This part of the exam is worth 15% of your total PET mark, and that’s quite a lot. But don’t worry! This blog will help you get those marks easily!
In Question 7 of the Writing, Part 3, you have 20 – 25 minutes to write a letter or a story of about 100 words. In the exam, remember to tick the one you choose to write! Today, we’ll focus on the letter answering a friend’s letter because its format is very easy to memorise. If you learn the structure of the letter and some sentences you can always use, you will know how to write part of the letter, whatever the topic is!
A possible example of a letter you receive from an English-speaking friend would be:
“It’s summer now, so I spend nearly all my time outside with my friends. What do you do in your country when the weather is sunny? What’s your favourite type of weather and why?”
- When you start writing back to your friend, remember to greet your friend. Since this is an informal letter, you have many ways of doing this:
- Dear Alex,
- Hello Alex,
- Hi Alex,
- Hey Alex,
- Then, you can ask how your friend is, say thank you for their letter, or say sorry for not replying sooner. This is some kind of introduction before answering your friend’s questions:
- How are you?
- What’s up?
- What’s new?
- How have you been lately?
- Thanks for your letter. I was very happy to read it.
- Thank you so much for your letter, it was great to hear from you.
- I’m sorry I haven’t written for so long, I’ve been really busy.
- This is the most important part, and it is where you have to make sure you answer your friend’s questions. In this example, you would have to mention what you do in sunny days in your country, and what you favourite weather is, explaining why. You could start answering this questions using some of these sentences:
- You wanted to know about…
- I’m really keen on…
- I prefer…
- If you ask me, …
- I think…
- To answer your question…
- A good thing about… is…
- In this part you have to start closing your letter. You could do this by saying you hoped you answered your friend’s questions, suggesting to meet soon, or simply saying you have to leave and cannot write more.
- I hope I’ve answered your questions.
- Did my answers help you?
- I have to go now, I’ve got an exam tomorrow and I need to study!
- Sorry, I have to stop writing now. My parents need help with the shopping.
- Write back soon.
- We should meet up soon, it’s been too long.
- Once you finish your letter, don’t forget to say goodbye and sign it off:
- Love, (your name)
- Best wishes, (your name)
- See you soon, (your name)
- Bye for now, (your name)
If you remember some of the sentences for each of the five sections, you will do very well in the exam. Remember to answer every question your friend has asked you. A good way not to forget any question is to cross them out while you answer them. You should try to use the vocabulary and grammar you have learnt, along with some connectors. Since it is an informal letter, it is ok to use contractions, and you should also try to add some phrasal verb or idiom, if possible. Once you have finished, remember to read it all again to find some possible mistakes.
Now it is your time to practise writing a letter! Try to reply to the example letter above using the sentences of this blog, and you will find it is much easier than you thought!