IELTS Apology Letter: How to Write an Apology Letter, Sample Letters 

7 minute read
apology letter ielts

The IELTS General Writing Task 1 throws a diverse range of writing prompts at test takers, and apology letters are a prominent theme/topic. Apology letters demand clear and mature communication, allowing you to acknowledge your shortcomings and address the recipient’s feelings effectively. Whether tackling a formal or informal scenario, these letters hinge on precise details. Begin with accurate sender and recipient information, dated appropriately. Then, craft a concise and informative subject line that acts as a roadmap for the rest of your apology.

If you’re yearning to refine your apology-writing skills, this article is your compass. Packed with valuable insights and expert guidance, it delves deep into the art of crafting impactful letters that convey genuine remorse and pave the way for reconciliation. So, dive in and discover the secrets to expressing regret eloquently, making this article your essential companion for acing the IELTS General Writing Task 1.

What Should You Include in An IELTS Apology Letter? 

Whilst writing an apology letter in the IELTS General Writing Task 1, test-takers such as yourself must include the following elements: 

  • In the opening line (or lines) of your letter, keep an apologetic tone. Express your remorse by saying ‘I am sorry’ (informal letter) or ‘Please accept my apologies’ (formal letter). 
  • Once you’ve written your opening line, state the reason why you are apologising in the body paragraphs.  
  • You should take ownership of your mistake and keep a firm tone whilst apologising. There’s no shame in being sorry for a misstep you took. This will make the reader feel affirmed that you are truly sorry. 
  • In your letter, ensure that you suggest or offer to make some amends. 
  • Whilst writing apology letters in IELTS writing task 1, keep the tonality in mind. For instance,  an apology letter to a friend usually has a more casual tone. On the other hand, if you are writing an apology letter to your boss, try writing in a more formal tone. 

IELTS Task 1 –  How to Write an Apology Letter? 

Clearly understanding the specific prompt and pinpointing the exact reason for writing is crucial. The opening paragraph should concisely and unambiguously introduce the letter’s objective. When crafting a formal apology letter, remember to adopt an appropriate tone. Utilise apt vocabulary and expressions, avoiding informal language and contractions.

Every IELTS General Writing Task 1 letter follows a specific structure: sender information, recipient details, date, salutation, body paragraphs, closing, and signature. By mastering this format, students can confidently approach any letter-writing task.

The IELTS Apology Letter Structure is as follows: 

  • Dear ._____ (Name of recipient)
  • Paragraph 1 (Purpose): Write a sentence or two stating the purpose of the letter, i.e., to apologise. 
  • Paragraph 2 (Explanation): State the reason for your misstep or mistake. 
  • Paragraph 3 (Offer an Apology): Write that you are truly sorry for your mistake.  
  • Paragraph 4 (Suggestion): Suggest or offer a proposal to make amendments. 

Let’s delve deeper into each segment of an apology letter to get a better grasp of its nuances. 


Mention the name of the recipient in your opening line. For instance, start your letter by writing Dear XYZ (name of the recipient). Now, keep in mind that you should mention the name only if you are writing an informal apology letter, i.e., to your friend/family.  If you are writing a formal letter, then start your letter by writing ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. Ensure that your greeting encapsulates the appropriate tonality of your letter as it would infer how you write your body paragraphs and the sign-off. 


You can sign off your formal apology letter by writing ‘Yours sincerely’ or ‘Yours faithfully’. Now, you may use ‘Kind regards’ for an informal letter. It is to be noted that you should always sign off a formal letter with your full name, i.e., 

     Yours sincerely,

     Shubham Das

If you are writing an informal apology letter to a friend/family, you can write: 

All the best/See you soon/Keep in touch 

(Your Name) 

Paragraph 1   

You must state the reason for writing the letter in your para 1. It is imperative to start your paragraph by apologising for your misstep. It is to be noted that using too many contractions in formal apology letters can result in the loss of your scores. 

