IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Vocabulary
IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Vocabulary: To achieve the best possible result in the IELTS test, you should learn new vocabulary and understand how the lexical resource band score is determined. Our vocabulary guide will provide you with useful tips and strategies to improve your vocabulary.
1. Lexical Resource
What is Lexical resource?
Your Lexical resource, which refers to vocabulary in the IELTS writing test, contributes to 25% of your overall score in both the writing and speaking parts of the exam. Many candidates often express their most significant challenge in preparing for the IELTS test as their vocabulary. Have you ever experienced the frustration of trying to learn an extensive list of words or cramming as many words as possible into your memory just before the test? We will provide you with advice on the most effective ways to learn and remember vocabulary.
2. How your Lexical Resource Score is Decided
In your speaking and writing, the examiner will primarily focus on the range and accuracy of vocabulary you employ. This necessitates the following actions:
- Avoiding repetition
- Utilizing a mixture of common and uncommon vocabulary
- Steer clear of spelling mistakes.
Additionally, the examiner will also evaluate:
- The accurate use of collocations
- The range and accurate use of topic-specific vocabulary
- Clear communication.
To incorporate a range of vocabulary effectively, you should refrain from relying solely on words and phrases provided in the IELTS statement and repeating your ideas. Developing the skill of paraphrasing is crucial to avoid repetition in both your writing and speaking.
Furthermore, it is essential to make references to individuals, locations, and current events in your responses. Let’s compare these two sentences.
“Children should be able to carry out assignments Children were given to do.”
“Children should be able to carry out assignments they were given to do”
In the second example, we replaced the noun “Children” with the pronoun “they.” While this is a straightforward illustration, test takers often fail to allocate time to review their work and identify instances of word and phrase repetition that could be substituted with synonyms or pronouns. Investing five minutes at the end of the test can make a significant difference.
Using Common and Uncommon vocabulary
We mention both common and uncommon vocabulary here because it is unnatural to solely employ uncommon or academic vocabulary in your speech and writing.
Take a look at these examples.
“The presence of nuclear weapons helps preserve global peace.”
“The intimidation caused by atomic armaments fosters worldwide conciliation.”
In the second example, we ran almost every word through a thesaurus. Take note of how it sounds highly unnatural, despite the use of “uncommon vocabulary.”
Avoiding Spelling Mistakes
In the written section of the IELTS exam, spelling plays an important role. The higher your score in Lexical resources, the fewer spelling mistakes you should make.
Candidates often inquire about the number of spelling mistakes allowed for each band score, but the answer is not as straightforward. Essentially, if your writing contains so many spelling mistakes that it becomes difficult for the examiner to understand, you are likely to score a band score of 5.0 in Lexical resources. Achieving a band score of 7.0 and above is possible if your spelling errors are rare.
You need to take responsibility for your spelling mistakes. While a teacher can point them out, it is your responsibility to put in the effort to learn correct spelling. Spelling errors are often referred to as “fossilized errors,” which means that, like a dinosaur fossil, the mistake was formed a long time ago and can only be corrected through practice and repetition.
To improve your mistakes in a notebook, follow these steps:
- Record your mistakes in a notebook.
- Create flashcards of common errors.
- Ask a teacher, or even a family member or friend, to test you on your mistakes.
Remember, looking at common spelling mistakes made by IELTS candidates is a great idea, but some errors will be specific to you. Write them down, memorize them, hide the word, write it again, and repeat. Repetition is extremely helpful in undoing fossilized errors.
Accuracy Using Collocations
Collocation simply refers to a frequent or common combination of words. For instance, a typical example is “make” your bed, where the verb “make” and the noun “bed” form a verb-noun collocation. On the other hand, saying “do your bed” would be an incorrect pairing of verbs and nouns.
Collocations require practice and learning to understand the relationship between words. There is no specific rule to memorize. By practising, you can improve and sound more natural, which will also increase your lexical resource score in the IELTS test.
One helpful tip for learning collocations is to practice them by topic. Trying to memorize long lists of collocations is often overwhelming and ineffective. When the exam arrives and you are given a topic, you want to be able to recall the vocabulary and collocations associated with that topic, instead of struggling through lengthy lists that are difficult to remember under pressure.
Using Topic- specific vocabulary
To prepare yourself for the given topic, you need to acquire relevant vocabulary. Examples of topics include Job & Work, Population, Travel, Transportation, Happiness, Government/Politics, Entertainment, Social Media, Covid, tourism, and more.
The ability to communicate clearly in your writing (and speaking) ensures that the examiner can understand the intended meaning.
One factor that can confuse the reader is the incorrect choice of vocabulary. Using the wrong word can make the sentence’s meaning unclear. Some candidates take risks during the test and opt for words whose meanings they are not entirely sure of. This can lead to incorrect usage of the word, causing difficulty for the reader. It is not advisable to use the test as an opportunity to try out new words for the first time. It is more important to prioritize clear communication over absolute accuracy.
3. LEARNING NEW VOCABULARY
Discovering new words
Once you have decided to take the IELTS test, you should actively seek to expand your vocabulary. We suggest that you create a book or electronic copy of all the new words and phrases. Additionally, you should frequently read or listen to English texts. These texts could include:
- Newspaper articles
- YouTube videos (preferably with English subtitles to enhance your reading skills).
Deciding which words to practice
Do not simply include every new word you read in your vocabulary list. Also, exercise caution when utilizing a thesaurus. It can often be challenging to find exact synonyms in English, and a thesaurus will present you with a lengthy list of similar words that may not be suitable in the intended context.
For instance, consider two synonyms of “big” sourced from a thesaurus:
If we intend to replace “big” in the sentence “the building is big,” it is appropriate to say “the building is enormous,” but stating “the building is boastful” would be incorrect.
We advise you to always generate an example sentence that places new words in context along with their definitions.
Reviewing New Words
The key to remembering new vocabulary is to review it, a step that candidates often overlook actively. It is extremely rare to simply write down new words, glance at them once, and successfully recall them during an exam. Regularly reviewing new words is essential to committing them to memory.
Moreover, actively using new vocabulary is necessary. Set a personal goal of incorporating the words and phrases you have learned into real-life situations.
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