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April 07, 2020


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I'm so happy that I can see your message again. I appreciate it that your selfless contribution for every student who is preparing for the test.
I'm from China, and the place I am living here where has been slightly influenced by the pandemic. I believe that everything will be good quickly.
best wishes for you.

Hi Simon,

I'm from VN and you're right about preparing IETLS
things. I don't know whether 2 months left are enough for me to achieve my goal but I'm glad that I found your website, such an amazing source of English learning materials.
My country is under lockdown too so I hope best luck will come to you guys.

Hi Simon,
I am from IRAN and my lovely country is on lockdown not only due to the spread of the new coronavirus but also US sanctions.
Before you made your new decision and changing your teaching way, I could benefit from your blog but now I am not able to use it. because I don't have access to the international credit cards and pay to be your site member.
So, I am on lockdown!

Hi Simon,

As you have thought I am experiencing corona days off. I am free and I want to prepare for the IELTS test. I am very glad as finding out your website. It is very interesting because you have updated the daily news. It is easy to remember and understanding.
Thank you so much and I hope you are well to continue to teach English for us forever.

Hi Simon,
I have not been checking your blog for a while, which was my daily routine before your website lockdown :)
I hope you happy days being healthy with your family.
I am from Iran too and I do not have access to your member-site too for the same reason Hamidreza said in the previous comment :)
If you could release some of your older VIP classes, or introduce us some beneficial sources here, it will make us happier :).

Hi Simon,
I'm from Taiwan and preparing for the IELTS exam recently and benefit from your website a lot. Our country, Taiwan, is one of the rare countries which are not in lockdown due to the effective approaches of our government. I hope we could keep the status quo untill the pandemic is over. I read the news about the NHS and your PM in ICU. I hope everything will be fine soon.

good lock and stay home and stay safe :)

Hi Simon, I am a Chinese from mainland working in Canada. Thanks a lot for sharing so much with us about IELTS, which is amazing!! We could all use this time to do something that we have always want to do but couldn’t find time. I hope you and family are well. We will overcome this challenge and each country will I believe. Keep healthy and keep well.

I’m learning a lot from you. Thanks

Good from you to hear

Hi. I'm from the UK. On lockdown of course like Simon.Preparing for IElTS and hoping exams will resume soon.
On a side note, I'm wondering how Taiwan is approaching this virus and is effectively handling it.
I'm quite impressed by South Korea containing the situation so quickly
Stay safe everybody. it's a time for all humanity to be united.

Hi Simon
I come from Iran and unfortunately our country is not on lockdown seriously either legally, so some people have to work at out of home. I hope that this situation change as soon as possible for all over the world.
in during the time, I tried improve my English knowledge and skills and also try hard to not forget vocabulary and speaking English. I had decided to pass the IELTS exam in the first of this summer, but I do not have any Idea about it now when I can do it. I have a question about the IELTS exam, What happen and has this test been stopped in other countries or not?
Best wishes for everyone,

Thanks Simon sir. You have some free time now.Please start again the lesson here.
Keep calm and wash hands.

Viola Saleh
One view from a friend in Taipei on 1st April:
Taiwan is not locked down. After being ignored by the WHO (who really are at the whim of what the CCP wants today), Taiwan as early as December 18 were already implementing counter measures. Very little community spread. Vast majority all through international arrivals. So, while China continues to lie and cover up, Taiwan has been proven right on multiple levels. It’s really been a nationalistic type attitude I’ve never seen...Taiwan, due to CCP interference and Western countries mocking its measures, forced everyone to pull together. On an international level, Taiwan is having one of its finest hours I think. This is the third major outbreak they’ve dealt with, so the Taiwanese know what they are doing.

Stay safe

Hopefully doing well all,It’s very useful time for preparing IELTS ,I am from India. Can use the time to better practice and preparation for IELTS. The pandemic situation is somewhat difficult, however isolation is only way to control.

