IELTS General Writing Task 1: Letter Writing Sample & Tips

updated at

Updated on Jul 19, 2024, 08:24

Practising letter writing for Task 1 General? If you’re wondering how to score high in this task, then this page will guide you to ace IELTS writing task 1 general training. 

Whether it's an invitation, a complaint, or a thank-you note, we'll equip you with the tools and tips to ace this part of the test. 

On This Page

Arrow right
Slider image

1. IELTS General Writing Task 1: Key Highlights

First things first, let’s get the basics straightened out. 

Slider image

2. IELTS General Writing Task 1: Format

IELTS General Writing Task 1 in the Academic test requires you to interpret, describe, or compare the given visual data. The visual data may be a Diagram, Graph, or Table.

Slider image

3. How to Answer IELTS General Writing Task 1?

Writing is not everyone’s cup of tea, but creating a well-written piece takes only a few simple techniques.

More for you

Boost your IELTS Writing score

Book Free Writing class arrow right

See how to score 8+ in Reading. 

Get proven strategies to ace your IELTS Reading test.

Learn More arrow right

IELTS General Writing Task 1: Key Highlights

Here’s what we want you to keep in mind: 

  • The IELTS General Training test is usually required for vocational training, such as in the construction, hospitality, leisure, and tourism industries.
  • In Task 1, you must write a letter in response to a situation, such as asking for information or explaining a situation. 
  • You need to write at least 150 words 
  • The total duration of the section is about 20 minutes.


Here’s IELTS Writing Task 1 at a glance: 



Type of TasksGeneral Training: Letter Writing
Band Descriptors
  • Task Achievement
  • Coherence & Cohesion
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range & Accuracy
Word Limit150 words
Ideal Duration20 mins


Click here to learn more about upcoming IELTS dates!


IELTS General Writing Task 1: Format

Depending on the context, you can frame your letter to be formal, semi-formal, or in an informal setting. Your question will be in this format: 

  • Situation
  • Who to address the letter to
  • Main points to include in the letter




Write a letter to your friend. In your letter


  • Recommend the best time of year to visit and why
  • Describe the types of accommodation your friend could choose
  • Say what you would like to show your friend in your country


Typically, your letter should not exceed the word limit of 150. Ideally, you should complete and review the letter in the first 20 minutes of the IELTS Writing Test. Sticking to this time limit is important, as Task 2 is longer and requires more time.

Here’s what else you should keep in mind: 

  • Stick to the letter-writing format. Ensure your letter has all the fundamental elements, such as the salutation, date and signatures.
  • Ensure that the tone of your letter is relevant to the context. For instance, if your topic was to write a letter to a recruiter, you must not make it informal! 
  • The purpose of the letter must be preserved throughout. You must not deviate away from the given context. 

Click here to learn more about IELTS registration!


How to Answer IELTS General Writing Task 1?

Letters may no longer be delivered by pigeons, but it is still a relevant skill worth learning! Not your forte? Here are the top 3 strategies to help anyone craft a compelling letter.


  • Introduce right: Your opening paragraph is crucial and must immediately convey the purpose of your letter. 

For instance, if you were writing to enquire about a position, you would say, “I’m writing to enquire regarding the position of a content writer at your company.” 

  • Choose a relevant tone: Depending on the letter's receiver, judge the tone you will use. 

For example, if you’re writing a letter to your friend, you might want to keep it semi-formal to informal. 

An informal letter should be conversational; you can use direct speech to achieve this. You can also use words like “Dear <name>” to establish your tone. 

However, if you’re writing a formal letter, you should say, “Dear sir/madam,” use passive language and longer sentences. 

  • Structure your letter: Decide the order in which you will cover all the bullet points given to you. Make sure the letter has a logical flow to it. Your letter will start with an introduction (greetings and stating the purpose), move on to the body (highlighting main points) and a closing (signing off). 


Quick IELTS General Writing Task 1 Tips!
  • You should write full sentences for your answers.
  • You should not use notes or bullet points.
  • Write your answers on the answer sheet.
  • You can make notes on the question paper, but the examiner won't see them.


Learn more about IELTS Centres and IELTS slot booking!

