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Posts by Holt [Educational Consultant]
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Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 5, 2021
Writing Feedback / IELTS WRITING TASK 2: Try hard enough to achieve something [2]

When dealing with TA score considerations, you will notice that the score given is higher when the student provides a direct response to the given question. That is because the clarity of your understanding of the topic, as well as the validity of your opinion is clearly given. This method, the direct response method to be precise, also helps you better outline your discussions by helping you stay on track regarding the discussion. This type of presentation helps prove that you understood, analyzed, and outline the discussion format prior to writing, all of which can help you get a better TA score.

Now, I will applaud you for presenting valid discussion points in every paragraph. You were able to use a transition sentence properly to connect the two discussion points. Although, the grammar of the transition sentence needs work in terms of proper sentence structuring. Regardless, it helped you combine the two differing topics in a manner that connected the discussion in the paragraph.

As for the second reasoning paragraph, there is no sense in using numerical ordinals if you are not going to present a second and last reason within the paragraph. Try to avoid using these numerical ordinals in your presentations. Stick to transition sentences instead. The numerical ordinals do nothing to help your GRA and C&C scores. When you use transition sentences, you further prove your ability to write clearly in the English language, using a connected discussion manner that does not rely on a run-on sentence to present itself.

As for the concluding summary, it is incomplete. You should use the more TA appropriate format that allows you to:
- Restate the topic
- Restate both your reasoning topics
- Close with a summation of your points.

The essay you wrote is alright. I may garner you a passing score. However, I believe that there are still a few points where you can improve your presentation based on scoring considerations.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 4, 2021

The complete original prompt for this essay has given you the discussion topics you have to use in the 2 reasoning paragraphs, none of which you used. You did not even refer to the original prompt in your restatement, which means you failed to prove that you understood the topic and how it should be discussed in your written presentation. Going back to the topics you should have used for the reasoning paragraphs based on the original and complete prompt, these should have been:

- Many people prefer to use public transportation while others say that personal cars are the best mode of transportation.
- Excessive use of private cars is considered to be the main reason for the traffic jam in many cities and that's why the use of public transportation is encouraged.

I believe your used the shortened prompt, which does not really provide you with any specific writing points nor proper prompt restatement task requirements. That is why your discussion is not as effective as it would have been, had you used the complete prompt consideration for your writing.

These are the topics you should have used to discuss the pros and cons of public transport. Remember that the original prompt will always supply you with the reasons to use as discussion topics in your reasoning paragraphs. You just have to expand on those reasons. In this case. You not only over wrote the essay (367 words), but you failed to consider the original prompt key points for your discussion. So you wrote a very long essay, but failed to address the prompt as expected.

I would have to point out, just the same, that your cons for public transport is not as well developed as your pro discussion. By the way, try to write no more than 5 sentences per paragraph, that would mean that you would not run out of writing time based on the 40 minute time limit. You should be able to present concise discussions, without overstating information because, as you can see, writing a long essay that does not use any of the original prompt considerations could be problematic for your essay.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 4, 2021
Writing Feedback / CBEST writing - individual efforts to improve environment and preserve the planet [3]

I am just wondering why you are using an IELTS Task 2 essay prompt for the CBEST practice essay writing. The topics used and audience target for CBEST essays are not the same as the IELTS essays so I am afraid that you may be practicing in the wrong manner. The CBEST essay prompts are totally different from what you have used as the CBEST practice essays engage you in writing for a specific or target audience. This is not the same manner that an IELTS prompt is written in. There are free CBEST prompts available online, I suggest you use those instead of the IELTS practice prompts. Anyway, I will do my best to review your essay in a general manner as I cannot apply the CBEST criteria on this prompt. I will do that next time, when you use a CBEST prompt for your essay practice.

This is a pretty good written discussion. It covers all the bases in proving that you strongly agree with the opposing discussion topic. You were able to clearly defend your stance, provide appropriate examples to support your claims, and make proper representations regarding why your opinion is acceptable to a large extent. That said, this would get an excellent score if you were taking an IELTS test. As for the CBEST, the scoring criteria is different so I cannot say the same for that test. You are not writing for a specific audience in this case, only yourself, so that is the biggest problem I have in reviewing this paper. The prompt failed to make you follow the CBEST writing standards.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 4, 2021
Graduate / Personal Ethical Dilemma essay for graduate school [2]

First up, never use the real names of people you know in the essay to protect their privacy. Yes, there are privacy concerns when writing essays as it relates to other people. Which is why you have to avoid mentioning their names in your paper. You can use generic terms like my friend, her parents, etc. to protect their privacy.

Second, I got to know more about your friend and her modelling career in this essay more than I learned about you. I also got to know her parents quite well and the culture and traditions, plus social norms of India, which took up more space than the actual dilemma discussion. That should not be the case. I have to know more about you first, and the dilemma second, with Saloni and her family taking third place in this presentation. This is more a friendship dilemma than an ethical dilemma based on your presentation. So I do not believe this works better for your essay response. It is a mistake to use this topic.

