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February 16, 2014


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Thanks for your advice ! It is great to take note especially for speaking and writing.

Dear Simon, I need your help about writing task 2 as usual...What do you think about how I can improve my writing task 2, especially in terms of ideas as I have difficulties about lack of ideas... At the same time some people say that I must do practice most... Whenever I began to write any essay I meet lack of ideas and then I leave writing... Currently, I try to read many essays from different resources... is it enough for me ?

Dear Simon
Could you help to explain how to use subjunctive expression correctly? I have difficulties with the tense of verb

Dear Simon!

Hi Simon,

This is what I have been struggling about. I recently did IELTS 4 times so far. Although my reading and listening are stable, the results of Writing and Speaking are fluctuated and hardly improved:

1. w6.5 s7
2. w6 s5.5
3. w6.5 s6.5
4. w6 s6.5

I am having my IELTS exam on 8th March and I really need a 7 for all sections. I having been studying and living in a English environment and I really cant think of the reason of this.

I look forward your reply.

Hi, everyone,

I must say thank you guys.
I've received following results in Academic recently.
L 8.5 R 8 W 6.5 S 7.5 O 7.5

Unfortunately, I made a big mistake in writing that writing probably over 300 words in part 1 and as a result, ran out of time for the part 2, but I'm satisfied with this result for now.
It was my third attempt. I might haven't got such score, if I hadn't found this site. So I strongly recommend that you all carefully check advice in this site, and just apply them in the real exam.

Although I achieved my current target scores, I will have to take the exam for years later again, so I'll keep it up with this site to maintain, and even improve my scores for the future.

Two of you gave me useful tips in speaking exam. They worked a lot!!
My speaking score improved from 6 to 7.5. I really appreciate your help!!

Thanks for all again!!

Congrulations Tatsu...good luck in your life.. please share your writing and speaking experience with me... What writing resources did you benefit from ?

Anyone who want to practice my email ID is sidhusehaj7 @gmail.com

Dear Simon and everyone else,

I'd like to recommend a great website I had just found. It includes lecture videos/podcasts, extra lecture materials and transcripts. Here it is http://www.gresham.ac.uk/ I think it's one of great listening sources, especially for practising Listening Section 4.

Here are other similar websites:

1) Boyer Lectures from the ABC (Australian English): http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/boyerlectures/

(Others: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/transcripts/program/)

2) Reith lecture from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/reith

Transcripts: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00729d9/episodes/player

I hope you guys found them useful.

Hi Simon,

Well , How do you get a general reading 8 from 6.5 , this is tricky now , right from 32 one needs to move to 37 , i think its too ambitious to actually set 37 correct answers equivalent to 8 bands.

It seeks perfection nearly.

I need a reading Band 7 , upto now I have given 2 attempts , both I have got 6.5 and this is one section , which is pushing me back , desperate help needed

Tried Keywords technique , but doesn't help me improve much , with occasional 7 or 7.5 in non test conditions.

Pls guide

Dear Simon,
I have been getting 6.5 in one of the bands for 2 years now and I don't know why. I have had a band 9 in speaking before and my last result was L8,R8.5,W6.5,S8,O8.I have made 7 attempts so far and I have had a band 7 and above in the same writing four times. I am really discouraged because I need a band 7 across all the bands and I have spent sleepless nights preparing. I have come across many doctors in similar situations and it is happening here in the UK.

Hi Ron.. please share your writing and speaking experience with me... What writing resources did you benefit from ?

hi Ron
we are in the same boat I need 4{7) as well and I did the exam 7 time the last one was 15/2 . my problem always writing .I did the exam at Aston university.

Dear Tatsu and Ron, please share with us your techniques
to achieve such great results.

Dear Thom, thank you for useful websites.

