🎓 James’ Tips

This week we take a look at a Task 2 essay that arguably is a 7.0 depending on the examiner’s purview being stringent or lenient, as well as explaining objectively why, so as to increase student’s awareness to avoid making unnecessary mistakes.

Comments:
📚 THE DANGERS OF POOR TIME MANAGEMENT AND MENTAL EXHAUSTION AT THE FINISH
Task Achievement check.

Coherence and cohesion sound. ✏

🔖 Pluses: preponderance of a range of complex sentence structures that are generally error free; some entire paragraphs have not a single error in them, a strong plus. Some lexical flexibility is amply demonstrated by sound paraphrasing. In general, few errors.

📌 Minuses: some over experimentation with lexis resulting in strange, awkward, “google-translate”-esque speak, now amended. Trouble with definite articles, as always. Don’t forget linkers, punctuation, every jot and tittle, ie, dot your iii’s and cross your ttt’s. Some mental exhaustion is apparent at the finish line of the conclusion with some otherwise avoidable mistakes. Some collocation and parsing issues. Don’t forget your singular or plural determiners, such as in the first sentence of the introduction, which ironically is also the most damaging mistake in the essay.😍

On the whole, there seem to be more good than bad things, which may serve to tip the scales, just barely.
Greater consistency in accuracy, would remove all doubt. Lexical flexibility is good, but don’t take an untested weapon to war.
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🎉 James’ Tips

This week we take a look at an example with some strong positives to raise performance and achieve a 7.0, as well as some common mistakes that students too oft make in Hong Kong.

🔖 This essay was produced by a Hong Kong working professional working in one of the hospitals, who is currently targeting a 7.0.
Comments:

📍 THE IMPORTANCE OF A STRONG FINISH.
Task Achievement solid.
Coherence and cohesion ample.
Grammatical range evident yet with one significant error of a broken down sentence or instance of solecism.
Grammatical accuracy evidences persistent errors such as with passive voice, parsing or parts of speech, awkward prepositions, missing subjects, a very damaging error, and missing determiners or indefinite article, as well as overuse of the definite article, a minor error in terms of the detrimental impact on performance.

One hiccup with a complex sentence essentially derailed the attempt, as well as some collocation and parsing issues.
A strong plus, however, in the conclusion paragraph served to raise performance considerably, as the sample demonstrates as advised, a triple example of at least 3 complex conjunctions, and fortunately, with zero mistakes. If the paper had just a few less errors, this would definitely be a reliable 7.0
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🎉 James’ Tips

This week we take a look at a common and persistent problem so many students are encountering in their attempt at securing a band 7.0 in the IELTS exam.
This particular essay is by a strong candidate who very nearly has a 7.0 yet unfortunately for them still makes one very critical and unforgiving error.
Can you spot the problem?

✅❎ James’ comment on the student’s work:
– Task Achievement solid.
– Coherence and cohesion apt.
– Grammatical range evident.
– Lexical resource demonstrates some flexibility.
– It is in the grammatical accuracy department where the candidate made only 2 fatal errors, but it must be understood that the higher the band the candidate targets, the smaller the margin of error.
– Coherence, of subject verb, in the singularity or plurality, is a must at the 7.0 and even a single instance of such a basic error, will lower a 7.0 down to a 6.5.
– No mistakes.
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🎉 James’ Tips

This week we have a look at probably the singular most common mistake in HK-Chinglish that basically all of the candidates who fall below a 7.0 invariably make.

The following essay was written by a working HK professional in the IT industry who is currently targeting a 7.0 yet consistently achieves only a band 6.0.
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✅❎ James’ comment on the student’s work:

The most common mistake the candidate, like so many others, repeatedly makes, is incoherence due to confusing the singularity or plurality of subject verb, indicated repeatedly in the essay by an S unequal to a P for singular and plural dissonance.

Next the candidate makes parsing errors, confusing verbs with nouns and in the process likewise confusing prepositions, all now corrected.

Spelling errors are not tolerated at the 7.0 band level.
Lexical Resource is somewhat limited and while not an absolute disqualification, nonetheless the candidate could benefit by improving the lexical arsenal.
Some very serious errors of solecism, or flat out broken sentences, are noted, and corrected, indicating the candidate’s gaucherie or inability at handling more complex sentence structures.

While some complex sentences are evident, many of these are arbitrary and inept clearly evidence of the candidate’s attempt at complex sentences merely for the sake of it without clear understanding of the nuance and syntax of the English language.

Finally, some third person singular conjugation errors are noted.

A single instance of singular plural incoherence, or third person singular error, or parsing error, will immediately lower an otherwise acceptable 7.0 down to a 6.0 and
only IF the candidate has a preponderance of watertight complex sentences will it then be upgraded to a 6.5, but in any case, all singular plural incoherence, third person singular, parsing, or use of infinitives instead of proper conjugation and participle, as well as indefinite article singular usage versus plural, are game over headshots as far as a 7.0 is concerned.

This essay is consistent with a 6.0, despite the presence of a modicum of complex sentences, which are the only saving grace that did not render the essay a 5.5.
.
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🎉 James’ Tips

This week we have a look at probably the singular most common mistake in HK-Chinglish that basically all of the candidates who fall below a 7.0 invariably make.
The following essay was written by a working HK professional in the IT industry who is currently targeting a 7.0 yet consistently achieves only a band 6.0.
.
✅❎ James’ comment on the student’s work:
The most common mistake the candidate, like so many others, repeatedly makes, is incoherence due to confusing the singularity or plurality of subject verb, indicated repeatedly in the essay by an S unequal to a P for singular and plural dissonance.
Next the candidate makes parsing errors, confusing verbs with nouns and in the process likewise confusing prepositions, all now corrected.
Spelling errors are not tolerated at the 7.0 band level.
Lexical Resource is somewhat limited and while not an absolute disqualification, nonetheless the candidate could benefit by improving the lexical arsenal.
Some very serious errors of solecism, or flat out broken sentences, are noted, and corrected, indicating the candidate’s gaucherie or inability at handling more complex sentence structures.

