Preparation Tips for IELTS GT Writing (Part 1)

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.

Complaint letter:
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
“Yours sincerely,
           Mr Smith”

If you don’t know the name of person you are writing to, sign
      “Yours faithfully,
           Mr Smith”.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.75 (53 Votes)

Anamul Haque
Md. Anamul Haque
Great website.
Srijana Giri
I am looking forward to getting writing task 2 tips for the IELTS GT Test.
Sufia Akter
Kindly share IELTS Reading, and Writing modules' materials for GT IELTS Test.
Perfect website for me.
Hi guys, hope you all are doing well. Actually, I'm looking for some friends with whom I can practice for IELTS and develop a friendship as well. WhatsApp me at +91 8287275700. Together we can achieve more. Regards - Anshul.
Jubaer Khan Nowshad
Where is the explanation of others models of letters? It's only complaint type letter explanation! Please upload as soon as possible. Thanks in advance.
I would like to see examples of other letters like complaint letters which are given above. Thanks.
IELTS Mentor said :
Please visit for that. Hope this would be helpful to you.
Would you explain the structure paragraph by paragraph the other sample like this one?

IELTS Mentor
Please visit for that. Hope this would be helpful to you.
Akshata Katkar
I would like to see other examples of General Training writing- • Job application letters• Personal letters• Formal business lettersand the task two, please.
Can we write 'Best regards' in all types of letters?
Hi, Jatinder, can you please help me with GT writing task 1 - letter? Contact me on Gmail at
Thanks a lot. I would like to see others examples of general training IELTS writing such as job application letter, personal letter, formal business letter. Thanks in advance.
Jatinder Kaur
I would like to see other examples of General Training writing- • Job application letters• Personal letters• Formal business lettersand the task two, please.
Manish Yadav
It has been written that "I purchased a tape recorder in your store......... "Doesn't it seem wrong? I feel that it should be"I purchased a tape recorder from your store...." Please let me know what it must be.
Parminder Buttar
Please send me GT writing task1 and task2. Thanks & Regards -
Provide the materials, please.
Pau Dotor
Hi, Pamela :) This is Pau from Capoeira. What a coincidence finding you here! I am taking my IELTS test tomorrow. Wish me luck!
Sarwar Khan
Hi there, kindly send me all the notifications with regards to IELTS General Training Examination.
Hi, I am Suhitha. I request you to send me notifications on all the modules of both academic and general IELTS. It will be very helpful to me. Looking forward to your reply. Thanks, & regards -
I would like to see other examples of General Training writing- • Job application letters• Personal letters• Formal business lettersand the task two, please.
Dear Sir/ Madam, How can I see other types of letters for Task 1? Thanks for your help.
Mary Lyn
Hello, thank you. Can you please post the other types of letters? I will really appreciate it if you do. Thank you.
Imongan Uche
Please, what about the other types of letters mentioned?
Thank you and send the other link, please.
I hereby, request you to send other types of letters.
Pamela Karitinos
I would like to see the other examples of General Training writing-• Job application letters• Personal letters• Formal business lettersand the task two, please.
Thanks a lot.
What a nice information... Thank you.
Jagmohan Saraswat
Thanks for useful tips.
Santosh Kumar
I am new to this blog and I feel it is going to be very helpful to me... Thank you so much.
Russell Shrabon
Really, very helpful to get what I was exactly expecting. This will help me prepare for my IELTS test. Thanks, IELTS Mentor Team.
Can you please provide us with example formats for job application, personal & formal business letters?
IELTS Mentor
If it is mentioned in the question that 'You do not need to write your name and address." then you should write just 'X' or 'Name'. Otherwise, you can write your nickname.
Should we write our own name at the end of the letter like Yours sincerely Navor should just write the "Name".
I found this information very much helpful, comprehensive and useful. But like some others, I could not figure out a link to go to next types of letter. Please respond to our query ASAP. It would be a big help for all of us. Thanks, IELTS Menor for the BEST IELTS website.
I am not able to see "continue" link to cover the rest of the topic. Kindly fix this ASAP.
I am not able to see "continue" link to cover rest of the topic as mention above. Example: Job application letters, Personal letters, Formal business letters etc.
Muhammad Mubeen Zafeer
I am unable to see the 'continue link' that covers the rest of the topic mentioned above. For example, I can't click a hyperlink to browse the 'Formal business letters'.
Dear IELTS MENTORI am unable to see continue link to cover the rest of the topic mentioned above. For example 'Formal business letters'. Please complete this ASAP.
Can you please help me in finding examples for other letter formats?
Greatest IELTS Help website.
I am not able to see "continue" link to cover rest of the topics as mentioned above. Example: Job application letter, Personal letter, Formal business letters.
Practising IELTS.
Thank you for the useful information.