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.
Find my list of Vocabulary Resources here.
The 4 main areas of IELTS vocabulary
- 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
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 and use
- do at least 4 Reading Tests, Listening Tests and Speaking Tasks
- at least 4 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 IELTS Vocabulary topic: 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 the IELTS test:
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?
Try my Quizlet to practise the key vocabulary for this topic:
My 28-Day IELTS Vocabulary Booster Course gives you ideas, lists, practice, quizzes, videos and tests, Speaking and Writing practice and models for EVERY IELTS topic.
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