The General version Task 1 question asks you to write a letter of at least 150 words.
The prompt will not tell you what level of formality to use in your choice of words. It only tells you who you will be writing to. From that information, and the content of the letter, you should decide whether to write in a formal or informal letter.
So if you are writing to a friend, it would be inappropriate to write “Thank you for attention to this matter.” A letter of complaint will be formal, but needn’t be friendly, so avoid phrases like “warmest regards.” Similarly, a letter to your employer should not begin with “Dear Sir or Madam” because you know your boss.
There will usually be three bullet points in the question that you will have to address. In order to get the best result, make sure to go into detail. That means two or three sentences, even a paragraph for each point. Many students lose marks by spending too much time on one bullet point, and then just writing one quick sentence for one of the points.
Some people think that informal letters are easier, because you don’t have to use advanced language. But if you want to score high, you will still have to use a variety of language, both vocabulary and grammar. Be sure to write longer, complex sentences, and to show off your knowledge of idioms and expression used in daily conversation.
If you want to learn more about the General Writing Test, you can download practice tests here: https://www.ielts.org/about-the-test/sample-test-questions
We hope you find this information useful and if you are still not sure if you will achieve the score you need, you may also like to check out our writing feedback service – IELTS Writing Feedback.
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