Prepare with the #1 ranked IELTS platform. Buy our:
Band 8+ Video Courses Recent Actual Tests Questions E-books
general-writing-task-1

IELTS General Writing Task 1

The writing task 1 of the General module of IELTS  is letter writing. Candidates will be allotted 20 minutes to complete the task and the minimum word count is 150. It comprises 33% of your writing scores. Marking criteria is as follows:

  • Task achievement – 25%
  • Coherence and cohesion – 25%
  • Vocabulary – 25%
  • Grammar – 25%

In Task 1 of the General module, candidates will get a question which will contain some instructions regarding the letter.

Types of letters

Letters can be categorized into three main types. They are:

  • Formal 
  • Semi-formal 
  • Informal

Formal letters

These types of letters are addressed to someone whom you don’t know.

Begins with: Dear Sir/Madam

Ends with: Yours faithfully/ Yours sincerely

Example:

You placed an online order for a flower vase. However, when you received it, it was damaged. Write a letter to the manager of the company.

In your letter, you should:

  • Give the details about the equipment.
  • Explain the damage.
  • Suggest what you want the manager to do.

Semi-formal letters

These types of letters are addressed to someone whom you know formally.

Begins with: Dear Mr. Rad

Ends with: Best wishes/All the Best

Example: 

You live in an apartment for rent. Your neighbor makes a lot of noise which has caused problems for you. Write a letter to your house owner..

In your letter, you should:

  • Explain the situation.
  • Tell the house owner how you are affected by this.
  • Suggest what you want the house owner to do.

Informal letters

These letters are addressed to someone whom you know personally.

Begins with: Dear Susan

Ends with: Warm regards

Example:

Write a letter to your neighbor (who is also your friend) about the damage that occurs to your car while he parks his car in the space allotted to you.

In the letter, you should:

  • Describe the damage
  • Say how you feel about this problem.
  • Suggest on actions he should take.

If you observe carefully, all the questions (examples) above fall under the topic “Complaint”. But their types vary based on how well you know the person. So it is very important to identify the type of the letter before beginning to write on it.

Structure of a letter

  • Greeting
  • Purpose of the letter
  • Paragraph 1 
  • Paragraph 2 
  • Sign-off 

Language used

You should use the right language for each type of letter. 

Formal language

Example: I require your assistance to purchase a diamond Jewelry for my wife.

Semi-formal language

Example: I need your help in buying a diamond Jewellery for my wife.

Informal language

Example: How about hopping along with me to the Jewellery shop and helping me to select a piece of diamond jewellery for my wife?

Where to use contractions?

You can use contractions like “I’ll come” in  informal and semi formal types of letters. It should be avoided in formal letters where you will have to use “I will come”.

Plan how to write your letter

  • First of all, identify the type of the letter.
  • Read the instructions carefully so that you address all parts of the question.
  • Decide how to greet 
  • Decide on the language to be used based on the type of the letter.
  • Decide the sign-off for the letter
  • Decide on what content to write for each of the body paragraphs.

Some of the letter topics that you can practice:

  • Invitation
  • Recommendation
  • Amendment
  • Apology
  • Application
  • Accommodation
  • Complaint
  • Advice
  • Explanation
  • Request

What the examiner is looking for in your letter ?

  • Is the purpose of the letter mentioned
  • Are all the three points (given in the question) covered
  • Are the paragraphs organized properly
  • Usage of appropriate vocabulary
  • Usage of appropriate tense 
  • How error free are the sentence structures?

Practice IELTS General Writing Task 1

Our ebook

You can also purchase the ebook on letter writing from our online store. It contains topics on formal, informal and semi formal letters with answers. These are topics that appeared in the IELTS exams conducted recently.

IELTS Writing Task 1 (General Training) Actual Test with Sample Answers (September – December 2020) [pdf]

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES

IELTS Apology Letter for General Training

IELTS Apology Letter for General Training

IELTS General Training Writing test is for 60 minutes and consists of 2 tasks....

G

Glen Brown

May 7, 2021

How to Write a Formal Letter

How to Write a Formal Letter

The IELTS General Training test task 1 is always letter writing. In this task,...

J

Justin

May 7, 2021

How to Write a Letter - IELTS General Writing Task 1

How to Write a Letter – IELTS General Writing Task 1

The first task of the IELTS General Training exam is letter writing. It is...

J

Janice Thompson

May 6, 2021

How to Write An Informal Letter

How to Write An Informal Letter

The writing task 1 of the IELTS General Training test is always letter writing....

J

Justin

May 6, 2021

IELTS General Writing Letter Types

IELTS General Writing Letter Types

The first task of the IELTS General Training writing exam is letter writing. You...

R

Ruben Smith

May 6, 2021

IELTS General Writing Task 1 Linking Structures

IELTS General Writing Task 1 Linking Structures

IELTS General Training writing task 1 evaluates your English writing abilities through letter writing....

W

Whitney Houston

May 6, 2021

Structure for IELTS General Writing Task 1

Structure for IELTS General Writing Task 1

IELTS General Writing task 1 is letter-writing, and this task requires you to write...

J

Justin

May 6, 2021

IELTS General Writing Task 1 Samples

IELTS General Writing Task 1 Samples

Writing task 1 of the IELTS General Writing test is always letter writing. In...

