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Everybody wants IELTS! (The writing test - part 2)

Ottobre 2014
Avete dimenticato qualcosa in un albergo. Dovete scrivere una lettera (o una mail) per spiegare l’accaduto e dare istruzioni sul da farsi. Ecco un esempio di materia d’esame per l’IELTS - writing test.

di Rachel Roberts

Rachel Roberts
Rachel Roberts

In Task 1 of the General Writing Exam you are required to write a letter which always involves an exchange of information. You are given a situation and asked to write a letter covering a number of key points. You must be careful to cover each point clearly and sufficiently.

One example could be that you’ve left something behind in a hotel you recently stayed at, and you have to write to the hotel manager giving details of your stay, a description of the lost item and what you would like the hotel manager to do. Details of your stay would mean the exact dates and the room number, perhaps. Don’t just say that you left a mobile phone in the room. Describe the make, phone cover etc. Try to imagine a real situation. If you had just lost your expensive new smartphone, then you would try to give as much accurate detail as possible and say where in the room you think you left it. You would also give clear contact details and express a willingness to cover any postal costs.
Sometimes you are asked to write to a friend. Perhaps you are going to visit this friend and need to describe your travel arrangements  as well as asking him or her for some information. Again, imagine you are really going to do this. It will help you cover all the points.

It is very important to study letter format before you do the exam. Expressions such as: “I look forward to hearing from you” and “I would be grateful if you could...” etc. will make your letter seem more authentic, but they are only appropriate for a formal letter. Phrases like “I can’t wait to see you” and ‘‘Would you mind [doing this or that]?’ are more suitable for a friend.

The best way to practise is to actually write a few letters or emails. Write to a hotel, or some other institution in an English-speaking country, and ask for information. Write to some English-speaking acquaintances and pretend you want to visit their town. Then study the answers carefully and take note of the formal and informal language used! 

The British Council deals with everything concerning IELTS in Italy. If you want to have an idea of your current level of English, try the online level test www.britishcouncil.org/it/italy-exams-test-livello-inglese-esame-cambridge-ielts-online.htm
You can take the IELTS exam throughout the year and you can enrol just two weeks before the actual test date. The results will be ready 13 days later.


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