General writing task 1 model answers
Official model answers
(Cambridge IELTS books 1-10 have model answers at the back of the book. Books 11-14 don’t have any model answers).
Unofficial model answers
- IELTS Buddy
- IELTS Focus
- IELTS Advantage (Formal letter. Scroll down)
- IELTS Advantage (Informal letter. Scroll down.)
- IELTS Answers
- IELTS Liz (Scroll down to ‘IELTS General Training Letter’)
I’ve checked the model answers on all of these websites. Although they’re not officially approved by IELTS, they do seem to be reliable (the answers contain no obvious grammar errors and do what’s required in terms of Task Achievement).
How to use model answers
Here are some tips from Pauline Cullen (author of The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS) on how to use model answers:
“First, ensure that you are using sample essays written by native speakers with good writing skills. Second, read the answers several times and focus on something different each time. Here are some ideas: […]
• To focus on grammar, look at one paragraph at a time and think about 1) tenses 2) connecting ideas 3) articles 4) relative pronouns.
• To focus on vocabulary, notice any words you would never use yourself. If there are none, think about how a native speaker uses vocabulary to talk about this topic. Try to write out 5-10 words and phrases you would like to be able to use. Make a note of how they are used and then try to use them yourself.
• Read the essay aloud – this often helps you to notice something you may have missed from reading alone.
• Without looking back at the sample, try to write the same answer yourself, in your own words, but practising as many of the words and phrases you noticed as possible.”
I would also add:
• To focus on task achievement, think about:
1) how the writer makes the purpose of the letter clear
2) the tone of the letter
3) whether the writer does exactly what the bullet points say
4) how the writer extends each bullet point.
• To focus on coherence and cohesion, think about:
1) how the letter begins and ends
2) how the bullet points are organized into paragraphs
3) what words are used to connect ideas and sentences
4) are they really obvious and repetitive, or does the writer use some less common linking words?
To read the full article by Pauline Cullen, click here.