Vocabulary for IELTS: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Word Power

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Vocabulary Words for IELTS: 15+ Words, Topic-Wise Words, Best Tips

IELTS Vocabulary: IELTS is one of the most widely taken English proficiency tests for admissions to universities abroad. It is essential to have a strong hold on vocabulary for IELTS to bolster your chances of securing better scores in the exam. Vocabulary for IELTS can help you come up with better responses that are not only well-structured but also articulated, comprehensible and coherent.

The exam evaluates the English Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking skills of the students. Refined vocabulary is a prominent part of the IELTS Syllabus as it helps students in each exam segment. This blog focuses on important words, exercises, and tips to improve vocabulary for IELTS. That being said, read the complete blog to learn more about IELTS Vocabulary.

How to Learn IELTS Vocabulary in 6 Steps?

If you are wondering about how to learn or get started to learn IELTS vocabulary, then here is a 6-step method to help you excel in your English vocabulary for IELTS. 

Find a Suitable Source of Learning 

Choose an interesting book, TV show, radio show, podcast, YouTube series, or magazine. People learn more efficiently when they are having fun, so don’t choose anything dull. 

Maintain a Journal or a Vocab Notebook 

Yes, if you truly want to improve your English vocabulary quickly, you must keep a diary or vocab copy. You will write the new words that you will learn each day in this copy. Make sentences with these terms and their definitions. The notebook does not have to be pricey; it simply has to be a place where you can keep track of your daily notes.

Consume your Source 

Read/watch/listen to whatever you choose in Step 1 and highlight or mark at least 10 words that you don’t understand or maybe don’t know the meaning of. Try to deduce what they imply from the context. This is an essential stage since it will help you remember the new words.

Start Using New Words 

Simply writing down and memorizing the word meanings of new words will not help you enhance your English vocabulary. You must begin utilizing these newly discovered words in your regular life and your daily interactions and communication.

Look for Synonyms 

In an online dictionary, look for alternative synonyms for the new words. Make a note of the synonyms, collocations, antonyms, and pronunciation for each word. You may also use images to help you recall the term.

Review your New Words

Finally, keep reviewing the list of new words, their synonyms, and antonyms after every one week, two weeks, and then one month. 

15+ Most Common Vocabulary for IELTS in 2024

 Here are some of the most common vocabulary that you can use in your IELTS tasks to secure better scores in 2024.

Word Meaning 
RangeDistance from low to high
AttributeTo give credit for
TraditionWhat people normally do
EstimateTake a guess
ExposeShow something hidden
EmbellishAdd details to something
LucidSomething easy to understand
ArchaicSomething very old
DiligentCareful and hardworking
UnprecedentedNever done before
ExtrapolateEstimate or conclude
BanishGet rid of 
ParagonBest of its kind
RetractTake back
EmpatheticRelating to others’ feelings
VarianceQuality of being different

Vocabulary Words for IELTS: Check Out the Latest Topic-Wise Vocabulary in 2024

Here are some important vocabulary words for IELTS that you can use in your IELTS tasks. These vocabulary words for IELTS have been curated according to their topics for your convenience. Have a look.


Direct MailLetters and adverts are sent directly To customers. This is a direct approach with a select audience.
Radio AdvertisingThis approach reaches a target audience and relies on them listening To a particular station. However, the message can easily be forgotten.
Text MessagesThese promotions reach a target audience in real-time but they have a limited number of characters in the text.
Internet Pop-upsThey can impact a viewer and allow them easy access To the product. However, they can be annoying, and intrusive and some even crash the system.
Email AdvertisingDirect advertising To the customer. It is cost-effective as long as the customer database is up-to-date.
FlyersSmall flyers with printed information handed out To customers face-to-face. They can be attractive and informative but also costly.

Business Environment 

To balance the booksDo not spend more money than you are earning. 
To be self-employedTo work for yourself/ To not work for an employer
To cold callTo make a sales call to someone without asking them for permission first
Cut-throat competitionWhen one company lowers its prices, forcing other companies to do the same, sometimes to a point where the business becomes unprofitable
To do market researchTo do research into what potential customers would or wouldn’t buy
To draw up a business planTo write a plan for a new business
To drum up business:To try To get customers
To earn a livingTo earn money
To go bustWhen a business is forced To close because it is unsuccessful

Fashion World

Fashion HouseA company that sells (usually expensive) new styles of clothes
Fashion IconA person who is famous for their sense of fashion
Fashion ShowAn event where models show off the latest in fashion designs
To get dressed upTo put on nice clothes, often To go out somewhere special
To go out of fashionTo not be in fashion any more
Hand-me-downsClothes that are passed down from older brothers or sisters To their younger siblings
To have an eye for (fashion)To be a good judge of
To have a sense of styleThe ability To wear clothes that look stylish


