IELTS Advice: tangible progress

Here’s a nice collocation: tangible progress e.g. I’m making tangible progress every day.

Tangible means real and definite, or something that you can touch.

This is the type of progress that we should be aiming for. So how can we make our IELTS preparation progress more tangible? What can you do each day that gives you a sense of real improvement?

January 04, 2020

Preparing for a test can become boring and repetitive. To keep things interesting, I recommend that you try something new from time to time.

I’m not suggesting that you should change your whole approach to the IELTS test. Just find ways to add variety to your study plan.

For example, you could

  • work on a different aspect of your writing e.g. coherence
  • record yourself speaking and listen to your hesitations
  • analyse the correct answers to a reading test, instead of doing the test
  • try this writing exercise

How do you intend to add variety to your study plan this year?

December 15, 2019

Here’s a screenshot of an email that I received from a student called Pegah this week. I think it’s interesting that Pegah says she studied alone, without a face-to-face teacher.


I recently rewrote my ‘welcome’ page to include my IELTS teaching ‘mission’, and creating materials for self-study was one of my key aims. If you’re organised and motivated, you can study alone and get the IELTS scores you need!

December 14, 2019

Here’s an interesting story. Look at the following email conversation that I had with a student called Ebenezer. It shows that asking for a re-mark is a good idea if you really believe that you deserved a better score.

13.10.19 – Ebenezer wrote:

Hi Simon, how are you doing… I wrote my test and got a 6 in writing. I’m quite surprised to be honest it’s even lower than my previous scores. I’m really tired to be honest. I even feel IELTS is biased based on my country Nigeria. I know a few colleagues that end up writing in another country and passing. I will ask for a remark and see. Because I am really really confident than my writing was so much better.

14.10.19 – My response:

Hi Ebenezer, I’m sorry to hear that the test is getting you down. I think you’re right to ask for re-evaluation. Let me know how it goes! Best of luck, Simon

28.11.19 – Ebenezer wrote:

Hi Simon, I applied for the remark and result came out. My score was upgraded to a 7. I’m so so happy thank you so much.

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