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Latest Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking 2023: Definition & Best Sample Questions

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A solid vocabulary for IELTS Speaking is essential for success in the Speaking Test, regardless of how experienced you are taking the test or how much practice you have done. You may find a multitude of materials and resources to help you increase your word knowledge and hone your speaking abilities in this vocabulary for IELTS Speaking guide.

You’ll have everything you need to impress the examiner and get the grade you want, from widely used terms and phrases to more sophisticated terminology relevant to particular themes. So let’s get going!

Common Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking

Recognising the type of words or vocabulary for IELTS Speaking, you feel most at ease using when answering questions in the test will help you choose the best words to use for your answers. Here are some common Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking:

WordMeaning
AwesomeExtremely impressive or intimidating, causing awe.
AwfulIs used to emphasise the severity of something, particularly something unpleasant or negative.
BarelyAlmost
BlondeA person who has fair or pale yellow hair
Certainly Used to express complete agreement with something that has just been said, to emphasise the speaker’s conviction that what they are saying is true, to emphasise a concession, or to contrast one statement with another.
CombatTake steps to minimise or prevent (something bad or undesirable)
DebateDiscuss (a topic), especially in a formal way.
Disclose make (new or secret information) public.
Easinglessen the seriousness or severity of (something unpleasant or intense).
Effortlesslyin a way that doesn’t demand any effort from your body or mind.
FloutDisregard openly
HackGain unauthorised access to data in a system or computer; cut with forceful or harsh blows.
HostileUnfriendly 
Incentivesomething that inspires or motivates someone to act.
Jargonspecial, hard-to-understand words or phrases that a profession or group uses.
Zeniththe point in time when something is most effective or prosperous.

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Latest Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking 2023: Definition & Best Sample Questions

Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking Band 8

The Speaking section of the IELTS test evaluates your proficiency in speaking English. Your words and vocabulary for IELTS speaking are tested in the test, so certain requirements must be met to perform well in this section.

One of the most crucial elements of a person’s English proficiency that is taken into consideration, in addition to fluency, grammatical accuracy, and pronunciation, is their vocabulary or the words they use in their IELTS speaking responses.

However, IELTS aspirants frequently need help choosing the right words to use in the speaking portion of the exam to make their responses appear more sophisticated and refined.
When choosing the best words to use in your vocabulary for IELTS speaking answers, people frequently become confused.

While some lean towards more common and frequently used words, others think uncommon and unique words are preferable.

Advertisement Vocabulary

Here is the list of common vocabulary for IELTS speaking in the Advertisement category:

  1. Advertising agency: a company that creates advertisements for other businesses.
  2. Advertising budget: the amount of money that a company decides to spend on advertising
  3. Brand awareness: how well people know a specific brand 
  4. Brand loyalty: the degree to which people continue to buy from the same brand
  5. Celebrity endorsement: having a well-known person promote a product
  6. Classified ads: small advertisements frequently placed in a newspaper or magazine by individuals 
  7. Cold calling: calling someone to sell something without their asking you to do so
  8. Commercial break: a brief period during a television programme during which advertisements are shown 
  9. Commercial channel: TV channels that make money by showing advertisements
  10. Going viral: becoming extremely popular on the internet quickly through social media
  11. Junk Mail: Unwanted promotional leaflets and letters to promote a product
  12. Mailing list: list of names and contact information that a company uses to send information and advertisements.
  13. Mass media: large media outlets such as television, newspapers, and magazines
  14. Niche product: a product that is designed to appeal to a specific group of people
  15. Press release: something written by a company that is shared and published by newspapers, magazines, and websites.
  16. Product placement: to advertise a product by using it as a prop in a TV show or film 
  17. Sales page: a page specifically used to promote a product or service 
  18. To show adverts: to display adverts on TV
  19. Spam email: unsolicited promotional email.
  20. Word of mouth: recommendations made by individuals to other individuals about a product or service 
  21. Target audience: the people to whom a company wishes to sell their product or service

Relationships

Here is the list of common vocabulary for IELTS speaking in the Relationship category:

  1. To split up: to put an end to a romantic relationship 
  2. To drift apart: To grow distant from someone 
  3. To enjoy someone’s company: to enjoy spending time with someone 
  4. To be head over heels in love with someone: to love someone deeply
  5. To develop a strong dislike for someone: to disagree and stop being friends
  6. To get along like a house on fire: to enjoy someone’s company
  7. To get along well with: to comprehend someone and share similar interests
  8. To become acquainted with: to get to know someone after years of not knowing them
  9. To go back years: knowing someone for a long time
  10. To have ups and downs: to experience both good and bad times
  11. To have a lot in common: share many interests
  12. To become good friends: to not be romantically involved
  13. To keep in touch: maintain contact with someone 
  14. To lose contact with: to no longer see or hear from someone 
  15. Love at first sight: fall in love the moment you meet someone
  16. To pop a question: to ask someone to marry you 
vocabulary for ielts speaking

Technology

Here is the list of common vocabulary for IELTS speaking in the Technology category:

  1. Access to the Internet – having access to the internet and being able to connect to it
  2. Advances in technology â€“ steady advancement of technology.
  3. Back up your files – backing up your data means transferring it to another device.
  4. Become rapidly obsolete â€“ rapidly become outdated
  5. Computer literate – possessing sufficient computer knowledge
  6. Control remotely – remotely controlling technology means doing so from a distance.
  7. Downloading from the Internet – utilise the Internet to download and transfer data from one computer to another
  8. Electronic Funds Transfer â€“ EFT, or electronic funds transfer Internet-based payments
  9. Glued to the screen â€“ unwilling to put down the electronic device
  10. Hacking into the network â€“ gaining unauthorised access to a computer by hacking into a network
  11. Internet of Things â€“ a network allowing machines to be controlled remotely by another location
  12. Internet-enabled â€“ devices or appliances with access to the internet
  13. Labour-saving device – a tool that reduces labour
  14. Not rocket science â€“ not very difficult and is not rocket science.
  15. Online piracy – downloading authorised media without paying for it
  16. Reinstall the programs â€“ to reinstall computer programmes on a computer
  17. Shut down – turn off the computer and shutdown
  18. Social media networks â€“ serve as online forums for communication between individuals and groups.
  19. State-of-the-art technology â€“ the most advanced technology currently available
  20. Surfing the web – moving from one website to another on the internet
  21. To click on an icon – to access programmes, click on the images with the mouse to select an icon.
  22. To crash â€“ abruptly ceasing to function
  23. To Log in – to sign in to access a computer
  24. To upgrade your computer system – get a bigger, faster, or more advanced computer.

Travel & Tourism

Here is the list of common vocabulary for IELTS speaking in the Travel & Tourism category:

1. Affordable destinations: places that cost little

2. Affordable travel: means that you can pay for it without burning your back account

3. Around the world: in every part of the world

4. Arts and culture: the area’s art, music, and other cultural things

5. Craft markets: places where people sell things they have made.

6. Do what the locals do: enjoy the activities the way the local citizens do.

7. Good public transportation: a system that works and is meant for use by residents and visitors

8. Exotic destinations: places to go on vacation that are unusual or strange.

9. Move around: go from one place to another

10. Guided tours: trips on foot, by bike, or in a car led by someone who knows the area.

11. Holiday brochures: These are pamphlets that advertise places to go on vacation

12. Holiday destination: The place you go on vacation

13. Long-haul flights: flights that go a long way

14. Lush rainforests: full of plants and animals.

15. Magnificent landscapes: Impressive scenery

16. Make reservations ahead of time: Book in advance

17. Memorable experiences: things you’ll remember for a long time.

18. “Off the beaten path”: means that a place is not on a main road.

19. Out of season: When it’s not the busiest time to travel

20. Packaged deals: travel deals that an agency puts together and sells as a package.

21. Quaint villages: small towns that are old-fashioned or cute.

22. Scenic views: Beautiful scenes or views

23. Self-catering accommodation: a place to stay where you take care of your food.

24. Spectacular beaches: Amazing sandy beaches

25. Beautiful architecture: Wonderful buildings

26. Swarming with tourists: crowded with tourists or full of people on vacation

27. Time on their hands: free time to do what they want

28. To get away from everything: To get away from the things you do daily.

29. To go sightseeing: to take a trip around a place to see what it offers.

30. Travel abroad: Go to places outside the U.S.

31. Travelling light: taking only a few things with you.

32. Value for money: Getting a good return on your money

33. Visa rules: the rules about getting into a country.

34. Wildlife safari: a tour through a game park with a guide

Art, Books & Paintings 

Here is the list of common vocabulary for IELTS speaking in the Art, Books and Paintings category:

  1. Curl up with a book: to unwind and read.
  2. Thrillers and action novels: exciting and action-packed.
  3. A strong plotline: a good story that never stops moving.
  4. Cover to cover: from beginning to end.
  5. A rom-com film: a romantic comedy film.
  6. Characterisation is strong: the main characters are well-rounded and believable.
  7. Someone recommended it to me: someone suggested that I read it.
  8. Black humour: amusing but also dark or mysterious.
  9. The genre of a film: Type of movie. For example, romantic, horror or comedy.
  10. Commercial blockbusters: films made for the mass market to make a lot of money.
  11. Online streaming: watching television over the internet.
  12. To commission a film: to request that one be made.
  13. Cultural heritage: a country’s background and history

Friends & Family

Here is the list of common vocabulary for IELTS speaking in the Friends & Family category:

  1. A friend for life: someone you’ve known for most of your life.
  2. A relationship based on trust: one in which you have faith and confidence in the other person.
  3. Arrange a dinner date: Plan to eat dinner together.
  4. A shoulder to cry on: Someone who will listen to you when you’re sad.
  5. Close-knit family: A family with a lot in common
  6. Dear to my heart: someone you care about
  7. Distant cousins: People who share an ancestor but are not close relatives 
  8. To extend the hand of friendship: to reach out to someone in a friendly way.
  9. Extended family: Uncles, aunts, and cousins are all extended family members.
  10. Learn about each other: Getting to know each other better. 
  11. Immediate family: spouse, parents, children, and grandparents
  12. A long-lost friend: is a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time.
  13. Long-term relationships: when two people are committed to each other.
  14. Care for our friendships: Keeping in touch with our friends
  15. Professional relationships: the ones we have with other people at work.
  16. Relationship problems: problems with people we see or talk to often.
  17. Share the same background: They come from the same place or have the same culture.
  18. Share the same ideas: that you think and feel the same way.
  19. Stand the test of time: to last a long time.
  20. Made a friend: to become friends with someone
  21. To like being with someone: to like spending time with someone
  22. To work well together: to have a good working relationship.
  23. To have a lot in common: to like the same things.
  24. To get along right away: to like each other right away.
  25. To stay in contact with: to stay in touch.
  26. To lose touch with: To stop talking to someone.

Food & Nutrition

Here is the list of common vocabulary for IELTS speaking in the Food and Nutrition category:

  1. Outskirts of large cities: areas outside of the city centre, suburbs, or industrial district 
  2. Factory emissions: smoke and pollution from factories
  3. Toxic fumes: poisonous smoke
  4. Traffic jams: long lines of cars that don’t move
  5. Pollutants in food: harmful chemicals in food
  6. Pesticides: Chemicals that keep bugs and animals away from plants
  7. Chemical fertilisers: substances that are added to soil to make it stronger.
  8. Commute to work: People drive or take public transportation daily.
  9. Mantra: a statement that is often repeated
  10. Reuse and recycle: use things more than once or find a new way to use them.
  11. Waste from factories: trash that is burned.
  12. Recycling facilities: places where you can drop off plastic and cardboard for recycling.
  13. Programs for education: teaching and learning at school or elsewhere
  14. Interspersed with (birds): mingled with, mixed with
  15. Microplastics: tiny bits of plastic.
  16. Single-use applications: use once and throw away. 
  17. Own-brand products: products that are only sold in the store or supermarket.
  18. Should be put into place: used everywhere in the country
  19. Documentaries: factual TV programmes

People, Personalities & Character

Here is the list of common vocabulary for IELTS speaking in the People, Personalities and Character category:

  1. confident: in control
  2. awkward: uncomfortable near someone
  3. I paddle like a swan: I look calm but don’t feel it.
  4. put up a façade: pretending to be something that you are not
  5. control freak: wanting to do things by yourself
  6. an eye for detail: perfectionist
  7. reliable and dependable: not to break someone’s trust and let them down
  8. negative trait: someone’s bad characteristic
  9. parental way: behave like a father or mother
  10. interpersonal skills: be good at talking
  11. empathetic: to understand someone’s emotions
  12. generous listener: take time to hear what someone is saying
  13. considerate: kind and thoughtful
  14. insecure: shy and not confident
  15. moody: sometimes happy and sometimes sad/ cross