Rather, consider something truly ethical in reference. Something along the lines of a choice between academic honesty and dishonesty, personal honor, an oath you took that you are being forced to break, or anything similar. You can find other ethical dilemma references online if you need further assistance regarding topic choices. I would not use this essay at all. The focus is not on you but on your friend, that is the main problem with the presentation.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 4, 2021
Scholarship / The kindness of strangers - Scholarship essay about financial need [2]

Balance the focus between financial need and the intended long term career path. You have over focused on your financial need, without including any reference of note to your career path. A better approach to this essay would be to integrate how you have managed to prepare for college, even as you have been financially strapped over the past years. Then explain how being financially strapped actually helped you develop a career path for yourself. Talk of your dreams and ambitions within a specific field and title, you cannot just refer to the animation industry because that is not the course that you will be studying in college. Talk about how the completion of the course will push your professional ambitions, while also helping improve your personal lot in life. Try to develop both topics equally because right now, only the need for a scholarship has been developed. You are missing the second part of the presentation completely.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 4, 2021
Writing Feedback / The graph below shows the percentage of Australian exports to 4 countries from 1990 to 2012 [2]

Due to security concerns, we refrain from accessing exterior images and advise fellow users not to access images that are located off our forum server. We will not be held liable for any ransomware, malware, adware, or viruses that might infect any users systems due to offline access of images or clicking of exterior links. I will assess your work based on what you have posted on our server alone. Please make the effort to upload the image with your post next time. Otherwise,you will receive an incomplete review of your work once again.

Always give a complete summary overview. List the countries or other information listed in the graph whenever possible. In this case, you mentioned 4 countries, then China as one of them in the trending statement. This will lead the reader to ask early on, "What are the other 3 nations?" It will always be best for you to outline the information sources in the summary, that includes the listing of information, without including any actual data yet. However, the measurement type, be it percentage, a survey, or whatever, will always be appreciated by the reader as a part of a complete summary overview.

The rest of your paragraph presentations are just long sentences. These do nothing for your GRA score. It does not represent a proper simple and complex sentence mix. Only a merging of separate ideas into 1 sentence, which does not help to add clarity to the presentation. If you are using only comma presentations to separate ideas, this does not prove that you have an actual knowledge of how to use various punctuation marks in a sentence. You need to show an ability to use more than just a period, comma, and percentage sign in the presentation. Additionally, it is always best to use the minimum 3 sentence presentation so that all the information you present will be clear and individualized for the reader's understanding.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 4, 2021
Writing Feedback / The graph below shows how elderly people in Europe spent their free time between 1980 and 2010 [2]

In the summary overview, the sentence prior to your trending statement should have been the enumeration of the 6 activities listed in the graph. This will be the earlier mention of the activities, which will help the reader better understand what information is contained in the graph and how it relates to the trending statement that you presented.

The second paragraph is acceptable in terms of delivering a summarized highlight report of the graph. However, there are not enough comparison points to refer to the portions of the graph where there are overlapping information or meeting points for similar measurements. At least one reference to that point would have helped you better meet the "make comparisons where relevant" requirement.

The report itself is already worthy of a passing score on all counts. It meets most of the requirements of the task 1 essay. One concern of mine though, is that you have written 203 words for an essay that requires only 175-190 words. The essay itself must be completed within 20 minutes which is why the more conservative word count is always advised. You always should leave a pocket of time, at least 10 minutes, to review the essay for improvement points, corrections, and deletions (if required). Although you may be able to type fast, it is not the number of words that will get you a better score in the task 1 essay. It is the better analysis of the data and, lack of errors as per each scoring consideration that can help you do that. You can achieve that through proof reading your essay prior to submission. Hence the time allowance for editing the essay content.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 3, 2021
Letters / Letter of Motivation for Erasmus Mundus Scholarship. EMOTION Master Program. [3]

The presentation is strong enough but lacking in reference as to what theoretical, practical, and analytical skills you can bring to the program. How do you see yourself contributing to the learning of your classmates? What type of research are you interested in that could force the university say, further widen its teaching field in this course or, allow for other internship programs during the course? Your unique interests in the field, and your desire to pursue this as a student can add quality to the contribution you can make to the masters course. Aside from this missing point, I believe the essay is strong enough. That is where the problem lies. In order to include a full explanation of what you can bring to the course, you will need to shorten some portions of this presentation. Which sections and how you will shorten these I will leave up to you as I would not want to accidentally cause problems in your information presentation by instructing you on which sections to shorten. All I can tell you is, choose wisely.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 3, 2021
Undergraduate / Why to become a Sonographer? [2]

The first paragraph doesn't really focus on the needed content. The reviewer will not be interested in reading that paragraph. It would be better if you start with the second paragraph instead. Just revise the first sentence to somehow immediately relate to your interest in Sonography and why you love the occupation. The rest of of the essay sounds more like you giving the reviewer a lecture on Sonography rather than you explaining the development of your interest in the field and how you hope to make a difference in it. Use less of the flowery job description and focus more on why you believe you would be an excellent sonographer. Did you ever shadow a doctor, sonographer, or any type of medical frontliner whose influence could have furthered your interest in the field? As a reviewer, I need to see more of how your interest developed and where you think this career might take you in the future. Sure the compassion for others be important. Your ability to make the patients feel good is also notable. However, I do not get an understanding of what this career could hold for your future.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 3, 2021
Writing Feedback / Animals should not be exploited by people and that they should have the same rights as humans [4]

After a meeting with the forum administrators and careful consideration of your explanation, they decided to exempt this post from the single response allowance from the Educational Consultant. I was instructed to review your paper and give you advice as it may not prove to be too problematic for you to receive advice from me. This is a one time deal. The final decision, as to whether I will continue to guide your learning or not really depends upon you.

