IELTS Speaking TEST (Part 02) – Lexical Resource

It’s time to learn some new tricks and revise vocabulary for IELTS with me Michelle. In this lesson we are learning how to score better in the Lexical Resource/ Vocabulary criterion which is one of the four criterions for the IELTS Speaking Test. Do you know? Vocabulary is 25 % of your marks for IELTS Speaking Test. It also plays a key role in Writing, Listening and Reading test. So pay attention.

Using Vocabulary Flexibly:

Meaning: To use the same word in different contexts to discuss a variety of topics.

Aim: to understand how we can use the same word differently

How: to categorize words: When you read a new word jot down the different contexts that you can use it for.

Or you can make a list of words about a particular topic, like sports (kick, play, win, run – using mind maps always helps with this)

Example: Let’s look at some ways to use the word “Advice”:

-To talk about relationships/ career (in Task -1): My brother’s advice helped me to choose Medicine as a career.

-To talk about your favourite newspaper (in Task-2- topic- Describe your favorite newspaper): I love to read XYZ newspaper because of its advice column which is authored by experts.

-To talk about “The effects of eating out” (in Task-3 – Analytical Discussion): My advice to my best friend who’s a bit overweight is to follow a balanced diet.

(Please remember this example does not mean that you overuse a word but to use the same word in different contexts wherever required.)

Quick tip: So here we learn that the same word can be used in different situations or different contexts, to be an expert at using vocabulary flexibly you need to be an active listener of various English news channels and also an active user of the newly learned vocabulary. Practice is the key.


Meaning: If you can’t find a word (don’t give up) try explaining the word. You’ll get surely brownie points for that.

Aim: To explain a word you can’t find

How: By describing it

Example: In Task 1 while talking about studies:

Examiner: what was your first day at college like?

You: I can’t explain the feeling. It was a mix of disappointment and also expectation for the future. Because I didn’t speak to anyone in the class but I was expecting that maybe I’ll make some good friends soon.

Using synonyms: (use of less common vocabulary and expressions)

Meaning: there are some words that are tired words and you need to get rid of them and some energetic words that need to be used.

Aim:  to try to use energetic words in place of tired words

How: Try using a thesaurus or make word card

Example: A nice job, a nice lunch, a nice car, a nice woman etc. just sounds unimaginative and perhaps even uneducated if you speak like this. To get a higher score in the exam, you’ll have to learn to express the same idea with different words. Try this: a first-rate job, a sumptuous meal, an outstanding car, a smart women. How does it sound now? You can see the difference yourself.

Using Collocations and Understanding Connotation:

Meaning: Collocations are words that go together

How: Practice them. Watch our videos on collocations for many different words

Example: Lion’s Roar – Lions do not shout, alternatively make a phone call- we don’t do a phone call

Meaning: Connotation means the negative, positive and neutral association some words have.


Example: Positive- Laid-back/slim, Inactive – neutral/thin, lazy – negative/skinny

These tips will help you sail smoothly through the Lexical Resource Criterion of the IELTS Speaking Test. Please view my other videos on IELTS Speaking test to learn more.



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