Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today we answer a question from a listener in the Facebook group about words having to deal with stress.

This group is exclusive to 3 Keys IELTS students, so sign up today!

How can you know which words and idioms should you use to impress the IELTS Examiner?

Listen today to find out!

Where is the topic of stress on the IELTS exam?

Stress comes up a lot on IELTS questions.

On Speaking Part 3, you may be asked about how people can deal with stress.

Another common topic is whether life is more stressful today than in the past.

Writing Task 2 also has topics dealing with stress.

Psychologists in the past have recommended that when someone is stressed they should do nothing for a period of time.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

High level vocabulary for discussing stress

  • Stressed out
  • Over-stressed
  • Under stress

These are fairly common, but there are higher level idioms.

  • At my breaking point

This means you are stressed out beyond what you can handle.

Adults are often at their breaking point with everything they are juggling.

  • In over my head

I was in over my head when I signed up to host the party.

  • Too much on your plate

This means you’re extremely busy and have too much going on.

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Interesting ways to say you’re not stressed

Two great expressions mean that you were stressed out but aren’t any longer.

  • Breathing a sigh of relief

I breathed a really big sigh of relief the other day when I got my car back from the shop.

  • Weight off your shoulders

I feel a weight off my shoulders now that I finally passed the IELTS exam!


There is a good chance you will be asked to discuss stress on the IELTS exam.

These questions can come up on both the Speaking and Writing exams.

Learn today’s high level idioms so you can boost your Vocabulary score.

For more strategies and high level idioms and phrases, sign up today for the 3 Keys Success System!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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