How to improve your IELTS vocabulary score


Having a firm grasp of English vocabulary is one of the key elements needed to succeed on the IELTS exam. Vocabulary makes up 25% of your score in the writing and speaking parts of the IELTS exam, while also playing an important part of the listening and talking elements.

In the build up to your test date, try to separate and understand which words you will be able to use in a practical situation, and which words only look impressive on paper. For example, ‘Sobriquet’ means nickname, but you will rarely see someone use it in a regular conversation.

For the purpose of the IELTS exam, where being able to showcase a varied vocabulary will help you reach a better score, here are a few tips to follow.

IELTS vocabulary tips

Reading Scripts

An underrated method of picking up different words and phrases in a conversational tone is to study film, TV or theatre scripts. They often consist of punchy, quick dialogue and you will be able to learn a variety of new words. Read a simple script to get started.

Reading Newspapers and Academic Papers

Newspapers consist of precise, formal writing, helping build a varied vocabulary. Use a highlighter to mark unknown words, before checking online or in a dictionary for there exact definition. Academic papers or journals are also a rich source of language you may not be used to.

Root words

One of the best methods to learn new words is to learn about root words. A root word is adding the prefix of suffix to a word, to create something new. For example, ‘spect’ means ‘to see things’, and root words of spect include spectacles, inspector, and retrospect. By learning one word, you may learn many. Click here to download a free Root Words dictionary pdf.

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