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August 18, 2023

One of the questions that many test-takers ask is about the length of the IELTS writing tasks and that will it add a point or two to their writing score if one writes more?

Let’s answer the first question by having a look at what ielts.org, the official website for IETLS, says (you may check a review of this website in the article “Best 2022 IELTS Practice Test Websites” in our blog).

According to the official website of IELTS, the writing test will take 60 minutes as the final part of the exam (after listening and reading, respectively).

For Task 1, candidates are required to write a minimum of 150 words in the form of a letter (for the general module) or a report on a chart (for the academic module) within a suggested time of 20 minutes.

As for Task 2, test-takers are asked to write an essay within 40 minutes and a minimum of 250 words. The time difference can indicate the scoring difference for the two tasks. However, why do we see longer writing samples? Are the candidates aiming for top scores by doing this?


To begin with, let us all forget the myth of ‘longer essays mean higher scores’. Well, for one, IELTS examiners do not really enjoy spending more time on reading essays. Next, writing very long essays do not necessarily mean that you can write based on the writing band descriptor. More than anything else, perhaps, writing too many words in an essay in a short period of time can potentially lead to making a higher number of mistakes! The IELTS writing examiner assesses your writing tasks with the band descriptors (rating criteria) in mind, so you can put a smile on his/her face by writing accurately and concisely remembering the minimum word count to avoid the penalty of a lower score.


So! What do we mean by accurately and concisely? As for accuracy, you need to follow the right steps of writing in the two tasks, that is mainly to do with conveying a clear and easy-to-understand message. When it comes to concise writing, the best piece of advice is to try to get your messages and ideas across by writing fewer words. That’s right, conciseness is all about writing short but meaningful sentences that do not take the examiner too long to read and understand. And the magic numbers are 170-190 words for task 1 and 270-290 words for task 2.


In addition, keep the following points in mind:

  1. Paraphrase the prompt (the main part of the topic). Apart from the fact that you are showing off your paraphrasing skills, examiners do not count the words that are copied from the question. That’s why paraphrasing (expressing the meaning of (something written or spoken) using different words) is essential.
  2. Count your lines. You do not have the time nor the focus to count the number of words you have written in an essay. Thus, as a quick formula, first, learn how many words you usually have in a given handwritten line (you will know this number after a couple of times practicing writing) and then simply multiply that number by the number of lines in your essay.
  3. Learn about synonyms. IELTS can be regarded as a test of synonyms. Your knowledge of similar words and phrases can be very helpful in writing. This is a task where you sometimes have to use fewer words to avoid making potential grammatical mistakes.

So far so good? Now, to show you that writing enough number of words is the key, we’ve brought you three sample essays for task 2. You have already seen these three topics in another blog post in our site: “IELTS Writing task 2 Topics June 2021”. OK! Let’s get down to work!


We have provided the meanings of difficult words in italic right after every new word to make the text more understandable.


Topic 1

Supermarkets should only sell local food produced domestically rather than importing food from other countries. How far do you agree or disagree?


During the recent years and especially after the beginning of globalization, people are of different opinions about whether supermarkets should provide their customers with foods produced locally or those imported from international markets. While it is understandable why authorities promote food imports, I personally believe that supermarkets should mainly sell domestic products.


Although it primarily may seem unjustifiable (not able to be shown to be right or reasonable), having imported food products available can be explicable (able to be accounted for or understood). Tourists who are flocking (move or go together in a crowd) the streets and foreigners living in the city may not necessarily be in love with the local cuisine. Therefore, having imported foods at hand (readily accessible when needed) will keep them spending foreign currency for the benefit of the local economy. Furthermore, it can boost the local incentive to compete with high quality imported products. This too can ultimately help local products thrive (prosper; flourish).


Nevertheless, I agree that the majority of the food products accessible in the market should come from domestic industries. The main and the most easily-reached market for these industries is the national marketplace. Several local producers have just begun growing and thus cannot compete with international giants (very large or powerful). As a result, putting some restrictions on the type and amount of imported food products can support these newly-booming (flourishing; prospering) producers. For instance, the Japanese government restricted imports of different types of French cheese for five years starting from 2005. The growth of Japan’s cheese industry to the top 5 international cheese exporters in the recent years is believed to be an indirect outcome of that decision.


