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Dear Ryan,
Thanks to your guidance, I was able to increase my writing score from 6.5 to 7.5, and then to 8.5! I really don't believe I could have done it without you.
-Imam Mohamed

Hi Ryan,
I am so happy to inform you that I scored 7.5 in writing!
-Sunish Manalody

Hi Ryan,
Thanks for your help, I’ve scored band 8 in writing.
-Vladan Martinovic

Hi Ryan,
I prepared just by looking at your videos and scored 7.5! Thank you!
-Rahul Paldiwal

Hi Ryan,
I would like to thank you for your very helpful lessons. I finally got 7 in all modules and can now start residency processing for New Zealand!
-Kiran Kiccha

Hi Ryan,
I obtained a writing score of 8.5. Your videos were instrumental in helping me achieving this score. Thanks, mate!
-Carlos Flores

Hi Ryan,
Thank you for my 8.0 writing score. You ebook played a pivotal role in my success!
-Awais Butt

Hi Ryan,
I read your blog every day and scored 7.5 in writing!
-Vikrant Mahajan

I went from band 6.0 to 7.5 following Ryan’s coaching!
-Viacheslav Porotikov

IELTS Writing Module Task 1 contest results! 27 of your submissions assessed!

Posted on March 29, 2012 by - 15 Comments

Thank you to those of you who took the time to submit your work to our writing contest last week.  I am sorry to keep you waiting in angst for these results (as I know many of you are engaging the exam this Saturday).  Despite a few hold ups early in the week, I was able to have a good look at 27 submissions from you (12 General exam submissions and 15 Academic exam submissions).  I think you will agree when you read them that there are some very talented writers among us.

Before we get to the submissions themselves, I would like to briefly explain how I went about gauging bands.  I am not an IELTS examiner and do not have access to the private marking rubrics IELTS examiners use to qualify the writing submitted to them by IELTS test takers.  I have, however, been told by IELTS examiners themselves that the public marking descriptors made available from are very similar to the actual marking rubrics they use.  So, this is what I referred to when gauging your writing.  To get a copy of the descriptors chart for yourself, click here.

As you can see from the descriptors chart, the overall band is given based on four criteria: Task Achievement, Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resources and Grammatical Range and Accuracy.  I tried to gauge each Task 1 response on this page as closely as I could to these four skill areas before averaging an overall band.

You will notice that the vast majority of people scored at roughly Band 6.  If you are one of these people, I am sure the first thing you will ask yourself is, ‘why am I not Band 7?’.  Let me elaborate a little bit on the difference between Band 6 and 7 (for a more in depth look at these bands, please watch my video on the subject here):

The problems that a Band 6 student has often exacerbate other issues.  For one, typically Band 6 writing is remarkable for having grammatical errors in many sentences.  At times, these grammatical errors will cause issues of coherence, which will in turn impact the Task Achievement portion of the student’s mark.  So as you can see, many of the Band 6 student’s problems are interconnected.

Band 7 writing, on the other hand, presents ‘frequent [grammatically] error-free sentences’ (this is a direct quote from the Band descriptors chart) and more instances of contextually accurate vocabulary than found in Band 6 writing.  In addition to this, the entire composition can be understood by the reader (which may not be true at the Band 6 level).

Band 6 tends to be where many students plateau.  The question then becomes: what does a Band 6 student need to do to get to a Band 7 level (or above)?

The answer to the above is to write both concisely and precisely.  All too often, students put their energy into studying how to write long, elaborate sentences in an effort to sound like masters of the English language.  But this is a flawed approach.  Long, elaborate sentences are much more likely to contain grammatical errors, which (as we outlined above) can lead to problems in coherence and Task Achievement.  What students should be focusing on is writing short, concise sentences that are grammatically and contextually accurate.  An IELTS Task that is full of succinct, accurate sentences will score much better than a Task full of long, inaccurate ones.

So, without further ado, let’s get to the Task 1 submissions themselves.  Our top scorers for the General Task 1 contest were Sangram (who I believe is from India) and Rosana (who is from Peru).  Our top scorers for the Academic Task 1 contest were MT (who is from Hong Kong, China) and Sebastian (who is from Germany).

Congratulations to the four of you!

General Task 1 Question (as seen this year in Canada):

You are having trouble paying rent for the house where you live. Write a letter to your landlord:

  • -explaining your current financial situation
  • -asking for a house change
  • -apologizing for the trouble this will cause

General Task 1 Responses:

Submission 1 (Student’s country: unknown, Band 8):

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am writing to you to allow me to change my house, as my current financial situation makes it unaffordable for me.

Lately, I have been facing financial troubles in my life. Last month, I lost my job on account of the cost cutting measures taken by my company. Although, I have found a new job, the salary offered is substantially lower than the salary at the earlier job. Obviously, the current apartment is unaffordable to me. Hence, I want to move to a cheaper apartment in “Honks Villa”.

I understand that as per the house rent agreement between us, I am eligible to receive a fine for leaving the apartment before the promised time span of 11 months. However, In light of my traumatic financial condition, I request you to be considerate towards me and waive the fine. I know that my abrupt decision is bound to cause you undue trouble, since you will have to search for another tenant before time, and I am very sorry about the inconvenience this has caused to you. Thank you for going through my letter and I am hoping to receive a positive response from you.

Yours Sincerely,


Submission 2 (Student’s country: Peru, Band 8):

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am writing to apologize for the fact that my rent, which was due on 15 March, is as of this point, late. I know and respect that you need the rent on or before the due date, but unfortunately I am experiencing some financial difficulties due to a high and unexpected raise in my school fees.

Now I am working in double shifts in order to pay all the bills that I fell behind. I have borrowed money from my family members so I will pay the full amount to you by the end of the current week. Despite I love living here I am planning to look for another place to live by the end of this month.

Please accept my humble apologies for my tardiness. As you know, I have always been current for my rent. I hope my tardiness has not caused you any adverse situations. Thank you for your forbearance during this difficult time. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,


Submission 3 (Student’s country: England, Band 7.5):

I am writing to you today to alert you to the fact that I am currently experiencing financial problems and am therefore unable to continue paying rent for my accommodation at the above property.

I appreciate that this may come as a surprise as I only signed the lease four months ago in November, however, I have been under the threat of redundancy since early January as my company have chosen to downsize. I have therefore accepted their offer of my continuing in my position on a part-time basis from 1st February. Far preferable, I believe, to no job at all which could have been the end result of these changes, particularly in this current climate of global financial crises. My colleagues in Spain have been far worse hit and most have no recourse to a part time solution. I am sure that you will accept then, that I have no alternative but to ask for a house move.

