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Sunday, September 16, 2018

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I think brainstorming does not mean that think slowly and collect good ideas. It should be withing very limited time say 30-45 seconds.But to be honest, it is taking more time to generate ideas.Simon sir, What is your view how much time I have to spend on this activity?

Hi Simon,
This is probably the problem that most students face. Thank you so much I also encountered such problem. Then I hope I'll write better...

Hi Simon,

Right now I begin to realise that the IELTS test in speaking part and writing part is not a language test. Actually, it is about collecting relevant information or knowledge ahead of the test. In this case, information is important than the English language. It is like before taking a job interview, a job hunter should do some preparation for possible questions asked by an employer.

he li

Actually it is more about testing your range of vocabulary, and your ability to put your point across clearly. This requires a sound knowledge of wording and phrases specific to the selected topic, and inevitably some relevant ideas or general background information, but it is not per se a knowledge test.

Hi Everyone.

The IELTS test requires general knowledge of everything, and Simon's ebook contains 24 topics. I could not answer most questions even in my first language before I start studying IELTS test. I had no idea about these topics. For example, fossil fuels, sustainable energy resources and space projects etc. However, my knowledge of topics and vocabulary have grown so much as I have studied IELTS. Of cause I am still working on.

Brainstorming is one of the technics to bring all our knowledge and ideas to a front line. Then we need to pick some of the ideas to write an essay. More you know topics, more comfortable to write an essay. IELTS would not assess your knowledge; however, if you have good vocabularies for any questions, you would receive a high score.

Although I haven't gotten 8777 yet, I indeed get some ideas about this test which I think are valuable, after all, I have spent a lot of time on this matter. The first thing is accuracy is important. It is hard or even impossible to be familiar with so many words and phrases. But it is useful and feasible to master some which you can frequently use without making a mistake. Don't try to get everything. The other thing is that when your English capability has reached a certain level(maybe band 6.5 or 7), doing the preparation for the test will not be about the language per se, but the relevant knowledge and information. For example, if you don't know what it is blockchain, how can you give a proper answer, and how can you keep yourself calm when you know nothing about it.

Hii!

What strategy needs to implement if we receive an essay topic for which we have very few / no idea? Can I score well in such a situation by using good structure, clear position (task achievement), vocab and few complex sentences?

Hi! Simon

If the idea is unreasonable , should I also wirte down ?

@ Vishaal

It is best to work through the list of topics and be prepared:

http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2016/05/ielts-vocabulary-topic-list.html

Clicking back through the 'Task 2' items on the left-hand sidebar is useful too.

Dear Simon
Firstly, thanks for all your helpful lessons which really affect my knowledge of IELTS.
Secondly, I have been noticing to your grammar tenses and counting them in every essay or letter you had wrote before. The question is: while nearly every English teacher and IELTS band descriptor indicate to use wide range of grammar tenses, I see that there are just simple tenses like presebt or past ones. Some times you use present perfect or conditional, but you dont use all of them simultaneously.
Could you please explain it to me?
THANKS

Morteza Bakhshalizade:

The IELTS band descriptors do not specifically mention tenses. The wording is "uses a mix of simple and complex sentence forms", or "complex structures". This would be more oriented toward complex sentences, which have a main clause and a subordinate clause. In a Task 2 essay, I would expect to find a concessive clause using "although" or something similar, and perhaps an example couched in terms of a conditional with something like 'if'. In Task 1, there would likely be "whereas" or a similar expression.

Task 1 (academic) description and report rarely requires anything other than past or present simple, and it would be awkward to force anything else in. Likewise, in Task 2 we are generalizing and this seldom needs compound forms of the verb or continuous tenses.

I would suggest that your focus should be on putting your point across clearly, and using whatever grammar resources are needed to that end. This means that, yes, you should practice using noun clauses, adverbial clauses, participle clauses, infinitive clauses, and the rest, but Band 9 emphasizes accuracy and flexibility, so rather than pushing them into the essay "to impress the examiner", I would concentrate on choosing the one that best fits the context and purpose.

My understanding is that an examiner would be not be favorably impressed with the following (DO NOT IMITITATE!):

Inasmuch as the IELTS band descriptors do not specifically mention tenses, merely referring to "complex structures", which would be more oriented toward complex sentences having a main clause and a subordinate clause, in a Task 2 essay, I might expect to find an adverbial clause of concession using "although" or something similar, and perhaps an example couched in terms of a conditional with something like 'if', whereas in Task 1, there would likely be "whereas" or a similar expression, so Task 1 (academic) description and report rarely requires anything other than past or present simple, and it would be awkward to force anything else in, and similarly in Task 2 we are generalizing and this seldom needs compound forms of the verb or continuous tenses, whereunto I would add that your focus should be on putting your point across clearly, and using whatever grammar resources are needed to that end, which means that, yes, you should practice using noun clauses, adverbial clauses, participle clauses, infinitive clauses, and the rest, but Band 9 emphasizes accuracy and flexibility, so rather than pushing them into the essay "to impress the examiner", I would concentrate on choosing the one that best fits the context and purpose.

@Fruzsi

Thanks for the advice. I am already preparing for these topics. Hope, I'll receive the same topic for my exam.

Vishaal,

Sunita has already answered for me (thanks Sunita!), but I'll just add this: When I'm writing, my focus is on the question, not on grammar. I don't believe you should try to "squeeze" specific grammatical structures into your essays. Instead, you should concentrate on expressing your ideas in response to the question / task.

To fulfil the grammar requirement (range of structures, complex structures), just make sure that you write a few 'long' sentences. As soon as you use connectives (and, but, because, although, while etc.), you'll create longer sentences. This is likely to be enough for the examiner.

Thanks Simon for the advice! I will definitely follow it in essay writing.

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