Improving your vocabulary and spelling

by IDP IELTS — July 23rd, 2016

There are no specific spelling or vocabulary tests in IELTS. Instead, you are assessed in these two skills in every part of the IELTS test.

In IELTS Reading, Listening and Writing, you are required to use the correct noun, verb or adjective, and of course, correct spelling. In Writing and Speaking, vocabulary is 25% of your score!

There are lots of ways to increase your English words and spelling. You need a dictionary and a notebook or just your smartphone! Here are some tips:

  • Tip 1

Create your own vocabulary notebook. Every time you read, listen to or watch something, write down the words you don’t know, look them up in your dictionary and write down their meanings down your vocabulary notebook. Go back and look over your new words at least once a week. Try using your new words as much as you can when you speak and write English. This will help you remember your learned vocabulary.

  • Tip 2

If you prefer to learn from a list of words, look at Michael West’s 2000 most important words in English at New General Service List. You can also check our 50 most commonly mispronounced words.

  • Tip 3

Choose a few words from this list and write them down in your vocabulary notebook. If you are preparing for IELTS Academic, look at Avril Coxhead’s Academic word List and follow the same instructions.

Don’t forget that when you’re using new words, make sure you look at the different forms of the word, such as the noun and verb form. Learn how to use them correctly and practice using different forms in conversation and writing.

For example: I am contemplating (verb); the book is contemplative (adjective); Contemplation is important for study (noun).

Once you have a good foundation of words, you can progress to studying collocations and phrasal verbs to increase your range of vocabulary and expand how you use words in English conversation and writing.

Find more IELTS tips and support here