Hi Ron & Hibba!
I'd love to be in touch with you guys! My aim is to achieve 8 in all the modules. I've done so far for the other three but writing is a problem area for me too. I haven't been able to get more than 7.5. It would be great if we could start practicing and sharing ideas!
If interested, please email me at hhuma1978@gmail.com

Hi guys,
I used target band 7,colllins English for exams,(reading,writing,listening and speaking),this website,cambridge ielts past papers with answers, how to be a super reader by Ron Cole. The Collins for exams has the four books on the four aspects and was very helpful. I have put in so much for this exam but I don't know why I always have a 6.5 in one aspect. Well giving up is not an option so I ll keep trying.

hi Zara and Ron
Zara I will be in touch soon.
Ron I used Sam maccarter books for reading and writing . regarding the reading it was really helpful but for writing I don't think so as I told you im stuck in 6.5 . im thinking about getting essay correction from one of simon's friends .

Can anyone help me for the reading techniques ? Its getting increasingly difficult to get a band 8 in reading ?
How is that speed is improved without compromising the quality and level of understanding which help sharpens to spot right answers or implied meanings ... !!

Hi Simon,

Thank you for another brilliant topic/lesson.

I hope all students , who are having the opportunity to study by using your blog will follow your advice carefully (including myself).

Hi Thom, thanks for sharing these websites. I checked them earlier, and they are really useful for those who want to improve their listening skills.

Hey Ron, Congratulations!! Your results are absolutely superb! I'm sure you are proud of yourself! don't worry about your writing too much, as Simon has stated above,You are half way through (Be PROUD OF YOURSELF!!Have you ever thought of getting an ielts examiner /private teacher to give you feedback on your writing?

Guys, There are so many materials regarding to Ielts that maybe we would spend our entire life studying them all. I have so many ebooks, past exams, etc, but Simon's blog is the best resource I've found so far. He shows exactly everything we need to know from an ex-Ielts Instructor point of view. And it is absolutely FREE! So, we should all buy his ebook and help him to keep posting future lessons for all of us.
We need to be careful regards to what we study if we want to achieve our desired score. Ielts , itself is an exam, as such , we need to prepare ourselves for it.

Best of luck everyone,

Sorry for the long post.

Hello orhan,
Sorry for the late.
Thanks for your lovely comment. From my experience of messing up my writing, I recommend that you organise your ideas before starting to write. (Simon recommends it from time to time) I wish I'd followed it. Of course, it's better to practice this before the real exam.

About speaking. The most useful tip in this website for me is that "to try to speak naturally" What I mean is that I was too obsessive about using "sophisticated words and expressions" and might have sounded unnatural and made much hesitation. However, I decided to speak without thinking about scores too much, just tried to enjoy telling my opinion to the examiner. Besides this, some kind visitor of this site and Simon's colleague advised me that "expressing in detail" is a key of success in the exam. It was true, trying to keep depicting details makes your story more vivid.

I do hope you'll get your target score!!

Hi Nica,
Since I mentioned speaking and writing, I'll write about my study method in reading and listening.

Firstly, reading. I found it's really helpful that making a key word table (http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2014/01/ielts-reading-another-keyword-table.html) Through this work, you'll get a habit that finding keywords even unintentionally. In addition, I improved my reading speed by memorising a lot of new words. If you don't have many unfamiliar words in articles, 60 minutes is not too short to deal with the tasks.

Secondly, listening. Listen to "real stuff" I often find that Listening materials in this site is more difficult than those of the real exams, because they are not designed for a exam. (Having said that I suppose that Simon might avoid really difficult ones) When you get used to these real stuff, you might feel IELTS listening materials are easy. Maybe it takes time, but definitely you'll improve.

Hopefully, it will help you guys' study. Cheers.

it's a very good advice.

Hi Simon
I have recently arrived in the UK and taken IELTS exam in Sunderland in January. I need to get every skill at least 7.But, unfortunately I couldn't. ( Listening : 6.5 Reading : 6 Writing : 5.5 speaking : 7.5). I was wondering if you could kindly advise me how I can improve my skills particularly in writing and reading.
Best regards
Nazanin Karimaghaei

Hello orhan,

Thank you for your lovely comment!!

I put a reply comment several hours ago,but It seems to be disappeared.. Hopefully It'll happen again.

