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Sunday, July 14, 2013


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Hi Simon. I would like to ask for your advice on how to handle this topic:
" The tendency for human beings to copy one another is shown in the popularity of fashions in clothing and comsumer goods. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement"
Thank you so much!

Hi Simon.
IELTS plays its cards pretty close to its chest, but the examiners I speak to generally agree that 7,7,7,6 does not equate to an overall 7, especially in speaking. In writing, it could only become a 7 if it was combined with a higher score in the other task.
While the overall score can be rounded up, our understanding is that the writing and speaking scores aren't. If you know otherwise, please let us know

Hi Simon and Sjm,

I have the same situation,I got my results last week..I got 7.5 in both Listening and Reading and 8 for Speaking and 6.5 for my Writing :( That was shocking .I submitted a re-mark request and waiting with great hope. What do you think of that.Does my high scores can help me get the half band??

Dear Simon,

When writing essays, can I place more than one blank line between paragraphs?

For example:

(1st paragraph)

(2nd paragraph)

(3rd paragraph)

(4th paragraph)

I sometimes feel like writing conclusion before I finish writing 2nd or 3rd paragraph in order to count the number of words.

Hello Simon

I did IELTS test 3 time continuously i am getting 5.5 in writing but i need 6 i am so scared with IELTS i don't no what to do with writing. My fingers are so hurting because of writing.

Hi Kei,

Take a look at below link


I hope it helps
good luck!

Hi Simon / Friends,

I hope to take IELTS test on 17th Aug 2013. Nowadays I am doing some test papers specially for reading. Among those test papers I found that there are 02 types of papers. One is from UK and another is from Australia. When it compare two type I found that Australian version is quite tricky than UK version. What I want to know is,are there these two version even in IELTS exam? If so how can we select the version?
If any one have an idea about this please reply me. Your support highly appreciated.

Hi Nuwan,
IELTS test is made by BC and IDP Australia, so i believe there are no differences between them. Maybe the test paper you did wasn't official paper.
You can trust cambridge ielts, it is official test.
And one thing, don't do practice test, it can't help you. Read your favorite articles.
Hope this will help:))

SJM, 7+7+7+6 = 27/4 = 6.75. Then it depends on your writing task 1. I believe it is 7 band for task 2 and 2 band for task ( after the conversion).

If you convert 6.75 out of 9 band into 7 band, you would get 4.725 (out of 7 band). Then even if you get a 2.0 band, it is only 4.725+2.0 =6.725. This is not 6.75 so it can not be rounded up to 7.0.

Normally students achieve roughly 1.5 out of 2.0 band in writing task 1. 1.25 to 1.74 range is roughly 1.5.

You would need to work bit more on Task response and coherence which is relatively easier than grammar and vocabulary. Avoid unnatural phrasing and pedantic styles as you will never score in grammar and vocabulary sections. They would only deduce the total penalties out of 9 bands. In other words, the more you get penalties, the less score you will be awarded. By the way, this is what my hunch and I am not certain about whether it is 7 bands or 6 bands after the conversion.

The simpler the vocabulary you use, easier to control it. Please research what is ' unnatural vocabulary or awkward phrasing'

Example --> Incorrect Sentence: "She has no reason to grieve in sorrow when she has no one to blame but herself."

Corrected Sentence: "She has no reason to complain since she herself is to blame.


Students Use Different Vocabulary with the Same Meaning.Most students try to use this method, but actually it can be difficult to use. The reason is that although English has many synonyms such as ‘large’ or ‘big’, it is unusual for these words to
have exactly the same meaning. So, if you try to use a lot of synonyms when you paraphrase, you might produce sentences that are not natural English. Unnatural sentences
are likely to reduce your score more than small mistakes because the reader may not
understand what you are trying to say.
For example, look at this original sentence and two paraphrased equivalents:

1. "It can be difficult to choose a suitable place to study English."
2. "It is often a challenge to pick up (x) a relevant (x) school to learn English."
3. "It is sometimes hard to select an appropriate place to learn English."
For non-native speakers, these three sentences might look like they have the same
meaning. For native speakers, however, sentence 2 is unnatural. The first problem is "pick
up". This expression does NOT have the same meaning as "choose", so this part of the
paraphrased sentence is actually wrong. The second problem is the word "relevant". In
some cases, "relevant" and "suitable" are good synonyms but in this example they are not.

