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Important Vocabulary For IELTS: Vocab Words For IELTS

Updated on 07 November, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

important vocabulary words for ielts

Vocabulary assessment in IELTS accounts for 25% of your total score in the writing and speaking sections, making it a crucial component. While aspirants know that vocabulary is very important to crack the IELTS, they might not necessarily don’t understand how to learn it effectively.

Firstly, you must remember that IELTS is fundamentally an English test, and people get so caught up in exam strategies that they forget this essential fact. You can still convey important ideas even if you don’t know grammar. For example, if you said ‘water,’ it is understandable that you need/want water. Of course, ‘I need water’ is more effective, but the vocabulary alone is the most important fact. In IELTS, one needs a balance of vocabulary and grammar. However, to crack IELTS, you do need to know the grammatical rules and vocabulary. In this article, you will learn important vocabulary for IELTS, tips to improve your vocabulary, phrasal verbs, idioms, and collocations for IELTS Vocabulary.

Let us start with some tips to help you ace your IELTS test.

Tips to Improve Your Vocabulary

There are various means by which one can improve his vocabulary and this differs on an individual basis. Some of the tips to improve the vocabulary have been enlisted below : 

  • Start by learning at least ten new words every day and make this a part of your daily schedule
  • Make a note of these words in a diary and revisit these words on a daily basis 
  • Watch English movies and web series with subtitles to enrich your vocabulary
  • Make the newly learnt words a part of your daily conversation and while answering the questions belonging to the speaking section
  • Read a wide range of literary material; books, novels, magazines, newspapers, and articles.
  • Make use of GRE words dictionary  and applications like Magoosh, pictorial dictionary, etc., to build your vocabulary

These are some general tips that you can follow to build your vocabulary for the IELTS exam. However, there are some additional tips that can help you score well in the IELTS Listening These tips are ; 

For IELTS Listening

Here are some tricks that you can use to improve your  IELTS Listening vocabulary;

  • There are umpteen YouTube tutorials to get the pronunciation of vocabulary words right.  Some of the popular youtube channels you can refer to are IELTS Liz and Fastrack IELTS. You can refer to any of them depending on your interests. 
  • Doing this exercise on a daily basis will enhance your listening vocabulary for IELTS. There are several podcasts on Spotify that you can listen to for learning useful tips. Some of these podcasts are Magoosh IELTS, IELTS podcast and IELTS with Fiona.
  • Now that you have gone through the tips to enhance your listening vocabulary that further increases your chances to score better in IELTS. Let’s start by learning some new words.


Important Resources About IELTS:

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IELTS Vocabulary

The below table consists of different categories that include some commonly used words to build your English vocabulary skills.

Category Words Example 
Educational Vocabulary

Graduate: Completing a first university degree 

Curriculum: A group of subjects that we study in school, college, etc. 

Qualification: An official statement of completion of a course

Coursework: Work involved in completing a course.

Cheating: To act unethically or gain something through wrongful means.

Literacy : Competency in reading or writing.

Illiterate : Someone not having the ability to read or write.

Education : A process of learning and exchange of knowledge.

Data Science graduates are highly in demand in the USA. 

Colleges should have an excellent curriculum.

An MBA qualification brings better job opportunities. 

MBA course has a challenging coursework 

If you cheat in your studies, it can have severe future consequences.

Low literacy rate is one of the biggest challenges in India

Illiterate people face many difficulties in life.

Education is necessary to become a good citizen. 

Crime Vocabulary


Deter: Demotivate or discourage someone from carrying out an activity

Offender: Someone who breaks a law or is guilty of committing a crime

Legislation : A collection of laws passed by the parliament and enforced by the judicial system

Crime : An act that goes   against the legislation and brings harm to a part of society

Victim: Someone who suffers due to the result of criminal actions of someone else

Convict : A person who has been found guilty of a crime in a court of law

Probation : An opportunity for a criminal to behave well and stay away from crime to avoid being sent to prison

The strong police presence deters criminals from frequenting this place.

He is a serial offender and has been involved in some kidnappings.

Some changes in the legislation were introduced in the last month.

