The general writing task 1 exam evaluates the test taker’s writing skills in responding to a complaint, requesting information or explaining a certain situation in a letter.
You should spend no more than 20 minutes on this section and you should write at least 150 words. IELTS Task 1 forms 33% of your total writing mark.
IELTS Letter Writing General Task 1 – training and overview
Letter writing in English consists of standard phrases and structures, most of which are outlined below in this tutorial.
Also, you can use the question as a ready-made plan to follow for your writing, you can write a few sentences for each bullet point in the question, and you have a well-structured answer covering the task response requirement.
IELTS Writing General Task 1: Sample letters to make a complaint
- Example Letter: A formal complaint
You have eaten at a restaurant and it was such a terrible experience that you have decided to inform the manager by letter of what happened and that you want your money back. Things to include:
– Facts. You need to be concise but explain what happened.
– Polite. No one responds to insults.
– Outline what you wish from this. What do you want to happen?
– Firmness. You want to be taken seriously.
- Example Letter: Your next-door neighbour owns a small dog that barks throughout the day and the night. Write a letter to your neighbour requesting that something be done about the dog. Include in your letter:
– Your reason for writing
– What you would like to happen
– A nice, respectful style
- Example Letter: You ordered an item from an online store and it has arrived damaged.
Write a letter to the retailer to complain. In the letter:
– Explain why you are unhappy
– Request a refund
– Make arrangements to return the damaged item
- Example Letter: Your internet connection has been slow and intermittent.
Write a letter to your internet service provider to complain. In the letter:
– Describe the problem and why you are unhappy
– Arrange for an engineer to visit your home
– Request a reduction in your bill
- A reporter complained about a new TV program that you like. Write a letter to the newspaper editor.– Describe your point of view.
– Say what you like about the show and why.
– Ask the newspaper to take some action.
Useful general Task 1 Phrases to make a complaint
|I am not happy about
|I want you to know that
|I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with
|I am writing to express my annoyance with
|I am very much unhappy with
|I must complain about
|I feel something should be done about
|I am writing to you to complain
IELTS Letter samples for Task 1: to make an application
- IELTS writing sample: A job application Cover letter
You are applying for a job. As well as attaching a CV, you need to write a cover letter explaining your reasons for choosing this particular job at this particular company, and why you would be a good hire. Things to include are:
– Possible qualifications or reasons for you to be hired
– Your energy and enthusiasm for the job
– Your past experience in a similar position.
- IELTS writing sample: The school library is seeking applicants for a job over summer break. Write a letter to the library’s manager, in your letter include:
– A brief introduction of yourself
– Your experience and relevant skills
– Why you want the job
- You would like to join the local orchestra
Write a letter of application to the orchestra. In the letter:
– Introduce yourself and your instrument of choice
– Explain how your credentials make you a good candidate
– Express your enthusiasm for music
- IELTS writing sample: Your children go to a local school that requires volunteers to accompany school science trips.
Write a letter to the school to apply to be a volunteer. In the letter:
– Introduce yourself and give details of your children who attend the school
– Explain why you are interested in the position
– Talk about any relevant experience that you have with children
IELTS Task 1 formal vocabulary to make an application
|I am writing in relation to the advertised position of…
|Please find my CV attached…
|If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me…
|I am available between the hours of 2pm and 4pm Monday – Thursday.
|I am writing to apply for the position of…
|My responsibilities included….
|My most recent job was…
|I believe I have all the relevant experience required…
IELTS General Letter Writing Samples: How to write an invitation
General writing task 1 sample: Your friends recently moved to a new city. You will also be moving to the same city. Write a letter to your friends and include:
– Ask where to find a place to live
– Tell them what type of place you’re looking for
– Share some fun things you would like to do when you get there
IELTS general writing task 1 sample: You will be graduating from university and would like to invite your family to the ceremony.
Write a letter of invitation to your parents. In the letter:
– Explain that you have completed your studies
– Give details of the event, including time, date and dress code
– Let them know how many tickets they have and who they are for
IELTS general writing task 1 sample: You have won a holiday to Hawaii with one extra ticket.
