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Don’t stop at 7. Go and get that 9!

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

“Every sentence in your essay has a job to do.” – Listen to Ryan’s interview on

Posted on May 28, 2012 by - 3 Comments

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of speaking with Ben of about the written portion of the IELTS.  Our conversation touches on a number of topics, among them: how to write a strong introduction paragraph, how to choose effective examples and how to use cohesion to help the various parts of your essay work together.  Although I’m sure you’re used to watching a video when you hear my voice, this new medium will test your listening abilities and hopefully help clarify any questions you have about essay writing.  Click here to stream the entire interview.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Ben’s podcast, too.  (And I’m sure when you hear the free IELTS material he’s creating, you’ll be happy to leave a five star iTunes rating next to mine!)

You have 48 hours to suggest an opening sentence for this Academic Task 1 response!

Posted on May 25, 2012 by - 49 Comments

(This model Academic Task 1 answer was written in response to a question seen on an IELTS exam held in Ireland in April of 2012.  Please leave your suggestion as a comment to this post.)

___________Insert your sentence here!____________.  Consumption for all countries varied between 1800 and 3350 calories and the differences seen do not appear to be sensitive to continent.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the country with the highest caloric intake was the United States, with a staggering 3350 calories consumed per day on average.  Not far behind was New Zealand, where people consumed about 3200 calories per day during the year in question.  Intakes for Spain and Mexico were slightly higher than 2500 calories per day.  On the lower side of the spectrum were countries like China, at 2200 daily calories, India, as 2100 daily calories, and Somalia and Indonesia, both at roughly 1800 calories per day.  When comparing the highest and lowest values, it appears as though Americans in 2003 ingested almost twice as much food as Indonesians.

The values presented in this graph are thought to be reflective of the diet, lifestyle and culture of each country.

You have 24 hours 48 hours to suggest a topic sentence for the first supporting paragraph of this essay!

Posted on May 20, 2012 by - 50 Comments

(This is a model essay in response to a question seen in the UK in April 2012.  This question was taken from  Please leave your suggestion as a comment to this post.  Suggestions emailed to me will not be added.)

Some believe museums should entertain people, while others believe their purpose is to educate.  Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Museums often represent different things to different people. On the one hand, many people feel a museum’s primary purpose is to entertain. However, others feel they function to house an educational resource. The merits of both arguments will be analyzed before a conclusion is decided upon.

________________Insert your sentence here!_______________. For example, the Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa minimizes the written descriptions normally found next to exhibits, instead preferring to provide visitors with a demonstrational experience to illustrate a scientific point. Although this setup leaves their museum visitors stimulated, it does little to provide them with a deeper understanding of a scientific topic. Thus, the merits of this opinion regarding the purpose of museums are hard to support.

However, many other people see museums as powerful educational resources. For example, the British Museum in London, England, is arranged to provide its visitors with a very informed look at the roots of the human race. Patrons leave this museum with a much more acute understanding of historical topics, and this understanding is something they can apply to their everyday endeavors. Thus, the heightened benefits of this opinion on the role of museums can clearly be seen.

After looking at these two opposing points of view, I feel that museums best serve the public when they are established to educate. Museums can therefore arrange themselves to be entertaining so long as the primary purpose of education is preserved.


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You construct a band 9 essay by the end of this video!

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:

Here is the essay as it appears in the video:

Nowadays, all new town planning should include public parks, shopping malls and sports facilities. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Designing the layout of a new town is an extremely intricate process. The question of what should and should not be included sets the foundation of the town’s identity forever. In my opinion, the addition of public parks, shopping malls and sports facilities is essential to the incubation of community and the encouragement of healthy lifestyles. I thus agree that these items should be included when a new town is being planned, and I will share examples to prove this.

Firstly, public parks and shopping centres help new towns foster a sense of community. For example, my small Canadian town has a very nice park near its centre. At weekends, the open context of the park environment makes it possible for people to meet each other and create friendships. This sort of organic community building is seen in my hometown’s shopping mall, too. Shopping malls encourage interaction, and thus they are great forums within which people can mingle and have experiences that could evolve into friendships. Thus, the helpful role public parks and shopping malls play in the establishing of a new town is clear.