Hi Simon,

It is really nice to see you again, I am from China and I was grounded for almost two months due to the devastating spread of covid-19 in my region.Perhaps 2020 is the toughest year for most of us, but I am strongly believe that there must be a good reason for our suffering and if we stay positive,we are about to have a shoot at silver lining.

I do really appreciate for your generous help for such a long time in this blog and wish you all the best.

Hello Sir, I am from India. 🇮🇳During this lockdown, I downloaded an application named ‘Kindle’ for my mobile phone and laptop. By using this, I have read many books, especially your recommended ‘Atomic Habits’. Thanks for your valuable suggestions. I was hopping that you could recommend me some more books for self improvement.

Hi Sahar,

For the most recent information on IELTS exams, look at this link:


It will continue to be updated as the situation changes.

Also, for all students, even if you are not a member yet on Simon's member site, you can still email him about essay correction. Just click on the link on the blog.

Hi Simon,
I'm from Vietnam where is strongly believed to have effective methods to help residents overcome this awful epidemic so I am not really uncomfortable or frustrated with the social isolation. Fortunately, this time is truly a nice opportunity to improve myself, especially my English skills. Thanks a lot to your contribution and support.
I hope you and your family will be fine during the pandemic.
Best regards,

Hi Simon,
I am also from Iran. hope you introduce us some valuable sources....
Sad to say,we cannot access to membership part:(

Hi Simon,

I am from Hong Kong. I enjoyed reading your blog so much! I will take the IELTS at the end of April.Somehow, the lockdown gave me more time to prepare for it. I think many people have benefited from your teaching. Thank you so much.

Dear sir
I am writing a letter in response with regard to "lockdown experiences ".
I have been studying Executive-MBA in marketing for the past two year.I currently work as an Athlete so I am used to get affected in many different ways from being anxious to overwhelmed or sad.Lockdown have increased pre-existing feelings of loneliness,so looking into this matter first suggestion would be whether video calling or other tech helps to alleviate isolation till lockdown period ends.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours faithfully
Bhupendra Thapa Chhetri

Hi Simon,
I am Elif from Republic of Turkey. I've been following the blog. So useful and imagical website that i've ever discover
I have to pass ieltz for my dream, being a pilot so
please do not leave us alone:)
Still i am struggling to find a right way to studying, please could you tell me advices to prepare?
Thank you/ Stay safe

when I write this comment, my country have no injection case within 5 day long, hope your country will overcome the pandemic soon. (from vietnam)

Hi Simon,

I have to be honest that during this crisis, my feeling is a little complicated. Sometimes, I'm excited about having more time for myself but immediately I'm in a blue mood cause I have to face with my deep thoughts. To overcome these difficulties, I always choose to do something distracting me from negative thoughts.Learning English helps me a lot, I mean I immerse myself in learning language.

I believe that every single person has their own choice to react to this problem. From my perspective, this outbreak is a nature's wake up call to human. It's not unprecedented event at all. We as individual need to do something before the next much disastrous pandemic happening.

Stay safe and healthy Simon!

in my country some of city , the local government plan to practice how to working well and more safely life if one day the people face the lack down

Jacqueline Liu from Taiwan

Hi Simon, my country was prepared will before the virose spread they closed everything and stoped a lot of work, but still, the number of people who got the infection is going high every day. we started to be less careless about the precaution, unfortunately, people get tired of being at home too. I hope this nightmare ends soon.
take care,

Nora from Jeddah

Hi Simon, hope you are doing well, as you said new normal was the time to me preparing to IELTS. Today I have known about your website and online lessons,I think your are really person i should come across 🤓 and I'm happy to say it) MY hopefully,target score is overall:9 that must have to be taken on the middle of May inşa allah and I believe that I can achieve it with your highly Motivated skills and experience 🎯 thanks very much Simon, see you soon☘️

Wow, from the comments, I do see people come from different corners of the world. I am a Chinese now residing at Seattle, WA in the U.S. I am glad to find this website and keep preparing IELTS.