As I am aware that you have several properties in the area I would be very grateful if you would consider my relocation to a house or flatshare with a more affordable rent (I enclose my latest pay slip to illustrate the hardship I would suffer were I to continue paying a higher rent, and to indicate why I feel a rent of £250 a month would be much more affordable for me).

I am under no illusion as to the hassle this would cause you, as my family have rented out houses in the past and I know that they abhorred a tenant who, so soon after signing a contract, was unable to pay the monthly rent. I do sincerely regret this turn in circumstance but knowing that you are a reasonable man I am sure you will see your way to finding a solution whereby both of us maintain our positions. Particularly as you have seen, from your house visit, that I have kept your property clean and well maintained always alerting you to any issues that would require your attention and, notwithstanding, being an excellent neighbor ensuring low noise levels and certainly not creating any nuisance!

Once again, I regret to cause you any trouble but I wanted to outline my position at the earliest to avoid further problems.

I look forward to hearing from you soon

Best regards,


Submission 4 (Student’s country: Canada, Band 6.5, penalized for length)

Dear Mr Smith,

I am writing to you in regards to my struggle to make my rent payments.

Unfortunately, my housemate recently had to relocate for a new job, therefore he has moved out. I am now left to pay for the full rent on my own. I have advertised for a new housemate in the local newspaper as well as putting up an ad in the local supermarket, but have failed to have any responses.

My other option would be to move into a smaller house on my own with lower rent. Would you happen to have a one bedroom house available for rent up to $240 a week plus utilities?

I want to apologize in advance for all the trouble this may cause you.

Thank you for your time on this matter.

Yours Truly,


Submission 5 (Student’s country: Japan, Band 6.5):

Dear Mr. Tongxin

I am writing to ask you whether I can change my room. I am currently living in a studio in UTS residence and would like to move to a 6-share room instead.

The principal reason why I would like to change my room is that the Australian dollar has been drastically appreciated against Japanese yen these days. It has increased more than twenty percent compared to the price at the end of last year and it is constantly rising now. I have my money for the rent in a bank back in Japan and have to transfer it from Japan then  exchange it to Australian dollars. It seems to me that I cannot afford the rent for this studio where I currently live if this currency trend continues later this semester. For this reason, can I ask for a room change?

I understand that it may be difficult to arrange a new room in the middle of semester, but this is an urgent  priority for me. If it would help, I would be delighted to discuss this issue with you in person in the office of UTS Housing.

Yours sincerely


Submission 6 (Student’s country: India, Band 6.5):

Hi Alex,

I am writing to advise you that I cannot continue in this apartment anymore and ask for your help to arrange another apartment for me.

As you know that my business is setup in Chennai, a coastal area in India. Due to tsunami last week in the area, my entire investment is gone. Since the business was insured, I spoke to the insurance agency but they advised that insurance policies do not cover loss due to natural calamities. I am filing an application for bankruptcy in the local court. You see my situation makes it really difficult for me to pay the rent of this costly apartment. Therefore, I request you to arrange a one bedroom apartment of low rent, if you have any apartment available. I understand that a flat in the city would cost me more; therefore I am ready to shift to nearby suburbs.

I hope my current financial situation will not disturb our relationship. I apologies for all the inconveniences this is going to cause you.

Yours faithfully,


Submission 7 (Student’s country: unknown, Band 6.5):

Dear Sir or Madam,

Request for house change

I am writing this letter to ask for a change of house.

At present I am living in house 12B, Park Street. Unfortunately, I am writing this letter to ask for a house change due to my financial situation. As you may be aware, there was a salary cut in my company for all employees due to the recent recession. In addition to that, I have a car loan and I am struggling to meet my day to day expenses. So the current rent has become unaffordable for me.

It would be nice, if I can move to the vacant house at the end of the street as the rent would be much lower there. This can help me manage my finances, better. I know it is far from the bus stop, but I am ready to walk that distance. It will help me to get some exercise amidst my busy schedule also.

I know that global financial crunch has hit everyone and I understand your situation and sincerely apologize for the trouble caused.

I look forward to hearing from you and thanks in advance for you help.

Yours faithfully,


Submission 8 (Student’s country: unknown, Band 6):

Dear Mr. Raghav,

I am writing this letter to you to explain the unfortunate financial situation that I am currently facing. As a result, I am unable to pay the contractually agreed rent of the house for the past couple of months.

Since the past six months, my financial situation has deteriorated considerably. It all started when economic recession engulfed my full-time job half a year back and since then, I have taken to private home tuitions to cover up some of my expenses. However, my earnings still remain meagre and are insufficient to fulfill my rental obligation towards you.

As a result, I hereby request you to agree to an immediate forfeit of the contract so that I could search for an economical accommodation in the city starting next week. I need to try my hardest to search for an housing worth living in at half of the rent I agreed to pay you.

I truly understand that this would come as a shock to you and also that it would jeopardize your financial plans until you do not find a replacement for me. I sincerely apologize for putting you through such a situation and would like to help you in anyways that you think appropriate.

I request for a personal meeting with you to discuss the matter. Hope to see you soon.

Yours Sincerely,


Submission 9 (Student’s country: unknown, Band 6):

Dear Mr. Hairsine,

I am writing to you regarding my lease payment. It is very embarrasing but I am afraid I will not be able to make it on time.

I am dealing with serious finantial problems after my wife´s car accident last month.  Although, thanks good, her recovery from the shock has been extremely fast, she still needs a knee surgery as soon as possible. Although I have a private health insurance, I have been advised than it will only cover half of the expenses of the operation which sum up AUD 6000.

As a consecuence of my situation, I have decided to leave the house I am currently renting. I am really sorry about my decision but I do not have any other choice. Alterativelly, I would really appreciate it if you can rent one of the studios you have in Goldburn Street to me. I am aware that my finantial situation is not the most suitable to be accepted as your tenant but I will only need 6 months to get back to the normallity.

I am very sorry for any inconvenience this situation may have caused you.

I am looking forward to hearing back from you.

Kind regards,


Submission 10 (Student’s country: unknown, Band 5.5)

Dear Mr. John

I am student of Business Studies. I got admission in UK on a scholarship of 1 year and I had to complete my course work in one year. But unfortunately I failed to complete my course work in the defined time. My scholarship money is almost finished and I have no other financial means of paying my rents and other commodities. I have to leave the apartment and move in with a roommate or have to make some other type of arrangements for myself because I still need about 2 months to complete my master’s degree.  

