General Training Task 1 Band 5 sample answer 2

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.

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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 Sam,

It is [‘will be’ – he’s not there yet, that’s why you’re writing)] a great pleasure to see you after a [‘such a’] long time. I am looking forward to have [‘having’] a pleasant time with you. I would like to convey my inability [too formal for a friend – ‘let you know that I won’t be able’] to pick [‘pick you’] up in [‘at’] the railway station due to my official trip, which i must attend on behalf of my company [too formal – ‘as I will be travelling for the company I work for’]

I will arrange my [‘for my’] friend Sasha to pick [‘pick you up’] and drop you in [at] my house. He will be waiting in the waiter's [‘in the waiting’] area with your name tag. I hope you will be able to identify him easily. You can [combine these sentences with ‘, so you can’] collect the key from Sasha [‘him’].

I will reach the [delete this] home by evening 4.30pm [to make sure the examiner is clear that you understand, make the ‘evening’ later in the day – say 6pm], and I beleive [‘believe’] we would be able to go to Hammersmith Gardens, located in the centre of city, which is a popular tourist spot in this region. After that, we can have the [delete this – no article before the names of meals] dinner in the Barino hotel with my family and friends.

You are warmly welcome to my homely [‘home’].


Gill Griffiths

(158 words)


The word count is good, and the basic requirements of the Task have been answered.

However, the tone and structure is often not suitable for the context of a letter to a friend (‘I would like to convey my inability‘).

There are areas where the sentences need to flow more fluidly (‘I hope you will be able to identify him easily. You can collect the key from Sasha.‘).

The grammar is often incorrect or not logical (‘It is a pleasure‘ referring to a future event) and there are problems with some of the vocabulary (‘welcome to my homely‘).

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