IELTS Training: General Writing Task 1

IELTS General Sample Letters (IELTS Writing Task 1)

The purpose of this section is to help you with the Writing Task 1 of the IELTS General test. In Task 1, candidates are asked to respond to a given problem with a letter requesting information or explaining a situation. It is suggested that about 20 minutes is spent on Task 1, which requires candidates to write at least 150 words. Depending on the task suggested, candidates are assessed on their ability to:
  • engage in personal correspondence
  • elicit and provide general factual information
  • express needs, wants, likes and dislikes
  • express opinions (views, complaints etc.)

 IELTS Writing Sample Letters

In Task 1 of the IELTS General Writingsection, you must write a letter about a given situation. This letter will be one of the following types:

Style Characteristics Opening Ending
Formal To someone you have not met, whose name you don’t know Dear Sir / Madam Yours faithfully
Semi-formal To someone you may or may not have met, whose last name you know & use Dear Mr Brown, Dear Ms Stone Yours sincerely
Informal To someone you know well, whose first name you know and use Dear John Dear Anita Best regards Warm wishes
Each kind of letter requires a different style of writing, a specific beginning and ending salutation, formal or informal expressions and varying types of grammatical forms. As you read through the sample IELTS letters below, take note of how they vary depending on the level of familiarity with the person being written to. Practice writing your own letters from sample letter topics, until you can produce all three kinds of letters easily and quickly. Then, you will be able to complete this task effectively and easily on the day of your IELTS exam. Also, every General IELTS Writing Task 1 includes three bulleted points which you need to mention in your letter. Make sure you include these three points or else you will not get high marks, no matter how well you write. You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

Complaining to a Hotel

Below is a sample letter response to Task 1 of the General IELTS Writing Section. It is a formal letter, which can be identified in several ways:
  • the tone, which is official, business-like and serious
  • the use of Dear Sir / Madam
  • the absence of contractions
  • the use of formal expressions (I am writing in connection with…)
  • the closing salutation ( “Yours faithfully” instead of the more informal “Yours sincerely” or “Best regards”)
Sample Letter 1 You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. You recently stayed in a hotel in a large city. The weather was very unusual for the time of year and the heating / cooling system in the hotel was quite inadequate. Write a letter to the manager of the hotel. In your letter:
  • give details of what went wrong
  • explain what you had to do to overcome the problem at the time
  • say what action you would like the manager to take
You should write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write your own address. Begin your letter as follows: Dear __________   Dear Sir / Madam I am writing in connection with my recent stay at the Four Seasons in London, England. Unfortunately, due to a malfunctioning heater in my room, I spent three miserable nights at your hotel from April 26 � 29, 2010. When I arrived in London, there was an unexpected snowstorm. I understand it does not usually snow inApril; however, when I got to my room, there was no heat. After complaining, a technician was sent up, who informed me they had to install a new heating unit. When I asked to be moved to another room, I was told the hotel was completely booked. Unfortunately, each night after work I returned to discover the problem had not been rectified. Eventually, I spent three horribly uncomfortable nights, wearing my coat to bed, wearing socks around the room and ending up with a bad cold from the unheated room. I had no time to complain as I had to catch a flight home right after my conference. I am shocked by this terrible service. This is not what anyone expects for $400 a night! To compensate me for this tremendous inconvenience, I ask that you refund my money right away and offer me a free, more comfortable stay in one of your finer suites in the future. If not, I am prepared to take my complaint to a higher authority. I look forward to hearing from you at the earliest, Yours faithfully, Mr John McFee (236 words) Sample Letter 2 You live in a room in college which you share with another student. You find it very difficult to work there because he or she always has friends visiting. They have parties in the room and sometimes borrow your things without asking you. Write a letter to the Accommodation Officer at the college and ask for a new room next term. You would prefer a single room. Explain your reasons. You should write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write your own address. Begin your letter as follows: Dear Sir/Madam,