I can’t afford the apartment in which I am living now. I need a cheaper place to live and have to split the rent with a roommate. I heard that there is a studio apartment available on the 16th floor of the building. Its rent is very reasonable and this building is near to my University. I will be very thankful to you if you could allot the apartment to me.  

I know you have to prepare all legal documents again for me and have to advertise the apartment in which I am living now. I am very sorry for any inconvenience I have caused.


Submission 11 (Student’s country: China, Band 5.5):

Hello Joseph,

I am sorry to write to notice you that I would not afford the big house where I live any more due to my tough financial situation caused by the extremely strong Australian dollar. You may also heard that the currency between Aussie dollar and Chinese yuan bombed by almost 30% in six weeks. So this unpredictable extra cost had forced me to decrease my life outcome from clothing, food, entertainment and rental.

As a result, I hope you provide me another more afford property in the same area or just reasonable close to my school. Indeed, a small townhouse or even an unit would suit me if possible. Of course, I am still very happy to obey the same rules which listed my our previous contract and pay a properly amount of fine for my action.

I apologies again for the inconveniences and look forward to waiting for your responses.

Kind regards,


Submission 12 (Student’s country: Bangladesh, Band 5.5):

Dear Mr. Anderson,

It is very regret to inform you that recently I am terminated from my job and consequently fall into great financial problem. I am writing this letter to let you know that it will be difficult for me paying rent for that house that I rented from you.

As you know, I had the handsome salary job when I took rent your house. But unfortunately I lost my job due to my company cost reduction initiative. That’s why I was unemployed for last two months. I tried to get handsome salary job but I could not. Recently I joined a job which salary just half of my previous job. Under these circumstances it will be very difficult for me to stay in your high rent flat. , I have been staying in our house for nine months, besides contact was to stay at least for one year. Considering the fact I don’t have any option without changing the house. I am really sorry to inform you the changing decision that I taken.  

I know that my decision fall into trouble to you. Please apologize and allow me for changing the house by next month considering my economical condition. Also you could suggest me regarding low rented house if you know.

I am looking your prompt response in this regards and thanks for your support during stay in your flat.

Sincerely yours,



Academic Task 1 Question (as seen this year in Brazil):

The following graphs illustrate electronic gaming trends in South Korea in 2006. The first outlines gamer age groups and gender demographics. The second indicates game type preference. Summarize this information for a university lecturer.



Academic Task 1 Reponses:

Submission 1 (Student’s country: Hong Kong, Band 8):

The given bar charts illustrate the trends of electronic gaming in South Korea in 2006. The first graph gives information about gamers’ age and gender, and the second compares gamers’ preferences for different types of games.

It is clear from the first chart that gamers under the age of 12 formed the smallest group at 14%. By contrast, gamers aged between 20 and 29 comprised the largest proportion at 45%, tripling the smallest group. While the figure for gamers aged over 30 was similar to that for gamers aged below 12, the number of gamers aged between 13 and 19 was higher at 26%. Of equal note is that male gamers significantly outnumbered female gamers in all age groups.

Around 50% of gamers rated role playing games the most popular in marked contrast to simulation, which had the least popularity. The preferences for strategy/turn based and action games, on the other hand, did not differ remarkably greatly. Just a little more than 20% of gamers preferred the former, where approximately 17% favored the latter.

Submission 2 (Student’s country: Germany, Band 8):

These two bar charts graphically outline electronic gaming trends in South Korea in the year 2006. While the first graph details the proportions of gamers considering different age groups and gender, the second depicts which type of games are played.

The first graph shows that almost three-quarters, 74%, of the gamers are male and consequently there are more male gamers than female gamers in every single age group. Nearly the half of all gamers, 45%, are aged between 20 and 29 years with a partitioning of 35% being male and 10% being female. The second largest age group is from 13 to 19 years which make up 26% of all gamers. The rest splits up almost even between gamers who are younger than 12 years, 14%, and gamers who are older than 30 years, 15%.

According to the second diagram the vast majority, about 48%, of games that are played belongs to Role playing games. The next most major game type is Action with approximately 22%. Strategy, Simulation and other type of games amass smaller percentages, at roughly 16%, 11% and 3% respectively.

Submission 3 (Student’s country: Italy, Band 7.5):

The first graph depicts the electronic gaming population in South Korea in 2006. The demographics are articulated in four age groups, and further differentiated by gender. It can be observed that male gamers are significantly more than the female ones; in fact they are more than double in all age groups except the first, children 12 years old and younger. The general trend is however similar for both genders, with a nearly linear increase over the first three age groups, from the youngest gamers to those aged 20 to 29, and a substantial drop in the fourth age group, gamers aged 30 years and older.

The second graph illustrates the genre preferences across the same population. The preferences are articulated in four categories representing the major game genres, plus a residual category for all the other genres. Role playing games gather nearly half of the preferences, while action games have approximately 20%, strategy and turn based games follow with approximately 15% and simulation games with approximately 10%. Other game genres are only preferred by a negligible percentage of the gamers.

Although there is no obvious relationship between game genre preferences and demographic details such as age and gender, it is peculiar that a majority of the gaming population is in the relatively mature age group of the 20 to 29 year olds. It may be conjectured a correlation between this fact and the high level of preference for role playing games, however the data available is not sufficiently detailed to confirm this hypothesis. It would be interesting to compare these graphs with analogous information for a Western country, since it is likely that in this case the dominant age group would be the teenagers, 13 to 19 year olds, and the favourite genres action and simulation games.

Submission 4 (Student’s country: unknown, Band 7):

The bar charts show gamers personal characteristics and game preferences in South Korea in 2006. More specifically, they present the percentage of male and female in four different age groups and the general game preference between five types, also presented in percentage.  An overall majority of male players can be seen in all age groups and almost half of all gamers prefer the same type of game.

In the age group 12 years of age or less, male players represent almost 10% of all gamers and almost doubled the amount of females. Following the trend, in the age group 13 to 19 years of age male players more than doubled the percentage of female players, reaching 18% against only 8% respectively. The figures reach the pick in the age group 20 to 29 year of age, where 35% of male and 10% of female gamers fit. Finally, in the last group, within 30 years of age or older gamers the figures dropped dramatically to 12% of male and 3% of female.

According to the second chart, the role playing type of game represents almost 50% of preference among all gamers. The second most popular is the action type, with approximately 20% of preference.  Following these are the categories strategy/turn based, simulation and other, with roughly 16, 12 and 2% respectively.

Submission 5 (Student’s country: unknown, Band 7):

The first bar chart shows the proportion of males and females playing computer games in South Korea in the year 2006, while the second chart illustrates the level of popularity of different games.

It is apparent that men were more active game players than women in all age groups. It is also clear that the most widespread type of 6 online games was role playing.

