Academic Word List

The 570 most common words in English academic texts

The Academic Word List (AWL) is a list of 570 of the most common academic words found in academic texts. Below is the full word list, with all words linked to our lessons. This allows students to see definitions of academic words as they encounter (find) them in the lesson materials. It is good to get into a habit of learning 10 – 15 words every week as you prepare for the IELTS test, so use our list as a learning aid.

To improve the motivation of our students to learn these words, we have built an Android app called Key English | IELTS Vocabulary. It organises the words from most to least common, and allows you to play different games to help you remember the definitions, examples, synonyms, word-types and spelling.

This tab lists the academic words by their frequency. Sublist 1 contains the most frequent (common) words and Sublist 10 contains the least frequent words.

Sublist 20 contains terms that are useful for essay writing.