The main reason why I advise my students to either present a personal opinion for each public opinion or create a separate paragraph for their personal opinion is simple. You are scored on the clarity of your opinion as a part of the TA score. Therefore, you need to clearly explain how you came to decide on your opinion based on factors, considerations, examples, and your understanding of the public opinion. If you choose to give a personal opinion for each public opinion, you deliver a comparative personal opinion to the examiner based on each of the public opinion. Clearly showing how and why you came to your opinion for each presentation and meeting the "discuss both views and give your opinion" in a short but efficient form.

If you opt to use the single opinion presentation, then you show a clear support for one public opinion based on additional information coming from your personal knowledge or experience, which will help further show your increased understanding of the topic and, your ability to explain your opinion in English. It also shows that you analyzed both discussion points and weighed the validity of each argument, thus leading you to decide on a specific public opinion to support.

Either discussion presentation is acceptable in the Task 2 essay.

For me, it is important that my students increase their TA score because that section alone can help you get a passing score if written correctly. I know other tutors believe otherwise but my students have regularly gotten above the 7 mark, with some of them achieving the 9 score depending upon their English fluency and, because of our focus on what I believe to be the most crucial scoring factors in the IELTS test.

I am not saying the person whose opinions you read is wrong, I am just saying that what I teach is different and works for the students whom I teach. As for who you should listen to, that is a personal opinion that I cannot help you with.

In my opinion, you totally skipped a reasoning paragraph in this presentation. You spoke of animals should not be exploited, based on the public opinion. So that is reasoning paragraph 1. Where is reasoning paragraph 2 that explains why others believe that it is necessary to use animals for specific means? You cannot discuss that as a personal opinion immediately because of the prompt requirement that indicates a separate discussion point for that reason:

...others argue that humans must employ animals to satisfy their various needs, including uses for food and research.

You will indeed receive a lower TA score because your response is incomplete. Not only because you failed to explain, as a part of your personal opinion, why animals should have rights similar to humans, but because you failed to address the other public point of view explanation in your body of paragraphs. My point of view is that this should have been a 3 reasoning paragraph essay, totaling 5 paragraphs. If you look at the instructions, the number of reasoning paragraphs was clearly indicated:

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

If you analyze the instruction, the reasoning paragraphs are:

Par. 1: First public POV
Par. 2: Second public POV
Par. 3: Personal opinion that considers the 2 public discussion reasons in its statement.

The clarity of the discussion paragraphs becomes clearer to the examiner, your TA approach is properly formatted, and your C&C presentation will show a direct connection between the 3 paragraphs once you use proper transition sentences at the end of each topic discussion.

Again, this is based on the way I teach and not any one else's teaching method. If this is not the method that you learned from the other person and you feel that my approach is not the right approach, then please, do follow the other approach. I am not forcing you learn my method as you might continue to get confused by trying to listen to and follow opposing instructions. Use whichever writing method you believe will help you score better and will be more prompt responsive in the end.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 3, 2021
Writing Feedback / Obesity is now a major global epidemic. What can be done to tackle this increasingly common problem? [3]

The TA score for the first paragraph is always based on the accuracy of your restatement. As such, you are not to present any opinions of your own such as:

- In today's world, our lives have become very sedentary, in the homes and even at our work places.
- Easily available fast foods i... carried out daily.

These 2 pieces of information are not required nor a part of the original presentation. These remove the accuracy of your prompt restatement as these are personal opinions that should be discussed in the 2 reasoning paragraphs. The less accurate your prompt restatement is, the more unlike the original your information representation is, the lesser you will be scored due to 2 possible reasons:

- inappropriate restatement format
- Irrelevant response to the given prompt

Either errors applied to your score will result in a less than passing TA score for you. A more appropriate restatement would have been:

Due to the international outbreak of fatness, it has become all the important to address this growing concern. In order to arrest this situation certain steps can be taken by both the public and the government. The public could help solve the issue by ... While the government can implement...

Always outline your discussion topics because this will help the examiner assess your degree of English comprehension skills and vocabulary resource. The reasoning paragraphs will then be easier for you to write because you know exactly what you will be discussing in each paragraph, rather than using a redundant discussion as you did in this essay. Never start your opinion discussion in the restatement paragraph, that is what causes the lack of clarity and problem in discussion development in the actual reasoning paragraphs.

The conclusion must never contain additional discussion information. There is a reason that is called the reverse paraphrase. That part of the test forces you to show your LR and GRA skills as you are made to summarize the original prompt and reasoning paragraphs in this section, to bring the discussion to a close. If you introduce new information, you instead create an open ended discussion, which can affect your TA score.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 3, 2021

In the first paragraph, you were able to address the topic restatement covering the 2 points of view in the first sentence. It was the discussion instruction part that you were not able to properly represent as:

Due to these varying opinions, I will have to carefully consider both sides of the discussion and offer an idea as to why I support or do not support the stated point of view.


Based on these reasons, I find that I support the opinion that____________ mainly because (state your reason).

Either format will work for the restatement because both offers a clear take on how you will be discussing the topics and how you intend to present your point of view in the discussion paragraphs.

You have to remember that for each point of view, you need to present the public opinion before you state your personal opinion. Usually, the reasons for the public opinion are provided in the original prompt. If not, then you should find a reason to support the public opinion. Explain the public point of view because the prompt says "some people" and "while others". This means that you have to use some public presentation first before you present your opinion. Your opinion should always be based on the public opinion explanation that you have provided. What you did here was set the essay up as a personal point of view presentation, rather than a public comparison discussion with a personal point of view. The latter is, the more appropriate approach to the discussion since you are scored on the clarity of your opinion. Once you establish how your opinion is based on the public explanation, your C&C score will be increased.

