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English Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking Test (Everything You Need)

Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking Test

I for Imaginative

E for Excellent

L for Laid-back

T for Tuned-in

S for Smart.

Look at each word above and see how many SYNONYMS (words with the same meaning) can you think of?

Not many? It’s time to learn some new words and to revise the old ones. By the way, ’revise’ has a synonym I love: BRUSH UP. When I hear this word, I always visualize a large brush scrubbing my brain cells.

OK, let me give you a few examples:

- imaginative, creative, inventive, original
- excellent, great, outstanding, first-rate
- laid-back, relaxed, lax, easy-going
- tuned-in, learned, informed, knowledgeable
- smart, bright, intelligent, sharp

Why are we talking about synonyms? Because they are extremely important for you to express yourself fluently. When your MIND GOES BLANK (you suddenly forget something you knew) and you can’t remember a word, it is HANDY (useful) to know a list of other words that you can choose from.

Also, you can use synonyms to avoid repetition. A nice job, a nice lunch, a nice car, a nice woman etc.- it just sounds unimaginative and perhaps even uneducated if you speak like this. To get a higher score in the exam, you’ll have to learn to PARAPHRASE (to express the same idea with different words).

Another way to maximize your learning is to make your own selection of the words YOU would like to memorize. Have you ever learnt a long list of words for a school test, only to forget all of them once the test was over? That was because you had no choice in which words you wanted to learn.

Real learning only happens when you yourself are the motivation behind it. So, choose the words you would like to use in the future and focus on them. No need to waste time and energy with long, meaningless lists- make the list shorter if needed, but more interesting to you.

It’s also a good idea to group the words and expressions you want to learn into topics. It will help you create a CONTEXT (a setting) where vocabulary becomes more meaningful and memorable to you. And this is what we are going to do now.

Below you can find groups of words that will COME IN HANDY (prove to be useful) when preparing for the IELTS exam and IELTS Speaking Test. If you can, try to memorize whole sentences- they will just pop into your mind when you need them.

The words you’ll find are not the typical, boring ones you would usually see in a similar compilation. I have chosen them to give you the chance to SPICE UP (make more interesting) your active vocabulary and impress the examiners.

CONVERSATION FILLERS
Use fillers to give yourself time to think before you speak. This will make you sound much more fluent.

Er… let me think…

- What do you think are the most common causes of road accidents?
- Er… let me think… I would say there are two main causes…

 Hmm… that’s a good question…

- Is listening to the radio more beneficial for children than watching TV?
- Hmm… that’s a good question. I guess it is, because…

 Actually… I’ve never really thought about it…

- Why do teenagers love texting their friends?
- Actually… I’ve never really thought about it… It might be, because they…

Umm… (repeat the question)

- Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
- Umm… Where do I see myself in ten years’ time?… Maybe, I will…

 Well, you know …

- Would you give up your car and cycle to work?
- Well, you know… I work quite far from home…

It’s also important to ask for CLARIFICATION when you don’t understand what the examiner has said.

- Excuse me, can you repeat the question, please? / I beg your pardon?
- Sorry, what do you mean by…?
- Could you say that again, please?
- I’m afraid I don’t understand what you mean by….
- I’m not sure I can follow you. Could you be more specific, please?
- Sorry, I didn’t get your point. Could you put it differently, please?

And to GIVE CLARIFICATION when asked.

- What I mean is… (paraphrase what you’ve said)
- I just want to say that… (paraphrase what you’ve said)
- Sorry, let me explain.
- Sorry, let me put it differently.

SOCIAL CONTEXTS

FAMILY

to raise = to bring up
to care for children until they grow up

- I was raised in a small town. I wasn’t raised in the jungle.
- Raising children is a huge responsibility.

childhood
the period of life when you are a child

- My childhood was happy and carefree. I used to chase butterflies all day.
- I’m quite sure Charles Manson didn’t have a happy childhood. (he was a serial killer)

adolescence = teenage years
the period of life between childhood and adulthood

- A large part of my adolescence was spent with partying and avoiding responsibilities.
- My grandmother guided me through the turbulant waters of adolescence.

to play truant = to skive off
to be absent from school without permission

- I used to play truant and spend the whole time with my friends in the arcades.
- I would give a prison sentence to parents who let their children play truant.

juvenile delinquency
antisocial behaviour demonstrated by adolescents, usually involving breaking the law.

