In the IELTS exam, the general writing task 1 section asks candidates to respond to a letter, whereby they need to explain a situation or request information. The average time for general task 1 is 20 minutes and candidates are required to write at least 150 words in their response.
In this tutorial we look at the wide range of general task 1 topics for 2020. We review some of these questions, sorting out whether they require formal, informal or neutral writing style and why, and providing you with examples of some key sentences which you might write when you answer these.
Different styles of writing
- Formal writing is often used in academic writing or for business and requires a style which has a serious tone in the writing style.
- Informal Writing often takes a more personal tone and the writing can be more conversational, making use of colloquial language and figures of speech.
- Neutral Writing normally takes the form of stating facts and neither formal or informal in the style of writing.
This tutorial will divide recent Task 1 topics into these three categories of writing and offer some sample sentences which you could use in your answers, for your IELTS General writing task 1 exam.
These recent task 1 general questions cover a huge range of topics like;
- from parking a bicycle,
- organising a trip for a friend
- moving house
- designing a website
- speaking at a conference
You can see these cover a wide variety of topics and situations as well as demanding confidence in functional language – requesting, apologising, suggesting, advising, complaining and so on.
But as far as lexis or vocabulary is concerned there is nothing too frightening here – we have ‘ work, eating out, moving house, talking about where you live, hotels or travelling.’ This is important to think about because it should give you the confidence to know that you can approach this task without needing any specialist vocabulary so you can really focus on getting the ‘tone’ of your writing correct – (formal informal) and on showing communication skills! This is what writing letters or emails is all about!
- FIRST we’re going to look at recent TASK 1 topics themselves – what are they about and what sort of situations are you going to respond to
- SECOND I am going to suggest some really good sentences which you might use yourselves when you are answering any of these tasks which will guide you when you try to practice any of them at home!
OK – so let’s get into looking at some recent TASK 1 general topics which have been seen in exams recently and shared with us by our students! I have sorted these into formal, neutral and informal to help you!
You can download or listen to the audio version here: