Introduction to IELTS vocabulary
This page contains resources for students looking to improve their IELTS vocabulary. This is an extremely important area in the exam because:
- vocabulary is 25% of your score in both writing and speaking
- a good grasp of vocabulary is essential for both reading and listening
Where is the best place to learn IELTS vocabulary? Easy. Read and listen lots and lots. This is where you will learn most new words and is the most efficient way to learn – much better than learning lists of words.
A place to start with IELTS vocabulary
It really does help to have a plan for your vocabulary learning. This is the place I suggest you start:
10 top tips on learning IELTS vocabulary - advice on how to improve your vocabulary for IELTS.
What are you looking for?
Lists of useful words and phrases for common IELTS topics and themes:
Employment vocabulary: useful vocabulary and exercises
Art vocabulary: the general words you need to be able to use to discuss art
Advertising vocabulary: useful vocabulary and exercises
Technology: a download of useful vocabulary and some exercises
Family vocabulary: lists of useful words with examples to describe families and family relationships
Globalization vocabulary: words and ideas to write and speak about globalization in IELTS
Your home town in part 1 speaking: download and quiz
Connectors to express contrast - a range of different ways to join sentences without using “but” or “although” – excellent for improving your range of grammar
The language of problems - a post explaining the need to use varies vocabulary to describe problems with a download and an interactive exercise
Cause and effect 1 : basic variations of cause and effect vocabulary
Academic caution (1) - advice on how to extend your answer in part 3 speaking by being more cautious
Academic caution (2) - how to improve your writing with specific and general language
Impersonal language for academic essays: a list of impersonal “it”. “there” and “one” phrases to make your writing more academic
Task 1 writing
Basic vocabulary to describe graphs: basic variations of trend vocabulary
More advanced vocabulary to describe charts and graphs: a list of words and phrases to boost your band score
How to use quantifiers correctly to describe numbers : a grammar/vocabulary lesson on how to avoid some basic mistakes and a gapfill exercise to complete a table
More advanced vocabulary to make comparisons: useful words that you can use to qualify your comparisons (eg considerably greater)
Download of vocabulary to help you describe process diagrams: Sequencing language for process diagrams (27774)
IELTS speaking – opinion vocabulary – a video post with a download to help improve the range of your opinion vocabulary by not saying “I think” all the time
IELTS speaking – the language of comparison – how to use the language of comparison in speaking to extend your answers with an emphasis on using a range of different structures. Comes with a downloadable worksheet.
Vocabulary for giving more fluent answers – a downloadable list of helpful phrases to allow you to pause intelligently and make your speaking more fluent
The Academic Word List
Daily words – these are exercises based on the Academic Word List (the most commonly used words in academic writing)
Tips on studying and improving vocabulary
10 top tips on learning IELTS vocabulary – advice on how to improve your vocabulary for IELTS.
A 5 step procedure to avoid mistakes with vocabulary - advice on different ways not to make so many mistakes with vocabulary in essays