About writing. From my mistake, I recommend that you make writing plan in advance.(Simon mentioned in the site from time to time) I didn't follow it in the real exam, because I was too pressured by the time limit. This decision made me unorganised in the task. If I were you, I'd practice a lot to make a writing plan. It definitely helps you.

In speaking exam, I found "explaining in a simple way" really important. In my case, it worked better than using uncommon words and expressions. I assume that if stick to "difficult" grammar structures or words, you'll lose fluency and hesitation will come up. Besides this, it's good idea to focus on details of your story. Some visitor of this site, and Simon's colleague advised me that IELTS examiners value our abilities to explain things in detail. It was right, after adopting this, my score improved from 6 to 7.5.

I do hope you'll achieve your target scores in the near future!!

Hi Nica,

Sure!! As I mentioned writing and speaking, I'll write about listening and reading here.

Firstly, Listening. I personally believe that listening to real stuff (Radio, films, Youtube etc) is helpful, because they are normally more difficult to understand than ILETS materials. If you get used to them, you'll feel IELTS listening task is easy. Simon often puts listening materials here from TED or something that are not designed for an English exam. I swear that working with them enhances your skills.

Secondly, reading. The most useful technique I learnt from this site is making a keyword table. (I think you saw this in the site. Writing key words in questions and similar words in the passage) This is wonderful method, because it gives you a skill that you can find similar words in questions and passage even unintentionally. In addition to this, memorising as many words as possible successfully reduce time I need to work with reading task. I suppose it might help some people as well.

All the good for you guys' study.

Thanks much my friend...
This would the best way for us the catch what being said in Radio and conversation

Thanks much My friend...
This would be the best way for Us to catch what being said in Radio and the conversations.

Thanks Braulio,
I wish I could be proud of myself but hell no. I see myself as a failure. My colleagues tell me other doctors have been coming to UK and passing their exams and my partner tells me I am not consistent hence my result. Today it's 6.5 in reading,tomorrow it is 6.5 in listening and the next day,it is 6.5 in writing.I have suffered so much because of this exam. I just pray this time luck smiles at me. Thank you for saying something positive. I really do appreciate.

Tatsu, thanks for your valuable responce... good luck to you....

Hi Ron,

What score are you aiming to achieve?

Hello Everyone.
I am very bad in writing got 5 listening 7.5 reading and speaking 6 band each . Please help me ? I need to get min 7.5 in each section.How can i improve my writing ?
I really do appreciate


Hi friends
Could u provide me some tips for reading?

Hi Braulio,
I need a 7 in all the sections.

Hi Ron,

I'm sure you will get your desired score sooner than you think.

Best of luck!!

Tatsu ,thank you for your advice! It is true that we heard about the opinion of organising ideas before writing. But I often doubt this habit will waste my precious time during the exam.

According to your gorgous performance ,I decide to practice this skill.

Thanks again!

Sherwin, I'll also practice it for the next attempt.
You're welcome!!

Thanks dear.

God bless u Simon nd Braulio. I just got my desired score. Thanks so so much.

Congratulations Ron!

today i got my ielts result....

i need 7 in speaking
i just dont know how to improve my speaking.......
plz. help me


Dear Simon,

Thanks for your work in advising people and pointing in the right direction. I've got a strange problem with my reading test.

I have taken General IELTS test twice and my scores are as given below.
Test 1

Test 3 after 15 days

I've really lost confidence in my reading skills it was a surprise for me to see 6.5 as I was thinking I did it very well and I will get 8.0.

Pleas advise on how to improve my reading skills

Hello Simon,
I am applying for Canada immigration. And I am asked to score L: 8, R: 7, W: 7, S: 7 (overall 7.5). I have appeared for IELTS (General Training) on 02Aug'14. Unfortunately, I was unable to score exact band. My score was 8, 6.5, 6.5, 6 respectively.
I have registered for second round of IELTS to be held on 22Nov'14.
Could you please help/suggest me how could I achieve the required bands.
Ankit Mishra
Pune, India

Hello Mr.Simon, I am from India. I took the ielts test for the past three times. First time I got l 7.5 r 6.5 w 6 s 6.5 in my second attempt l 7 r 6.5 w 6.5 s 6.5 and finally the third time I got l 9 r 6.5 w 6.5 s 6.5. I need 7 in each module. I am totally upset and don't know what to do to achieve 7. I feel like th examiners are playing hanky panky with us.. Pls give me some tips to achieve my required band.. Thanks in advance...

