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Are candidates penalised for going over the word count in the Coursework component?

Learners should keep in mind the word count as they draft and redraft their essay. Very short essays tend to be self-penalising as they fail to sustain critical analysis whereas excessively long essays can lose focus.

Centres should not submit critical essays longer than 1200 words or empathic responses longer than 1000 words. We would remind centres that candidates are best served when they are able to write with clarity and precision.

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