Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Are you trying to learn new vocabulary, and still not using it in your IELTS Speaking and Writing?

Do you have a vocabulary notebook, with pages upon pages of cramped writing?

Or, perhaps you’ve gone the note card route, and you carry a massive stack of cards around with you wherever you go, weighing you down on walks, on the train, even out with with friends.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. How many words have I written down in my vocabulary notebook?

2. How many of these words do I remember?

3. How many of these words do I use in my IELTS Speaking and Writing?

If you don’t like your answers to those questions, read on!




Follow these tips for an effective and useful way to learn and use new IELTS vocabulary.

Organize your vocabulary notebook

You should have the following sections.


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Vocabulary you will definitely be able to use:

Speaking Parts 1 and 2

Speaking Part 3

Writing Task 1

Writing Task 2

Vocabulary you want to understand about common IELTS topics:

(and hopefully also be able to use)










Don’t write down everything

Try to keep each section to no more than 2 pages.

For each word, write a definition in your own words, and a sentence using the word.

Choose good resources

Use the articles and lessons on this site, and I recommend also reading the New York Times once a week.

Other than this, you can get native vocabulary from novels, movies and TV shows.

Study this notebook at least twice a week

Use these words

Keep the notebook in front of you while you practice IELTS Speaking and Writing and force yourself to use the new vocabulary.

How do you use your vocabulary notebook?

Tell us about it in the comments section below!





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