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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


clause: Read
/klɔ:z/ n. Syn. sentence; phrase
sentence; phrase; distinct article, stipulation, or provision in a document
Congress insisted on an exclusion clause for seventeen-year-olds.

coherent: Read
/koʊ'hɪərənt/ a. Syn. adhesive; cohesive
adhesive; cohesive; sticking together ; logical; sound; capable of thinking and expressing yourself in a clear and consistent manner
If the EU is to form any kind of coherent common foreign policy, it needs France and Britain singing from the same song sheet.

collapse: Read
/kə'læps/ v.
breakdown; failure
The streets of Baghdad are littered with putrefying mounds of rubbish that have been accumulating since the collapse of municipal services in March, with the arrival of coalition forces.

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.

Vocabulary List - View all words by list        
Select Vocabulary List:
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Words of List 4 (Part of words, select list to view all.):
legal
legislate
levy
liberal
likewise
link
locate
logic
maintain
major
manipulate
manual
margin
mature
maximise
mechanism
media
mediate
medium
mental
method
migrate
military
minimal
minimise
minimum
ministry
minor
mode
modify
monitor
motive
mutual
negate
network
neutral
nevertheless
nonetheless
norm
notion
notwithstanding
nuclear
objective
obtain
obvious
occupy
occur
odd
offset
ongoing
option
orient
outcome
output
overall
overlap
overseas
panel
paradigm
paragraph
parallel
parameter
participate
partner
passive
perceive
percent
period
persist
perspective
phase
phenomenon
philosophy
physical
plus
policy
portion
pose
positive
potential
practitioner
precede
precise
predict
predominant
preliminary
presume
previous
primary
prime
principal
principle
prior
priority
proceed
process
professional
prohibit
project
promote
proportion
prospect
protocol
psychology
publication
publish
purchase
pursue
...
Word Meaning Matching - Test how many words you know
abstract  Speak
Exercise
send information about; make known; impart; reveal clearly
Exercise
capable of providing a correct reading or measurement; performing with care and precision
Exercise
theoretical; not concrete; not applied or practical; difficult to understand
Exercise
reckon; make mathematical calculation
advocate  Speak
Exercise
jurisdiction; power to enforce laws, exact obedience, command, determine, or judge; government
Exercise
link; connection; uniting force or tie; binding agreement; duty
Exercise
reckon; make mathematical calculation
Exercise
speak, plead, or argue in favour of; plead for; push for something
aggregate  Speak
Exercise
having the ability required for a specific task
Exercise
school for special instruction; society of scholars, scientists, or artists
Exercise
gather into a mass, sum, or whole; amount to
Exercise
form or develop in the mind; devise; become pregnant with; begin or originate in a specific way
aid  Speak
Exercise
body of law; system of rules or regulations relating to one subject; system of symbols, letters, or words
Exercise
complicated in structure; a whole structure, as a building, made up of interconnected or related structures
Exercise
express an opinion; remark
Exercise
person or thing that promotes or helps in something done; helper; assistant
albeit  Speak
Exercise
graph; diagram; map showing coastlines, water depths, or other information of use to navigators
Exercise
even though; although; notwithstanding
Exercise
resolve anything complex into its elements; separate into parts for purpose of examination of each separately
Exercise
express an opinion; remark
analogy  Speak
Exercise
mental or physical ability; ability to accommodate
Exercise
similarity in some respects; comparison based on similarity
Exercise
assert a right; raise a formal objection; take exception to
Exercise
replace or enhance human labor with machines
automate  Speak
Exercise
send information about; make known; impart; reveal clearly
Exercise
quote; adduce as an instance
Exercise
make clear and comprehensible; elucidate
Exercise
replace or enhance human labor with machines
bias  Speak
Exercise
group; class; collection of things sharing a common attribute
Exercise
quote; adduce as an instance
Exercise
breakdown; failure
Exercise
preference or inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment; influence in unfair way
capable  Speak
Exercise
even though; although; notwithstanding
Exercise
having the ability required for a specific task
Exercise
complicated in structure; a whole structure, as a building, made up of interconnected or related structures
Exercise
school for special instruction; society of scholars, scientists, or artists
chart  Speak
Exercise
resolve anything complex into its elements; separate into parts for purpose of examination of each separately
Exercise
plane surface, as of the floor of a room; open space in a building; the enclosed space; extent; scope; range
Exercise
graph; diagram; map showing coastlines, water depths, or other information of use to navigators
Exercise
element; ingredient; abstract part of something
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]
/'ædɪkwət/ a. Syn. sufficient; enough
sufficient; enough to meet a purpose
England missed key players through injury, lacked [___] preparation and was unable to match Australia's skill.


Spelling Word: adequate
Read [Esc]
/əd'mɪnɪstreɪt/ v.
administer; supply; supervise or be in charge of
Remember that Democrats want to increase spending and create more laws which in turn create more government to [___] and enforce.


Spelling Word: administrate
Read [Esc]
/'æləkeɪt/ v. Syn. assign
assign; distribute according to plan
Even though the Red Cross did [___] a large sum for the relief of the sufferers of the disaster, many people perished.


Spelling Word: allocate
Read [Esc]
/'ɑrbɪtrərɪ/;/'ɑrrbɪtrɛrɪ/ a. Syn. capricious; impulse
randomly chosen; determined by chance or impulse, and not by reason or principle
He threw an [___] assortment of clothes into his suitcase and headed off, not caring where he went.


Spelling Word: arbitrary
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]
/ə'wɛə(r)/ a.
knowing; having knowledge or cognizance
BPA, as you're likely [___], is a chemical commonly found in plastics, food cans, and water bottles.


Spelling Word: aware
Read [Esc]
/'keɪpəb(ə)l/ a. Syn. competent
having the ability required for a specific task
Canadian politicians have been in [___] of ending this primitive practice.


Spelling Word: capable
Read [Esc]
/kə'pæsɪtɪ/ n. Syn. volume; ability; capability
mental or physical ability; ability to accommodate
Mike had the [___] to handle several jobs at once.


Spelling Word: capacity
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