IELTS Vocabulary

IELTS Vocabulary Advice

Knowledge of IELTS vocabulary is extremely important for success on the examination.

Many students fail the exam because they do not understand the vocabulary used in the passages on the reading test or in the recorded conversations and lectures on the listening test.

Other students do not get a top band score because they have used only very simple vocabulary in their essay or in their interview.

You can improve your IELTS vocabulary with the following exercise.

IELTS Vocabulary Exercise

Instructions:  Look at the following passage, paying special attention to the 12 highlighted words. Then use a dictionary to find the definitions of the vocabulary words that you do not know. Finally, check your answers in the next section.


In England, Wales and Scotland, newly-established breakfast clubs provide the first meal of the day to approximately 10,000 children. Nevertheless, there are many areas where children do not get an adequate breakfast. There is no doubt that their education is jeopardised because of this. An overwhelming need exists at present for public health and education authorities to deal with this terrible aspect of child poverty.

In addition, tobacco usage damages children’s health and greatly increases their mortality rates. The cigarette tax was raised by law recently by 25 pence a packet. However, the tax will not be efficacious – it will make poor parents even poorer and children will suffer. Children’s health would be positively impacted up if the government devoted even half of the resources with which it is tackling cigarette smuggling to preventing cigarette sales to children.

Drinking also affects children’s health. Children’s drinking is on the rise due to the dramatic increase in the availability of ‘alcopops’ – fizzy, sweetened alcoholic drinks. These drinks are exploitative because they make alcohol attractive to young people. Yet on this issue, as on others, the government has failed to take punitive action against businesses.

The cessation of child poverty has to include improving the health of the poorest children. Health and poverty are inextricably related, and sustained regulation and much more effective prevention strategies are required in order to improve the health of our children.

IELTS Vocabulary Answers

Compare your answers to the IELTS vocabulary exercise above to the definitions below.

(1) approximately – more or less, in the region of

(2) adequate – sufficient, suitable for the purpose

(3) jeopardised – placed in danger

(4) overwhelming – to describe a quantity that is more than what is good or useful

(5) mortality – death

(6) efficacious – efficient and effective

(7)tackling – trying to solve a difficult problem

(8) smuggling – bringing merchandise into a country without paying tax on it

(9) exploitative – describes taking advantage of someone vulnerable

(10) punitive – punishing

(11) cessation – to stop doing something

(12) inextricably – not easily removed or undone

Improve your IELTS Vocabulary with our Study Guide

Improve your IELTS vocabulary skills for your exam with our study guide:

IELTS Vocabulary Skills Book