How to approach General Training Writing task 1

In the real IELTS General Training Writing test, you will have one hour to complete both of the two set writing tasks.

Task 1 should take you 20 minutes, leaving 40 minutes for task 2. Before starting the first practice task, you might like to set an alert to make sure you don’t go too far over.

When you take your IELTS General Training Writing test, you will move from the first to the second task without a break. In order to give you a good idea of the test experience, you should do the same here, moving straight from practice task 1 to practice task 2.

An easy reminder…

  • Q: How long should I spend on IELTS Writing task 1?
    A: You should spend 20 minutes on this task – saving 40 minutes for task 2.
  • Q: How many words should I write for IELTS Writing task 1?
    A: You should write at least 150 words.
  • Q: How should I prepare for the practice IELTS Writing task 1?
    A: For your practice tests, you should find a quiet place to work where you will be undisturbed for the whole hour.

Task 1 – Write about the following topic:

A friend has agreed to look after your house and pet while you are on holiday. Write a letter to your friend.

In your letter:

  • give contact details for when you are away,
  • give instructions about how to care for your pet,
  • describe other household duties you would like your friend to undertake.

When giving contact details, you do NOT need to write any addresses; something like the name of a friend you are staying with or a holiday destination is fine.

The format for this IELTS Writing task is simple. Just begin your letter as follows:

Task 1 letter
Dear .....................,

After completion

Once you have completed this task you should move straight on to task 2. At the end of task 2, you will be given model answers for both parts of the test. You can use these to compare your answers, evaluate your performance, and consider what, if anything, you might change were you to complete these tasks again.

Remember, there are no right and wrong answers; you just need to write clearly and competently about the topic provided.

Continue to task 2