Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Did you know that if you write too much on the IELTS Writing Exam, your score will actually decrease?

When it comes to writing, as with many other parts of our lives, less is more.

This also applies to preparation- over-preparation will also hurt your performance on test day.

When you practice for the exam, you need it to be test-day valid.

This means that you should be timing yourself in the weeks leading up to your exam, and practicing under test conditions, or as close as possible to those conditions.

For Writing Task 2, it is imperative to stick to the guideline of 250 to 280 words.

Why must you keep your essay under 280 words?

  1. You won’t have time to check your work. You must proofread your essay to increase your vocabulary and grammar scores.
  2. If you write more, you will make more grammar mistakes.
  3. Also, you will probably repeat ideas and vocabulary.
  4. Writing too much often leads candidates to wandering off-topic.


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What words are counted?

  1. Every word counts, even the small ones like articles and prepositions.
  2. Hyphenated words count as one word.
  3. If you copy significant lexical chunks from the test question, these words will not be counted. You must paraphrase the test question.

How are you preparing for your IELTS Writing Exam?

Share your tips, or ask a question, in the comments section below!

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