IELTS GT Writing Task 1/ IELTS Letter Writing

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  • Updated On:May 26,2023 01:11 PM IST

If you wish to score well in the IELTS writing task 1 for General training, you need to know the basics of forming and developing a letter. Any letter with complete data that is clear in expression and explanation can benefit you.

IELTS GT Writing Task 1/ IELTS Letter Writing

The IELTS exam's letter-writing section evaluates your use of everyday language as well as your ability to work and integrate into an English-speaking culture. The fundamentals and more complex letter-writing strategies for the IELTS will be covered in this blog. You will learn which actions to take and which to avoid to improve your grade.

The IELTS Writing test has a time limit of 60 minutes, with twenty minutes for Task 1 and 40 minutes for Task 2. For IELTS General Writing Task 1, a letter of at least 150 words must be produced. It could be a formal, informal, or personal letter, depending on the situation.

You are graded on the following in IELTS Writing Task 1(Letter Writing):

Task Achievement

You are given a band out of 9 based on the letter's length, relevancy and tone. The purpose of writing the letter must be clearly stated. The length of your content must exceed 150, but it is not a good sign if you write too much. Task achievement is 25% of the total score for task 1. If you fail to address all parts of the question prompt, you will not be able to score more than band five in TA.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

As a band description, grammatical range and correctness refer to how correctly and effectively you can utilize the language in your answer. Sentences should be properly grammatically formed. Most students misuse the present continuous and make mistakes with articles, prepositions, and subject-verb agreement. You are required to express a range of sentence structures by using a variety of complex sentences, etcetera.

Lexical Resource

Lexical resources refer to how many words you have utilized and how properly and suitably you have used them for the particular task. The correct vocabulary must be utilized to convey the exact meanings. Choose appropriate words that relate to the topic and include them in your sentences. You can get a good band score using unusual but correct lexical phrases. You can get the maximum score in this descriptor by using various terminologies with highly natural and sophisticated control over linguistic aspects, and infrequent slight errors only occur as slips.

Coherence and Cohesion 

The criteria for coherence and cohesion are the same for task 1 and task 2. How well you connect the ideas in logical sequences is known as coherence. The employment of cohesive devices, such as logical connectors, pronouns, and conjunctions, to construct conceptual and referential ties between and within sentences is called cohesion. The flow must be natural, and the text must not attract attention.

Also read: IELTS Exam dates

You can choose from FORMAL, INFORMAL, OR SEMI-FORMAL and base the tone of your letter on one of those. Your thoughts must flow logically from one to the next, which is possible using the simple, 6-part structure.

1.Dear ..... (Salutation)

2.Paragraph 1: Purpose – why are you writing

3.Paragraph 2: Write about 1st bullet point

4.Paragraph 3: Write about 2nd bullet point

5.Paragraph 4: Write about 3rd bullet point


FORMAL: In the IELTS exam, formal letter writing subjects can be categorized into ten different categories:

1.A Complaint Letter

2.A Request Letter

3.A Review Letter

4.A Feedback Letter

5.A Resignation Letter

6.An Application Letter

7.An Apology Letter

8.An Arrangement Letter

9.An Explanation Letter

10.An Invitation Letter

Also read: IELTS test centers

IELTS Informal Letter

It's a personal letter regarding social and personal circumstances to someone you know or near you, as the name implies.

Since there are so many options when writing to a friend or someone close to us, informal letter-writing topics are more difficult to categorize or group than formal letter topics.

An example of Informal letter writing would be:

Please write a letter inviting your friend inviting them to your wedding. In your letter:

  • Tell your friend about your wedding and explain why their being at your wedding is crucial for you
  • Suggest that they may stay with you at your place

An informal letter should begin with a general, welcoming paragraph. Before stating the purpose of your letter, first, acknowledge your friendship. In reality, the opening sentence could be nothing more than a small cordial conversation irrelevant to the topic of your work.

Also read: IELTS test fee

IELTS Semi-Formal Letter

A semi-formal letter is written when an informal entity converges into a formal situation, i.e., you know that person, but the connection is formal, even though the distinction between formal and informal letters is obvious.

For example:

Your Neighbours use loudspeakers, and that disturbs you. Write a complaint letter to the secretary of the society. In your letter:

  • Tell them that your Neighbours are bothering you with the loudspeakers
  • Explain the whole situation to your secretary
  • Ask for the secretary's help by intervening in the situation

Also read: IELTS Registration

Here are a few tips that you may use to score better in IELTS letter writing:


    Identify the type of letter, Formal, Informal or Semi-formal.


    The tone would depend on the type of letter.


    The format must be clear and organized. You can use the standard essay format.


    You must write what is essential without forgetting that the minimum number of words must be 150.


    You must analyze the situation and use information which makes clear sense. Any discrepancy can confuse the reader


    You must attentively read the question and make a plan by addressing each section by the points and situation described. Since every question is unique, it is impossible to memorize them. Instead, thoroughly study the question before taking action.


    Use contractions when writing an informal letter. However, task 2 and professional or semi-formal letters should not utilize contractions.


    Make sure you employ suitable grammar and a variety of topic-specific words. Any letter must deliver the intended information or message; occasionally, poor grammar can radically alter the meaning.


    Modal verbs are words that soften and formalize phrases, making them sound less direct


    The GT test encourages participants to employ COLLOCATIONS, etc., by using and expecting them to use ordinary English. Letters are talks that have been written to efficiently and creatively communicate information. Because we write them, and for us, all letters are personal regardless of their tone of voice (to communicate with others).

Also read: IELTS exam pattern


Whether it is the task 1 of Academic or General category, each is calculated on the basis of four criteria, that is, Task Response, Lexical Resources, Cohesion and Coherence, Grammatical range and Accuracy.
It is the link between each and every sentence and paragraph that has been written. So basically the content should be in sync.
It would be ideal to utilize 20 minutes- 2 minutes on planning, 16 minutes for writing and last two minutes for proof reading to avoid any error in task 1.
Well, formal letters are the ones where one is under the direct authority of someone, that is, that person is answerable to someone, however informal letters are written to near and dear ones.
That completely depends on the nature of the questions that whether any of the bulleted points   can be merged or not. If not, separate paragraphs need to be written.

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