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It is important to have a flexible use of a wide range of vocabulary as the examiner will be looking for this in the writing and speaking.
It is also necessary for your reading so that you understand the texts as they will have a lot of difficult words.
Good IELTS vocabulary is particularly important for those wanting to achieve a band 7 or higher.
A way to potentially increase your speaking score in the IELTS speaking test is to use phrasal verbs (if used properly!).
These will certainly be noticed by the examiner.
Being able to collocate properly is extremely important when you speak or write in English, and your skills in this area will be something the examiner is looking out for.
Idioms can be confusing to non-native speakers of English as they are phrases that do not have the same meaning as the words actually spoken.
However, they are quite common in English so it is important that you learn about them.
IELTS Vocabulary: Why is it important?
Of all the skills and techniques you need to do well in the IELTS test, vocabulary is definitely one of the most important.
It makes up 25% of your total mark in the Writing and Speaking tests. Not only this, but did you know that the Listening and Reading tests are really vocabulary tests too? Take a look at the table below.
The table shows words in the question from an official IELTS reading test on the left and words in the text on the right. It demonstrates how many synonyms are used and therefore, needed to answer the question. All IELTS Reading and Listening tests are like this. In short, if you don’t have a wide ranging vocabulary you won’t be able to do well on the Listening or Reading tests.
Below we will talk about how you can improve your IELTS vocabulary.
The Correct Way to Learn IELTS Vocabulary
The only way that you can learn new words and then use them properly is if you learn them from context, or in other words, from real sources of information, not lists.
Below is a 5 step plan to help you increase your range of vocabulary.
1] Pick a book, TV show, radio show, podcast or magazine you are interested in. Don’t pick something boring because you will not stick to the plan and you will easily get distracted. People learn more effectively when they enjoy what they are doing.
2] Buy a special notebook. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just something that you can write in every day.
3] Read or listen to whatever you have chosen and pick out 15 words you don’t understand. Listen or read and try to guess what they mean from the context. (This step is very important because it will help you remember them.) Note the 15 new words down in your notebook.
4] Look up the new words in a dictionary. You can do this online. Beside each word note the meaning, an example sentence or two, collocations, synonyms, antonyms and pronunciation. You can also draw pictures; whatever will help you remember the word.
5] Review the new words after one week, two weeks and then one month. Also, practice using the new words in a sentence.