Write a letter to someone to invite them along with you. In the letter:
– Explain what has happened and that you would like them to come
– Give details of when the trip will take place
– Inform the person of the things they will need for the trip
IELTS Writing Task 1 Vocabulary to invite or reply to an invite
|I am writing you in response to your invitation
|With the reference of your proposal
|Please do let me know if you can make it
|Thank you for your kind invite however, unfortunately
|I am writing to reply to your kind invitation regarding the
|Do let me know if you can make it
|It would be delightful to have you here
|Please RSVP as soon as possible
IELTS General Letter Writing Samples: Answers to advise
- Writing task 1 sample letter: Write a letter to your favourite restaurant. Include the following:
· Your reason for writing
· What you like about the restaurant
· Suggestions for improvement
- Writing task 1 sample letter: Write a letter to the newspaper editor about an experience you had at a restaurant. The experience can be good or bad. Describe your experience in detail and state whether or not you recommend others to visit the restaurant.
- Writing task 1 sample letter: A friend is considering buying a house nearby, but you have decided to leave the area due to a rise in crime.
Write a letter to your friend advising them not to move into the neighbourhood. In your letter:
– Recommend that your friend not go ahead with the purchase
– Give the reasons behind your decision to leave
– Suggest possible alternative areas that you know
IELTS Writing Task 1 Vocabulary to advise
|I am happy to advise you that
|I strongly advise you to/not to
|It would/might be a good idea to
|The best thing for you to do is
|I honestly believe it would be better to
|Please do consider my advice because
|In my honest opinion, I would
|I would strongly suggest you consider
IELTS sample letters / answers to apologise
- Writing task 1 sample letter to apologise: IELTS sample: A formal apology and explanation
You have received a letter from your university of Albion demanding a reason for your absence
from an exam. You were ill that day but failed to submit the evidence. Write a letter to the
Examinations Committee explaining your situation. You should include:
– Apologies for the situation
– Identification for yourself (Name, student number, case number)
– An explanation of what had happened and any possible evidence you may have
– Possible resolutions to consider.
- Writing task 1 sample Letter to apologise: You agreed to take a particular job over the summer, but due to unforeseen circumstances, you can no longer take the position. Write a letter including:
– Explaining your situation
– An apology
– Express that you would be interested in the position next summer
- Writing task 1 sample letter to apologise: You recently applied for two separate jobs. Both have chosen to hire you, but you must write a letter to one of them explaining why you are unable to take the position. Include in your letter:
– An apology
– An explanation of your situation
- Writing task 1 sample letter to apologise: You have not seen a close friend for a very long time. You also still have a few of your friend’s belongings that were left at your house the last time she visited. In your letter include:
– Why you are writing
– What you’ve been doing since you last spoke together
– Apologize for still having the items and ask how you can return them
General letter writing task 1 GT vocabulary to apologise
|I regret to inform you
|I am writing to apologise
|It is with my deepest regret that
|I would like to apologise
|I sincerely apologise for
|I do apologise for any inconvenience caused
|I hope that this does not cause you any problems
|I would strongly suggest you consider
Writing task 1 sample letters: answers to make a request
- IELTS writing task 1 sample: A new neighbour has moved in next door and has taken your main rubbish bin.
Write a letter to your new neighbour requesting that they return the item. In the letter:
– Explain that new bins must be sourced from the local council
– Request that the person returns your bin immediately
– Inform the person of what further actions you will take should they not return your bin
- IELTS writing task 1 sample: You would like to work in a different city to be closer to your family.
Write a letter to your employer to request a transfer to another office. In the letter:
– Explain why you would like to move
– Request that your employer place you in a specific city
– Request that it be completed by a certain date
- IELTS writing task 1 sample:: You live near a record shop that sells music, movies, and books.
Write a letter to the shop asking if they have a few different items =you are looking for.
– Ask what the prices are and if they can be orders
– Ask when they would arrive and if you can have them held in advance.
- IELTS writing task 1 sample: You recently used a taxi and left some important documents there. Write a letter to the taxi manager and say:
– Describe what you left and where it happened.
– Why are these papers important?
– What would you like the manager to do about it?
IELTS General Writing Task 1 Vocabulary to make a request
|Could you please / possibly
|Please would you consider
|Would it be possible to
|Would you be kind enough to
|Is there any way you could … ?
|I would strongly suggest you consider
|(informal) Can you ..?
|(informal) Will you ..?
General task 1 informal letter samples and answers
- IELTS informal letter sample : Your sibling has sent you a letter asking for an update on your life.
