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August 30, 2017


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Mr Simon, the introduction and conclusion of your IELTS essays are TOO simple.

Please refer to the Offical Cambridge Guide to IELTS, written by Cullen, French and Jakeman, Cambridge English (for both Academic and General Traning) ISBN 978-1-107-69491-0. We just can not imitate your writing styles, as we for fure will lose marks. Please compare yours with those sample esssays provided by this offical book. They are much more well written. Thanks.


If you read more of my lessons, I hope you'll see that you have the wrong idea about what good writing looks like. You'll probably also see comments from students who have passed with very high scores using my approach. You don't have to believe me, but I think you'll write better essays if you do.


The IELTS descriptor for Task Achievement Band 8 reads:
"presents a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended and supported ideas".

It might be better to spend the time available developing good body paragraphs.


Are you nuts? You are talking to an EX-EXAMINER!

Dear Simon,
Do I lose score if I use both AmE and BrE in the essay? Does it need to be unique? Unintentionally, I sometimes write some words in AmE (e.g. realize) and then some in BrE (centre) in the same essay.

Hi Simon,

Do you think it is a bit informal to use "say ‘no’ to children" in an IELTS essay?

I think despite all band descriptions in IELTS, scoring essay is rather subjective. I know some examiners in Iran who claim Simon'essays scored 7.5

RTuijn, if you think you can judge Simon's essay please help us as Simon is doing many years, we would love to see some of your sample essay!!!! Perhaps you should have your own ielts blog !!! ☹️☹️

Dear Simon, no matter what some of the candidate having different opinions according the free will. I would like to say I rewrite the essay and this time match the two main points like you did.

accepted the different opinions when the parents say "No".

will become self-centered

Cheer up


As others have mentioned, the advice you have given is clearly wrong, and not based on anything in the IELTS marking criteria.


Technically, you should only use one form in an essay, but I think most examiners wouldn't notice, so don't worry about this.

James Z

'say no' is fine. It's not informal and it matches the style used in the rest of the essay.


Some parts of essay examining are subjective, but examiners today are checked much more than previously, so scoring is far more consistent. Also, the vocabulary and grammar scores are not really subjective - if you write an essay with vocabulary like Simon's with no spelling errors, you will receive a 9, and if you can write 283 words of natural English with no grammar errors you will receive a 9 for grammar. Also, you will receive a 9 for CC because the linking is perfect. The only score that is 'subjective' is the TR score. Overall it is very hard to see this essay being given anything below an 8.5, and even that would be an error.

on the other hands, I would like to say so luck you are RTujin who can compared with the official punished( difficultly : simply writing style) because you seem stuck on what the official.
Now you are free on writing an essay.
Try it as possible as you can .

Oh.. it has been having arguments on this page...
Aside from the discussion, I have leant some phrases from this essay.

a certain amount of discipline
clear expectations and boundaries
indulgent or lenient parents
self-centred adults
in teams with other colleagues
compulsive shopping
unwise financial decisions

Its so much to learn and remember.
Thank you for working hard on daily blog,Simon;)
Good luck everyone to achieve your goal!!

Dear Simon,is the first sentence in the following task an opinion or not? Should it be covered in the argument or not?

For more than one century, the most importance of education is given to reading, writing and mathematics. Some people argue that it would benefit every child if the fourth skill was added to the list: computer skills. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Dear Simon,
I got my Englsih score as request. I am sending this just share with you the good news. Many thanks mentor for your help.
you are a very excellent teacher! I really deeply thankful you for your daily blog for us,it is so helpful.I hope more Chinese teacher will benefit by using this blog.
All the best!


After reading your comments, I decided to research the Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS. Below, I have copied a Band 9 essay from the book. Readers can make up their own mind, but as a native speaker and English language teacher for 46 years, my opinion remains the same. Simon's essays are band 9 level. And - unlike the Band 9 essay below, they contain no mistakes ! For example, "this type of behaviors" is incorrect, and I would not advise my students to write 'kids' in an IELTS essay. So, I also have to disagree with you.

Band 9.0 Sample 2

Today, there is a growing trend among parents towards trying to accommodate their children’s every demand and giving them more personal freedom. In this essay, I am going to demonstrate how this child-rearing practice is detrimental to children before arguing that its repercussions may reverberate in their adulthood.

Parents may wean their kids on an over-reliant lifestyle by fulfilling all of their wishes. Kids who are granted every request typically develop a habit of pestering and relying on their parents for everything. This dependence may deprive them of the motivation to strive in life, which may take a heavy toll on their school performance, for example. As these children become grown-ups, the inability to lead an independent
lifestyle will cause them to struggle in many facets of life. For instance, people who are given generous allowances when they are small are unlikely to be able to budget and manage their personal finances. This is an example of the adverse impacts that parents’ over-indulgence may have on small kids.

In addition to spoiling children, entitling them to too much personal freedom may also result in dire consequences. People’s personality is shaped at an early age, and without parents’ close supervision, children may be vulnerable to negative influences and adopt harmful habits. For example, many children use profanities from as early as primary school because their parents allow them to play video games at Internet shops where cussing is the norm. This type of behaviors, which often incites disobedience and recklessness, may be the precursor to an adulthood of crime. In fact, it has been shown that many criminals began rebelling and committing illegal acts from a young age as a result of their parents’ negligence. This is a testament to how an unsupervised childhood may cause small kids to suffer serious consequences as they become adults.

In conclusion, granting children all of their wishes may do serious harm to their personal development, and thus this practice should be rejected to ensure a healthy lifestyle for their kids.

"Kids" is indeed marked "informal" on wiktionary.org:

"wean their kids on ..." ?????

