I used a special computer program to extract all the vocabulary from all the
Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 questions that are listed on this website. I then put
them into four lists, of different degrees of difficulty.
The computer program looked at all the words written on all the Part 1,
Part 2 and Part 3 pages of this website. A few words (but not many) which where not really used in questions but
were in notes that I have written on the same pages as the questions, are
included in these lists. It's too much trouble for me to take out these
words from the lists. Besides, it's good for you to know those words.
You should not think of these lists as a complete, "IELTS Speaking test vocabulary list"
because these are just the words that were used in the questions, not the words
that you can use in answers. For example, in the Part 1 topic, "Housework", the
phrase, "washing the dishes" is useful vocabulary but that phrase is not
included in these lists because it was not used in any questions listed on this
But it is common sense that, as part of your vocabulary-building,
you should include words and expressions that enable you to understand what
the questions mean. So these lists can be treated as part of
your Speaking test essential vocabulary.
The four lists increase in difficulty as you go from List 1 to
List 4. I selected the words for these different lists quite quickly, so you
should consider this grading system, based on difficulty, as somewhat
approximate and some words might not be in the most suitable list for you.
For example, there might be some words in List 2 that should be in List 1 and
there might also be some words in List 2 that should be in List 3.
Not all of
the words or expressions in Lists 3 and 4 are really, "difficult".
Some of them were placed into those
lists simply because they are not very often used and therefore not as well-known
as the words in Lists 1 and 2.
List 1 should contain very few words that are new to you if you are Band
5 or above. Some very easy
words such as "the" and "and" were taken out of this list.
Several of these words have more than one meaning or more than one
usage. Later, when I have time, I hope to highlight the most important words
that have different meanings or usages. Until I do that, it's "up to you"
to use a dictionary to find out the different meanings for some words.
Some of the words in List 4 would only be used by an examiner if the
examiner thinks you are at Band 6 level or above.
If you are a reader of this website from some other country besides
China, you should understand that there are a few words in the lists that
apply to Chinese candidates but not to you. Some examples of these are:
weiqi, mahjong, Daoism, Confucianism, calligraphy, monosodium glutamate and the