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IELTS Writing (General) Task 1 Sample 3


You have been staying in a hostel for your University degree. Write an email/a letter to your father informing him of your preparations for the upcoming semester exams and holidays thereafter. (About 150 words)

Your letter should include:

  • Your semester exams begin in a week’s time;

  • You have ten days' break before the results are declared and the next semester begins;

  • Your holiday plans - skiing at a popular skiing resort with friends.

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Sample Answer

Hi Dad,

How are you? I am writing to you after a gap since I was extremely tied up during the last fortnight because of the university classes that are finally over for the semester now. I had to attend several extra lectures and laboratory sessions before the official closure to be in a better pitch for the exams. We are into the preparatory break now and the exams are scheduled to begin next week.

It will take three weeks to wrap up the papers, thesis, and laboratory practicals, and we have the much awaited ten-days break before the results are declared and the next semester begins.

Dad, I know that you wanted me to be home this time so that we can have some family time and plan a family holiday, and I am not going to disappoint you and everyone else. But I just can’t miss a huge opportunity to spend five days at a skiing resort in Austria with some of my classmates. We have been trying to get the bookings for quite some time and finally we have been confirmed. And what’s even better is that we got sizeable student discounts for the whole trip!

So, please understand how excited we are and that I really don’t want to miss this chance. I will definitely be home for a few days before leaving, and I promise to make the most of it with you all!

I will update you after the exams and will fly back home thereafter.

Love you as always,

………………….

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Analysis

Coherence and Cohesion

  • The candidate opens by explaining to their father why they haven’t been in touch recently (i.e. they have been so busy with university classes). See the ‘Grammar’ section below in relation to the length of this opening sentence. It is too long and awkward to read.

  • The next paragraph indicates what is in store for the candidate (i.e. what is in the future).

  • The third and fourth paragraph present the reader with some slight confusion as to whether the candidate will be able to visit their family or not, while outlining the reasons for their lack of availability - the skiiing trip in Austria.

Grammar

  • The Present Continuous “I am writing…” gives a sense of immediacy, suggesting that as the recipient is reading, the sender is writing.

  • This sentence from the opening paragraph is long and unwieldy, with a lot of unnecessary words, and we will provide an alternative. Keep an eye on the grammatical changes:

    • Written: I am writing to you after a gap since I was extremely tied up during the last fortnight because of the university classes that are finally over for the semester now.

    • Suggested: I am writing to you following a two-week period when I was extremely tied up with classes. Gladly, they are now over!

Lexical Resource

  • tied up - to be busy with something, or to be consumed by an activity

  • a better pitch - this candidate has used this phrase to mean something similar to ‘a better position’ or ‘a better state’

  • wrap up - complete or bring to completion, usually a task or project

  • sizeable - a synonym for big, and in this case used to indicate a significantly large amount. Visit this page for more synonyms for the word 'Big'.

  • make the most of (it) - a phrase meaning to get the best possible experience or outcome from an action or event


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