The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test to judge the English language capabilities of the candidates. Letter writing is one of the major tasks in this test. To earn a high score in the IELTS Letter Writing task, you will need the right approach and method. In this write-up, we have shared some IELTS letter writing tips that will assist you in achieving the best score for your qualifying criteria.
1. Recognize the type of the letter
When the examiners ask you to compose something, you have to know if the letter is formal, semi-formal, or informal. Your response to this question determines the tone of your letter. Adapt your writing style and word choice to the type of letter you have been requested to write.
2. Letter Openings
Letters generally start with an opening statement that describes why the letter is being written. This beginning phrase differs based on whether you are writing a formal or informal letter.
3. Signing Off
You will need to adjust your closing statement or comment depending on the style and purpose of the letter. Some of the examples are:
Formal letter: Dear Sir/Ma’am/Mr.= Yours faithfully,
Semi-formal letter: Dear John Miller= Yours sincerely,
Informal letter: Hi/Dear John= Take care/ All the best/ See you soon
4. Grammar: Formal and Informal
Formal and informal letters use different vocabulary and writing styles. It would be helpful if you remember that you should use the contractions in informal letters because they do not look good. However, contractions are not acceptable for formal letters.
When writing a formal letter, use more formal language, such as “I am writing this letter to you with regards…”, for a semi-formal letter, write “I am writing this letter because…” and for an informal letter, you can write “I would like to say…”
5. Vocabulary: Formal and Informal
When it comes to vocabulary, use academic language carefully in a letter. If this is incorrect, it will reduce your band score instead of improving it.
6. Spelling and Punctuation
Your punctuation and spelling will get checked by the examiner. It means you have to take care of commas and full stops carefully. It is unlikely that you will achieve a band score higher than six if you make frequent spelling or punctuation errors.
7. The Appropriate Structure
IELTS candidates frequently make the error of compressing all of their points into a single paragraph. The examiner will also evaluate your score based on your ability to apply effective paragraphing.
8. Effective letter planning
Your planning should begin even before you start writing. There is no harm in spending the first 3-5 minutes planning to write a letter because once you start composing it, there will be no turning back to make any changes. The format of the IELTS Letter Writing is shared below so that you may plan ahead of time.
- Read the guidelines.
- Identify the type of letter you have to write.
- Examine the points you must include in your letter
- Consider how many paragraphs you will need and where you will place each point
- Plan out what information you will include in each point
- Choose how you want to open the letter
- Consider the language you will use from both grammar and vocabulary perspectives. It must be appropriate according to the letter style.
- Choose how to end the letter
- Make a plan for the substance of each body paragraph.
- Start writing.
Tips for IELTS Letter writing test
Now let us look into the tips that will help you to score higher bands in the IELTS letter writing task.
- Divide your 20 minutes into three sections: planning, writing and evaluating. Spend the first 3-5 minutes planning, the next 12-15 minutes writing, and the final 2-3 minutes checking your work for errors. Also, do not exceed the time limit of 20 minutes because the remaining 40 minutes are necessary for IELTS Writing Task 2, which is your essay writing task.
- It will help if you stick to the word restriction of 150-180 words. Do not exceed the word limit; else, you will forfeit points for doing so.
- Because the examiner will grade you depending on the grammatical range and accuracy, use various sentence structures.
- Avoid using repeated terms in your essay, as this is a bad indicator.
- Include all of the instructions in the letter, or your band score will get reduced.
Hopefully, you have got enough information on the letter writing tips for the IELTS exam. You can prepare yourself through the IELTS practice test online. It will help if you practice a lot for a better score on the letter-writing test.