Fitness & Health

Here is the list of common vocabulary for IELTS speaking in the Food and Health category:

  1. Balanced diet: Eat a wise mix of different food items
  2. Conscientious about my health: monitor and care for your health
  3. Flavoursome and appealing: good to eat and attractive-looking food
  4. Convenient takeaway: foods that you can eat in your home
  5. Productive at work: achieving more by getting better results
  6. Processed meat: additives or chemical-infused meat
  7. Function successfully: to perform in a good way
  8. Adopted a vegan diet: Vegans do not eat any meat or dairy products
  9. Broadminded: open to the ideas of others 
  10. Sceptical: not believing someone or something
  11. Public service education message: government advice 
  12. Positive reinforcement: rewarding someone for doing the right thing

School & Education

Here is the list of common vocabulary for IELTS speaking in the School and Education category:

  1. authentic: someone who is honest and true
  2. old-school strict: traditional schooling with punishments and teachers in charge
  3. teacher-centred: the class is led by the teacher
  4. encourage collaboration: jointly learning through discussions and collaboration
  5. pressure to meet deadlines: need to finish work by a certain date or time
  6. sail through them: not having to put in a lot of effort and having it easy
  7. learning expectations: the expectation of the teacher from the students
  8. role plays: acting out a scenario to practise or simulate it
  9. dictation: writing down accurately and fast what the teacher says
  10. breakthrough: a brand new development
  11. inspiring: something or someone who makes you wish to do better
  12. intonation: the vocal “singing” sound
  13. paid off: worth every single effort
  14. league tables: tables that list schools’ positions on their academic performance
  15. alumni: students who have passed out of a certain school or university
  16. boarding school: where pupils reside while enrolled in the class
  17. extracurricular activities: non-academic activities like sports or drama
  18. peer group: classmates who are similar in age to you
  19. remote learning: taking courses online without physically being present

Work & Career

Here is the list of common vocabulary for IELTS speaking in the Work and Career category:

  1. A field (of work): a type of career
  2. Motivated about: wishing to do well in some sphere
  3. Internship: working for a short period, paid or unpaid
  4. Apprenticeship:  practical work to learn about a job
  5. Hands-on: getting involved and helping out in any way possible
  6. Cutting edge: the best new age technology
  7. Diagnose: finding out what is the defect
  8. Paediatrics: specialist in child medicine
  9. Routine checkups: a regular visit to the hospital
  10. Huge appreciation: to be grateful
  11. Follow-up care: an appointment following surgery or illness
  12. Lucrative: profitable
  13. Career ladder: ascending through promotions to the company’s top level
  14. Pension scheme: money that you get post-retirement
  15. Job security: job safety
  16. Start-up community: new, often internet-based small businesses

Climate Change

Here is the list of common vocabulary for IELTS speaking in the Climate Change category:

  • The ravages of something: Destruction
  • Hybrid car: a car that uses both electricity and petrol
  • Carbon footprint: carbon dioxide is released due to one’s activities
  • Recycle: destroying products to recover materials for new products.
  • Growing season: the period when plants grow
  • Yields: the amount of crops grown
  • Eco-conscious: describes an environmentally conscious person.
  • Natural fertiliser: animal waste, animal matter, or plant matter-derived fertilisers
  • Chemical fertiliser: synthetic fertilisers 
  • Contaminate: to make something impure, toxic or polluted
  • Groundwater: water this is beneath the earth’s floor 
  • Vegetable scraps: bits of veggies which are discarded 
  • Non-chemical compost: decaying matter, leaves or manure used to fertilise the soil 
  • Organic: describes something that doesn’t use chemical fertilisers.
  • Commute: tour to and from paintings 
  • Solar panels: panels that acquire rays from the sun to be used as power or heating
  • Time-consuming: describes something that takes a lot of time
  • Environmentally conscious: when a person or organisation understands how their actions affect the environment and make an effort to lessen these effects
  • Green lifestyle: a manner of dwelling that tries to lessen the utilisation of water & power, waste and poisonous materials
  • Sustainable: describes something that reasons minimum harm to the surroundings. 
  • Emulate: to duplicate a person’s conduct out of admire 
  • Conventional merchandise: merchandise which has been in use for a long term 
  • Fuel emissions: gases that cause air pollutants through the burning of gasoline 
  • Electric cars: cars that run on power 
  • Fossil fuels: coal, fuel or oil that is utilised in industry, houses and cars 

