IELTS General Writing
About the IELTS General Writing testThe writing test is different for IELTS Academic and IELTS General candidates.
General Writing2 pieces of writing, 60 minutes
- In Task 1, candidates are presented with a situation and are asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.
- In Task 2, candidates are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be slightly more personal in style than the Academic Writing Task 2 essay
IELTS General Training Writing testThe topics used in the IELTS General Training Writing test are of general interest. In Task 1 you will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation. You can write the letter in a personal, semi-formal or formal style. In Task 2 you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. You can use a fairly personal style.
1 General Writing Sample Task 1You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
You play a team sport with some friends. Last week a member of the team had an accident and wasn’t able to play with you at the weekend. You decide to write to him in hospital, telling him about the match. Write a letter to your friend. In your letter,
- tell him which team won
- describe the conditions on the day
- say how you felt about the match
You do not have time to write a detailed plan for your letter so think about drafting (writing in rough) the opening line of each of the sections: 1) Opening 2) Main paragraphs 3) Closing with notes on one or two main points. This will give your writing a sense of direction.
Sample Band 9 answerDear Frank, I was so sorry to hear about your accident! I hope you’re feeling a lot better today and that it’s not too boring in hospital. (Expresses sympathy and asks about the reader’s health.) The match on Saturday was disappointing. The score was 2 all, probably because you weren’t there to score that extra goal! The awful thing was that we were winning until 10 minutes before the end, when suddenly they scored another goal. I was so shocked when I saw the ball hit the back of the net. (Tells him the score and briefly describes how you felt about the match.) I think the weather was to blame. It was a really wet day and the pitch was very muddy. By the end of the game you could hardly see the grass and we were sliding around in the mud. Everyone was exhausted. (Mentions the weather and conditions.) Let us know when you’re going home and we’ll arrange for someone to bring you to watch the next game. The rest of the team send their regards and we all wish you a speedy recovery. (Finishes with good wishes.) Best wishes, Charlie (161 words)
2 General Writing Sample Task 1You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
You are studying a short course in another country. Your accommodation was arranged by the course provider. There is a major problem with the accommodation. Write a letter to the course provider. In your letter,
- say what the problem is
- describe the accommodation you thought you were getting
- ask the provider to solve the problem
A common problem in GT Task 1 is that candidates use a strange mix of formal and informal language. In formal letters, they may include inappropriate informalities; in informal letters they may suddenly be too formal, usually including a memorised chunk. This mix confuses the reader and affects the candidate’s score in Task Fulfilment.