Thank you for your kindness, Eli.


Thank you very much for your valuable advice and ideas. Actually I also understood that I didn't get any thing by doing practice test. It just decrease my interest and increase unnecessary fear in my mind about the exam.I will try to follow your advice and I hope more advice from you to improve my reading.
Thank you again.

Hi Simon! I am from Azerbaijan! Just wanted to thank you for a huje job which u have been doing for a long time! I am an English teacher myself and I can imagine the great value of your job! I would like to make some contribution as well! I can give 1 more advice for students who have a problem in second part of speaking. Some of my students say that it is difficult to remember events from their lives in first 10 seconds of 1 minute. I usually suggest them to remember their family photo album and events which they can remember in every picture. In this case they can make their mind fast and it is easier to speak about details as you see the photo in your mind. I guess it will help...
Thank you again Simon! Sometimes, I will try to give some advice from my experience too!
p.s. by the way wanted to know, why don't you want to continue your previous activity, i mean working as an examiner? Why have you chosen contributing work?

Thanks for sharing your advice Angel.

To answer your last question, I think I prefer teaching to examining!

Hi Simon. I would like to ask for your advice on how to handle this topic:
" The tendency for human beings to copy one another is shown in the popularity of fashions in clothing and comsumer goods. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement"
Thank you so much!

Hi Simon, I had 7 for IELTS writing but I need 8. Please tell me some tips so I can improve my score. Thanks Simon

Hi Simon, I got over all 6.5 band, felt very happy. I reached my goal because of the instructions and suggestions which are given by you. Thank you very much!

Hi Simon

Can I ask a question?
I got my online result yesterday and I got
Listening 7.5
Reading 9
Speaking 6.5
Writing 6.5
The thing is I wanna remark both speaking n writing, however I am told that any candidate who do this will never be remarked higher for both components, which is 1 or no change for both.
Is it true?

Thanks in advance.


Hi Simon

I appeared for General IELTS , end of May and I did manage getting a desired score of 7 on each section as required for immigration ...

L - 8 , R - 7 , W - 7.5 and S - 7

Now the rules have chnaged and for me to qualify i need to get an 8 on each one of these , even a

9 , 9 , 8, 7.5 is not enough however
8 , 8 , 8 , 8 is what will get me through , given that i have 2 months of time for preparation starting today , how should I approach all the sections to get a perfect 8 ... Especially Writing and Speaking ...

@Poor Sojourner

Why did you convert into 7 band?

Why did you say, "even if you get 2 band" in Task 1?

So, 6.725 is going to be 6.5??? Can you explain a bit because these facts are really confusing!

Guys i got my re-marked result yesterday it was increased by .5 i am soooooo happy thank you Simon for your positive feedback to us and thank you very very much for those examiners who checked my writing for re-marked. Those examiners and Simon are always in my mind and heart even i don't no their face or name thanks a lot for helping me to move on. Guys be positive and work hard your destiny is always there. Good luck to everyone.


Hi Simon,
Isn't also possible that you got 7,7,6,6=6.5?
This is also 6.5 and you gotta know which TWO components for which you didn't get 7?


Hi simon,
My husband has scored 8.5 in listening, 7.5 in reading, 7 in speaking but 6.5 in writing. So we are planning for revaluation . Bit confused not sure whether revaluation will help us or not. Do advice ..

Hi simon,

Please explain this further. You said that to achieve a grade of 7 in the writing test I have to get at least three 7 from the criteria. However, I read some information about this.

The examiner gives a separate grade for each of Task 1 and Task 2, using the "Band Descriptors". (Task1 Band Descriptors | Task2 Band Descriptors)
As you may all know that your answer will be marked on the 4 items:
1) Task Achievement (for Task 1) or Task Response (for Task 2)
2) Coherence & Cohesion
3) Lexical Resource (= vocabulary)
4) Grammatical Range and Accuracy
The result is rounded to the nearest half mark, but rounded down if it is exactly halfway i.e. 5.25 is recorded as 5 NOT 5.5.


