Preparation Tips for IELTS GT Writing (Part 1)
- Last Updated: Tuesday, 07 November 2017 12:09
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If you are planning to take the IELTS GT module, the writing test would be different from the Academic test. You are allowed one hour to complete two tasks, of 150 and 250 words, as in the Academic module. However, Task 1 is always a letter, while Task 2 is an essay based on a given topic.
Letters are an important form of communication. In the General Training Writing Task 1, you are given a situation and tested on your ability to write a letter in an appropriate style in order to achieve a certain outcome. You need to include all the necessary details so that the purpose of your letter is clear and the reader can easily understand your message.
The task will present a situation to you on the question paper. You have to write in the first person and imagine yourself in the situation given. It is important to remember that a letter is a form of communication and you have to make it very intuitive. Formal or semi-formal letters are always written with a particular purpose in mind.
The purpose is sometimes stressed at the beginning of a letter (It depends on the type of letter you are writing as to how much you emphasize your purpose at the start or whether you decide to leave it to the end of the letter). However, you do need to open your letter with something that will be appropriate for the reader and will capture the reader's attention.
It is important that any background you provide on the situation is clear and includes all the information the reader needs.
It is worth reading the questions several times to make sure you fully understand it, as you will lose marks if your interpretation of the situation is not correct.
Types of letters
The task may ask you to write only one of 4 types of letters:
• Complaint / Request (of information) letter
• Job application letter
• Personal letter
• Formal business letter
There are rules how to write a letter of each type. When a letter is graded by IELTS examiners, its structure, vocabulary and fluency of language are equally important. So I will show here a model for every one of the letter types together with phrases and forms of speech, and the only thing you need to do is to insert your specific topic information in it. I also supply you with examples to demonstrate what your letter should look like.
This is a letter you write to complain about something. It could be something you have purchased or a bad service that you have received, or an accident that happened to you. You must describe it and demand appropriate actions from relevant people.
There are 4 paragraphs in this type of letter. They should look like this:
1. Start with “Dear Sir/Madam,“ (or write person’s name if it was given in task instructions ) Explain shortly (in one or two sentences) what you are complaining about.
“I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with the tape recorder that I purchased from your store.”
2. Explain in more details
a) What happened, what is the problem?
“I purchased a tape recorder from your store on 12/3/2017, just 3 days ago. After a few times that I used it, the “Play” button broke off”.
b) What are you unhappy about?
“I was very surprised to see the new improved model with 2 years of warranty breaking so soon and for no reason at all.”
c) What did you do to resolve the situation?
“I contacted your store immediately in order to return the tape recorder and spoke to the shift manager. He refused to replace the tape recorder and suggested that I had it repaired.”
d) How do you feel about the problem?
“You can imagine how receiving this offer upsets me.”
This paragraph should be the longest in the whole letter. You can even divide it into several parts.
3. Write what you would like them to do, and what will you do if they don’t give you what you want.
“I insist that you replace the damaged tape recorder and send me a new one. Otherwise, I will be forced to stop my payments to your store”.
4. Write a formal ending for the letter, your name and sign.
“I look forward to hearing from you.” If you know the name of person you are writing to, sign
If you don’t know the name of person you are writing to, sign