Should we use abbreviations in our formal test writing?

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,030 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 2017 in Writing
Recently, a student asked me the following question:
In the Writing tasks, can we use abbreviations?  Instead of writing 'for example', can we simply write 'e.g.'?  Also, if we have a list of things to mention should I write a few of them and then add 'etc'?   Also, in the past, I have used 'i.e.' (that is) and so on? I notice that some of these abbreviations have been used in sample writings in Cambridge IELTS 7.
Well, my answer to this question is that you do not use abbreviations in formal writing.  Our current approach in all formal writing is that we do not use abbreviations and, since your IELTS and TOEFL writing test is typically formal writing, then you should avoid using abbreviations (ie, etc, eg). 

NOTE: sometimes in IELTS General Training (Task 1), you will need to write an informal letter.  Then you should use some appropriate abbreviations - I'm, eg, it's, etc...). 

For more information about abbreviations, please go here.

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