Vocabulary for IELTS 2022: Updated List of Vocabulary Words for IELTS

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Through this blog you will:

  • Learn detailed vocabulary on most popular IELTS categories.
  • Understand the usage and meanings of phrasal verbs, collocations, & idioms.
  • Find tips to expand your vocabulary.


International English Language Testing System is a widely accepted English proficiency test taken by students intending to pursue foreign education or employment abroad. The test assesses the candidate’s ability to communicate in English and is based on four parameters: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

However, candidates must note that vocabulary constitutes 25% of the total score in the reading and speaking test and hence must understand its importance. Candidates who aspire to attain a high score must use different vocabulary in these sections as the examiner will be assessing them on the usage of vocabulary. 

Here we have compiled a list of vocabulary words for IELTS that candidates can utilise for their preparation

Topic-wise List for IELTS Vocabulary

To achieve a band score of 7 or higher, candidates should have a wide range of vocabulary as that will help them to discuss various topics. If one is unable to appropriately use the correct words, then this becomes a major drawback and can hamper the overall score as well. 

We have identified the latest and most popular topics that have been used in IELTS exam. In the list below, you will find topic-wise vocabulary words with their meaning and usage next to them for better understanding. 

Phrasal Verb 

Phrasal verb consists of two or three words from different grammatical groups. When all of them are combined, a different meaning is put forward and hence must be used according to the context. Besides, phrasal verbs belong to the IELTS vocabulary list and candidates can make use of them to demonstrate their command over the English language.

Before that, the candidate must try to understand the meaning of the phrasal verb as the wrong usage can reduce the band score.  

Here is the list of vocabulary words for IELTS that the candidate can use: 

Phrasal Verb Meaning Example
Quarrel with Dispute or disagree with
I am not quarrelling with their idea, but
I think there are other possibilities.
Romp in Win easily In the first race, the favorite romped in.
Salt away Save money She’s making a lot of money, but salts it
away rather than spending it.
Venture forth Leave somewhere safe or
If the storm has finished, we could venture
Stick with Not change something We’d better stick with our original idea.
Tee off Start or launch an event The new project will tee off next month.
Go by The passing of time Ten years went by before we saw each other
Kick back Relax Rather than go out tonight, we plan to kick
back and watch television
Limber up for Prepare for something that
will require a great effort
They are limbering up for the end of the
financial year.
Measure against Evaluate or judge by
The work doesn’t look good if you measure
it against what our competitors have done.
Pass over Ignore, refuse to discuss Let’s pass over what they said and get on.
Peel away From Leave a group by
moving in a different
They peeled away from the crowd and
went down a side road

Common Idioms 

IELTS speaking section is a challenging area for many. However, it is in this section that the candidates can show their fluency, pronunciation and vocabulary of the language. Besides, idioms help in expressing our ideas more clearly and make them sound rather natural. 

Nevertheless, candidates must not use idioms without understanding their meaning, as that will lead to a deduction in marks. Hence, it is advisable that candidates use it in tasks only when they’re confident about its meaning and context.

We have compiled a list of common idioms for IELTS that can be used in the speaking section. Remember when used properly they will lead to a great band score. 

  • To be on the top of the world 
  • To be on cloud nine 
  • If my memory serves me well 
  • Over the moon 
  • Once in a blue moon 
  • Piece of cake 
  • A drop in the ocean 
  • To be like a dog with two tails 
  • It makes my blood boil 
  • Change one’s mind 
  • Call it a day 
  • Pull your eggs in one basket 
  • Blessing in disguise 
  • Actions speak louder than words 
  • I hit the ceiling 

30 Most Popular Idioms

Collocations for IELTS 

Collocations can be understood as the proper arrangement of words in a sentence or the combination of words that appear natural. They can be paired in this manner: 

  1. Verb & noun 
  2. Verb & adverb 
  3. Adverb & adjective 
  4. Adjective & noun 
  5. Noun & noun 

For easier understanding, some examples are listed below: 

  • Make someone’s bed
  • I have a preference for continental cuisine
  • I prefer reading
  • Parents can assist their children with financial responsibility
  • I have to take the test if I want to take the course 

5 Most Common Collocation Types

List of Useful vocabulary for IELTS

Speaking vocabulary list

The speaking module tests the candidate’s ability to communicate fluently in English. However, this means that the student must be able to pronounce the words correctly without much hesitation. But that is not all: they must have a grasp over their vocabulary and use it when and where it is required as that can provide them with a good score. 

Here is a comprehensive list of vocabulary words for IELTS

  • Also 
  • Another reason 
  • And 
  • These days 
  • At the moment 
  • Nowadays 
  • Years ago 
  • When I was younger 
  • In the past 
  • Then 
  • I suppose 
  • I think 
  • It was caused 
  • Because 
  • I reckon 
  • For instance 
  • For example 
  • Such as 
  • Like 
  • Right now 

To achieve a band score of 9 in the speaking section is a dream for many. Indian students specially struggle in this section. You can practise speaking English with other aspirants through our SmartTests feature.

For detailed content on how to prepare for the IELTS speaking section, you can read:

Band 8 Sample Answer

IELTS Speaking Tips

How to Improve Speaking Section Score

For specific content on cue cards, task type samples and latest topics, visit:

IELTS Speaking Part 1

latest Speaking Topics

IELTS Cue Cards

Reading and writing vocabulary list 

Most candidates lose out marks as they do not use synonyms in the reading and writing section. Here is a list of popular words and their synonyms to help you expand your vocabulary for the IELTS reading and writing sections.

Words  Synonyms 
Amazing  Incredible 
Answer  Respond 
Awful  Bad 
Beautiful  Pretty 
Begin  Start 
Come  Arrive 
Cool  Frosty 
Dangerous  Risky 
Decide  Settle 
Definite  Certain 
Delicious  Savoury 
Wrong  Mistaken 
Tell  Narrate, Inform 
Show  Display, Exhibit 
New  Recent, current 
Neat  Clean 
Interesting  Intriguing 
Important  Vital, crucial 
Help  Assist 
Happy  Content 
Famous  Well-known 
Funny  Amusing 
Place  Procedure 

You can also check out our detailed guide on the IELTS Reading Section to get help on reading tips & strategy.

Use these sample papers to practise your newly learnt vocabulary in IELTS Writing Section.

Tips to prepare for IELTS Vocabulary 

Candidates should follow these tips diligently while preparing for their IELTS exam. At the end of the day, attaining a good score is the stepping stone towards pursuing their dream of studying abroad. 

  • Read, listen and converse in English. 

Candidates should read English newspapers and get into the habit of reading. While reading, if they find any new word, they should note it down and look for its meaning. 

Practice makes a man perfect and hence is the key to nailing a good score. Whether it’s reading, writing, speaking or listening, practising each of these sections is necessary. 

  • Use YouTube 

Candidates should use YouTube to understand how academic words are pronounced. They can also watch English shows to learn new vocabulary. 

  • Avoid memorising in all circumstances

Memorising words is an activity that should be avoided as the meaning of words change according to their context. 

Besides the list of vocabulary words for IELTS, candidates can also make use of audio and videos as this can amp up the preparation process. Following the syllabus for each section is also essential. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is there any vocabulary test in IELTS? 

No, there is no vocabulary test in IELTS. However, a wide range of vocabulary can help score well in the exam. Candidates can follow our list of vocabulary words for IELTS to prepare for the exam. 

Is 7.5 a good score? 

This score shows that the candidate has a good command of their English language. Most universities across the globe accept this score.

Experienced IELTS prep trainer and education management industry veteran. Specializes in public speaking, international education, market research, mentoring, and management.