August 7, 2020

IELTS Vocabulary Words List & Exercise: Here’s the Key to Improve Your Band Score

You must have heard that in order to crack the IELTS, your vocabulary must be spot on! This, however, is not entirely true. Knowing a lot of words won’t take you far when it comes to IELTS. Let us take a look at what IELTS wants you to know and what it doesn’t:

IELTS doesn’t expect you to:

  • Know complicated words.
  • Learn words from the dictionary.
  • Show your word power.
  • On the other hand, it wants to check your vocabulary range.

What is Vocabulary Range?

In simple terms, the phrase vocabulary range means how well you know the contextual vocabulary. For Example:

It was shown recently that in my locality, much less crime is done these days.

Recently it was shown that the crime rate has come down in our locality


It was shown recently that much less crime is being committed in our locality.

Among the three sentences above, the first one has a vocabulary error; you do not “do” a crime. You “commit” it. Sentence two shows the correct way to convey the idea.

Another Example
  • The Government of India is working hard to remove poverty.
  • The Government of India is working hard to reduce the poverty rate.

As you can see, not every synonym of a word can express the same thought. In your IELTS exam, you are expected to have a complete understanding of contextual vocabulary.

You need to know a wide range of IELTS vocabulary words that are relevant to a particular context.

Where will You be Judged for Vocabulary?

While vocabulary for IELTS writing is important in all the components of the exam, it is categorically judged in the Speaking and Writing sections. These two sections are topic- centric and judge other aspects of your language skills along with vocabulary range.

The speaking and writing task 1/ 2 sections basically check how well- equipped you are in terms of contextual vocabulary. Remember, the examiners do not need to know how many complex words you know. They want to see how well you know the words that are used to express ideas on a particular topic.

How to Prepare IELTS vocabulary words List?

In order to practice vocabulary for IELTS writing and speaking, it is important that you prepare a vocabulary list. If you think the dictionary can do it for you, then think again. Following are the steps you need to follow when you are preparing a vocabulary list:

  • Work out topics/ genres that appear frequently on IELTS Speaking and Writing. You can do this by looking at past papers.
  • Read books that are based on those genres.
  • Keep a notebook where you can note down new words that you come across in your reading and the ones that are particular to the specific genre.
  • Consult a dictionary to find out the meanings. Make sure to write them down.
  • Try to use those words/ phrases/ expressions in your speaking and writing.
  • Take a look at our vocabulary list below, to know how yours should look like.

IELTS Vocabulary Words List


  • Commercial breaks
  • Show adverts
  • Celebrity endorsements
  • Prime Time
  • Classified ads
  • Brand royalty
  • Advertising agency
  • Product placement


  • Appetisers
  • Take-away
  • Home-cooked
  • Fussy eater
  • Grab a bite
  • Three-course meal
  • Sweet tooth
  • Quick snack
  • Tuck into
  • Processed food

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