Bribery happens to be an often-overlooked crime in many developing countries.

Victims of violent crimes often need to go through post-traumatic counseling.

We need to transport the convict to a prison facility.

He has been breaking the terms of his probation by meeting his old criminal friends.

Fitness, Diet and Health Vocabulary

Obesity : A health issue where a person is extremely overweight or fat 

Nutrients : Nourishing substances required by the body to grow and live.

Harmful: Something that has an ill effect.

Allergy: A severe or mild reaction in the body due to exposure to certain substances.

Diet: Collection of food and drinks eaten by an individual.

Obesity is considered as the root cause of many ailments.

A meal that is lacking in essential nutrients is not useful for the body. 

UV rays are considered harmful for human skin.

He has a life-threatening peanut allergy.

His diet consists majorly of grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Work Vocabulary


Employee : An individual who is paid to work.

Employer : Someone who pays others to work on their behalf.

Career : Professional progression of an individual from one job role to another.

Profession : A field of work that requires a specialized skill.

Resign : To leave or to quit.

Overtime: Work hours exceeding the contractual obligation.

He has been a government employee since 2015.

Employers use various methods to measure productivity.

His career has been progressing well at the current company.

Many professions can be considered after finishing business school.

She resigned from her previous job due to personal reasons.

Working overtime at this company is not beneficial since it is unpaid.

Information Technology Vocabulary



Access : Authorization to reach out for certain information or system.

Connection : Act of joining or relating things.

Device :  A machine or instrument designed for a particular purpose.

Innovation :  Process of creating or designing something completely new.

Advanced :  A developed form of a machine or technology.

Managers have been granted administrative access to the service tool.

The internet connection at the workplace is very unstable.

Mobile phones are popular communication devices these days.

Apple is a company that is well known for its innovation.

It is possible to buy even an advanced laptop at a decent budget these days.

Arts Vocabulary



Culture : Common behavior, values, attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, hierarchies, religion, etc., shared by a group of people. 

Creativity :  Ability to create something new or come up with an original idea.

Opera :  A theater-based play where the musicians and singers perform classic dramatic works 

Festival :  A special event or celebration that can have a central theme.

Artifact :  A decorative object or tool of historical significance. 

American culture is an amalgamation of many cultures.

Leonardo Da Vinci was a famous artist and scientist, famous for his creativity.


Youngsters are not as interested in opera as the older generation.

We attended the music festival last month for five days.

Several artifacts unearthed at the local archaeological site are on display at the museum.


While these are some of the common vocabulary words for IELTS, you should go through many more words from different fields to enrich your vocabulary. This will increase your chances of getting a high band score in the IELTS test. While you can memorize new vocabulary words for IELTS writing and speaking, it is ideal to understand their meaning and usage well.

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Vocabulary List For IELTS

Some common vocabulary words used in several categories are given below 

Category Words Example 

eye catching : appealing, attractive

subtle : indirect 

catchy tune : appealing melody

memorable :  something that stays in our mind for long

persuasive : compels us to think about or take action about something.


The headline of the ad must be eye-catching. 

The idea about the campaign was subtle. 

The jingle of the ad must start with a catchy tune

Tanishq's ad campaign had left a memorable impact on the audience. 

The ad campaign should be persuasive. 


acute respiratory diseases

acute- severe 

respiratory diseases : breathing issues 

asthma : a respiratory condition caused due to inflammation of airways in the lungs. 

contagious : able to spread from one individual to another by touching, 

contaminated : infected 


One of the side effects of coronavirus are acute respiratory diseases. 

Having mild to severe asthma attacks are common symptoms of Coronavirus 

People started taking safety measures after they came to know that COVID-19  is contagious. 

COVID-19 transmits through contaminated surfaces. 

Environmental problems 

acid rain:  rain that becomes acidic due to certain air pollutants 

ozone layer depletion : thinning of ozone layer resulting in harmful UV radiation at the Earth's surface 

land degradation: soil and land pollution 

loss of biodiversity: extinction of species 


Acid rain is the result of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) emitted into the atmosphere.

Chlorofluorocarbons are responsible for ozone layer depletion. 

