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Saturday, August 04, 2012

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1.Families who do not have cars the numbers has decreased from 1971 to 2007.
2.Households without a car percentage gradually decreased.
3. rise can be noted in the proportion of households with two cars.
4.The number of household with no car were well below,at 50% in 1971.
5.There were lower percentage of household who had three or more cars, but it steadily improved to 5% by 2007.

Hi Simon!
Do you have any text books which are published like ebook (ideal for ielts)?
I can't buy your ebook because I don't have bank account.

Hi Simon
1.The numbers of families which do not have cars have decreased from 1971 to 2007.

2.The percentage of households without cars gradually decreased.

3.A rise can be noted the proportion of households with two cars.

4.The number of household with no car was well below 50% in 1971.

5.There was less percentage of household who had three or more cars, but it steadily improved to 5% by 2007.

1-Families who did not have a car decreased from 1971 to 2007.

2-The percentage of Households without a car gradually decreased.

3-A rise can be noted in the proportion of households with two cars.

4-The number of households with no car was well below 50% in 1971.

5-The percentage of households who had three or more cars was at the lowest point, but it steadily improved to 5% by 2007.

Hi Simon:
Here is my answer.
1. The number of families who didn’t have cars decreased from 1971 to 2007.
2. The percentage of households without a car decreased gradually.
3. There was a noticeable rise in the proportion of households with two cars.
4. The number of households with no car was well below 50% in 1971.
5. The percentage of households who had three or more cars was lowest in 1971, but it steadily improved to 5% in 2007.

Families that/which do not have cars decreased from 1971 to 2007.

The percentage of households without cars decreased gradually.

A rise can be noticed in the proportion of households with two cars.

The number of households with no car were just under 50% in 1971.

There was the least percentage of households who had three or more cars, but it improved steadily to 5% by 2007.

Families who do not have cars decreased from 1971 to 2007.

The percentage of households without a car gradually decreased.

A rise can be noted in the proportion of households with two cars.

The number of household with no car was well below 50% in 1971.

There was the least percentage of household who had three or more cars, but it steadily improved to 5% by 2007.

Hi Simon,
here is my answer:

1.Families who did not have cars had decreased from 1971 to 2007.
2.Household without a car percentage gradually decreased.
3.There was a rise can be noted in the proportion of households with two cars.
4.The number of household with no car was well below 50% in 1971.
5.There was the least percentage of household who had three or more cars, but it steadily improved to 5% by 2007.

Hi Simon,
here is my answer:
1.The number of families who do not have cars have decreased from 1970 to 2007.
2.The pecentage of households without a car gradually decreased.
3.A rise can be noted in the proportion of households with two cars.
4.The percentage of households with no car was well below 50% in 1971.
5.There was the least percentage of households who had three or more cars,but it steadily improved to 5% by 2007.

Hi Simon,
here is my answer:
1.The number of families who do not have cars decreased from 1971 to 2007.
2.The precentage of households without a car gradually decreased.
3.There is a rise can being noted in the proportion of housholds with two cars.
4.The number of household with no car was well below 50% in 1971.
5.The percentage of household who had three or more cars was at least , but it steadily improved to 5% by 2007.

Hi Simon and IELTS students.

My results were out last week, and I decide to share my thoughts of hitting a high band score in the writing test from the point of view of a test-taker and an IELTS student.

I sat the IELTS before, and I received a band 7.5 in the writing test. As an English major, however, I expect a band score higher than this because it is not quite enough for a student studying English in my opinion, and having a good band score in the IELTS test always gives me an edge.

My writing question was “the reasons for and solutions to traffic congestion” (similar wordings). I like this type of writing question the most because it is rather “direct”, and you just need to account for the problem / phenomenon and suggest solutions. It follows that it is comparatively easier to structure my essay and word my arguments.

