Answers about counting words

Below are the answers to yesterday’s lesson about counting words in IELTS writing. See the qustions and answers below. Also notice I have added some extra links with more information so you can learn more about how words are counted in IELTS.

  1. Are small words counted such as “a” and “the”?
    1. Yes, they are counted. All words are counted. If you write “a man walked into a shop” = 6 words.
  2. Is “15%” counted as one word or two?
    1. It is one word. If you write “15 percent” = two words.
  3. Is this one word or two: “good-looking”?
    1. It is one word.
  4. Are commas counted as a word?
    1. No punctuation is not counted as a word.
  5. Does the examiner count all the words in your essay or does the examiner guess the word count?
    1. The examiner will see if your writing doesn’t look long. In that case, the examiner will count every single word. Each individual word must be counted precisely by the examiner.

Learn More

  1. Another exercise to test your understanding of word counting. Click here: Practice Counting Words
  2. Rules about how words are counted in IELTS. Click here: How Words are Counted in IELTS
  3. Using the writing answer sheet and counting your own words: How to Use the Answer Sheet Correctly
  4. Learn about deleting words in IELTS Writing. Click here: Deleting Words
  5. Learn about Essay Word Length: How Long Should My IELTS Essay Be?

All the best



  1. May I use contractions while speaking

  2. Thank you Liz for your help.may god bless

  3. catherine brewster says

    i use your comments in my classes; therefore thanks a lots


    Thank you so much for providing the answers to the lesson thought.

  5. Govinda khanal says

    I got informed

  6. Thank u mam good bless you always

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