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Monday, August 12, 2013


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Dear Simon...I dare to ask you one more time to give me a precious advice ...I don't know what to do..to ask a remark after my IELTS exam or to prepare again for another test? I need 7 in all parts. Here my scores
L-6 R-7,5 W-7 S-6,5
The second time ,on 27 July, I scored :
L-8,5 R-7,5 W-7 S-6,5
I am interested only in speaking ....
Thank you very much...

Hi simon:
I want to ask some questions regarding the listening test.1during the the test,the right answer was "a car"but i just wrote"car",the correct answer was"by minibus" with my response "minibus",the right answer was "too wide",but i gave "wide"as my reply.i wonder whether my answers were correct i mentioned above.2 sometimes i understand the article, but i always make mistakes, after checking the correct answer,i get immediately.I practiced for a long time already but never improve,really i am confused right now.
Looking forward to your kindly reply.

Dear simon,
i just want to verify something. I found a website where they are grading task2, one of my essays got 6.5 because of "sentence sentence coherence" and "sentence paragraph coherence". Now, in my essay's 1st body my topic sentence refers to all d possible positive effects, then I divided these effects by starting with firstly, secondly and finally. This sequence goes the same with my 2nd body, however, it has a topic sentence which regards to the negative effects.
I'm just worried because according to what I read, in order to get higher score, you have to divide each negative/positive impacts to paragraphs, and write a topic sentence for each. I'm a bit confuse since, on my topic sentence i did not even mention any specific negative or positive effects, i regarded them in general. Another thing is, the rater commented that "there is no problem with your language, just your writing style".

Thank you! :)

Hi Andrea!

That was a really good job, how were you able to increase your listening score to 8?
Please share me your tactics/secrets.



Hi Andrea,

It's difficult for me to advise people about re-marking because there are no guarantees that you will be successful. You're very close, so it might be worth trying. However, the re-marking process takes longer than simply resitting the exam and waiting for you new score. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!


Hi Sara,

Usually the article doesn't matter because it doesn't change the meaning. However, the word "too" in the answer "too wide" DOES change the meaning, so it was probably necessary.

You might not need the word "by" in the answer "by minibus" because it doesn't really change the meaning. However, if the gap was part of a full sentence, you would need "by" in order for the sentence to be grammatically correct.


Hi krystn,

It's very difficult for me to comment without seeing the essay. What I can say is that "coherence" is more complicated than it seems - the examiner isn't only looking at things like 'firstly, secondly, finally'. I think you need more detailed feedback from the person who marked your essay in order to understand exactly what he/she means.

Dear Kryztn, please read the comments made yesterday about my improvements!

Thank you very much, Simon. I really appreciate your effort in offering me a very balanced answer.
Sorry because I was so insistent...

Dear Simon,
I want to use this medium to thank your for this platform you've created, I stumbled on your book and website about 3 weeks to my exam which happened to be my third attempt this year and it worked wonder. I was able to improve my writing significantly from 6.5 to 7.5.I am glad to tell you my break down
Listening- 8.0
Reading- 8.0
Writing- 7.5
Speaking- 7.0
Thank You.
God bless you.

Dear Simon,
I have a question regarding a paper that is in front of the ielts speaking examiner. I noticed that he was writing some numbers like 45, 58 ,... on that form in front of him while I was speaking. Can you please explain what that paper is called and what those numbers mean?

hi simon
thanks for your useful tips.
is it true to use proverbs in speaking?

Congratulations Segun! I'm glad my lessons helped.


Hi Tony,

Just ignore what the examiner is doing and focus on your answers. The numbers don't mean anything - maybe he was just keeping track of the time.


Hi Elnaz,

I tell my students to avoid proverbs. Just try to have a normal conversation.

Hi Simon
I have some difficulty with a paragraph which I've recently read.Here is the paragraph:

Poor people with little access to land, labour and financial resources are particularly reliant on exploiting natural resources, and consequently they are vulnerable to seasonal changes in availability of those resources. The diversity of coral reef fisheries, combined with their physical accessibility and the protection they provide against bad weather, make them relatively stable compared with other fisheries, or land-based agricultural production.

The question is that whether this sentence is true of false:
Coral reefs provide a less constant source of income than near-shore seas.

Any comments from other friends are welcome.
Thanks in advance.

Dear Nazanin,
Consider this as a view from another student, not the most accurate answer.

I believe the question contradicts what was mentioned in the text. Look at the part where it says” The diversity of coral reef fisheries, … , make them relatively stable compared with other fisheries.” This means coral reefs provide a more constant source in comparison. Understanding the Paraphrases might help: 'constant' for 'stable', 'near-shore seas' for 'other fisheries'. In my view, FALSE is a far more appropriate choice.

Dear Simon,
I came across your website a week ago. My daily schedule does not provide me with much time to study and I am just recently getting the hang of the test format. Just need to say that your lessons have already helped me tremendously as they are succinct and to the point. The only thing I could say is thanks, a million thanks. Though I hate your favorite football team (still nightmares of the 1999 final), accept my gratitude towards your generosity and resourcefulness.

Thanks for your comment. I think that the paasage said there are more diverse sources of income for coral reef fisheries. I assume that "diverse" is almost equal to "not constant" or "less constant". So i believe the statement is true. Their income is constant not their "source of income". What do you think?

Dear Nazanin,
I completely disagree. That cannot be TRUE at all. I believe you have misinterpreted the word “diversity”. In this case, diversity is beneficial as it enables fishers to benefit from a varied resource which is also physically accessible and more immune to the bad weather as it is mentioned in the text. Look at the text again, all the statements about coral real fisheries are positive so you can easily sense that the diversity is a good thing too. Furthermore, nothing has been mentioned about the fishers’ constant income whereas the passage only says that coral reel fisheries provide fishers with a relatively stable (=a more constant) source of income.

Hope that was helpful. However, if it did not convince you email me at: falsereport1@yahoo.com so that I can explain it to you in our own language.

@ Siavash
I can see now that what the problem was!
I was paraphrasing "constant" against something that has more variety. But in this case, it means something that is temporary and sometimes there is no source of income. So I understand now that the sentence is False.

Thank you so much!
For the first time I put false for this question but when I checked again I got confused.Maybe it's better sometimes not to check questions again!

hi simon, i got 5 bands and i need 6 bands my reading n writing is very poor plz tell me some tricks.i am much worried about it


There is a question that I don't agree with the following answer:
Exercise 2 - Academic Reading Sample Task - Identifying information (PDF)

In this question I have to identify the correct letter for each of the passages labelled with letter (A-H).
The correct answer for question 16 "the relative merits of cars and public transports" is passage E but the passage C describes the merits for example: "Invention of the motor vehicle brought personal mobility to the masses and made rapid freight delivery possible over a much wider area."

Can you please explain why the answer is E for this case?



Hi simon, I practiced all of Cambridge ielts( book 8-11). Unfortunately my score is
I need 7 score. I would appreciate if you advise me about another book to practice. Besides, whould you mind telling me how I can buy real test of ielts?
thank you

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