Next Up

IELTS Writing Task 1: Bar Graph

Read Now Read now

IELTS Writing Task 1: Diagram

Read Now Read now

IELTS Writing Task 1: Line Graph

Read Now Read now

IELTS Writing Task 1: Pie Chart

Read Now Read now

IELTS Writing Task 1: Table Chart

Read Now Read now

IELTS Writing Task 1: Map

Read Now Read now

IELTS Important Information

IELTS Accepting Countries

IELTS Accepting Universities

Read More about IELTS Practice Test

IELTS Test Centre and Dates in India


Q. What is the structure for IELTS Writing Task 1 of the General Training test?

Ans. IELTS Writing Task 1 for General training requires you to write a letter in a formal, semi-formal or informal setting. You must pay attention to the letter writing format and write it this way,


  • Introduction: Greetings and open with the purpose of your letter
  • Body: Highlight the key points given in the question
  • Closing: Conclude your request and sign off 
Q. How to get band 9 in IELTS general writing task 1?

Ans. To get a band score of 9 in IELTS general writing task 1, it's crucial to understand and analyse the question thoroughly. Maintain a clear and logical progression of ideas, ensuring accurate and varied use of vocabulary and sentence structures. Additionally, pay attention to grammar and punctuation, and practice writing within the time constraints to improve your overall performance.

Q. How to write an IELTS writing task 1 sample?

Ans. To write an IELTS writing task 1 sample for general writing, start by familiarising yourself with the specific task requirements and understanding the purpose of the task. Then, practice outlining your response, including an introduction, overview, detailed body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Review sample responses and marking criteria to understand what examiners look for in a successful task 1 sample. 

Q. How to do IELTS general writing task 1?

Ans. To tackle IELTS General Writing Task 1, start by thoroughly reading the prompt to understand the type of letter you must write (e.g., formal, semi-formal, or informal). Address all parts of the question, maintain an appropriate tone, and structure your letter with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Practice writing different types of letters to become familiar with various formats and styles.

Q. How to improve IELTS general writing?

Ans. Improving your IELTS General Writing involves regular practice, expanding your vocabulary, and getting feedback on your work. Focus on writing clearly and concisely, and improve your grammar and punctuation. Reviewing high-scoring sample essays can provide insights into effective writing techniques and help you understand what examiners look for.

Q. How can I get a good score in IELTS writing task 1?

Ans. To score well in IELTS Writing Task 1, ensure that you understand the task requirements and answer all parts of the question. Use a clear and logical structure, and appropriate language, and vary your sentence structures. Pay attention to the tone and style of your letter, and make sure to proofread your work to correct any errors.

Q. What is the common mistake in IELTS Writing Task 1?

Ans. A common mistake in IELTS Writing Task 1 is needing to address all parts of the prompt fully. Some test-takers also need help maintaining the appropriate tone or style for the letter. Additionally, grammatical errors and poor organisation can detract from your overall score. Practising writing letters and seeking feedback can help you avoid these pitfalls.

Q. How is general IELTS Writing?

Ans. The General IELTS Writing test consists of two tasks: Task 1 requires writing a letter based on a given situation, while Task 2 involves writing an essay on a given topic. The test assesses your ability to communicate effectively in writing, including your grammar, vocabulary, and coherence. It's designed to evaluate your writing skills in everyday contexts.

Q. What is the writing pattern for the IELTS general exam?

Ans. The IELTS General Writing test lasts 60 minutes and consists of two tasks. Task 1 is a letter-writing task requiring you to write at least 150 words. Task 2 is an essay that requires at least 250 words. The tasks assess your ability to respond appropriately to a given situation and discuss issues relevant to general or everyday contexts.

Q. How long is IELTS valid?

Ans. IELTS scores are valid for two years from the date of your test. After this period, you may need to retake the test to provide an English language proficiency score for study, work, or migration purposes.

Q. Does IELTS repeat questions?

Ans. While IELTS may reuse some questions or topics, the exact wording and specific questions are unlikely to be repeated. The test is designed to be unpredictable and assess a wide range of language skills. The best way to prepare for the test is to practice with a variety of sample questions and topics.