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Saturday, September 01, 2018


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@ Simon

Completely Agree! I am also facing problem in making good sentences (used by native English users) from ideas. Please suggest how can I improve this?

@Simon. Thanks for enlightening me. I was trapped :)

Yes! Learning lists of vocabulary is a horrible way to approach IELTS. New words should be learned in context, and at the very least by common collocations.

My scores

Listening 6.5
Speaking 6
Writing 5.5
Reading 6.5.

I never thought that my writing is that much bad. Really disappointed.

Can I have your Ebook from Bangladesh? ???


Please take a look at the official IELTS statistics for 2017:


This shows that on average the results for writing are at least half a band below reading. So if you do a reading practice test, and score 6.5, your writing is likely to be, on a statistical probability basis, 6.0 or below.

Of course, this is only an average, and any one student such as yourself could be an exception. Your reading results seem to be half a band above average for someone from your part of the world.

A few years ago, I did meet someone with atypical results, 8.5,9,9 and only 6.5 for writing on their first sitting with no preparation, but, with a little guidance as to what was required, on a second sitting their writing score jumped to 8.


So you have an idea, but you can't put it in a sentence. Then i would suggest you to expand your active vocabulary.


I think a simple way to improve your writing is writing, without any external help. Set aside your devices, just about everything, except for a pen and a paper. And then start writing. Write hundreds of essays. Just pour your thoughts out without worrying about making mistakes.

(While writing essays, there would be like 5 or 6 tabs open in my browser, each leading to an article about the topic that i was writing on. I would steal some vocabulary from one article and some others from another article (while writing the essay). And eventually i got 6 in writing. (It was 2 years ago) )

And of course we shouldn't forget to learn (and get better at using) around 5 phrases everyday.


You probably need to focus on improving your general English (and you know how to do that). Forget about IELTS for now.

Just commenting out of boredom. These are my thoughts. Just ignore it if it doesn't make sense.

i think having a large PASSIVE vocabulary means that you have a large number of ideas ( or concepts) in your head ( it might also mean you are broad-minded). (you can expand your horizon* by expanding your passive vocabulary). While having a large ACTIVE vocabulary means that you have a large number of ideas in your head which you are well-familiar with and which you can express freely, actively and effectively.

I develop my active vocabulary in the following way: i take a word (or sth else) like 'carbon dioxide' and then learn by heart as many commonly-used phrases that contain 'carbon dioxide' as i can and... that's it.

- Higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
- Plants absorb carbon dioxide
- reduce carbon dioxide emissions
- rise in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

And then i write (or at least i think i should write :) essays on this topic related to carbon dioxide in an isolated room, without consulting a dictionary or anything else.

am i doing it wrong?

Anyway, good night ( or afternoon)


I havew ritten as many as 70 writing tasks both 1 and 2. I barely got 5.5, perhaps 2 or 3 times in the very beginning period. To mention, for the last couples of month I had not score below 6, even I got 7 on average sometimes. I wrote a handful essays regarding children's issue that I found in my final day of exam.

My essay was about, as far I remember " Families have important impacts on children's life, outer world has too( In Short). To what extent do you agree or disagree. It was really easy to demonstrate my thoughts and ideas. I splitted my view like " To a certain extent I believe......, however....... I discussed both views than I gave conclusion. I was feel very free when I was writing.

Tadk 1 seemed to be simple too. One of my friends who took his third attempt was a failure in writing again. However, his writing preparation was far better. I was really surprised when I heard about his falling in writing. By the way, I read almost all days with proper understanding and I acquired a good range of vacabs. I've been following this site for years ( 1.5). I had a design of writing but I cannot believe myself how it's happened to me. I learned and wrote down hundreds of important words from different sources. However, at the end of the day I was almost empty handed in writing.


I like your methods of learning.

Hi Raju.

I thought my general English skills are similar to yours.
When I read your comments, I can find some grammar mistakes in your writing.

