This lesson explores how you can use sample tests to build your IELTS academic reading vocabulary. We take a paragraph from Cambridge IELTS 11 and highlight the useful terms.
How to get IELTS Academic Reading Vocabulary from Sample Tests
IELTS reading tests are excellent for vocabulary study (and grammar).
This is because nearly every paragraph has a lot of high level words, collocations, set phrases, synonyms, examples of cohesive devices, and more.
You can use your previous reading tests to improve your academic vocabulary tremendously. And you can be sure that this vocabulary is useful for the IELTS because it’s already on a sample test!
Sample Reading Test Paragraph
“Such is our dependence (1) on fossil fuels, and such is the volume (2) of carbon dioxide already released into the atmosphere, that many experts agree that significant global warming is now inevitable (3). They believe that the best we can do (4) is keep it at a reasonable level, and at present the only serious option for doing this is cutting back (5) on our carbon emissions (6). But while a few countries are making major strides (7) in this regard, the majority are having great difficulty even stemming (8) the rate of increase, let alone (9) reversing it. Consequently, an increasing number of scientists are beginning to explore the alternative of geo-engineering — a term which generally refers to the intentional (10) large-scale manipulation (11) of the environment. According to its proponents (12), geo-engineering is the equivalent (13) of a backup generator (14): if Plan A – reducing our dependency (1) on fossil fuels – fails, we require a Plan B, employing grand schemes (15) to slow down or reverse the process of global warming.”
Vocabulary Highlights – Words & Expressions
- the best that we can do
- cutting back
- Carbon emissions
- make major strides
- let alone
- according to its proponents
- backup generator
- employ grand schemes
Suggestions for IELTS Academic Reading Vocabulary Practice
- Put the words and phrases you don’t know onto flash cards.
- One side is the sentence without the word/phrase.
- The other side is the word/phrase.
- After reading the paragraph several times, try to rewrite the paragraph by only looking at the IELTS academic reading vocabulary words/phrases you have selected. Compare your version with the original passage to see what is different.
- Look up more example sentences using a dictionary or search engine (like Google). After that, write your own example sentences.