IELTS essential words – A to Z

Students studying Academic English in London regularly ask SGI teachers,  ‘How can I quickly improve my IELTS band score?’

One of the ways to impress your examiner in the IELTS exam is to use impressive vocabulary.

When you can use synonyms and ‘advanced’ words (so that you do not keep repeating yourself) then you will definitely boost your vocabulary score. This is one of the categories (called ‘lexical resource and grammatical range’) that the examiner takes notes on about your performance.

The other categories for IELTS Speaking and Writing that you are being tested on are:

  • Task Response – Did you actually answer the question that you were asked?
  • Accuracy – How many mistakes did you make?
  • Coherence – Did your answer make sense to the listener?

All of these categories go together to give you your final band score result.

So, here is a broad vocabulary of IELTS essential words to improve your IELTS result.

Do not try to convince yourself that you can look at these words below just once and you will have learned them!

Look at the examples for each word. Make sure you properly understand how to use them.

Then you MUST try to start using them in conversation and sample answers.

Use them, or lose them!!!



(adjective) – option, choice, different idea or way to do sth

Example: In the near future,  scientists will have to come up with an alternative energy source to oil,  as this is an expensive,  damaging and finite resource.


(noun) – advantage, gain,  sth that helps

Example: The main benefit of studying English is that you become more employable as virtually every company desires English speaking staff.


(adjective) – including everything, thorough

Example: The government is making comprehensive reforms of their economic policy due to the global economic crisis


(adjective) – hardworking, tireless, careful to work without mistakes

Example: Her Dad has been extremely diligent in tracing our family tree back to the 17th Century


(noun) – understanding another person’s feelings

Example: My maths teacher at high school was really great because she had great empathy for the students and would immediately know when we had a problem understanding a concept


(noun) –  prominent part of sth

Example: The most groundbreaking feature of the iPad was that it was a computer without a keyboard.


(verb) – to create,  to produce

Example: A small investment in a start-up company can generate a lot of profit if the business becomes successful.


(verb) – emphasise, underline or stress something

Example: There has been a lot of media attention highlighting the dangers of fast food consumption and the link to obesity


(verb) – to represent,  to clarify with examples,  to demonstrate sth

Example: The tsunami in Japan illustrated very clearly that mother nature and the natural elements are more powerful than any technology or protection that the human race can develop.


(verb) – to explain,  to make excuses for your actions,

Example: The urgent need to combat terrorism does not justify the killing of thousands of innocent civilians in wars.


(adverb) – too,  in the same way,  similarly

Example: The later book editions of The Hunger Games series were not as popular as the earlier ones.  Likewise,  the profits from future film adaptations may also be reduced.

To see the second half of the alphabet, come back to the SGI Student blog next week for part 2 of IELTS Essential Words A to Z

To study Academic English with SGI in London, look at:

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