IELTS Band 9 Letters
IELTS band 9 letters require a high skill level.
You have to make sure that you satisfy all of the descriptors for a band 9 response that fall under:
- Task Achievement
- Coherence and Cohesion
- Lexical Resource
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Take a look at the IELTS band descriptors for task one writing if you don't already know them.
You can also watch a video of this lesson:
Sample IELTS Band 9 Letter
This letter is one that needs to be written to the headteacher of a school, so it can be viewed as a semi-formal letter.
You must get the tone right, so given this you should avoid language that is too informal. You are not writing to a friend or family member.
Now take a look at the IELTS band 9 letter and read the comments to understand why it would get a high score.
IELTS Band 9 Letters
Your child is going on a school trip abroad for three days and the headmaster of the school has asked any parents if they would like to come along to assist. You would like to go.
Write a letter to the headmaster.
In your letter:
- Say why you would like to go
- Suggest what you could do to help during the trip
- Ask some further questions about the trip
Write at least 150 words
You do NOT need to write any addresses
Begin your letter as follows:
Dear Mr Jenkins,
I am writing to you regarding the upcoming trip to Paris for which you are looking for people to accompany the children. I am the father of Joshua Williams and I would be delighted to join the trip and to help out.
I can assist during this time because I am currently off work for a few months and I would like to find something to fill up my free time, and this would be perfect. As you may remember, I have helped the school out on a variety of events, such as at the school sports day last summer and also at the jumble sale just a few months ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed being of assistance.
There are a number of things I could do to help out. I can come early in the morning to the school before we leave and make sure everybody is accounted for and on the bus. But of particular relevance is the fact that I can speak French and I know Paris quite well, so I will be able to assist with the day-to-day practicalities of moving the children around and going to the museums and other attractions that we will visit.
There are, though, some things I would still like to know about and to clarify. Do you have an itinerary you can send me so I know what we are going to see whilst there? This will be useful as I can then prepare myself with some background reading. I also wondered what time exactly are you due to arrive back in the UK at the school? I have an event in the evening of the 15th when we are due to come back. Although I can miss it, I would like to let them know in advance if this will be the case.
Thank you for considering my offer and I look forward to hearing from you,
[add a name]
This would score highly in the IELTS test for the following reasons.
Firstly, regarding Task Achievement the purpose of the letter is clear - writing about the request for support for a trip abroad is set out in the first paragraph.
It also has the correct opening and closing letter phrases:
- Yours sincerely
Also the IELTS band 9 letter covers all the bullet points presented and it fully extends each one. Nothing needs to be added to improve it.
There has been a lot written to support each point, and the letter is considerably above the minimum 150 words. However, you need to have good support in an IELTS band 9 letter (according to the descriptors):
- clearly presents a fully developed response
So to be sure of doing this you would need to make sure that you extend the points as much as possible, whilst keeping them relevant of course.
If you are a writer who could not write so much in the test without making errors then you are not at the stage yet where you can get a band 9.
You should reduce the amount you write in support of each point and stick more to the 165-200 word range.
Coherence and Cohesion
For coherence and cohesion, the IELTS band 9 letter can be read with ease and it is also logically organised.
For paragraphing, the purpose is set out clearly in one body paragraph then each bullet point has its own paragraph.
The coherence and cohesion between paragraphs is also sophisticated, and nothing is there that would be noted as an error.
There is a good and natural range of vocabulary which is all appropriate to the topic.
Here are some good example of collocations, phrases, and words:
- upcoming trip
- accompany the children
- helped the school out
- thoroughly enjoyed
- accounted for
- particular relevance
- day-to-day practicalities
- background reading
Grammatical Range and Accuracy
This is again skilfully managed and there are no errors, or if there are they are ones that a native speaker may make and may not even be noticeable.
There is a good range of complex sentence and structures as well. For instance:
- ...for which you are looking
- ...because I am currently
- ...to the school before we leave
- There are, though, some things
- ...can send me so that I know what we are going to see whilst there
- Although I can miss it, I would like
And the ability to use tenses correctly. For instance:
- ...I have helped
- ...I will be able to
- I would still like to know
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