It appears that the highest proportion of gamers were males in age 20-29- 35%, compared to only 10 % of women-players. We can also see that males in 13-19 age group approximately doubled the number of females. Notably,  less than 12 years old category shows the lowest pattern for gamers among boys, which comprised nearly 10%. Whereas, the lowest figure for females of 30+ age constituted only 3%.

As can be seen from the second chart, almost a half of gamers played role-playing games. The second popular game type was action, the level of which stood at just over 20 %. Whereas, a small minority  preferred to play strategic games. 11% of gamers gave their preference to simulation games.

Submission 6 (Student’s country: unknown, Band 6.5):

The following bar graphs represent the result of a study conducted in 2006 in South Korea regarding electronic gaming trend.  The first illustration is the representation of the age and sex data of the respondents while the second graph reveals the game type.

Amongst the age group, male and female alike, age 20-29 have registered the highest number of participants on e-games with 35% and 10%, respectively.  Data of age group from 13-19 showed a significant drop in the number of male player at 18% while female gamers recorded a minimal decline to 8%.  Participants that belong to extreme age groups, age below 12 and 30 and above, have the least partaker, as low as 8% for male and 3% for female.

The second graph clearly identified the nature of play.  Most of the gamers, about 48%, were inclined to Role Playing.  Action came as the next choice of the respondents with figure plunged to roughly 22%.  Strategy/Turn, Simulation and Others were the third (15%), fourth (11%) and least (2%) pick, respectively.  

From the bar graphs, one can conclude that male, across all age groups, predominated on the electronic gaming trends and Role playing was the top choice for game type.

Submission 7 (Student’s country: India, Band 6.5):

The first graph shows the comparative percentages of male and female electronic gamers across four different age groups in South Korea in 2006,  whereas the second one represents game types preferred.

Clearly, the male gamers outnumber female gamers in all age         groups.The highest percentage of both were seen among 20-29 year olds,being 35% for males and 10%for females.The lowest were recorded in under12 age group.The percentage  for both genders increased steadily till 29 years of age.However,beyond 30 years of age,significant decline was seen among males as well as females.

Among the games type preferred,nearly 50 %of all gamers liked role playing games.This was followed by action games and strategy or turn based games being 22% and 18% respectively.Games based on simulation and other categories were played by 10 percent or less gamers.

To sum up,male players aged 20-29constituted the biggest group.However,it is not clear whether these gamers liked the most popular role-based games.

Submission 8 (Student’s country: India, Band 6)

The graph shows the trends of electronic gaming in South Korea in 2006. The first graph shows the age of male and female gamers and their total percentage. The percentage of male gamers below 12 year was 9, which increased to double among teens age group 13-19. It peaked at 35 percentage for the next age group (20-29) followed by 23 percent declined for over age group30.

On the other hand, for females the percentage was 5 below age 12 which increased steadily over the period and doubled the total percentage for 20-29 age group. Then it decreased sharply by 7 for the age group over 30.

The second graph shows the type of game which were opted among total gamers. The highest percentage about 48 were for role playing games and second most were for action type game stood almost half the role playing games at 23. Strategy or turn based games and simulation games were opted by 16 and 12 percentages respectively. The Least popular games were other type at 3 percentage.

Submission 9 (Student’s country: India, Band 6, response likely not written within 20 minutes):

The column graphs give information about proportion of gamers according to their age and sex, and different sort of electronic games liked by Korean game players in 2006.

It can be clearly seen from the first graph, males were more interested to play video games than females. To begin with, just below 10% of below twelve years males liked to play electronic games. On the other hand, percentage of females was less than men i.e only 5%. As the age grows, the interest of both sexes for games also grows up.  Between 13-19 year olds, proportion of male gamers doubled, reaching at approximately 16% and women figures hardly grew at 7%. It is interesting to note that at the age of 21-29, the proportion of male game players increased dramatically and climbed at 35%. By contrast, there was slight rise (up to 10%) in the statistics of females of same age group.  Moving to next point, when men and women cross their thirties, their interest in playing electronic games declines and 12% men and 3% women liked to play video games.

The second diagram clearly demonstrates that role playing games were most popular among Korean games as these games were played by just below 50% people. Action type games were second most favourite games played by more than 20% gamers. Percentage of Strategy/turn based games and simulation fluctuated between 11 and 15. Only 2% of other types of games were played by Korean game-players.

In a nutshell, males preferred to participate more in electronic games and females and role playing games were most popular among both genders.

Submission 10 (Student’s country: Iran, Band 6):

The graphs compare the quantity of electronic gaming in South Korea. They show the percentage of two genders in four period of life and the distinction of different kinds of game.

The first graph shows there is a gradual increase in the percentage of total gamers in both male and female until it reaches the peak in 20 to 29 years to 35% and 10% respectively. The percentage of mail under 12 doubled from 9% in age between 13 to 19 and the same process repeated for the age of 20 to 29. While the percentage of female starts to increase about 3% in the beginning and 2% in the next ages. However, the percentages of both genders shrink to be third of what it was in the previous ages (20-29).

The second graph reveals the preference among games. The maximum percentage recorded for role playing games which is followed by action games (48% and 22% respectively). Strategy and turn based games comes in the 3rd with 16% of people manner and the simulation games is about half of the percentage of action games. Although about 3 % of people choose other sorts of games.

Submission 11 (Student’s country: unknown, Band 6):

The first bar chart compares the percentage of both genders affinity towards playing games in South Korea in 2006 while the second one shows the preference given to four types of games. The most striking feature is that playing games is greatly more popular among males.

As can be seen, the 20-29 age group accounted the first place in comparison with other age groups. However, males considerably outnumbered females as three out of ten males played games compared to only one out of ten females. In the same manner, but to a lesser extent, although both males and females aged 13-19 years old played games more than those who were over thirty years old, there is still a gap or 10% and 9% between both gender respectively. This gap appeared closest in under twelve years old group as 9% of males played games compared to 5% of females.

Another noticeable trend is that role playing games are infinitely preferable to other games. Approximately half of respondents preferred it whereas action, strategy/turn based and animation games gained 21%, 16%, 11% of preference respectively.

Submission 12 (Student’s country: Bhutan, Band 6):

In a given graph, it has been illustrated in two different scenarios wherein the first graph depicts the gender demographics against the age group and second one shows the type of game preferred in South Korea in 2006. There are few significant incidents that have to be revealed after summarization of the graph.

It has been shown that, the number of total gamers at the age of 20-29 is highest from the range of age and it was overruled by male as shown in the first graph. Though there is steep increase in the percentage of male gamers till the age of 29, the percentage for the women was increased with little percentage only. However, by the early thirties, the percentage for both male and women declined drastically.