Processed FoodCommercially prepared food bought for convenience
A Quick SnackTo eat a small amount of food between meals
A Ready MealProcessed food
A Slap-Up MealA large meal
To Spoil Your AppetiteTo eat something that will stop you from feeling hungry when it’s mealtime.
A Take AwayA cooked meal prepared in a restaurant and eaten at home
To Tuck IntoTo eat something with pleasure
To Wine and DineTo entertain someone by treating them to food and drink

Travel and Tourism 

Travel abroadTravel to overseas destinations.
Travelling lightTravelling with little luggage.
Value for moneyA good return on investment.
Visa regulationsLaws that relate to entry into a country
Wildlife safariA guided tour through a game park.
Affordable destinationsPlaces within a reasonable price range.
Affordable travelTravel that is within your price range.
Around the worldIn all corners of the globe.

Books, Films and Art

GenreThe type of film. E.g. horror or comedy.
Commercial blockbustersFilms made for the mass market generate a lot of income.
A sea change in somethingA fundamental shift
Online streamingWatching via the internet
Cultural heritageThe background and history of a country.
Rom-com movieA romantic comedy film
Adapted from fictionA film which was first a book.
Strong characterisationThe main people are well-rounded and believable.
Black humourFunny but rather dark or mysterious as well.

Social Media 

VloggerA person who regularly creates short videos to be posted online.
EmojiA small digital image used in social media/ emails/ text to display an emotion, object or idea.
MemeA humorous image or text that is easily sent to others over the internet.
DMDirect message.
PhotoshopSoftware that allows users to digitally alter their images.
FiltersPreset photo enhancements that users can select to apply to their images or videos.
BlockStopping or banning someone from interacting with you on social media or viewing your posts/ profile.
CensorTo keep certain images, texts, etc from being displayed or published because it is offensive or immoral.
FollowSubscribe to the page of a person or business on social media.


Heritage Something that is handed down/inherited from generation to generation.
ValuesAn individual’s ethics and beliefs
StereotypeA generalised notion or idea about a specific race or group of people
PrejudiceA bad view about a person or group is formed without first meeting them and is generally based on stereotypes.
Cultural DiversityThe variations between several cultures
Culture ShockA state of perplexity or disorientation caused by being exposed to a new culture or way of life.
DiscriminationUnfair treatment of a person or group based on bias


HabitatA living organism’s natural surroundings.
BiodegradableMatter that organisms can break down, hence preventing pollution.
BiodiversityThe number and variety of plants and animals found in a given location.
EcosystemPlants and animals inside an area that have an impact on the environment’s functioning
PollutionThe release of hazardous materials into the environment
DeforestationTrees are being cut or uprooted as a result of natural or human activity
Global Warming The warming of the Earth’s atmosphere as a result of greenhouse gases

Check out this video to get a hold of IELTS Band 9 Vocabulary-

Courtesy: E2 IELTS

Vocabulary for IELTS: Preparation Tips 

Here are a few tips to make your vocabulary more proficient:

  1. Read more articles, blogs, texts etc. of your choice to build your vocabulary. This habit will ensure that you come across new words and this will also give you a better understanding of the usage of the word.
  2. In case you don’t have time to read and build your vocabulary then you can go through various lists of important words for IELTS. You can start with 10 words and then do 15 words the next day and then 20 after that. This will help you focus on the words relevant to the exam.
  3. Listen to podcasts and TED talks and keep track of the words the speaker is using. This will help you to understand the effect of using different words.
  4. Sign up for ‘a word a day’ email blast.
  5. Use flashcards to memorize the words.
  6. Play Scrabble and other word-building games in your free time.

Most Common Vocabulary for IELTS Writing 2024

IELTS writing vocabulary is for both versions Academic and General. It involves writing an essay, of about 250 words.

There are two important components to any word. They are synonyms and antonyms.

Synonym – a word that means exactly, the given word For example: Confused – baffled, perplexed, perplexed, mystified
Antonym – a word that means the opposite of a given word. For example: Confused – Lucid, precise, clear

IELTS Writing Task 1 Vocabulary

There is writing task 1 for the Academic part. It involves visual interpretation and vocabulary related to maps, pie charts, bar graphs, line graphs etc.  

IELTS Writing Task 2 Vocabulary

Writing task 2 is for both versions of Academic and General which involve writing an essay, in about 250 words. There are different types of essays.

Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking

Practising idioms and phrasal verbs will help to improve English. Many people insert them while speaking which looks quite unnatural. People who use them well have picked them up through experience.

