I strongly believe that vocabulary is the KEY to getting a high IELTS score in all 4 skills.
If you think your vocabulary is holding you back from a higher IELTS score, check out my 28-Ways to improve your IELTS Vocabulary post..
IELTS resources, links, apps, wordlists and podcasts
Please let me know in the comments if you find anything useful that you think I should add.
Academic Word List – with all forms (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs)
Compact version of the Academic Word List – easy to print off and carry around!
Academic Word List Quizzes – the site is being updated and may not be free for much longer so make the most of it now.
Road to Grammar also has a nice quiz using words from the AWL.
Academic Word List Practice Exercises – another good place to practice.
Try my AWL QUIZLETS!
Academic Phrase Bank – from Manchester University.
Phrasal Verbs and Formal synonyms
A-Z of formal and informal synonyms – the Plain English Campaign
My own list of irregular academic word forms with practice exercises
Try this Academic Word List Highlighter and gapfill tool.
List of collocations – 42 pages of academic collocations in a PDF
Collocation Checker – Just the word
SKELL – helps you find words that go together and synonyms
Flax is another one! (I put the word ‘raise’ in here as an example)
Find the word you need with Netspeak – read the instructions first!
Useful sites for IELTS Vocabulary
Flocabulary – you can get one month free so make the most of it! Really fun way to learn vocabulary.
Scientific American A useful podcast with 1-minute IELTS-style articles
TubeQuizard is a fabulous place to do exercises based on well-chosen YouTube videos.
I really love these bite-sized Academic English mini-lectures on YouTube by Mike Gibson. All of the topics are very IELTS-focused.
Improve your vocabulary through Reading and Listening with these awesome sites:
(student subscription to Newsela and CommonLit included in the Members Academy)
Sciencedaily.com has very typical IELTS-style articles in bite-sized daily chunks.
Useful apps and websites
‘HelloTalk is a great way for students to use and develop their language skills whilst also teaching their own language. The app now has more than 10 million users and a great range of tools to help make the interaction between learners meaningful as a learning experience.’ (Nik Peachey EdTech)
- Youglish Use YouTube to improve your English pronunciation.
- Ulangi ‘A better way to memorize vocabulary’
- Writebetter A chrome extension to help you write better!
- Get really useful example sentences and more with Lexico
- Try Memrise for Advanced vocabulary recycling
- See all your words as mindmaps with Visuwords
- Make your own flaschards (or borrow some) with Tinycards
- Download Anki for regular revision of new words
- How to use anki
Get an intensive vocabulary upgrade in the Members Academy Course:
IELTS Vocabulary in 28 Days
On top of everything else you get in the Academy, the Vocabulary Course includes:
- a list of key vocabulary with all the words in IELTS-related sentences that you can use in the test.
- at least one Writing, Reading, Listening and Speaking Task
- a Quizlet for recycling and reviewing each topic
- a carefully-selected YouTube video that explains the issues
- a glossary of definitions
- Models for Writing Task 1 and 2
- a Speaking practice task for each topic
- extra resources and links