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IELTS Vocabulary: Preparation, Syllabus, Books, and Sections

Yocket Editorial Team
IELTS Vocabulary: Preparation, Syllabus, Books, and Sections Image

The International English Language Testing System is one of the most popular and reliable English language proficiency tests globally. International students and professionals appear for this test in great numbers every day, aiming for that perfect band score.

The IELTS scores decide a candidate’s eligibility for admission to a university or for a visa. Among the many important sectors of your IELTS examination, IELTS vocabulary words are the most important. Vocabulary constitutes around 25% of the total score in the IELTS speaking and reading section. Thus, strengthening the vocabulary words for the IELTS section can greatly benefit those appearing on the IELTS exam.

Table of Contents

Let’s ace this IELTS section by exploring this article. It focuses on the IELTS syllabus, the topics one must study for the exam, vocab words for IELTS, and the go-to preparation guide to scoring the desired or targeted band score.

IELTS Syllabus

The IELTS Examination comprises four sections: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. Let’s explore the constituents of each section.

1.   IELTS Writing Syllabus

Generally, the IELTS Writing section constitutes two tasks. Task one requires candidates to look at a diagram or pictorial data and present the information in text form in 150 words. The second task is a viewpoint, argument, or problem. The candidates have to answer the given text piece in 250 words as a short essay.

This section is graded in bands of 0.0 to 9.0 in halves.

2.   IELTS Reading Syllabus

In the IELTS Reading section, you will have to read three pieces concerning different issues. Based on this reading, you will have to answer 40 questions. These can be in MCQ form, sentence-based, or short summary writing. The type of text material provided varies from journals and newspapers to advertisements and brochures, depending on the type of IELTS exam one has opted for: General or Academic.

This section is marked out of 40.

3.   IELTS Listening Syllabus

The IELTS Listening section tests your ability to understand spoken English. Two sets of two recordings each will be played, and a set of questions based on these recordings will follow. You will have to understand the arguments and points in those recordings and based on this understanding, answer the questions.

This section carries 40 marks.

4.   IELTS Speaking Syllabus

The IELTS Speaking section of the IELTS examination can be viewed as an interview. The purpose is to test whether you have the English skills to communicate with a native English speaker. Three sections follow in this: a personal interview, a short speech, and a discussion.

Again, this section is graded in bands between 0 to 9.

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As we can see, almost every section of the IELTS paper demands a great command of the English language. However, the focus on vocabulary words for IELTS is gigantic. If you do not have a strong English IETLS vocabulary, you will fail to understand the material (for reading and listening) fully and will not be able to present ideas fruitfully (in writing and speaking). Next, let’s understand the…

Topics to Study for the IELTS Examination

There are specific topics that often repeat in an IELTS examination. Knowledge of these generic topics helps candidates do well in their speaking and writing sections. Here is a list of some common topics one must prepare for the IELTS examination.

  1. Education
  2. Environment
  3. Sports
  4. Food and technology
  5. Work and family
  6. Society

General awareness of these large topics will make you more confident, and your content will become more factual and less fiction. After conquering the content portion, you can focus on polishing your grammar and using better IELTS vocabulary words for brownie points. For this, let’s explore the list of essential words for IELTS.

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List of Essential Words for IELTS Vocabulary

The IELTS writing vocabulary is more personal and depends on the writing style of the user. Similarly, the IELTS speaking vocabulary could be a little less advanced and coherent. Here is an IELTS vocabulary list of essential words you need as part of the exam preparation.




Romp in

Win easily

Team A romped in the quiz.

Salt away

Save money

We need to start salting away whatever we have collected from the donation.

Peel away

Separate from a group

We slowly peeled away from the crowd.

To be on cloud nine

Be extremely happy

I was on cloud nine upon receiving the award.

Correspond with

Agree with

Politicians’ words seldom correspond with their actions.

Quarrel with

Dispute or disagree with something

I am not quarrelling with their idea, but I think there are ample possibilities.

Stick with

Not Change Something

It’s better to stick with the original idea in this case.

Tee Off

Start or Launch an Event

The new event will begin in June.

Pass Over

Ignore/Refuse to discuss

I would like to pass over this approach and apply a new one instead.

Peel Away

Leave a group by moving in a different direction

Let’s peel away from the crowd and move to the next lane.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. To be aptly prepared for the IELTS examination, you should be aware of many such phrasal verbs, phrases, words, and idioms. Using these in your writing and speaking will give you brownie points and help you get the perfect band score.

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How to Prepare for IELTS Vocabulary?

Your IELTS vocabulary isn’t a piece of cake. It is a plant that takes months to grow. Here are a few tips that can help you effortlessly brush up on your English vocabulary and prepare for the IELTS test.

1.   Read More

A real no-brainer, reading acquaints you with interesting writing styles, words, sentences, idioms and improves your conversing in English on the whole. Working with good quality English texts like books and journals is essentially helpful. While you’re at it, annotate and highlight things you do and do not understand.

2.   Watch English Movies and Web Series

If you want to improve your IETLS Vocabulary without working for it, watch loads of English movies, web series, and dramas with subtitles. These acquaint you with different speaking accents, the meanings of ironic speech, and other things.

3.  Write Often

Develop a writing habit at least four months before your test. Before you retire to bed, write something in the best quality English you can. This improves your writing skills and polishes your grammar. Using grammar correction tools like Grammarly can help make your writing more engaging and crisper.

Apart from these, the market has a plethora of sources and IELTS vocabulary books that are a must to check out. Going through these can be greatly helpful in making you ace that 9.0.

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The Best IELTS Vocabulary Books for Preparation

How to improve vocabulary for IELTS? If you are looking for paper material that helps you prepare your IELTS vocabulary words for IETLS speaking vocabulary and for the writing portion, you might want to try these books:



Cost in INR

IELTS Vocabulary Masterclass 8.5 (c) BOOK 3

Mark Roche


Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Pauline Cullen


Check Your English Vocabulary for IELTS

Rawdon Wyatt



English Vocabulary in Use

Felicity O'Dell and Michael McCarthy


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Now you know how to improve vocabulary for IELTS. Other than this, specific IELTS preparation coaching institutes offer handbooks and guides that help students prepare vocabulary words for the IELTS examination. Note that building your vocabulary words for the IELTS does not happen overnight. Years of practice and regular use of good English grammar and texts help students achieve that level of proficiency.

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Frequently Asked Questions for IELTS Vocabulary Preparation

Ques. What are the fees for the IELTS examination in India?

Ans. Computer-delivered IELTS costs 15,500 INR, and IELTS for UKVI costs 250 INR more.

Ques. How many months of preparation are needed for the IELTS?

Ans. At least 1.5 to 2 months of preparation is required for the IELTS examination.

Ques. Which is the most difficult section of the IELTS examination?

Ans. Writing is the most difficult, as it is subjective to the examiner.

Ques. Is getting a 6.0 in the IELTS difficult?

Ans. No, the ideal score is 8.5 and above and 6.0 can be scored with minimal and smart preparation.

Ques. How much vocabulary is enough to score well in the IELTS?

Ans. Around 6000-7000 is the minimum requirement of words for the IELTS.

Also Read:

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IELTS Coaching in Punjab


Best IELTS Institute in Amritsar


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