I have been locked down for almost two months since March, in the beginning, I was extremely insecure and deeply lost, I did not know what is the end of the lockdown. But since after that, I tried best to cheer myself up, listen and repeat self affirmations from youtube clips, medicate, read some philosophy books, and think a lot of the life.

So now, so far so good. And I realize that I cannot waste my time anymore on TV shows. I should start again to pick up IELTS.

Hi Simon, I'm an Iranian who lives in Cyprus.
I've booked the exam on 16th May 2020. It's been two months since we are in lockdown here and I'm not sure when it will be finished.

BTW, thank you for all your efforts and supports for people around the world. Hope you feel the love behind you.


I am so happy when hearing your comeback. I am following your website, which helps me very much. I hope to have enough scores to fulfill my plan. Thank you very much.

hi simon, do you have an answer key? can't correct my answers.

Hello Simon, I used to be a English teacher like you too but only for children.

I always try my best to improve my language and I find 7ESL Learning English through Youtube the inspiration way to discover your language, in other way the useful channel to enjoy it.

But it's time I don't feel I have something to find out about English anymore (from that channel). So I visit your website and write a little bit of my feeling.

Hi Simon,

Thank you for sharing your lockdown experience,
I am a foreign worker here in Saudi Arabia, I can say that being on the state of lockdown here is not way far from the normal days, we've been adopting the culture sensitiveness of the country, however the current lockdown have made a bit of changes in the open hours for socializing in the public areas alone, thus to avoid further spreading of the new corona virus "COVID-19"

As the aspirant for ielts passer, I'm glad that you've posted again, because It will help me on expanding my English skills by reading lots of insights from your site,

I wish you good health Mr. Simon.

Hello Dear Simon
I am so glad about finding your beneficial website. Also, I am so surprised about finding such a generous person who helps others to reach their ambitions.
My name is Sahar, I am from Iran and I am going to practice the English language in the way that IELTS evaluates us, and the lockdown is a great opportunity. Please, guide me.
Thank you.

Hello Simon,

This is Michael from Japan. As you said, I am utilising this time to improve my English. There is less possibility for me at age of 43 to go abroad to study or immigrate, but preparing IELTS is really positive thing with clear aim I can do during the quarantine.

Good day Simon,

It is nice reading from you once again. In as much as the Coronavirus pandemic has subjected us to the new normal; I have cease the opportunity to prepare for IELTS examination.

I am looking forward to sitting for the examination around August this year, and I am hopeful I will come out with flying colours.

I really appreciate how helpful your online tutorials have been to me during this period of COVID-19 lockdown.

Best regards


Hi Simon,
It's my first time to comment your post.
I'm living in Seoul, South Korea. We've never been locked down since the covid-19 outbreak happened, but many things around us changed a lot. It's still difficult to imagine what the 'new normal' exactly means, but I'm trying to adjust changes around us.

Hello from New Zealand,

New Zealand have so far managed to contain Covid 19 successfully and recently moved to alert level 2, which is the state that can give us more freedom.

I wish everyone else here is safe!

Hello, I am a nursing graduate form India, currently preparing for IELTS Academic in order to apply for UK nursing job. My colleagues say that OET is easier compared to IELTS. Is it true?

@ Ben Ealoor 'sjm' an ielts examiner made the following comment: "OET is generally 'easier' than IELTS for medical professionals. For this reason, I would recommend OET over IELTS."


See also: https://www.yourworldhealthcare.com/uk/news/ielts-or-oet-which-test-should-nursing-professionals-take


Also note the following: " To register with the NMC, an applicant taking the OET needs to score an overall Grade B. However, the applicant will also need to take the UKVI IELTS (General Training) and gain an overall score of 4.0 in order to apply for a visa. This option is considered the easier of the two but is more expensive."


Hello Simon! I have just written a chart description and would like you to give some feedback on it. Could you also tell me what band score it might receive?

The graph below gives information about international tourist arrivals in five countries.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Sorry but I could not include the image here. You could find it by using the link provided below.

The line graph sheds light on the number of international tourist arrivals five particular destinations received from 1990 to 2005. Units are measured in millions.

