Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today we are talking about the key differences between IELTS Writing Task 1 for the General Exam and the Academic Exam.

For the General Exam you will have to write a letter.

It is easier than the Academic Exam because they tell you exactly what to write.

There are a number of different letter types and you should practice them all in your preparation plan.

For the letter task you will get a situation and you will have 3 bullet points that you must talk about in your letter.

Make a paragraph for each bullet point.

Make sure you talk about each bullet point in your letter because that is part of your task achievement grade.

One common type of General essay question is the letter of complaint. For example, you could get a situation where you have stayed at a hotel and you had a problem.

Now you have to write a letter of complaint explaining what happened. You’ll need to be able to use formal vocabulary for a letter like this.

Remember these tips for the letter of complaint:

  • You need to include specific details of your stay
  • Use formal vocabulary that sounds polite
  • Use interesting vocabulary such as idioms, specific words, expressions, phrasal verbs
  • You must address all 3 bullet points to get the 7 or higher
  • You need to show a mix of sentence structures. You can’t just use simple sentence structures
  • You need to have paragraphs and you must use linking words to organize your ideas

Letters of complaint are always formal so you need to use high-level, polite language.

You could use the following:

  • “Would you mind if…”
  • “Would it be possible to…”

What questions do you have about writing a letter of complaint on the General Exam?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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