Hello Simon,

My daughter has done good in the IELTS exam scoring 7s 8s tho in writing she scored 6.5 needless to say she's extremely upset, and as you would guess this is for her immig. to Aust. Please advice whether she should go for the 'Appeal' for the half mark in writing??

I am anxiously awaiting your reply.

Thanks a ton....

It might be quicker to retake the test Sandra, and there are no guarantees that a re-mark will result in the score being raised.

I do know people who have been successful with a re-mark, but many others haven't. It's a difficult decision which only you can really take. Good luck either way!

Dear simon ,
I want to know something about exam. I wrote first letter in capital for every answer of listening and reading

Ex: Cycling

So I want to know that will examiner consider that my answer is incorrect answer.I'm so worry about that. Please reply me as soon as possible

Dear simon, Well , How do you get a general reading 7 from 5 , this is tricky now , right from 26 one needs to move to 35, i think its too ambitious to actually set 37 correct answers equivalent to 8 bands.
It seeks perfection nearly.
I need a reading Band 7 , upto now I have given 1 attempt , I have got 5 this is one section , which is pushing me back , desperate help needed Pleas advise on how to improve my reading skills

Hi , friends
I need to get ielts 7band score .if some one would like to start speaking practice with me ? my skype id

Hi simon, I got my ietls scores today.. it was my first attempt, I got w7 r6.5 s6.5 and L5.5.. I know I can improve my listening to 7 as I missed many questions because of anxiety. . Guide me about reading hw can I achieve 7, the problem with me was time management. . I practiced , bt I m still unable to cope with it..and I need 7 in all four domains. .
Waiting for reply
Thanks in advance

Hi Simon,

I got my IELTS result a few days ago. my overall score was 6!I need 6.5 :( These are my scores:
Listening 6.5
Reading 6
Writing 5.5
Speaking 6
I want to improve my score to 6.5 during next 3weeks :(
Could you please give me a piece of advice?
thanks ...

I scored overall band 5 but strongly need 7 band overall. How can I improve my skill in all modules. Plz suggest me
Thanks and waiting for reply.

My current score is L 8.5 R 7 W 6.5 S 6.5
I need 7 each in writing and speaking.plz advice me

Dear Simon
Proudly to Study English and Prepare my Ielts Exam in your blog
Need your Professional Study Method to get 7.5 in Listening, 6.5 in Reading,6.5 in Writing and 6.5 in Speaking and what is the time to get that Score Simon?
Kindly awaiting your Response

Thanks in advance
Mohamed Morsy

Hi Simon,
I am really happy to find such useful and great website. Actually I had my first IELTS 3 years ago in Iran and now I am gonna have another one in Melbourne.all my scores were 6.5 except reading which was 6.
Now I really appreciate you if you could tell me what to do to improve all my skills to get 7 at each band score. I have 3 weeks time.

hi Simon

I have a problem in Writing I'm always getting band 6.5 in academic writing but i need to attain band 7. This is the third time i write but I'm always getting a 6.5 in academic writing.Please help i'm about to write very soon to improve my score.

Hi simon
ihad IELTS in march in academic version and following results were achieved:
s:6 R:7 W:6 L:6 O:6.5
i need 7 in each components. Since i registered IELTS(AC) in September, do you think, how can i improve my bands in 2 months? how many hours i should spend on practicing previous exams? it is necessary to mention, my grammar skill needs major improvement.

Hi Simon,
My wife already took the ielts couple of times. Everything is okay except for speaking which is consistent 6.5 band score. other score range from 7-8.

Any help.



