IELTS Energy 207: How to Understand The Most Difficult General Writing Task 1 Questions

IELTS General Task 1 LetterToday find out how to understand the most difficult General Writing Task 1 questions.

Here is the General Writing Task 1 Letter Question:

“You are a student at an English language school in Brighton and are living in private accommodation with other flatmates. You’ve not had hot water or heating for some time. The landlord’s workmen have tried to fix the problem but without success.

Write a letter to the landlord. In your letter state your reason for writing, describe the problems and explain how you feel, propose a solution, and risk the landlord to take action.”

Problem #1)

The first part that bothered our student about this question is “you have not had hot water or heating for some time.”

We can see why this is confusing.

He wanted to know if he had to choose between hot water and heating.

The correct way to deal with this question is that the person has not had hot water and also has not head heating for some time.


Problem #2)

The second part was that he didn’t know what it meant to “risk” the landlord to take action.

This is a strange way to use the word “risk” in American English.

In American English we would say “Challenge the landlord to take action.”


What can you do if you don’t understand a Writing question?

You can’t ask anyone to explain the question to you.

The examiners are not even at the center yet when you are taking the Writing test.

If you don’t understand a question you need to think about the situation and make your best guess about what it means using your own experience.

Open your brain box and pull up what you expect to happen in the situation.

Remember, so much of your success depends on your mind set when you enter the exam.

If you say to yourself “this is easy” then you will find it easy to figure out a tough question.


What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Let us know in the comments below.

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  • The brainstorming strategy for this General Writing Task 1 Letter Question :
    1) Give your reason for writing this letter to your landlord
    2) Describe the problems of not having hot water and heating for some time
    3) Explain how you feel about them
    4) Prosose your own solution
    5) Ask the landlord to take action

  • 1) By the time I went to sleep last night I had already watched TV for five hours .
    2) By the time I turn 60 I will have at least one grandchild .
    3) By the time I come home you will already be gone .

    • Nietzsche Martins

      Thanks Mollie

  • Valentina Hsu

    I didn’t get the meaning of the opening talks: what’s shaking and the response, not much. What does it differ to “hey, what’s up?” or “Hi, there”? Is it possible to have a episode talk about how to start a casual conversation?