IELTS Letter, topic: Explanation of delayed first working day

You successfully passed a job interview. You are expected to start on November 15, but you will not be available on that date.

Task: Write a letter to your new boss, explaining your situation, expressing your concern and suggesting solutions.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to inform you that I won’t be able to start work on November 15, as agreed during my recent interview with you.

The reason I can’t start my work my mother has down the stairs yesterday. As, I am the only daughter and there are no other relatives that are able to look after my mother, I have no but to go back to look after her. According to the doctors it will take about two weeks for her to be able to walk and take care of herself again.

I apologize for all the inconvenience and I truly that you need me to be at work on that day for the project that is scheduled to be completed three weeks later. I am able to work for home and the project as . I will also report to you through e-mail and if there is a problem, I will call and inform you along the way.

Once again, I’m very sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

Yours faithfully,
S. Chua.

This is a good letter. It covers the task, has a good structure, the paragraphs are coherent. There are several grammatical errors (see comments underlined in blue) and a poorly structured sentence that needs improvement (it starts with “I apologize for all the inconvenience”). Overall, this looks like a band 6.5 letter – some improvement to grammar could take it to Band 7.

Click here to see more IELTS letters of band 7

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IELTS and other Cambridge Exams – explanation and comparison

Cambridge English exams can be confusing, because there are too many of them and it’s very easy to get lost in all the various certificates. This post is my best shot at explaining exactly what those various exams are and how they compare to one another.

There are 7 kinds of Cambridge English exams:

IELTS – International English Language Testing System This test is intended for people from non-English speaking countries who want to study, work or immigrate to an English-speaking country.

BEC – Business English Certificates. This test is for people who intend to prove their English ability to an employer (learn more here).

BULATS – Business Language Testing Service. Similarly to BEC, this exam is used by companies to assess English abilities of prospective employees.

CELS – Certificate in English Language Skills. These exams are now discontinued.

Main Suite – five exams, namely KET, PET, FCE, CAE, CPE.

  • KET is Key English Test (Basic English Level)
  • PET is Preliminary English Test
  • FCE is First Certificate in English
  • CAE is Certificate in Advanced English
  • CPE is Certificate of Proficiency in English (the most advanced English level)
  • ILEC – International Legal English Certificate. This exam is intended for lawyers.

    TKT – Teaching Knowledge test. This exam is for teachers.

    CEFR – Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This is not an exam, but a set of standards for teaching a foreign language in Europe. It divides all the learners into 6 levels of English ability: C2, C1, B2, B1, A2, A1 (highest to lowest)

    Here is how various levels of these exams compare to each other:
    Comparison chart of Cambridge ESOL exams



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