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Monday, August 15, 2016


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Simon what is the difference in the writing task 2 ? Do you think general training writing topic is less academic and common sense questions ? Is there any difference in the marking criteria ? Are we expected to use general English ?

I am applying for Canadian immgration , and on their website it says I should take general training test . I have taken academic test before can I use that result ? Plz someone help me clarify this . Thank you in advance .

Hi Lala,

The tests are basically the same, and I tell my students to prepare for them in the same way.

I think you'll have to take the general test if Canadian immigration specifies that. It's easier than the academic test anyway!

Hello Simon,

I know from the grammar lessons that we have to not use " although" and "but" in one sentence. But I was wondering why "the guardian" did not consider this rule.

Europeans have often come to grief looking for gold in South America but, although Andy Murray flirted too often with disaster, he conquered his nerves and, after four sets of agonising fluctuations, Juan Martín del Potro to strike the mother lode again in Rio on Sunday night


Thx you Simon .... Guess have to practice letter writing now ...will you plz do more letter writing lesson :)

I have a very suspicious experience about Reading Test. During my practice I always found Reading is harder than any other format. I rarely scored more than 32 during solving Cambridge books. But in exam, I got 7.5 in reading! where all other sections are 6.5!!

Now I am preparing for the second time aiming 7.0 in all format. Still today, I think, reading is the bottle neck. Should I be confident remembering my previous result?


Here's what I tell people to avoid:

"Although I like coffee, but I don't like tea."

The sentence above is wrong. Instead, it should be:

- Although I like coffee, I don't like tea.
- I like coffee, but I don't like tea.

The use of 'but' and 'athough' is completely different in the Guardian example - the Guardian has not broken my rule.



Yes, be confident and keep practising!

Dear Simon,
Thank you for your valuable feedback you give to all IELTS takers. I also follow your lessons,posts and comments. Thanks to you now I feel more organized in preparation.
I have a few questions regarding IELTS Reading.While analyzing my mistakes I can not understand the concept of T,F NG questions. Sometimes they are easy to find with the help of the keywords and sometimes we understand it from the context. However there are some cases when I can not completely find the right answer or understand the difference of NG and F. If you have time, I can copy and paste the questions and answers. Hope you will guide me. I feel very disappointed and frustrated because my score fluctuates between 38 and 22. There were such reading passages where out of 6 T,F,NG questions 4 were NG without and keywords and I could not finish in time.

Dear Simonç
İ think you have found my post repetitive, that is why you have not known what to answer. I realized it later. That is why I am copying and pasting the parts of reading passages here that I could not find answers even after analyzing.31 The first piece of Hesse's art has little effect on visitors to the gallery.
32 The order inherent in the first piece of Hesse's art is essential to the understanding of her work.
33 The second piece of art by Hesse is inferior in several significant ways to the first.
34 The second piece by Hesse has several design faults that attract the public.
35 The third piece of work arouses different emotions.
36 Of the three pieces of Hesse's work described, the first is the writer's favorite.
31 N
32 NG
33 NG
34 NG
35 Y
36 NG
And here is the part of the passage where answers to these questions may be found.Three Pieces Plus...

The Guggenheim Art Gallery, New York.

In one corner of the room is a mass of tangled rope suspended from the ceiling with some sections dangling to the floor;
the first of three encountered pieces of work that have a resounding impact on the viewing public.
It stops one in one's tracks: how dare it be there - this mess of nothing! It is like arranged chaos: that is, the confused mixture of varying sizes of rope, dipped in latex, looks as though it might collapse in a heap on the floor at any moment. At the same time, it is held up and in place by a series of fine wires and hooks, giving it a strange sense of ... order.
A deliberate challenge to the forces of gravity. It is a shambles. It makes one laugh. It is play. It is drawing in the air! Maybe it can move or dance about! Yet, it is hardly there, like something imagined.

The materials are cheap and disposable. Impermanent, like ... the people looking at it. But it is very definitely present! It has a presence. You can see that people want to walk into it and become a part of it - but alas! The gallery guard is hovering nearby.

Eva Hesse
Image courtesy of The Estate of Eva Hesse
Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich.

To the left of this piece, running along the wall, in two rows on top of each other, is a long series of lid-less boxes. They are mounted at average nose height and are made of fibreglass which gives them a shiny, almost moist, appearance. They are the colour of murky water, absorbing the gallery light with an opacity similar to that of mucus or tree gum.

They look as though they might be soft and malleable to touch, with their irregular edges and non-conforming sides. This gives the overall impression that they could fall in on themselves or slide down the wall. The structure is puzzlingly familiar, similar to things in the world, and yet it is not like anything in particular.

Eva Hesse
Image courtesy of The Estate of Eva Hesse
Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich.

In the adjacent corner is the third piece, consisting of a collection of nine cylindrical open-ended objects, slit part way from end to end. They give the appearance of being randomly placed - some lying, some leaning on the wall or on each other-all seeming somehow to be related. Like the boxes, they are a multiple of each other. Made of fibreglass with a shiny surface they look almost like abandoned pods that had once been alive. The associations seem to jump around in one's head, running between sensations of delight and pleasure, violence and discomfort.

Could you tell me what to do in such situations?

Or in this passage there are two answers which I do not understand why they should be N, NG, YES

As an illustration of the health risks, in the case of a married couple where one partner is a smoker and one a non-smoker, the latter is believed to have a 30 per cent higher risk of death from heart disease because of passive smoking. The risk of lung cancer also increases over the years of exposure and the figure jumps to 80 per cent if the spouse has been smoking four packs a day for 20 years. It has been calculated that 17 per cent of cases of lung cancer can be attributed to high levels of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke during childhood and adolescence.
18 Thirty per cent of deaths in the United States are caused by smoking-related diseases. NO
19 If one partner in a marriage smokes, the other is likely to take up smoking. NOT GIVEN
20 Teenagers whose parents smoke are at risk of getting lung cancer at some time during their lives. YES

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