How to Approach General Training Writing task 1

Nov 2, 2018

Pauline Cullen Author

How to Approach General Training Writing task 1

Nov 2, 2018

In chapter 6 of my free book, The key to IELTS Success, I explained that tone is very important in GT writing task 1.  To help show what we mean by tone, and the effect that vocabulary can have on it,  this post will show a writing task 1 answer I was recently sent. The answer is likely to score band 6.5 because of the problems with task achievement as well as with vocabulary.

First, let us look at the task and how to approach it. 

How to approach GT Writing task 1:

Look at the sample letter in the next image. Can you see any problems with tone and task achievement?

In this next image I have identified 5 specific problems with tone and the information given in the letter. Can you explain what these problems are?

Here are my comments about the problems with tone and task achievement

  1. Smith is a surname, and should therefore have Mr or Ms etc. in front of it.
  2. The undersigned’ is used when a group of people agree to write a joint letter and sign it – it would be most often used to deal with a major complaint about a company.
  3. If you are an executive, you already have the highest possible position within your department and would not need to apply for a lower role of supervisor.
  4. You are not asked about problems within the company, only with your office.
  5. Inviting the person to write to your official address would only be appropriate if this was someone outside of your company.


Look again at the letter.  Are there any another language problems you can identify?  See if you have found all of the problems in this next image:

Remember, as with all IELTS writing tasks, your first aim should be to communicate as clearly as possible, not showcase the ‘complex’ vocabulary you have learned.

You can build your active IELTS vocabulary with my books and apps:



  1. Ashish Saini

    Fantastic! You have made this simple.

    • Norman Mbondiah

      thank you very much for the amazing sample very profound and educative.


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