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General Training Writing Test 1

The General Training Writing Module consists of two tasks, Task 1 and Task 2. Each task is assessed independently. The assessment of Task 2 carries more weight in marking than Task 1.

Detailed performance descriptors have been developed which describe written performance at the 9 IELTS bands. These descriptors apply to both the Academic and General Training Modules.

Task 1 scripts are assessed on the following criteria:
• Task Achievement
• Coherence and Cohesion
• Lexical Resource
• Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Task 2 scripts are assessed on the following criteria:
• Task Response
• Coherence and Cohesion
• Lexical Resource
• Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Candidates should note that scripts will be penalised if they are a) under the minimum word length, b) partly or wholly plagiarised, c) not written as full, connected text (e.g. using bullet points in any part of the response, or note form, is not appropriate, etc.).

Task 1
Task Achievement
This criterion assesses how appropriately, accurately and relevantly the response fulfils the requirements set out in the task, using the minimum of 150 words. Task 1 is also a writing task with a largely predictable output in that each task sets out the context and purpose of the letter and the functions the candidate should cover in order to achieve this purpose.
Coherence and Cohesion This criterion is concerned with the overall clarity and fluency of the message: how the response organises and links information, ideas and language. Coherence refers to the linking of ideas through logical sequencing. Cohesion refers to the varied and appropriate use of cohesive devices (for example, logical connectors, pronouns and conjunctions) to assist in making the conceptual and referential relationships between and within sentences clear.
Lexical Resource This criterion refers to the range of vocabulary the candidate has used and the accuracy and appropriacy of that use in terms of the specific task.
Grammatical Range and Accuracy This criterion refers to the range and accurate use of the candidate’s grammatical resource as manifested in the candidate’s writing at sentence level.

Task 2 
Task Response Task 2 requires the candidates to formulate and develop a position in relation to a given prompt in the form of a question or statement. Ideas should be supported by evidence, and examples may be drawn from the candidates’ own experience. Responses must be at least 250 words in length. Writing scripts are marked by trained and certificated IELTS examiners. Scores may be reported as whole bands or half­bands. On the next 6 pages you will find candidates’ answers to two sample Writing tests. There are two answers for each Writing task. Each answer has been awarded a band score and is accompanied by an examiner comment on the candidate’s performance for that task. The examiners’ guidelines for marking the Writing scripts are very detailed. There are many different ways a candidate may achieve a particular band score. The candidates’ answers that follow should not be regarded as definitive examples of any particular band score. Please refer to the public band descriptors for Writing. - sample practice test writing task 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. 
You live in a room in college which you share with another student. However, there are many problems with this arrangement and you find it very difficult to work. Write a letter to the accommodation officer at the college. In the letter, 
• describe the situation 
• explain your problems and why it is difficult to work 
• say what kind of accommodation you would prefer 
Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any addresses. Begin your letter as follows: Dear Sir or Madam, - practice test writing task 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. Write at least 150 words. 
You have seen a job advertised in the newspaper. You want to apply for the job. Write a letter to the manager of the company. In your letter 
• provide information about yourself 
• give details of your previous work experience 
• say why the company should consider you for the job 
You do NOT need to write any addresses. Begin your letter as follows: Dear …,
Dear Sir or Madam, 
I would like to apply for the position of office administrator that was advertised in The Times newspaper on Wednesday 8th August. I have over ten years’ office experience. I have recently moved here from England to be closer to my parents and I am looking for a chance to further develop my career in this country. 
My previous experience includes five years with ABC Company in their head office, and another five years at the main branch of Sigma Securities where I was responsible for the day-to-day activities related to financial planning, billing and record keeping. At ABC Company, I was involved in personnel recruitment, as part of the human resources team, and I had overall responsibility for physical distribution and logistics. My Curriculum Vitae and application form are attached. 
One of my main strengths is flexibility, and this is a key asset in a rapidly changing work environment. I have good communication skills, and enjoy sharing ideas and cooperating as part of a dynamic team. I am a reliable and hardworking team player and I feel I would be an asset to your workplace. 
I look forward to hearing from you soon. 
Yours faithfully, 
===================== 193 words=====================
IELTS examiners rate the IELTS Writing Task 1 using 4 assessment criteria - Task Achievement, Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource and Grammatical Range and Accuracy. Below you’ll find feedback on this sample model response. 
1. Task Achievement: Is the response in a letter format and does it address all three of the bullet points in the prompt? 
The response is in a letter format, including “Dear Sir or Madam” at the beginning and an appropriate closing, “Yours faithfully.” The first paragraph addresses the first bullet point, giving information about the writer and why he is applying for the job. The second paragraph addresses the second bullet point, giving details about previous work experience, and the third tells why the company should consider the person for the job. All three points are covered with details given. 
2. Coherence and Cohesion: Is information arranged logically and is it easy to follow? Are cohesive devices and paragraphing used well? 
There are three paragraphs, each of which addresses a bullet point. The bullet points are addressed in order and there is a wide range of cohesive devices, including referencing; “another five years”, “where I was responsible for”, “One of my main strengths is flexibility and this is a key asset”. 
3. Lexical Resource: How wide is the range of vocabulary used and are there spelling errors? 
There is a wide range of vocabulary here with no error. There is precise usage of less common vocabulary. “to further develop my career”, “main strengths is flexibility”, “a rapidly changing work environment”. 
4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy: How wide is the range of sentence structures and how much error is there? Is punctuation accurate? 
There is a wide variety of sentence structures and there are no errors. Punctuation is accurate. “the position of office administrator that was advertised…”, “Sigma Securities where I was responsible for the day-to-day activities related to.”

[] Sample 1- Letter Complain about dorm condition

Dear Professor David,

I have been living in International House now for the past eight months and feel very much at home as it is very comfortable and reasonably priced. However, I would like to draw your attention to the following problems.

First of all, the computer room in the basement has been closed for the last three weeks because of a shortage of technical staff. Would it not be possible to pay computer-science students to run the hall's computer room on a rota basis?

Secondly, noise levels from student parties have increased recently. I think it would be a good idea to limit parties to Friday or Saturday nights and from 8.00 to 12.30 in term time. I am sure you will agree that it is very hard to study when someone is having an all-night party in the middle of the week!

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Cates


[] Sample 2- Letter thank for host family

You stayed with a family in another country while you were studying. 
Write a letter to the family. In your letter:

  • thank the family for your stay.
  • say what you enjoyed about your stay.
  • ask the family to stay with you in the future.

Dear Luca and Alexandra,

I’m writing to thank you for the lovely time I had stayed in your gorgeous house in Patras while I was studying Greek last Winter.

As you know, I’d never been to Greece when I arrived in Athens, and I was thrilled to find so many wonderful people and amazing archaeological sites. I really had no idea about Greece’s rich heritage. Almost all the stereotypes we have in London of Greece were soon proven wrong. I met many people whose worldview is pretty much the same as my own. I’ve certainly told everyone back home about the fascinating and generous community of Patras.

My most memorable experience was celebrating the Patras Carnival with you - that incredible Saturday evening parade and those bonfires, as well as the live music in four languages. I’m sograteful you shared those things with me.

Please accept a small token of my gratitude, enclosed, and remember, if you’re ever in London, I’d be delighted to put you up and show you around.

Your friend,