The number of words for IELTS Writing Tasks

How long should your IELTS writing task 1 & task 2 be?

Learn how the examiner counts your words and the recommended length of your IELTS essay.

This page contains information about:

  • IELTS Writing Word Count Rules
  • Recommended Essay Length
  • Word Count Warning
  • How Words are Counted in IELTS writing

IELTS Writing: Word Count Rules

1. IELTS have set a task of writing over 150 words for IELTS writing task 1 and
250 for writing task 2.
However, there is no upper word limit.
3. You will receive a penalty for writing under the word count.

IELTS Writing Penalty for Being Under Words

Recommended Length of an IELTS Essay

1. Always write over the word count.
2. The examiner will check and count all your words.
3. Aim for around 170 – 190 for writing task 1 and about 270 – 290 for writing task 2. This will mean you are safely over the word limit but without adding too much irrelevant information.
Don’t write too much. Aim for quality rather than quantity. This means focus on writing excellent English and organising your information rather than writing a long essay.

Will you get a higher score for a longer essay in IELTS?

The answer is very simple = no. IELTS is look for a highly relevant, focused essay.
If you try to add information that is not 100% relevant to your task, you will get a lower score.
Don’t try to add a hook to your introduction to make it interesting. You don’t get more points for interest. You get more points for being focused and concise.
You do not get a higher score for a longer essay.


Warning for IELTS Writing Word Count


If you copy the information given by IELTS for your introduction, the examiner will not count those words. This means you might be under the word count.
How to check how many words you have written – you don’t have time to count each word you have written, so you should count the lines instead.
Knowing the length of your handwriting on the official writing answer sheet will help.

Download an official IELTS Writing paper

About Navid & Hamid Zamani (IELTS TUTORs) 342 Articles
Experts in teaching different Cambridge English Exams with more than 15 years of teaching experience as tutors and also as teachers in different prestigious Language Institutes. Specialist coaches to give you the proper training you need to acquire your desired band in IELTS.

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