In conclusion, even though importing food from international markets is plausible (seeming reasonable), I am of the opinion that the food products accessible in the supermarkets should be predominantly (mainly; for the most part) produced in the local region.

(Word count: 275)

Topic 2

Some people believe that advertisements aimed at children have a poor influence on them and can affect their relationship with parents.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


Nowadays, advertisements have dominated (have power and influence over) the world. Their scope (opportunity for action) of dominance, however, and the effect they may have on some sensitive groups, including children, is still a matter of debate. I strongly agree that advertisements specifically targeting (selecting as an object of attention) children can negatively affect their relationship with mothers and fathers.


To begin with, numerous (great in number; many) commercials that focus on children as their target audience can alter (change) their views of how the real-world works. The world of such ads is neat, luxurious, expensive, and available: qualities that are not usually existent in our everyday lives. As a result, constant exposure (happening all the time) to this fantasy makes children accept it as true. The problem will be overt (plainly apparent) when parents are expected to practically provide that illusion (a false idea or belief) for their children. No matter how hard they try, there will be a huge difference between the world of advertisements and reality. This in turn (an action, process, or situation that is the result of a previous one) can make the children behave inappropriately; consequently, parents will find themselves in constant conflict with their kids.


Secondly, toys in commercials encourage children to repetitively ask their parents to buy them. They come in all shapes, colours and sizes persuading the target population to ask for another doll in another color all the time. Keeping in mind the limited financial resources of a majority of households (a house and its occupants) today, this can undoubtedly (certainly) turn homes into battlegrounds (a place of strife or conflict) and therefore spoiled relationships. Children would regard their parents incapable (unable to do or achieve something) of meeting their needs and parents feel disappointed consequently, and all this is the direct influence of these ads.


In conclusion, commercials that are meant for children seem to deteriorate (become progressively worse) their relationship with parents by distorting (give a misleading or false impression of) their views of the real world and training children to be persistent (the act of stubbornly continuing to do something) consumers.

(Word count: 275)



Topic 3

Many countries have made it illegal to smoke in public places. It is only fair for smokers to smoke in a certain smoking area. Do you agree or disagree?


There has been a global trend in the recent years to lawfully (in a way that is permitted or recognized by the law) ban smoking in public places and confine (restrict something within certain limits of space) the action of smoking to certain locations. Personally, I agree with the idea that smoking should only be restricted to designated (specified) areas.


Let’s establish one fact first: should smoking be allowed in public areas, all non-smokers who are present in that environment will suffer. It is generally accepted that those in the vicinity of smokers will be more affected by the chemical substances in the smoke compared with the smokers themselves. In fact, second-hand smokers in public places will be casualties of a war ignited (arouse or inflame) not by them but by smokers. The unwanted inhalation (the action of breathing in) of these chemicals over time can result into ear infections and respiratory diseases, like bronchitis. Thus, smokers who are confined to certain spots or rooms with air purification (the removal of contaminants from something) filters cannot cause these conditions.


Moreover, smoking in public locations will have the negative consequence of breaking down a taboo, especially for children. Just like watching an action hero with a lit cigarette on the corner of his lip in a movie, seeing adults who walk around smoking can make children develop a liking (begin to like something) for cigarettes and smoking. From a psychological perspective, adults are role models, regardless of (without consideration for) the good or bad deeds (an action that is performed intentionally or consciously) they do. Therefore, keeping children away from smokers, or better to say, keeping smokers away from public areas where children usually are, would be a step in the right direction (an action that increases possibility of success).


In conclusion, I believe that smokers must be asked to smoke only in certain places so as to (in order to) avoid causing inconveniences for non-smokers around, including and especially children who may fall into (drawn accidentally into a course of action or way of behaving) such an unhealthy habit.

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