Abbreviations in IELTS

One of the common questions that many of the candidates ask is this: “Can we use abbreviations in the IELTS Writing, reading or listening?”

Well, you need to know some basic rules with respect to the use of the abbreviations in IELTS.

What are abbreviations?

Abbreviations, as you know, are shortened forms of words, word-groups or even lengthy phrases. The use of abbreviations is very common. For example, we write abbr. for abbreviation, Pres. for President, Mr. for Mister.

And of course, there are some acronyms as well. An acronym can be a long-phrase or a name. For example, the acronym for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is NATO. It is the name of the organization, that is abbreviated as NATO. Another commonly used acronym is the FBI that stands for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The U.S is certainly one of the best examples of the well-established abbreviation. NY for New York.

So, what type of abbreviations or acronyms can you use in your IELTS writing, reading or listening test?

Let us say, you are taking your listening test, and you have heard the speaker making use of the acronym or an abbreviation. You can use the abbreviation or acronym in your answer too. For example:

Speaker 1 - I am Alex, calling you from the CANEClub

Speaker 2 - Yes, Alex, thank you for your call, I remember, I will be attending the event today.

Speaker 3 - But, SIR, remember, there are no drinks However if you want. BYOB. Bring your own bottle. We offer only FREE entry.

Speaker 4 - Yes, surely.

As you can see in the script, the speaker has made use of the abbreviation, BYOB - Bring your own bottle. So, in your answer, you can write either BYOB or Bring your own bottle.

The gist of the matter is this: You can make use of the abbreviation if the speakers are making use of them.

Can you use abbreviations in IELTS Writing?

Whether you are writing a letter or an essay on a given topic, you can make use of the abbreviations that you may want. This is not recommended. There is no such rule but if you want you can. But, remember, you can’t use any type of abbreviation that you want. You can use only those that are globally recognized and that are understood by everyone should be used.

For example:

  • approx. - approximately
  • A.S.A.P. - as soon as possible
  • D.I.Y. - Do it yourself

But, if you use appt. for an appointment or apt. for the apartment, est. for established then they create some sort of confusion for the examiner.

But, do not use no. for number as it may create confusion. As no. can be taken for NO and not Number.

You can use Rd. for Road and St.for Street. But do not use Dr. for Drive. As Dr. is used globally to define the Doctor.

Tel. for telephone is acceptable but do not use Temp. for temperature. As Temp. may also mean temporary. It may confuse the examiner.

You can write vet. for veterans or veterinarians.

Avoid these abbreviations in the IELTS writing test.

  • Dr. - Drive
  • Ave. - Avenue
  • qt - quart
  • lb - pound/pounds
  • gal for gallon
  • tsp or t for teaspoon/teaspoons
  • c for cup/cups
  • NW - northwest
  • S - south
  • N - north
  • ACE - a cool experience
  • AD - awesome dude
  • IQ - ignorance quotient
  • LOL - laugh out loud
  • NP - no problem
  • NE - northeast
  • SW - southwest
  • CUL - see you later
  • CWYL - chat with you later
  • SE - southeast
  • pt - pint
  • E - east
  • W - west
  • AFAIK - as far as I know

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