Overall, it is blindingly obvious that the general trend for all tourist attractions in question throughout the 15-year period is upward, despite there being some certain variations involved.

In particular, North America perpetually maintained the leading position, starting from around 70 million and rising dramatically to its peak of over 90 million before tailing off subsequently. Even with a relatively modest start when compared to North America’s figures, Central and Eastern Europe had its tourist arrivals register a sharp increase until it culminated in well-nigh 90 million.

The figures for Sub-saharan Africa and South America displayed a similar pattern. They both ostensibly stood under 10 million in the year 1990 but then shot up uninterruptedly to almost 20 million by 2005,with the latter slightly overtaking the latter. Regarding Southeast Asia’s tourist arrivals, the figure did not commence from the rock bottom (approximately 20 million), yet it initially rose quite insignificantly. In 2000, it experienced a noteworthy increase of 250% and was at about 50 million.

@ Pat Casid

1) Task 1 is supposed to be written in an un-emotive, dry, factual, and quasi-academic style, without slanting your writing with your own attitude, or prejudices:
"sheds light on" -> shows;
"blindingly obvious" -> clear;
"rising dramatically" -> rising steeply/significantly

2) Opening paragraph: one approach is to list the countries involved:
-> on the number of international tourist arrivals at five destinations (Brazil, Egypt, Malaysia, France, USA) covering the period from 1990 ....

3) Second paragraph: "tourist attractions"? Where does the graph show tourist attractions? Beware of changing the terminology. You could restructure it as : "international arrivals for tourists". As Simon once pointed out "in terms of" is a useful phrase to restructure: "international arrivals in terms of tourists" would be good enough.

"despite there being some certain variations involved." -> despite there being some variations in the actual rate of increase.

"despite there being" is impressive command of grammar. In fact there seem to be no obvious grammar mistakes in your submission.

@ Pat Casid

4) More on second para: one of the main changes is that international tourist arrivals for France went from being less than half those of the USA to being equal, or near-equal. That is an important change and needs mentioning up front.

5) para 3: "Central and Eastern Europe " ?? Where is that on the graph: we only have France from that part of the world. In general you will not lose marks for repeating labels from the graphs. If the label or heading is three or four words, it may be possible to restructure the phrase. That is all you need to do. Otherwise your report would not be accurate.

6) If our second paragraph pick out two main points (overall rise and French catch-up) then one good approach is to substantiate the first claim in para 3, and the second claim in para 4.

7) New para 3: this would substantiate the "overall rise" trend. You could do some simple maths: for instance (more along the lines of):
-> Arrivals in France rose roughly threefold, whereas arrivals in Brazil, Egypt and Malaysia more or less doubled over the period surveyed. (And then add in some actual figures)

8) This would leave a new para four to detail change in status for France from "distant second" to "near-equal". And make comparisons between countries in terms of percentages or fractions.

9) "South-east Asia" ? Not on the graph: more fake news.

If you pay attention to the content you seem to have the potential to obtain a good score indeed. Practice keeping to twenty minutes only.

@ Pat Casid

I am actually a native speaker, and if I (heaven forbid) had to sit IELTS (academic) I would focus on getting the fact straight in Task 1 and organizing the report. I would focus on writing a workmanlike, straightforward, dry, and business-like report, without any particular thought to trying to impress the examiner with my vocabulary or grammar. Just get it done right, and don't miss any significant point, cover the ground, try and mention every label on the graph or process. Save your time, energy, flowery language and effort for Task 2, and there seek to display your command of collocations, phrases, and vocabulary where appropriate, as you have more freedom to do so.

Thank you so much for your very useful advice. I guess I now know what I need to do to improve my performance in IELTS task 1

Hi Simon.
I hope you are safe from coronavirus. For me, lockdown for a few months in NZ was really hard that I have not experienced so far in my life, likewise other people. Let's survive from this chancy situation.

Hi Simon.
I am from Indonesia and I just got the 'new normal' in my hometown. I have been so bored due to self-quarantine for a couple months ago.
Lucky me for knowing your website to study IELTS, so I can prepare for study abroad after all this pandemic problem. I hope you in very well condition. Regards.


