Vocabulary for IELTS – Vocabulary covers 25% of marks for IELTS writing and speaking tests and it also plays a key role in reading and listening. To crack IELTS, especially its writing and speaking sections, one must be confident about his/her vocabulary. There can be several ways to imbibe a flexible use of a wide range of vocabulary in your English language skills, from reading extensively to practicing exercises and word lists. However, we must practice the way that is most comfortable for each one of us.
In this article, we will get into the details of all the ways the candidates can enhance their vocabulary, as needed in the IELTS exam, and also provide some examples as and when required.
Vocabulary for IELTS – Why Vocabulary is Important?
We use words in our day to day lives to communicate our ideas and thoughts. Sometimes we do it easily and at times it becomes difficult for us to convey our message due to lack of knowledge of the right words for a particular situation. This is precisely what we call a lack of vocabulary. A similar case happens during the IELTS exam if a candidate is not well prepared. There is a pertinent need to expand our vocabulary list to perform better in the writing and speaking sections of the IELTS exam. If your vocabulary is weak, you tend to use similar words or repeat sentences when you run out of words while conversing with the IELTS examiner. This limitation of knowledge on words and synonyms fails to impress the examiner, leading to poor scores in IELTS.
Vocabulary for IELTS – Ways to Gain an Expertise in IELTS Vocabulary
It is not just about learning new words but learning them in “context to a text” manner. Let’s learn a few words with examples. This article will also include several key academic words, idiom practice, topic-related words and other important vocabulary skills.
1. ACADEMIC WORD LIST
Academic word list or AWS consists of common words found in academic texts. The proper way to learn is by making a list for each of the common words, as best chosen by you. Each list will be dedicated to one such common word.
This list will constitute of –
- All the forms of the chosen academic word.
- Ways in which that particular word can be moulded and used under various circumstances.
Example of an academic word list: Analyse
Academic word list for the word ‘Analyse’
If a student learns the word ‘analyse’ and its meaning and is aware of the other word forms, then he/she may well understand the meaning of the word when he/she reads it, whichever form it is in. There are two skills to note here: 1. Recognising the word and 2. Using the word. The first one is easier to acquire compared to the second one. You need to practice the usage of the words to achieve mastery. If you are learning a new word (like analyse) from this academic word list or other lists available elsewhere, you need to make sure that you know which words it collocates with.
Now that you have understood the concept of a word list to enhance your IELTS vocabulary skills, you could go through a few more examples of academic word lists, listed below:
WORD LIST FOR SOME COMMON ACADEMIC WORDS
|WORDS||FORMS OF THE WORD|
For a full list of other academic-related words, CLICK HERE
2. TOPIC VOCABULARY
Topic vocabulary is essential as you learn useful words and phrases that may come up in the IELTS test which can be used in essays or speaking, based on the given topic. One does not need to think too deeply into specific words. However, there are certain topics that come up in the test and it is useful to know different words and phrases connected to them. You can demonstrate a wide range of vocabulary and show that you can express yourself in the best way possible in a given situation. They could be useful for all sections of the test. You can get these topics in a speaking test and an essay topic related to them. It also helps with your reading section because the more complex words you know it’s better to understand the context.
Topics related to the following subjects can be asked in the IELTS test:
- Diet, health and fitness
- Information technology
- The Arts
- Children and family
- Towns and Cities
- People – Physical Appearance
- People – Personality and Character
- Clothes and Fashion
- Books and Films
For details on each topic-based vocabulary, CLICK HERE
Each topic vocabulary list must consist of the word, definition and an example sentence.
TOPIC VOCABULARY LIST WITH WORDS, DEFINITION AND EXAMPLES
|WORDS||MEANING AND USAGE|
Meaning – To complete a first university degree successfully
Examples – “I graduated from the University of Oxford in 2009.” OR “My graduation ceremony was in 2009.”
Meaning – “The subjects comprising a course of study in a school or college.”
Example – “Top colleges always ensure that they have an excellent curriculum.”
Meaning – An official record showing that you have finished a training course or have the necessary skills.
