Some students have the mistaken idea that examiners compare candidates, and that you'll therefore get a lower score if you use words or phrases that "too many other candidates use".
This is not true!
Examiners are trained to mark candidates according to a defined set of criteria. For example, look at these phrases from the band descriptors for band 7 in writing task 2:
- addresses all parts of the task
- presents a clear position throughout the response
- logically organises information and ideas
- there is clear progression
- uses a sufficient range of vocabulary to allow some flexibility
You won't find phrases like this in the band descriptors:
- too many candidates use ..... in their essays
- reduce the score if the word ..... is used
Remember: the only comparison that examiners make is between your answer and the band descriptors.