Example Letters for IELTS General Training Test Writing Task 1

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For IELTS General Training Writing Task 1, you must write a letter based on information provided in a prompt. The letter you write will be either formal or informal letter. In this post, you’ll find writing prompts, templates, and model answers for formal and informal letters.

Formal Letters

A formal letter is addressed to someone you have never met (an insurance representative, someone in customer support, a city council member, mayor). You often don’t know the name of the person to whom you are writing. Also, a formal letter can be addressed to someone you know but have a professional relationship with (a manager, boss, teacher, or landlord).

Types of letters that are often formal:

  • Letter of enquiry
  • Letter of request (to a business or organization)
  • Letter of complaint
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Letter of suggestion (this can also be an informal letter)

We offer a lot more detail on General Training Writing Tips and Examples post.

Sample Formal Letter for General Training Writing Task 1 Test

First, take a look at the prompt:

You recently read about a volunteer opportunity overseas. Write a letter to ask about applying. In your letter:

  • discuss what you know about the programme
  • explain why you are interested in the opportunity
  • describe what skills you would bring to the position

Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear ___________,

Okay, let’s look at the topic and who we are writing. The topic is an enquiry into a volunteer opportunity and you don’t know who you’ll write in the organization. So this will be a formal letter and that means using formal openings, closings, and tone. Here’s a template we can use.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing this letter with regard to __________ .

[Response to the first bullet point.]

[Response to the second bullet point]

[Response to the third bullet point]

[Call to action, expression of thanks, or request for a response.]

Yours faithfully,
Your full name

In response to that prompt, here’s a General Training formal letter sample.

Dear Sir/Madam:

I am writing this letter with regard to the volunteer opportunity for doctors I saw advertised in the Daily Mail.

As described in the advertisement, the position you are seeking to fill is for a doctor with a desire to travel to Africa for six months of the year. I understand that the position would not require treating unusual diseases, but instead would primarily focus on general preventative measures and practices.

This appeals to me on several levels. I find the medical work here fascinating, and I have always loved to travel. In the past, I have gone to various East African countries, but I very much look forward to visiting other parts of the continent.

My experience and skills make me an excellent fit for this position. As a general practitioner, I believe I am well qualified to assist your organization’s patients. Additionally, my superiors have frequently noted by ability to adapt well to new situations.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Yours faithfully,
Rachel Dale

For more recommendations on formal language, take a look at the table the IDP offers.

Additional Topics of Formal Letters

Here are some IELTS Writing Task General Training prompt topics you can use to get started! You can respond to these using the IELTS General Writing Task 1 model answers above.

Click here to view prompt #1

 
You saw a travel agency’s advertisement for a vacation abroad. Write a letter to inquire about booking this trip. In your letter:

  • describe the holiday you hope to take and why the advertisement appealed to you
  • describe what information you need from the travel agency before making your booking
  • request this information

Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear ___________,

Click here to view prompt #2

 
You read about a job opportunity. Write a letter to ask about applying. In your letter:

  • discuss what you know about the position
  • explain why you are interested in the opportunity
  • describe why your skills make you a good candidate for the position

Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear ___________,

Click here to view prompt #3

 
You purchased a gift for a friend. However, she never received it. Write a letter to the company. In your letter:

  • describe what you ordered and that it was not delivered
  • explain why this order is important to you
  • request that the company resend the item

Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear ___________,

Click here to view prompt #4

 
You are planning a holiday and wish to purchase travel insurance. Write a letter to the manager of the insurance company. In your letter:

  • describe your holiday, giving dates and locations
  • explain what you need from them in terms of insurance coverage
  • request an estimate of the fees for this policy

Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear ___________,

Click here to view prompt #5

 
You recently dropped and broke your mobile telephone. Fortunately, it was insured. Write a letter to the mobile carrier requesting a telephone repair. In your letter:

  • describe what happened to your telephone
  • explain the phone repairs that you need made
  • request that the company respond with the date when they can complete the work

Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear ___________,

 

Personal/Informal Letters

In comparison to formal letters, personal or informal letters are written to people that you know. For IELTS General Training task 1, these can cover a range of situations: from addressing friends and family members to making a suggestion to a colleague.