Nowadays, Australian high school teachers recommend students to use 'grammarly.com' to do their assignments on the internet. So I start using the tool. It helps me a lot to learn from my mistakes, and I believe my general English skills are improving a little by little. I thought you might be interested in checking your writing on the website.

My writing study method is that write an essay without any help, then type into the website and check my spelling, grammar and punctuation. After that, I ask my English teacher to correct my writing(word choice etc.). It takes a long time to write a perfect essay; however, this is the only way to improve general writing English skills.

I hope we all can pass the IELTS one day;)

You’ve seen a job advertisement for the Children’s Care association who are looking for volunteers. Write a letter to the organization and say: -
Why you think you are suitable for that job –
What interests you about this job, -
How soon you are available to work

Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is Gurpreet kaur. I saw your job post for the Children’s care association which are looking for volunteers. I am interested in this job.

I think I am suitable person for this job because I had 1 year experience as volunteer child care association at backhome. My duties were help child activities, and teach them new things. This is main reason, I am suitable for this job.

I personally interest in this job because learn new things from child and I enhance my skills about day to day learning. I feel very happy when I help the childs. It feels me like I am doing great things in the life.

I am avalilbe from the 9 september 2018. I am available full time because I have break from the college.

Best Regards,

Gurpreet kaur

Hi Tae.

I really want to the level of writing 6.5 to 7. Does the recommended site work for me to have the desire score?.I can write issues with better ideas.However, I don't know why things are going bad in writing, may it's because of grammatical mistakes and word choices. From now I'm going to follow your advices abd I hope that I'll recover my writing failure.

One thing more, I'll write some essay in this site for checking.

Hi Raju.

I thought using the website would help you to notice what is your weakness of grammar in writing. I have not got a score of 7 yet. However, we have to aware of our mistakes, so we do not repeat the same mistake again.
The best way is that we need a general English teacher. The website only checks your spelling, grammar and punctuation. Simon mentioned that topic vocabulary is the key to get a high score.
I also believe that IELTS requires a high school level of English skills. My daughter in year7 is no problem to reach band 9.
Well, let's keep working :)

@ shokhrukh

Thanks for the response brother. I am writing Simon's 9 bands essay for improving my writing and it is really useful.

I had a main concern about the writing style. I mean as I am not a native English user, my writing style is not matching with a regular English user. So, my sentences are generally long and I can't present ideas well.

I am not sure how much it will impact my writing score. But at this moment, I am doing well with introduction, conclusion, linking words and appropriately using paragraphs for presenting ideas. Also, learning topic-specific vocabulary and 5-sentence structure.

Please check my latest essay below.

In a number of countries, some people think it is necessary to spend large sums of money on constructing new railway lines for very fast trains between cities. Others believe the money should be spent on improving existing public transport.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

People's arguments differ about whether governments should contribute the financial resource on developing intercity railway lines for bullet and metro trains. While there are some reasons in support of this argument, I believe that the public transportation system should be improved first.

There are two reasons why people might argue that politicians should spend more money on the intercity railway communication system. The first reason is that it would be timesaving for the people traveling to the different city for their jobs regularly. The second thought process is that cities having superfast trains get the status and recognition amongst developed cities of the nation. For example, the Ahmedabad city of Gujarat is getting recognition in India because of the newly developed metro railway system.

In spite of the above arguments, I support the view that governments should spend more on improving the local road and railway transportation systems. The main benefit of doing this is that the majority of people would benefit from improved city transportation systems. They can save a significant amount of money by avoiding the use of their personal vehicles for day to day transportation, which would also benefit in traffic control during rush hours. The second benefit is that it would be environmentally friendly, I mean the pollution caused by a large number of private vehicles would fall dramatically. Finally, government transportation agency(ies) would be beneficial as a large number of people in the nation would prefer to use improved local transportation over their own vehicles.

In conclusion, spending more money on bettering the current local public transportation system has more benefits than contributing for developing new intercity railway lines for superfast trains.

@ Vishaal

1) There is no need to paraphrase the question or restate it in your introduction. A general lead-in to your theme is all that is required. For instance:

Governments always face difficult choices when prioritizing spending. OR .. difficult choices when allocating limited funding.

