Vocabulary for IELTS Exam 2022: Updated List of Words


International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the most widely accepted English Proficiency Tests for students who wish to pursue higher education abroad. The exam evaluates students on four parameters reading, writing, listening and speaking. Out of which vocabulary constitutes 25% of the exam, hence to attain a high score, particularly in speaking and writing sections, one must have a strong control over the usage of vocabulary.

In this article, we have compiled a list of category-wise, topic-wise vocabulary for IELTS, along with preparation tips.


IELTS Vocabulary: Topic Wise

It is important for students to learn a flexible use of a wide range of vocabulary in order to achieve a band score of 7 or higher. If you are not able to use the correct words, appropriately then this can really hamper the overall band score as well.

We have listed down some latest and most popular topics as per the category that has been used in the exam.


  • Billboards: To advertise, brands often use these huge signboards on stadiums or at roads.
  • Magazine Ads: To advertise a particular product, small posts are put up on a magazine. These ads only target a particular population and are very specific.
  • Email Advertising: Sending direct mails about your service or products to your prospective customer is email advertising and one of the most cost-effective ways of advertising today.
  • Internet Pop-Ups: These small advertisements are impactful and allow viewers to easily access the product. However
    they can appear to viewers as invasive or annoying.
  • Tantalising: It is a way to entice consumers by subtle teasing.



  • Exorbitant: When something is unreasonably high
  • To go bust: When a business is compelled to shut down due to a loss
  • Frugal: Being vigilant of one’s expenses
  • Burn a hole in one’s pocket: Someone who is always eager to spend money as soon as they get it and is unable to save it
  • Balancing Books: To not spend more money than is being earned



  • Mythology: A classic story from the past that carries meaning
  • Culture diffusion: The spread of one’s cultural beliefs from one group of people to another
  • Lingua Franca: A common language used by people who are speakers of different languages
  • Folklore: Old stories and myths, usually transmitted by word of the mouth
  • Cultural heritage: The legacy of tangible and intangible heritage assets of a group or society that is inherited from past generations



  • Eccentric clothes: Unique, out of the ordinary attire
  • Sloppy: casual and loose-fitting
  • Old-school: old-fashion or something that is traditional
  • Brand loyalty: A tendency of consumers to continuously purchase one brand’s product over and over again
  • Hand-me-downs: A clothing item that has been passed from one person to another



  • Considerate: A thoughtful and compassionate personality
  • Pessimistic: Someone who has a cynical outlook on life
  • Outgoing: Possessing a friendly and energetic demeanour
  • Deceitful: someone who’s untrustworthy and strives to keep the truth hidden
  • Stingy: Someone who is averse to sharing



  • Coeducational School: The education for both male and female at the same institution
  • Curriculum Vitae: A document summarising an individual’s experience, skills and academic background
  • Dissertation: A long piece of writing where students present their research on a particular subject to earn an advanced degree
  • Tertiary Education: It refers to post-secondary education that includes private, public and training universities
  • Discipline: A field of study



  • Voyage: Along journey to very distant places by sea
  • Long haul flights: Long-distance flights
  • Magnificent landscapes: Stunning scenery
  • Lush rainforests: Luxuriant equatorial forests.
  • Traveling light: Travelling with little luggage



  • Pint: A measure of liquid that is equal to 550 milliliters
  • Savoury: A food or dish that is salty or spicy
  • A Slap Up Meal: a large and sumptuous
  • To tuck into: to start eating enthusiastically or hungrily
  • Gulp: Eating or swallowing food in large mouthfuls


Common Idioms

The IELTS Speaking section can be challenging for many. Candidates should have a strong control on their fluency, vocabulary, and pronunciation of the language in this section.

Learning idioms can be helpful in expressing your ideas more clearly but one must not use any idiom without understanding the meaning as it can lead to deduction in marks. Therefore, use it only when you are confident about the meaning and its context.

We have listed a few common idioms that can be used in the speaking section:

  • Green with envy: Being Envious or jealous
  • Blind as a bat: Bad eyesight
  • A drop in the ocean: a very small quantity as compared to the amount needed
  • To be like a dog with two tails: someone that is very happy about something
  • In the red: Lack of money or to owe money
  • Call it a day: finishing the work of a day
  • Day and Night: Continuous or non-stop work
  • I hit the ceiling: to become extremely angry
  • Pull your eggs in one basket: to concentrate all efforts and resources in one area
  • Blessing in disguise: an apparent misfortune that later have good results


Phrasal Verb

A Phrasal Verb typically constitutes a verb with a preposition or adverb or both and functions as a verb whose meaning is totally different than an individual verb. Hence must be used according to the context.

Phrasal verbs are a part of IELTS vocabulary words, and to show the command over English language, candidates must use them. But one should understand the context before using these verbs as wrong usage can impact the overall band score.

Below is the list of some common phrasal verbs that can be use:

  • Romp in: Win easily
  • Salt away: to save something valuable such as money
  • Venture forth: to set out, to go forward, to go out cautiously
  • Tee off: to begin a game or an event
  • Limber up for: to prepare for something that will require a great effort
  • Peel away: to separate from the group or a structure to move into a different direction
  • Pass over: to not give attention to someone or to something, to ignore
  • Measure against: Evaluate or judge by comparison
  • Go by: The passing of time
  • Kick back: to relax


Collocation for IELTS

A combination of words in a sentence that are closely affiliated with each other. The can be paired in the following manner.

