Should I Write an Address on the IELTS Writing Task 1 (General Training) or Letter?

IELTS letters - should i write address

When students find out that the IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 is Letter Writing, they are thrilled. Afterall, they have been writing letters in school since sixth grade! It is only when they start to write a letter on IELTS they have a few questions to ask, one of which is “should I write an address?” This is a very common question since most students are taught to write addresses, emails or phone numbers in their letter to make it look as authentic as possible. So, should you write an address in an IELTS Letter?

No, you should not write an address in your IELTS Letter. In fact, you should not mention any detail or information that could be used to track you down. IELTS takes this rule extremely seriously, so if you must give some information about a location, either write about a fake location, or write vague enough so that it cannot be used to track you down.

Here is a sample task of IELTS Writing Task 1 (General Training)

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

You have recently ordered an item through the Internet, but are not happy with the purchase. 

Write to the company. In your letter:

  • describe what you purchased,
  • explain why you are not happy with the purchase,
  • tell them what you would like them to do about the situation.

Write at least 150 words.

You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Do Not Write Addresses – Here’s Why

As you can notice, IELTS strictly instructs students to not write your address on the letter. Any traceable information you write in your IELTS Writing Task 1 or letters will be treated as an attempt to get the examiner to contact you, according to IELTS. Allegedly, students in the past have tried to use these addresses to get the examiner to get in touch with them and then influence them to change grades. To ensure that this type of cheating does not occur, IELTS does not allow for any addresses in their Letters. 

Do not write any addresses on IELTS Letters

How to Write Addresses Without Giving Them Away.

Most important advice we can give is avoid writing any details. If you think you cannot then only read further. 

Phone Numbers: 

Avoid giving out your real phone number, email address, or physical address in the letter. You can either just mention talking over the phone, sending information over email, or write about a big enough locality. 

For example, you can say, “You can contact me on 9********5.” or “Give me a call on my mobile number when you get the chance.” 

You are still referring to your phone number without actually giving it away, which is an acceptable form of mentioning your phone number. 

Email Address: 

Similarly, you could mention your email address as “You can send me that information on my work email ID” or “Let’s keep this correspondence going through email”.

If you feel like you HAVE to provide your email, you can always censor it like “Please be sure to send in your entries at a*******@g****.com” This way you can use the format of providing your email address without actually giving it away. 

Postal Address: 

If you have to mention your physical address, keep it vague. You can say something like “My name is Rahul J and I am a resident of Mumbai.” With just this much information it is not possible for anyone to be able to find you. Can you imagine the number of people with the same name who live in a city that big? If you want, you can even mention the locality in the city. For example, “My name is Rahul J and I am a resident of Andheri – West, Mumbai.” This is still not enough information to be traceable. If you need to provide any more information about your location, please keep it as generic as possible. You can say “I live in Sunshine Society, Andheri West, Mumbai.” 

Conclusion: 

Avoid writing your postal code or anything similar that could be used to find you. Please remember that potentially a lot of strangers could be reading your paper so it is the best way to keep yourself safe. Secondly, IELTS is focused on your communication skills over factual information. If you remember the format of letter writing taught in school, most addresses came before “Dear ____”. IELTS will always ask you to start writing your letter from “Dear ____” and so there is no real reason to mention an address. If it is the specific demand of the letter, the rules have been explained above. 

A step by step guide to improve IELTS Letter writing from 6.5 bands to 8 bands

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