- Juvenile delinquency was thriving in the area. The parents couldn’t do anything to stop their children.
- Juvenile delinquency rates are usually higher in urban areas.

neglected (adj.)
not looked after, not getting any attention

- Neglected teenagers seek attention and will do anything to get it.
- My wife feels neglected, so I’ve taken her out to a fast food restaurant.

nuclear family
the smallest family unit: mother, father and children
(opposite: extended family)

- Nowadays most people live in nuclear families.
- Living in nuclear families means we don’t get to listen to our grandparents’ stories.

to get on well with somebody
to have a good relationship with somebody

- When we were children, my sister and I didn’t get on very well. We used to pull each other’s pony-tails.
- I wish I could get on well with my mother-in-law, but she’s a real witch.

relative
a person who is related to you by blood or marriage

- I think my relatives hate me. I never get any Christmas presents.
- You can choose your friends, but can’t choose your relatives.

in-laws
members of your wife’s or husband’s family

- I hate the idea of spending the holidays with my in-laws.
- I never know what to buy for my in-laws for Christmas.

red-letter day
any day that’s significant and memorable to you for a reason

- It was a red-letter day when my son finally learnt how to tie his shoelaces.
- If I pass my exam, that’ll be a red-letter day.

stepparent, stepmother, stepfather
new wives or husbands of your biological parents

- First, I hated the idea of moving in with my stepfather, but then it wasn’t so bad.
- Cinderella used to live with a wicked stepmother and two stepsisters.

stepfamily = blended family
a family where either one or both parents have children from previous relationships

- Living in a stepfamily never really bothered me. I could visit my father as often as I wanted.
- Blending families to create stepfamilies is a difficult process.

siblings = brothers or sisters
individuals sharing the same father or mother

- As an only-child, I’ve always wanted to have siblings.
- Children growing up with no siblings are often spoilt.

to allow = permit = let
to give your permission to someone to do something

- My biological father always allowed me to eat ice-cream before dinner.
- Minors shouldn’t be allowed to buy alcohol.

quality time
time when you dedicate yourself to only one person or activity

- My mother and I didn’t spend enough quality time together. She always had to work.
- Spending quality time with your children is more important than making a lot of money.

to take after somebody
to be/resemble someone in appearance or character

- I take after my mother. I have the same green eyes.
- Children often take after one of their grandparents.

overprotective (adj.)
wanting to protect someone too much

- My mum used to be overprotective when I was a child. She never let me go to the playground on my own (alone).
- Overprotective parents should seek professional help to help them relax a little.

strict (adj.)
wanting order and discipline all the time, opposite = lenient, forgiving

- My mother was very strict. If I was just ten minutes late, she grounded me for a week.

grounded = not allowed to leave the house

- Strict teachers are often more popular than lenient ones, because they don’t let misbehaved children interfere with their teaching.

foster family
children living with guardians who are neither their natural nor their adoptive parents

- My friend, Jack, lived with at least five different foster families as a child. He was quite troublesome.
- Foster families can change a child’s life for the better.

FREE TIME, SPORTS, HOBBIES, TRAVEL

amusement park = funfair

a large park where you can play games, go on fantastic rides and have fun with friends

- I went on so many rides in the amusement park that I got dizzy and had to lie down on the ground.
- You can always buy pink cotton candy in an amusement park.

slot machine
a coin operated machine to play gambling games

- I got change for twenty dollars and played the slot machines for hours.
- The only way to win on slot machines is not to play them.

roller coaster
an elevated railway with small, open passenger cars that goes up and down at a high speed

- We had a great laugh when we looked at the photos my friend took on the roller coaster.
- Roller coasters make me sick to my stomach.

to take up
to start doing a new sport, hobby or start learning something new

- My mother thought my father was getting too fat, so he took up golf when he retired.
- I’d like to take up a new language, but I’m not sure which one to chose: Dutch or Japanese.

