IELTS GT Writing Task 1/ IELTS Letter Writing

  • views2699 Reads
  • read time3 min Read
  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Jun 14,2024 03:58 PM IST

  • General Training Writing Task 1 is one of the important sections of the IELTS test.
  • Many students face challenges while preparing for IELTS GT writing task 1.
  • Students should know the basics of forming and developing a letter if they want to score well in the letter-writing section.
  • A clear expression and explanation in letter writing can help you secure a high band score.

IELTS GT Writing Task 1/ IELTS Letter Writing

The IELTS letter-writing section evaluates your everyday language use. It also checks your ability to integrate into an English-speaking culture. The IELTS Writing test has a time limit of 60 minutes, with 20 minutes for Task 1 and 40 minutes for Task 2. For IELTS Writing Task 1, you need to write a letter at least 150 words long. Depending on the situation, it could be a formal, informal, or personal letter.

Therefore, this blog will cover both fundamental and advanced letter-writing strategies for the IELTS. You will also learn which actions to take and which to avoid to improve your IELTS band score.

Grading Factors in IELTS Writing Task 1(Letter Writing)

Below are the factors on which a test taker or candidate is evaluated in IELTS Writing Task 1 (Letter Writing) :

Task AchievementIn IELTS, the scores are given based on a band scale ranging from 0-9. Similarly, you are graded based on your letter's length, relevance, and tone. The length of your content must be at most 150, but it is not a good sign if you write too much. Also, clearly state the letter's purpose if you want a high band score on the IELTS test. However, Task achievement is 25% of the total score for Task 1. You must address all parts of the prompt.
Grammatical Range and AccuracyWrite simple sentences in your answers to improve your grammatical range and accuracy. However, most students use the present continuous tense and make mistakes with articles, prepositions, and subject-verb agreement. In addition, instead of using complex sentences, write simple and short sentences to make your answers easy to read.
Lexical ResourceLexical resource is the ability to use a wide range of vocabulary correctly without grammatical errors. Also, the use of lexical resources should be appropriate in your answers. The goal here is to have a good enough vocabulary to properly paraphrase the information you see in the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 and Task 2 prompts. Therefore, you must choose words that are relevant to the topic and include them in your sentences. However, what's surprising is that you can get a good band score using unusual but correct lexical phrases.
Coherence and Cohesion Coherence and Cohesion are essential for both Task 1 and Task 2. Coherence is how well you connect ideas in a logical order. On the other hand, Cohesion is when you use words like "and," "but," and "this" to tie sentences together. However, your writing should flow naturally and not be distracting.

Also read: IELTS Exam dates

Useful Tips for IELTS Writing Task 1(Letter Writing)

You can select from Formal, Informal, or Semi-Formal letters in the IELTS General Writing Task 1. However, your thoughts must flow naturally, from one to the next, which is possible using the below 6-part structure.

  • Dear ..... (Salutation)
  • Paragraph 1: Purpose – why are you writing
  • Paragraph 2: Write about 1st bullet point
  • Paragraph 3: Write about 2nd bullet point
  • Paragraph 4: Write about 3rd bullet point
  • Signoff

IELTS Formal Letter

In IELTS Writing Task 1, formal letter writing topics can be divided into ten categories:

  • A Complaint Letter :
  • A Request Letter
  • A Review Letter
  • A Feedback Letter
  • A Resignation Letter
  • An Application Letter
  • An Apology Letter
  • An Arrangement Letter
  • An Explanation Letter
  • An Invitation Letter

Also read: IELTS test centers

IELTS Informal Letter

Informal letter-writing topics are more challenging to organise when writing to a friend than formal letter topics due to the many options available. The letter addresses social and individual circumstances.

An example of Informal letter writing would be:

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

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

Remember, when writing an informal letter, start with a friendly opening paragraph. Before getting to the main point of your letter, it's important first to acknowledge your friendship. The opening sentence can be a brief, friendly conversation, not necessarily related to the main topic of your letter.

Also read: IELTS test fee

IELTS Semi-Formal Letter

A semi-formal letter is a letter you write to someone you know in a formal context, even though the difference between formal and informal letters is clear.

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

How to Score High in IELTS Letter Writing

Here are some tips for you to score well in the IELTS letter-writing section: 

Determine the Letter's TypeIdentify the types of letters: Formal, Informal, or Semi-formal.
Select an Appropriate Tone and Remain with ItThe tone depends on the type of letter.
Compile Your Letter Using the Common Essay FormatThe format must be clear and organized. You can use the standard essay format.
Write Clearly and ConciselyYou should write clearly and concisely, keeping the word limit 150 in mind.
Use Imagination, but Stay RealisticRemember to carefully analyze the situation and use information that is easy to understand. Any differences can confuse the reader.
Respond to Every Part of the QuestionsYou should read each question and plan how to address it carefully. Since each question is unique, it's impossible to memorize all questions. Instead, study each question thoroughly before taking action.
Contractions and Informal LettersUse contractions when writing an informal letter. However, task 2 and professional or semi-formal letters should not utilize contractions.
GrammarWhen writing, consider your audience and their needs. Include important information first and use short, direct sentences. Use simple, everyday language and active voice for clarity.
Modal VerbsModal verbs are words that make phrases sound less direct and more formal.
Everyday LanguageThe General Training test encourages using everyday language and simple letters with ordinary words. Regardless of the tone, the letters should be conversational.


This blog discussed IELTS TASK 1, which includes letter writing. As we studied, there are three types of letters: formal, informal, and semi-formal. The purpose of each letter is different. So, it becomes essential to understand the IELTS Task 1 format and how grades are given. In addition, this blog has mentioned some crucial tips for scoring well in the IELTS letter-writing section. For more information about IELTS TASK 1, contact our Canamprep - the Best IELTS coaching institute in india today!

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.

Get great articles direct to your inbox

The latest news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.

World class education waiting for you.

Events, webinar, college / university visits and more.

Popular university and colleges for Studying abroad.

Popular English Language Proficiency Exams

IELTS Online

- Live Classes

Curated content to keep you updated on the latest education trends, news and more.

A little effort to provide an authentic and reliable content for keen readers!!