As for your LR problems, the only way you can improve your vocabulary is to read more English works. There are many opinion columns being written in free to access online newspapers from the USA and the UK. If you can read more opinion columns, not only will your approach to essay writing improve, but you will also be able to improve your vocabulary by taking note of words you do not understand then looking up the word meaning in the dictionary, while also learning alternative references by learning the synonym words for it. All of these, as a learning process, can help you improve your LR and GRA scores.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 3, 2021
Scholarship / Personal Statement Fulbright Scholarship (Master's degree program in Mining Engineering) [2]

This essay only covers the information regarding your undergraduate course, special interest, and practical experience. It does not contain any reference to your future career plans as influenced by your decision to become a Fulbright masters scholar. While there are covered parts in this presentation based on the prompt requirements, I cannot say that these information are impressive enough to help you make it past the consideration round. The information is lacking overall because you summarized almost all aspects of the presentation rather than highlighting the abilities, skills, and interests that you have, which have helped you set out a career path for the future.

The presentation is too simplistic, does not completely inform the reviewer, and fails to create a career path towards your future, on the basis of helping your country upon your return. This is an essay that is good as a draft, but is not going to be helpful if you submit it. You need to have a more in-depth presentation overall and, more specifically. needs to present a logical career path for you upon your return home.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 2, 2021
Writing Feedback / The table gives information on consumer spending on different items in five different countries [4]

Try to not leave the trending statement for the very end. Although you can place the trending statement anywhere in the essay, it works best to improve your TA score when you add it to the summary overview.

Do not use adverbs like "especially" at the start of a sentence. This is incorrect word usage since "especially" is often used as a connecting word to help relate 2 ideas in one sentence. Once there is no previous thought presented, the adverb should not be used as a sentence starter. Additionally, the phrase is "On the contrary", not In the contrary". Do not use English phrases you are not familiar with as incorrect usage could affect your LR and GRA scores.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 2, 2021

Give a simple background of your professor at the start. A formal introduction is necessary with regards to your professor as the reviewer needs to gauge his authority in writing the letter. By the way, it could help if he mentions the GPA you got in his class, provided it is related to the masters course you are applying for before mentioning your skills and qualifications as a student. The GPA mention should help catch the eye of the reviewer and consider your abilities, skills, and talents more seriously. He should make more mention of the laboratory achievements in relation to the specific requirement in your personal statement that asks you to prove that you have the ability and interest to do research. By having a professor back up that statement, it enhances that portion of your personal statement for consideration. Remove the references to "Ana". The professor knows that he must keep an academic tone so he has to refer to you as "Ms." so and so.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 2, 2021
Writing Feedback / Animals should not be exploited by people and that they should have the same rights as humans [4]

Different teachers have different writing styles that they teach their students. I teach differently from the person you consulted. My way works for the students here, who do not consult with other IELTS examiners / tutors. They learn my way, they pass using my way, with the highest possible scores based on my writing method. Since you already have a tutor for your IELTS test, you should learn only his way of writing. Do not confuse yourself by trying to learn 2 different writing styles. Only your score and your writing skills will suffer. Now, knowing that you already have a tutor on hand, I cannot give you advise regarding your current essay. The last thing I want to do is confuse you and make you second guess how you should write your essay. Follow your teacher. I am not going to come in while you are learning how to handle these tests, give you different advise, and leave you confused. Follow the teacher whom you think will give you the better score. In this case, you have already learned from someone else, do not go looking to change your writing formula at this point. It would be detrimental to your learning process.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 2, 2021

You gave the right discussion topic but the wrong reason in your prompt restatement. For comparison purposes:

YT: With the development of globalization, non-dominated languages are being neglected and gradually drift away in history.

The original topic has nothing to do with the globalization of languages. You have created a different discussion topic from the original. There will be a TA deduction applied.

YR: the benefits of having a fewer number of languages still outweigh the disadvantages.

Another TA deduction due to incorrect reasoning representation. Your prompt restatement does not reflect the original prompt requirements. Therefore, you have created your own discussion topic, which resulted in a prompt deviation. Your TA will receive a failing score and prevent you from receiving an overall passing score at the end of the scoring total.

The reasoning overview in your prompt restatement could have saved your TA score a little bit if you had listed the 3 reasons for your "general agreement" with the given statement. In effect, the examiner has no idea if you actually understood the original discussion presentation and just made a mistake in the restatement, or if you totally did not have an understanding of the topic. That is why it is important to outline the discussion topics as you would in a thesis statement. In this case, there was no way of saving your TA score due to the incorrect rephrasing and lack of topic outline that could have shown a relation to the original discussion.

Your 1st reasoning discussion tend to deviate from the original discussion as well. What does tax money have to do with languages? Nothing. Not in the sense that the original prompt required. Your 2nd reasoning is somewhat related to the discussion so the presentation is acceptable.

You are not really outlining your discussion points before making a proper draft discussion. The third paragraph continues your prompt deviation discussion, which will further decrease your chances of even getting near to a passing score. Then your conclusion is less than 40 words or 3 sentences, another TA problem that will pull down your score. I have not even gotten into your GRA, C&C, and LR problems with this essay and already you have managed to fail the test.

