- By Anna
Expanding your vocabulary is crucial while preparing for the IELTS test. It will definitely make it easier as you go through each skill on the exam. Having a broad vocabulary will also help you in your everyday life as words are one of the key predictors of someone’s profession, education level or social status.
The question now is – how to actually expand your vocabulary? The easiest and fastest way is to read. And not only books. If you are reading this at the moment, I would say you are on the right track. Read everything you possibly can: books, newspapers, road signs, and ingredients’ list on your shampoo bottle. You will not only learn new words, but you can also improve your grammar and after some time, you may find it much easier to form complex sentences.
Look the words up. Whenever you see a word you don’t understand, look it up. Google and a dictionary are your friends. However, please do yourself a favour and do not search for equivalents of said word in your native language. Instead, look up the English definition of the word and check the examples, how it should be used in a sentence. This way, you have more chance to actually remember the word and use it in the future.
Search for synonyms of words you use the most often. It can especially help you while writing a paper. Don’t get too crazy, though and remember that sometimes, even though certain words can be synonymous, they cannot be used in the same type of paper. It is all about the register!
Play word games. Who said learning new words cannot be fun? If a boring train ride is part of your commute, why not make it more interesting by doing some crosswords? If you prefer staring at the screen of your phone, there are also educational games you could install (e.g. the word game I am playing now is called Word Cookies).
As you probably already know, the key to learning new words or expressions is always your motivation and persistence. Appreciate the beauty of the language, dive into it, research the etymology of the words you learn – you will be surprised how interesting it can be.
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