IELTS Writing Rules



IELTS Writing: Word count rules

IELTS has a set of tasks of writing over 150 words for IELTS writing task-1 and 250 words for IELTS writing task-2.

However, there is no upper word limit.

You will receive a penalty for writing undercount.


Recommended lengths for an IELTS essay

  • Always write over the word count.
  • The examiners will check and count all your words.
  • Aim for around 170-190 words for writing task-1 and 270-290 words for task-2 with which you are safely over the word limit without adding too much irrelevant information.
  • Aim for quality rather than quantity focus on writing excellent English and organize your information rather than a long essay.



No bonus

IELTS is looking for highly relevant, focused essay. If you try to add information that is 100% irrelevant to your task, you will get a lower score. IELTS writing test is only partly about how brilliant your ideas are. It is mainly how effectively and precisely you can communicate through writing.


Spend your time wisely

You should aim to write 170-190 words for task-1 and 270-290 words for task-2. It is a lot better to spend your time proofreading, checking and rechecking your work. The writing test is not about quantity, it is all about quality and accuracy. You have to remember that the more you write, the more chance there is for you to make grammatical or spelling errors and you may lose your marks.