I know this is your first try at writing this essay. Which is why I am direct to the point when it comes to your errors. Most first timers always neglect to appropriately follow the TA requirements of the essay, which is why the presentation always fails. You need to better understand, through proper analysis of the original prompt, how the discussion essay should flow. The outline I used above is something that can help you achieve a proper TA score to at least, get your writing off to a passing score start.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 2, 2021
Research Papers / Peer Review for Cyber Bullying Research Project/Essay [2]

The essay feels like it is starting in the middle of the presentation due to the improper thesis paragraph formatting. You have placed in-text citations or paraphrasing within that paragraph, that resulted in a lack of proper topic introduction for your thesis statement. As far as I can tell, there is no clear thesis statement, research method, and potential results being presented in that paragraph. It is only an immediate discussion that disregarded the academic content of the introduction paragraph / thesis statement of your research paper. Therefore, a prior paragraph should be created as a proper introduction to the topic based on either your personal experience with bullying, observations about several types of bullying, or a general statement regarding the effects of bullying on both children and adults in terms of their environment environment (school for children, the workplace for adults) in relation to the 4 aspects that you have researched. The presentation is too one sided and only focused on child to teen bullying, a more complete bullying research paper must include adult bullying in the workplace, in a social setting, and other situations, just as you did for children in your paper.

You claim that the paper is about cyber bullying. Yet you are discussing 4 areas of bullying, not all of which relate to cyber bullying. Only the verbal abuse seems to apply in this case. Cyber bullying is a totally new aspect of bullying, which is not covered in your research paper. Your paper pertains to the known methods of bullying and contains very little in cyber bullying attributes. If the focus is on cyber bullying then research on that topic alone. Do not confuse the reader by referring to cyber bullying but then referring to other forms of bullying instead.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 1, 2021

The first paragraph is formatted in a manner more relevant to the GKS-U application. That said, the paragraph can be deleted without affecting the rest of the relevant information contained in your writing. When you are asked to discuss your education, the reference point is your undergraduate studies in relation to your career path. From the undergraduate studies, you can discuss how you applied what you learned in your profession, which led to your realization that you require international training and academic learning to further improve in your current career and give you a better future career path.

Your reason for studying in Korea must be profession based since you are a masters degree candidate. You are using undergraduate reasons for your decision to study in the country, which has weakened your presentation and created a non-related reason for your decision to study the masters course in Korea. Try to find some Law related reasons for your interest instead.

The weakest point of this personal statement is the lack of reference to your skills in relation to graduate study requirements. There is a lack of representation when it comes to depicting your ability to do complex research, your passion for the masters course you are interested in studying, and a desire to further improve your career based on your motivating factors.

Overall, this is not a personal statement that will get past the screening round. Unless you can strengthen the content as I indicated, this will not even garner a second consideration from the reviewer.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 1, 2021
Undergraduate / Maths/Comp Sci Waterloo AIF; discuss your interest in your chosen program(s) [2]

Your educational goals are quite impressive. However, your decision to enroll in Waterloo is commonplace. It does not carry any extra ordinary reasons for choosing the university that other students will not have laid claim to in their presentation. If you could find some deeper reasons for choosing the university, other than the Hackathon and largest computer science department, then your response would probably stand out from the pack of applicants. Try to refer to some accomplishments of the university int he field of computer programming, or wanting to follow in the footsteps of notable graduates whose accomplishments you can mention as having started at Waterloo. The response is good, but it doesn't stand out to make your application memorable. That is what I am looking for as a reviewer, a strong and compelling reason to remember the application statement of this student in relation to his educational goals and reason for choosing my university.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 1, 2021
Letters / Motivation Letter draft for EMECS program / Electronics and Communication Engineering [2]

The academic path you have taken is very well threshed out in this essay. In fact, it became the only focus of your presentation. Which negated the motivational aspect of your discussion. What is your personal motivation for higher academic pursuits in this line? How will that personal motivation relate to your academic requirements? What is the career path that has motivated you to follow this line of study? These are aspects that directly relate to your strong motivational desires in relation to the course. Try to explain what sort of career you hope to enter into upon completion of the course. You have presented all of the information except, the actual motivation.

It is not enough to fully recognize the challenges of the course. It is not enough that you want to address these requirements in relation to your education. Even when it comes to choosing the universities, you fail to address the career motivation aspect of your choices. Sure the academic curriculum counts, but how do these studies relate to your career path? What is the professional motivation for the course choices and university picks?
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 1, 2021
Scholarship / I am writing for my NTU scholarship essay, "Practice Makes Perfect". [3]

Your approach to the discussion is incorrect. Sure Kobe Bryant was an idol to millions, but he does not represent personal values and beliefs that you hold strongly to. If you believe in these things, because of the influence of someone else as opposed to you believing in these things based on character building references, then you are not on the right path within your response.

You do not represent any actual belief or values in this essay. Had you been asked "Discuss something of value or importance to you" then you could have used this prompt. If you have the chance to replace the prompt, then replace the prompt and use this essay. Use the prompt I previously described. If you cannot, then you have to change the total essay, making it focus on a related belief and value system instead.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 1, 2021
Graduate / LOM for Erasmus Mundus E-Pico Program (Views, ideas, anything) [2]

It would be better if you reverse the presentation of your letter. Since this is a motivation letter, the reviewer will automatically look for the motivation in the first paragraph. So, you should revise your 3rd paragraph to become the opening statement, supported by the information that you are already a previous EM scholar. These are the 2 pieces of information that will allow you to garner the interest of the reviewer and impress him enough with regards to the implied qualifications that you have, as a previous EM scholar.

