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

What is the difference between the following words:

  • Significantly
  • Substantially
  • Considerably

You’ll find out in today’s episode!

We share advice on how to use this high level vocabulary on IELTS.

These can boost both your Writing and Speaking scores!

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Stop saying “a lot!”

There are some words that are extremely common on IELTS.

  • A lot
  • Very
  • Really
  • Much

These words are all band 5!

Another very common word that students use a lot is “dramatically.”

Because it’s so common, it’s band 6 so don’t use it!

Higher level parallels

So many vocabulary words have the same meaning but are much higher level.

Learn these words to get a higher Vocabulary score!

What is the difference?

When used as an adverb, significantly, substantially and considerably are interchangeable.

Adverbs modify verbs and adjectives.

They replace “a lot” or “really.”

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#1: Significant

When used as an adjective, these words have multiple meanings.

Meaning #1: A lot

Meaning #2: Meaningful

The poet’s reading was very significant to Americans who are seeking unity.

This book was significant for me, as I identified with the main character.

The word “meaningful” is very common and therefore lower level.

Instead, use significant for band 7 or higher.

#2: Substantial

As an adjective, it has multiple meanings.

Meaning #1: A lot

Sales were significant last quarter.

Meaning #2: Having deep meaning or worth

Meaning #3: Considerable size or richness

The most substantial meal I ever ate was a steak with brussels sprouts in Paris.

#3: Considerable

Meaning #1: A lot

We have a considerable amount of work to do.

Meaning #2: Large in size or extent

She has considerable influence over her friends.

Where on IELTS to use these

Reserve significantly, considerably and substantially for Part 3.

They are too formal for Part 1.

Instead, on Part 1 or 2, use synonymous slang:

  • Super
  • Totally
  • Way

This is one of the easiest ways to get the range of Vocabulary you need for a 7 or higher.


Considerably, substantially and significantly are synonymous adverbs.

However, their adjective forms have multiple meanings!

These are all higher level than their more common synonyms.

This is an easy way to boost your IELTS Vocabulary score.

You are certain to use “a lot” or “really” on IELTS.

Use one of these instead!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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