IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Tips
- While practising, please find out your mistakes and fix them. You can even fix them online with grammar checkers, but we would advise you to self-correct them with the help of an experienced IELTS teacher.
- Do read the instructions carefully. It's a tip not only for IELTS but for any exam. We would say that more than half of your answer will be correct even before you write if you have understood the question correctly.
- Don't copy words and phrases from the question. The examiner will check if you can paraphrase your answer, so use synonyms instead.
- Use words that tell what you are describing. For example, begin with - "the graph shows that". It is known as signposting language.
- Get an official IELTS answer sheet and practice writing on that as you will get used to the spaces you need to adjust in your answer.
- Use words that describe the change. Words such as minimal or slight will help you show the precise amount.
- To obtain high marks, plan your answer well. Have a structure ready in mind. Below is an example.
- Paragraph 1: paraphrase question, paragraph 2: overview, paragraph 3: explain in detail about the main feature, and paragraph 4: explain in detail about another primary feature.
- Overviews are the essential part of the question. Please do practice writing them as much as you can.
- Like a novel, decide on a tense and use it throughout your answer.
- It's best to use the latest data to support your descriptions.
- It's best not to use the same words for percentages and numbers. Use words like large, small, higher, many, more, etc.
- It's best that you don't give any opinion.
- Avoid notes, abbreviations, and bullet points.
- Don't write every process or number you see since the question will only ask you to write two to 3 significant points.
- If the test is offline, please make sure that your handwriting is at least readable.
- Don't overuse signposting language or linking words.
- We would advise you to learn and use formal language.
- When practising, focus on all types of questions as any type can be asked in the exam.
- Panicking will make it worst, IELTS is a challenging task, but all you need to do is prepare well and walk in confidently.
IELTS General Writing Task 1: Tips
- First, you need to identify the letter type you are asked to write. As mentioned above, there are three types of letters: formal, semi-formal, and informal.
- You can identify the type of letter from its purpose. Below we have given some examples.
- Formal – requesting data from a company, applying for a job, complaint letter (bank, etc.), recommendation/suggestion letter, etc.
- Semi-formal – complaining to a landlord, explaining to a neighbour, permission from a professor, etc.
- Informal – thanking a friend, apologising, requesting advice, inviting someone you know well, etc.
- Open and close the letter correctly. You must do this based on the letter type. Take a look below.
- Formal – open: dear sir/madam, close: yours faithfully.
- Semi-formal – open: dear Mr./Ms.[name], close: yours sincerely.
- Informal – dear [name], close: best regards, warm wishes.
- You need to write the letter appropriately. Keep the semi-formal and formal letter as professional as you can. Since you don't know the person you are addressing in the letter personally, keep it straight to the point. As for an informal letter, you can use a friendlier-sounding language. Just don't get carried away too much in it.
- There are many standard written phrases and expressions in English that you can use. Since IELTS checks how much of your English is close to a native speaker, using these sentences will surely help you get a high score. Below we have given these phrases as per the letter type.
- Apologising – please accept my sincere apologies for, I am very sorry about, or sorry for.
- Asking for help – I'd be grateful if you could, I would appreciate it if you could, or could you please.
- Asking for information – I am writing to enquire about, I am writing to find out about, or I would like to know about.
- Closing – I look forward to hearing from you, I look forward to seeing you, or I look forward to meeting you.
- Complaining – I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with, I am writing to express my annoyance with, or I am not happy with.
- Satisfaction – I was delighted to learn that, I was thrilled to hear that, or I was very glad to hear that.
- Concern – I am writing to express my concern, I was very sorry to learn that, or I was really sorry to hear that.
- Bad news – I regret to advise you that, I regret to inform you that, or I am sorry to tell you that.
- Good news – I am pleased to advise you that I am delighted to inform you that, or I am happy to tell you that.
- Reasons – this is due to, this is a result of, or because.
- Suggestions – perhaps it would be useful too, perhaps it would be possible too, or it might be helpful too.
- I am extremely grateful for, I really appreciate, or thank you for.
- Make sure you spell most of the words correctly. For this, do as much writing practice as you can.
- Divide your letter into introduction, problem/situation, solution/action, and conclusion for readability and clarity. You can either leave a line space between paragraphs (skipping a line) or write a slight right to the left margin (indenting).
- Make sure that your handwriting is at least readable if the test is offline.
- Write at least a 150 words letter. You will achieve this limit with practice only.
- Explain all the points in the question. Even if you leave 1 point out, you will not obtain your desired score.
- Since the IELTS Writing Task 1 is worth30% of your marks, it is wise to finish it before time.
- Reading model letters will give you an idea about what you have to write on the exam paper.
- Understanding the scoring criteria will help you get a high score. Here are some tips for it.
- Present ideas logically and use structured paragraphs that include connecting points that make sense to convey your message.
- You can use a collection of vocabulary you will find on the internet and make sure that the flow is natural, correct, and fluent. Also, you should use the nouns and verb forms precisely—grammar matters.
- Practising letters daily and getting them checked by someone with an IELTS experience will improve your skills.
Understand the content, create an outline for the content, paraphrase the content in your own words and mainly keep it simple.
The idea behind getting 7 in the IELTS writing task 1 is to present the understood information neat and focused. Students must keep practising until they achieve a band 7 in their mock tests.
In the IELTS writing task, tasks 1 and task 2 will be given. In task 1, students have to write over 150 words; in task 2, students have to write 250 words. However, there is no upper word limit in the IELTS writing tasks.
There is a fixed penalty if students write less than 150 words in task 1 and less than 250 in task 2. So, in this case, students will get only band 5 as the task response. However, there is no upper word limit and no penalty for crossing the fixed word limit.