In the writing Task 1 of the IELTS General Training Test you are presented with a situation and you have to write a letter in response.
The letter could be:
Informal (e.g. writing to a friend or family member)
Semi-formal (e.g. your landlord or local newspaper)
Formal (e.g. your bank)
The kind of situations that arise vary but they are often some kind of problem you need to resolve.
Examples are writing to your university accommodation department about about problems with your housing, writing to a shop about a faulty item you have purchased, or writing to a friend to see if you can stay with them during a trip.
You are always given the background to the situation, and then three points that you must address in the letter. The letter will involve you using your imagination in order to fully discuss the three points.
Here are some examples:
Sample Task 1 Questions
Informal Example Question:
A friend of yours is coming to stay at your house for a week while you are away on holiday. They have not stayed at your house before.
Write a letter to your friend so that you can prepare them for their stay. In your letter:
Remind him/her about your holiday dates
Tell him/her what tasks need to be done in your house
Explain what he/she can do during the day in your town
Semi-formal Example Question:
You rent an apartment and recently a new neighbour has moved in who lives above you. They are making a lot of noise and this is disturbing you.
Write a letter to your landlord. In your letter:
Explain what the problem is
Explain why it is disturbing you so much
Tell your landlord what you would like him/her to do about it
Formal Example Question:
You recently purchased an internet package for your house but you think the speed is much slower than it should be. You have complained twice to customer services on the phone but still nothing has been done.
Write a letter to the manager of the company. In your letter:
Explain the internet problem
Explain why you are not happy with the way it has been dealt with
Say what action you now want the manager to take
Writing Task 2 - Essay
Length: 250 words (minimum)
In the IELTS General Training Task 2 you have to write a short essay on a topic of general interest.
You usually have to do one of these things in relation to the essay:
Present your opinion
Discuss problems and solutions
Discuss causes and solutions
Compare and contrast
Here are some example essay questions:
Sample Task 2 Questions
Example Question 1:
Some people believe that it is better to educate children at home rather than sending them to school. Other people believe that it is essential that all children attend formal school education.
Discuss both opinions and give your own opinion.
Example Question 2:
Many cities around the world these days are becoming more and more polluted.
Why is this happening? What solutions can you suggest?
Example Question 3:
These days many people are choosing to have fewer children and so smaller families.
Is it better to have a small family than a large family?
You can learn more about the IELTS essay in this short video:
The IELTS speaking test for General Training is exactly the same as for the Academic module.
The test is with an examiner and there are three parts:
Part 1: questions on familiar topic areas such as work, study, hobbies, holidays
Part 2: a two minute talk on a familiar topic
Part 3: Two-way discussion on a more complex topic
You can learn more about the speaking test and see a sample test here:
The IELTS General Training module of the test differs from the academic test in several ways. The listening and speaking are the same, but the readings are completely different. In the writing, you st…