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IELTS Vocabulary: 500 AWL

The 500 IELTS vocabulary is so-called AWL (Academic Word List), which was rooted from a popular webpage of HONG KONG Univ. We re-organized it with new definitions and examples. As we know, students should learn at least 5000 IELTS vocabulary before taking academic test. These 500 words cannot replace hardworking of 5000 or more IELTS vocabulary, but is the first step to open the door of building vocabulary efficiently.

Firstly, it is a high frequent word list in IELTS test papers.Two types of students may be interested in the vocabulary.The first is to just start to build vocabulary.They want to get the big picture of IELTS academic vocabulary quickly.The second is in a very narrow time frame to prepare their tests, this list contains the most common words and is a proven short-cut to pass IELTS test.

English is foreign language for most of IELTS test takers.Leverage mother language's knowledge to learn new English words is a normal way for them. This IELTS vocabulary encloses definitions of 20 languages that cover most population of the world. It's a big save for ESL (English as Second Language) students.

In addition to original Chinese explanation of HONG KONG Univ, more local language explanations are appended to help ESL test takers.Open the register form page; you will see there are 20 languages available. Select your mother language; then, IELTS vocabulary will show explanations with English and your mother language together.

Each word in this IELTS academic vocabulary is demonstrated with example sentence, which plays a key part to understand and use new word in right way. Memorize words alone are usually boring, and even if you get them you won’t be very confident to use them.However, if connect a word with an example sentence, the situation will be changed, these words and sentences will enhance your both reading and writing skill.

At last, please notice this AWL is from Hong Kong. It means these words are targeted to IELTS academic test and are for students who live in English speaking areas.Lots of fundamental words are filtered because they are assumed to be known in daily activities.So this IELTS vocabulary may not be an ideal choice for test takers who are in non-English countries.

This IELTS vocabulary is too short to hunt top score. Obviously, high level students need a more powerful vocabulary to work. IELTS Academic Words List, the largest IELTS vocabulary in the website, reflects the essential vocabulary level of IELTS academic test. It's a good option for serious test takers.

IELTS Academic Words List

Besides, some students prefer to use ebook to study and review IELTS vocabulary, we have two to recommend:

IELTS 1200 Words in 30 Days (basic level)
Available at:
Apple iBook, Google Books, Amazon Kindle, and others...

4000 IELTS Words (basic,middle, and high level)
Available at:
Amazon Kindle - US or other ebook distributors.

IELTS vocabulary is the foundation to pass the test. Before your starting, you should clean all questions, such as how many words to learn, how long to spend, and by what way or tool to study. If you cannot set your goal or doubt your plan, google and research some online resources may help you out, e.g.:

IELTS Official Website
English Language Centre, Hong Kong Polytechnic University


accumulate: Read
/ə'kju:mjʊleɪt/ v. Syn. collect
pile up; collect; mount up; increase
The tendency of Capital to accumulate is a big threat to the free market.

achieve: Read
/ə'tʃi:v/ v. Syn. accomplish; fulfill
gain with effort; accomplish; fulfill
Water, energy, health, agriculture, and biodiversity, require the world's scientific community to come up with the means to achieve sustainable development.

acquire: Read
/ə'kwaɪə(r)/ v. Syn. obtain; gain
gain through experience or effort; gain possession of; locate with tracking system
As Norman Mailer once said to me, "One of the hardest things to acquire is a persona, and you've got one."

adequate: Read
/'ædɪkwət/ a. Syn. sufficient; enough
sufficient; enough to meet a purpose
England missed key players through injury, lacked adequate preparation and was unable to match Australia's skill.

adjust: Read
/ə'dʒʌst/ v. Syn. adapt; regulate
adapt; regulate
The opera house was handed over by the builders nearly a year ago, but it's taken many months to install new stage machinery and to adjust the acoustics.

adult: Read
/'ædʌlt/ n.
one who has attained maturity or legal age; fully grown
Not clear from the video if the adult is a man or woman, but he or she is facing charges of endangering the welfare of a child.

Vocabulary List - View all words by list        
Select Vocabulary List:
1  2  3  4  5 

