragraphs as you used it in second paragraph to give your view...(I support the view that homework)

Please enlighten.


Yes, it's completely fine to use the word "I" in any part of your task 2 essay.

Here's a lesson that I wrote about this issue:


Hi Simon,
I am kind of confused that why you didn't paraphrase the word "homework". Is there any purpose for you to use it during the whole paragraph?


I don't think there's a good synonym for homework. Also, there's no need to paraphrase such a key word - if you do, you might actually change the meaning slightly and confuse the reader.

Hi Dear Simon;

Reading this essay again after several months, I found it too long to be written in an IELTS exam. However, it could be definitely useful even if it has been read for the second time.


Hi Simon,
I have a question about your essay,
the second paragraph is mainly about the reasons why people thought homework is unecessary,but this sentence seems like setting homework is necessary
" regularly top international educational league tables and outperform nations where setting homework is the norm."
Please kindly explain to me,thank you so much.

Hi Alice Yuki,
I copy the whole sentence of your quote as below: 'Countries such as Finland, where school children are not given homework, regularly top international educational league tables and outperform nations where setting homework is the norm'.
The evidence shows that the children in Finland do not have homework and usually 'top international ...' So this is an argument for NO homework for children.


I wanted first to mention that simons posts are all great specially on writing task 2. I don't get how some people comment that they are for 7 band!
Is in hot water formal to use in writing task 2:
... as opposed to traditional break and mortar businesses, most of which are in hot water after dot com revolution.
Thank you for your quick reply.

Dear Simon,
I was wondering if you could tell me a little about the process of becoming an IELTS examiner? I'd appreciate it.
Best regards

Hi Meos and Simon,

"Countries such as Finland, where school children are not given homework, regularly top international educational league tables and outperform nations where setting homework is the norm."

This sounds strange.I think simon wanted to make a SVO sentence. But outperform is V but why he put on the front of the Nations? It could be top of the sentence so should be like this no?

Countries ...... outperform regularly top international educational league tables and nations where setting homework is the norm.

Please explain why he put outperform on the position.

Kind regards,


I'd like to know whether it will lose marks if I introduce an idea in the main paragraph without an explanation and example. Does each idea need to be followed by at least one explanation or one example?

In your essay, the second and third ideas in your second paragraph are finished within one sentence. You didn't explain why play time is beneficial. Is that ok just presenting an idea? Does it achieve the requirement that "presents a fully developed position in answer to the question with relevant, fully extended and well supported ideas?"

Best regards

can you please check my introduction paragraph:

Many people think homework to be a vital part of the education system while others argue it to be unnecessary. I believe homework plays crucial role in education and is very important.

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