On the other hand, among the maximum gamers, the most preferred games among the South Korean was role playing games which dominated with the highest preference percentage of 48%. Since, the majority of male population was gamer; the preference for action type was next to role playing games followed by strategy, simulation and others.

All in all, it concludes that majority of gamers were male and out of which most of them prefer to play role playing games provided if the population for male and female is considered same for that year.

Submission 13 (Student’s country: Philippines, Band 5.5):

The first graph shows which age group has the highest percentage in playing electronic games in South Korea in 2006 and it is based on gender demographic, while the second graph describes the variety of games being played by both male and female gamer.

Looking at the first graph, majority of the gamers are seen in age 20-29 and male gathers 35% while female gets 10%. Subsequently, the age of 13-19 is the next to the highest, respectively. Then 30 year old of male is positioned as the third to the top while in female it is the age group 12 and below. Finally, age group 12 years old and below have lowest percentage in male while aging 30 and up is the least in female.  

On the second graph, the commonly game being played by both gender  regardless of age group age group is Role playing which gathered almost 50%. Action games are the second choice among the type of game and comprises of 20%. Players are rarely chosen Strategy/Turn based games while stimulation and other type of game are least priority of the participants.

In analyzing of both data, male is more active in electronic games compared to female. It is seen also seen that players are preferred Role playing games.

Submission 14 (Student’s country: unknown, Band 5.5):

The given bar graphs illustrates trends in South Korea in electronic gaming and its players preference  in the year2006.The first graph is tells about four age groups and the percentage of  gamers from each age group.The second graph shows five different types of game and its popularity among the players.

It is clear from the first graph that the highest percentage of players are from 20-29 age group for both genders.There was 35% of male players and 10% of female gamers.The second largest category was 13-19 and around 18% and 8%for boys and girls played game ,respectively.The gaming trend was going up steadily from the youngest age group (>12) to (20-29).From that age there was  a marked reduction in  number in the category to 30.

The second graph illustrates five different types of game and its preference among all the people .It is noticeable that the most popular game among the players was Role playing games( 49%).The second popular one was Action (21%) and third and fourth was Strategy /Turn based and Simulation .The least one was other category(1%).

In conclusion,it is clear from the first graph that the largest number of male and female players are from 20 -29  age category .It is clear that electronic gaming  was very popular in that particular age.At the same time,in the second graph mention that the largely interested area  of game was Role playing .

Submission 15 (Student’s country: China, Band 5.5):

Given are two graphs showing the trend of electronic gaming in South Korea for the year 2006, one of which demonstrates the gamer ratio for different gender in 4 age groups and another illustrates the popularity of gaming type in all gamers.

As seen in the first bar chart, it was obvious that the male population playing electronic games far outweighed the females doing and the 20-29 group took up the highest   percentage for both gender, 35% and 10% for male and female respectively. Besides, the second highest was group 13-19, male and female having 18% and 8% for each. Ranks in three and four were different age group for both gender. For males, the group 30+ accounted for 12% and age less than 12 rated at 9%. While the proportion for female was 5% and 3% for group <12 and 30+ separately.

Then the second chart gave us the apparent view that role playing games possess the most great popularity among all, rating at roughly 48%. And action ranked second at approximately 22%, followed by the preference of strategy/turn based game being about17%. Lastly, the most less popular game were simulation (at a hair more than 10%) and other (at nearly 2%).

(Video) Try these 10 IELTS questions!

Posted on March 26, 2012 by - 21 Comments

I know many of you are waiting for me to put last week’s contest results online.  I should have them ready for tomorrow.  While you’re waiting, try the 10 questions in this video.  Be sure to let us know how many you get correct by leaving a comment.

Please check beneath the video box to see a copy of the essay.

Many countries want to move factories and big industrial firms out of towns and into rural areas.  Do you think the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Recently, movements have been made the world over/around the earth to relocate factories and industrial companies out of small towns and into more rural areas.  It is felt that on the whole this strategy hinders/brings with it more advantages than disadvantages.  The subjects of public health and child labour will be analyzed to prove this thesis true.

For one, the health hazards that derive from industrial and residential proximity are unfortunate phenomena that have been exhibited many times along/throughout history.  The nuclear meltdown in the Ukrainian city of Chernobyl acts as an extreme example of this.  In 1990s Chernobyl, townspeople lived in close proximity to a nuclear plant that provided energy to the region.  Because/As a result the plant was located so closely to the townspeople, its meltdown was particularly harmful to the health of many, causing birth defects, growth abnormalities and various forms of cancer.  As this example makes clear, the benefits that come from moving industrial production facilities out of towns can be seen/are witnessed clearly.

In addition to health promotion/promoting, moving factories away from residentially sparse/dense areas may help to curb disturbing trends in child labour among developing countries.  In many small towns in Anhui, China, for example, high school aged children who grow up near factories are often enticed/dissuaded to leave school and start careers.  These same trends are not/commonly seen among Shanghai high school students, however, where residentially dense areas are typically not proximate to industrial plants.  Thus, this makes it clear that townspeople living in the vicinity of factories may experience a reduction in their overall level of education.  Therefore, the advantages of relocating factories obviously outweigh the disadvantages.

Following this look at how a strategy for industrial displacement would lead to both health benefits and a reduction in child labour, it is felt that this course of action/course of work should be supported.  It is hoped worldwide measures are taken to realize this vision.

(Task 1 Academic/General writing contest!) Time for another online writing contest, don’t you think?

Posted on March 19, 2012 by - Comments are off

Let’s get writing!

I received 37 submissions to our last contestThis time, I’m hoping we can clear 50 entries.

For those of you unfamiliar with the online IELTS contests I run from this website, the rules are simple:

  • -complete a written response to the question given
  • -email your written response to (as a .doc or .docx attachment, please) before 23:59 this Saturday night, the 24th of March
  • -write ‘IELTS contest‘ as the subject of your email (This step is very important!  Last time a handful of submissions went missing in my email simply because students did not write the correct subject.)

Entering this contest is free of charge (this means you do not have to pay any money!), but I am asking you to help spread the word about this blog.  Thus, to download the contest questions, you will need to Tweet this blog on or Share this blog on Facebook.  To do this, click ‘Pay with a Tweet or Facebook’ (I promise this will in no way charge you any money).  Once your Tweet or Facebook post is made, you will be able to download a pdf file of our contest questions and enter the online contest!

