The most important skill when learning English, or any language, is having a wide range of vocabulary for recognition and production. Vocabulary carries meaning and is vital for communication, much more so than grammar.
Having the ability to produce a wide range of vocabulary accurately and appropriately will enable you to score well in the Speaking and Writing tests.
Additionally, the ability to recognize a wide range of vocabulary will have a positive impact on your Listening and Reading scores.
Click on the links below for information on different aspects of vocabulary.
Common topics that you will encounter in the IELTS Speaking and Writing tests. Word lists that will enable you to
score well and a selection of idioms that should only be used in the IELTS Speaking test
and General Training Writing Task 1 informal letters.
Advice on how to increase your general English vocabulary and the positive impact it can have on all your IELTS tests scores.
Try the following sites for vocabulary resources...
How many words should I try to learn per day?
Research has shown that you should try to learn a maximum of 15 words per day. Any more than that is impractical and will result in long lists of words that you don’t know or use. I would recommend to try and source new 10 words per day. This is a manageable number if you follow this, you can increase your vocabulary by around 300 per month.
What’s the best source for learning new words?
The best source is the one you use the most whether it’s TED talks, novels, podcasts etc. In addition, the source doesn’t need to be IELTS related. It is advisable to vary your sources and topics as your aim is to increase your general level of English vocabulary.
Should I focus on learning topic vocabulary lists?
Learning topic vocabulary lists is like buying a lottery ticket with the hope that the topics you focused on will come up in the test. There are literally dozens of possible topics. Topic vocabulary lists are usually lists of isolated words with little or no context and often with no example sentence. If you choose to learn vocabulary lists, make sure you record them fully in your vocabulary records.
Is it necessary to have a high level of vocabulary to score well in the Reading and Listening tests?
It is necessary to have a high level of vocabulary to score well in all IELTS tests. However, students tend to worry more about their vocabulary in the Reading and Listening tests because of the large number of new words in the texts and the use of synonyms and paraphrase. For more discussion of the use of synonyms and paraphrase in IELTS, follow the link.
How long will it take to develop a wide vocabulary range?
Developing a wide range of vocabulary, in any language, is an ongoing process and certainly something that doesn’t happen overnight. Even if you achieve 9.0 in IELTS, you will come across new English vocabulary all the time. Be patient and realistic and keep user friendly vocabulary records and review these every day. For more information on increasing your vocabulary, follow the link.