Idiomatic vocabulary for IELTS Speaking

A phrase or expression considered an idiom usually has a non-literal meaning and cannot be understood by simply reading the words individually. For instance, if you received a 7 score on your Speaking test, you might say: “I was over the moon when I saw my results.”

Read on our exclusive blog on Latest IELTS Idioms: Top Phrases Asked in Speaking Section of IELTS

IELTS Speaking: Preparation Tips

Here are some vocabulary for IELTS Speaking preparation tips to help you get a high band score.

1) Commit to speaking in English daily

2) Practise responding to IELTS Speaking questions

3) Increase Your Speaking vocabulary

4) Recognise the topics you’ll be tested on.

5) Be Aware of Your Weaknesses and Strengths

6) Test Your Knowledge of Grammatical Structure

7) Put Fluency First

8) Practise Proper Pronunciation

IELTS Speaking Sample Questions & Answers

Speaking – Part 1: General discussion/ Introduction.

Part 1 of the Speaking section will last around 5 minutes and you might expect 4-6 question
in this section. In this part, the applicant will be asked few very generic questions.

  1. Who do you spend most time studying/working with?

Answer: As a university student, I have a couple of classmates, who are also my friends,
with whom I spend a considerable amount of time studying or discussing different topics
related to our studies or assignments. If I have to single out a person among them, I would
say I spend most time with “Rishabh”, who is a very close friend of mine, and a very brilliant
student.

2. Did your parents choose your name?

Answer: Yes, my parents selected my name. When I was born, my parents wanted me to
have a great name, at least to them. I have heard from my mother than my father brought a
baby-name-book even before I was born. So the credit of my name solely goes to them.

Speaking – Part 2: Candidate Task Card/ Cue Card.


The applicant is allowed one to two minutes to think about a topic and its answer. A topic or
candidate task card is given to the applicant, and the applicant is allowed to think for one to
two minutes or take notes on what he/she is going to say about this topic.

  1. Describe an interesting person you have met recently.
    You should say:
    Who this person is
    How you met him/her
    What he/she does?
    And explain why you think this person is interesting.

Model Answer:
I think that our world is full of interesting people, and we can even find many of them around
us if we actually have a keen and open mind to identify them. Not that I am claiming to have
such a keen or open mind, but I did meet an interesting person recently, and today, I would
like to talk about her here.

And, yes, it’s a female, about 70-plus years of age. I recently met her at a super shop where
she works as a Manager. When I went there to settle a business transaction dispute, I met
her. Here I am not going to give too many details about the type of dispute I had with her
super shop because that’s not really important in the context of this discussion here, but
that’s when I came to know what an interesting person she really is.

Anyway, when Mrs Janet, as her name tag wrote, was trying to help me with settling the
dispute, I found her reading an interesting book. But, she wasn’t just busy reading her book,
but also equally busy, taking care of her other regular and managerial duties too, at the
same time. From the way she was reading that book, even when performing her regular job
duties, I could tell that she was an avid learner.

So, failing to hold my curiosity, I asked her, how possibly she could enjoy reading a book while she was doing such a difficult job! In response, all she had to say was how possibly a person can survive and thrive without learning something as long as he/she is awake!

Needless to say, I didn’t really dare to question her about anything else after that response
because that one response was good enough to know how she really valued knowledge,
unlike most of us. I also think that it was because of her keen learning mind that she was
able to keep herself fit for a rather challenging job at that old age, and that too at one of the
busiest super shops in the city.

Speaking – Part 3: Two-way discussion/ Details discussion.


