10 Good Vocab Habits for Passing IELTS



A Dictionary is not just about Definitions

There’s more than definitions in dictionaries.  You can also see which word form the word fits into, its pronunciation and how to use it.  The phonemic chart might look like an ancient language to you but using an interactive chart will help you with the sounds http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/phonemic-chart


“There’s more than definitions ...”

Organising your vocabulary

There are many ways you can organise your collection of new words and most people have their own method of doing it.  Many will just write down the word, the translation and definition.   Why not take it to another level and also:

  • Use the word in a sentence to put it into context
  • Write down the word form.  Is it a verb?  Is it a noun?  Is it both?
  • What are the antonyms?  What are the synonyms?  Why not buy a Thesaurus?
  • What are the collocations?
  • Is it a verb?  Are there any phrasal verbs using it?
  • Everybody has different ways of learning.  Visual learners will find Mind Maps or Vocab Trees helpful.  Again the BBC can help you with some templates and ideas http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/radio/studyguides/pdfs/vocab.pdf

Topic Vocabulary

The IELTS Speaking Test will ask you to speak about a topic for two minutes.  The topics are varied and you won’t know which one you will be tested on. 

  • The best way to prepare for this is to PRACTISE, PRACTISE, and PRACTISE.   http://www.ieltsspeaking.co.uk/ielts-vocabulary is a website that focuses on the most likely topic range and gives you IELTS-style practice tests.  Any new vocab you learn while practising will also help you in other parts of the exam.