Hi Simon,
I took IELTS three times in 3 different location (Singapore/Malaysia/Melbourne)
The standard for speaking in Melbourne is higher and i did not do as well for speaking but luckily i got a band 7. Now with the writing, I have been getting 6.5 until I am very clueless as in are they testing the language or the content. For instance, if your conclusion does not flow well with your introduction and body, they will demerit 0.5 mark.

Hi Simon
i took ielts four times n scores were 9 or 8.5 bands in reading,listening and 7 in speaking but i am disappointed with writing which is consistently 6.5 every time
i have improved vocabulary some examples are ameliorate, katzenjammer, juggernaut, etc and for eaasay writing i give background statement by doing rephrasing n thesis statement in which i give idea of what i m going to explain i essay...thn body paragraph expalining single point with supporting points like a flow chart style i present my point of view...i m writing complex sentences..followng correct pattern n vocabulary still scoring 6.5 please help me to score 7 in writing

Hi Simon,
please guide me

Hi simon.

I have Given general exam 3 times.. every time i got 6 in writing but my ielts requitement is 7.. In my last exam i have almost did everything which was taught to me by my Trainer bt again i got 6. I am totally confused now nd I Dn't know what to do so could you please help me.. Mine exam is on september 9th.

Hi Simon

Soon i am taking IELTS exam, but i cant control myself, i am filled with horror of getting bad band and all the time i feel nervous. Some of my friends adviced me to drink coffee before exam or consume some chocolate. Are there any solutions to this problem?
Yhank you for your answer beforehand!

Hey Everyone and Simon,

My story is pretty common in comparison but let me share it with ielts-endeavor community anyway.

I'm trying to get my 7 mark in all GT sections and as usually the writing part is my bottleneck. I've already had 4 exam attempts having 6.5 on every try (where 7 or more laid on the other R/S/L sections but usually get overall band 8), despite the fact that my 1st go was almost no prior writing learning, I was progressing further across later examinations by investing more in preparation by polishing grammar, structure logic as well as coherence/cohesion and task achievement.

So there is a good difference and improvement levels between my first attempt and the latest one which made me think that the examiners may be instructed to look "extra" in order to give it a solid 7 (things like no/0 word mistakes, no/0 repeating words, clean/no scratches or no correction type of writing) or in another words things that dont prevent checker from marking it above the threshold.

This is of course my and only experience that may differ from what others see and feel in terms of what can hold back on the way to one's dreams but my message is to never give up whenever life systems challenge us.


Dear Simon,

I gave IELTS 3 times this year, the main problem I am facing is writing. I couldn't score more than 6.5. I don't know why. could you please give me tips for how to improve my writing score.

Hi Simon,

I have given IELTS 4 times, but every time I am unable to get the desired score in writing.Today I got my ielts general result and score is

Should I go for Revaluation? Please suggest.

Hi Simon,

I gave my IELTS exam form the 4th time and I got my score today.
I want to know that is it good to go for a reevaluation as i want 7 in every part. My score was

L- 8.5
R- 7.5
W- 7.0
S- 6.5

Should I expect to get a 0.5 more in speaking through reevaluation

Dear Simon,

I have taken the IELTS 3times with the same results L6.0 R6.0 W5.5 S7.5 and Overall 6.5
My aim is 7 as overall score and in each module 7.I feel so frustrated and still quite uncertain about Writing task 1(graph,pie chart,process) i know the wright vocabulary for all those but i don't know what information to pick as important for example.Please advice me

Hi Simon,

I have taken the IELTS three times during the last two months, and every time I got 6.5 in my writing and speaking. I really need 7 in each module. I think my test technique and vocabulary are quite good but my grammar is weak. I am quite confused how many little mistakes I can make if I aim at band 7 in writing?

Hi Simon,

I have appeared for IELT British Council and obtained the results as follows.
Listening 8
writing 7
reading 6.5
speaking 8.5

my requirement for reading is 7.Infact,the reading exam was quite easy.
Do you think its worth going for a revaluation ?
or shall i write the exam again?
please help me...

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