DIY /di:- ai- wai/
building or repairing things around the house with no professional help

- I’m good at DIY, but I had to call a plumber when I couldn’t fix the sink.
- My husband spends hours looking at screws and nails in the local DIY store.

pottery
vase, pots, plates etc. made of clay/ the craft of making pottery

- Making pottery is such a creative activity. I’ve made vases for everyone in the family.
- I’ve tried to take my husband to some pottery classes with me, but he always went to the pub instead.

knitting
making sweaters, gloves, scarves etc using two long needles and yarn

- My grandma loves knitting, so everyone in the family has matching knitted sweaters and hats.
- Knitting is the new yoga. Its repetitive movements help you relax and meditate.

to mow the lawn
to cut the grass in the garden with a lawn mower

- My neighbours always mow the lawn on Sunday evenings.
- In most countries, you can only mow the lawn on certain days, at certain times.

hedge
a line of shrubs or low-growing trees forming a fence between two houses or in front of a house

- Trimming the hedge is hard work. My hands are always sore afterwards.
- I have the most beautifully trimmed hedge in the whole neighbourhood.

sitcom = situation comedy
humorous television series based on every day life situations

- My niece loves having sitcom marathons with her friends at weekends.
- ‘Friends’ must be the most popular sitcom of all times.

review
a report that gives the writer’s opinion about a book, film, theatre production etc.

- I never read the reviews before watching a film. I don’t want to be biased.
- Writing reviews must be such a fun job. You can criticize other people’s work and nobody slaps you in the face.

cinemagoer = moviegoer
a person who often goes to the cinema

- My uncle is a devoted cinemagoer. He goes to see every new release.
- They opened a new multiplex in our town, but the high prices and uncomfortable seats were certainly a shock to the unsuspecting cinemagoer.

city dweller
someone who lives in a city

- I’m a city dweller. I have no idea how to milk a cow.
- City dwellers should make sure they spend enough time outdoors.

hiking
the activity of going for long, hard walks in the mountains

- The last time I went hiking, I sprained my ankle. I don’t think I’ll ever do it again.
- I always feel much more energetic and relaxed after I’ve been hiking.

scenery = landscape
the view of natural features e.g. mountains, hills or rivers/ *scenery may also mean accessories on a theatre stage

- The scenery was so breathtaking, I had to stop every two minutes to take a photo.
- The scenery was really weird in my dream. There were pink mountains and yellow lakes around me.

atmosphere = ambiance
the dominant mood of a place

- I love going to our local pub, because of its familiar atmosphere.
- The festival was a great success; the weather was good and the atmosphere was fantastic.

do aerobics/ karate/ judo/ yoga

- I’ve never done judo, but I’ve tried karate.
- I’m not sure what my dog thinks of me when I do yoga, but he sure looks puzzled.

play basketball/ tennis/ computer games/ rugby (play + ball games)

- My nephew plays rugby, so you can ask him about the rules.
- If I was taller, I could play basketball. Right now, I can only play golf.

go skiing/ skating/ fishing/ trekking (go + … ing)

- My husband and I go skiing to the French Alps every winter.
- My friend broke her leg while she was learning how to skate.

rowing machine
a fitness device that simulates rowing as in a boat

- When I go to the gym, I usually use the rowing machine to work the muscles in my arms and legs.
- My husband would like to buy a rowing machine, but I don’t think he will use it.

exercise bike
a fitness device that simulates cycling as on a bicycle

- I’ve bought an exercise bike, but I only use it to keep my clothes on it.
- I love watching my favourite soap opera while riding my exercise bike

crash helmet
protective headwear worn by cyclists and motorcyclists

- You can’t give me a lift on your motorbike. I haven’t got my crash helmet with me.
- Wearing a crash helmet might save your life if you have an accident.

