Letter writing – IELTS task 1

It’s one of two parts of the writing section. Learning how to write with different levels of formality is key.

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IELTS Letter Writing – Task 1

IELTS letter writing task 1 is one of two tasks to complete in the writing section.


Letter writing is one of two parts of the writing section for the IELTS exam. Therefore, learning how to write with different levels of formality is key to mastering this section. 

Memorising set phrases and words will not help you since, although there is a letter template in terms of layout and design, there is no way to fill it without knowledge of grammar. 

You are required to write a minimum of 150 words, and there is a maximum time allowed of 20 minutes to complete this task. 

There are three levels of formality that you will need to understand. and these are detailed below:


This is where you don’t know the person you are writing to, for example, a store manager, restaurant manager or even a business representative such as a parking offence office.


This is where you may know someone but not as a friend, for example, a school teacher, next-door neighbour or even a cleaner who works in your building.


This is where you know someone very well, such as a work colleague, close friend or even a relative you know very well, like a cousin.

Writing task 1

You recently ordered an item of clothing online, but it was not the right size when it arrived.

Write a letter to the company you bought the item from, and in your letter state the following:

Provide some details about the order

Explain why you wish to return this item

Tell the company what you want them to do about this situation.


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