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January 31, 2018


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Hi Simon. Could you explain to me how the Task 2 Writing score is rounded? For example, if I got 7 in Task Response and 8 in other three criteria, will I get a 7.5? Or an 8.0? Thanks in advance.

Mr Simon

I have rearranged the third paragraph from your "idea, explain, example" essay as an exercise to achieve cohesion and focus using pronouns:

In spite of the above arguments, to my mind homework has an important role to play in the schooling of children. It encourages, as the main benefit, independent learning and problem solving, as children are challenged to work through tasks alone and at their own pace. In doing so, homework makes them apply the knowledge that they have learnt in the classroom. It also helps them (for example in the process of doing mathematics exercises at home) to consolidate their understanding of the concepts taught by their teacher at school. In my view, homework provides a platform for children to develop an independent study habit, which prepares them to work alone as adults.

Any comments much appreciated !

Dear Simon,

When I was doing a listening TEST 2 of IELTS Cambridge English book 9 I found in question 2 asked " Date of birth" the instruction asks one word AND/or A number only but the recording says 31 first of 31 March 1972 now Im wondering which one would be the answer 31 March or 1972?

Dear Simon,

Is it correct to use word 'Conversely' instead of 'However' in Writing Task 2?

Thank you for your work.


"However" is "used when you are adding a fact or piece of information that seems surprising, or seems very different from what you have just said."

"Conversely" is more specific and is only "used when one situation is the opposite of another."



"However" often comes at the start of the sentence. It is much better, however, not to start all sentences with a linking adverb.

Thank you M'ambo

Many thanks for your efforts

How can i use firstly,secondly, finally method i will write opinion essay?




Hi Simon i would like to know about usage of linkers. For example,if i start my paragraphs by using linker FIRSTLY and another with Secondly and for another idea i could use Moreover or additionally or i can use Thirdly and finally.Kindly tell me i have soo much confusion regarding this.

@ Anh,

Your score will be 7.5 (not 8.0). You must score a total of 32 to achieve a score of 8.0.


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