This is how to prepare yourself for a band 7 in the IELTS General Writing Task 1.
You were probably looking for this information because no matter how hard you study, you are still getting 6.5 in your IELTS Writing skills exam and you need a 7 or 7.5.
Of course, this is very upsetting because you can’t start your new career or advance an existing one until you get IELTS Band score 7 or 7.5, which will allow you to take the required medical exam (other other exam or course that requires band score 7 or 7.5).
Follow this advice and you will get the opportunity to improve your IELTS writing score for the IELTS General Training Task 1.
This IELTS General Writing Task 1 preparation technique is proven
All the advice you read in my posts or on the Pass IELTS Higher site generally has helped followers to achieve the IELTS Band score they need successfully. Testimonials on the site support me in saying this, too.
Step 1 – IELTS General Task 1 Writing Preparation
Choose the IELTS Task 1 letter that you wish to practise. Here is one that I’ve chosen. It’s a fairly typical Task 1:
A friend has agreed to look after your house, houseplants and garden while you are away on a trip. Write a letter to your friend. In your letter:
Give contact details for while you are away
Give instructions about how to care for your plants and garden
Give other instructions
Write at least 150 words
You do not need to write any addresses. Begin your letter as follows:
Step 2 – Google your chosen IELTS Writing topic
Having chosen the letter you wish to practise with, google the topic of the letter. I googled ‘looking after your houseplants’, ‘looking after your garden’ and used BBC.co.uk/gardening ‘How to be a gardener’ and once I was on that site I searched for ‘houseplants’ and ‘watering’. I also googled ‘how to keep your home safe when you go on holiday’ and used www.saga.co.uk.
Read the texts and
A) list the main ideas
B) list useful phrases (these can be either for the topic of instructions for house care while you are on holiday, or general phrases you can use in the task 1 writing.
Remember that it is very hard to predict the IELTS Task 1 writing topics, so it is more useful to remember general phrases that you can apply to any topic.
Step 3 – Plan your letter
If you plan what you are going to write for 2 minutes before you start writing in the IELTS Exam, this sequences your ideas, allowing the examiner to follow your thoughts easily and give you good marks in the cohesion column. Here are the points I selected from the information I found:
Good Points (Things to do)
A) Watering -You can check by pushing your finger into the compost
B) Dust prevents plants from growing properly
C)Tips for securing your home – Water the plants. This will stop them appearing wilted and indicating an absent owner.
D)Mow the lawn/bring in washing that can be seen
Bad Points (Things not to do)
A) Most plants are killed by over-watering
B) Nothing reveals that a house is unoccupied as much as curtains drawn during the day
Step 4 – Include useful phrases from your “Library”
If you haven’t already started, you should begin assembling a collection of phrases that you can recycle in any of your writing tasks (and indeed your Speaking exam).
In the Good/Bad points section, I have chosen expressions which could be recycled in any IELTS writing task 2 and, with some adaptation, any IELTS General Writing Task 1 depending on the style of the letter you are being asked to write.
Using these expressions, below I show you how to apply the grammar of the phrases, together with an example:
1 to check + noun phrase+ by +ing
For example: you can check people’s reaction to this by asking their opinion
2 (Noun + to prevent+object noun+from+ing)
For example: Poor discipline prevents teenagers from taking any responsibility
3 Tips for +ing + object noun phrase
For example: Tips for securing an environmentally friendly future for your children
4 This will stop them +ing +adjective/adverb
For example: This will stop them overeating so compulsively
5 To bring in +noun that can be +past participle
For example: bring in other people who can be used
6 Most + noun phrase + passive + by +ing
For example:Most accidents are caused by driving carelessly
7 Nothing reveals + noun phrase + as much as +noun phrase
For example:Nothing reveals the lack of funding as much as the problems in the NHS
Step 5 – Complete the IELTS General Task 1 Letter structure
Now you have your basic ideas, decide how many paragraphs you are going to write.
I would suggest one for each bullet point (3) and choose the beginning (salutation/introductory sentence) and ending for your letter.
You have 20 minutes, so use 4 minutes for each of the body paragraphs and 3 for the introductory sentence and the closing sentence, which leaves 2 minutes for you to check what you have written, remembering you have used 2 minutes to plan your letter.
You have to write a minimum of 150 words, so you will probably write 30 words for each body paragraph and 15 each for the beginning and ending.
You will get marks for the correct letter format.
This is a letter to a friend, so you are going to use less formal/conversational English and contractions.
How are you? I am writing, firstly, not only to thank you for offering to look after my house while I’m on holiday but also to leave you my contact number in case of problems. I’m so relieved that everything will be in safe hands.
Please remember, you must choose a salutation that you’d use for a friend and in the first line say why you are writing the letter.
It is fairly easy to write the basic letter but for higher marks think about:
- linking phrases
- Using complex sentences
- Collocations-new expressions
- Using complex grammar
Here is an example body paragraph – answering one of the bullet points:
Although I’ve said everything will be in safe hands, (linking the second paragraph to the first by repeating the topic) I’ve just remembered that you don’t really have green fingers (an idiom) (ha ha!!), so if I might (conditional with a modal) point out that most plants are killed by over watering (new expression), and one way you can check this is by pushing your finger in the plant’s compost (new expression) to check how much water is needed.
Would you mind making sure the grass is mown and watered too, which will stop everything appearing wilted, indicating an absent owner (me!!)(complex sentence/new expressions)
Finally, here’s my mobile number-07653429812, contact me only if you really have to.
See you soon,
Step 6 – Rinse and repeat until you are ready for the IELTS Test
As you practise this, you will become more at ease with the planning, preparation and writing an IELTS General Training Task 1 letter.
Prepare yourself as suggested in your private study and cover as many of the possible types of IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 letters as you can during your preparation.In this way you will benefit
- By having a wide range of vocabulary, phrases and collocations suitable for the IELTS topics
- By developing quick letter planning skills for the IELTS General Training Task 1 Letter Writing
- By understanding what the examiner is looking for in the IELTS Writing tests
- By achieving higher IELTS Band scores.
Kick-start your IELTS Preparation. Stop making mistakes which lose you marks and learn how to earn more marks.
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