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Speaking, Writing

Join our campain to stop spam in the IELTS speaking and writing!

I’d like to start by sharing a little bit of spam with you. I keep getting the same comment on our blog postings. A number of ‘different people’ post:

Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved MUCH time 🙂

Now, much as I would like to believe the writer really thought it was an awesome post, the sad reality is that this is spam. How do I know? Well, for one, we’re not the only ones who get praised for sheer awesomeness in this way. A quick google search shows that there are an awful lot of ‘awesome posting’ comments out there, exactly the same as the ones we get.

So, why do we get this comment? Well, spammers just want free links to their own sites – it’s free advertising. Most of it is automated and because it’s pre-written and mass-produced, it has nothing to do with our blog post or our sheer awesomeness.

Some spammers produce better spam than this example. Take a look at these:

I don’t agree with everything in this write-up, but you do make some very good points. I’m very interested in this topic and I myself do a lot of research as well. Either way it was a well thought out and nice to read so I figured I would leave you a comment. Feel free to check out my website sometime and let me know what you think.

Or

This is a fantastic article, I found your blog site researching yahoo for a related topic and came to this. I couldn’t discover too much additional info on this topic, so it was nice to find this post. I will certainly be back again to check out some other posts that you have another time.

These are quite detailed. A lot of time and effort has gone into their production, but they’re very generic (general). They could (and are!) used to comment on blog posts about a wide range of topics. They have to be general, because the writer never reads the content of the blog. He/she doesn’t have to.

Real human visitors to blogs hate spam. Search engines hate spam. Blog writers hate spam.

What is IELTS spam?

So … why am I telling you this?

Well, spam does not just appear in blog comments. Some IELTS candidates spam the examiner in the IELTS writing and speaking exams. They pre-prepare what they want to say/write, and they try to fit it into the interview or into their essay, no matter what the topic is. Sometimes the spam just doesn’t fit, and other times it’s so generic that it almost seems real. But, just as blog spam is easy to spot, so is IELTS spam. And just as people hate reading spam comments, IELTS examiners hate hearing or reading spam. Even if it’s good spam, your examiner will penalize you for using it.

It is very tempting to prepare answers for common speaking and writing topics in advance. But don’t give in to this temptation.

Don’t spam in the IELTS!

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