IELTS General: Writing Tips

Here are some tips for tackling writing tasks for the IELTS General Exam:

  1. Be imaginative - make up a story to make up the space

  2. Use Yours sincerely + Full name- semi-formal letters

  3. Use Yours faithfully + Full name – formal letters

  4. Use Best wishes + first name – informal letters

  5. You can write more than the required number of words but not more.

  6. Use examples, describe in detail – It’s easier to get a good score when you stimulate the examiner’s senses with graphical examples.

  7. Split your letter into introduction, body and conclusion

  8. Introduction: Introduce yourself, state the purpose of your writing and throw in a hook. A hook is a line that catches the attention of your reader. An example: My name is Stephanie Dean, and I am a regular patron of your restaurant. I’m quite dissatisfied with the experience I had when I visited your restaurant on..

  9. Body: Should have about 8-10 sentences and contain 1-2 ideas split across the number of paragraphs you need to express these ideas

  10. Explore the 5W & 1H principle for brainstorming on ideas(How, what, who, why, when and where)

  11. Use a lot of descriptive language – give the examiner something interesting to imagine

  12. Use sensory language to describe – you can describe based on your sense of smell, sight, taste, etc

  13. Express and describe your emotions in detail; you need to connect with the examiner

  14. Your conclusion should have 2-3 sentences and contain a summary of your ideas as well as a call to action. For example, “I would like a form of compensation”/ ”I look forward to your feedback explaining what went wrong”

  15. Let me know other tips you think should be on this list.