R

Ruben Smith

May 5, 2021

IELTS Letter Writing Topics

IELTS Letter Writing Topics 2020

The IELTS General Training exam is divided into two parts - task 1 and...

J

Janet

May 5, 2021

Improve IELTS General Training Letter

Improve IELTS General Training Letter

The IELTS General exam is for those who wish to migrate to an English...

J

Justin

May 5, 2021

$18 $37

IELTS Writing (General) Actual Tests eBook Combo (March - June 2021) [Task 1+ Task 2]

4.9 stars rating

4.9  ( 10 Reviews )

Featured Posts

101 IELTS Academic Reading Past Test Papers with Answers PDF Download
101 IELTS Academic Reading Past Test Papers with Answers PDF Download

"101 IELTS Reading Past Papers With Answers" is a must-have IELTS preparation book for......

42 Topics for IELTS Speaking Part 1 and Suggested Answers (PDF)
42 Topics for IELTS Speaking Part 1 and Suggested Answers (free PDF download)

In the IELTS Speaking Part 1 Section, IELTS examiner will introduce him or herself......

Useful IELTS Reading Articles, Website Resources & Material for Academic & General Training
Useful IELTS Reading Articles, Website Resources & Material for Academic and General Training

IELTS Reading Resources Besides doing exercises from reading practice tests from Cambridge IELTS Series,......

50 Recent IELTS Speaking Topics 2020 Part 2 & 3 with Model Answers
50 Recent IELTS Speaking Topics 2021 Part 2 & 3 with Model Answers

For Band 9 Sample Answers for all Part 1,2,3 topics in 2021, you can......

All Useful IELTS Writing Lessons & Websites
All Useful IELTS Writing Lessons & Websites

This post covers all IELTS Writing lessons on IELTS Material website, including: IELTS Writing......

IELTS Writing Recent Actual Tests in 2018 & Band 8.0+ Sample Answers (Updating)
IELTS Writing Recent Actual Tests in 2018 & Band 8.0+ Sample Answers (Updating)

Read IELTS Writing Actual Tests & Band 8.0+ Samples around the world to be......

IELTS Speaking Lessons
IELTS Speaking Lessons

This post contains useful links to the best IELTS speaking lessons/tips/books/practice tests/actual tests/sample answer...

100 IELTS Speaking Topics Part 1 Questions and Answers 2019
100 IELTS Speaking Topics Part 1 Questions and Answers 2019

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topics Questions and Answers (Jan -May 2020) Check out the......

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topics 2020 (Jan - May 2020) & Sample Answers
IELTS Speaking Part 1 Questions with Answers 2020 (Jan – May 2020)

In part 1 of the speaking test, the examiner will introduce himself or herself......

High Scoring IELTS Speaking Model Answers with Audio (Based on Past Papers)
High Scoring IELTS Speaking Model Answers with Audio (Based on Past Papers)

What could be better than preparing yourself for your exam by reading model answers......

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics in 2019 & Sample Answers
IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics in 2019 & Sample Answers

To be well-prepared for IELTS exam (both IELTS Academic & IELTS General Training Module),......

IELTS Magazine - Week 1 (PDF)
IELTS Magazine – Week 1 (PDF)

IELTS Magazine is our brand new project on our official IELTS blog (ieltsmaterial.com), which......

IELTS Speaking Recent Actual Tests (January - April 2021) & Suggested Answers
IELTS Speaking Recent Actual Tests (January – April 2021) & Suggested Answers

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Question and Answers In the following page, you will......

150 IELTS Speaking Topics 2020 Part 2 & 3 with Model Answers
150 IELTS Speaking Topics 2020 Part 2 & 3 with Model Answers

Check out the latest IELTS Speaking Part 2 topics 2020 with model answers by......

IELTS General Training Writing Task 2 Sample Questions (2013 - 2020) & Model Answers free PDF download
IELTS General Training Writing Task 2 Sample Questions (2013 – 2020) & Model Answers free PDF download

Though IELTS writing is considered to be difficult for some students, it's helpful to......

Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS Series (1 - 14) Academic and General Training Student's Book with Answers and Audios
Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS Series (1 – 14) Academic and General Training Student’s Book with Answers and Audios

Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS Series (1 - 14), written by experienced IELTS examiners......

Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS Series (1 - 14) Student's Book with Answers with Audio [Latest Update]
Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS Series (1 – 14) Student’s Book with Answers with Audio [Latest Update]

Cambridge IELTS 1 - 13 Academic & General Training Student's Book with Answers with......

Ace the IELTS : IELTS General Module - How to Maximize your Score (3rd edition)
Ace the IELTS : IELTS General Module – How to Maximize your Score (3rd edition)

This excellent self-study book for intense IELTS preparation in a few weeks is designed......

Advanced Vocabulary word List for IELTS
Advanced Vocabulary word List for IELTS

Advanced Vocabulary List for IELTS learners to Score Band 7.5 or Higher IELTS vocabulary......

Post Your IELTS Exam Questions
Post Your IELTS Exam Questions

Hi guys, When you were preparing for your IELTS, did you hope someone would......

Do you need help with IELTS Preparation, Enroll for our Master Program:

Enroll for Online Classes