Click this button to download the contest questions now:

(Audio) Listen to me respond to a voicemail I received this morning about how to study English

Posted on March 19, 2012 by - 1 Comment

I received a new voicemail this morning from a student engaging the MELAB.  Although this recording is not entirely IELTS related, we go over some ways to study effectively.

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Academic Task 1: How to write at a 9 level

This eBook groups all information the student needs to know to perform well on Task 1 of their Academic exam.

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Learn to write the 6 letter types that appear on the General exam.

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Academic and General Task 2: How to write at a 9 level

An eBook describing everything necessary to compose a successful essay.

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Ryan's Recent Posts Posts

I have updated my online course file! Download it here:

I've updated my course file


My online IELTS course file has been updated to include Task 1 and 2 questions seen in late 2016 and early 2017! Download the file and then buy a corrections pack to get started:

1 Correction (either a Task 1 or 2 submission from you, not both) = $25 USD

3 Corrections = $65 USD

5 Corrections = $99 USD

After your payment clears, send your work to I will return a full cleanup and comment to you within 36 hours.

Please remember to send me your success story after your IELTS. Here is one I received this week:

Dear Ryan,

I must give all my gratitude to you and if I had not used your correction service, I would definitely have not achieved writing band 7 so smoothly!

Recent success story

If you need any testimonial, just feel free to ask me to do that. 

I have recommended your website, YouTube video lessons and correction service to many of my clients, who also have the same IELTS requirement for the migration purpose. 

One thousand thanks are not enough for you, indeed!!!

 Here’s another one from a few weeks earlier:

Dear Ryan,

I am writing this email to genuinely thank you for helping me crack IELTS writing. I wouldn’t have been able to do that, if it wasn’t for your ebooks.

I scored 8 in writing only because I followed your blogs, watched writing videos and read your ebooks for task 1 and task 2. It took me six months to raise my score in writing from 7.5 to 8 but it was all worth it. I was in desperate need for this perfect score so I could become eligible for my permanent residency application process and now I can gladly say that I am.

So thank you for the amazing work that you are doing to help out thousands of people who are struggling to achieve their target score.

Big congratulations on the success and thanks for sharing, guys!  😎

Transition your sentences at the band 9 level!

Click here to study with Ryan!

Here is the template seen in this video (scroll down for the full text of the essay):

Do you feel the money governments spend to protect the environment would be better used elsewhere?

_____________ the world over typically _____________. There are reasons to support and refute this practice. Using examples from_____________, I will discuss both positions before declaring a personal stance.

Firstly,_____________ is beneficial for many reasons. For example, in _____________, _____________, such as _____________. This _____________ is important because it not only_____________, but it also _____________. Because such _____________ are common among most countries, it is clear why __________________.

However, despite these benefits, _____________ has undeniable merit. In _____________, for example, _____________. Similar _____________ can be seen among _____________, such as _____________. Thus, it is clear that for _____________, _____________ may be better _____________.

Following this examination, I support _____________, but I strongly feel this _____________. This is _____________, and I hope to see it _____________.

Do you feel the money governments spend to protect the environment would be better used elsewhere?

Governments the world over typically allocate a portion of their spending to preserving the environment of their respective countries. There are reasons to support and refute this practice. Using examples from my country, I will discuss both positions before declaring a personal stance.

Firstly, government-funded protection of a country’s environment is beneficial for many reasons. For example, in my country, the Canadian government has spent a tremendous amount of money to ensure large swathes of land, such as Algonquin Park in Ontario, are inaccessible to resource-hungry companies and city sprawl. This policy is important because it not only ensures the natural beauty and wildlife of Canada are maintained for future generations, but it also preserves Canadian identity, which is tied closely to the vastness and untainted nature of the land. Because such values are common among most countries, it is clear why many people the world over support government-funded protection of the environment.

However, despite these benefits, reallocating such funding to other needs has undeniable merit. In Canada, for example, preserving the integrity of the environment seems somewhat hypocritical when so many First Nations peoples, who have been historically driven off the land, are in need of resources that allow them to preserve and pass on their languages and cultures to their descendants. Similar needs can be seen among the native populations of other nations formed out of the colonial period, such as the United States and Australia. Thus, it is clear that for select countries, government funding may be better channeled to the preservation of not only the land but also its indigenous peoples.

Following this examination, I support the government-funded preservation of a country’s environment, but I strongly feel this funding should also be directed to promoting the health of other aboriginal facets, namely the cultures and languages of a nation’s indigenous peoples. This is a much more holistic approach to environmental preservation, and I hope to see it adopted by countries around the world.

Click here to get Ryan’s Task 2 ebook sent to your email!

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IELTS Academic and General Task 2 - How to write at a band 9 level

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Want to know more about my IELTS Writing course? Download the entire course file here:

Here is a transcript of the conversation heard in the video:

Please give me your identification.

Here you are.

Thank you. Now, in this first part, I’d like to ask you some questions about yourself. Do you come from a large or small family?

My family is relatively large. There are 5 of us: my parents, brother, sister and me.

OK. And do the members of your family live together?

No. My parents live in the same house I grew up in. This house is in a town called Pembroke. At the moment, my sister is living there, too. But she is only there because she is on break from her studies at university. My brother lives and works in Toronto, and I am living in Toronto, too.

Do you have a lot in common with the other members of your family?

Umm, not really, but we are nevertheless very close. We always love getting together and catching up on each other’s news. My parents have a quiet, country lifestyle. It’s very different from the busy city lifestyle of Toronto. My brother enjoys watching sports and camping and hiking in the mountains; he’s very outdoorsy. My sister is a bit of a socialite, so she likes going out with friends and arranging little get-togethers. I’m a bit on the quiet side. At the moment, I mostly just focus on my studies.

Are you currently working?

I am, but only part time. I am a part time university student.

Can you tell me about your studies?

Well, I’m completing an undergraduate Arts degree with a major of criminology. Because

I am a part time student, I only have 9 hours of class a week. I have three-hour lectures every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and I am really enjoying the courses. The professors are interesting.

That’s wonderful. And what sort of part time work do you do?

I am waiter in a restaurant on the campus of my university.

I see. Do you enjoy that kind of work?

Honestly, not really. I’m not naturally a very social person, and waiting tables tends to demand this sort of personality. Also, university students do not tend to leave handsome tips.

But, I shouldn’t complain. It’s a job and it does help fund my studies.

Let’s talk about friends. Do you have many friends at your university?

Yes, I have a small handful of friends. But I suppose I would describe our relationship as more study partners than friends. We don’t really socialize outside of course-related topics.

Do you think friendships change as people get older?

