The importance of learning English is beyond description. It is the international language and medium of higher education even in most non-English speaking countries. Not just the medium only, most of the terms in any subject area are in English which is why you need to have a strong command of English.
Due to technological advancement and globalization, pursuing higher studies in a reputed university regardless of its location of it has become a reality.
That is why a great number of students dream to study abroad and receive a quality education from top-notch institutions around the world. But to achieve this goal, you have certain criteria to fulfill, and English Language Proficiency is one of them.
If you are planning to study abroad, you must have heard the term IELTS. This is the most widely accepted English Proficiency Test in the world.
Achieving a good score in this exam will open the door to the worlds top universities for you. But to do so, you must have a wide vocabulary range which is why vocabulary education is a must for you.
In this article, we would talk about IELTS and how to acquire an impressive range of vocabulary for the exam.
So, lets get started.
IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It was introduced in 1989 as a standardized test for non-native English speakers. The test is accepted by over 3,000 academic institutions and many other professional organizations across the world.
The test is divided into 4 modules:
There are two main types of IELTS exams- Academic and General Training. The academic IELTS test is for students who want to get admitted to a university.
General Training is for the ones who are looking for a job abroad. The requirement varies from case to case. Contact the academic institution or the employer beforehand to make sure which type of IELTS test they require.
The reading module is a 1-hour test divided into three sections, each containing an article and various types of questions from it. The articles can be from newspapers, magazines, journals, training materials and many other online and offline resources.
The listening module has four sections. An audio clip will be played for each section and the student must answer the given questions according to the clip.
Various types of audio clips would be played such as conversations between two or more persons, class lectures or other guidelines etc. The time duration for this module is 40 minutes- 30 minutes for the test and additional 10 minutes for transferring the answers to the answer sheet.
There are two tasks in the writing module that need to be completed within 1 hour. Task 1 varies for academic and general training tests.
Academic test-takers need to describe a given graph or chart. Those who are taking General Training Test will write a formal, semi-formal or informal letter describing a given situation. In both cases, the student must write at least 150 words.
Task 2 is about giving ones opinion. A topic would be given, and the student will be asked to share their opinion on the matter, analyze different points of view or discuss causes, effects, or solutions. They must write at least 250 words.
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Speaking test takes around 15 minutes only. It would be a face-to-face interview where the examiner would ask questions about different topics- personal, social, or other- and the test-takers will answer and explain their answers.
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Of course, there is not a specific task for assessing ones vocabulary range in IELTS, but if you look at the test structure, you will clearly understand the importance of vocabulary education. Let me explain it further with the IELTS test assessment criteria:
In both cases, two criteria are common: Lexical resources and Grammar range and accuracy. Lexical resource means using common and high-level words or less common words, the ability to paraphrase and use them correctly. This basically means having a wide range of vocabulary. And to have a rich vocabulary, we need vocabulary education.
If you are willing to take the IELTS exam, most people will suggest you join a professional training centre and take a preparation course. It is a wise decision to do so. In the preparation course, they will provide all the necessary tips and tricks for the test.
They also offer free practice tests and mock tests so you would be thoroughly prepared before attempting the real exam.
However, building a strong vocabulary is not given much importance in most cases. It is something the student do themselves. The course may provide lists of certain keywords to use and detect but using only them is not enough.
For example, the course may provide a list of synonyms for words such as increase, decrease, because etc. But if you dont know any words related to the given topic, using only those words will not be enough to achieve a good score.
But building a rich vocabulary on your own can be quite difficult. You need to understand the current level of your skill first and the size of your vocabulary so that you can work on improving it further. But how to do that? Simple, SpellQuiz Vocabulary test!
The test will assess your vocabulary level, assign you a grade, and estimate the size of your vocabulary within just 10 minutes. After that, you can easily go through word lists suitable for your grade or for higher grades using SpellQuiz Words Lists. You will find multiple words lists for each grade and for adults.
Here are some tips for you to make the process easier:
Acquiring new vocabulary words is the basic step of vocabulary education and reading is the best way in this case. IELTS test takers are always advised to develop a reading habit. Not only this habit helps you learn more words, but it also increases your reading speed so that you can complete the reading module in the given time.
Try to read an English newspaper every day and read English storybooks also. Obviously, most of the test takers dont have access to scientific journals, but you can search on the internet for articles.
One clever trick is to read the articles used in the IELTS reading practice test. There are plenty of practice materials available on the internet that you can read in your free time.
Usually, when we read, we tend to leave the unfamiliar words and try to understand the context without them but as an IELTS Test taker, you should focus most on these words and look for them.
Vocabulary exercises can help you grasp the concepts much better. Check out our guide now!
So, you found a new word, whats next?
Search the word in the dictionary and write it down in your notebook with meaning. You can use electronic devices as well for this task. Read them regularly and especially before taking the exam to remember all of them.
You can also do an interesting thing- find synonyms of that word and write them down too. This way, you can learn a lot of words in a short amount of time.
Many words such as very, good, and, like etc. are frequently used in writing and conversation. But using the same word multiple times shows a lack of knowledge of English vocabulary. To avoid it, make a separate list of these high-frequency words with their synonyms.
Try not to use the same word more than once or twice in your writing or in speech; use the synonyms instead.
You can add the antonyms also in your list. Below is an example of how you should make your vocabulary education word list:
Meaning: Very Thorough or detailed/ Vigorous
Synonym: In-depth, all-inclusive, elaborative
Antonym: Superficial, partial
Example: I am taking an intensive English language course to improve my understanding of the language.
Meaning: Officially allowing a person to do something
Synonym: Grant, license, legalize, authorize
Antonym: Prohibit, forbid
Example: Permitting access to your personal information can lead to various unpleasant situations such as information leakage.
If you list the words like this, you will have a clear idea about how to actively use the words and what other words can be used instead. If you can demonstrate this skill in the exam, achieving a good score will be no problem for you.
IELTS assesses your ability to understand the sound of the word and your pronunciation skill as well so make sure to include them in your vocabulary education.
The best way to improve your listening skill is to hear people talk with each other in English. Watch movies, TV programs, news reports, talk shows or videos on YouTube to understand different accents and pronunciation of words. Listening to songs also helps.
Watching the contents online enables you to rewind the same part over and over to understand the word better. You can also use subtitles for the movies.
Try to mimic the way a native speaker will pronounce a word. This way, you would sound native and would be able to detect the word in a speech. And not just words, try to learn idioms and phrases too as they are a good indicator of your language skill.
Spelling mistakes play a great part in reducing scores in reading, listening, and writing modules.
To avoid it, you should practice spelling along with your vocabulary education. Take SpellQuiz Spelling Test regularly to assess your spelling skill. You can also join SpellQuiz Spelling Bee Online where you can compete against users around the world and demonstrate your potential on a global platform.
SpellQuiz will help you in every step of your English Language Learning so dont forget to join today.
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