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How words are counted in IELTS
Example: NOT MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER
- Numbers, dates and time are counted as words in writing. For example 30,000 = one word / 55 = one word / 9.30am = one word / 12.06.2016 = one word. In listening, 30,000 is counted as one number and 9.30AM is also counted as one number.
- Dates written as both words and numbers are counted in this way: 12th July = one number and one word.
- Symbols with numbers are not counted. For example, 55% = one number (the symbol “%” is not counted as a word). However, if you write “۵۵ percent” it is counted as one word and one number.
- Small words such as “a” or “an” are counted as one word. All prepositions, such as “in” or “at” are also counted. All words are counted.
- Hyphenated words like “up-to-date” are counted as one word.
- Compound nouns which are written as one word are also counted as one word. For example, blackboard = one word.
- Compound nouns which are written as two separate words, are counted as two words. For example, university bookshop = two words.
- All words are counted, including words in brackets. For example in IELTS writing, “The majority of energy was generated by electricity (55%).”. This sentence is counted as 9 words. The number in brackets is counted.