Vocabulary | Academic Vocabulary Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

In order to receive a band 7 or higher in speaking and writing, you must accurately use academic vocabulary. Learning academic vocabulary will also help you to understand academic texts in the reading test and part 4 of the listening test, which is always about an academic topic.

In this free class you are going to see academic vocabulary in context (the words/information around the new word) from which you can work out the meaning.  


Exercise 1 | Think about Meanings

Select the meaning of the word or phrase in bold.
1. There are serious negative implications of breaking the law. For example, you could be arrested and ultimately jailed.
a) a possible consequence/result of something.
b) a regret about something that happened in the past.
c) a cause of something.
2. I think today’s education system places too much emphasis on preparing school students for the world of work.
a) Doesn’t give importance.
b) gives an idea.
c) gives special importance.
3. If you focus on improving your vocabulary you will find the IELTS test easier.
a) to concentrate all your interest or activity on something.
b) to try a new way of doing something.
c) To see something more clearly.
4. The best way to acquire new skills is by constant practice and training.
a) to try.
b) to learn.
c) to succeed.
5. Almost all scientists acknowledge that human industry is having a major impact on the world’s climate.
a) to question.
b) to accept.
c) to reject.
6. Globalization is defined as the process by which the world is becoming more interconnected due to improvements in technology and trade.
a) described as
b) suggested to be
c) not similar to
7. From an environmental perspective, the government should encourage as many people as possible to use public transport in order to reduce air pollution.
a) a common belief.
b) an unpopular idea.
c) a point of view.
8. Many concepts in philosophy are difficult to understand when first encountered.
a) a simplistic idea.
b) an idea which many people argue about.
c) an abstract idea.


Exercise 2 | Think about Grammar

What part of speech (verb/noun etc) are the words in bold
1. There are serious negative implications of breaking the law. For example, you could be arrested and ultimately jailed.
2. I think today’s education system places too much emphasis on preparing school students for the world of work.
3. If you focus on improving your vocabulary you will find the IELTS test easier.
4. The best way to acquire new skills is by constant practice and training.
5. Almost all scientists acknowledge that human industry is having a major impact on the world’s climate.
6. Globalization is defined as the process by which the world is becoming more interconnected due to improvements in technology and trade.
7. From an environmental perspective, the government should encourage as many people as possible to use public transport in order to reduce air pollution.
8. Many concepts in philosophy are difficult to understand when first encountered.


Exercise 3 | Think about Collocations

Can you remember which preposition is used in the following collocations? Do this without looking at the previous exercises.
as   ·  of   ·  from   ·  on  
Click or touch a word above
1. implication
2. emphasis
3. focus
4. defined
5. an environmental perspective
​Remember that prepositions must always be followed by a noun or a gerund (verb+ing).


Exercise 4 | Final Practice

Complete the sentences with the appropriate word or phrase from the box.
acquire   ·  is defined as   ·  emphasis on   ·  acknowledge   ·  focus on   ·  implications of   ·  concepts   ·  perspectives  
Click or touch a word above
1. Many language teachers believe that there needs to be more of an reading and listening skills in the classroom since this will help students to learn a wider range of vocabulary.
2. The the rise in petrol prices are that basic goods, such as food, will become more expensive and that public transport will also become more expensive as bus and train companies increase ticket prices.
3. I that there are many strong arguments in favour of eating meat; however, I still disagree with it for moral reasons.
4. I remember that some of the in my psychology course were very tricky to understand and so I had to do extra work before I ‘got’ them. (Note: In this context ‘got’ informally means ‘understood’.)
5. Students who a language quickly are generally the ones who do a lot of reading in that language.
6. It was an interesting article because the writer examined the topic from a wide number of .
7. An arachnid an arthropod, such as a spider or scorpion.
8. In next week’s class we are going to how to write an academic essay introduction.

In the future, when you find a new word in an academic text, rather than immediately look for it in the dictionary, first guess the meaning and work out the grammar from the context. 

For more practice visit our next lesson in the Academic Vocabulary series