  • Verb & noun
  • Verb & adverb
  • Adverb & adjective
  • Adjective & noun
  • Noun & noun

To understand it better, some example sentences of different collocations are listed below:

Verb + Noun

  • He decided to break a habit of lifetime
  • She made an appointment to see her therapist
  • The professor paid him a compliment for his well-written essays
  • She decided to throw a party, on her 20th birthday

Verb + Adverb

  • She deeply regretted her actions later on
  • Eva distinctly remembers leaving the key at the reception.
  • The passenger flatly refused to change seats.
  • The new measures were strongly criticized by the opposition.

Adverb + Adjective

  • Carla was absolutely delighted to win first prize.
  • You could see that Bill was deeply offended by the remark.
  • From the look on his face it was patently obvious that he was not interested.
  • Housing is reasonably priced in this area.

Adjective + Noun

  • He shows Keen interest in going to Stanford to become a Lawyer
  • She reads a lot of books and has a rich vocabulary.
  • The sequel to the movie was a big disappointment
  • I’m under serious pressure to finish the task this month.

Noun + Noun

  • The director received a round of applause after his valuable speech
  • She works in the service industry
  • The ceasefire agreement came into effect at 11am.
  • I’d like to buy two bars of soap, please.


List of some Common Collocations

  • To come of age: to reach the age when you are considered legally by the law to be an adult.

Example: He will inherit his father’s money when he comes of age.

  • To take pride: to be proud of ,or take satisfaction in

Example: Our company has always taken pride in its excellent customer support and commitment to customer satisfaction.

  • To meet the need of/demand: to do something that someone wants, needs, or expects you to do or be as good as they need.

Example: The company’s service is tailored to meet your needs.

  • To have a sense of accomplishment: to feel proud after achieving something difficult and worthwhile

Example: She got a sense of accomplishment after learning new skills

  • To derive/gain benefits: to derive benefit from a person or something

Example: Many students derived benefits from the new curriculum.


List of some Useful Vocabulary for IELTS

Reading & Writing Test

To expand your vocabulary for IELTS writing & IELTS reading sections, listed below are some of the common words with their synonyms.

Words Synonyms
Funny Amusing, waggish
Answer Respond
Awful Bad
Dangerous Risky
Decide Settle
Come Arrive
Place Procedure
Beautiful Pretty
Begin Start
Interesting Intriguing, engrossing 
Help Assist, Aid
Wrong Mistaken
Tell Narrate, Inform
Show Display, Exhibit
New Recent, current
Definite Certain
Delicious Savoury
Important Vital, crucial
Neat Clean
Happy Content
Famous Well-known
Amazing Incredible
Cool Frosty


Speaking Test

The speaking test is to check the candidate’s command over the fluency of the English language. Hence, it is important to have a strong grasp over the vocabulary and should know when to and how to use it correctly. 

Below is the list of common words that can be used for the section:

  • I think
  • Another reason
  • Also
  • At the moment
  • Nowadays
  • When I was younger
  • Years ago
  • In the past
  • These days
  • I suppose
  • Then
  • It was caused
  • I reckon
  • For instance
  • Such as
  • Like
  • Right now


IELTS Writing Task 1 Vocabulary

Grammar and Vocabulary on your essays make a huge difference in your band descriptor. It means you should have a strong command on using accurate grammar and vocabulary, finding the right terms to describe the graphs and charts on writing task 1.

Here are some examples of the language that can be used for describing graphs and charts:

  • The bar graph provides a…
  • The chart reveals information about the changes in…
  • The table illustrates the trends in…
  • The graphic clearly shows that…
  • As the chart indicates…
  • The table reveals that…
  • According to the pie chart…
  • The line graph presents how X has changed over a period of…


IELTS Writing Task 2 Vocabulary

Whether you are appearing for General Training IELTS or Academic exam you can use the common words listed below for writing task 2 essay.


Words to Use in Writing Task 2: Introduction

You need to give your thesis, provide an overview of the essay at the beginning of the task. Here are a few words that can be used to do so:

It may seem that…

It appears that…

Firstly, this essay will…and secondly, it will….

I/This essay will argue that…

To examine this issue, this essay will examine both….and…

I/This essay will show that…


Words to Use in Writing Task 2: Paragraphs

Here are some words that can be used within each body paragraph to illustrate opinions, contradictions, and conflicts between ideas.

  • First of all,
  • For instance,
  • In addition,
  • However,
  • For example,
  • In addition,
  • Conversely,


Words to Use in Writing Task 2: Conclusion

Try to avoid restating the thesis statement right away, use phrases and transition words to wrap up your final paragraph.

  • Finally,
  • Therefore,
  • In the end,
  • To summarise,
  • On balance,


IELTS Vocabulary: Tips to Prepare

  • We have listed some useful tips that can be followed while preparing for the exam.
  • Candidates should get into the habit of reading English blogs, newspaper, articles and while reading note down all the important and new words you come across.
  • Listen to TED talks and Podcasts, and understand the different words used by the speaker.
  • Flashcards can be used to memorise the words.
  • Avoid memorising words in all circumstances as the meaning and usage of words change according to the context.



To wrap up, using the right grammar and vocabulary plays an important role in IELTS band descriptor. Candidates should have a strong grasp on IELTS syllabus and must know when and where to use certain words, synonyms, and phrases as the wrong usage can change the context and can lead to the deduction of marks.

To know more about IELTS preparation, IELTS coaching, IELTS Online prep, IELTS eligibility criteria, etc. reach out to Manya-The Princeton Review today.


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