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Can the "Advanced Vocabulary" given by the training institution really help you get the high score of IELTS?


The article I wrote earlier has tried to explain what type of [senior vocabulary] should be in the IELTS speaking test.

(Link: What type of word is advanced? )

In that article I explained:

01 Why do many candidates use [very vocabulary] why they have side effects.

02 What type of vocabulary meets the criteria of the IELTS [very vocabulary].

03 What type of words are considered by the candidates to be advanced, but they are not.

04 How to learn to use [Advanced Vocabulary] naturally.

05 What type of vocabulary learning method does not work.

I certainly recommend that all those who are preparing for IELTS, or who want to improve their foreign language vocabulary, look at the previous article.

However, even among my students who have read the article, there are obviously some people who do not have the concept of "less common vocabulary".

In our IELTS speaking camp, I often correct the unnatural vocabulary used by students.

Usually they are answering relatively simple questions, and when they talk about very common situations, they use a phrase written in a Chinese teacher or a word book.

Those words are actually rare words, but because they are used under inappropriate circumstances, this is a mistake, or at least it will sound super unnatural.

I guess those students may not understand why I am correcting them.

I am often asked questions like this:

“The IELTS scoring standard says that we have to use less common vocabulary, but you said that we should avoid using words that we are not familiar with. Isn't that contradictory?

In other words, how should we separate the correct advanced vocabulary and the pseudo-high-level vocabulary that sounds fake?

To be honest, sometimes I can't explain it myself.

As a native English speaker, of course I know what type of words sounds like a native speaker will say, I can also point out the wrong and unnatural.

By being an English teacher and an IELTS examiner, I also know what is wrong when the Chinese try to use advanced vocabulary.

However, from the perspective of students, it is difficult to distinguish between the correct [very vocabulary] and the unnatural [very vocabulary].

I am the dividing line

I recently thought of a slightly clearer way to explain the difference.

I will explain it to you right away, but we must first understand the requirements of the IELTS scoring standard.

As you should know, the IELTS Speaking Criteria is divided into four areas:

Fluency, grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary.

In theory, any candidate who is useless [very see words] can get full marks in three of the four aspects, but the [vocabulary] score will be limited to six points.

If you want to get 6 points or more in [Language], you need to use some "less common vocabulary", which is [very vocabulary].

The specific requirements are as follows:

Vocabulary gets 7 points
uses some less common vocabulary and
idiomatic vocabulary to use some [uncommon vocabulary] and idiom

vocabulary to get 8 points
uses less common and idiomatic vocabulary skillfully
familiar with [very vocabulary] and idioms

Vocabulary gets 9 points
idiomatic language naturally and accurately uses idioms naturally and accurately

It is a pity that many IELTS teachers and candidates in China have misunderstood the meaning of "less common vocabulary".

In fact, the "less common vocabulary" used by candidates is not necessarily used by native speakers.

Frequently used by native speakers, but vocabulary rarely spoken by non-native English students is considered "less common vocabulary."

I recommend the IELTS candidates Do not "less common vocabulary" as a "vocabulary usually see very little" , but treat it as " most of the other candidates will not use, but the native speakers would use the word" (knock on blackboard , here is the focus!!)

Almost all of the English you speak can be divided into the following categories:


Words commonly used by students, but not used by native speakers: This includes errors, as well as statements that are not wrong, but not used by native speakers.

If you have done a language exchange, you may have heard your language exchange partner say: That statement is not wrong, but we will not say that, we will say this...

Examples of common mistakes in Chinese English students include:

Relax yourself / play mobile phone/ send a gift to someone / I very like and so on.

(Link: IELTS, a native speaker who only tells you the IELTS common oral error 1 )

(Link: IELTS, a native speaker who only tells you the IELTS common oral error 2 )

Not wrong, but the mistakes that native speakers will not say include:

Moving to a new city gave me a great sense of achievement / improve my logical thinking and critical thinking / with the development of society and so on.

Students should of course try to avoid using such vocabulary.

The vocabulary score of an IELTS student who says too much is usually five points higher.


Words that are common to normal, ordinary native speakers and English students.

This is a relatively basic, very common word that students must master. Even 90% of the words spoken by native speakers are of this type.

It is assumed that the candidate uses such a vocabulary perfectly, but even if a little "less common vocabulary" is not used, then he can only get up to 6 points in the vocabulary.

Conversely, if the vocabulary is used perfectly, his fluency, grammar and pronunciation scores will be high.

In fact, in reality, such students do not exist.

All students who are fluent, grammatical, and well-proportioned will use a little "less common vocabulary".


Native speakers usually use, but few English students will use the vocabulary.

This is the vocabulary that you should try to learn if you want to get more than six points.

Remember, they are not necessarily words that are magical, special, or profound.

This is any word or idiom that will take a lot of time to speak English with a native speaker or to read a lot of English movies without Chinese subtitles.

Such students will progress very quickly because they gradually realize the way the native speakers speak.

They themselves will speak relatively naturally and confidently.

Let the examiner listen to the normal English that he can't hear from most of the other candidates, and he will meet the requirement of using "less common vocabulary".

Examples of such words include:

  • Decent (decent, decent, decent, upright)

Eg We didn't win but we put in a decent effort. (We didn't win, but we did a good job.)

  • Relative speaking (relatively speaking)

Eg Relatively speaking, Canadian teachers earn more. (relatively, Canadian teachers earn more.)

  • Positive (optimistic, positive)

Eg It's important to surround yourself with positive people. (It is important to let yourself be surrounded by active people.)

