General Training Task 1: Personal or Informal Model Letter

a person writing a personal or informal letter to represent General Training Task 1 - image by Magoosh

In IELTS General Training Writing task 1, you will write a letter, based on the situation and description in the prompt. Situations range from personal, informal ones (communicating with a neighbor or friend for instance) and more formal business/work oriented ones (writing a memo to your boss, talking about an experience you had as a customer and so on). In this article, we’ll look at a sample personal informal letter. Ultimately, informal letters are just one of two kinds of letters that you might need to write on test day. The other letter type is a formal letter (although, so many claim that there is a third type—the semi-formal letter).

IELTS Writing Task 1 Informal Letter: Model Question and Answer

The 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 ___________,

Model of a Personal, Informal Letter

Word count: 167

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,

Explanation and Band Score

Let’s look at a band score, with explanation. This score report is similar to the ones we can provide you if you have a Magoosh IELTS subscription plan, and the score itself is based on the categories in the official IELTS Writing Task 1 rubric.

Overall Band Score: 9


Task Achievement/ResponseCoherence and CohesionLexical ResourceGrammatical Range and Accuracy

Tips and Feedback

What was done well in this essay:

  • The 150-word minimum was met and exceeded, to avoid a penalty.
  • All three requirements from the task description are met. (Rachel says why she is accepting the invitation and why she is looking forward to coming; she also offers to bring something.)
  • Each paragraph has its own clear theme and focus.
  • There are good transition words and phrases (EX: also, in fact, as for me)
  • There is an appropriate and consistent informal tone with friendly language, the use of contractions, and so on.
  • There is variety in word choice; different words used to say similar things (EX: happy/glad, can’t wait/it will be lovely)
  • Sentence structure and length is varied, and all sentences are written clearly and feel natural.

The Takeaway

Understanding the official score guide for Task 1 is an important key to getting a top score. Good language skills and a good mindset are important too. What do I mean by a good mindset? I mean that you should use your imagination. Be creative as you picture the personal, friendly scenario in the prompt. Then write a letter that addresses the friendly situation you’re imagining.

Above all, keep using great prep materials and seeking out more practice. This blog is a great place to start. We have more prompts and example letters to help you prepare for the IELTS General Training writing task. We also have a full guide to the entire IELTS Writing section!

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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