According to wiktionary.org "cuss" is "chiefly US".

Other questionable phrases:




"...(parents???) entitling them to ... "

Can "behavior" really "incite" disobedience? Why not "encourage", which is more common?

Hi, pete walton: couod you please share your Linkedin profile with us? so that we can contact you back. Thanks.
in addition, how are we students able to know whether an english teacher is a IELTS examiner or not?
They should have examiner letter sent from IELTS right?




Hi Yuoine

You will have to ask Simon or sjm about how to tell if an English teacher is an IELTS examiner. I have not been an examiner, only an IELTS teacher. Why not e-mail Simon?
I am not on Linkedin or Facebook, but Simon will put you in touch with me if you e-mail him.
Good luck with your IELTS studies - you are doing the correct thing - following Simon's blog!


IELTS examiners are not allowed to advertise themselves as examiners and they would be crazy to produce any documents that say they are examiners as they could lose their job.

The fact is you don't know. But I might add that you do not need an examiner to mark your work as long as the feedback is based completely on the marking criteria that is publicly available.

If anyone marks you writing, make sure they are native level, and that they identify EVERY vocabulary and grammar error for you, and advise you how to correct them,.

Dear Simon, thank you so very much for your valuable website. I wrote IELTS Academic in April this year, and by only following all your advice on this website, I succeeded in successfully attaining an 8 in writing. My deepest and sincere gratitude towards all the time you invest in helping so many students like myself, achieving their goal, without the need of attending class. An honest, most sincere " Thank you" for all your hard work and experience that you are willing to share. I am still following your website daily, as I still find it extremely useful in so many ways.This vocabulary in this particular essay I found immensely useful. Furthermore, it is compiled in such a rational and logical manner, and it does not confuse the reader. Instead, it promotes a clear understanding. Thank you again for all your help on this website.

Dear Simon,you can explain for me about the words:"children my self",maybe its mean:my children???
Thanks sir so much.

informal tuition.......without essay ocrrection IELTS examiner certificate.......

dear simon,plz help me in writing module..


It comes from the phrase "having done something myself" e.g. Having studied languages myself, I know how difficult it is to become fluent.


Thanks for doing that bit of research. It's very interesting to compare my essay with a band 9 essay that must have been written by a student (non-native speaker). I think most native English speakers and English teachers would agree with you that there's a clear difference - my essay is more accurate and more coherent.

Hi, Simon is it self control or self-control, I'm a little bit confused about this.

Dear Simon,
Regarding your essay, I have a question on how you answered "Is this a good way to raise children?" I see that you illustrated what an ideal way of raising children would look like without directly addressing the question. It eventually answered the question though but I just wonder why didn't you just write a disagree paragraphs and state your reasons?
I hope you can answer it when you have some time. Thanks for the great essay as always.


Well noticed. There should really be a hyphen: self-control. This wouldn't affect the examiner's scoring at all, but I'll add it anyway.



Yes, I was aware when I wrote the essay that I was writing in a slightly less direct way than usual. To be honest, I just wrote according to the way I felt on the day - perhaps I was in a creative mood and didn't want to follow my normal approach so closely!

Hahaha! Gotta love simon,... the way you respond to the doubting.


Unfortunately I also will have to disagree with you. You should at least do some research before you judge a pre-examiner's essay.

I don't generally comment but I have to speak up for Mr Simon as many students did here, simply because he is making great effort and helping millions of students who are working on their IELTS score.

I have had used Simon's guides and website and achieved 7.5 or 7 on Academic IELTS writing. Also, my IELTS teacher, who is both an IELTS examiner trainer and IETLS examiner in Australia, agrees with Mr Simon's teaching methods and claims he is a GREAT teacher. Please do not blame a good teacher who does good things and benefits many because of your ignorance.

Mr Simon, I really appreciate your time on making such a great website which helps thousands of students. I scored above four 7s last year. Your suggestions helped me a lot in achieving my ideal score. Thanks again!!

Thanks Wendy!

Dear Simon,
After reading your essay about parenting, I am wondering that if we are allowed to use our own personal experience in our essays.
Hope you can answer my question if you have time.
Thank you!

I likeit

Thanks , Simon ur essay is very helpful , plz giving some tips for agree or disagree essay

Hello, I am reading Simon's essays but I couldnt find the otherside's opinion on the essay. Shouldnt we also write about the benefits of permissive upbringing of children in one paragraph?

can i replace the word 'permissive'by'tolerant'

Hello sir,
As you wrote lack the patience beside this,is it write if we write lack of patience?

- Thank Mr.Simon for an amazing structure in Main body 1
- But for those who feel confused with it, just as myself. I have tried to rearrange MB 1 as Simon's usual structure.

In my view, parents who always say "yes" and constantly give in to their children demands are actually doing more harm than good. Having worked with children myself, I have learnt that clear expectations and boundaries are necessary, and it is important to be able to be strict with children when they misbehave or try to push against these boundaries. This is the only way to help young people to regulate their desires and develop self-control. I would, therefore, believe that if parents want to raise respectful and well-behaved children, a certain amount of discipline should be enforced. And, those parents who do the opposite are actually failing their children rather than being kind to them

Hope this help

Dear Simon,
Is it 'compulsive shopping" or "impulsive shopping"?
Thanks in advance

I copied this from a website:
“While impulse buying is largely unplanned and happens in the moment in reaction to an external trigger -- such as seeing the desired item in the shop -- compulsive shopping is more inwardly motivated. A compulsive shopper will plan the shopping experience as a way to avoid or relieve uncomfortable internal feelings, such as anxiety.”
Hope it helps.

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