Words of List 3 (Part of words, select list to view all.):
evident
evolve
exceed
exclude
exhibit
expand
expert
explicit
exploit
export
expose
external
extract
facilitate
factor
feature
federal
fee
file
final
finance
finite
flexible
fluctuate
focus
format
formula
forthcoming
foundation
framework
function
fund
fundamental
furthermore
gender
generate
generation
globe
goal
grade
grant
guarantee
guideline
hence
hierarchy
highlight
hypothesis
identical
identify
ideology
ignorant
illustrate
image
immigrate
impact
implement
implicate
implicit
imply
impose
incentive
incidence
incline
income
incorporate
index
indicate
individual
induce
inevitable
infer
infrastructure
inherent
inhibit
initial
initiate
injure
innovate
insert
insight
inspect
instance
institute
instruct
integral
integrate
integrity
intelligence
intense
interact
intermediate
internal
interpret
interpretation
interval
intervene
intrinsic
invest
investigate
invoke
involve
isolate
issue
item
journal
justify
label
labour
...
Word Meaning Matching - Test how many words you know
accurate  Speak
Exercise
graph; diagram; map showing coastlines, water depths, or other information of use to navigators
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capable of providing a correct reading or measurement; performing with care and precision
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make clear and comprehensible; elucidate
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make fit for; change to suit a new purpose
achieve  Speak
Exercise
gain with effort; accomplish; fulfill
Exercise
thorough; including all or everything; broad in scope
Exercise
mental or physical ability; ability to accommodate
Exercise
give help or support to, especially as a subordinate
advocate  Speak
Exercise
suppose; presume; take on; bear
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speak, plead, or argue in favour of; plead for; push for something
Exercise
give help or support to, especially as a subordinate
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passage for water or other fluids to flow through; bed of a stream or river; route of communication or access
affect  Speak
Exercise
have an emotional or cognitive impact upon
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passage for water or other fluids to flow through; bed of a stream or river; route of communication or access
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having to do with citizens or the state; courteous and polite
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even though; although; notwithstanding
aid  Speak
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person or thing that promotes or helps in something done; helper; assistant
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adapt; regulate
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adhesive; cohesive; sticking together ; logical; sound; capable of thinking and expressing yourself in a clear and consistent manner
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occur at the same time as; correspond
alter  Speak
Exercise
even though; although; notwithstanding
Exercise
modify; cause to change; make different; convert
Exercise
make amends for; reimburse
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gather into a mass, sum, or whole; amount to
amend  Speak
Exercise
adjoining; neighboring; close to; lying near
Exercise
change for the better; improve; remove faults or errors
Exercise
occur at the same time as; correspond
Exercise
passage for water or other fluids to flow through; bed of a stream or river; route of communication or access
analogy  Speak
Exercise
similarity in some respects; comparison based on similarity
Exercise
resolve anything complex into its elements; separate into parts for purpose of examination of each separately
Exercise
make amends for; reimburse
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essential quality; reputation; honor
approximate  Speak
Exercise
having to do with citizens or the state; courteous and polite
Exercise
beginner, former, or first mover of anything; creator; originator; one who composes or writes book or composer
Exercise
pile up; collect; mount up; increase
Exercise
approach; come near
assess  Speak
Exercise
have a beginning or origin; originate; start; begin
Exercise
advantage; something that aids or promotes well-being ; welfare; gain
Exercise
estimate value; judge worth of something
Exercise
division of a book or treatise; assembly of monks; bishop's council; organized branch of some society
Interactive Spelling - Check your spelling skill online
Read [Esc]
/ə'kædəmɪ/ n.
school for special instruction; society of scholars, scientists, or artists
The mission of our [___] is actually to ensure the health and the well-being of all children.


Spelling Word: academy
Read [Esc]
/ə'tʃi:v/ v. Syn. accomplish; fulfill
gain with effort; accomplish; fulfill
Water, energy, health, agriculture, and biodiversity, require the world's scientific community to come up with the means to [___] sustainable development.


Spelling Word: achieve
Read [Esc]
/ək'nɒlɪdʒ/ v. Syn. recognize; admit
declare to be true or admit; express obligation, thanks
Although I [___] that the Beatles' tunes sound pretty dated today, I still prefer them to the songs my brothers play.


Spelling Word: acknowledge
Read [Esc]
/ɔ:l'bi:ɪt/ ad.
even though; although; notwithstanding
This question bothers me, [___] from a different perspective.


Spelling Word: albeit
Read [Esc]
/æm'bɪgjʊəs/ a.
unclear or doubtful in meaning
His [___] instructions misled us; we did not know which road to take.


Spelling Word: ambiguous
Read [Esc]
/ə'nælədʒɪ/ n. Syn. similarity; parallelism
similarity in some respects; comparison based on similarity
This [___] is almost always noted without further comment, although in fact it may be taken further.


Spelling Word: analogy
Read [Esc]
/ə'pærənt/ a. Syn. visible
capable of being seen, or easily seen; open to view; visible to eye
It is [___] to all that he was guilty; do you think anyone still trusts him now?


Spelling Word: apparent
Read [Esc]
/ə'teɪn/ v. Syn. gain
achieve or accomplish; gain
The scarecrow sought to [___] one goal: he wished to obtain a brain.


Spelling Word: attain
Read [Esc]
/'ɔ:θə(r)/ n.
beginner, former, or first mover of anything; creator; originator; one who composes or writes book or composer
The mayor of the village, in delivering the prize to the [___] of it, made a warm speech.


Spelling Word: author
Read [Esc]
/'kætɪgərɪ/ n. Syn. group
group; class; collection of things sharing a common attribute
Remember, all cars are priced, booked and controlled by car [___], not by car maker or model.


Spelling Word: category