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Understanding "Write No More Than...Words" Instructions in IELTS Reading

by Dzmitry


I am a bit confused by the condition "write no more than 3/2 words".

You see, I use online practice tests from a website, and there I often have the following problem: I either write less words than in the "right answer", or more.

Like, today there was a sentence: "Over the next three weeks, Sereno and Garcea - along with five American excavators, five Tuareg guides, and five soldiers from Nigeria’s army, sent to protect the camp from bandits — made a detailed map of the site, which they dubbed Gobero, after the Tuareg name for the area."

The question: "What did Sereno and Garcea produce in the initial weeks before digging work? NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER"

I answered "a detailed map", meanwhile the correct answer was just "a map".

I may have answered "a site map". Okay, maybe I have to only answer questions like that as shortly as possible, but I also saw a reverse situation.

So my question is, how to answer such questions? I will appreciate you sharing your experience of a real test.

Comments for Understanding "Write No More Than...Words" Instructions in IELTS Reading

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Aug 05, 2023
Word Limit Instructions for IELTS
by: IELTS buddy

I assume that the test you refer to is a mock one from that website rather than an official IELTS test.

In the official exam, I would expect to see this in the answer key:

- a (detailed) map

If a word is in brackets, that means it is right with or without that word. So your answer could be 'a map' or 'a detailed map'.

Clearly both of those fit and they both fit the instructions of 'No More Than Three Words".

'A site map' is right but you should avoid moving words around - take words directly from what you see.

Aug 14, 2023
Expressing gratitude
by: Anonymous

I see. Thank you!

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