LEARNING IELTS VOCABULARIES EFFECTIVELY
IELTS Vocabulary: Why is it important?
Of all the skills and techniques you need to do well in the IELTS test, vocabulary is definitely one of the most important. IELTS vocabulary preparation can be overwhelming, but this page will tell you everything you need to know before doing your test.
Vocabulary makes up 25% of your total mark in the Writing and Speaking tests. Not only this but did you know that the Listening and Reading tests are really vocabulary tests too? Take a look at the table below.
The table shows words in the question from an official IELTS reading test on the left and words in the text on the right. It demonstrates how many synonyms are used and therefore, needed to answer the question. All IELTS Reading and Listening tests are like this. In short, if you don’t have a wide-ranging vocabulary you won’t be able to do well on the Listening or Reading tests.
The Correct Way to Learn IELTS Vocabulary
Below is a 6 TIPS to help you increase your range of vocabulary.
1. Finding a good source of vocabularies
Pick a book, TV show, radio show, podcast or magazine you are interested in. Don’t pick something boring because you will not stick to the plan and you will easily get distracted. People learn more effectively when they enjoy what they are doing.
2. Preparing a notebook
Buy a special notebook. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just something that you can write in every day. Read or listen to whatever you have chosen and pick out 15 words you don’t understand. Listen or read and try to guess what they mean from the context. (This step is very important because it will help you remember them.) Note the 15 new words down in your notebook.
3. Defining new word
Look up the new words in a dictionary. You can do this online. Beside each word note the meaning, an example sentence or two, collocations, synonyms, antonyms, and pronunciation. You can also draw pictures; whatever will help you remember the word.
4. Learning “family words”
"Family words" is a simple way of saying words that often follow the same root. For example, with the word "care" you have "care" is the verb, but besides that we also have "careful" is an adjective or "careless", “carefulness” is a noun, ... so when you learn a word, you should look for related vocabularies. And because their roots are similar in meaning, it will be easier to remember.
5. Making sentence
Making sentence is a way to help us practice what we have learned. After learning and understanding how to use a new word,the best method for the brain to memorize it for a long time is using those vocabularies right away.
Making 10 sentences with different meanings of the word you want to learn. If it is a verb, you can use different tenses to practice.
For example, if you want to remember the phrase "to tidy up", make some sentences like:
"Maria, you must tidy your room up"
"I have to tidy up before my friends come"
"Paul will watch TV after he finishes tidying up the kitchen".
So by asking yourself, you are also asking your right brain to work and directly participate in the learning process. Besides, making sentence is also a way to help you put vocabulary in the right context, so instead of learning a vocabulary, learning a sentence containing vocabulary will help you remember longer and understand that vocabulary clearer.
Review the new words after one week, two weeks and then one month. Also, practice using the new words in a sentence. This is the most important tip that you must follow to learn effectively.
If you do this five days a week, after a month you will have nearly 100 new words in your notebook. After 6 months you will have at least 500 new words.
The human mind can only effectively remember around 15 new words in a foreign language per day, so any more and you will not learn them properly and make mistakes. This method is the single most powerful way I know for learning vocabulary and lots of my students have been successful with it.
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