Unlike in a formal letter, you know the person to whom you’re writing and the topic is less formal. This means that you can address them by their specific name and bring up relevant details in your letter.

Types of letters that are often personal or informal:

  • Letter of request (to a friend, family member, or peer)
  • Letter of invitation
  • Letter of thanks
  • Letter of suggestion (this can also be a formal letter)

We offer a lot more detail on General Training Writing, tips, and examples on our blog.

Sample Personal/Informal Letter for General Training Writing Task 1 Test

First, here’s a sample prompt:

You recently received an invitation to a dinner party at your friend’s house. Write a letter to accept the invitation. In your letter:

  • explain why you are accepting the invitation
  • describe why you are looking forward to the dinner party
  • offer to bring a dish to share

Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear ___________,

The prompt has clear signals that you’ll write an informal letter. You are writing to a friend about a party. That means you’ll use more casual language, openings, and closings than you would in a formal letter.

Here’s an IELTS Writing Task 1 general template you could use to write a model answer to an informal letter:

Dear Samantha,

I hope you are doing well. I am writing about ____________.

[Response to the first bullet point.]

[Response to the second bullet point]

[Response to the third bullet point]

[Call to action, expression of thanks, or request for a response.]

Best regards
Your first name

Now that you’ve seen the template, you can use it to construct a model letter! Here’s an example letter of how you could respond to the above prompt.

Dear Samantha,

I hope you’re doing well. I am writing about the invite to your dinner party this Thursday night.

I’ll be happy to come! It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other, and I can’t wait to hear about your new job. It will also be lovely to see John after all this time. And please tell him hello for me right away, and let him know I look forward to seeing him. I’ve missed him so much.

In fact, I’m looking forward to the party for a number of reasons. Beyond the pleasure of your company, I always love your cooking. The chicken that you made last time was delicious! With you in charge of the meal, we are guaranteed an excellent evening.

As for me, I would be glad to bring something to the table myself. Could I perhaps bake a cake for dessert, or bring a bottle of wine? Let me know.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

All the best,
Rachel

Additional Topics of Personal/Informal Letters

If you want more practice with personal/informal letters, read on! Here are additional prompts for informal letter writing for IELTS General Training.

Click here to view prompt #1

 
A colleague at work has recently done you a favor. Write a letter to your colleague. In your letter:

  • thank them for doing the favor
  • explain why the favor was important to you
  • offer to do them a favor in return

Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear ___________,

Click here to view prompt #2

 
You recently forgot a family member’s birthday. Write a letter to your family member. In your letter:

  • apologies for forgetting their birthday
  • explain the reasons that you forgot it
  • offer to celebrate with them in person later

Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear ___________,

Click here to view prompt #3

 
You would like to invite your friend to go on holiday with you. Write a letter inviting your friend. In your letter:

  • describe the holiday to your friend
  • explain why you want this friend to go with you
  • offer an alternative location for the holiday to your friend

Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear ___________,

Click here to view prompt #4

 
You received an unexpected gift from a family member. Write a letter thanking them for the gift. In your letter:

  • express your gratitude for the gift
  • explain why you like the gift
  • describe how you will use the gift

Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear ___________,

Click here to view prompt #5

 
Your family cannot agree on where to spend the upcoming holidays. Write a letter to your parents with a suggestion. In your letter:

  • describe what you think the family should do for the holiday
  • explain why this would be a good solution to the problem
  • offer to discuss the solution with them in person

Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear ___________,

I hope this has helped! As you continue to prepare for test day, don’t forget to check out Magoosh’s Complete Guide to IELTS Writing.

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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