Secondly, sports facilities catalyse positive lifestyle choices among townsfolk. For instance, the central location of my small town’s football pitch is a regular reminder to people passing by that exercise is important. Children in the town are visually aware that sport is accessible to them, and thus they engage in physical activity regularly. This is a clear advantage to town designs that include sports facilities.

As the above shows, public parks, shopping malls and sports facilities are helpful in many ways to the establishment of a town. Their inclusion in the planning of new towns is thus highly recommended.

You choose the prepositions!


The essay as it appears in the video:

What are some alternatives to fossil fuels? Do you feel the world will ever stop using them?

Global dependence on fossil fuels continues to be a pressing problem in the modern world. Although environmentally friendly energy sources are available, market prices make these alternatives prohibitively expensive for most people. I argue that humanity will indeed stop using fossil fuels in the future, but this will only happen when the price of cleaner energy sources falls to a point of competition. This will be proved by looking specifically at current trends within solar energy and biodiesel consumption.

Firstly, the increased availability of solar water heaters has made solar energy prices competitive with fossil fuels in some parts of the world. For example, the mass production of solar water heaters in China has led to their adoption as a cheap alternative to water heated using coal. Because this trend comes as a direct result of financial incentive, it is logical to conclude that market shifts will eventually cause green energy to take the place of fossil fuels.

This phenomenon is further exemplified by alternative fuel types such as biodiesel. For instance, although still slightly more expensive than energy sources derived from fossil fuels, biodiesel’s steady decline in price over the past 20 years coincides directly with a rise in its sales in most parts of the world. As most experts argue, a massive shift to biodiesel consumption will occur when prices remain consistently below fossil fuels. Thus, worldwide dependence on fossil fuels can be expected to erode as alternatives become more economical.

As evidenced by these trends in solar energy and biodiesel consumption, humanity is gradually shifting itself from fossil fuels to more environmentally friendly energy sources, and I hope this development continues.

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:

Do the advantages trump the disadvantages in this IELTS essay?

[Note: The word ‘phenomenons’ appears in this video. This should be ‘phenomena’, as it is with reference to the scientific plural.]

More and more students are going to another country for higher education. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

It is very common today for students to go abroad to complete their college or university education. However, this trend presents both advantages and disadvantages to the students and the institutions involved. These items will be analysed in this essay before a position is declared.

The advantages of rising foreign student numbers are numerous. For one, this trend encourages human collaboration and the exchanging of ideas. For example, a Canadian engineering student attending a Japanese university would bring ideas and perspectives different to those of their classmates, a phenomenon that enriches the university’s program and level of discussion as a whole. In addition to this, having studied outside their home country, this student would take valuable international understanding with them, an important second benefit that promotes peace and international friendship. As this example shows, students and the world at large benefit when higher studies are engaged outside the home country.

However, many would argue the globalising of higher education does have certain disadvantages. For many young adults, foreign students may represent a threat to both professional opportunities after school and the overall workforce of their country. In the US, for example, companies scout talent on university campuses, and at select times this means offering employment to a foreign student instead of a local student. Although this scenario does occur, its impact on local graduates and their employment opportunities has been sensationalised by the media and large personalities like President Trump. Moreover, it should be remembered that attracting the world’s most talented students increases opportunities for important phenomena like scientific discoveries. Thus, the disadvantages of students going abroad for higher education are difficult to define.

As the above discussion reveals, the advantages of globalised higher education much outweigh the disadvantages, and I strongly hope countries continue to encourage the growth of their foreign student bodies.

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:

CAN YOU WRITE IN ALL CAPS ON THE IELTS?! (…and other questions!)

In this video, we use the Information for Candidates PDF to answer a few questions. Download your own copy of this document at:

(Is that link not working? Google ‘IELTS info for candidates’.)

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:

How does Ryan’s IELTS writing service work?

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:

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