Once you have presented the information of value, the rest of your qualifications and motivations become secondary to the presentation. It will be noted by the reviewer, but not really make much of a difference to your motivational letter when compared to the 1st paragraph that is composed of the hook and EM scholarship reference.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Feb 1, 2021
Essays / Struggling for Perseverance Essay [4]

You do not necessarily have to connect the discussion with your interest in computer science. This is actually a character prompt. It is asking you to prove that you have the patience and tenacity that is required of a college student. You can use any sort of situation that you found yourself requiring to persevere. It does not have to be related to programming. However, you should be able to relate that experience with an enlightenment regarding your desire undertake this course. Explain how your career path was shaped by the perseverance that you had to implement during this task. Yes, it can be work related. Detail oriented work would be better to present so that you can somehow relate that your career path. However, if you do not have any such experience, then do not force yourself to make something up. It will be highly difficult for you to do so. You can still use the simple perseverance story, provided you can explain how it opened your mind to the need for you to use programming to automate your work.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 31, 2021
Writing Feedback / IELTS WRITING TASK 2 - formal schooling or independent learning online at home? [3]

It is difficult to defend a single opinion stance when you say you "personally partially agree with this notion". Mostly because you already admitted to the merits of school based studies. So you are contradicting yourself in the sentence presentation. This blurs your actual opinion and affects your TA score as you will be judged to "not have a clear opinion presentation". For this type of writing it is always better to either agree or disagree, basing the extent of the opinion on a specifically provided reason instead. That type of presentation creates a "clear opinion" for the examiner, who will then simply judge your writing on other scoring considerations.

The extent essay is not to be written in a comparative format. That is because the instruction is asking you to defend only one opinion, either you agree or disagree to a specific extent. The "extent" will be based on the 2 related reasons that you will be presenting within the 2 reasoning paragraphs. That will help to further clarify and support the extent of your opinion presentation in the first paragraph.

When you see the word OR in the instructions for writing, that is the automatic signal that you have to write a single opinion essay. OR is used to signify a choice between 2 options. You cannot choose to defend both options in this case because of the existence of the word OR. Now, if you are asked to discuss both opinions, then you must use the comparative format for writing that essay.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 31, 2021
Writing Feedback / IELTS Writing Task 1: Student enrolment in 1980 and 2000 [6]

You have to identify the number of images that are being used in the report. That helps the reader to anticipate how much information for comparison purposes will be presented. Additionally, you should be more accurate in your information presentation. A summary of the courses offered would have also helped present a listing of what information would be analyzed in the later paragraphs. Good work on using connecting adverbs. That will definitely be noticed and will help give you a better GRA score.

The last sentence at the end should be included as a part of the previous paragraph. This is not a 4 paragraph report. It could easily be completed within 3 paragraphs. As a stand alone sentence, the presentation does not help add clarity or analysis to the presentation. However, when added to the previous paragraph at the end, it has a better sense of importance and adds clarity to the overall paragraph presentation.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 31, 2021
Writing Feedback / The proportion of people who had a habit of eating five portions of fruit and vegetables every day [3]

Your first paragraph depicted an accurate summary of the information from the image. You also properly identified the graph that was used in the presentation. This is one of the better summary overviews I have read so far at this forum. However, the presentation that you used in the summary overview did not carry over in accuracy and clarity in the next paragraphs.

Though you used the correct 3 paragraph presentation for this report, you created run on sentences in both the remaining paragraphs. This made it difficult to follow the accuracy of your data presentation for the remainder of the data listing. In the second paragraph, you need to have done at least another sentence analysis to have helped in the presentation of accurate information and a proper comparison of the given data.

In the last paragraph, you relied solely on commas to separate your presentations. There is a lack of punctuation usage in this particular paragraph to show that you can clearly present information using various sentence formations (simple and complex). An over reliance on the use of a comma results in run-on sentence presentations which tend to blur the information presented as you try to compress 2 separate information presentations into one sentence. The analysis in this section was a bit confusing to follow as you were constantly presenting information for the men and children within the same sentence. These should have been separated in paragraph form. In fact, you could have used the presentation for the men in the second paragraph, to use as a comparison with the women, rather than the children. A comparison between adults is more logical as the data presentation would be somewhat similar or uniform as compared to adult v. kids information comparisons.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 31, 2021
Graduate / SOP for Msc in psychology and cognitive science [2]

You have to remove the reference to being an 11 year old and having such an active interest in Cognitive Science already. The reviewer will see this exaggeration as you trying to qualify yourself for the program when you do not have actual abilities to do so. That paragraph alone is enough to end your application. Never exaggerate. Since this is an SOP for a masters course, use the proper focus for the overall discussion. That is, your professional exposure to the field of cognitive science after completing your undergraduate course.

You do not have the proper qualifications presented as an undergraduate or a professional to qualify for the Masters in Cognitive Science. You do not qualify for a program simply because you say it is the perfect master for yourself. An interest in all the courses, without an actual purpose or professional application on your part makes your interest weak.

As a personal statement, this essay works. As a statement of purpose, it is missing exactly that, a purpose. There is nothing referenced in this essay that would prove an actual purpose for your studies in terms of professional application. Simply having an academic interest in a masters course, which you plan to take... upon graduation from your undergraduate course perhaps, does not immediately qualify you for a masters course. The "maybe" at the end of the last paragraph sounds like the start of an actual purpose but, I can't be sure. The discussion failed to continue to explain itself just when you were getting to the actual purpose of your essay.

