Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Word Count Rules:

  • Every word counts– even small ones, like articles and prepositions.
  • Hyphenated words count as one word, like “self-improvement.”
  • In Task 1, you can abbreviate measurements, such as km. 
  • Even if there is an abbreviation on the chart, do not use it in your writing. Spell out the whole word.
  • Otherwise, do not use abbreviations in Task 1 or Task 2, as this is considered informal.
  • Also, do not use contractions, such as can’t, in formal writing.
  • In Academic Task 1, do not spell out the numbers and the symbols, like thirty percent. This is a waste of time, as these words do not improve your vocabulary score as they are easy. Also, it is awkward to do that- just write 30%.


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  • In Academic Task 1, you do not need a conclusion. However, if you have a question with not enough information, and you are not reaching 150 words, you can write one. This conclusion can paraphrase your overall trend.
  • You need at least 150 words on Task 1, and 250 words in Task 2. If you write fewer, you can lose points from your score. On the other hand, writing too much is also detrimental.
  • We recommend writing 150-180 words for Task 1, and 250-280 words for Task 2.
  • On average, most people write about 10 words per line, which means you don’t have to count every word, just the lines.
  • You should be practicing your essays on IELTS Answer sheets. That way, you can get used to what 150 words and 250 words, in your handwriting, look like.

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