IELTS Vocabulary


The IELTS test does test your vocabulary and in fact, 25% of the total marks in the IELTS Speaking test and IELTS Writing test sections cover IELTS vocabulary. While this is a general observation, it is also true that the IELTS Listening test and IELTS Reading test sections also test vocabulary. It is important to note that ILETS vocabulary is not so much about the use of fancy/rare words but about the use of appropriate vocabulary words for IELTS that communicate the context effectively.

In the IELTS Reading test section, the words and phrases mentioned in the text are paraphrased in the questions which will require you to understand their usage. Let us take a look at the examples:


Words/phrases used in questions Words/phrases used in text
Civil calendar Municipal calendar
Months were in equal length 12 months of 30 days
Divided the day into two equal halves Split the day into two 12-hour periods
A new cabinet shape A new floor-standing case design
To organize public events To co-ordinate community activities


Vocabulary Collocation

Collocation is a set of words that has an exceptional possibility of being found together.

To make your language sound more natural and fluent collocations are used in writing and IELTS speaking. This helps one to get a better scoring essay.


How much Vocabulary is enough for IELTS?

You must have a collection of around 6000 to 7000 most used vocabulary words as an IELTS Vocabulary. Also, be sure that these words cover every aspect of nature, so that you can articulate about any topic.


Can I study for IELTS at home?

This question comes to the mind of every second student preparing for the exam. Following are some promising tips that will not only help you but even elevate your IELTS preparation at home.

  1. Try to learn (At Least 10) new vocabulary Words Daily
  2. Make use of these words with your speaking partner or a friend
  3. Take help from IELTS exam books for some Good Vocabulary
  4. To broaden your interest, do a bit of a case study
  5. Do a bit of research on IELTS
  6. Try to save your Vocabulary Collection by writing new words in a book
  7. Revision of your vocabulary everyday is a must
  8. You can even join an online IELTS Preparation Program

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6 Simple Steps to Learn IELTS Vocabulary

1. Try to Find a source you enjoy-

Select a book,YouTube series, TV show, radio show, podcast, or magazine of your interest because when you enjoy what you are doing then you learn more effectively , so don’t choose something boring.

2. Get a new notebook-

It is just to keep a record of your everyday vocabulary collection.

3. Use your source to make it Effective-

Whatever you chose in Step 1 read/watch/listen to it and try to choose 15 words you don’t understand and then guess what they mean from the context.

4. Note down new words you learnt-

Note those 15 new words down in your notebook.

5. Look for the meaning of the learnt words-

Look up the new words in an online dictionary. Note down the meaning beside each word. You can draw pictures, write an example sentence or two, collocations, synonyms, antonyms, and pronunciation. – whatever that helps you to remember the word.

6. Review your new words-

Practice using them in a sentence and in daily conversation. Keep reviewing the new words after one week, two weeks and then one month.

By Following this simple plan for 5 days a week you will have more than 300 new words in your notebook just after 1 month.

Following this plan will help you learn almost 2000 new words within 6 months.


How to Improve Your IELTS Vocabulary?

Improving IELTS vocabulary is not something that you can achieve overnight. The earlier you start practicing, the better it will get. Here are a few tips for your reference:

  • Look for new words in your everyday activities – like when you read the newspaper, watch a movie, listen to someone speaking; watch out for those words you may have not heard before. And when you do, do not jump into the dictionary right away. Take time to infer the meaning of the word from the context in which it was used and then cross-check with the dictionary if you got it right. If not, just add it to your list of new words along with their meaning.
  • List out all the new words in a notebook with their meanings, synonyms, collocations, antonyms, and pronunciation.
  • Mnemonics are a good way to practice and learn new words. Use the unfamiliar words frequently in your speech or writing for as long as they don’t register in your memory and ultimately you will find them becoming a part of your IELTS vocabulary.

The above-mentioned tips might be time-taking but they are time-tested. It comes with the assurance of an improved IELTS vocabulary and elevated confidence to take the IELTS test. Besides, there are several books and online resources that help you build your IELTS vocabulary.


What You Should Not Do

Making a long list of words and trying to memorize them would be a sure-shot recipe for disaster. Memorizing complicated words may help you use them but if they are contextually incorrect you may lose marks. Therefore, it is important that you learn to use the words appropriately in the right context.

It is said that the human mind can register 15 new words per day in a foreign language. Therefore, start building your IELTS vocabulary slowly but steadily, so that when the time comes for the actual IELTS exam, you pass with flying colors!

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Is Vocabulary Important for the IELTS Exam?

When it comes to the Speaking & Writing sections, Vocabulary is definitely one of the must-have skills. It contributes up to 25% in your total score. It even plays a key role in the Listening & Reading sections.

How can I improve my vocabulary for IELTS speaking?

Develop a reading habit. Vocabulary building is easiest when you encounter words in context. Use flashcards, play word games, use mnemonics, and practice new words in conversations.

How should I learn new IELTS Vocabulary?

Use specific IELTS vocabulary books that are designed to provide you with the necessary IELTS skills.

What happens if I learn IELTS word lists?

Your vocabulary will improve hence improving your writing and speaking skills.

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