Delete this essay and write a true statement of purpose. One that shows an actual study goal on your part, based upon your academic and current professional experiences, whatever those may be.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 31, 2021
Scholarship / My Study Plan for writing the Language Proficiency Test and the GRE [2]

I am not sure what you mean by "writing these exams." Do you mean you wish to take these exams? Are you writing a request for sponsorship letter in relation to pay for the testing fees? You are not really very clear about the purpose of this letter . Normally, someone who wishes to take these tests do not need to create a study plan for it. Mostly because there is no target course of line of study that needs to be justified when one wishes to take these tests. Anyway, I'll see what I can do to help you.

You should open with a plea to have your reviewer sponsor your TOEFL and GRE exams before you present any information about your previous education. Since the whole point of this letter is to get them to pay for the test fees, that should actually be the focal point of the study plan. You should:

1. Explain the need for you to take the TOEFL and GRE tests in relation to studies in the United States.
2. Explain why you believe you are qualified to successfully take these tests.
3. Explain how you plan to prepare to take and pass these tests
4. Describe how studies in MPH will benefit your home country upon your return ( What you plan to study, why, how it applies to the health sector in Nigeria)

5. Conclude by showing a direct relationship between successfully taking these tests and your ability to help improve a specific public health sector in your country.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 31, 2021

The first paragraph doesn't work to move the essay forward. You only created an unrelated paragraph that does not explain anything in relation to why you chose to study in Turkey, why the scholarship is important to you, or any of the other required information. To reduce your word count, totally remove that paragraph.

The essay is forgot to explain why you chose to study in Turkey. Beyond the reference to Indonesia and Turkey sharing a long history and seeing the country as a multicultural bridge, there is a failure to actually discuss how studying in Turkey will help expand your interest and educate you based on your chosen masters course. You are focusing too much on your relevant experience and background, without considering how these tie in with your interest in Turkey as the center of your education, based on your chosen masters course.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 30, 2021
Writing Feedback / Women are usually under-represented in STEM fields. Explain the reasons and give solutions. [2]

You cannot claim that gender discrimination has been a problem "throughout centuries" as the claim regarding gender discrimination is a 20th century ideology. Do not exaggerate your claims as these change the essence of the original presentation. Also, while it is a "debatable" topic, you cannot claim that it is "controversial" as there is nothing controversial about it. It has not been a part of a prolonged public dispute yet. Do not sensationalize your presentations. That removes the academic tone of your presentation and shows that you would rather focus on "vocabulary" rather than an essentially educated presentation of your discussion. Aim for academic discussions instead of fake news type presentations. You score better when focusing on academic opinions and discussion presentations.

Do not make factual claims in any presentation unless you can cite an actual source of that information. It is better to assume information instead by saying "To the best of my knowledge" or "As far as I know..", creating an academic, but personal data presentation that does not require fact-checking. You really tend to make sensationalist claims in this essay which truly remove from the academic opinion presentation. Are you sure that your claims are undeniable? There will always be people who will claim otherwise and have evidence to disprove your "undeniable" claim. Stop being sensational. Be academic, use an even and educated tone. You are not writing for a tabloid audience, you are writing for an educated set of people who do not take kindly to this kind of writing.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 29, 2021
Writing Feedback / Artificially intelligent robots at every workplace. IELTS writing part II. Give your opinion type. [2]

You have to frame the opinion you are presenting in the first person presentation format. The prompt clearly asks you for your opinion so, this is one case when you must use first person pronouns, since no other opinions are required for the discussion. The presentation you used serves a "general" purpose, meaning it does not necessarily reflect your opinion. This is made clear by your last sentence in the first paragraph which is:

This essay will discuss why in the near future, only a small number of jobs will be done by humans.

This created the general presentation discussion. The more appropriate response would have been a direct representation of your opinion at the end. Something along the lines of,:

While most people believe this to be true, I find myself in disagreement with them because I believe that...

Always use a direct response when dealing with the question provided. This will serve as your thesis statement, which will be the total basis of your opinion presentation / defense / reasoning in the remaining 2 body paragraphs prior to the concluding summary of information. For this particular writing type, you can use the comparative essay format since there is no agree or disagree question to be responded to.

Your discussion in the first paragraph is well presented. The second paragraph needs more work. The example you gave and the explanation needs more work to convince the reader of this point of view. You should have added information as to why robots will fail to do the work due to human nuances. Your vocabulary usage is on point. No problems there. You obviously have a good grasp of the language. It shows in your sentence and paragraph formations.

Overall, this isn't a bad essay. It is just the improper format, the general opinion, rather than the personal opinion, that affected the presentation. Next time, use the correct pronouns, as required by the presentation. In this case, the first person personal pronouns were sorely missed.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 29, 2021
Writing Feedback / The proportion of total residents in India, China, USA and Japan with prediction for 2050 [3]

You know what? This is an example of a well reported chart. The only missing element is the lack of a proper identification of the image provided. You were given a bar chart, not just a chart. The image description needs to be specific because the reader will try to create a mental picture of the information you are providing. So being image specific can really help in that aspect. You did a good job in the summary, save for the incomplete image description. For a 160 word essay, you were able to present the necessary information, comparisons, and predictions. This is the kind of essay that focused, as best as it could, on the clarity of the information presentation rather than the word count. You did a very good job. It is clear, concise, and worthy of more than just a passing score.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 29, 2021

What is the purpose of your thesis research? How do you see this contributing to the study of volcanology and/or earth science in the future? Why did you decide to focus on this line of study? What experiences led to this? The study plan needs to be longer and the purpose, needs to be better explained. I know that you are at the 200 word mark at this point so you will have your work cut out for you when it comes to editing your essay.