Write a letter to your sibling. In your letter:
– Describe what you did for your last birthday
– Ask for photos of your sibling’s last holiday
– Talk about something you are looking forward to
- IELTS informal letter sample: Your best friend is moving back to your city after being overseas for five years.
Write a letter to convince your friend to move in with you. In the letter:
– Explain how much you have missed your friend
– Describe how you feel about your friend’s return
– Give reasons that you and your friend should share a home
- IELTS informal letter sample: Write a letter to a pen pal. This can be your first letter or a letter you’re writing after knowing your pen pal for a long time. Include details you would normally include when writing to a pen pal in this situation.
IELTS General Writing Task 1 Vocabulary for informal letters
|Hello / Hi name / Hi there
|I was wondering if you could help me.
|I’m sorry to tell you that
|I should let you know that
|I hope you’re well
|It’s been ages since I’ve heard from you
|Lots of love
|Thanks very much
General Writing Task 1 sample answer to inform
A letter to inform is used whenever the sender (you) would like to inform the receiver of some information. The information you wish to convey could be related to just about anything. Below is a list of topics or concepts your letter may cover:
- Inform about a death/ engagement/ wedding/ special life event
- Inform about an acceptance or rejection of application
- Inform about the receipt of a document or package
- Inform about a current event
The purpose of an “inform” letter is to make sure that whatever important news the receiver has to get is clear and articulate. You want to ensure that your letter has a structure. This would include your introduction, your body and ultimately your conclusion.
The introduction- here you want to set up the conversation of the letter. This can include a greeting, an enquiry about how the receiver is doing and then depending on how well you know the receiver a brief introduction of who you are.
Example: Letter to inform about an upcoming wedding
This is Jill, we met at the art exhibition last year. I hope this email finds you well.
The body – Once the introduction is complete you need to write the reason for your “inform letter”.
Jack and I engaged! I would love it so very much if you could make it to our wedding. You played a huge role in us getting together and it only makes sense that you are part of the big day.
The conclusion – this section is where you close your letter. You can make any final requests or list any final requirements
By the way, I lost all my contacts as my phone was stolen. This is my new number 123 456 789. I look forward to hearing back from you.
Your friend, Jill
VIDEO: IELTS Band 9 Sample General Task 1 and Vocabulary
More IELTS Writing Task 1 Tutorials
For more help with your IELTS preparation, take a look at our tutorials:
- How to Plan and Write IELTS Task 1 Informal Letters In 20 Minutes
- IELTS Sample Letters – Band 9
- IELTS task 2
- Task 1 GT
- IELTS academic task 1
- IELTS general task 1 recent questions
- IELTS sample general task 1 letter
- Take a look a the most recent IELTS general task 1 questions
- All you need to know about the IELTS writing exam
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I practice IELTS letter writing?
First, look at examples. Then make a list of different types of letters (informal and formal) with appropriate vocabulary for each one. Try to memorize fixed expressions such as, I would really appreciate your help with this.
Is there letter writing in IELTS academic?
No, letter writing (often an email) is only in the IELTS General exam so no need to practice that if you are doing IELTS Academic. In IELTS General, it takes the place of the diagram, map or process in task 1.
What is a formal letter in IELTS?
This is a letter in which you might make a complaint or write an application (for a job or college place). You could also be giving advice, making a request or apologizing for something.
How can I get an 8 in IELTS writing general?
You’ll need to make sure your letter and essay answers are formal, fully address the task and contain hardly any grammar or word choice errors. There’s more information about getting band 8 here.
How do you write a general writing Task 1?
Make sure you practice different letter types – informal and formal and be clear about the purpose of your letter (an apology, responding to an invitation, asking for information). Use the correct phrases and set your letter out following a model.
How do I get my IELTS writing checked online?
If you are serious about improving, IELTS writing essay correction can give you feedback on your essays in 24h, getting your work corrected will help you identify errors (grammatical range and accuracy) and improve much faster. Raza jumped from 6.5 to 7.5 using this exact course
How long will this online course take?
If you have your IELTS test coming up soon, you can get complete everything, including the 9 essay corrections (both Task 1 & Task 2) included, within 10 days. However, we advise most students to allow a month so that they can properly review their IELTS essay corrections so as to get the most from them.
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