I think many students are interested in knowing what a band-8 essay written by a non-native speaker looks like as I was looking for such pieces of work too while I was preparing for the writing test. However, I can tell you that there is no secret. After getting a band 8 in the writing test, I realize that while a wide range of vocabulary is important, it does not come before clarity. That is to say, it is a no-no to attempt to use complex grammatical structures and (seemingly) sophisticated vocabulary items at the expense of clarity and precision. Never do this. Granted, students can study advanced grammatical structures and learn sophisticated vocabulary to boost their band scores, but this should be done after they have a relatively good command of English – when they can produce frequent error-free sentences, as shown on the Writing Band Descriptors (band 7). The fact that you use many long sentences and “big words” in an essay where grammatical mistakes impede communication would just result in a low band score.

So, what words did I use to boost my score? I am afraid that I did not use many big words, nor did I use any memorized phrases / templates / paragraphs. Simon always emphasizes the importance of “topic vocabulary”, and this is the secret to getting a good band score. I, for example, used a number of synonyms to communicate the same meaning, which shows my flexibility in using different words and phrases. This, at the same time, shows the examiner I have a wide enough vocabulary to discuss a number of issues and to express myself. In the question, the phrase “cause” (v.) appeared. To answer this type of question, I need to directly explain why a problem happened, so I cannot avoid using the same word again. That said, there are a host of words and phrases that mean the same. Here are some of them: cause (v.) / lead to / result in / bring about / translate into / give rise to etc. It is also a good idea to make good use of the change in the part of speech – “cause” can be used as a verb, and it can also be used as a noun: the cause of something. To show knowledge of collocations, you may want to add an adjective modifying the noun whenever appropriate. In this case, you can write “the leading cause of” or “the main cause of”. Besides the words given in the prompt, other “topic vocabulary” I used included “slow-moving traffic”, “reduce the volume of traffic”, “traffic congestion” and “traffic jams”. In fact, I could have used many more words related to this issue, but I was not able to do so because of the time constraint. What words relating to traffic did I come up with? When there is slow-moving traffic, many drivers are held up in traffic (or many drivers are stuck in traffic). The fact that more and more cars appear on the road exacerbates the already-serious problem of noise and air pollution.

With regard to task 1, I was given two line graphs to describe. They both show data over a period of years and projected figures in the decades ahead. Simon mentioned that many students seem to have missed an overview in their task 1 response. While many students appreciate the importance of an overview, most of them did not make it “obvious” in the task 1 response. According to the Writing Band Descriptors, an overview is to show the main trend(s) and the striking difference(s). Don’t include figures in the overview, and don’t do any comparison – this would only make your overview look like a main paragraph. The examiner, then, would probably think you did not write a good overview, and dock your marks (= give you a low band score) in one of the assessment criteria: Task Achievement.

Besides this, it is very important to change the part of speech of the words used. For example, you need to use “increase” as a verb and as a noun as well. You do not need to recite a raft of words meaning “increase”, but you need to show the examiner you can vary the words you have used. 1. X increased dramatically from 1000 in 1990 to 5000 in 2010. 2. X experienced a dramatic increase from 100 in 1990 to 5000 in 2010. The above sentences are the same, and they show that you can vary the part of speech, and they show the examiner that you can use a range of structures with flexibility.

The last point I would like to raise is about the word “number”. All IELTS students know this word, and they can use this word most of the time correctly. However, do you know this word can function as a verb, meaning “how many”? For example, “there are around 10 million people living in this country” equals “people living in this country number 10 million”. Another example, which “sounds more IELTS”, is: “In 2000, British male smokers numbered slightly above 1 million, and this figure almost tripled in the next 5 years, outnumbering their female counterparts (2 million).” This sentence used “number” as a verb and “outnumber” as another verb, and “told” the examiner that you know how to make use of these words accurately – not only as a noun (number), but also a verb (number). “total” can also be used as a verb, which has the same meaning as “number” (v.).

This ends my sharing. I hope this comment is helpful for students who want to achieve a band 7.5 or above in the writing test. It is not easy to get 7.5 in the writing test, but it is certainly achievable – if you know the “secrets” (like my comment, and suggestions from Simon), and if you have a good level of English. Don’t give up – I am working hard towards a perfect band 9 in the writing test too! Please leave comments if you have questions; I can share my thoughts from the point of view of a test-taker and an English language learner. Wish you the best of luck!

