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Friday, January 06, 2012


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Hi simon !
i know it sounds silly but is there any difference between park and garden ? would it be ok here to describe my near by park?

Hi Simon!
I have a question as regards Writing tasks. If I have made many corrections and drown arrows in my text, should I rewrite it? Is there a chance my work to be deemed bad on account of corrections?
Thank you for your help!

Mr Simon:
Have you ever became a examiner in china? if it was, where? could you tell you ?

Hi NG,

Parks often contain garden areas, so it would be fine if you made that clear e.g. There is a park near my house that has some very nice gardens...

However, I don't think you should talk about other things in the park (e.g. a children's play area) because that wouldn't be relevant to the 'garden' topic. You need to focus on the garden.


Hi Mitko,

Don't worry, it's fine to add corrections. It won't affect your score at all.


Hi Dai,

I've only been an examiner in the UK.

thanks Simon for the guidance !!!

Hi Simon.

I have a simple question. What should I do if I'm asked a question about something I have absolutely no clue about? For example this quesiton about one's favourite garden. I really don't have a favourite garden and I'm not even slightly interested in them. Should I be honest and tell the examiner the truth or try to make up some imaginary garden?

Thank you in advance.

By the way, is "...asked a question ABOUT something I have absolutely no clue ABOUT?" grammatically correct?

Hi Simon,

This seems to be a tough Part2, especially for those who don't have much experience with gardens. Was this a recent question?

Anyway, the first garden that comes to my mind is my own home garden, which I think is beautiful enough to describe... do you think this would work even though it is not a public place?

Please advise.


Hi Milan,

Your 'about... about' sentence is correct.

I'm afraid you are not allowed to ask for a different question, so you have no choice: you need to lie, invent something, or just answer as best you can. Sorry.


Hi Martin,

I agree that it's a tough question. A student sent it to me - apparently it was his or her real question in a recent test.

I think your home garden would be fine - that's probably what I would describe to be honest. If you get the time, could you post a couple of ideas about what you would say? Thinking about it, that might be more useful than my Giverny description.

Thanks Martin.

i want to ask that when examiner start to ask few questions before cue card at that time it is important to keep give extra informations for one question because in my last exam when examiner asked common questions before cue card at that time i gave answer+1 addtional information but then also she signed me talk more.i am thinking that if we keep talking much more about 1 short question then examiner may get annoyed.i got 6.5 so what should i do?

what can be best answer for these following questios
in your family who drive car?(My answer which i gave in my exam..in my family my brother and father drive car and they have their own.)
you drive car?(yes when i was in my home town at that time i drove car but in Austalia i am student and i do not have car at the movment)
would like to be passanger or driver?
(i would like to be passanger bcoz i can enjoy trip with my friend and family members by talking and playing games while driving car is some time boring.)
If examiner ask quation for two things but we have to mention only one such as
you like to do text or call in emergency?
so in this case i can give answer both side?

last and very important we haveto keep answering other questions till examiner do not stop?

I want to get 7 band but sometime i do not get.why?

Hi Simon,
Thanks for your comments, and here is the speech I would give:


Today I'd like to describe my home garden, which I think is a beautiful one and I like it very much.

The garden is part of my home's backyard, and my house is located in the suburbs, about 1-hour drive from the city of San Francisco. There is a big tree right in the middle of my garden, which is surrounded by a hot tub, a small water fountain, several bushes, a section for vegetables, and different kinds of flowers.

This garden was actually one of the reasons why my wife and I chose to buy this house because it had been beautifully maintained by the previous owner’s gardener and landscaper. It’s been only 1 year since we bought this house and now we are taking care of this garden by ourselves. Even though we are not experts in gardening, we still try our best to plant things that we like, such as roses, tulips, and we even grow our own tomatoes.

Whenever family and friends come visit us, we invite them to have a relaxing time at our hot tub and enjoy the view. So in other words, our garden has also become some kind of resort.

It definitely requires lots of hard work to properly maintain this garden, but it gives us a great sense of accomplishment to “decorate” it the way we like.

All in all, this garden is one of the best features of my home and it is a place where I can relax myself after a long day of work or during the weekends.

Hi Siya,

For part 1 of the speaking test, your "answer +1" method is good. You don't need to keep talking. However, don't make the "+1" part TOO short. I think your answers about driving are long enough, and you don't need to give 2 sides for the question about 'emergencies'.

For part 1, just try to answer in a natural way, as if it's a normal conversation. Don't keep talking until the examiner stops you. Just give "answer +1" then stop.

By the way, it's probably your grammatical accuracy that's stopping you from getting a 7. Try to find a (private) teacher who can correct your small mistakes.


Fantastic Martin!

Thanks for posting your description. I'll probably re-post it as a lesson in itself if you don't mind.

You are more than welcome Simon!
It is always my pleasure to contribute in your website.

Thanks a lot.

Thanks Martin. I'll re-post your answer on Friday.

