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    IELTS General Training Writing

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    All the young aspirants who plan to work or study in an English native country need to appear for the IELTS exam. Giving IELTS exam is a prerequisite to get admission to universities or colleges located in the English native countries like the USA, UK, Australia, etc. The candidates going abroad for secondary education, work experience or some kind of training programs as well have to give IELTS General test. One part of this test includes IELTS General Training writing where the candidates will be assigned two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words. In case you are preparing for the IELTS General Training Writing test, then you will be asked to write a letter to a fictional person or organization. The purpose of writing the letter and the details which need to be included will be provided at the time of the test.

    What is Task 1 for IELTS General Training Writing?

    All the test takers of the IELTS General training writing test come across Writing Task 1 in which they need to write a letter responding to a given situation, explaining the situation or requesting information. In this task, the candidates are given 20 minutes to write a 150-word letter, the letter can be personal or formal as well. There are two possible letters which the test takers need to write including:

    • One formal letter
    • An informal letter

    Though many websites talk about ‘semi-formal’ letters this format is not so common in the exam. Mostly other two types are quite common. You need to study the formal and informal only while giving IELTS General Training Writing Test.

    Strategy to follow while doing IELTS General Writing Training Test

    The test takers are given the scenario and will be asked to write about three bullet points. This is a typical General Training Task 1 format including:

    Scenario

    While writing a letter to [X], you must include:

    1. Bullet point 1
    2. Bullet point 2
    3. Bullet point 3

    While writing a letter to the accommodation officer at the college, your letter must include:

    • Describe the exact situation
    • Brief the person about your problems and why it is difficult to work
    • Also mention the kind of accommodation you would prefer

    By following this particular format, you will be able to design a strategy ensuring that important points are covered. The strategy to be followed includes:

    • In paragraph 1 mention the purpose of writing the letter
    • In the second paragraph, you need to bullet your points
    • In the third paragraph, mention the points in bullet
    • Paragraph 4- Third bullet point

    Then conclude the letter mentioning your name and regards. 

    While writing the letter, make sure that you are writing at least 50 words for each of the bullet points so that the reader can develop a flair understanding of your ideas sufficiently. You need to stick to the main points and try to avoid unnecessary details.

    IELTS General Training Writing Test: Formal or Informal?

    One of the best ways to understand whether you need to write a formal letter or an informal one to your known one is by looking for the word ‘friend’. In case you are being asked to write to a ‘friend’, then it will always be an informal letter while in case you are asked to write the letter to someone else, then it will always be a formal letter. This is one of the simplest ways which can help you in understanding which kind of letter you need to write in your IELTS test.

    IELTS General Writing: How to Write a Formal Letter

    The selection of useful language is a must while writing a formal letter, the kind of phrases you choose will depend on the context of the question.

    While starting the letter, you must use the beneath phrases

    • I am writing this letter in regard to it…
    • I am writing to inform you about it…
    • I am writing to share my opinion with …..

    While talking about your requests and suggestions

    • I would be grateful if you would…
    • I am entitled to request that you….
    • I was thinking if it would be at all possible to….
    • I would like to suggest that….

    How to end the conversation

    • I look forward to hearing from you.
    • I await your prompt response.
    • I thank you for your precious time

    The test takers are allowed to use a variety of tenses (including present simple, present perfect, present continuous, past continuous and past simple) but they must make sure that all the sentences are error-free.

    IELTS General Writing: How to Write an Informal Letter

    While writing the informal letters as well, you need to stay aware of and know how to use informal language to ensure the right tone.

    • Informal letters do not mean that you can relax while writing the text message to a friend. Always remember that this is an English test and the grammar and language you are using play an important role in your overall score. Write correct spellings of the words you use in the informal letters.
    • Try avoiding using abbreviations such as ‘luv’ or ‘bcuz’; also, don’t use acronyms like ‘LOL’ or ‘OMG’ and never use emoticons.
    • You can use contractions such as ‘I’ve’, ‘I’d’ and ‘I’m’ as this way you are letting the examiner know that you know the writing style of an informal letter.
    • You can start writing “I’m just writing to let you know that….” to start the conversation.
    • While giving any kind of bad news, you can use phrases like “I’m afraid I’ve a bit of bad news for you”.

    Structuring of the Letter

    Body of the letterFormal LettersPersonal Letters
    ParagraphFormal letters can be started in the following ways:
    I am writing this letter in regard to it…
    I am writing to share my…
    I am writing to throw light on …
    Personal letters can begin with:
    How are you doing?
    I hope you are doing well.
    How have you been?
    Main body: In the main body, the test takers can use three paragraphs to cover the bullet points one by one. Look for some relevant details that can make the content look more informative.
    ConclusionThe last part should be a call to action and can be written in the following ways:
    In case of further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.
    Thank you for your precious time.
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    I wait to hear from you.
    Looking forward to seeing you soon.

    What is Task 2 for IELTS General Training Writing?

    In task 2, the candidates have to spend 40 minutes on task 2 where they need to give reasons for their answer and include examples from their knowledge or experience. They need to write at least 250 words for completing task 2. The aspirants will be presented with a topic and their command on the language will be tested the way they justify their opinion, discuss the topic, summarize the details, outline problems, and support their test with satisfying solutions, reasons, arguments, and relevant examples.

    It is important that you read the instructions carefully. The instruction mentioned in the question tells a lot about the purpose, content, and recipient of your letter. The key to scoring high in the IELTS General Training Writing test is not just to go through the above-mentioned information rather you must implement the same you have learned through more practice.

    Task 2 carries more weightage as compared to Task 1 and the writing scripts are marked by the trained and certificated IELTS examiners, who have years of teaching qualifications and are recruited as examiners by the test centers. So, don’t take the IELTS exam for granted and start practicing for it now rather than waiting for the last moment. The more you practice, the more you will see improvements in your writing styles and will be able to write better Essay, Letter and Report Writing tasks.

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