Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Do you know there are certain words that you should not use in Writing Task 2?

What is more, these are words that IELTS candidates use all the time in their writing!

It’s difficult to memorize high-scoring words for Writing Task 2, because you have no idea what the topic will be.

However, there are certain words that students use all the time, no matter the topic, in their Task 2 essays.

So, you should learn higher-scoring, more interesting ways to paraphrase these common, band score 5-6, phrases.



Basically, don’t use words in your essay that are too easy or too general.

  • Don’t use “some”. Instead, be more specific.
    • Don’t just say, “Some laws will make people healthier.”
    • Instead, say, “There should be a law that requires all adults to walk 2 miles a day.”


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  • Don’t use “people”. Be more specific.
    • Say exactly who you are referring to, for example, “individuals, citizens, youth, mature adults, employers.”
  • Don’t say “good”.
    • Instead, use: stunning, stellar.
  • Don’t say “bad”.
    • Say: loathsome, horrific.
  • Never, ever say “a lot”.
    • Use: a great deal, a plethora, a shocking quantity.

All of these phrases are perfect to use in IELTS Speaking Part 3 as well!

Add to this list of paraphrases, and keep this list in front of you while you practice writing and speaking.

What do you think of today’s vocabulary advice?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

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