Model answer 1

Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with my room-mate. As your know we share one room, I can not study in the room at all any more if I still stay there. She always has friend visiting and has parties in the room. They make lots of noise and switch on the radio very loudly, for me this environment is very difficult to study and I need a quiet room. Even borrows my things without asking, it is very impolite. I request you can give me a new room next term because I have been asked her has parties in other place many times they still have parties in the room. I really can not stay in the same room with her. I would be grateful if you could change me a single room.
Band 5 “The answer is below the word limit and there is some repetition of the task rubric. (Length is a common problem in General Training scripts). Answers that are short lose marks because there is insufficient material in the answer for the examiner to give credit for accuracy and coherence. Despite these problems, the introduction to the letter is appropriate and the purpose of the writer is clear. The points are not always linked together well and punctuation is sometimes faulty. The sentences are kept quite simple and mistakes occur as soon as more complex structures are attempted.”

Model answer 2

Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing you to express my dissatisfaction with my roommate and request for another accommodation next term. My main problem is that I cannot study in my room because my roommate always has friends visiting. He also has parties which usually end early in the morning, several times a week. Furthermore, he often borrows my things without asking me. I cannot accept this situation any longer. Especially because I have very important exams next term and I really must study hard. This is why I would be very grateful if I could have another room next term. It would be most convenient for me not having to share my room with someone else. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon. Your faithfully, Ivan Sidorov
Band 7 “The answer is also short. Although ideas are often provided in the task rubric, candidates are at liberty to include some of their own ideas in their answers. In this case, the candidate has attempted to incorporate some original material. The answer reads quite fluently, is well organised and there is good use of conjunctions to link points. There are some grammatical errors but these do not affect the reader greatly and there is evidence of some more complex sentence structures.”
General Training Writing Task 1 Sample 1

You would like to participate in a work-related seminar in another country.

Write a letter to the person in charge of the seminar and ask for detailed information regarding the dates, program, accommodation and cost.
Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any address. Model Answer 1: Dear Sir / Madam, My name is Rona Lyn Olivar. I am currently working as an ICU Nurse (Intensive Care Unit) in a tertiary level and private hospital called the Urdaneta City Sacred Heart Hospital which is situated in the province of Pangasinan here in the Philippines. I have learned in our ICU Department that your expert team will be conducted an EKG (Electrocardiogram) thorough training in Singapore. I am writing to you today because I would also like to attend and ask about specific information regarding the seminar schedules, about the program, accommodation and the cost. Firstly, with regards to dates and time, I would like to ask when will be the seminar held. How many days will it take and how many hours in a day will we have to engage. What time would the training be started and ended? Secondly, I would also want to know what would be the topic outline of the program, the things we are required to bring something in and what would be the benefits for us Registered nurses who will be attending the seminar. And finally, I would also like to know about the accommodation and the cost. Since I am living here in the Philippines, and Singapore is about 3 1/2 hours from my country and I have no any relatives or friends in that country. Will you be helping us to settle our staying place or do we need to have a booking in a hotel? And also because it is my first time to travel abroad, I do not know how much will I be needing to spend with it. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon regarding my concerns. Yours faithfully, R.Olivar Model Answer 2: Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to request information regarding the conference that is being arranged by your organisation in the next month, advertised in the local newspaper. I was wondering if I could acquire detailed information about the program beforehand then it would be worthwhile to plan the trip appropriately. Mainly, I’d like to receive details about below points: • I heard the symposium is three days long but exact dates are expected to sanction the leaves from work. • Expected a basic level of course knowledge before actually attending the conclave. • Venue details with navigational maps, if possible. • Sitting arrangements available, auditorium or a hotel boutique, for instance, with sitting capacity. • If a laptop and other stationary items are required or not. • Accommodation type half board or full board. • The total price of the entire program with early bird discount if bookings are done well in advance for three persons. I’m hoping to receive this information for above points no later than one week before the scheduled starting date of the seminar. You could send the information via Fax or can send an email on……… Your help and time will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely yours, Dev. Model Answer 3: Dear Sir / Madam, I am writing to ask you some questions about the seminar which will be held in London about new techniques of production management. I am working as a production manager in the biggest home appliances company in Iran for five years and I think this seminar would be suitable for me as it can help me to learn some new approaches of managing workers and manufactured line. I always have tried to update my profession knowledge and participating in this seminar would be essential for me to find that which management manners and styles are more efficient in home appliances manufactured industry. As I didn’t obtain some information over your advertisement, I would appreciate your help if you let me know in which date the seminar would be held. Also, I need to know what kind of accommodation you would prepare for participations. And as the last question, how much is the cost of registering for this seminar and is there any website which I can pay the cost online? I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. Yours faithfully Milad Rahimi Model Answer 4: Dear Sir / Madam, I am keen to receive information about the Enterprise Architecture Seminar scheduled to happen next month. This is Raj Muthuraman, working as a Senior Architect in BT Financial Group, presenting a paper on ‘Failure more and recovery of technical orchestration’ in the seminar. I am excited to present my research paper at the seminar. The invitation I received for the event did not confirm the dates as they were still being finalised. Can you confirm the dates of the event and provide an agenda for the event so that I can plan ahead. Also, can you suggest some good hotels in the area with an indicative cost that will help me in planning my travel, accommodation and financial aspects of the trip? It would be great if you can send me the requested details at the earliest date preferably by the end of this week by fax or mail. Looking forward to hearing from you. Yours Faithfully, Raj Muthuraman [ Written by – Rajaganapathy ]

