Is it acceptable to use "etc." in IELTS Writing Exam?


Someone told me that "etc." is not formal. However, based on my research in internet, some people said that it is acceptable to use "etc." in academic paper.

How about IELTS writing exam then? Is "etc." acceptable in there?

Yusril Maulidan Raji

Posted 2018-06-25T18:25:00.300

Reputation: 131

Is your question about the IELTS exam specifically, or about the use of etc. in general? – Jason Bassford – 2018-06-26T00:19:34.943

@JasonBassford It's about writing test in IELTS – Yusril Maulidan Raji – 2018-06-26T01:39:40.820

I can't give a definitive answer on IELTS as I don't have a study guide. I would suggest, however, that you can't go wrong if you use and so on instead . . . – Jason Bassford – 2018-06-26T02:33:47.100



It isn't a question of formality, but one of clear writing

The use of "etc" tends to suggest that the student can't think of any more examples. Using "etc" assumes that the reader will know the rest of the list and this is often not the case. It is nearly always better to list fully, or rephrase.

Don't say:

In summer I visited Tokyo, Osaka etc.

Because I don't know how to complete the list, instead:

I summer I visited Tokyo, Osaka and many other cities in Japan.

There are situations when it can be used, for example in an infinite list:

The triangle numbers (1, 3, 6, 10, etc.) have been known since ancient times.

Take a look at on our sister site.

James K

Posted 2018-06-25T18:25:00.300

Reputation: 80 781

Thanks for the answer and that's a great advice! However, do you know if it's fine to use ".etc" for writing in IELTS or not? – Yusril Maulidan Raji – 2018-06-26T01:44:35.220

1It is nearly always better to give a complete list or rephrase to avoid "etc". – James K – 2018-06-26T06:15:38.610