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May 05, 2019


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sir, thank you for advice.I'm nervous because my exam is in June.So, please advise how I have to study well? I wasted so many times for IELTS preparation but not getting score of 6.5.I always stuck at 5.5.Sir, I am following every lessons in this website for many years but always failed to score.Sir, also advise in which key area I have to focus ?

Simon's essay rewritten without linking adverbs:

Books have the advantage that they are usually considered to be reliable sources of information. Even though they do quickly go out of date, and are not the best medium for communicating the latest information or news stories, books are often referred to by people researching a subject in depth, and continue to play an important role in education.

Radio is a much more effective medium than books for the communication of up-to-date information. It allows us to listen to news broadcasts about events as they happen, and to listen while doing other activities, such as driving or working. When compared to books or television, radio does have the drawback that there is no visual element; so the broadcaster cannot present images, pictures or graphs.

Television is the most dynamic of these three media because it brings us closer to reality than a book or radio programme ever can. Although television often uses short programmes interrupted by advertisements, meaning that information is presented in limited depth, it does enable us to watch events as they take place on the other side of the world, or see the body language of a politician who is being interviewed.

It is I always write speak good English but dificult to get scores. Is IELTS markings wrong? I wonder.


I don't normally give individuals feedback, but I have to tell you that the English you write in the comments here contains many errors, so I think your claim that you 'always write speak good English' is not accurate. To be honest, your grammatical control looks closer to a 5 than a 6, and it is not surprising that your scores are not high.

My advice to you is to make sure you have a teacher who is identifying EVERY error you are making in writing and speaking. Make a list of these errors, and every time you practice with an expert, try to reduce the number of errors you are making.

If you don't focus on error reduction, then you are actually practicing and repeating the same errors constantly, and this makes reducing them more difficult.

Hello friends,

I have tried to write an essay after this advice of Simon.

I would like if anyone could provide feedback on my essay.
Many people claim that massive investment in the technology for space exploration is a waste of money.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
People have a different opinion on the finance that has spend on space exploration. Although technology in space can help in several ways, I firmly believe that too much money should not be invested to explore space.

In this technological ear, it is essential for any country to explore space and show others the ability of the country's scientists in the area of space. Today, almost all country has its satellite in the space to forecasts the weather condition of the country. Weather satellite helps the country to identify and understand the seasons. Many times, due to the satellite, countries, especially agricultural countries like India, can predict the monsoon season and will inform the farmers of India in advance whether the rain will be enough to grow the crops or not. This space technology will also help the government to relocate people beforehand during the cyclones.

On the other hand, it is true that many countries spend a large amount of money to explore space. In some countries, people do not have access to primary and necessary services like clean drinking water, schools, and healthcare services. Instead of going to other planets, the government should fulfill the basic needs of the people by cutting the investment in the space technology to explore more out there and start investing that money in the area to improve the condition of schools and healthcare centers and install plants to provide clean drinking water to the people. The funds should be allocated to tackle these issues of the country first rather than exploring the space.

In conclusion, space technology could help to forecast weather conditions, but the government should respond to the primary and necessary needs of the people.


Dear sjm,

If you have time, could you please reply to my question.

I would like to ask that how to reduce article errors? In other words, I always forget to put articles, and I guess this is my weakness. What should I do to overcome this?

Thank you in advance.

Simon and SJM, I want to thank both of you for your valuable insights. As far as I have observed, people get confused by reading too many opinions being posted online by self-claimed IELTS experts. This often makes them learn rules and strategies which are not suitable for the examination. Instead of understanding and learning the basic rules of the language; everyone wants to discover short-cuts or secret formulas to score high.

Simon and Sjm,

Please guide me on how can I reduce the grammatical errors in my speech. Although I reduced these errors significantly in writing, I'm still making quite a few mistakes during the speaking. The major issues are a singular/plural, countable/uncountable noun, and sometimes articles/ past tense.

Thanks in advance!


Speaking, or writing, or both? Articles are perhaps the number one error for most learners, especially if your first language doesn't have them.


