IELTS General Writing Task 1

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IELTS General Writing Task 1

IELTS is one of the most prominent assessments for testing your proficiency in the English Language. It is a standardized test lasting 2 hours and 45 minutes that consists of Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. IELTS General Writing combines two tasks, Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2.

IELTS General Writing Task 1 Format

In IELTS General Writing Task 1, you will be given a situation and required to write a personal response in the form of an informal, semi-formal or formal letter of at least 150 words. You will need to write in a style that is appropriate for your audience such as:

  • When writing to a friend, use an informal style
  • When writing to a manager, use semi-formal or formal

*Please note that you do not need to include any addresses at the head of your letters.

There will be various situations such as:

  • Writing to a college accommodation officer about problems with accommodation
  • Writing to a new employer about time management problems they are having
  • Writing to a local newspaper about a plan to develop a local airport
  • Writing to a renting agency to sort out problems with the heating system in their house

Along with that, you will be told to include what kind of information you need to mention in your answers. You may be required to request or give information and/or explain a situation. For example:

  • Ask for and/or provide general factual information
  • Express needs, wants, likes or dislikes, express opinions or complaints
  • Make requests or make suggestions/recommendations
[Also Read:]

IELTS General Writing Task 1 Helpful Tips

  1. Before starting with the writing task, you must identify the type of letter you are being asked to write
  2. Find out the purpose of the letter
  3. Divide the letter into paragraphs; Introduction, Problem, Solution, Conclusion
  4. Write at least 150 words
  5. Include the following bulleted points in your letter; 
    1. explain the problem
    2. describe why it disturbs you
    3. suggest a solution
  6. Keep a track of time

IELTS General Writing Task 1 Grading Criteria

You are assessed on the following grading criteria for IELTS General Writing Task 1:

  • Task achievement
  • Coherence & cohesion
  • Lexical resource
  • Grammar range & accuracy

IELTS General Writing Task 1 Score Chart

Band 8 Clear overview
Key features are clearly highlighted and well-illustrated
Everything is sufficiently covered
Band 7 Clear overview
Clearly highlights key features
No inaccurate information
Some areas could have been written in a better way
Band 6 Overview is there
Highlights key features adequately
Well selected information
Some information may be inaccurate
Band 5 No clear overview
Key features not covered correctly
Too much detail
No data to support statements
Inaccurate information

IELTS General Writing Task 1 Examples

Style To  Opening Line Closing Line
Formal To someone you have not met, whose name you don’t know Dear Sir/Madam Yours faithfully
Semi-formal To someone you may or may not have met, whose last name you know Dear Mr/Ms Yours sincerely
Informal To someone, you know well, whose first name you know and use Dear XYZ Best regards, Warm wishes

Here are some sample questions to help you understand how to write each task:

Formal Letter

You are looking for a full-time job. Write a letter to an employment agency.

  • Give your introduction
  • Mention the kind of job you want to pursue
  • Include your skills and experience
  • Begin your letter with Dear Sir/Madam

Word Limit: At Least 150 words

Duration: About 20 minutes

Semi-formal Letter

You are going to take a short holiday in Bali and you want to rent an apartment while you are there. Write to the tourist information office.

  • Explain your needs
  • Mention your arrival and departure
  • Ask for the cost of staying 
  • Begin your letter with Dear Mr/Ms (name)

Word Limit: At Least 150 words

Duration: About 20 minutes

Informal Letter

You stayed at your friend’s house when you attended a seminar in Canada. Unfortunately, you left some important documents in your room. Write a letter to your friend.

  • Thank your friend for the stay
  • Explain when and where you left the documents 
  • Politely ask them to return them to you
  • Begin your letter with Dear (name)

Word Limit: At Least 150 words

Duration: About 20 minutes

Also Read:

IELTS Writing Task Samples

Sample 1 Click here
Sample 2 Click here
Sample 3 Click here
Sample 4 Click here


What is IELTS?

IELTS is a standardized English Proficiency test lasting 2 hours and 45 minutes that consists of Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing.

How long is the IELTS Exam?

The IELTS Exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes long.

How many writing tasks are given in the IELTS Exam?

The IELTS Exam includes 2 writing tasks.

Join Leverage Live to score high in IELTS and land at your dream university now!

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