  • To throw out

Eg to throw out rubbish

(Most candidates in China say "to throw rubbish"


The correct, vocabulary that expresses a relatively special meaning.

Such vocabulary is not common because it can only be used in rare cases or to describe very uncommon phenomena.

Many IELTS teachers and students in China think this is the only type of "less common vocabulary" because they ignore what I just mentioned.

For such a vocabulary, English native speakers may only use it once or twice a year.

It would be great if the candidate could use such a word correctly in the exam.

However, to use them correctly, you need to understand what types of contexts are available, which words can be matched, and which ones cannot be matched, and students need correct pronunciation.

In fact, trying to use such a vocabulary often leads to many different types of errors for candidates.


A vocabulary that is misused by students and expresses a relatively special meaning.

It may be used by the student in an incorrect situation, or by the student using the wrong pronunciation, or one or two words in the phrase are incorrect.

This is the mistake that students often make when trying to use the fourth type of vocabulary explained above.

These mistakes are often more annoying to the examiner than common common mistakes.

A few weeks ago, we practiced in the Speaking Training Camp "a thing that one of your friends has done, what you want to do," the second part of the IELTS speaking.

Most students try to use the idiom "to get out of your comfort zone".

That is a very useful statement, but even a student has not used it correctly.

Many people say this: "to go out of your comfort zone" and "to get out of your comfortable zone".

There are still some people who use the same words, but the pronunciation of "zone" is not good.

Some people have used the correct words, and each word is pronounced correctly, but the rhythm of the whole sentence is not smooth. They are similar to this: "to get out to pause your zone."

Believe me, if you are an examiner, you will feel that such an answer does not sound good at all.

They are not used to using this idiom.

They probably saw it, but rarely heard the native speaker pronounce it.

They are also likely to have not used that statement in front of their native speakers.

It’s okay to make such mistakes in the training camp.

I can point out and correct the student's mistakes, and then they can practice the correct statement.

The problem is that when you make a lot of such mistakes during the exam, you will lose points.

In many cases, students who are about 6 points in level try to use rare words that they are not used to, and only 5 points to 5.5 points.

The key is that many people simply don't realize that they need to get rid of such mistakes!

Examples of the mistakes I often hear [very vocabulary] include:

  • Out of this world (amazing / amazing / powerful)

- Students often say 'out of the world'. The more conservative words that native speakers will use more often are 'amazing' or 'fantastic'.

  • a variety of / various (various, multiple)

- Many students confuse the two with 'various of'. In addition, in the case of most students I listen to in 'a variety of' or 'various', native speakers will say more 'a lot of'. Many Chinese native speakers can't pronounce the 'v' sound of those two words.

  • Luxurious (luxury, luxurious)

- This is a very common pronunciation error.

Words that are often used in contexts that are incorrect include:

  • To leave a deep impression on (to be impressed)

- Many students use this phrase that should only be used to describe a very wonderful experience when talking about a very common experience. For example: the chocolate my roommate bought me for my birthday last week left a deep impression on me. (What kind of magical chocolate can make you have a wonderful experience?)

  • To broaden one's horizons - (open eyes)

- As in the above example, native speakers rarely use this statement. If they use it, they will only use it to talk about a super special, completely changing the events of their own lives.

  • To be a huge fan of

- Many times we can use 'to be a fan of' to mean 'like'. On the contrary, that statement cannot replace 'to like' in all cases. It will sound strange at some point.

For example: I'm not a huge fan of traffic jams (I am not a fan of traffic jams) No one is a fan of traffic jams!

We can say 'I don't like traffic jams' or 'I hate traffic jams' but saying 'I'm not a fan of traffic jams' means that you think some people are really fans of traffic jams.

I'm a huge fan of chicken (I am a chicken fan) saying 'I'm a huge fan of' will pick up something very ordinary and it will sound strange.

Students think it is a high-level vocabulary, but the words that native speakers almost never use when speaking include:

  • To be on cloud nine (heart ecstasy)

- Native speakers will say: to be very happy/ to be extremely happy / to be delighted

  • Raining cats and dogs:

- Native speakers will say: it's raining really heavily / it's bucketing down

  • Refreshing beverages (fresh drink):

- Native speakers will say: drinks

Final summary

Most of the native speakers and students say that they are normal vocabulary. Really, there is nothing wrong with it!

Never avoid using such a vocabulary.

Also don't worry about using too many such words.

If you can master such a vocabulary, you can still develop good English, and you can get a good score of IELTS speaking, 6.5 points or a little higher.

Then, if you can use a little "less common vocabulary" in the right situation, your potential score is unlimited.

What you should avoid is: errors, and words that are not mistakes, but not used by native speakers.

Be careful to replace relatively common vocabulary with words you think are advanced.

Many times, the ordinary word is used by native speakers, and advanced may not be suitable for that situation.

If you take a sentence of more than seven points, you need to use a little "less common vocabulary".

Also remember that there is no need to use a lot.

Correctly use several examiners who rarely listen to the words used by other candidates.

Such "less common vocabulary" is not only very special, but is rarely used by native speakers, and is often used by native speakers, but is rarely used by English students.

So how do you ensure that the vocabulary you are learning is normal for native speakers?

As I have recommended in many previous articles, English students should talk to their native speakers as much as possible. They should also listen as much as possible, read, and read native English and native English. I am not referring to English textbooks. It should be books, newspapers, websites, blogs, and broadcasters, podcasts, and watching TV and movies that native speakers can read.

Students should learn more phrases and sentences and learn less isolated orphaned words.

Never learn English textbooks or IELTS essays written by Chinese.

Thank you for your patience to read here~ It is the best support to just like it!

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