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IELTS General Writing Task 1 - Tips to Score Well

Updated on 16 June, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

What is IELTS General Writing Task 1?

IELTS General Writing Task 1 - Tips to Score Well

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the world’s most popular English language test for global higher education and migration. The examination is designed to assess and measure English language proficiency among non-native English speakers. The applicants are evaluated based on their English writing, speaking, listening, and reading skills. The examination has two parts: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. The IELTS General Training examination is for immigrants to English-speaking countries. The Writing section of the exam has two tasks, of which IELTS General Writing Task 1 is a letter-writing test of 150 words. It has to be completed in 20 minutes.

General Writing Task 1 requires the applicants to write a formal or semi-formal letter on a particular subject. The question focuses on testing the functional writing skills of applicants. It evaluates the applicant’s ability to write in different formats about various events and purposes. It also tests the writing style, vocabulary, structure, grammar, and ideas. Students need to focus on various common practical issues.

Tips for IELTS General Writing Task 1:

  • Students need to draft the letter as per the instruction. Identify the type of the letter and make sure the tone and style of writing match it. An informal tone cannot be used for a formal letter.
  • The introduction and conclusion are very important. Begin the letter with the right words so that it gives the examiner a clear picture of the entire letter. 
  • Don’t use common vocabulary. The words that are used regularly for communication should not be used randomly in the letter. Get a strong hold over your vocabulary and refrain from using a negative style or tone. 
  • The letter should be grammatically correct. Write short and crisp sentences that are linked with each other. 
  • Organize the entire letter into short paragraphs. This will increase its readability. 
  • Work on spelling. Do not use too many complicated and long words in your writing. Spelling mistakes should be completely avoided. 
  • The letter must have the following three important points – explain the situation, describe why it is important, and suggest a possible solution. 
  • Practice and get feedback. Try to write a letter in 20 minutes. Time yourself and try to increase your writing speed. Also, get it corrected by an English expert. Feedback is important for working on weak areas.
  • Read sample letters but don’t memorize them. Instead, understand the pattern, format, and use it for reference. 
  • Read the letter at least once after writing it. You will be able to proofread and edit any errors or silly mistakes.

Topics for IELTS General Writing Task 1

Following are the few IELTS general task writing topics commonly appearing in the Writing Task 1 section of the IELTS General Exam. 

  • Requesting letter
  • Complaining letter
  • Apologizing letter
  • Explanation letter
  • Satisfaction expressing letter
  • Concern expressing letter
  • Invitation letter
  • Suggestion letter
  • Letter for making an arrangement
  • Letter for conveying good news
  • Letter for conveying bad news
  • Thanking letter

Download E-Books for IELTS Preparation

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to write IELTS General Writing Task 1?

In 20 minutes, you need to write the letter following the correct format and instructions given in the question. The letter should consist of the clear purpose of writing the letter along with all the required details. For writing the IELTS General Writing Task 1, it is important to follow the correct writing style, structure, vocabulary, grammar, and ideas.

How to improve my writing skills for IELTS General Writing Task 1?

To improve your writing skills for IELTS General Writing Task 1, you can follow the tips mentioned below:

  • Practice writing a letter everyday not exceeding 150 words
  • Do not miss out on any point mentioned in the question
  • Practice completing the task in 20 minutes

How can I get examples for the IELTS General Writing Task 1?

You can get the IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 sample with answers on the official website of IELTS. 

Can I write 200 words in IELTS General Writing Task 1?

 Yes, you can write 200-250 words. There is no penalty for it. The letter has to be at least 150 words so that you can write more than 150 words. 

What should I avoid in IELTS General Writing Task 1?

Avoid doing the following few things in IELTS Writing Task 1:

  • Do not spend more than 20 minutes on the question.
  • Do not use contractions like can’t, don’t, wasn’t, haven’t, and so on.
  • Do not write your answers in bullet points; instead, write in paragraphs.

How can I get 9 in IELTS General Writing Task 1?

To score 9 in IELTS General Writing Task 1, prepare beforehand for the test. Give mock exams and solve the sample papers available on the official website of IELTS.

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.