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Thread: IELTS Writing

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
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    IELTS Writing

    I would like to know how are words in the IELTS Writing counted, I mean, the contractions are counted as 2 words or 1 word, the articles, pronouns are counted as words? As an example: the phrase "Im preparing myself to take the IELTS exam in Recife next month" has 13 words (wich would include the 'm'; 'to'; 'the'; and the 'in')?

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    Re: IELTS Writing

    In my experience, examiners only count the words when the total appears clearly over or under the limits. If you are close, it's only the language quality that counts.

  2. Editor,
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    Re: IELTS Writing

    That would be a thirteen-word sentence- all words are counted, but as Konungursvia says, it only happens when the limit is broken considerably. As a rule of thumb, people generally say that 10% either way is the safety margin.

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
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    Re: IELTS Writing

    Sensible advice. May I add something(s).

    1. If you repeat the phrasing of the question, the examiner may well not count those words towards your total word count.
    2. If you write irrelevant material, the examiner may also not count that towards your total word count.
    3. Do not waste time counting words in the exam: there are far more valuable items to check for. Much better is to count the words on one or two lines and then multiply that by the total number of lines you write.
    4. Don't be tempted into writing too much. If you write 300 words plus, you have wasted energy; you almost certainly could have written a better essay in 260 - 270 words.

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