Hi Simon,
I am a secret user of your website and I would like to thank you for the wonderful work you have been doing! I found your website just about 10 days before I took the IELTS exam on 09Dec(Speaking) amd 10Dec, so it was a bit of rush, I have not used any material but your website, I found it extremely useful, the only shame is time too short for me to prepare. I got 8 for listening, 8 for reading, 7 for writing and 6.5 for speaking, I was worried so much about writing and speaking before the exams took place, while after the test I got a feeling if I followed your daily lessions and had a little more time to prepare, I could score better (especially with regard to speaking). I can't go without expressing how grateful I am for the information you shared online and I would like to recommend it to all my friends who need to do the IELTS test! Thank you so much!

Thanks for your positive comments Siren. I'm glad you found the site useful. It's nice to know that I have some secret users!

Hi Simon, I wanted to ask you about stressed syllable. Do they cut score if I don't use syllable stress in even one word? How much I can lose if I do such mistakes.

today i had my speaking and i had cue card to explain any bad weather which i experienced where,with whom and why you feel this weather was bad.can you answer this.so i can get idea about my answer.
i do not know but when i enter in cabin before that my hertbeats are beating fast and feel nervous.what should i do?feel very bad and this i am feeling since my 2 exams otherwisw i did not face this kind of problem.now one fear is running in my mind to get 7 band before march.is it too much stree and affect adversly?

still i have exam of 3 modules on this saturday and i am nt sure that i will get 7 band in my speaking module so even feel demoralized to these modules.

Hi Simon,

I am a student from Sydney. I follow your blog ,and I had appeared for my speaking exam this afternoon, here in Sydney. The vague thing with the examiner was, she had no expressions on her face. As written on your blog, I constantly maintained eye contact with her, but she seemed to be not looking at me. I appeared for IELTS before as well, and the examiner seemed to be very cheerful. I need Band 7 in all aspects for my Medical registration, but unfortunately I scored a 6.0 in writing. My speaking was 7.5, listening 8.0 and reading 7.0. I just want to know, if the speaking test is marked only by the examiner or it is marked by the examiner and a different examiner who listens to tape as well? I am worried if the examiner wasn't interested in my Speaking.

By the way the topic was about a leader (Sports, Business or Politics).

Your advice would be most appreciated.

Hi Beatrix,

Don't worry about that. Just try to pronounce words well and speak clearly.


Hi Siya,

Try not to worry so much - it won't help you to perform well in the exam. Just relax and forget what happened in the speaking test. Stay confident and do your best!


Hi RY,

I think I answered your email.

thanks Simon and Beatrix.Hope to have well exam tomorrow

Hey Simon,
Thanks for the swift reply. It makes me feel better.I will post my writing questions tomorrow.

Thank you for your answer, I feel less nervous:)

hi Simon
i had my last exam on 14th jan and want to ask you some an important things which you can easily answer me.
i am nt sure about my result so i want to take another exam,it can be useful that if there is 1week gap between 2 exams(18th feb and 25th feb) then we can practise hard and get good result.

I have to score 7 band and i can give general or academic.i can easily manage my time for writing and reading while i am practising at home but in real test i am always running short of time in these 2 modules but this time i managed in my writing task.i regularly doing reading whole test so now i have not much reading test and most important thing is that now i am getting frustrate and nervous about exam so plz give me key for success that can boost my energy to study and get 7 band because i have problem to get 7 in w while in speakig i got 6.5 that i will manage.

thanks and hope for your gidelines

Hi Siya,

The only key to success is hard work. In general, to get a 7 you need to express your ideas in detail and try to reduce the number of grammar mistakes you make.

Best of luck!

what about exams gap which i mentioned you before.

Hi Siya,

Yes, it might be a good idea to take the exam twice with only a one week gap. Your English probably won't improve in that time, but your confidence probably will. I think you'll feel less nervous and more ready the second time.

hey simon i had my speaking test today, i remember that i had one question where i uttered a little bit longer without being able to find an appropriate word and the other question i quite sure i didn't answer it appropriately..both the questions were in part 3. however, i did the part 2 and part 1 really well. my aim is to score 7 in speaking...what do you think will i still be able to achieve it with the mistakes i did? or should take another date because the other date is very close. so please reply to me at your earliest convenience. thank you

Hi Neil,

It's definitely possible that you got a band 7. I'd wait for the result if I were you. Good luck!

hii simon i got 6band in listning,5 in writting,4.5 in reading nd 4 in speaking where overall i got 5 bands in ielts exam..i have problem in past tense nd my vocablury is also not good.what can i do to achieve high score,i require 6 each..!!plz suggest me

plz reply fast m waiting

Hi Simon,
I like your post,blogs on this website.I am working mother and hardly get time to practice .I have given the IELTS exam twice in past 7 months(Jan and Feb 2014) but i was not able to score 7 in each section.
Jan 2014- R-6.5,W-6.5,S-7,L-7.5
Feb 2014- R-7,W-7,S-6.5,L-7.5
I am planning to give exam in Sept.Can you please guide me to prepare for 7 in each section.I have filed for EOI for speaking for my feb result but of no use.I cant comment which is my weaker section as I have to practice every section.but your tips will be beneficial for me.Your guidance will be highly appreciated.
Waiting for quick response


thanks simon... could you tell me about the writing task 2 which is Some people think lawbreaker should be sent to prison, some think they should have to do alternative work that is beneficial for society

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