Vocabulary for IELTS Writing

Vocabulary for IELTS Writing

Vocabulary is a crucial factor in your IELTS exam to secure a high band score. Without varied and interesting vocabulary, you run the risk of sitting in lower band score.

General vocabulary

If you want to extend your vocabulary on the whole, these websites are useful.

  1. Visuwords- really great for building your vocabulary and extending your synonyms knowledge
  2. Freerice- another great one for vocabulary, easy to use and has a quiz element to it
  3. Etymology- a really useful reference tool where you are given the definition, etymology and synonyms

Another practice to pick up for vocabulary is to read. You don't need to weigh into several novels (though if your proficiency level allows you to then why not?), but it's good to expose yourself to different kinds of reading. The following are good places to start:

  1. The British Council- TBC provide an array of different short stories suited to all levels
  2. Roald Dhal- Roald Dhal has written some brilliant, entertaining short stories. They are fairly easy but offer some challenge, and often very funny too
  3. Audiobooks- if you want to chop it up and do some listening, as well as reading, then audiobooks are a great addition, especially if you're on the move.

Task specific vocabulary

These bank of words are related to writing task 2 for the academic paper, where you are presented with data in a visual manner. Whilst the graphs differ, much of the language tends to be the same and can be applied to more than one graph.

Use this table to read through different vocabulary applicable to graphs. Of course it depends on the specific graph you get which will dictate the sort of vocabulary you'll need to use. But lets familiarise ourselves with useful word and phrases you can begin to learn or revisit.

Pairing vocabulary to the graph

Bar chart

Sourced from Google

Look at these sentences and how the vocabulary from the above table has been applied:

  • Jessica- Jessica had a substantial growth of votes in 2013 compared to 2012; we can see a significant leap of votes in 2013.
  • William- William see's a steady increase in votes in 2013 than that of 2012.
  • Hussein- Hussein is the most successful candidate of 2012 with a soaring 55% of the votes. The following year is similarly successful.
  • Peter- Peter's votes in 2012 are relatively successful, though his 2013 scores take a severe plummet.
  • Meredith- Meredith's results show that she is the most successful candidate of 2013, where her results rocket off and surpass the maximum measure. We can also see that in the previous year, herself and Hussein sat at a tie.

Your turn

  • Have a go practicing using vocabulary for the six different types of diagrams you can expect to see for task 1.
  • Use the table seen above to help you in applying the right vocabulary.
  • Seek feedback for your writing and start this early, as you don't want to build off piste habits along the way, let's nip these in the bud early.
  • Unfortunately, mistakes using vocabulary will effect your score. For band 6, you are allowed some vocabulary errors. For band 7, it is few vocabulary errors.