Model Answer 5:

Dear Sir, With due respect, I would like to participate in the seminar which is going to be organised by your well-reputed company. I came to know about the seminar while I was surfing the web in search of such a seminar that will help me to understand and work better in my current job. As I am residing in Bangladesh which is in another continent, I would like to know detailed information regarding the dates and program schedule so that I can prepare myself according to the schedule because there are various facts connected to the schedule like arranging visa and buying ticket according to the schedule for travelling to your country. In addition to that, I would also request you to provide details about accommodation during the program whether the arrangement to be made by the host or I need to arrange of my own. I would also like to know about the total cost of attending the seminar and other expenditure like accommodation, meals, fares etc. Therefore, I request you to provide the details as I stated above so that I can complete the arrangement well ahead of time to avoid any unnecessary situation. Yours faithfully, Safayet Ullah [ Written by – Safayet Ullah ] Model Answer 6: Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing this letter in connection with the upcoming seminar on “Automation testing – Tips for beginners” to be held in Toronto, Canada in June 2016. I am currently employed as a Software manual tester and I have been performing this role for the last 5 years. I have always had a keen interest in learning testing automation tools and use automated testing in addition to manual testing to increase my scope of testing. By getting myself acquainted to automation testing, I can accomplish my daily tasks comparatively faster. I learnt about the Automation testing workshop while it was broadcasted on local radio station. As the advertisement was being announced, I was driving and was unable to catch most of the information like the date and venue details as well as the accommodation and cost. I will be highly obliged if you can write back to me the program schedule of the symposium along with the dates and venue details. Also, I would like to be informed about how the visa and accommodation arrangements will be done. Awaiting your quick response. Thanking you in anticipation. Larissa. [ Written by – Larissa ]

Model Answer 7:

Dear Sir/ Madam, I am very excited about the upcoming seminar on “Risk management in Financial Industry” that will be organised by you. However, I am a bit worried because the information I received does not have the dates, program, accommodation plan and the cost. I currently work in a financial institution and have spent over 5 years in the Risk Management sector, thus the seminar will be of immense benefit to me in facing current risk management issues. Firstly, please provide me with the actual date the seminar will commence and the duration of it. Also, I will want to know the schedule of the seminar and the exact timing of it on each day. Secondly, please provide me with the program structure, whether it will take the form of a paper presentation or not. Also, inform me the type of materials I will need to participate in it. Lastly, in the area of accommodation, will you handle the booking for International participants and what will the cost be. Thank you in advance. Looking forward to hearing from you. Yours faithfully, Cyril Chinkata  

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