Wednesday, February 19, 2014

IELTS Vocabulary: 9 Words to Help You Achieve a 9 in the IELTS Test

Here's a transcript of the slide presented at about the useful words to help you get a score of 9 in the IELTS test.

1. on par

- equal to someone or something


I'm diligent and I am not afraid of hard work. My grades last semester were on par with the best students in my program, so I feel it would be accurate to say I am motivated by success.


After looking at both sides of this discussion, my personal sentiments are on par with the idea that strict parental control produces a more productive member of society.

2. volatile

- something unstable/negative in nature
- changeable

Speaking (when asked about your hobbies)

My professional schedule has been quite volatile this past year. I've thus found it difficult to maintain hobbies. I tend to exercise when I can, but I wouldn't say there is a regular pattern to it.

Writing (Task 1)

The figures exhibit volatility between the years 1996 and 2000; however, a reversion to stability is seen in 2002.

Writing (Task 2)

For example, the volatile nature of weather in Caribbean countries can make tourism unpredictable  and therefore, unreliable. For these countries, providing people with greater access to the Internet would empower workers and allow them to both educate themselves and develop online businesses in the services sector. Thus, because a varied economy promotes stability, tourist dependent countries should do what they can to establish other industries.

3. plateau

- a period of time that shows inactivity; stability


When I first started studying English in Australia, my skills grew rapidly. However, after I returned  to my home country, my language abilities unfortunately plateaued/hit a plateau. I attribute this to the fact that I did not have anyone to practice English with.

Writing T1

Following a rapid growth from 60 to 180 barrels in the first month of 2002, corn oil production hit plateau of 200 barrels between February and April. In May, however, the trend once again reverts to climbing and reaches the highest for the year at 275 barrels.

4. pique

- a verb that is used to describe something that stimulates interests
- to provoke; arouse


After visiting a science and technology museum as a child, my interest in computer programming was piqued.

Writing T2

Firstly, technology can pique the interest of students in a way that encourages focus and information retention. For example, modern university lecture halls make it possible for classrooms in Canada to use music, video and the Internet as a means of maintaining the attention of students during class time.

5. contrary

- a word we can use to introduce opposing ideas; be sure to use this after an idea is already introduced
- a fact or condition incompatible with another


Contrary to my personality, my sister is very outgoing and tends to make friends easily.


On the contrary, several disadvantages stem from the use of technology in the classroom.

6. parallel

- something that occurs in the same manner
- very similar and often happening at the same time


My university experiences paralleled those of my brother.

There are clear parallels between my university experiences and those of my brother.

Writing T1

Firstly, several parallels exist between Harry Potter and other fantasy series you likely have enjoyed. If you liked the setting of The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter will not disappoint you, as it takes place in a medieval world richly populated by both humans and other forms of intelligent life.

7. embrace
- something that is accepted willingly and can be used in one's advantage

I embraced the opportunity to study abroad.


Thus, it is clear that students who embrace the study of another language are positioning themselves for future academic and professional opportunities.

8. hinder

- to make (something, such as a task or action) slow or difficult or weaker
- hold back


Distraction has definitely been a challege for me. Being social, I feel, is a big part of the university experience. However, being too social can hinder a student's ability to focus, and this can directly impact academic performance.


Firstly, addressing corruption around the world can bring protection to the rights of the poor, and this helps better the economic situation of those in need. For example, corruption in China has historically hindered teh development of a legal system able to protect the poor against extortion. However, recent anti-corruption campaigns have shed some light on this problem, and this has led to modest improvement in the rights of those that lack wealth.

9. retain

to keep (someone) in a position, job, etc.


Yes, I believe I will someday. I've travelled quite a bit, but I've always retained a feeling that I'd like to live in my home country long term.


Firstly, if a single language is spoken and taught the world over, this could make it difficult for people to retain their cultural identity.


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