2) It might help to define your terms. For example, distinguish between intercity express trains, and mass rapid-transit for commuters.

3) Consider aims, goals and objectives, as someone else mentioned elsewhere.

4) Try to avoid 'get' in formal writing -> receive, obtain, become, provide (depending on context).

5) " I mean " : informal. -> ,that is,

6) " contributing for to developing"

7) " Finally, government transportation agency(ies) would be beneficial ": do you mean that railways should be privatized or nationalized, or what exactly is the benefit of agencies?

@ Vishaal

8) see my comments to Jammy here:


9) "avoiding the use of their personal vehicles for day to day transportation, which would also benefit in traffic control during rush hours": you are missing vocabulary here. -> minimize commuting in private cars, and reduce peak-hour traffic congestion.

Actually where I live, it is pretty much grid-locked all day, huge traffic jams on holiday weekends, and public transport infrastructure is woefully inadequate and underfunded, apart from being crammed full at rush-hour, standing room only. Worst is the harbor bridge! More roads is not the answer: traffic just expands to fill them. Another issue is short-haul air travel vs trains. Which creates less pollution? At the end of the day though, I like trains: no hassle with the airport and security, and you can get up and move around instead of being strapped in confined to your tiny seat. I'd like to do Vladivostok to Moscow and on to Kiev, Budapest, Frankfurt, Brussels and London by train, although it would take weeks (with stopovers).

@ Da Nang

Thanks a lot for valuable suggestions. What band would you like to give for my essay (please consider yourself as a strict IELTS examiner.

Also, suggest things to improve (conceptually) in my writing. As I mentioned above, I am not a native English user, so my sentences are not as good as natives. How can I improve this?

@ Vishaal

1) Errors with articles:
"the financial resource "
"the different city"
"the local road and railway transportation systems"

2) Grammar error : "contribute ... on " (twice)

3) Non idiomatic phrasing (ie not on Google Books):
"The second thought process "
"People's arguments differ"

4) Lint: "While there are some reasons in support of this argument,"

5) Tense: "They can save"

Given the dearth of error-free sentences, and vocabulary inappropriaces, it would seem Band 9 overall is out of the question, probably Band 8 too.

Try googling each phrase on Google books an you will get an idea of where you are. The characteristic of Band 7, is that one can read through without having to stop, that is, there are no impeding errors, the meaning is clear first time, and the phraseology is fairly natural most of the time.

Try analyzing all Simon's model answers to see how he does it, and then imitate. You also need to read similar native-speaker material, and 'steal' the phrases.


I just start using grammerly.com and I've installed an app tagged with same name. The app generally indicates spelling mistakes as well as the website is providing important guidelines for writing purpose.

By the way, is it helpful to memorize complicated words for writing tasks, especially for task 2?. Someone say it's kind of GRE words. A guy suggested me that I should have put someone complicated words in writing task 2, if I do I would have good or desire score.

Even examiners are not that easily fooled. You have more chance of crossing the Himalayas on a pushbike.

Re-read the marking schema. Band 7 requires: using vocabulary items and phrases 'with some awareness of style and collocation'. In other words, if you get your fancy 'complicated' word in the wrong context, or with the wrong grammar, you simply prove that you do not know how to use it, and the examiner will be even more confident that your level is even lower than it might otherwise seem. You will end up in Band 6 maximum: 'attempts to use less common vocabulary but with some inaccuracy'.

The major hurdle is to get your grammar range and accuracy up. At present these Band 5 epithets would seem to apply:
- uses only a limited range of structures
- attempts complex sentences but these tend to be less accurate than simple sentences
- may make frequent grammatical errors and punctuation may be faulty; errors can cause some difficulty for the reader

The road to Lhasa begins with a single step. One step at a time will take you there. There is no quick fix or short-cut through the mountains.

Some listening for you:



hi Simon
I found your writing lessons very useful and want to purchase the ebook. I tried buying it online through my debit card(INDIA) but I am not able to access it. can you please help me with the same?

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