Thanks for sharing your experiences. Sadly, the world is looking very different these days, and the economic prospects don't look good. Let's hope some positive changes come out of the pandemic crisis too.

Stay safe and well.

Hi Simon
The good news is that carbon dioxide emissions fell by some seventeen per cent during lock-down. But then there's the other eighty-three percent to deal with....
The future of teaching lies more in Zoom classes than face-to-face. I would suggest you look into doing that long-term. Many of the yoga studios here are making Zoom classes a permanent feature of their timetable, and charging $5 per session per enrolee. You have a good base to work from.

we missed you!

Good point Wanda. A lot more people are cycling and working from home. I've been using Zoom to talk to friends and family, so I'm considering it as a work option too.

Thanks BEHI.

Hello Simon,
The main reason I'm commenting here is (that) I consider myself your student and I owe you a lot because of all your help to me and
I know my writing is not good enough because I don't listen to your writing tips but I think I must tell you "Thank you, Sir".
Best regards

Hi Simon,
I'm from Iran and I find new job these days.It's good but I have to drive 2 hours every day. I decided to start learning English by listening at way. I hope be successful. My writing and grammar are weak, but I can improve them.

Hi there, master. My name is Davlat from Uzbekistan. I am happy to hear from good news from you. You are definitely right that we are preparing IELTS at home nowadays. I have a request for you, master. I always encounter some difficulties in IELTS writing. Because I am studying IELTS by myself. There is no IELTS expert, like you, to check my writing and give excellent feedbacks So, if you have a IELTS writing cheking service, I wil be very glad for this and I am ready to pay a fee that is set by you, master!

Hi Simon!

I'm Sxi from Jakarta. I have been grounded for almost three months since March. Our country is not in lockdown and we have so many new cases here everyday. We also have just reached the new term of 'new normal' in our country which large scale social restrictions rule from goverment is being loosened up. Since I have nothing to do at home, I make myself be more productive by learning english especially ielts. I realize for a career-woman, I need to improve my english. I also have never been having the IELTS test before, and since I found this website, I'll try to improve myself by doing some excercises of writing my thoughts here and comment section, and I will also explore your website. Thank you, Simon! I hope you'll have a good day!

Simon sir, please start daily lesson .

Dear Simon ,
if possible start the weekend lesson help us keeping on the right way to prepare the Ielts .
May God Blessing

I am taking this opportunity to sincerely thanks Simon for this amazing and valuable website. I have successfully passed the IETS with band 8.5 overall! my results are high enough for admission in all universities including the most reputable one.

I wish everybody here all the best in their test. Keep studying and you will achieve great results.

I'm his follower from this blog and an annual subscriber to his new member site.
The member site is fantastic, much more detailed lessons are provided and questions are answered pretty often. I realised lots of fossilized mistakes and have a clearer picture of what correct ways to go about IELTS.
I think it's worth every penny, so I highly recommend you guys to check it out and subscribe whenever possible.

I live in Kuwait -near to Dubai city-. our country was on lockdown for 3 weeks. But these days we can go outside from 6am - 6pm.
I hope this crisis will end soon.

On another hand, I want to improve myself with you for IELTS exam.

Good luck for all

Hi Simon,
The 'new normal' life brought by the covid-19 pandemic has just return to the good old days in Vietnam ,where I come from, due to the excellent regulations of our government and the supportive cooperation our citizens.However,as we know it, this is not the case in most other countries. I hope you are doing well and continue to bring more wonderful lessons for us, who are preparing for Ielts. Best luck!

Hi Simon,
I hope you are well,
I do not know how to thank you.
Although my general English level was not good enough, I got 7.5 overall score Academic IELTS in short time, and I only studied on your blog. Normally, people pay thousands of liras to teacher for much less efficient exam studies.
You provide these great information free of charge, thank you so much !
I wish the best for you!

Congratulations Carolina and Murat. Great scores!