knee pads
protective garnment worn by cyclists, football players or skaters on their knees

- My son’s taken up football. I must go and buy a pair of football boots and knee pads for him.
- I’m so glad I was wearing my knee pads when I fell on asphalt.

extreme sports = adventure sports
paragliding/ hang gliding/ white water rafting/ snowboarding/ skydiving/ cave diving

- I’d love to go white water rafting with you, but I’m afraid I’m having my hair cut that day.
- Cave diving was a really creepy experience for me. I didn’t think we would get out alive.

adrenaline rush
a very intense feeling that you feel all over your body when doing something dangerous

- Most people do extreme sports, because they want to get an adrenaline rush.
- If you want to get an adrenaline rush, try to take away my pitbull’s toy.

mass tourism
we talk about mass tourism when a lot of people visit one place

- Mass tourism is destroying our churches. I don’t think we should let so many people visit them.
- Mass tourism creates jobs for local people and it also makes our town a more exciting place to live.

culture shock
a strong and upsetting feeling we get when suddenly faced with an unfamiliar culture

- When I first arrived in London, nobody helped me to get over the culture shock. It took me months to get used to their way of life.
- I was suffering from culture shock, when fortunately, I made some new friends and began to enjoy my stay.

currency
money/ medium of exchange

- Lira used to be the currency of Italy, before they introduced the euro.
- We use kisses as currency at home. When my daughter wants something, she can always pay with a kiss.

in advance
before something, ahead of time

- If you want to buy cheap airline tickets, it’s best to book in advance.
- We never plan our holidays in advance. We just pack our suitcases and take the first flight available at the airport.

make a complaint
to tell the staff or manager that you’re not happy with the service you received

- Somebody used our bathroom while we were out, so we had to make a complaint at the reception.
- It’s so embarrassing to go out with my father-in-law. Whenever we’re in a restaurant he demands to see the manager and make a complaint.

to embark on
to set out on a journey, to begin a journey

- Make sure you have made all the necessary arrangements before you embark on your world tour.
- When my son was born, I embarked on the most beautiful journey of my life.

B&B = Bed and Breakfast
a private house that provides accommodation and breakfast to guests

- I love staying in B&Bs when travelling in the country. The atmosphere is familiar and the food is usually delicious.
- My husband and I would like to run a B&B, but we don’t have enough spare rooms.

MEDIA

tabloid
a small size newspaper with lots of photographs, gossip and sensational material

- I only read tabloids when I go to the hairdresser’s. There are always some on the table in the waiting area.
- They say every time you read a tabloid, a book dies. I much prefer reading books.

libel
untrue information that is published and damages someone’s reputation

- Internet libel should be taken more seriously. People are allowed to say whatever they want about anyone these days.
- Editors should make sure that the material they publish doesn’t contain libel.

broadsheet
a newspaper that’s bigger than a tabloid with fewer photographs and more factual articles

- I used to read broadsheets, but nowadays I just get the news from the TV or the Internet.
- It’s quite annoying when someone’s reading a broadsheet next to you on the tube (underground). They keep turning the pages in your face.

censorship
the act of deleting or editing press and media information to control what is being published

- In my country, media censorhip laws have remained the same in the past ten years. I think it’s time for a change.
- In my opinion there shouldn’t be political censorship at all. I believe in freedom of speech.

broadcast
transmission of a radio or television program

- Films should be broadcast in their original language. It would help language learners tremendously.
- If you missed yesterday’s broadcast of ’Who Wants To Be a Millionaire’, you can watch it at 3 o’clock this afternoon on channel 5.

forecast
calculation or prediction of what is going to happen regarding, for example, changes in the weather or the economy

- A 20-day weather forecast is available on the website. I usually check it before planning an outdoor event.
- The economic forecast for next year anticipates growth.

coverage
the reporting or broadcasting of events

- Nowadays, you can see live coverage of just about everything: births, deaths, wars, natural disasters, celebrations.
- The coverage of the last Olympic Games was fantastic. I was glued to the screen for days.

