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September 07, 2018


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Dear Simon, I've just received my test result today, got 8 overall (L = R = 8.5, S = 8, W = 7). I only followed your lessons and methods. I was given many pieces of advice from my friends and the Internet, some of them are different from yours, some even claim "short time preparation with high results", but I decided to just follow the most trustworthy one - yours :) Even though they are all unbelievably simple, they worked! I regret that I found your website too late :)
Due to my busy schedule, I cannot follow your website anymore, but what you taught me will always remain in my brain :v I wish you the best in your teaching career! And to my fellows who are working hard for the test: good luck to y'all. Just remember: you've got the best teacher, but in order to achieve the best result, it all depends on you ;)

Dear Hien Tran,
I congratulate you on your remarkable result. I am cramming for the Ielts at the end of this year. I am getting confused about my upcoming exam. Honestly, I have never taken it before, so I am nervous a lot. Hopefully, you can share with me some tips to get high scores in all skills.
Thank you so much!

Hi Hien Tran,

First, congratulations on getting the scores you needed!

Thank you for trusting my advice and sticking to it, in spite of all the 'noise' from friends and the Internet. I hope other students see your message and make the decision to choose one method (hopefully mine!) and stick with it.

Best of luck with the next stage of your career!



I think the key lesson to learn from Hien Tran is to find one good source of information and ignore the others. Then it's just a matter of following the advice, doing the hard work, and making gradual improvements.

Note: I'm not saying that you should ignore other sources because mine is the best (although I obviously think it is) - I'm saying that you should choose one source and ignore the others to avoid confusion.

You mentioned that you are getting confused. Perhaps this is because there is so much information about IELTS that you don't know where to begin. I tell new IELTS students to begin with my video course (see link below) because it takes you step by step through everything you need to know.

Here's the link:

Good luck!

hi i want to confirm that may i use can’t,won’t, don’t or should i use do not cannot

Parminder Singh

It is normal to use these short forms when speaking, but not in writing.

Hi Simon,
Thanks for the website, been using it lately for my IELTS exam and it's great!
Had a question regarding a verb and its tense. Can you please have a look at the following two sentences and tell me which tense is correct? Past or Present simple?

1. She told me last week she hates action movies.
2. She told me last week she hated action movies.

A tutor has told me the second sentence is correct, but I'm not sure. Can you tell me why?


(2) is more common. (1) rare.

Try this for the detail:


i start my home work from today with Simon's daily lessons again. in april 2014 i took IELTS Exam and got 5.5 over all only in speaking i got 6 and the rest i got 5.5, now from beginning i start with simon don't wanna to take any other classes.

Thanks a lot dear simon for your great help for students and mostly for humankind.

Hi, Simon. I have a question to ask you. Do i need to use idiom in speaking test if i want to get band 7 in speaking?


Band 7 states: uses some ... idiomatic vocabulary and shows some awareness of style and collocation, with some inappropriate choices.

However 'idiomatic vocabulary' does not mean the same as 'idioms'. Using some phrasal verbs is quite enough.

Phrasal verbs are generally more useful, whereas there are few idioms that can be used easily. Perhaps a few general ones such as: 'at the end of the day', 'off the cuff', 'to make matters worse' might work, but idioms tend to be very situation-specific, so there is usually no opportunity to use them.

Practice using phrasal verbs as much as possible so that they come out naturally in the right context. In the exam, do not try and force them into the conversation, just concentrate on answering the question properly.

If you google 'common phrasal verbs' there is plenty of material on the internet. However, I am not suggesting that you learn long lists of phrasal verbs; just enough to practice the grammar and make sure you understand how the grammar and word order works. Be sure to check in the dictionary whether they are marked 'informal'. If so, you cannot use them in your writing, so it is easier to focus on the ones that can bolster your writing too.

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