IELTS General Training Writing - Introduction

by Cherry


The General Training Writing test is 60 minutes long and has two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words.

1. Task 1

In Task 1, candidates are asked to respond to a situation, by writing a letter for example, requesting information or explaining a situation. An example of this task would be:

You recently took a part-time job working for a local company. After a few weeks you realised there were some problems with the job.
Write a letter to the manager of the company. In your letter

  • explain why you took the job
  • describe the problems that you experienced
  • suggest what could be done about them.

Write at least 150 words.
You do NOT need to write your own address. Begin your letter as follows: Dear Sir or Madam,

General guidelines

  • Read the task description carefully so that you understand what the letter is for. In particular, be sure to read the bullet points (rubric) and include the information in the letter or you will not be fulfilling the task. Is this a formal or informal letter? Is it to a friend or an organisation?
  • You will be told to start your letter with "Dear....." or "Dear Sir or Madam", depending on the formality of the letter. Please do as requested! (The '....' can be replaced with a fictitious name.). These already give you a hint as to the tone of the letter.
    • If you are told to start with "Dear Sir or Madam" the letter is clearly formal (and should end with "Yours faithfully").
    • If the letter is to "Dear....." check from the rubric whether it is to a friend or is more formal.
    • If it is to a friend it is an informal letter so could be to "Dear Andy" and end in an informal way (Cheers, for example, not "Yours faithfully" nor "Yours sincerely").
    • If it is a formal letter it could be to "Dear Mr. Andy" and should end with "Yours sincerely".
  • The content of the letter should cover the task as specified in the task description. Be sure to cover all the bullet points and write the letter in the correct tone. You must write at least 150 words. Failure to do so will be penalised.

Task 2

In Task 2, candidates write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.

Example: Some people say that television is a very useful tool when it comes to education. Others argue that television is a much overused, ineffective teacher.
Discuss both of these views and give your opinion as to the usefulness of television as an educational tool. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

You should write at least 250 words.

General guidelines

In task 2 of the General Training writing module candidates are presented with a point of view, argument or problem.

  • Read the task description carefully so that you have a complete understanding of the task. If not you will be marked down because you have not satisfied the requirements of the task.
  • Once you clearly understand the requirements of the task you must plan your essay. Use the question paper to do this.
  • Introduce the topic in your own words. Do not copy the task description from the question paper or it will be ignored and not included in the word count.
  • You may be required to present an argument for or against a proposition, compare and contrast points of view, justify an opinion or evaluate evidence.
  • End your essay with a conclusion.
  • You must write at least 250 words. Failure to do so will be penalised.

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