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Wednesday, February 25, 2015


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Hello Simon,

a couple of last months, you've been strating reveal great points in IELTS that I've never seen in other IELTS sites before. I guess even you become more experienced during these years in that you spot all those dark side of IELTS test that still unclrear for many of us. If someone has a look at those older topics could easily notice that.
Thank you Simon and keep your best.

Hi Simon,
Thank you very much for your post for Writing task 2 today. I have just "read around" more carefully about the aspect "coherence and cohesion" after taking the IELTS test last month. And I also realised something about the "no attention" like this. This really makes band 7 and band 9 totally different.

Hi Simon,
following questions were also in the speaking test. will be great if you share your view on these:

- Let’s talk about body language.
- Do Asian people use body language?
- Can we communicate without words?
- Is there a particular form of body language that you find offensive?
- Do impatient people get their way?
- Is it possible to be too nice?

Dear Simon,

I have found your video lessons extremely useful. Around two weeks ago I downloaded one the free videos in order to understand how to write in IELTS test.

Last week I sat in Mock exam to find out more about my capabilities in each skills. Hopefully, I got 7.0 in writing task, and the instructions introduced in that lesson was very helpful for me.

I am enhancing this skill now. Previously, my target was something between 6.0 to 6.5, now I am trying my best to obtain much more better results in this task.

Your fruitful advice will improve my language skills and I should confess that this website is a precious gift.



Yuor letter was so fantastic.
if you write in this way in your real exam, you will pass with a high score more than 7.
Best regards.

I got 8.5 in both listening and reading. The guardian and eminem were my teaching materials. I have never ever spoken to a native speaker. But..I got 6.5 in writing. I can't afford a private teacher to check my writing. Is there any way to improve it on low budget?

Hi Sophie,

I can have a look at your writing if you wish, just one or two essays.


Hi Sophie,

Can we have an exchange that you give me some advice on improving reading, and I will ask a native English speaker (who is a lecturer at one UK university) to check your writing?

Let me know if you are interested. My email: jing.xu@hotmail.co.uk

Respected Simon,

I took my IELTS exam on 7th Feb 2015.

My scores are L-6.5, W -6.5, S-6.5, R -9.

I have query regarding the task response in essay writing.

My essay question was:

Some people thing money is important for achieving happiness while some people think no money is required for being happy. Do you agree or disagree?

What I did while answering this was, In first paragraph I wrote that there are arguments that money is important for being happy ( and expanded this point how money is important)

In second paragraph I wrote that " however I would argue that other factors along with money are equally important for happiness like work balance etc..( explained this)"

So my query is by writing this way did I respond fully to the question?

My doubt is that I should have concentrated either fully on describing how money is important or fully on describing no money is required.

Please sir clear my doubt so that I would be able to make progress if I take exam next time. I believe I followed almost all the important points that you have mentioned on this website but I am really depressed with my result.
Hopefully you would help me getting better.

Thanks and Regards,

Hi Manoj,

I think a balanced view is absolutely fine, like money makes some people happy, but not others, as long as you make your points clear.

It is impossible to get full mark in reading. it is unbelievable.

Please can we share your skills and experience in reading?

Sure, I can share my IELTS score card screen shot if you say..
And even I am ready to take Ielts again in that case..

And sir

Please guide me if I should get my score revalued or not..
Really disappointed with my other scores.
I Was expecting much better..

Moreover sir I have a strong doubt that their listening section questions 27 to 30 were completely mismatched with the audio..

Can I somehow ask them to get this rectified or rechecked whether these questions were correct or not?

Also can I get transcripts for the listening part from them?


Sorry, I did not mean to question your reading score. I just so admire your reading ability and genuinely want to learn some skills from you.

I am sorry too sir..

And of reading, I was just reading at high speed and was able to finish my reading around 15 minutes before the scheduled time.
So I had enough time and I cross checked all my answers and spellings.

In the last section,there was a long essay having ten section about a lizard..
There were ten questions before that essay which were matching type.
Here I had to match each section with 1 choice from the given list and at the end of the essay was given true false statements whether these statements are given in essays or not.

I took 1 matching question and 1 true false statement and started reading the given essay. Although they had used quite good adjectives to describe the characterstics of lizard, but I didn't get stuck anywhere and was able to easily understand the gist of paragraph. I was quickly skimming through the essay and given questions in parallel. And I was able to find all the answers.

But sir please suggest if I should go for revaluation.
Moreover can I ask them to get their listening part questions 27 to 30 rechecked?

Please advise..

Hi Manoj,

Thank you for sharing your experience in reading during the test. I genuinely believe you are fast reader with a high level of understanding what you read. I managed to finish reading the passages 10 mins early in one test, but I got 6.5. However, I did read slower in the following attempt, then I got 7.0, so reading slower suit my ability during the test.

I need to declare that I am not Simon and just one of IELTS candidates.

I will suggest that you do not ask to remark listening and reading sections because they are marked by computers, even you accidently fill in the wrong gaps on the answer sheet, this will count as wrong results. If you really suspect your scores for speaking and writing, then you can get them remarked. Normally, remarking is more strict than the initial marking because you will get refund if your scores go up after remarking. I guess the test centers will loss money by upgrading your scores.

Finally, can I ask how you prepare your reading before the test? Do you practice lots of test passages or Do you just generally read articles whatever available to you?

Thank you

Thanks for your input.

I just keep reading whatever comes my way. Whenever i come across a new word, i quickly search it in a dictionary and try to understand its meaning, pronunciation as well as its usage.

Thank you, Manoj

Use of firstly, secondly is regarded as lazy writing.Please read the book written by respected Gabi Duigu who has been an examiner for ielts since 1990.Please do not misguide ielts aspirants.

Hi Simon,

Thanks for your helpful website, Kindly my writing score is 5.5 and I need to score 6.5 I would appreciate if any advise or sample essay for band 8 I can review .

best regards,

Hi Simon
I have heard about you a lot.. Please help me in improving my band scores for writing. I got 6.5 in writing whereas in speaking, listening and reading I got 8,8.5,8 respectively.
I don't have any time to join any ielts coaching centre. I need to get minimum 7 in writing. Suggest me what to do?

I refer this comment to the query of 26 Feb 2015 from Manoj, 'If you can score 9 in Reading module means you deserve 7-8(or higher that depends on your eclectic writing) in Writing module'. The fact is, British Council is not fair at all in assessing writing task. They indiscriminately evaluate exams answer sheets; they skim the paper and give a tag of 6 or 6.5 for the ones who deserve much higher than that. I challenge Cambridge University IELTS examiners who decided to give me 6.5 in Writing module. So, I have completely lost trust on British Council, in this regard. I also suggest all test takers that they should seek an alternative to IELTS.

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