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May 23, 2018


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Hello sir,
i am recently use your blog even fortunately i got it. sir i just need your help please help me in some point although i know you could be clear my all points as you are so experienced teacher.Sir,as i belong to punjab so its really difficult for me to speak a english as a native speaker due to my accent.when i speak i feel not well.I mean,it seems not better when someone hear then honestly i feel awkward.Please tell me what should i do to enhance my pronunciation


Hello sir,
I want a piece of advice from you.sir whenever i do section 3 of general ieltsreading,i seldom know whether to go for question first or read the entire passage first.i am,always bit freightened to get low score if whole passage is not read precisely.can u give ur precious advice.


I'm confused about a question, if it is possible that anyone can help me to answer it?

In my essay, I wrote my support sentences like this:
The first benefit of that is that...
The second advantage is that...

but my teacher's comment is that "Use formal cohesive device when listing your arguments,and what I used is informal cohesive devices"

He changed it to this:
The most important argument is…
Another point that can be made is…

So I'm confused about why what I wrote is informal and what is the difference between the two groups of support sentences.

Thank you for your time~




Often the answers are in the same order as the questions: so read question 1, and look for the answer in paragraph 1 (or two). If there are six questions and six paragraphs, there is often one answer in each paragraph.



"first benefit of that is" does not come up statistically, so you should avoid this phrase.

"The second advantage is that" seems to be statistically the commonest, and used in adequately formal contexts.



There is nothing informal about the phrases you used.

The problem with the first one is the first use of 'that'. When we refer back to something we just mentioned, we generally use the word 'this'.
There is nothing wrong with writing:

The first benefit is that...
The second advantage is that...

There is a 'myth' that IELTS examiners are looking for 'very formal' language. This is absolutely untrue.

Thank sir for ur valuable advice.

Hi dear Simon
Is handwringing important in Ielts writings? Does it affect on score?
Best regard

@ M


I'm assuming you meant hand-writing.

Simon (Nov 7 2011):

"If it's impossible to read, that's a problem. But if it's just one or two slightly unclear letters, don't worry."

(June 22, 2012):
"Maybe the problem was that the examiner found your handwriting too difficult to read (you admit it was barely legible)."

In short, your hand-writing and punctuation need to be clear: also make sure that there is a clear difference between commas and full-stops/periods, and clear paragraphing.

-> Does it affect the score? OR Does it have an effect on the score?

ielts examiners, i think, would say something like 'your handwriting does not affect your score as long as it is legible'.

i personally think it does, a little bit. We as humans tend to choose things that have a clear pattern (,that are aesthetically appealing) over those that are cluttered and messy. So Examiners might unconsciously score poorly-handwritten essays lower than neatly-handwritten ones, after all they are human beings no matter how well trained they are.

so is handwriting important? maybe not, but it surely something you might wanna consider working on, if you have time.

I'm doing this kind of work and it's really boring. However I can find how bad the previous essays are and what need to be improved. That requires a lot of effort but really helps me more confident for the next one.

Simon, I love this idea. And the fact that you've put it online means it has some "authority".
Extremely hard to convince my learners to adopt this excellent idea.
We can by try :)

Hello, Simon
I was wondering that if I want to "rewrite" my essay, should I delete the whole essay and start over again, or should I just "revise" the essay that I wrote before.

I would appreciate it greatly if anyone could help me out!

Is there anyone can tell me the mean of ‘address’?Is that means how to illustrate the topic or expand the topic?

The wealth gap between 1st world countries and 3rd world countries seems to be increasing. How can we reduce this gap? Do you think that developed countries have a duty to assist developing countries in every way?...

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