Hi Michelle,

I agree with everything except for the "rounding down from 5.25 to 5". That's different from the information I have. Where did you read it?

Hi all ,
I am feeling frustrated about my ielts score . From the online preview, it showed that i got 8.0 in listening , 7.0 in reading, 6.0 in reading , 7.5 in speaking , overall 7.0 . I am not satisfied with my writing score . I don't think my written Eng is that bad , I have been writing lots of essays and assignments in this year , and some of my lecturers also praised me with my written Eng . So , I am wondering whether the preview is accurate or not . And, should I ask for a remark ? Thank you so much

hi simon,
i got 6.5 in average is it okay for me to get in australia to do nursing or ? plz reply sooonn :(

I need 6.5 ielts score. And I want to prepare it at home. My test will be held next month. So I need suggestions that how to get prepare so that I can achieve 6 or 6.5 band. And how difficult it is to achieve 6 band? I'm little nervous. please help me

L=6.5,R=7, W=5.5,S=6

My writing task went very well. i have completed both the tasks. shall i apply for re-assessment.

wht is the chance to improve my score by 0.5 in writing?

No 1 could tell about the confusing fact about this rounding up or down. I need individual 7. But i have been consistently getting 6.5 in writing module. Apart from that my other module is ok i score more than 7 in other modules.So i decided to ask one of the Ielts Administrator in British council. He said, Task 1 and task 2 is not marked by the same examiner.However he could not give me a clear answer of the myth 7+7+7+6= makes it a 7. according to my research and complaint of so many ielts takers made me believe that If you score 7,7,7,7 in task 1 and score 7,7,7,6 in task 2 the outcome will be 6.5 its the Ielts trick we are missing here. they dont wana round it up to 7 given that you missed only one band somwhere.

Hi Simon,
I have given ielts twice now, but I not able to score more than 5.5, pls can you tell what I must be doing wrong, I need to get 6 band pls help me.

If I do only task 1 in writing while task 2 in I write remembered essay because when I not understand well question. But task 1 is write like that 7 bands.
Plz suggests me ,because I want 6 in each

Hi there Simon - I had mailed you for advice on the 11th Feb'15 still awaiting a feedback - However Ricky has given us hope cos he got the half mark he needed - my daughter too requires a half mark in writing & has asked for a re-check - we pray the examiners grant her the half mark....

Do reply to me.

Thanks a ton - Sandra

Hi Sandra,

I'm sure I replied to your email. I remember it - my advice was something like this: There are no guarantees when asking for a re-mark. Some people are lucky, others aren't. So it's a difficult decision that only you can take.

I wish your daughter luck if you do go ahead with the re-mark. Otherwise, it might be faster for her to retake the test.

hi Simon , my husband have given 3 times with lot of preparation but every time he is ending up with 6.5 in writing ,6.5 in speaking, 8.5 in reading and listening , its very frustrating and we are unable to understand how to deal with 0.5 band difference as we needed 7 band in each section.kindly advice us how to score 0.5 band difference and what is the difference between band 7 and 6.5.

Hi guys,

Let me tell you my story.
I've lived in AUS for almost 3 years.Recently graduated from a Master of Engineering (wrote and published a journal paper) and now need to get my Permanent Residency as most employers only hire people who hold a PR or are already Australian citizen.
In order to apply for my visa,I have to get 7 in all band s of IELTS. I've taken IELTS for 5 times since October 2014 and I'm struggling to increase .5 band in my writing score.I've worked really hard(I've written more than 1000 essays in my practice sessions), considering every little point in my drafts to improve my writing skill but it seems .5 needs something more than practicing.
My last month's scores were L:9 R:8 S:7.5 W:6.5 O:8!!!Imagine you get an overall 8 but it's not effective which is really frustrating and painful for me.You might be even more surprised if you see my latest TRF; L:8.5, R:9 ,S:8, W:6.5, O:8!!
I know you might think that 7 is not impossible as others have already got that but I'm giving up guys.It's funny that they want to judge me by my IELTS score. If I didn't know how to write,then I wouldn't be able to survive here nor get a Master's.I think IELTS is here either to empty our pocket or play with people's lives!!I don't think that I would take another exam,it's more than enough!!!#frustrated

Good luck anyways

Hi Sam. Sorry about that. Dont ever give up brother. I suggest you check your writing by real ielts professional which you wrote under exam conditions. I might can help you. Which country ?

