Top 20 Words (Vocabulary) for the IELTS Essay Tests


To be able to express a person’s opinion effectively, one should have a good way with words. Moreover, most second language users of the English language start learning the language through vocabulary. They translate their native language’s sentence by finding the right word in English. Having said this, it is imperative that vocabulary is important in learning English.

The need for strong vocabulary in English is especially evident in the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System exam.

Filipinos study vocabulary very seriously for the exam. This is to understand complicated words in the reading and listening passages and speak and write well for the speaking and writing sections respectively. To help candidates for the IELTS test add more words to their vocabulary bank, here are 20 words essential for the IELTS essay tests.

1. Discrepancy (n) a difference especially between things that should be the same
        There is a discrepancy between the two tables.
        A notable discrepancy is noted among the charts.
2. Rise (v) to move upward, higher or extend upward
        The number of people living in the area rose in the year 1988.
        There has been a rise in the population.
3. Spike (v) to increase in a short period of time
        Prices spiked in the first two years.
        The number of people buying the product spiked after the advertisements were aired.
4. Drop (v) to fall
        The numbers dropped dramatically during recession.
        It dropped after two years of being the highest bought product.
5. Stabilize (v) to become stable; hold steady
        The figures stabilized for two years before a drastic drop.
        The numbers stabilized at 60.3% until the year ended.
6. Fluctuate (v) to shift back and forth uncertainly
        The exchange rate fluctuated for a couple of months.
        The amount of travelers fluctuated due to the bomb scare.
7. Exceed (v) to go beyond the limit
        The teacher had exceeded the number of homework given to students.
        The budget exceeded last year compared to the first two years.
8. Plateau (v) to stop increasing or growing
        The numbers have plateaued in the recent years.
        After it plateaued, the numbers never went down again.
9. Alliance (n) a group of people, countries, etc., that are joined together in some activity
or effort
        An alliance was made between the teachers and the students.
        My friends joined an alliance when we were in college that I stand against with.
10. Beforehand (adv or adj) in advance, earlier or previous time
        The students were asked to hand in the requirements beforehand.
        If the visitors arrive beforehand, it will be impossible for us to do the survey.
11. Booming (adj) growing or expanding very quickly
        The business is booming; it has opened two new branches.
        A booming career is what most graduates wish for as they step out of school.
12. Jeopardize (v) to put something in danger
        What he did jeopardize the whole event.
        His actions during the election jeopardized his position.
13. Radical (adj) very new and different from what is ordinary or traditional
        The ideas presented were radical that it gained him popularity.
        It was rather radical that the people were impressed.
14. Negligible (adj) very small or unimportant
        It was negligible yet it caused more problems to the group.
        There’s a negligible chance for him to win the title.
15. Technical (adj) relating to practical use of machines or science in industry, medicine, etc.
        The words were too technical that I had a hard time understanding the passage.
        Do not be technical with your writing.
16. Thereby (adv) by that, by that means
        Jenny was not so serious with her practice. Thereby, she lost the competition with her older sister.
        Mobile phone radiation has been thought to be one of the reasons for high mortality rates in the city. Thereby, people should be more careful in using this type of technology.

17. Fleece (v) to deceive and take money from someone
        The greedy politicians fleeced a huge amount to their constituents. Don’t let those people you.
        Cyrus used to be James’ best friend but their relationship ended when the latter fleeced the former.

18. Handsome (adj) large in amount
         My fiancé earns a handsome salary.
         It was very handsome that they cannot count it with their hands.
19. Debate (n) a discussion
        There is a debate whether this technology brought convenience or more problems to us.
        A debate is happening in the room between my mom and dad.
20. Deficient (adj) not good enough; not as good as others
        The children turned out to malnourished because good food was deficient in the area.
        His essay is deficient; the content is lacking and very poor.

Practice using these words in your essay and see how appropriate words add more flavour to the content of your essays.

Definition source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary Mobile App

If you need to take IELTS go here www.jroozreview.com/ielts-review-center.

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