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When is formal too formal? Understanding IELTS registers

Formality, also known as register, is an important elements of IELTS Writing. Formality can be formal, semi-formal, and informal.


Formality should not be confused with format as these are two different things. I will elaborate on format in another blog post.


In IELTS, formality is considered and marked under the section Task Achievement.

The difference between formal and informal is due to the use of language as in the vocabulary that you use. Syntax as well as pronoun choice is another important determiner for formality.


Here is a table for your reference:

There are many other words that are categorized as formal or informal.

The permissibility of formal and informal is also contingent upon which module you are doing.

This is for your reference:

General Training candidates should know that Writing 2 should also be formal, but Writing 1 is dependent on the situation.

For Academic module, Writing 1 and 2 should always be formal.

If you want to know more about how to differentiate between formal and informal in Writing

Part 1 of General Training, please book a class with us for the most comprehensive training from our expert IELTS teachers.

One Responseso far.

  1. Jenny says:

    It is important to discuss with students that not everyone in the class may reach their goals