For starters, lose the opening paragraph. You are repeating your background unnecessarily. When writing a word limited response, always open with a direct subject related to one of the required discussion topics. That way you do not lose word space in relation to presenting the study plan and research proposal. The last paragraph also poses the same problem. Use the second paragraph as the first paragraph in the revised presentation. Then work on a more definitive discussion of the study plan in relation to your research. Use one paragraph for each topic. That should be more than sufficient to create a more interesting and informative essay for your application.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 29, 2021
Letters / Education Policies for Global Development - GLOBED Erasmus Mundas Scholarship- Motivation Letter [3]

I am motivated by the programs focus on including equity and social justice as central parts of policy making

You will need to discuss the courses of interest to you with specifics along with the university of choice. Your proposed thesis would also help in this aspect to show how your motivation is based on a well rounded understanding of the courses offered during both years and its applicability to your work through the thesis. You should also represent your academic motivation based on the curriculum of the universities you have chosen, which also allows you to explain the motivation for your studies in the universities and the European countries.

The essay is too generalized in presentation. You should be more specific in your essay based upon the prompt requirements. Review the discussion requirements again and adjust your content to reflect the missing or incomplete discussion points.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 29, 2021
Undergraduate / Second Bachelor's Statement for Linguistics - Flow and Cohesion [3]

Since this is a secondary college major, you should be focused on using your professional experiences to better explain the reasons for your interest in Linguistics. Your background is too undergraduate focused so it doesn't really help create the relevant explanation of why a secondary degree would be helpful to your career. You should use only specific information from this essay to create a more proper secondary college major proposal. These paragraphs are, in order of relevance and requirement:

Par. 1: I would like to pursue a bachelor's degree in Linguistics to ... and comparative linguistics. I was fortunate ... clarification of the topic.

Par. 2: I would like to deepen...which I was enrolled. While my chance ... to fascinate me

Par. 3: After being required ...my participation on campus. In my last ...skills into practice.

Par. 4: I feel that the University of ... University of ____ as well.

Expand on these given paragraphs to give a better focus to the clarity of the second degree and its importance.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 27, 2021
Writing Feedback / Should there be any limits of amount of years a teacher may teach the same subject or grade level? [4]

Your first sentence is an exaggeration that does not lend itself to an educated discussion based on a readership base of your peers. This will be read by educated individuals, possibly teachers, who do not see this as a controversial issue. In fact, it was not referred to as such in the original discussion instruction. So why did you feel the need to exaggerate rather than simply discuss the topic? Why are you approaching this as an IELTS Task 2 presentation for that matter? Your format does not make sense. It does not base itself on the CBEST discussion format.

Your explanations are not well supported with proper reasoning and examples. Combining 2 different reasons in one paragraph, without properly explaining connecting and discussing each, in a related manner means that you are only partly successful in explaining yourself throughout the task. Your presentation is not effective due to the weak explanations. Your response approach is basically incorrect. Do not confuse the CBEST with the Task 2 IELTS essay. There is a big difference in the formatting requirements for each test. Familiarize yourself with the CBEST writing format before you proceed to write another practice response essay.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 27, 2021
Undergraduate / Educational Goals & Interests; Digital Media & Computer Science [2]

The presentation is clear and shows a definite interest in the individual programs as both individual courses and, a combined specialization for yourself that would create a unique undergraduate course for you. One that appeals to a specific field of computer science and graphics. The response is strong, made weak only by the sudden insertion of the MathSoc and Hackathon reference. It kind of came out of nowhere and did not really include itself in the previous discussion points. I believe that you can remove that sentence so that the statement does not have a sudden change in focus. Rather, it will remain razor sharp in showing the relationship of the two courses, in a manner that would be of interest to the reviewer.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 27, 2021
Writing Feedback / Scared of driving - CBEST- Identify an obstacle you have faced in your life [2]

Okay. I noticed that towards the middle part of the essay, you lost your focus on the topic you had presented, which was your fear of driving as being an obstacle to you getting to your university earlier. You somehow forgot that part when you stated that your fear was actually dying, without relating it to driving. In order to make this discussion clearer, you have to make sure that your 2 obstacles are proper connected from the beginning. In this case, your obstacle should have been presented as:

I have a fear of dying in a car accident. Therefore, learning how to drive became an obstacle for me.

By giving the reason for the obstacle at the start, the overall discussion would have been clearer. Your presentation actually ends up a bit muddled and difficult to understand at some points because of your reference to terms that do not relate to the overall sentence or paragraph presentation such as "Fewer and then".

You need to learn how to keep the obstacle and the reason together when referencing "fear of death" in the essay. You often focus on just death, without incorporating the "obstacle" in the discussion. This creates a fork in the discussion, separating the two topics, and making the actual obstacle confusing to the reader. Always unite the obstacle and the reason in the discussion to keep the clarity of the discussion presentation for the reader.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Jan 27, 2021
Writing Feedback / IELTS writing task 2 - Not buying printed newspaper or books [6]

You have not properly restated the original prompt as required by the task. You will receive a failed over all score due to the improper discussion format, lack of opinion based on the prompt requirement, and other considerations. The first 2 errors, are already enough to prevent you from getting a baseline passing score. When you are asked "to what extent", that means you need to qualify your response based on a degree of dis/agreement. The correct response format has nothing to do with absurdity or the ridiculousness of the discussion, it has to do with :

- I agree with this statement to the extent that...
- Based on my personal knowledge, I will have to fully disagree with this proposal since...

To name but a few more appropriate measured response presentations for the prompt restatement / response to the prompt discussion instruction.