be on (the) air
be transmitted live, at the present moment

- The suspect admitted to the murder on air. It was really shocking.
- The presenter thought they had started playing music, but he was still on air. It was really embarrasing.

remote control = clicker
a device you can use to control a television, DVD player or Hi-Fi from a distance

- My sons always fight over the remote control. Joey is interested in sports, but Rick only wants to to see cartoons.
- I wonder how people used to change channels on the TV before the remote control was invented. Did they actually have to stand up and walk to the television?

prime time
the evening hours when most films and popular programs are on air

- There’s too much violence and nudity on prime time television.
- Parental Guidance (PG) is advised after prime time.

HEALTH

to give something a boost
to increase or raise something, to make something bigger and better

- It takes more than an apple a day to boost your immune system.
- You can boost your vitamin C intake by drinking some freshly squeezed orange juice every morning.

vulnerable
easily hurt physically or emotionally

- The elderly are particularly vulnerable in winter to the effects of cold, wet weather.
- Adolescents are a typically vulnerable group when it comes to drug abuse.

to be prone to
to have a tendency/ when you’re prone to something, the chances are high that it will happen to you

- Overweight people are more prone to diabetes than thin ones.
- Since I started my new job, I’m prone to panic. I don’t know what I should do to de-stress.

sedentary lifestyle
lifestyle with no physical activity

- People who live a sedentary lifestyle are called couch potatoes.
- Sedentary lifestyle may lead to depression and a weakened immune system.

cut down on
to reduce the amount of intake

- If you want to lose weight, you’ll have to cut down on fatty food.
- I think we need to cut down on Facebook time and meet our friends in person.

NHS
National Health Service- publicly financed health care, available for everyone in the country

- To register with an NHS GP, you have to go into your local surgery and provide proof of address.

GP = General Practitioner/ Doctor (surgery = the place where a doctor can be consulted)

- The NHS sould provide patients with more information on the dangers of smoking.

nervous breakdown
a serious mental illness stopping people from living normally, often in the form of depression, insomnia and anxiety

- If you don’t find a way to de-stress, you’ll end up having a nervous breakdown.
- I had a near nervous breakdown when I found out that my husband was cheating on me with my best friend.

alternative medicine
healthcare practice that doesn’t use traditional drugs and treatments

- I don’t believe in alternative medicine. I once went to a chiropractor and he nearly broke my neck.
- Acupuncture is one of the most popular types of alternative medicine nowadays. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t like to have needles stuck on my face.

plastic surgery
operation to reshape, remodel or resize body parts

- Britney Spears must have had a couple of plastic surgeries. She looks younger now than ten years ago.
- I’m against plastic surgery. I think we are beautiful the way we were born.

sick leave
paid absence from work

- My bosses weren’t very happy when I had to go on sick leave.
- My colleague’s been on sick leave for weeks now. I don’t think I can do everything by myself any longer.

common cold
a mild infection with symptoms like sneezing, coughing, runny nose and temperature

- Adults have the common cold two or three times a year on average.
- You should drink plenty of liquids and stay in bed for a few days to get over the common cold fast.

flu = influenza
viral infection with severe symptoms like high temperature, muscle pain and fatigue

- You shouldn’t go to work if you have the flu. It’s contagious and others will catch it too.
- I didn’t mind having a flu as a child; everyone was really nice to me and kept giving me presents to cheer me up.

pneumonia
severe inflammation of the lungs resulting in the air sacks being filled with liquid

- I spent two weeks in hospital when I had pneumonia. My back hurt so much, I will never forget those two weeks.
- I don’t know if you can catch pneumonia from another person. Ask your doctor.

cancer
an extremely serious disease typically with tumors in different parts of the body

- Smoking might cause lung cancer.
- Chemotherapy is one of the most common ways to treat cancer patients.

childhood diseases
illnesses typically caught in childhood, e.g. Mumps, Chicken pox, Measles

- Every child should be vaccinated against childhood diseases.
- I can’t visit your daughter in hospital, I’m afraid. I didn’t have any of the childhood diseases, and you know they’re really dangerous when caught in adulthood.

