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Friday, July 29, 2011


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Hi Simon firstly thanks for sharing my topic with ur ideas. It will hep all students and to me bcoz on Saturday I have exam. Once again really aporeciate for this job.

Hi Ronny,
Best of luck for your saturday's exam.


Hi Simon,

I have a question here, when you talk about Band 7+ vocabulary, you always talk about two or three words(a phrase basically).

But i am trying to learn few heavy words like cardinal, multitudinous, prodigious, prestidigitation, peregrination and all.

Can you please tell all the students here, whats more important for IELTS examination, good heavy words vocabulary or good phrases.

Thanks & Best Regards

hi simon

i take my date on 25. i have only 28 days left,i have some problem in speaking for other section i read your books.

Hallo Simon,
Can you please give a Band 9 example answer? The underlined vocabulary will hardly be suitable for a Band 7 answer. It should also be a bit extended, I think - the sentences you've provided are not enough to fill the time of 2 min

No problem Ronny. Good luck tomorrow!


Hi Rocky,

That's a really useful question. I'll use it for an 'advice' lesson tomorrow.


Hi Vishal,

Keep practising and you'll be fine. Good luck!


Hi Stas,

It's true that you might need to add some more to fill 2 minutes (although Martin makes a good point in his comment below).

However, I'm afraid you are completely wrong about the vocabulary - it might seem easy to understand, but most students can't speak like this. The ideas in the lesson above are expressed in the way that a native English speaker would really speak. In speaking part 2, you'll get a very high score if you can speak in such a natural way. It's not about using 'difficult' words.

Hi Rocky,
Simon wrote a lesson on "big words" last December. Please take a look: http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2010/12/ielts-grammar-collocations.html

Hi Stas,
I personally think that the length of Simon's example is OK. You may be a fast reader and can easily finish reading it in under 1 min, but for most students, saying all those words under pressure in 2 minutes during the examn could be a big challenge. Also, in case you did not know, speaking Part2 requires you to speak for 1 to 2 minutes, not 2 minutes.


Hi Simon,

Partly, I got the answer from your above mentioned reply to Stas, but I am really looking forward for the next 'active' lesson.

Thanks & Best Regards

Hi Simon and Martin,
I was referring to a Band 9 answer. In the descriptors for "Lexical resource" for Band 9 one of the criteria is "uses idiomatic language naturally and accurately". So "big words" might be important. As for your comment about the long turn - "1 to 2 minutes", it might be true for Band 5/6 answers. Normally the examiner waits till 2 min finish and if you stop after 1 min they'll wait. I had a similar experience when I finished 10 seconds earlier and the examiner was still waiting for me to add something else - so because of that I lost 1 point))))

Hi Martin,

Thanks for getting me aquainted with the lesson "Big Words" by Simon. I will also rush to the book shop, as early as possible, to pick a copy of "Collocations" Dictionary by Oxford Press, for my self.

Thanks & Best Regards

hi Simon
I wrote my exam yesterday at UCD, Dublin the questions were:

Task 2:
Some Businesses think that new employees who just completed their studies lack interpersonal skills like lack of ability to work as a member of team.
What are the causes of it and what measures can be taken to improve the interpersonal skills?

Part 1:

1) What is your full name?
2) How can I call you?
3) From where are you?
4) Are you a student or do you work?
5) Do you like your work?
6) Do you want to continue your work in
7) Describe your first school?
8) How you used to go to school?
9) Did you learn to make handicrafts in
10)Is your home town famous for

Part: 2 (Cue - Card)

Describe the shop you like to visit?
You should say:
- where it is?
- what it is famous for?
- how you went first time there?

Part: 3

1) Do you recommend people to visit that
2) Do you think people take shopping as one
of the leisure activity?
3) Have you ever seen males shopping for
their leisure?
4) Is there any difference between the shops
of your home town and Dublin?

I had tried my best in exam......hoping for the best!!!!!
its surely because of you....


How did you manage to memorise all questions from the Speaking part?? Admire your memory!!!

