Letter writing is one of the toughest sections in IELTS General Training. This post will provide you with some effective IELTS letter writing tips to get a better knowledge of the letter format and structuring your letter.
As you already know, task 1 of the General Training is comprised of letter writing with a duration of 20 minutes. Moreover, the length of the letter should be at least 150 words.
Below are common possible letters and situations you might be asked to write about:
- Letter of complaint
- Application or resignation letter
- Making a request
- Inviting a friend or colleague to join you at an event or social occasion
- Explaining something to a friend or colleague
- Making formal arrangements
- Making an apology
Without any delay, let’s jump into some proven IELTS letter writing tips in order to crack the task 1 in IELTS writing.
#1 Follow the Instructions
The letter-writing instructions tell you about the purpose of the letter, content and the recipient. So, the first tip of the IELTS letter writing is reading instructions and following them.
#2 Identify the letter type and its purpose
This is the first and foremost tip to complete task 1. Through proper practice, it will be easy for you to identify the type and purpose of the letter given. This is the first and foremost tip to complete task 1.
As discussed earlier, task 1 is of three types:
|Formal||Requesting information from a company|
|Semi-formal||Asking a professor for permission, Complaining to a landlord|
|Informal||Inviting someone you know well, Apologizing or asking for advice|
#3 Know your Target Audience
Identifying our target audience doesn’t mean that you have to exclude people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, allows you to focus your words on a specific group to whom your letter is considered. This is the most effective way to score high in IELTS letter writing.
#4 Generate a Plan
Without a proper plan, attempting letter writing is like driving without a map to a strange place. If following this, you have to suddenly stop and ask for directions. Don’t forget to remember that you follow the basic IELTS letter writing structure:
- Explain the problem
- Describe why it disturbs you
- Suggest a solution
#5 Understand the scoring criteria
Attaining a high score in IELTS letter writing understands what examiners look for and how they award points and deduct them.
#6 Use the Right Style
One of the key tips to score a high is using the correct style: formal, informal or semi-formal. This provides you with a clear understanding of whether you are writing to a colleague, friend or an unknown person. Moreover, each style differs in terms of grammar and vocabulary.
#7 Maintain Proper Opening and Closing
It is essential to not omit the opening and closing statements. The opening of your letters depends on the reason for the letter. Experts advise to open the letter with a brief explanation about the purpose and it with a request for action that relates to it.
|Letter Style||Letter Characteristics||Opening||Closing|
|Formal||To an unknown person or company||Dear Sir/Madam||Your Faithfully|
|Semi-formal||To someone you may or may not have met, whose last name you know||Dear Ms. Stone||Yours sincerely|
|Informal||To someone, you know well, whose first name you know and use||Dear Sam||Best regards|
#8 Understand and use the standard written phrases
In the letter writing, we use several standard phrases and expressions. They not only same your precious time and effort, but also helps the reader to understand the meaning.
- Please accept my sincere apologies for…
- Could you please…
- I am writing to find out about…
- I look forward to meeting you…
- I am writing to express my annoyance with…
- I was really sorry to hear that…
- I was delighted to learn that…
- I am sorry to tell you that…
- Thank you for…
- I am pleased to advise you that…
- This is a result of…
- Perhaps it would be possible to…
#9 Remember to Include the Three Bullet Points
It is essential to include the three major points in your essay:
- Paragraph 1- Say why you are writing to them
- Paragraph 2- Bullet point 1 and supporting details
- Paragraph 3- Bullet point 2 and supporting details
- Paragraph 4- Bullet point 3 and supporting details
#10 Use and Spell common words correctly
Practice the correct spelling of words that most people misspell. For example, words like “faithfully’, “sincerely”, “apologize” and so on. This practice helps you boost your score.
#11 Break your letter
Dividing the letter into paragraphs is one of the best tips that help you score high. Usually, you need four paragraphs.
- Problem / Situation
- Solution / Action
#12 Go Over the Word Limit
Writing at least 150 words is the major part of answering the letter writing in IELTS general. Remember that the examiner will count each word and so the count should be over 150 words. Moreover, you will not be given any time for word count. And to overcome this, practice more using reliable study material. Besides, try to write at least 10% to 150 words to avoid loss of marks.
#13 Avoid Keyword Repetition
Don’t be repetitive and boring but demonstrate that you are capable of writing a variety of words in your vocabulary bank. Think of using synonyms for words that you repeat. Moreover, you can use pronouns to avoid this repetition.
#14 Maintain Relevance between Sentences
Choose the words that guide the reader clearly. Most students fail in maintaining this. Using sequencers, phrases, and linking words can help you maintain the relevancy between the sentences in your letter.
#15 Finish on Time
The general writing task 1 of IELTS is worth about 30% of your score, therefore ensures that you complete the whole letter on time. Of course, you have to make a story and explain the situation, keep it as simple as possible but remember not to run out of time.
Finally, IELTS general letter writing is all about using relevant language and correct formatting. During practice, you must remember that your letter should reflect the skills you have acquired to be stylistic and grammatically correct.