Example – “I am qualified to teach English.”
Meaning – “Written or practical work done by a student during a course of study, usually assessed in order to count towards a final mark or grade”.
Example – “I had tough coursework last semester.”
Meaning – “The education of both male and female students at the same institution.”
Example – “Only four girls had been elected student body president since the advent of coeducation in 1973.”
Meaning – “To deprive of something valuable by the use of deceit or fraud.”
Example – “Some game levels were so tough that I had to resort to cheats to get through.”
Meaning – “The quality or state of being literate”.
Example – “Their goal is to achieve basic literacy.”
What is an idiom? A group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words. For example – ‘Over the moon’, ‘get cold feet’. To give a band 7 or more in IELTS, examiners will see if you use less common and more idiomatic vocabulary. However, it is difficult to learn idioms and use them at the right time and context.
You’ve got to be careful while trying to fit them in the IELTS test and it will probably be noticeable by the examiner. You need to come to a level where you can use idioms fairly. You should not just study them theoretically but also know their practical usage. If you have an IELTS band of 5 to 5.5 in your practice tests, you can forget about idioms and focus more on improving your common vocabulary first.
EXAMPLES OF IDIOMS
|It cost me an arm and a leg to make a trip to Las Vegas.||Very expensive|
|I was over the moon when he asked me to marry him!||Extremely happy|
|Are you taking your IELTS test next week? Aren’t you jumping the gun? You’ve only just started studying!||Starting something too early|
|He has got a chip on his shoulder||Having a grievance about something|
|He comes around to see me once in a blue moon.||Rarely happening|
Collocation refers to words (often two or three) that are commonly placed together. It is one of the most important concepts to understand while preparing for the IELTS test. To achieve a band score of 7, you not only need to know these words but also know how to connect them with other words.
Whenever you learn these words, you learn in such a way that you know how to use them in the right context. It is much more effective than learning words in isolation.
Examples of collocation
- To make the bed/money/a noise
- To catch a cold/a bus /a fish
- To come late/on time /to a decision
5. PHRASAL VERBS
Phrasal verbs are verbs used along with preposition or an adverb (or followed by two). When these two words are combined, they have a different meaning compared to what each word means on its own.
“I can’t put up with you anymore”
The use of the word “put” in context “ to put on the table” means “to place” but when it is used with “up with”, the meaning changes to “can’t accept someone or something anymore”.
Vocabulary for IELTS – Tips on How to Expand Your Vocabulary?
The following tips will help you to expand your vocabulary knowledge:
1. Read and listen – You can pick up a TV show, podcast or book of your choice. Do not listen or read the things which do not interest you.
2. Make notes of the words – Make a habit of putting down words you come across and revise your notes when needed.
3. Use memory tricks – Learning new words is temporary; rather, remembering them for a long time is required.
4. Practice – The more practice you do, the better you get at understanding and remembering the words.
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Vocabulary for IELTS – FAQs
Q. How can I improve my ielts vocabulary?
A. A. Tips to improve your vocabulary for IELTS - 1. Read and listen to a range of discussions on versatile topics. You may watch TV shows, listen to podcasts or read a book of your choice. Avoid the things which do not interest you.2. Make a habit of putting down interesting and new words you come across and use them in your everyday English usage whenever possible.3. Use memory tricks - Learning new words is temporary. One must use memory tricks to remember them for a long time instead.4. The more practice you do, the better you get at understanding and remembering the words.
Q. Is vocabulary important for IELTS?
Vocabulary covers almost 25% of assessment for IELTS writing and speaking tests and it also plays a key role in reading and listening. To achieve a good band score in IELTS, especially in its writing and speaking sections, candidates must be confident about their vocabulary. While the IELTS test includes four sections – Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening, the one thing common in all these sections is Vocabulary.
Q. What are the four types of vocabulary that I must master to score well in the IELTS test?
A. Each of the 4 types of vocabulary has a different purpose during the IELTS exam. These are Listening Vocabulary, Speaking Vocabulary, Reading Vocabulary and Writing Vocabulary.