Part 3 of speaking test allows the applicants for about 4 to 5 minutes. This is a bit longer
than the former parts. Some questions are asked here to know about the speaking
competency of the applicant. A wised range of questions are asked and the applicant is supposed to answer them smoothly. However, these questions are always related to the
topic you were given in part 2. You can expect to be asked 6-7 questions in this section.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 Topic: Internet


1. Do most people have a computer at home in your country? What do most people use it
for?

Answer: Well, to answer this question, I should first mention that the ownership of computers
is almost ten times higher in cities than that of villages in my country. Thus most of the
families living in a city own at least a computer except for poor people while almost one in
twelve families in rural areas have a computer or a laptop.

The activities on a computer vary based on the users’ age group. For instance, children like
to watch cartoons, draw pictures and play games on a computer while teenagers mostly use
the Internet on a computer or laptop to use their favourite social networking websites, find
information to complete their school assignments and for entertainment purposes.

Adults often use a computer to connect to the internet, check emails, learn new software, create
presentations, do online shopping and listen to their favourite music.

2. Do you think all the information on the internet is true?

Answer: I believe without an authentic source and credible publisher, we should be wary of
information we see or find online. The Internet is an astonishing source of information but the
fake news and fabricated information are all around there. Thus, I would not believe
everything I see online except they are from an authoritative source.

For instance, if I find a piece of information on a website like www.bbc.com, from the official government website or from a prominent and mainstream online newspaper, I would believe it. However, any news found on a social networking website like Facebook, or from a dubious website should always be verified before believing it to be true.

vocabulary for IELTS Speaking

Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking is a crucial component in acing the test. A diverse vocabulary not only enhances your ability to communicate but also demonstrates your knowledge of the English language to the examiners. You can read a lot, watch English-language movies, and have conversations with native speakers to expand your vocabulary.

You can increase your vocabulary for IELTS speaking and perform better on the test by regularly practising and being exposed to new words and expressions. Keep in mind that success requires persistent effort and a desire to grow.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long is the IELTS Speaking section?

    The speaking portion of the IELTS lasts between 11 and 14 minutes.
    An interview, a cue card or individual long turn, and a thorough discussion are the three components that make up this exercise.
    The IELTS speaking section differs from the TOEFL speaking section in that the examiner must be spoken to face-to-face.

  • Can I use memorised responses in the IELTS speaking test?

    It is advised against giving answers that you have already memorised. Examiners are skilled professionals who can tell whether you are speaking naturally or have memorised an answer. This does not suggest that you stop practising.
    You must realise that the examiner shouldn’t assume that you’re forcing any words or sentences into your speech.
    Make sure you develop the ability to create natural and organic sentences as you practise.

  • Are IELTS idioms hard to memorise?

    You can memorise 100 idioms for the IELTS, but you must ensure that they are appropriate for the situation when you use them.
    The examiner can easily tell if you have memorised idioms if you use them in a way that is not logical or appropriate for the context.
    In the IELTS Speaking section, having a balanced conversation is more important than showing off your vocabulary.

  • Is it crucial for me to increase my vocabulary before the IELTS test?

    Yes. Your language is built on your vocabulary. It is easier to carry on a decent conversation or produce quality writing with a strong vocabulary.
    As you intend to study in an English-speaking nation, developing a robust vocabulary is advised.

  • Does IELTS vocabulary need to contain particularly challenging words?

    In no way. There is no assurance that using challenging words will increase your score.
    Although learning challenging words is not bad, it is suggested that you concentrate on coherence and meaning instead. The use of challenging words is merely an extra.

  • Is there a reliable way to track my speaking time during the IELTS Speaking test?

    Only the examiner has access to the timer.
    Doing some speaking practice while having someone time you will help you get a good idea of how long each test section will take.

  • What does that mean when an examiner interrupts me during my Speaking test?

    During the IELTS Speaking test, it’s okay if an examiner interrupts you.
    The examiner is required to adhere to a very rigid schedule.
    For instance, part 1 of the Speaking test has a strict five-minute time limit.
    They might want to advance to the next phase, then.
    Sometimes, after you’ve fully addressed a question, they may want to move on and ask you something else to elicit any additional thoughts you may have.

rajgeeta balamurali counsellor
Rajgeetha Balamurali

Rajgeetha is an expert in SAT, GRE, GMAT and IELTS prep content. She is an academic strategist with experience in study abroad test prep and ed-tech industry spanning pedagogy design, customised training design, team building, training & development.

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