Lexical resource in IELTS writing and its role in achieving good results
This video looks at lexical resources for IELTS writing; one of four criteria that individuals are tested on, alongside grammatical range and accuracy, coherence and cohesion and task achievement/response.

It includes important pointers to help individuals improve their results by developing their vocabulary in advance of their writing tests.

The importance of learning synonyms
Knowing a variety of words with the same or very similar meanings can help individuals to avoid the mistake of repetition – in particular, it can help them avoid repeating words that have already been used in the test question. When considering each task, they may therefore wish to brainstorm a list of synonyms first to use throughout their essay.

Word combination or ‘collocation’
In English, certain words are naturally used together. For example, a criminal is guilty of committing a crime, not making a crime. And we may hear a lion roar, but we’ll never hear it shout. Individuals can improve their skills in this area by learning words in combination. For example, when reading in English, they should make an effort to note word combinations and context to support their understanding. The greater their contextual understanding, the less likely they are to make a mistake.

Word formation or ‘word families’
In the English language, words are often part of families. For example, ‘economical’, ‘economic’, ‘economics’ and ‘economy’ are all related. To know which of these words fits into a sentence, such as ‘nowadays every [economy] is struggling’, requires a good understanding of how each word should be used. The easiest way to build this understanding is through practice.

Leaving enough time for proofreading
Allowing a few minutes at the end of the test gives people the opportunity to check their writing for any errors, and to add in a wider range of less-common words to showcase their vocabulary.

You might also like to remind those taking the test that the examiner is not too concerned with the creativity or correctness of their ideas. Rather, they will be looking at each candidate’s ability to express and develop their ideas precisely and effectively.

Please also encourage everyone who is planning to take the test to download our lexical resource for IELTS writing and to familiarise themselves with the other test criteria, namely grammatical range and accuracy, coherence and cohesion, and task achievement/response.