Thank you Simon for your suggestions on this excellent blog, and thank you Pete, an experienced teacher who corrected essays for me. Simon recommended Pete to me, and feel free to contact Simon if you need help in this area.

1-Families who did not have a car decreased from 1971 to 2007.

2-The percentage of Households without a car gradually decreased.

3-A rise can be noted in the proportion of households with two cars.

4-The number of households with no car was well below 50% in 1971.

5-The percentage of households who had three or more cars was at the lowest point, but it steadily improved to 5% by 2007.

CORRECT ANSWERS FROM SIMON:

MISTAKES:

1. There are 2 problems:
- families didn't decrease, the NUMBER of families decreased
- the time is past, so don't use present perfect "have decreased", use past simple "decreased"
2. You can't say "Households without a car percentage"
3. The problem is the 2 verbs in "there is" and "can be noted"
4. Several problems:
- "the number were" (number is singular, and it's really a percentage rather than a number)
- "well below" means "a lot below" - this is not true in the graph
5. Several problems:
- "There were least percentage of household" is not good English.
- "improved" is the wrong word to use - an increase isn't always an improvement (e.g. an increase in pollution is not an improvement)

CORRECT SENTENCES:

1. The proportion of families without a car decreased between 1971 and 2007.
2. The percentage of households without a car decreased gradually.
3. There was a rise in the proportion of households with two cars. OR: A rise can be noted in the proportion of...
4. The proportion of households with no car was just under 50% in 1971.
5. In 1971, only a small percentage of households had three or more cars, but the figure rose steadily to about 7% by 2007.

Hi MT,

Thanks for sharing your advice and experience with other students. I hope that lots of them read it, and I'm sure they'll find it helpful.

Congratulations on getting a 7.5 in writing!

Hi Simon,

Oh sorry I keyboarded my score wrongly; I received a band 8 (writing) in the latest test! (7.5 before)

Thank you very much for your sample essays, which really helped me a lot. They are great work showing how to get a high score in the writing test. I look forward to more! :)

Hi MT,

Thanks a lot for spending the time to write about your experience!

I totally agree with this: "students can study advanced grammatical structures and learn sophisticated vocabulary to boost their band scores, but this should be done after they have a relatively good command of English – when they can produce frequent error-free sentences", and I will relay this concept to my students as well.

Thanks again and congratulations on your achievement! Keep it up!!!

Cheers,
Martin

Hi,

I have trouble with the preposition of "impact" & "effect". Should it be in or on or anything else? Thanks so much..

1.Families who do not have cars decreased from 1971 to 2007.
2.The percentage of households without a car gradually decreased.
3.There is a rise which can be noted in the proportion of households with two cars.
4.The number of households with no car was well below 50% in 1971.
5.There was little percentage of household who had three or more cars, but it steadily improved to 5% by 2007.

Hello Simon ;

Could you please help me, whether this sentence below is true or false ?

Thanks to developing technologies we have now can access a great number of resources.

thanks in advance

Hi simon,
Can u please say me if e-book is available in stores.and how much it costs

Hi Tanveera,

I'm afraid it isn't in any stores. You can only buy it here on my site.

Hi, MT
I'm working on getting an 8 too. I feel it really really hard. Before, I used to try to get all the sophisticated words and make long sentences just to impress the examiner. That was one year ago. After reading all Simon's and other people's advices I figured out that this isn't how it works
So, you got an 8 and you mentioned you did not use much sophisticated vocabulary, but how much is "not much". I just want to ask if you use any complicated grammar structure? like condition, long sentences. How often did you write in your exam? I know this sounds really dumb but I'm just wondering what an IELTS taker really did. I've never met anyone who gets an 8 in writing or even 7.5
Thanks

you are really a very good teacher .But i am very begginer in english so please tell how can i improve my enlish like you.

just want to say ty MT for sharing your exp about the writing , i wish i saw it before the exam , but i did well in my writing but don't know about my score because this is my first attempt. im waiting my result next week

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