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Monday, March 26, 2018


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I did not try exactly this experiment. But i did something similar and normally i scored high when i gave myself more time. So for me the problem is TIME.

It will be very good if you give some advice about this problem.

Hi Simon.
First of all, thank you for your services. I appreciate your efforts.

I gave test last year in November. Although, my score is 8 overall, I am disappointed with my writing score which is 6.5 (I requested Re-checking and the band didn't change).
The worst part is that my writing was not that bad. I expected 7.
should I go for re-test?
My other scores are:
Both L & R = 8.5
Speaking = 7.5


To me, there would be no real point in re-sitting the exam until you have some idea of why the writing score was not 7. Otherwise the result will likely be just the same again.

Hello Simon,
I am facing the same problem which Jaismeen has highlighted.I appearwd last time in January 2018 but getting 6.5 in writing for almost last 3 years.Scores in other components are above 7 .I need 7 in writing .Please advise the best appeoach in this situation .

Jaismeen and Naureen

The answer to your questions is clear.

1. Identify why you are getting a 6.5. You do this by getting your writing analysed by experts who understand the test.

2. When you understand your specific writing problems, then you need to practice to overcome your weaknesses.

3. When an expert starts to give you 7 or 7.5 in timed practice, then you are ready to achieve a 7 in the test.

To me, it seems that most of the essays posted in the comments on this site are written by people who have not quite achieved Band 7 in their writing. Judging by the subsequent comments and corrections, it seems that the two most difficult Band 7 hurdles are:

1) "may produce occasional errors in word choice, spelling and/or word formation":

2) "the majority of sentences are error-free".

It is all too easy to flunk both these hurdles in Task 2 and end up with 6.5 overall.

The other issue seems to be where there is not enough time left to finish or do justice to Task 1.

One explanation is that the essay-writers are consciously or unconsciously translating phrases on a word-for-word basis from their own language, with (inevitably) disastrous results. It is much better to write within your real capabilities, and string together phrases you have heard or read to express your ideas, adapting along the way as needed.

In my experience, going to an "expert" does give you feedback on your level and what to work on, but the learning process largely consists of reading widely, reading carefully, and listening, listening, listening, until you are able to think in English clearly.

It is always worth remembering that Band 7 represents a "good" user of English, and for writing, that suggests that (roughly) the examiner can read through non-stop without a struggle, and at the end has a clear understanding of your position and arguments.

For example, essays submitted and comments here:




This might provide a better idea of what is required to reach Band 7 in writing.

@Naureen ... I understand how you feel ...

@gaia @sjm @Oleg

Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate this.

Honestly, I do not exactly what went wrong as BC didn't explain the reason behind the unchanged score. They should provide the reason when a student goes for re-marking.

However, I think I used way more complex sentence structures and almost ignored simple sentences.

Analysis by an expert seems a good idea but the problem is that finding an expert who would check the writings is bit difficult.

correction ---- > Honestly, I do not know exactly what went wrong as BC didn't explain the reason behind the unchanged score.


To some extent it is possible to check your vocabulary and grammar by using Ngrams. Simply copy and paste each sentence into ngrams and then add extra commas to split it up into three or four word phrases, taking out the ending full stop and any colons, as below. If a phrase is "not found" on Ngrams, it is probably wrong in some way, maybe a missing article.


This shows that "way more" is too informal for IELTS.


This shows that "a bit" is less used in formal writing such as IELTS.

Hi all,

I think that the main point is vocabulary.

I've found it easier to read passages which I know most of their vocabularies and definitely most of the answers are right.

Thanks for your helpful blog, sir,

Thank you for the feedback .
I agree with Jaismeen that it is really difficult yo find expert who can pick up my mistakes which probably is being repeated & thats the reason I am not achieving 7 .Although I have taken sessions in the 2 main centres at my place .Teachers have highlighted my mistakes like weak ideas , repetition etc but still getting the same score .Finally , now I am following Simon lessons only .

I agree with the identified reasons of repetition and weak ideas. obviously you narrated your concerns well on this platform which might make people like us doubt our capabilities if someone who write this well confirms being stocked at 6.5 in writing.Have always had 7.5 in writing, i acheive this by reading lots of journals which helps in gathering the right adjective that fits into every write-up or topic. All the best to us all, meanwhile 'reading' has been my weakest part.

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