IELTS General Writing Task 1 Sample Semi-Formal Letters

As you know, the IELTS General Training is designed to assess applicants who plan to migrate to an English speaking country for the purpose of working or joining a non-academic form of training.

The subject topic for the IELTS Writing test is different in IELTS Academic and IELTS General. In this post, we will be looking at the sample semi-formal letters for the IELTS General Writing test, task 1.

IETLS General Writing Test

The IELTS General Writing Test takes 1 hour to complete 2 tasks. In task 1 you’ll have to write a letter, while in task 2, you’ll have to write an essay of at least 250 words.

General Writing Task 1

For the IELTS Writing test, you’ll get a total of 1 hour to complete both the tasks, so it is recommended to not spend more than 20 minutes for task 1.

In task 1, you have to write a letter of correspondence, not less than 150 words, explaining a situation, or requesting information of some kind. The question will be a common everyday scenario like expressing your interest in a new job, complaining to a company about bad service, apologizing to a friend for missing a party or so on.

Along with the task question, there’ll be 2 bullet points to outline the specific information and pointers you have to include in your letter. The bullet points may include suggestions and recommendations to help you draft the letter.

Before you start writing the letter, you have to first identify the type of letter you are being asked to write. There are 3 types of letters that can be asked, namely

  • Formal
  • Semi-Formal
  • Informal

It’s important to identify the type of letter that’s being asked as each letter type will require a different communication tone and level of respect. The communication tone and level of respect will differ based on the kind of relationship you have with the person you’re writing to.

Since we’re covering semi-formal letters in this article, the semi-formal letters will mostly be a question that’ll ask you to write a letter to someone you may or may not have personally met like your professor, neighbour, landlord, so on…

Writing Task 1 Sample Semi-formal Letters

Here are a few samples of semi-formal letters for IELTS Writing Task 1 for the General Training Paper. All of them should be written in not less than 150 words.

Question 1

You need to take some time off from work to go on holiday. Write a letter to your direct manager.

In your letter:

  • Ask for time off and explain why
  • Provide the dates and times for which you will be unavailable to work.
  • Describe what you will do to prepare or make up for your absence.

Question 2

You are experiencing financial problems and want to ask your landlord if you can pay your rent late. Write a letter to your landlord.

In your letter explain:

  • Why you are writing to him
  • Why you cannot pay the rent
  • When you will pay the rent.

Question 3

You were absent from an important event held by the company you work for.

Write a letter to your manager. In your letter:

  • Apologize for your absence and explain the reasoning.
  • Explain why you had to be at the other event.
  • Explain what you will do to catch up.

Question 4

You are due to move into a rented apartment next week but you will not be able to due to an unexpected problem.

Write a letter to the property manager. In your letter

  • Explain the situation
  • Describe your problems
  • Tell him/her when you think you can move in

Question 5

You have been living in a rental apartment for the past year. Recently, a new neighbour moved in who has loud parties several times a week.

Write a letter to your landlord. In your letter:

  • Explain the situation
  • Describe why it bothers you
  • Suggest a solution

Question 6

You applied to a job, were offered the position, but have decided not to accept the offer.

Write a letter to the HR supervisor with whom you interviewed. In your letter:

  • Explain the reason why you are declining the offer.
  • Describe your reasons for staying with your current position.
  • Express your gratitude

Question 7

You have received a job offer for an exciting, new position. Although you are expected to start on September 7th, you are only available to start a week later due to personal reasons.

Write a letter to your new boss. In your letter:

  • Express your enthusiasm for the job offer.
  • Explain the problem
  • Suggest what you can do

Question 8

Although you are meant to present your thesis project in one month, your sister is getting married in Spain at the same time. You would like to change the dates of your presentation.

Write a letter to your professor. In your letter:

  • Explain the situation
  • Remind the professor of your academic achievements to date.
  • Ask for a different date to present your thesis.

Question 9

You have been invited to a networking conference for your field of work.

Write a letter to your boss. In your letter:

  • Describe the invitation you received and why it is important to you.
  • Explain why the conference would be beneficial for you and the company.
  • Ask for the company for time off to attend and to cover some of the travel costs.

Question 10

You have been assigned to give a networking presentation with your colleague from a different office, who you met last year.

Write a letter to your colleague. In your letter:

  • Inform your colleague that you will be working together.
  • Provide your initial ideas on the networking presentation.
  • Ask for a time to meet and practice the presentation.

Question 11

You are going to spend your vacation in Rome, Italy. Your friend’s grandfather lives there and has offered to let you stay in his apartment.

Write a letter to your friend’s grandfather. In your letter:

  • Thank him for the offer but politely decline.
  • Inform him of when you will be in Rome and your travel plans.
  • Invite him for an outing

Question 12

You have had a problem with your neighbor for the past few months. You have not been able to meet with your neighbor to discuss the problem.

Write a letter to your neighbor. In your letter:

  • Explain the problem
  • Suggest a solution
  • Explain what action you will take if the situation does not improve.
Written By

Syed Monif is a professional content marketer and IELTS Trainer by day, and a bookworm by night, and sometimes during the day too! He currently works on creating extremely user-friendly and engaging content for the online portal IELTSmaterial.com. His work involves creating and editing content while making sure they're super interesting and easy to read! And also as a master procrastinator, right now he's probably googling something so arbitrary like 'How rich is Scrooge McDuck?' without realizing that his lunch break is almost over.

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