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Understanding General Writing Task 1


In Task 1 of the IELTS General Writing module, you will have to write a letter of at least 150 words in about 20 minutes.

What is asked in exam?

Let’s see this IELTS General Writing Task 1 question that was asked on 27 Dec, 2019.

» You should spend 20 minutes on this task.

Write a letter to your English speaking friend who is visiting you soon and asking you what presents your family would like. Write:
– Who your family consists of
– What kind of presents each member would like.
– How you feel about your friend coming to visit

» Write at least 150 words.

Letter, just one letter from many different kinds, depending on why you are writing and who you are writing to. However, they all share a basic structure: the greeting; the introduction; the body; and the closing or sign-off. We will dig deep each section in our later units.

What is the purpose of the task?

The examiner wants to see how well you can respond to everyday situations using your English.

Is there a time limit?

Well! there is and there is not…..

Do you notice in the question above it is written that you should spend 20 minutes on this task.

Wait….wait.. although it is written that you should spend about 20 minutes on this task, the given time here is a suggestion but not a compulsion. The total time for the writing module is 60 minutes which means:-

Task 1 + Task 2 = 20 + 40 minutes = 60 minutes, but following is perfectly fine too:

Task 1 + Task 2 = 15 + 45 minutes = 60 minutes, {if you take 15 mins to finish task 1 then you have 45 mins for your task 2}

Task 1 + Task 2 = 18 + 42 minutes = 60 minutes,{if you take 18 mins to finish task 1 then you have 42 mins for your task 2}

Task 1 + Task 2 = 25 + 35 minutes = 60 minutes, {if you take 25 mins to finish task 1 then you have 35 mins for your task 2}

………………. and so on.

The key is that you are obliged to accomplish your writing task within 60 minutes and 20 minutes for your writing task 1 is the perfect timing for writing 150 words.

Fast and Furious Tip:
Since your task 2 is double the weightage of task 1, it is suggested for you to attempt task 2 before task 1.

How much should I write?

Examiners will ask you to write not less than 150 words and penalize if the answer is too short. Although test-takers will not be penalized for writing more than 150 words, what should be kept in mind is that giving too much than required may become an overdose …ah! and you may end up with less time for your another task, you know the consequences, right?

However, just for the sake of making it 150 please don’t go off-topic and avoid using bullet points.

Where should I write the answer?

Examiners will provide you with specially designed IELTS writing answer sheets where you are supposed to insert information about you in the heading and your answers below it.

Should I use pen or pencil?

You are given pencil, eraser, sharpener, and a water bottle before the test starts. Hence, get used to of pencil.

Click here to download the answer sheet sample

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