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General Training Task 1 Band 5 sample answer 3

The answer below has been rated based on the public IELTS descriptors. Click the word or words in red to see the correction, and scroll to the bottom of the page to read our comments on the letter.

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

A family member is coming to stay with you. He/she will be arriving by train in the morning, but you won’t be home until the evening.

Write a letter to your relative. In your letter:

  • explain arrangements you have made for them to have keys and get into the house
  • tell your relative how to get from the train station to your house
  • say when you will be home and suggest what you could do together that evening

You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:


Write at least 150 words.

Dear Maria there should be a line space here, I am very happy to know ‘hear’ is more common that you will be coming. I am really looking forward to see ‘seeing’ you this would be better saved until the end of the letter. As I understood ‘understand’, you will arrive next Saturday. That is combine these sentences – ‘..Saturday, which is ..’ perfect, but I am afraid to tell you that I will not this is a letter to a friend, so be more informal – ‘won’t’ be able to pick you up at the train station. Unfortunately I will be busy that morning showing some of our new houses to a Client ‘client’. I know ‘am sure’ that you will understand this just ‘understand’. Don’t worry this needs to be followed by a comma it is very easy to get from the train station to my house. Let me give you two options: First don’t need a capital letter after a colon you could get here by taxi. If you choose this option do not this is too formal – simply ‘if you do, don’t forget…’ forget that it is better if you buy your ticket inside the train station. Taxi fares are controlled there and you can be sure that no one will take any advantages ‘advantage’ (although the whole sentence could be deleted – it is too much detail). Just give them the address correctly which is in Zone 2. Second option: By Bus ‘the second option is to come by bus’. Just step outside the train station and you will find to your left a Bus Stop ‘a bus stop to your left’. Take Bus number 3 until you arrive to ‘at’ Dunkirk street. It will be the fourth stop. I will leave the keys under the mat in front of the door. Be patient the ‘because the’ lock is not working properly but it will eventually open. I think that I will arrive before 3.00 pm. Please ‘but please’ (continue the sentence) make yourself at home. If you are in the mood we could attend in the evening to a jazz concert ‘go to a jazz concert in the evening’. There is a famous band that will perform ‘performing’ that day.
Well Maria, I am really anxious ‘keen’ or ‘excited’ suit better to see you again. Take Care ‘care’ and in case you have any problems you ‘problems, you’ (comma) already have my mobile phone number.

********* End the letter with something like ‘All the best, John’

(282 words)


The main issue here is that the letter is not organised to any clear degree, consisting of one long paragraph and one short paragraph.

With a total of over 280 words, this is much too long – apart from the time that this would take, the writer is exposing additional errors to the examiner as well as risking losing points for not being concise.

There is no clear ‘end’ to the letter as the writer does not sign off, and there is no clear definition between the introduction of the letter and the first paragraph.

Although some of the language used is good and the writer has addressed all sections of the letter, there are very few sentences that do not contain at least one error, and in general the tone is too formal for a letter to a friend.

There are also issues with punctuation, especially with capital letters being used within a sentence.



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General Training Task 1 Band 5 sample answer 3

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General Training Task 1 Band 5 sample answer 3