Important Tips to Improve Vocabulary for IELTS

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One of the main problems IELTS candidates face while taking the IELTS exam is that they require a huge range of vocabulary. The key is to focus on the vocabulary you are most likely to need, and during the preparation, months grow your IELTS vocabulary as much as you can. So, become a good collector of words and the IELTS exam will become a bit easy for you.

The development of comprehensive IELTS vocabulary is significant to your IELTS score. To do well, you need to know many words. It is believed that a new word becomes a part of your vocabulary only when it is exposed to 15-20 times. So here are a few important IELTS Vocabulary tips which will help you to score well in your IELTS exam.

Read and Read

The more you read, the more new words will be discovered. This is a very important part of the IELTS preparation and it will also help you in increasing your English fluency. Read about things that interest you: Food, fashion, gardening, celebrity news, science, economics etc. As you read, you will come to know new words in context. Try to understand the meaning of new words from the sentence of the context, if you don’t then refer the English to English dictionary and find the meaning of the word.

Use a vocabulary journal.

You can prepare a vocabulary journal for yourself. This can be a little notebook that you keep with you where you can note down all the new words that you hear or read and keep practising them in your routine talks.

Make use of a dictionary and thesaurus.

You can use hard copies or online versions such as and When you find any new word, look it up in the dictionary. An online dictionary will give you the definition as well as will let you hear the pronunciation which will be more helpful. Then you can use the thesaurus to know the synonyms of that new word. You need not memorize each and every synonym. Choose a few synonyms which are interesting and add them to your vocabulary journal.

Use the different forms of the particular word.

In your notebook list the different forms of the word like noun, verb, adjective and adverb form, as well as its past participle. For example: 

Original word “manage”
Noun form “management”
Adjective “manageable”
Adverb “manageably”
Past participle “managed”

Now you have five new words instead of one in your mental word bank. A dictionary will generally give you the different word forms of the word abbreviated as “n” which means noun, “v” which means verb, “adj” which means adjective and “adv” which means adverb.


List the words in your notebook that the word collocates with. Such as managing competently, managing effectively, competent management, efficient management and so on.

Write and write

Writing helps to remember new words. Write sentences using the new word in two or more different word forms. Combine reading with writing by writing a short summary of an article using 2 or 3 new words you have read in their various forms. At the end of each week, go back to the list of new words you made. Select 10 words from that week and use them while writing a short story or essay. By these Vocabulary tips, you can make your IELTS preparation more fruitful.


Hearing new unknown words will help you hear how words are used in the context and also help you with their pronunciation. Watch English music videos or short movie clips on YouTube. You can watch those videos and read the transcripts which are in English to see the spelling of the new unknown words for you. When you hear a word that you have heard for the first time or have difficulty pronouncing it then play it again and say it out. This will help you understand the pronunciation of words and also how they are used in context.

Learn a word a day.

Read the English Dictionary for a new word each day with the definition, pronunciation, word form and example sentences. Add them to your word list and use them in your practice and it will also be helpful in IELTS writing practice.

Speak the new words in your everyday conversation

Incorporate the new words into your everyday conversation. Talk to your family and friends using new words you learned that week in the English, it may be about an article you read, a movie you saw or a hobby you did. The best way to remember words is to use the conversation. This will increase your fluency in speaking which will help you in the IELTS speaking module.

Focus on topics

In the  IELTS speaking section, you will have to talk about a given topic for 2 minutes. Anything can be asked as a question  to test your speaking skill, but there are some topics that are frequently used:

  • Education
  • Technology
  • Family
  • Employment
  • The arts
  • Your home
  • The environment

Focusing on these areas will be very helpful in all modules of the IELTS exam, but especially in the speaking test. The most important thing is to start building your IELTS vocabulary as soon as you decide to take the IELTS exam. Every time you hear or read a new word, note it and study it.