General Training Task 1 Strategy

the bund

The most important thing you have to do for any IELTS Writing Task is to answer the question. For General Training Task 1 questions you always have to write a letter and I would like to share with you a technique that helps you answer the question correctly every time.

You will notice that the question below states that you should write about why you are writing to your friend and then gives four bullet points for you to mention. These are the five main things you must write about and you should write about these five things and these five things only.

Now that you have your five main points you simply split your letter into five main paragraphs and deal with each main point in a separate paragraph.

In each paragraph you should make it very clear which point you are writing about in order to make it obvious to the examiner. You can do this by including keywords from the question, or even better, synonyms or paraphrases of those keywords.

If you follow this strategy you will always answer the question correctly and the examiner will be able to see this very clearly.

Take a look at the answer below to see this strategy in action.

A friend of yours is going on holiday soon and has asked you to recommend a destination.

Write a letter to your friend and recommend a good place for a holiday that you have visited before.

  • say where you went,
  • where you stayed,
  • what you can do there and
  • what the food was like.

Dear Annie

I hope you’re well. I’ve got a great place for you to visit when you get some time off work.

I went to Shanghai in China a fortnight ago and it was just perfect. It only takes about 3 hours from where you live.

We stayed in a little boutique hotel called the Dragon Inn. It wasn’t the biggest hotel, or the most expensive, but I really loved the personal service and the family who run it were so hospitable.

There are loads of things to do, but my favorite has to be the Bund. You can stroll along there in the evening and admire the view or grab a coffee and watch the world go by.

I also have to mention the delicious cuisine. You really should try the dim sum if you go there; it was the best I’ve ever had.

Anyway, let me know if you have any questions about your trip.

Best wishes


If you are doing the General Training paper check out our guides on how to write an informal letter and a formal letter.

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1 Comment

  1. Raza says

    Thanks Chris.

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