SOCIAL AND GLOBAL PROBLEMS

discrimination
treating people as inferior because of their race, gender, religion, age etc.

- Sexual discrimination in the workplace is illegal, however, it’s always the women who are asked to make coffee for meetings.
- Racial discrimination is unacceptable. I will hire the best candidate for this job, regardless of their race.

protest = riot
people gathering in a public place to show that they disagree with something the government has done

- There will be an anti-capitalist protest in the city centre tomorrow. It’s better to avoid the area.
- The students are organizing a protest against the increasing school fees. I don’t think I will attend. I don’t like crowds.

poverty-stricken (adj.)
to describe places or people that are extremely poor

- The Prime Minister visited the poverty-stricken areas of the country.
- One day I’d like to travel to poverty-stricken countries to help the poor.

crime-infested (adj.)
to describe a place where crime rates are very high

- I grew up in a crime-infested ghetto, but I managed to stay out of trouble.
- I’m thinking of buying that house, but I don’t know if the area is crime-infested or not.

beggar
a person who asks people in the street to give him/ her some money

- They say you shouldn’t give change to beggars. They will never get a job if they can make enough money begging.
- I feel so sorry for the beggars in our street. I buy them some food once a week and give them some warm clothes before winter.

famine
when a lot of people starve/ don’t have enough food to eat, we call it a famine

- The famine in Ethiopia shocked the whole world and a lot of charities raised money to send food to the country.
- The Irish famine of 1845 forced thousands of families to leave the country.

epidemic
when a serious disease spreads very quickly and a lot of people catch it, we call it an epidemic

- There’s usually a seasonal flu epidemic every winter in my country.
- Diabetes is considered the latest epidemic in the Western world.

flood
water overflowing land that is usually dry

- I wouldn’t build a house on the river bank. There are floods there every spring.
- Disaster tourists took photos of the flood instead of helping the locals.

drought
a long period of dry weather with no rain at all

- Plants need to store water to survive summer droughts.
- There was a three-month drought last year. Farmers lost a lot of money.

global warming
a gradual increase in the temperature on our planet

- Global warming is caused by the greenhouse effect. It is causing natural disasters, for example floods, tidal waves and hurricanes.
- If global warming gets worse, I might have to move to Alaska. I can’t stand hot weather.

WORK

perk = fringe benefit
extra benefits given to employees besides their salary, for example use of company car or mobile phone

- The only perk I have is free parking in our basement. I wish I had a better job with a multinational company.
- I love my new job; the perks are great. They’ve given me a brand new car, a mobile phone and a laptop. I also get free tickets to the local swimming pool and I can use the company fitness centre anytime I want to.

promotion
getting a higher ranking position at a workplace

- I’ve just got a promotion: I’ve been promoted to Key Account Manager. Let’s go out and celebrate! I’ll buy everyone a drink.
- I hope I’ll get a promotion soon. I don’t think I can work in this position for much longer. My colleagues drive me crazy.

job satisfaction
it means how happy you are with the way things are at your workplace

- I’ve been asked to fill out a job satisfaction survey. I’m not sure what to write. I don’t want to offend my bosses.
- Employee job satisfaction may give a real boost to productivity. Employers must realize that.

rewarding (adj.)
something that makes you feel satisfied and happy

- Teaching is such a rewarding job. I love the look on my students’ face when they get good grades.
- I’m not sure what job I’d like to do after I graduate, but has to be challenging and rewarding at the same time.

health insurance contribution
money that you or your employers pay to the state every month to cover your public health care costs

- Your health insurance contribution is automatically deducted from your salary if you are employed full time.
- I’m self-employed, so I have to pay my health insurance contribution directly to the NHS.

be made redundant
be dismissed from work, because you’re no longer needed

- My company downsized last year and I was made redundant.
- Being made redundant is better than being fired- you get redundancy payment.