The only real way is to sit with a native speaker, and ask them to stop you every time you make a grammar error, and give you a correction. You then repeat the correct version back to them. You could, for example, do a series of Part 2 topics.

It is time consuming, but eventually your error rate should drop. The problem with speaking is that errors are often 'fossilised' in the mouth, which means that you are so used to saying them that your mouth has 'memorised' them. You need to almost 'reprogram' your mouth.


1) "People have a different opinion ...."
"A/An" means "one". "A hundred and one" means 101. "A book" means "one book". "Could you give me a book" implies there is more than one book available to choose from. If there were only one available, we would say "Could you give me the book". So how many opinions are there available in this opening phrase?

2) "on the finance that has spend ": active or passive voice?

3) https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=invested+in%2C+invested+to&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cinvested%20in%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cinvested%20to%3B%2Cc0

4) "In this technological ear": spelling? Or are we discussing hearing aids?

5) "any country": every?

6) "it is essential": why?

7) "almost all country": singular or plural?

8) "the space": given that we say "the Earth", "the moon", "the sun" (as there is only one available) one might expect "the space": but we don't, at least not in relation to stars and the universe. It is an exception.

9) "its satellite": singular or plural?

10) "to forecasts": infinitives do not conjugate in English.

11) "Weather satellite": the easiest way to generalize a countable noun in English is to make it plural -> Weather satellites help


Thank you for your response. I haven’t record my speaking to identify my errors because I have scored 7 and above in my last three attempts, but not getting required score in writing.


If you are under 7 in writing, common reasons are:

1. Missing key features in Task 1
2. Poor overview in Task 1
3. Too many errors in Task 1 / Task 2
4. Too much 'unnatural' vocabulary
5. The opinion in Task 2 is not clear and consistent

In my experience people focus so much on Task 2, they don't realise that Task 1 has stricter penalties.


Thank you so much for sharing your views.


I completely agree with you! Even though I can feel that I'm making grammatical errors while speaking, I really can't prevent it. It's kind of wrong programming of my brain.

Thanks for your advice, I'll work my best to correct it!

You want to sell your television. You think a friend of yours might like to buy it from you. Write a letter to your friend.
In your letter:
• Explain why you are selling the television.
• Describe the television
• Suggest a date when your friend can come and see it.

Dear Sam,
I hope you’re doing well. I just thought I’d write to you to ask whether you’re interested in buying my television.

I want to sell my TV as I bought a new one recently. Do you remember, I told you that I’m looking for buying a new smart TV, and, you know what, I got a great deal for the MI Smart TV on Amazon just a week ago, and I ordered it. As I was thinking about selling my TV, I recalled that you were searching for a good second-hand TV due to the tight budget.

You might know that I've got a full HD LED TV of the Samsung brand since 2016, and it not only has stunning video and audio qualities but also has never been to any sort of repair work till date. I’m sure you’d not regret after buying it and enjoy the TV fullest.

If you’re interested, you can come to my home anytime on this Sunday. As my parents will be out of the town, you can check the TV thoroughly before making the final decision, and we’ll watch some movies on my new TV.

See you this weekend, take care!


Dear SJM,
Thanks for your evaluation. But it's very dishearten to my levels of the English low. But I should practice lot to progress. Thank you sjm and our teacher Simon.


I didn't say your English is low. The test is telling you that your English needs to be better, and I am highlighting the grammar errors you are making in your writing.

Practicing will not help you, because you are just repeating your errors. You need frequent expert feedback to highlight your errors, and help you to remove them.

Thanks sjm.

Hi guys! Can you help me find the correct answer of the following listening question?
38. Most sharks are caught in...
"majority of sharks are caught during the warmest months, from November to February when sharks are most active."
In the answer key, b)summer is the correct answer

Hi Shjn,
Summer is warmest season, so answer is Summer.

Pachu, you are right but how about this part:from November to February
Doesnt this refer to winter?


Which country they are talking about?

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