Yes, definitely. I think life often makes demands of people and this can pull friends closer or push them away. A good friend of mine recently had a baby. I am very happy for him, but I know that this new development in his life will mean he and I will spend less time together. This is fine, I mean, of course he needs to spend time with his baby, but I think these sorts of life developments can change the dynamics of a friendship.

What sort of person do you easily make friends with?

I like people that have opinions. I enjoy talking with people about different subjects and hearing what they have to say about those subjects. I think I easily make friends with people that are good communicators. I don’t think we need to like all of the same things, but if we do share a few interests, that is obviously a plus. Character wise, I prefer quiet people to loud people.

Thank you. OK, let’s change topics. What do you do in your free time?

I have several hobbies. I enjoy jogging. I try to get a jog in every day. I also have a dog, so I spend quite a bit of time at the park. Um, I enjoy reading and surfing the net. I keep an online blog. It is a diary of my day-to-day life. I enjoy watching movies. I guess those are the main things I do in my free time.

What sort of pastimes are popular among Canadians?

Most Canadians like to play and watch hockey. I would say this is a very popular pastime. Canadians also like the outdoors, so hiking in the mountains, camping and canoeing are all popular hobbies. Um, Canada is a multicultural place, so I feel there are a lot of cross-cultural hobbies. Many Canadians like learning how to cook foods from other countries, for

example. These are probably the most popular Canadian hobbies.

Thank you. Now I’d like to ask you to speak one to two minutes on a topic.

Normally, you would have one minute to plan your answer, but for the sake of this recording we are going to skip this step.

Your cue card reads:

Describe someone who has had an important influence on your life.

You should say:

-Who the person is

-How long you have known him/her

-What qualities this person has

Explain why they have had such an influence on you.

Remember you have one to two minutes to deliver this monologue. I’ll tell you when the time is up. Start speaking now, please.

I am going to talk about my high school music teacher, Mr. McGrady, and how he has influenced my life. I have known Mr. McGrady for about five years. He is a very patient man and an excellent teacher, and I feel he instills music appreciation and understanding in all of the students he teaches. He is also a very dedicated teacher. I remember he would come to school early four days a week to conduct our high school band. In doing this, I think he demonstrated a lot of commitment and leadership, and I believe these qualities rubbed off on the students he taught. I haven’t seen him in a few years, but I do not doubt he is just as much the positive image today as he was when I was his student.

For me personally, Mr. McGrady has influenced the way I see the subject of music. I played saxophone in the high school band, and by watching Mr. McGrady interact with the different instrument groups, I saw first hand how these orchestral sections operate and come together to create music.

Mr. McGrady was also always trying to push students outside of their comfort zones, and this greatly influenced me. For example, he encouraged me to join a singing group that he had organized. I couldn’t sing then and I can’t sing now, but it was encouraging to feel that he believed enough in me to ask me to join.

So, overall, I feel Mr. McGrady, firstly, acted as a wonderful role model. Secondly, he taught me how to look at music differently. And thirdly he pushed me to try new things. These are the three main ways he influenced me, and I’m very thankful I had a teacher like him.

Thank you. You mentioned you hadn’t see Mr. McGrady in a few years. Do you think you will see him again?

I hope so. I know he’s busy teaching his classes these days. I should drop by my old high school and see him and thank him again for the things he has done for me.

How important is it for people to have positive role models during their formative years?

I think it is quite key. Young people are very impressionistic, in my opinion. They are willing to mimic the actions of those around them. Surrounding a young person with positive role models gives these young people something healthy to aspire to be.

Do you think the role models young people look up to today are similar to the role models young people looked up to 25 years ago?

Hmm, that’s an interesting question. I would say that the core values of today’s role models are the same as 25 years ago. I think qualities like integrity, diligence, benevolence and reliability will always be considered positive. I suppose a difference today is that young people are exposed to more people through different media channels, so the pool of potential role models increases. I would say this is a positive thing, so long as parents ensure the role models young people look up to are healthy ones. But to answer your question, yes, I would say the majority of today’s role models are more or less the same as 25 years ago.

What sorts of people make poor role models in your opinion?

People with serious personal problems, I think. Anger problems or people that have become generally disappointed with life. I don’t think they inspire hard work or ambition. Of course, people with substance abuse problems. Role models should be individuals that you can aspire to be. If that person has serious problems, then aspiring to be like them may not be healthy.

Do you think pop icons make good role models?

By pop icons you mean…

…singers, actors…

Well, I think they can be role models. But the fact that they aren’t completely accessible to young people makes them significantly different. Young people can’t call up a pop icon and ask them for advice, for example. But, so long as the star is a good person, I don’t think they are a negative influence on a young person. So, yes, pop icons can make good role models. But young people also need role models they can talk to and learn directly from.

Are you anyone’s role model?

Am I anyone’s role model… Yes. My cousin has a son, named Ethan. He’s 5, and I see him every other week because they live here in Toronto. I think Ethan looks up to me. I guess that’s partly because I am a man in his life that is a little younger than his father. I try my best to be a positive person so that he will aspire to be one, too.

Thank you. That is the end of the speaking test.

Your IELTS Speaking will improve by the end of this video!

Listen to the conversation without the pauses:

Here is a transcript of the IELTS Speaking demonstration seen in this video:

What is your full name ?

Good morning. I’m Ryan Higgins.

What should I call you?

Please call me Ryan.

Thank you. What country are you from?

I’m from Canada.

Please give me your identification.

Here you are.

Thank you. Now, in this first part, I’d like to ask you some questions about yourself. Are you working or are you a student?

I am a student.

OK. Can you tell me about your studies?

Sure. I am currently a fourth year student at the University of Toronto. I’m completing a Bachelor of Science and majoring in chemistry. I thought about doing a minor in English Literature to branch out my education a bit, but I decided against this when I discovered how heavy my chemistry workload would be.

Are you enjoying your studies?

Yes, very much so. This semester, I spend three days of every week studying in a lab, which I find interesting. My professors are terrific and very passionate about both chemistry and teaching. So, I have thoroughly enjoyed learning from them. In fact, I’ve enjoyed them so much that after graduating I am going to pursue a Master’s degree.

Oh, that’s wonderful. And what do you plan to do with these qualifications?

Well, that’s a very good question. I’m sort of feeling it out as a go along. At times I think about perhaps becoming an academic and teaching at a university. I think the theatrics of instructing students in a university lecture hall would be exciting. But other times I think I would like to apply my skills to a research company, develop new chemical ways of doing things. That could also be interesting.

So, to answer your question, my plan is currently a work in progress.

