IELTS Exam tests the ability of the candidate in the English language from every aspect. From all four modules of the IELTS exam i.e., Listening, Reading, Speaking & Writing, we are going to discuss IELTS General Writing task 1. This task measures the ability of the candidate to deliver their ideas about common practical issues. The task is of 20 minutes in which you are asked to write a letter to a person, company, or institution.
Here in this article, we are going to discuss some valuable tips, tricks, strategies, and references for succeeding in IELTS letter writing. Dr. Roma's IELTS Preparation course helps a candidate prepare for the IELTS exam in the comfort of their home. Also, one can achieve the desired score in this section after going through this blog and implementing the tips and strategies while performing. Let’s Start!!!
Majorly, there are three types of IELTS Letter Writing
- Formal Letter- This type of letter is written to someone whom you don’t know personally. It could be a discussion on some formal situation with a person you have never met.
- Semi-formal Letter- Semi Formal letter is written in a situation when you have a formal relationship with a person but you know them personally. For an instance: A letter written to your building secretary, colleagues, or neighbors will be considered a semi-formal letter.
- Informal Letter- Informal or personal letter is written to someone whom you know personally and want to have a discussion on social and personal situations.
Each letter type has a different purpose and writing style according to which a candidate has to write its beginning and signing off. After recognizing the type of letter, a candidate can focus on the vocabulary type to be used in their writing.
Opening of the Letter
Dear Sir/ Mam
I am writing to inquire about…
I am writing in connection with…
Dear Mr./Ms. ____(Name)
I am writing to inform you that…
I am writing to…
I hope you and your family are all well!
It is suggested to candidates that while writing formal or semi-formal letters directly move to the business i.e., why you are writing this letter. So, don’t try to be friendly with an unknown person. But in the informal letter you a sharing a personal bond with the person so don’t come to the purpose directly, you can start with a friendly paragraph.
The signing off plays a very important role in the IELTS letter-writing task which is depended upon the writing style and purpose of writing the letter.
See Your/Take Care/ Warm Wishes
The biggest challenge for a candidate is to use accurate grammar and contractions in the IELTS exam. However, understanding the type of letter is the first factor then a candidate must be aware of the fact that contraction is used in an informal letter, not the informal letter.
The aim is to adopt the right writing style for a letter by using a mix of sentence structures and types with accurate grammatical skills. This will help a candidate to fetch the required score in the IELTS writing task.
The next tip is to be careful about the vocabulary, spelling, and punctuation used in letters. There is a difference in the opening and signing of the vocabulary of the letter depending upon its type. Wrong spelling of some commonly used words can also leave a negative impact on the examiner. For example-: “sincerely”, “faithfully”, “in connection with”, “apologize”, and so on. Also, check for the punctuation marks used in the letters.
Tip- It is suggested that the candidate must spend the last 2 minutes reviewing your letter.
The next important tip is the usage of the right structure while letter writing. The biggest mistake made by IELTS candidates is to write all the points in a single paragraph. It leaves a negative impact on your score. A candidate must possess the skill of effective paragraphing by following the standard letter writing structure for the IELTS exam.
• Opening Statement – Purpose for writing the letter
• Body Paragraph 1 (Describe the first point)
• Body Paragraph 2 (Describe the second point)
• Body Paragraph 3 (Describe the third point)
• Closing statement
• Signing off
The letter writing in IELTS General Task is worth 30% of your writing score, so make sure to score the best on the given task. It could only be achieved if you manage the time properly and complete the task on time. Just understand the purpose of the letter and keep your thoughts straight and simple to complete it on time.
It is recommended to keep 40 minutes to complete the essay in task 2 on time which has more worth than in terms of points.
Aspirants are recommended to invest the initial 3-5 minutes for planning the structure, thoughts, and ideas for letter writing just before starting writing it actually. So planning is very important for making an strategy.
Keep the following points in your mind before starting IELTS letter writing:
- Read all the given instructions for the letter-writing
- Identify the type of letter
- Note down the points that you will include in your letter writing
- Decide how many paragraphs you will need for your letter to put each point
- Plan the opening statement for the letter
- Select the perfect writing style, grammar, and vocabulary – according to the type of letter
- Think about the signing off
- Make a proper plan to design the content for each paragraph
- Start writing!!!
Read different types of letters written in various situations but don’t memorize them. Just make sure that you take references from only reliable sources, such as Dr. Roma's IELTS preparation source.
The next step after reading is practice, practice, and practice. Practice letter writing on regular basis and make it checked through an experienced IELTS trainer. Also, you can enroll in IELTS online coaching by Dr. Roma for expert guidance. Refer to sample questions for practice letter writing daily and improve your score.
· Take care of word limit while letter writing i.e., 150- 180 words, otherwise you will lose score for doing this.
· Divide the 20 minutes smartly for evaluating, planning, and writing.
· Avoid repetition of the same word in letter writing.
· Use a variety of sentence structures maintaining grammatical accuracy.