Phrasal Verbs for IELTS Vocabulary

A phrasal verb is made up of two or three words from several grammatical groupings. When all of them are joined, a new meaning emerges, which must be applied according to the circumstances. Furthermore, phrasal verbs are included in the IELTS vocabulary list, and candidates can utilise them to demonstrate their mastery of the English language.

Phrasal VerbMeaningExample
cut down on reduceI had to cut down on sugar and coffee to lose some weight.
bank on to expect and hope something will happenI’d banked on getting a pay rise this year. I could always bank on my father’s support.
brush up on to improve a skill you haven’t practised for some timeI thought I’d brush up on my French before going to Paris.
bring downand make someone upsetI am not fond of listening to heavy metal because it brings me down.
check-in arrive at the hotel or airport and registerWe checked in online, so we didn’t need to waste time queuing. 
check outleave a hotelWe checked out the next morning right after breakfast.

Idioms for IELTS Vocabulary

Idioms in this section help us explain ourselves more clearly and seem more natural. However, candidates must not use idioms without comprehending their meaning, as this will result in a grade reduction. As a result, it is recommended that applicants use it in tasks only when they are certain of its meaning and context.

We’ve collected a collection of frequent IELTS vocabulary idioms that can be used in the speaking section. Remember that when used correctly, they will result in a high band score.

Colourful IdiomsMeaningExample
Out of the blueSomething that happened unexpectedlyOne day, out of the blue, she announced that she was leaving.
In the redTo owe money, to not have moneySorry, I can’t afford it, I’m in the red.
Give someone the green lightTo give permissionI was given the green light to start this new book.
A white lieTo tell a lie that is not very seriousI don’t think you should get in trouble for telling a white lie.
Green with envyTo be jealous/enviousChad is heading off to Spain for the week, and I’m green with envy.
Student IdiomsMeaningExample
Day and nightContinually working without stoppingThey toiled day and night to search for survivors and recover bodies.
Drop outTo leave without finishingShe dropped out of the course because it was too hard.
Learn by heartTo memoriseMy father can still recite the poems he learned by heart at school.
Pass with flying coloursTo pass a test with a high gradeHe passed the test with flying colours.
BookwormSomeone who reads a lotShe is such a bookworm! She seems to have a new book every day!
IELTS IdiomsMeaningExample
Practice makes perfectTo continuously improve by practisingI train so hard for the marathons because I believe that practice makes perfect.
Break a legTo wish someone good luckDanny’s family told him to “break a leg” right before he went up on stage.
Driving me up the wallSomething that annoys youMy flatmate is driving me up the wall.
Better late than neverIt’s better to do something late than not to try itThe dress arrived after the dance but better late than never—I’ll wear it to the next event.
Blind as a batCan’t see, bad eyesightI’m as blind as a bat without my glasses.

Best Online Sources and Websites for IELTS Vocabulary

In these trying times of the pandemic, we’re scarcely venturing out to find new materials to assist us in enhancing our English vocabulary. Having said that, there are several internet resources available to you. The nice thing about using internet resources is that you can pick and choose what you want and never get bored. The following is a collection of world-renowned websites for reading online English study resources and also practising and improving the English language:

  • BBC
  • TIME
  • Cosmopolitan 
  • History Today 
  • The Economist 
  • New Scientist 
  • National Geographic
  • Wired 
  • Duolingo 
  • ABCYa
  • BBC Learning English
  • ESL Bits
  • Oxford University Press
  • FluentU
  • British Council
  • Livemocha
  • English Central

Best IELTS Vocabulary Books in 2024

Here are a few highly recommended books that can boost your English vocabulary for IELTS.

Books Links to Buy 
Collins Vocabulary for IELTSBuy here 
Barron`s Essential Words for the IELTSBuy here 
IELTS Band 9 Vocab SecretsBuy here 
4000 English WordsBuy here
IELTS Band 9 Vocab SecretsBuy here
English Vocabulary in UseBuy here
Oxford Word SkillsBuy here
IELTS Vocabulary BoosterBuy here
Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTSBuy here
Check your English Vocabulary for IELTSBuy here

So that was all about vocabulary words for IELTS. Hope the blog has answered your queries regarding the topic.

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Q1. How can I improve my vocabulary for IELTS?

Ans. Read English Material
Watch Subtitled English Movies and TV Shows
Keep a Daily Journal and Practice English Writing
Speak in English while watching yourself in the mirror

Q2. Can I write 500 words in IELTS?

Ans. IELTS has assigned a task of writing more than 150 words for IELTS writing task 1 and 250 words for IELTS writing task 2. There is, however, no word limit.

Q3. Can I score 9 in IELTS?

Ans. Yes, an IELTS band score of 9 is completely possible in the actual exam.

Visit the Leverage Live page of Leverage edu or contact our study abroad experts at 1800-57-2000 to strengthen your scores and application to secure your spot in your dream college. 

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