Extreme weather conditions are one of the causes of land degradation. 

Climate change has led to the loss of biodiversity on earth. 


tabloids : a newspaper that contains photographs and stories about well-known personalities.  

periodical : a newspaper or magazine published at fixed intervals 

quarterly newspapers: newspapers published once in every months 

local/ regional newspapers: that serve a particular region or area. 

national newspapers: newspapers that serves an entire nation 


A tabloid is also known as a gossip newspaper. 

This news is the lead story in Times of India’s last periodical. 

The frequency at which quarterly newspapers are published is less than that of local newspapers. 

Dainik Bhaskar is the most widely read regional newspaper in Rajasthan. 

Hindustan Times is one of the most prominent national newspapers. 


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Vocabulary for IELTS Writing

The IELTS Writing section consists of two questions : Task 1 and Task 2. To learn the most commonly used vocabulary we need to understand the format of each section first. 

Task 1 Format 

Introduction + Basic/ General Trends + Details Description + Summary. Each element of task 1 follows different vocabulary.

Vocabulary for the Introduction part

StartingPresentation TypeVerbDescription
The given / presented / shown table/ diagram / graph/ figure / illustration / chart / flow chart / pie chart represents /depicts / shows / enumerates / presents / illustrates / describes / outlines / compares / indicates / demonstrates / summarizes / sketch out 

the ratio / proportion /

comparison / changes / differences / amount / data / percentages 


Vocabulary for the General Trend part

  • Overall 
  • Generally speaking 
  • Clearly 
  • In general
  • In common
  • As a general trend
  • As it is observed
  • At the first glance

Vocabulary to start the body paragraph 

  • As it is depicted/ shown in the table/  diagram(s) / graph(s) / pie chart(s)
  • As the diagram suggests
  • It is crystal clear/ lucid that 
  • It is interesting to note that
  • It is worth noticing that
  • The data suggests that
  • It could be observed/ noticed that

Vocabulary to show the changes

TrendsVerb formNoun Form
Increaserise/ shot up / surge / skyrocket / leap / peaked a rise / an increase / an upward trend / a growth / a leap / a jump / an
Decreasefall / decrease / decline / plunge / drop / reduce / collapse / deteriorate/ dip a fall / a decrease / a reduction / a downward trends /a  downward tendency /  a decline
Gradual increaseSkyrocketedan upward trend / tendency 
Gradual decreasePlummeteda downward trend / tendency
Stability remain(ed) constant/ steady / consistent / uniform a flat, no change


Vocabulary to show the change levels 

Type of ChangeAdverb form
Rapid changedramatically / rapidly / sharply / quickly / hurriedly / speedily / swiftly / significantly/ considerably 
Moderate changegradually / moderately / progressively / sequentially
Uniform changesteadily 
Mild  changeslightly /  slowly


Task 2 format 

Introduction +  Body paragraphs + Conclusion 

Vocabulary for the Introduction part 

  • This essay will talk about
  • This essay will show / argue that
  • It appears that
  • It may seem that
  • To examine this issue, this essay will focus on both ___and ____
  • Firstly, this essay will…and secondly, it will

Vocabulary for Body paragraphs 

  • In addition / moreover 
  • For example / instance
  • However

Vocabulary for conclusion 

  • To conclude / summarize
  • Therefore

Phrasal Verb for IELTS vocabulary

A phrasal verb consists of two or three words from distinct grammatical groups and when all of them are used together, a different meaning is put forward. The IELTS vocabulary list includes phrasal verbs, which you can use to demonstrate your English language command.  Before that, you should strive to understand the meaning of phrasal verbs because improper usage can lower your band score. Below is a list of phrasal verbs you can use:

Phrasal Verb



Pass over

Ignore, refuse to discuss

Let’s pass over what they just said and move on.

Measure against

Evaluate or judge by


The work could look more appealing if you measure it against what our competitor has done.

Limber up for

To get ready for something that

requires tremendous effort

They are limbering up for the fiscal year-end.

Kick back


Rather than going out tonight, we plan to kick

back and watch our favorite series.

Tee off

Launch or start an event

The new project will tee off next month.