IELTS Academic and General Task 2 - How to write at a band 9 level

Buy Ryan’s Task 2 ebook here:

Have Ryan personally assess five of your Task 1 or 2 samples:

Thank you. Do you have any hobbies or interests?

Yes, I do. I like to read a lot. I mean, read books unrelated to my studies. For example, I like reading about history. I’m currently reading a book on 20th Century American history that is quite good.

But aside from reading, I like to play ultimate Frisbee, which is a sport that is quite popular on campus. It involves a lot of running, so it is good exercise in addition to being fun.

Um, I’m keeping up with this TV show called Breaking Bad. My friends and I usually get together every week to watch the new episode.

So, I suppose those three things are what make up almost all of my free time.

Do people usually continue their hobbies when they get older?

I imagine many people do, although these hobbies may evolve. For example, people may continue the hobby of reading, but they may read about different things. I know I don’t read about the same things I did 5 years ago. I also think people experiment less as they get older. People find things they like to do and then continue to do them. So, to answer your question, yes, people continue their hobbies.

Thank you. Can you tell me a little bit about your life at university?

Well, I live on campus. I like living on campus. It is convenient for me to get to class. I also have a meal plan, which means I do not have to worry about preparing dishes for myself. I have several friends in my program, so we often form study groups to review what we learned in our lectures. We also use the university gym and library a lot. So, my university life is somewhat of a microcosm. Everything we need is here.

Is there anything you would change about your life at university?

Actually, very little. I suppose the residences do get a little chilly in the winters. Sometimes it can be a drag marching to class in wet snow. But, hmm, honestly, there are very few things I would change.

Do you ever interact with students studying in other programs?

Again, not really. Chemistry students at U of T often keep to themselves. We might on occasion meet other science majors. But, no, we sort of share a small existence among each other.

Thank you. Now I’d like to ask you to speak one to two minutes on a topic.

Normally, you would have one minute to plan your answer, but for the sake of this recording we are going to skip this step.

Your cue card reads:

Describe a special day in your life.

-What happened on this day?

-What events made this day special?

-What impact has this day had on your life?

Please share any details you feel help describe this day.

Remember you have one to two minutes to deliver this monologue. I’ll tell you when the time is up. Start speaking now, please.

I’m going to talk about my first day as a university student. My parents drove me from our home in Ottawa, so the journey took about 5 hours. I remember feeling a bit anxious because I didn’t know what to expect. It was also my first time living away from home, so this added to my nervousness.

Anyway, the day was special because it very quickly made me feel welcome in a new community. As you know, the first week of university is sort of a period of orientation, so it is a time when all of the second year students make all of the new first year students engage in crazy activities that help them make friends and feel welcome and get to know the culture of the university.

So when my parents and I drove onto the campus, we saw second year students wearing bizarre costumes and dancing in strange ways. I’m not quite sure how to describe it. They were singing strange songs and encouraging the first year students to get involved. We first year students were grouped into teams and given team T-shirts and instructed to do crazy things, like throw jelly at each other or make up a crazy dance on the spot.

The impact this day had on my life is significant. As I mentioned, I feel this day introduced me to an institution and to people I will be attached to for the rest of my life. It also showed me that taking people out of their comfort zone can help them quickly develop friendships with others.

So, overall, this day is a moment in my life I will always reflect upon fondly.

Thank you. Do you think it is important for universities to arrange this week of orientation?

Yes, definitely. As I mentioned, I think it helps people to quickly develop friends. Friends can really ease a person’s transition into university life. Because the bizarre games you play during orientation week happen on different parts of the campus, you rapidly get to know the layout of the university and where the different buildings are. So yes, I think it is very important for universities to dedicate a week to orienting students.

Thank you. Now I’d like to ask you a few more questions about moments in life. What do you think are the most important decisions a person makes in their life?

Hmm, that’s a deep question. Let me think for a second. Well, choosing a person to marry is of course a very big decision. You need to choose someone that shares the same values. Hmm, I suppose choosing a career is also important. I think it is vital that a person is passionate about the work they do. Spending your life doing a job you don’t really like would be depressing.

I suppose those would be the two most major decisions a person typically makes.

Do you think making these decisions is easier today than 25 years ago?

Umm…No, I don’t think so. I suppose people are more social today and there are more avenues for being social, so meeting potential marriage partners is easier. But I think that this actually makes it harder for people to settle down and get married. 25 years ago, people didn’t have so many options. Choosing a partner was easier.

And as far as a career is concerned, I also think there are way more options today than there were 25 years ago. So this can make the decision more difficult.

How about between cultures? Do you think making these decisions in one culture would be easier than in another?

Umm…let me see. Yes, I suppose so. Considering that in some cultures people aren’t able to make these decisions for themselves. In some cultures, a person’s parents decide whom they will marry and what they will do for work. I guess this may be easier, but I’m not sure easier is always better.

You mentioned that there are more avenues today for communication between people. Do you think this is, on the whole, a good thing?

I think the overall effect is a positive one. The exchanging of ideas is never a bad thing. It is accelerating the rate at which the human family is developing. I think it is also encouraging cultural exchange, which promotes peace between nations.

I suppose there may be a few small drawbacks. For example, I’ve heard that Internet addiction has become a serious problem among increasing numbers of young people in several Asian and I think even many western countries. It discourages face-to-face communication,

and this can cause all sorts of behavioural issues among young people.

But as I said, this small drawback is far outweighed by the benefits.

So do you think Internet use among young people is something that should be restricted?

I wouldn’t say “restricted”. It should be “monitored”. I feel young people should know how to use the Internet. Knowing how to look up information is a key skill in the modern world, so I feel completely restricting young people from using the Internet would be a mistake. So long as they aren’t using it excessively, I do not think Internet use is a very big problem.

How do you think people will communicate in the future?

I imagine that face-to-face communication will always have a role in basic human interaction. But, that said, I feel people are going to increasingly use electronic devices to talk with one another. Today, I use Facebook and my mobile to keep in touch with family and friends around the world. I think I talk to them by voice less than I would if I did not have tools like Facebook and Twitter and Whatsapp. So, I feel that in the future, electronic device use is going to become increasingly central to how we communicate with one another.

Are there any negatives to this trend?

Um, well, I suppose there are some negatives, but these negatives are far outweighed by the benefits. I suppose for people that communicate electronically the majority of the time, these sorts of people may feel nervous or awkward when in situations that demand face-to-face communication. But I feel the positives of using technology to communicate with others far outweighs the negatives. I mean, prior to the smart phone, I wouldn’t have been able to chat with distant friends throughout the day and send instant photos to them.

Thank you. That is the end of the speaking test. Students listening to this recording may now play the second version of this test to practice their speaking.


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