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

Do you have rules to follow for this important writing skill?

To get a 7 or higher for Vocabulary on IELTS Writing Task 2, the examiner looks for very specific things. You have to use high-level vocabulary, and the vocabulary must be related to the topic. You also have to not repeat words too many times, and use specific words to communicate clear, strong ideas.

Stay on topic

If you write about something that is not on topic, or not directly answering the IELTS Task 2 question, your vocabulary score will decrease.

Firstly, read the Task 2 question carefully. Underline key words, and take a moment to think about what the question is asking.

Then, to make sure you are staying on topic, you must brainstorm effectively. While you are brainstorming, remember to always check back to the question and make sure you are sticking to the key ideas.

Remember, you should be keeping and studying a vocabulary notebook to help you remember the new vocabulary.

Even if you use fantastic vocabulary, if it is about the wrong topic, it will not help you score.

Develop high-scoring vocabulary

Many students in our course have amazing vocabulary. Why? They read!

Reading in English not only adds to your vocabulary, but, naturally, it will improve your reading comprehension.

Not only that, but reading novels, newspapers, basically anything of value in English, will encourage a culture of thinking.

In order to have strong ideas to write about, you have to have strong opinions and a wide breadth of knowledge in the first place.

Don’t repeat yourself

If the examiner sees the same word or phrase over and over again, he/she will think you do not have a large vocabulary.

On that note, especially be careful of using words directly from the test question too often.

You must show the examiner that you have the ability to paraphrase. This means that you can communicate the same idea using various words or phrases. They do not have to all be high-level paraphrases; they simply must be different.

For example, instead of saying transportation, you can say public/private transport, bus, train, vehicle(s), motor vehicles, ability to travel, or commute. Often, if you try and be more specific, this will lead you to using a wider variety of words.

Be specific

You must practice supporting your ideas with very specific details and examples. This helps you in two ways: it shows more vocabulary, and it improves your coherence and task scores.

In order to do this, you need to dig deep into the ideas. Practice brainstorming details and examples about a topic that answer questions starting with who, what, when, where, why and how.

For instance, if you are asked to write about the advantages of public transportation, you can give details that answer the questions:

Who takes public transport?

Why do people need it?

What problems does it fix?

Where should it be accessible?

How can cities benefit from it?

Will you get a high score for vocabulary in IELTS Writing Task 2?

Leave us a message in the comments section below!



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