Example: I’m writing to apologise / to say sorry for…  

Paragraph 2

The second paragraph of your apology letter should include an explanation for your misstep. In the second paragraph, you write about bullet point 1. Whilst writing the second paragraph, keep the language formal/semi-formal and do not exceed the word limit of 50 words. 

Example: My laptop is not functioning properly due to which I had to miss the online meeting yesterday. 

Paragraph 3

Offer an apology to the recipient in the third paragraph. 

Example: I sincerely apologise for my inefficacy and regret that my pendencies have put your work on hold. I was hoping that most of the work would be done by the end of the day but I admit I behaved irresponsibly and could’ve made the process much easier and faster. 

IELTS Apology Letter: Sample Questions With Answers 

Sample IELTS Apology Letters: Here are some sample apology letters that you can refer to whilst attempting the IELTS General Writing Task 1. 

Question 1:

You missed an important meeting at work. Write a letter to your manager. 

In this letter

  1.  Apologise for not attending 
  2. Explain why you did not attend
  3. Say what you will do to make up for it. 

“Dear Abhinav Sir, 

I am writing to express my apologies for not attending the important meeting yesterday. I know the meeting was important and a lot was at stake. Unfortunately, my father’s ill health stopped me from attending the meeting. 

My father suffered a minor heart stroke and I was required to take him to the hospital immediately. Since there was nobody in my family to look after me, it left me with no option but to drop the meeting and to be with him. 

Just following up to ensure I’m caught up on everything discussed yesterday. Aditi will be supplying all the crucial details, and I’ll have a clearer picture of what’s needed from me by the end of today.

Please accept my sincere apologies for missing the meeting. I understand my absence may have caused inconvenience, and I greatly regret it. The circumstances surrounding my absence were unforeseen, and I hope you understand.


Shubham Das” 

Question 2

A friend of yours plans to visit your place and stay with you, but you do not have time on that date. Give your friend another alternate date to come.

In your letter, you should:

  1. Apology for it
  2. Explain what you will be busy with on that date
  3. Suggest to him/her an alternate time to come.

Dear Manasvi, 

I hope this letter finds you in good health. I was thrilled to hear about your plans to visit! The thought of you staying with me fills me with excitement, and I know we’d have a fantastic time together. 

However, I regret to inform you that I won’t be available during the dates you had in mind. 

I’ve been called away for urgent work in Kathmandu for the entire month. I’m beyond disappointed to miss your visit, and I understand this throws a wrench in your plans. Please believe me when I say I feel awful about it.

But here’s a potential silver lining! If you’re still flexible with your dates, how about planning your stay sometime after the second week of this month? By then, things should settle down on my end, and I’d be thrilled to host you. We could even visit Majnu and Tilla and go shopping, and make the most of your postponed visit.

I hope this alternative idea sounds good to you and you forgive me for the inconvenience. I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Warm Wishes

Shubham Das

So that was all about IELTS Apology Letters. Hope the blog has answered your queries regarding the topic. 


Q1. How to write an apology letter for IELTS?

Ans. You can write an apology letter by stating the purpose of your letter, mentioning the reason for your misstep, offering your apologies and providing some suggestions to make amendments.  

Q2. How to get 8.0 in IELTS Writing?

Ans. Test takers can use a range of linkers, adverbial phrases, references, and punctuations to bolster their overall scores in IELTS writing. 

Q3. What is the duration of the IELTS Letter Writing Task? 

Ans. The IELTS General Writing Task 1 (Letter Writing) requires individuals to complete the task within 20 minutes. 

Related Reads:

IELTS Syllabus 2023 & Section-Wise Exam PatternIELTS Marking Scheme | IELTS Scoring System & Grading
IELTS Preparation Tips: General Tips and Section Wise …IELTS Exam 2023 Dates, Registration, Result, Preparation
IELTS Eligibility: IELTS Exam Age Limit & QualificationIELTS Sample Tests: PDF (Download), Exam Pattern

Visit the Leverage Live page of Leverage edu or contact our study abroad experts at 1800-57-2000 to strengthen your scores and application to secure your spot in your dream college. 

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