workaholic
a person who has a strong desire to work and doesn’t like doing other things

- My friends think I’m a workaholic, just because I often work late hours.
- My boss is a workaholic and he obviously thinks nobody in the office minds working unsocial hours.

to be in charge of…
supervising/ controlling/ commanding

- I’m in charge of a group of ten people in my department.
- Who was in charge of decorating this place? The walls are green and the pictures are pink. No customer will ever enter. 

to deal with…
to handle/ to have to do with

- I have good communication skills. I deal with customers on a daily basis.
- As a housing manager I have to deal with repairs and conflicts between neighbours.

to involve
to contain/ to include

- My job involves travel. I love it, because I get to see new places and to meet new people.
- Does your current job involve dealing with customers?

EDUCATION

ongoing assessment
evaluation of a student’s progress based on his/ her performance throughout the whole course- not based on one single test or exam

- Ongoing assessment has become quite popular lately. Learners like the idea of getting constsant feedback.
- I would have been more relaxed at secondary school if we’d had ongoing assessment instead of those horrible end-of-unit tests.

to be poor at something
not to be good at something

- I was so poor at Mathematics at school, I always had to take extra lessons with a private tutor.
- If I weren’t poor at Physics, I would love to become a doctor.

certificate
a document that shows that an educational program has been completed

- To get an IELTS language certificate, you have to take the test.
- I have a hairdressing certificate on the wall in my salon to make my customers more relaxed.

diploma
the document received at the end of secondary school or graduate/ professional school or an academic award

- When we received our diplomas at the high school graduation ceremony, everybody threw their hats in the air.
- The best students, including me, were awarded honorary diplomas.

degree
a rank given to someone after completing his/her university or college studies

- I hold a bachelor’s degree (BA) in Philosophy. I’m studying for my master’s (MA) degree at the moment.
- Candidates with a business degree are more likely to get this job.

correspondence course
distance learning- you don’t have to go to the school in person, materials and assignments are sent by post or via e-mail

- I followed a correspondence course in Child Psychology when I was living in Paris.
- When applying for a job, they don’t usually take correspondence courses into consideration.

grant = scholarship
money given to students by the government to finance their further or higher education

- I’ve applied for the grant. All I can do now is cross my fingers and wait for the results.
- If I don’t get the grant, I’ll have to find a part-time job, possibly in a restaurant. I wouldn’t like that.

fee
payment given for professional services, for example medical treatment or teaching

- I dropped out of school, because my parents couldn’t pay the fees.
- The registration fee will be added to the tuition fees.

tuition
instruction, teaching

- If tuition fees keep rising, I’ll have to give up studying.

with flying colours
with great success

- I’m sure you’ll pass the exam with flying colours. You’ve studied a lot.
- If I keep passing my tests with flying colours, my parents must buy me a car, or at least a new computer.

to resit an exam
to sit an exam again

- I’ve failed my exam twice already, but I’ll keep resitting until I pass.
- If you want to get a better IELTS score, you can resit the test anytime.

*ACADEMIC USE

This graph shows…/ The graps show…

- a gradual/steep increase/decrease in…
- the number of cases between …
- the rate of…

The graph compares … and … / The graphs compare…

- The graph compares last year’s and this year’s mobile phone sales.

- The graphs compare the number of births in the past five decades.

The number of cases…

- went up to…
- went down to…
- plumeted to…
- dropped to…
- peaked at…
- fluctuated around…
- stood at…

… about = approximately = nearly = roughly

It can be seen…
There is a noticeable…
In conclusion we can see…

I hope you’ve found these words and expressions useful. Now, it’s your turn to choose the ones you’ve liked and memorize them. How can you do that? First, imagine in what situation you would use a particular word, then make your own sentence with it.

When you have a list of sentences ready, LEARN them BY HEART (commit to memory). So next time you are in a similar situation, they will be there in your mind, ready to use. Not just words, but whole sentences. That way you will sound much more fluent.

Good luck and don’t forget to have fun!

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