While some complex sentences are evident, many of these are arbitrary and inept clearly evidence of the candidate’s attempt at complex sentences merely for the sake of it without clear understanding of the nuance and syntax of the English language.

Finally, some third person singular conjugation errors are noted.

A single instance of singular plural incoherence, or third person singular error, or parsing error, will immediately lower an otherwise acceptable 7.0 down to a 6.0 and
only IF the candidate has a preponderance of watertight complex sentences will it then be upgraded to a 6.5, but in any case, all singular plural incoherence, third person singular, parsing, or use of infinitives instead of proper conjugation and participle, as well as indefinite article singular usage versus plural, are game over headshots as far as a 7.0 is concerned.

This essay is consistent with a 6.0, despite the presence of a modicum of complex sentences, which are the only saving grace that did not render the essay a 5.5.
.
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🎉 James’ Tips

This week we are taking a look at some of the far too common and ingrained ‘HK-Eng’ mistakes, which though typical of Hong Kong’s second language speakers, are also typical of the IELTS performance of second language speakers.

The following sample was produced by a working professional targeting an 8.0 who currently has the skill level of approximately a 6.0.

Can you spot the most damaging mistake types?

✅❎ James’ comment on the student’s work:
First and foremost, the writer uses “and” ad nauseum, at least 4 times, which is an immediate red flag indicating a patent lack of grammatical complexity, ie, she’s lucky to get a 6.0. Simply put, overuse of “and” will NEVER get a 7.0 Secondly, the writer makes numerous third person singular mistakes, at least 2, even one of which, would otherwise lower a 7.0 down to a 6.5 even IF the writer had demonstrated a plethora of complex sentence structures, which the writer did not in the first place.
What’s more, the writer fails to use any articles, whether “a, an, the” but uses only infinitives, without awareness to neither singular nor plural. A slightly less damaging error, but given the error type is one that tends to “echo” through the essay repeatedly, is always decisively negative.
Finally a lack of linkers and sign posting indicate lack of sophistication and gloss, which gives itself a coup de grace as far as a 7.0 is concerned, with spelling errors.
Spelling errors, even a single instance, are not tolerated at 7.0.
.
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🎉 James’ Tips

This week we will take a look at a very typical example of a reasonably proficient second language English speaker who is also a Hong Kong working professional.
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The candidate is targeting an 8.0 yet due to making some of the most common ‘HK-Eng’ mistakes, is therefore only a the global average for females level of 6.0 in writing.
Can you spot the most damaging mistake?
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✅❎ James’ comment on the student’s work:
The candidate’s task achievement, and coherence and cohesion, are sound.
A conspicuous lack of complex sentence structures is decisive in lowering the mark, which coupled with a patent lack of more sophisticated lexical items, results in the band’s foregone conclusion.
.
However, the worst and most common mistake the candidate has made, is the repeated incoherence of singular and plural conjugation between subject verb and object. This is even more damaging to the spelling errors, lack of sign posting through the use of discourse markers, inept use of prepositions, or unnatural and inappropriate lexical choices.
.
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🎉 James’ Tips

This week we take a look at a Writing Task 2 written by a Hong Kong working professional targeting a 7.0. There are a number of issues in this sample, including a rather subtle but common issue with many HK students. See if you can spot it:

✅❎James’ comment on the student’s work:
Task achievement check.

Coherence and cohesion adequate.

Examples and arguments sound.

Better paragraphing, or, more careful topic sentence forming, will help. It is not necessary to put examples in a topic sentence, but rather, to articulate the point, followed by in the next sentence, examples, illustrations, analogies, etc. Possibly, since the two examples seemed central, to have them each in their own paragraph, with a paraphrased – not repeated – topic sentence that echoes and supports the thesis.

More effort in paraphrasing will help give a good first impression to the examiner, which of course, requires some lexical resource.
Spelling is essential at 7.0 and above.

A “time out”, is essentially, temporary prison for children, not exactly time away from the classroom, thus slightly awkward.

Some over use of “and” indicates lack of practice and flexibility with complex sentence structures not withstanding at least one solid instance of a complex sentence.

To make an argument, make an argument; not, maybe, make an argument.

Consider as a conclusion closing sentence, rather than “could, should, may, might”:

Demanding that children grow in knowledge and creativity while pigeonholing them is both an antithetical oxymoron, and worse, cruel and inhumane.
.
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🎉 James’ Tips

This week we take a look at a Writing Task 1 written by a Hong Kong working professional who is targeting a 7.0 yet unfortunately makes an all too common mistake. Can you spot this fatal mistake?
Have a look at the attachment before reading the comments below:
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✅❎ James’ comment on the student’s work:
Task Achievement adequate. Coherence and cohesion check.

Grammatical range conspicuously lacking.
“…and…” does NOT constitute a demonstration of a range of complex and sophisticated sentence structures, a red flag, used no less than 5 times; use in conjunction with, in tandem with, coupled with, not to mention, in addition to, as well as, etc, instead.
Grammatical accuracy is reasonably good.
There is at least one instance of solecism, or a broken illegible sentence, now corrected with proper complexity of range.
Some linking is used but could be improved. See amendments.
Some tense issues cause coherence issues.

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