Our country already finished lock down more than 1 month ago. We are free to go anywhere we want and the government encourage its people to travel domestically to promote the country's hospitality sector.
So lucky to live in a country where authority pay attention to health and safety of its citizen.
I'm Vietnamese, one of the best country in fighting Coronavirus.

i am umer farooq and i am from Pakistan. i am very interesting to learn on this site. it is very useful for Ielts students. Now our country also under lock down i hope later or sooner everything will be fine in sha ALLAH. I am struggling to learn English i planned to learn here but teacher now you have changed your style here. Please if you start again in blog daily update it would be really useful for us.

hi simon
i am from iran. i like your website very much and im grateful to you for your help :)

hey simon im your student from Pakistan yes we are facing new challenges everyday because of this pandemic though im trying to get prepared for my ielts exam and improve my english so i pray you all stay safe and healthy

Dear Simon,
We are missing you here. We are missing your lessons here.

Dear Simon,

Thanks for your teaching here. I would like to ask a question related to Writing Task 2. If the question word "the best (way/solution)" or "the most" appears in a certain question, do I have to quote some criteria for comparison, or should I simply explain the methods one by one? I am taught to do so in former university entrance exam in Hong Kong (HKDSE). But I don't know if this applies to IELTS. I am looking forward to your reply. Thanks a lot!

Yours sincerely,



Take the following question as an example:
"Some people think that the best way to reduce crime is to give longer prison sentences. Others, however, believe there are better alternative ways of reducing crime.
Discuss both views and give your opinion."

It would be difficult to "discuss both views" properly without at least touching on "criteria for comparison". One suggested answer at the site below, does that in para four.


Same might apply to " Some people think that the best way to stay fit is to join a gym/health club while others think doing everyday activities such as walking and climbing stairs is sufficient. Discuss both views and give your opinion."

"Today, some young people say that their mobile phones are the most important thing they own. Do you think that the popularity of mobile phones is a good or bad thing?"

In my view, it is always helpful to think of the criteria being used as they are part of your argument; examples alone are not really enough. However, Task 2 is only 250-300 words and the criteria for Band 7 are:
1) addresses all parts of the task
2) presents a clear position throughout the response
3) presents, extends and supports main ideas, but there may be a tendency to over-generalize and/or supporting ideas may lack focus

Dear Simon,

I am writing to thank you for your precious help.
I have just received the results of my IELTS exam and I got an 8 overall, with an 8 also in the writing part, which was quite challenging.
As I largely relied on your material and on your advice during my preparation, I am so grateful for this.
I definitely recommend your blog to anyone who is going to take the exam.

Yours sincerely,

it is so sad that we are in COVID-19 and so many people died and suffered from the disease. I think it will continue before we find vaccine or remedy. it maybe continues next year as well

Hi. I hope you are well. Thank you for the website, you are doing a great job.
I have a question which might seem a little bizarre. If my basic english(grammar, comprehension etc.) is good enough, how many essays do i need to practice to be able to write band 7 writing 2 in forty minutes.
My exam is approaching very soon and i'm planning to write certain amount of writing for a day so that i'll manage to practice as much as i need
I'm ooking forward to your answer.
Thank you for your answer in advance.

How can i join your class, I really need your help.

Dear Simon,

I am writing to thank you for your precious help.

As I largely relied on your material and on your advice during my preparation, I am so grateful for this.

Nice, your essays are helpful for me. Thanks alot

I’m learning a lot from you. Thanks

Dear Simon,
we are passing difficult days due to this panademic.i tried to utilize these days to prepare for IELTS exam.
wish you health and the best wishes.

Hi dear Simon

My name is Sajad and I'm writing from Iran.
I just found your website which I'm sure is going to help me alot with my ielts exam(thanks to you).
We are also on lockdown but not everybody cares and that is really annoying.
On such days I am seriously studying in order to get my admission from Victoria University in Canada.
Although many find this impossible,I'm planning on an 8 or more and I'm gonna get it.

Believe in you cause you can make it possible.

Best wishes

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