You need a wide range of vocabulary and knowledge of a variety of topics to do well in IELTS.
In my free 28-Day Planner, I list these topics and give you some essential key words that you need to know as they regularly come up in the test.
All of the mini-lessons on my website are categorised by topic and question type. Use the ‘TAGS’ in the sidebar to become more familiar with these topics.
I divide IELTS topics into 4 main areas:
- The Environment – nature, wildlife, farming, pollution, recycling, water and tourism
- The Man-Made Environment – Buildings, Cities, Housing, Development, Civilisations, Crime and Transport
- Life – Time, Leisure, Finance, Gender, Family, Health, Happiness and Personality
- Learning – Education, Languages, the Arts, Technology, Research, Inventions and The Future
Scroll down to try out my free IELTS Quizlet sets.
Read my 28-Ways to improve your Vocabulary here.
You can improve your vocabulary by using materials from the IELTS test, as this will give your preparation a focus and it will also save time.
For example for each topic you need to
- research the key words
- check the definitions, pronunciation, form etc
- do at least 3 Readings, Listenings and Speaking Tasks
- at least 3 Writing Task 1 and Task 2
Doing different types of task will help you retain new words by recycling them in different contexts.
Here’s an example of what Day 8 on the 28-Day Planner looks like:
Day 8: Architecture
IELTS Key Words:
to construct (vb) = to build
construction (n) = a building
to demolish (vb) = to destroy
demolition (n) = destruction
to renovate (vb) = to restore
renovation (n) = restoration
How to use these words in IELTS:
to construct (vb) = to build; a construction (n) = a building
“Many buildings are still under construction“
to demolish/demolition = to destroy, pull down a building
“The house was demolished to make way for the shopping centre”
to renovate/ renovation – restore (something old, especially a building) to a good state of repair.
“The disused factory has been renovated and turned into a theatre”
citizens/inhabitants/residents = the people who live in a place
a residential area = an area which is occupied by private houses
‘There are strict laws against building factories near residential areas’
a close-knit community — whether a village or a city neighbourhood — is a place where people know their neighbours and look after them.
‘One of the benefits of living in a rural area is the close-knit community’
affordable housing – housing units that are affordable by that section of society whose income is below the median household income.
‘the lack of affordable housing is a major drawback of living in a city’
How to recycle, activate and memorise the new words through IELTS-focused practice
Listening – The Underground House, Designing a Concert Hall, Changes to Barford Town
Speaking – Part 1: Describe the place where you live Part 2: Describe a building you find interesting Part 3: What are the advantages of living in a big city?
Academic Writing Task 1: Describe changes to a town or building
General Training Writing Task 1: Write a letter to a historic place you visited
Writing Task 2: In what ways is migration to large cities affecting society?