Hi Stas,

I do agree with you that it's best to try to speak until the examiner stops you - this is the advice I give to students.

However, 'big' words are not necessarily idiomatic.

My dictionary definition of 'idiomatic' is "expressions that are natural to a native speaker". Several of the phrases that I underlined in my lesson above are exactly this kind of language (he built a following, the key to his success, I went along to the gig, worked hard to get where they are). You wouldn't believe how surprised the examiner would be if a student used this kind of idiomatic language.

On the other hand, the big words that Rocky mentions are not idiomatic, and they would not be used naturally by a native speaker in this context.

If you used the ideas in the lesson above (and spoke for around 2 minutes) you could get band 9.


Hi Rocky,

Yes: collocations, not big words!


Thanks for sharing Neha. Best of luck!

thanks for sharing, indeed, you had a good memory.

Hi Simon,
I'd like to talk about an singer I admire him is BOB Marley. I listen to the songs of Mr Marley and the rhythms of reggae music is so beautiful.
I think, choice of words and good performance that led him to achieve success and fame all over the world. And has many fans and I'm one of them.
When i saw the documentary displayed on the television and from that moment I became a fan of him. Also, the music was amazing for me.
The reason I admire is that a wonderful singer. And he had a principles in life and loves freedom. Most of his songs about revolution against oppression and dictatorship.

Good ideas Nafei.

Hi Simon,
how are you?
Do you know any information about last exam?

It's freaking me out because I know about some my mistakes... I'm so scared...

Fine thanks Alex. People have sent me the questions, but I haven't had a good look at them yet.

Try not to worry - there's nothing you can do now except wait for your results. Good luck!

for those who want to practice speaking or exchange ideas we can both benefit on this to impove our english, my skype name is allanthegreat1.

oh it's allanthegreatest2

Hi Simon,
the questions would be useful. Could you send me that, pleaaaaaaase...So I'd have a change to check...PLEAAAAAAAASE...

i meant "a chance"*

Hi Simon,
I just hit on your website last night and I found it very helpful!I'm going to sit for IELTS next Saturday,hope it's not too late to learn from your website now.
Here'a question for you,as to an "artist",can I describe a calligrapher in this part?
Thank you.

Hi Alex,

Everything students have sent to me is on this page:



Hi Vera,

Yes, a calligrapher would be fine.

Good luck on Saturday!

Hi Simon,
One more question to You, is it O.K. not to fully rely on point I should say? I mean can I leave some points and add my own?
Thanx beforehand,

Hi Nosir,

Of course, you should try to add your own points. My ideas are just examples.

Hello Simon,
I am very happy to learn from your website.But the only thing that is bothering me is my score.i was not able to score in writing and reading.where as i can improve it in reading.But when coming to writing its been a difficult task for me to do.i was getting only band 6 in writing part always.can u suggest me with some examples.I am doing my general module exam.

hello simon,
Can u help me in general reading as well.i was loosing my score in paragraphs headings and true,false,NG..any tips for me to get the correct answer.Please help me.I have done my exam 6 times but no improvement.i am loosing my patience.but at any cost i need my score all band 7.please simon.

Hi Avani.T,

It's difficult for me to help you because I don't know what your individual problems are. It would be a good idea to take a few lessons with a private teacher who can analyse what you are doing wrong.


could i say a sports man also an artist

talk about a character from a story which you admire from chilhood.you should say :
-who was he/she
what was he like
-what did he do
and explain why you admire him/her

Hlo Simon
i m aman i spoke on city instead of country i wanna knw how i ll be calculated and how many bands will be deducted from it a

Hlo simon
i spoke on city bcz i wanted to travel across my country India but while speaking i missed to say this line so how many bands will be deducted as i only daid that i want to travrl to srinagar

Thanks for this topic nd add me in whatsapp nd join my group mo 8284948205

Hi simon my test date is 10th oct and have litle time for prepration as I m working in hospital kindly suggest me which speaking writing nd reading boooks would be best to score goo md bands

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