5 Tips to Ace the IELTS Letter Writing (Part 1)
Image courtesy of torbakhopper via Flickr (CC 2.0)
In the IELTS General Training format, test takers are given a situation and asked to respond to it by writing a letter, which may be informal, semi-formal, or formal.
Situations deal with everyday topics, such as writing to a friend about recent changes in your life, writing to a neighbour inviting them to an event, or writing to the council about some problem that people in your locality are facing.
Letter writing might look simple, but if IELTS test takers disregard certain aspects of the task, they could end up scoring a lower band than what they are capable of.
So, here are 5 tips to help you ace the letter writing task in IELTS…
- Follow general letter-writing rules
This task assesses the test taker’s ability to follow English letter-writing conventions, so it’s important that you provide enough evidence of it: start and end the letter appropriately, organise information logically, and use an appropriate style of writing.
For example, if the salutation at the beginning is Dear Sir or Madam, you should end the letter with something suitable, such as Yours faithfully. Similarly, a letter should have an opening sentence that is appropriate and sets the scene for what is to follow. Here are a couple of examples:
|Formal||Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with a meal I had at your restaurant last Friday.
Thanks once again for agreeing to look after Bruno over the weekend – you’re a star!
- Make your letter look authentic
You may be attempting this task as part of an exam, but the reader should still find your letter authentic. So, how do you do it? Simple! Keep adding finer details that make your letter believable. For instance, if you are asked to write to a friend inviting them to an event, make sure you add enough details about the location.
The party is at a popular club in Central London.
The party is at the Grooves club in Leicester Square, London. It’s directly opposite the National Art Gallery, so you won’t miss it.
Remember, the more authentic your letter looks, the better your chances of getting a high score.
|Meaning||:||to not consider something as important or ignore|
|Example||:||Mary burnt after disregarding her mother’s advice to wear sunblock.|
|Meaning||:||to succeed/perform in a competitive situation|
|Example||:||Clive studied hard so I’m sure he’ll ace the exam.|
|Meaning||:||A well-established rule|
|Example||:||Her novel doesn’t follow the narrative conventions of modern fiction.|
|set the scene (for something)|
|Meaning||:||to give someone enough information so that they understand what comes next|
|Example||:||He set the scene by telling us a bit about life in 19th-century New York.|
|Meaning||:||The original / genuine|
|Example||:||Criminals try to make fake banknotes look as authentic as possible.|