Stick with

Not to change something

Our team should stick with the original idea.

Venture forth

To leave somewhere safe

We can venture forth if the storm has finished.


Salt away


Save money

The best thing about her is that she salts away her money rather than spending it.

Quarrel with

To disagree with something

I am not quarreling with his idea, but there are other possibilities.

Idioms for IELTS Vocabulary

Idioms help communicate ideas and thoughts more precisely and naturally. You must avoid using idioms without understanding their meaning, which will result in a mark deduction. You should only use it in tasks if you know its meaning and context.

Below is a list of idioms that can be used that will lead to a great band score:

  • Full of beans   
  • A bad egg
  • Eager beaver
  • Fresh as a daisy
  • Couch potato
  • Put all your eggs in one basket 
  • Blessing in disguise 
  • Actions speak louder than words 
  • I hit the ceiling 
  • Once in a blue moon 
  • Piece of cake
  • A drop in the ocean 
  • To be like a dog with two tails 
  • It makes my blood boil 
  • Change one’s mind 
  • Call it a day 
  • To be on the top of the world 
  • To be on cloud nine 
  • If my memory serves me well 
  • Over the moon

Collocations for IELTS Vocabulary

Collocations can be understood as the proper arrangement of words in a sentence or the combination of words that appear natural. They can be paired in this manner: 

  • Verb & noun 
  • Verb & adverb 
  • Adverb & adjective 
  • Adjective & noun 
  • Noun & noun 

For easier understanding, some examples are listed below: 

  • Make someone’s bed
  • I have a preference for continental cuisine
  • I prefer reading
  • Parents can assist their children with financial responsibility
  • I have to take the test if I want to take the course 


When it comes to acing the IELTS test, vocabulary is important. You should not concentrate on the traditional modes of rote memorizing. Instead, adopt a more dynamic approach to use your newly acquired language accurately and confidently. If you do this, you will have the best chance of getting a high band on the IELTS test.

Recommended Reads:

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to improve vocabulary for IELTS speaking?

Having good vocabulary skills can prove to be advantageous in many ways especially when you are an IELTS aspirant. In order to develop good vocabulary skills, a lot of work is needed from one’s end during the naive stage. In the case of the IELTS speaking test, you need to be good with the pronunciation part as well. Jotting down ten words on a regular basis and googling the pronunciation of those words along with using those vocabulary words in daily conversations will help you memorize those words better. Following the process over a period of 30 days or more will reap great benefits associated with improving your vocabulary for IELTS speaking.

How to improve your vocabulary for IELTS?

To improve your vocabulary for IELTS start by learning new words every day and revise them from time to time, listen to podcasts to get an idea of different accents, utilize some vocabulary building apps such as Vocab App, Common English Vocabulary, and IELTS Vocabulary Booster, watch YouTube tutorials.

How to improve vocabulary for IELTS Writing?

A good vocabulary is an inevitable part of the IELTS exam irrespective of any section. When it comes to the IELTS writing section, one needs to have clarity on the usage of the words. For instance, if you pick a word you need to know the role of the word in that particular sentence. The same vocabulary word may be used as an adjective or an adverb depending on the context of the sentence. Start your writing journey with basic sentences that include the use of vocabulary words. Later, as you become more familiar or confident with the usage of vocabulary words, introduce them in the essay you write and get them reviewed by your peers. Doing this exercise will help improve your vocabulary for the IELTS writing section.

Why is vocabulary building important for IELTS ?

When it comes to any language, vocabulary can act as an embellishment. A good vocabulary can make you stand out from the crowd. It can make you an eloquent speaker. Your IQ is also based on how good you are in your vocabulary. If we focus on the IELTS exam it helps you score decent bands in each section. Building your vocabulary before appearing for the exam will help you speak more fluently in the speaking section, and understand difficult words in the reading section and write more effectively in the writing section. So, these were some of the perks of having a good vocabulary.

How to improve your vocabulary for IELTS reading?

A good catch on vocabulary can help you score good bands in the IELTS Reading section. Some of the tips that you can follow in order to improve your reading vocabulary are; reading books and newspapers, playing word games, learning new words through flashcards, and so on.

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Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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