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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


commence: Read
/kə'mɛns/ v. Syn. originate; start; begin
have a beginning or origin; originate; start; begin
Mrs. Fairfax swallowed her breakfast and hastened away to commence operations.

commission: Read
/kə'mɪʃ(ə)n/ n.
fee for services; group of people appointed to find out about something; authorize
China has hit back, its foreign ministry urging the Congressional commission to wipe out its prejudice, respect the truth.

commodity: Read
/kə'mɒdɪtɪ/ n. Syn. goods
goods; article of trade; advantage; benefit.
While some world stock and commodity markets show signs of calming down, China is usually an exception.

community: Read
/kə'mju:nɪtɪ/ n. Syn. society; district
society; a group of people living in the same locality and under the same government
Where governments manage public life, human freedom in community is compromised.

compensate: Read
/'kɒmpɛnseɪt/ v. Syn. make up; reimburse
make amends for; reimburse
He said improved trade would compensate for the jobs lost to competition from India's world beating out-sourcing and computer software industries.

complement: Read
/'kɒmpləmənt/ v. Syn. complete; consummate
complete; consummate; make perfect
The waiter recommended a glass of port to complement the cheese.

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
abstract  Speak
Exercise
breakdown; failure
Exercise
gain with effort; accomplish; fulfill
Exercise
plane surface, as of the floor of a room; open space in a building; the enclosed space; extent; scope; range
Exercise
theoretical; not concrete; not applied or practical; difficult to understand
access  Speak
Exercise
approach; come near
Exercise
approach; entry; entrance
Exercise
convenient for use or disposal; not busy, free; obtainable; accessible
Exercise
do something that cannot be changed; cause to be admitted
achieve  Speak
Exercise
plane surface, as of the floor of a room; open space in a building; the enclosed space; extent; scope; range
Exercise
gain with effort; accomplish; fulfill
Exercise
work of acknowledged excellence and authority, or its author; creation of the highest excellence
Exercise
situation; condition; detail accompanying or surrounding an event
acknowledge  Speak
Exercise
approach; entry; entrance
Exercise
make amends for; reimburse
Exercise
resolve anything complex into its elements; separate into parts for purpose of examination of each separately
Exercise
declare to be true or admit; express obligation, thanks
allocate  Speak
Exercise
modify; cause to change; make different; convert
Exercise
study; investigation; process of breaking down a substance into its constituent parts
Exercise
lacking restraint or control; feeling of extreme emotional intensity; unbounded enthusiasm
Exercise
assign; distribute according to plan
alter  Speak
Exercise
approach; come near
Exercise
modify; cause to change; make different; convert
Exercise
sufficient; enough to meet a purpose
Exercise
assign; distribute according to plan
ambiguous  Speak
Exercise
travel with; be associated with
Exercise
unclear or doubtful in meaning
Exercise
resolve anything complex into its elements; separate into parts for purpose of examination of each separately
Exercise
breakdown; failure
analyse  Speak
Exercise
resolve anything complex into its elements; separate into parts for purpose of examination of each separately
Exercise
do a favor or service for; provide for; supply with; make suitable; adapt; allow for
Exercise
distinct feature or element in a problem; a way in which something can be viewed by the mind
Exercise
express an opinion; remark
apparent  Speak
Exercise
make amends for; reimburse
Exercise
capable of being seen, or easily seen; open to view; visible to eye
Exercise
occur at the same time as; correspond
Exercise
do a favor or service for; provide for; supply with; make suitable; adapt; allow for
area  Speak
Exercise
essential quality; reputation; honor
Exercise
plane surface, as of the floor of a room; open space in a building; the enclosed space; extent; scope; range
Exercise
resolve anything complex into its elements; separate into parts for purpose of examination of each separately
Exercise
fellow worker; associate; co-worker
Interactive Spelling - Check your spelling skill online
Read [Esc]
/ə'kɒmədeɪt/ v. Syn. adapt; oblige
do a favor or service for; provide for; supply with; make suitable; adapt; allow for
As for the stage in the public auditorium, it can easily be adjusted to [___] from a full-scale musical production to one by a solo vocalist.


Spelling Word: accommodate
Read [Esc]
/ə'kʌmpənɪ/ v.
travel with; be associated with
But the night being wet and inclement, Mr. Rochester did not [___] them.


Spelling Word: accompany
Read [Esc]
/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 [___] is a persona, and you've got one."


Spelling Word: acquire
Read [Esc]
/'ægrɪgət/ v. Syn. gather; accumulate
gather into a mass, sum, or whole; amount to
Before the Wall Street scandals, dealers managed to [___] great wealth in short periods of time.


Spelling Word: aggregate
Read [Esc]
/'ɔ:ltə(r)/ v. Syn. modify; change; convert
modify; cause to change; make different; convert
In public neither Mr. Blair's visit nor the regional summit in Nepal has done anything to [___] India's position on dialogue with Pakistan.


Spelling Word: alter
Read [Esc]
/ə'mɛnd/ v. Syn. correct; improve
change for the better; improve; remove faults or errors
Would McCain [___] executive orders to ensure that communications between persons outside government and White House staff are disclosed to the public?


Spelling Word: amend
Read [Esc]
/ə'pɛnd/ v. Syn. attach
attach; add as supplement or appendix
When you [___] a bibliography to a text, you have just created an supplementary material.


Spelling Word: append
Read [Esc]
/'æspɛkt/ n. Syn. respect; facet
distinct feature or element in a problem; a way in which something can be viewed by the mind
And I guess as his coming back, the education [___] is more on display than the others.


Spelling Word: aspect
Read [Esc]
/bri:f/ a.
short in time, duration, length, or extent; concise
When my [___] career as a pop star ended, I found I had done fairly well.


Spelling Word: brief
Read [Esc]
/'tʃælɪndʒ/ v.
assert a right; raise a formal objection; take exception to
Nowadays no one will [___] the fact that the earth is round.


Spelling Word: challenge