I got 6 in speaking... what is the criteria to know where i did mistake and how can i improve?

Hi Simon, 2 times I gave ielts exam 1st time I got 5.5 overall, but now the second time I got 6 overall . Listening 5.5, reading 5.5, writing 6.0and speaking 6.5. Can u guide me how can I improve my L and R specially after that writing. I m very concern about my listening. I heared a bbc radio a lot but all in vain. Kindly suggest me the different sources for increasing my listening power.

I have scored 6.5 in IELTS band, could you please suggest the possible option to get the countries' PR.

I have given exam 3 times with following results:

1) L 9, R 7, S 6.5, W 6 ( OVERALL 7.5)
2) L 9, R 8.5, S 7, W 6 ( OVERALL 7.5)
3) L 7, R 8, S 7, W 6.5 ( OVERALL 7)

I need 7 in individual areas and at least 7.5 overall. just feeling frustrated and shattered. My dreams of foreign fellowship are being quashed by darn 0.5 bands. It was a sin to be born in India and bigger sin was to be born a general caste, who don`t get reservations in government jobs.

HI,i get 6.5 speaking,5 in writing& listening,4.5 in writing .
Do you think problem was time management as in writing& listening i really get lost in time as well concentration in writing i reach frustration after both writing& listening ,i book for other exam after a mouth.

Hi SIMON I got S7,R7,L6.5, w6 and overall 6.5 what i can do with this?

Hello, I am too in the case of

L:9, R:8.5, S:8 and W:6.5... this is frustrating. I am thinking of applying for a remark. However the staff told that my paper would have been marked twice already since the differences between modules are more than 1.5 band. and that my chance of remarking is extremely low.
Should I still apply for a remark? I also need all 7 for my PR.

Thanks guys...

Yes, totally agree. I received:

I am going to remark because I was very confident I did well in the writing module. Meanwhile I'll continue studying for the next exam.

Hi simon
I need 6.5 band in every module . Please give any suggestions.

I don't know what the hell is writing,I took exam 3rd time,,,,I always scored above 7 in all ,,except writing always 6.5....now I am planning for a revaluation

Hi guys,

Did anyone here tried for re evaluation of their writing exam?

Did your scores increase?


hi simon I need 6.5 band in every module . how can i get it? im too weak in both of reading & writing. plz give me suggestions

Hi..i want to ask a question regarding ielts band score. Lets say me and my husband both get band score 6.5. What are the chances of our selection?

hi simon
i appeared for GT ielts and got L 8.5, R 9, S 7.5, w 6.5 overall 8 but i need 7 in each module. it was my 4th attempt and i always got 6 or 6.5 in writing in all attempts and now i think of revaluation in writing. what u think are the chances of success of getting .5 improvement?

Hi simon
I have been studying through your web site for the last 4 months and i am really glade that i have done so.
I have just received my result.
My ielts result was R7 L8.5 S7 W6.5
I was really disappointed to see that 6.5 in my writing score.
I was wondering if i would have a chance of getting 0.5 band in writing score if i did a remark.
Please advise.
Thanks a lot for your support.

Hi Simon,
I have been studying ielts using your tips and advice and they are really useful. Thank you!
I have just received my results:
L-9 R-8 W-6.5 S-7.5
I am very frustrated with my writing score as I thought I could have achieved at least a 7.0 for it, and the university I am applying for need all sections with at least band 7.
Do you think I should apply for EOR? Is it possible to raise my writing score by 0.5? :((((
Hope you will reply soon.

Choo Qiao

I got 6 in writing :(
so how can I improve my writing to get 6.5 or 7 ??

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