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July 17, 2018


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1. B
2. B



B -- consecutive
B -- elitist = only a minority would use it
a waste of funds = a poor use of resources


1 B
2 B

1-B ( three consecutive mornings starting on a Monday. Monday, Wednesday and Friday)
2-B (elitist and a waste of funds - poor use of resources and only a minority would use it)



B) Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

three consecutive mornings starting on a Monday

B) It would be a poor use of resources and only a minority would use it

it is elitist = only a minority would use it
a poor use of resources = a waste of funds.

Dear Simon,
I have noticed that examiners or electronic tools accept the typical wordings such as "it is often argued", "It is also important to consider", "to a certain extent", "there are several benefits/drawbacks/ advantages of having..." as a plagiat.
Do you think that it is time to update or create some new strategy for ielts writing task 2 in order to achieve at least 7 band?

Is it rational to use wording from GMAT-AWA preparation materials.
For example,
First, the argument readily assumes / offers that companies should provide sports centers to their local communities. This is a very critical claim as the argument does not demonstrate any rationale behind it. The argument could have been much supportive if it explicitly statet that large companies should .....

If the argument had provided evidence that... then the argument would have been a lot more convincing.

Simon, please advice. I need 8/7/7/7, but I can't obtain over 7.5/8/6.5/7


@ Ilkin

It is hard to know, but there are some possibilities:

1) Too many grammatical errors: for instance, there is one mistake in the following:
"While many of them think that modern communication tools are very useful, others think that modern technologies destroys the variety between different cultures."

2) Using a good range of vocabulary (words), but somehow stringing them together in either an unnatural way, or in a way which leaves the meaning unclear, or in a very long-winded and roundabout way.

3) Somehow not being on topic and to the point.

4) Task 2 in the general writing test, is not expected to be overly formal, may be more personal.

5) Something wrong with your approach to the letter in Task 1: either misunderstanding the task situation, and writing a formal letter to a friend, or writing an informal letter to someone in business or government; or failing to get the opening and closing appropriate; or missing an important item out.

Judging by your postings on this site, it would seem that Band 7 is at least just around the corner, so go over these points, make adjustments and try again.

@ Ilkin

Also check your approach against these model answers:


@ Ilkin

Just to give an example from your sentence:
"destroys the variety between different cultures."

As the graph below shows "variety between cultures" does not appear on google books. The following phrases do:
"erode cultural differences and destroy local cultures".

In your particular case, it might pay to practice following Simon's "thirteen-sentence" approach in order to achieve better coherence, clarity, and conciseness. My impression is that this would be of benefit.

See here:




@ Ilkin

There is another issue with your sentence: the use of "while".

Note the comment here:

"If using while for concession, remember to put the while-clause first, but if it simply expressed contrast, I'd put it second."


And also the recommendations. This info is well researched.

The comments here between two native English teachers might be worth reading:


What all this points up is that the usage of "while" in your sentence is not quite as natural as one would hope.

The other issue is where is your own opinion?

So all in all something simpler might be better for IELTS. For instance, something like:

It is true that modern communication tools are very useful, but over time they tend to erode cultural differences and undermine local cultures, which can easily be lost if not passed on intact to the next generation.

Now we are making our point.

1. B
2. B

Thank you for your inspiring and supportive message.


three consecutive = Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

poor use of resources = waste of money
a minority would use it = elitist (i.e. only for an 'elite' group of people)


I can assure you that IELTS examiners do NOT consider simple phrases like "it is often argued", "It is also important to consider", "to a certain extent", "there are several benefits" as plagiarism.

These are just standard phrases that native speakers use all the time. Nobody can claim them and say that you copied them. This is not what plagiarism is about.

The phrases that you took from GMAT materials actually seem more formulaic to me. For an IELTS examiner, the phrase "First, the argument readily assumes" looks much more like a copied or memorised phrase than "it is often argued".

I would advise you to STAY AWAY from GMAT phrases when preparing for IELTS. This might even be the main reason why you are not getting a higher score.

In short, there is no need for a new strategy. Just work on your vocabulary and grammar and try to follow my strategy better.

I hope this helps! And thanks to Klaus for helping too.

Thank you for your reply.
I understand that GMAT phrases are not suitable here.
I purchased your e-book 5 years ago and thanks to it and your strategy/advice got 7 from each band and went to do my MSc at UoE in Scotland.
However, now my writing score fluctuates around 6.5 and I feel like I am hitched to IELTS General preparation:)

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