Hi all,

I'm a non-English native speaker going to take an Academic IELTS exam in few months. At the moment, I'm toying with the problem of memorising the English words, so that when I want to write/state sentences in English, I can recall them for use well. They're nearly more than 1000 new words and phrases.

What methods do you friends bestow upon me, please?


I recommend practicing the writing tasks #1 and #2. Then you can develop your own patterns of responses.

This site has many sample questions:

http://ieltsliz.com/100-ielts-essay-questions /

1 2
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Thanks so much indeed, dear AS. Emotion: smile

Do you mean that by walking through a process which is writing essays using particular diagrams, charts, topics, subjects etc, I'm expected to recall the most number of English words and phrases I've already learnt and memorised? That is, when I have been given nearly 40 minutes for writing an essay about a specific topic, I ought to think well to apply most (if not all) the appropriate and relevant words/phrases to write in the essay. And that way try to get used to recalling them easily and even more easily for the next essays. Am I right, please?

KhoshtipManDo you mean that by walking through a process

A systematic approach usually works better than a haphazard approach in any endeavor.

KhoshtipMan I'm expected to recall the most number of English words and phrases I've already learnt and memorised?

Task 1 gives the opportunity for developing a natural and automatic lexicon related to mathematical descriptions.

Task 2 gives the opportunity for perfecting the argumentative essay style. This consists of a logical flow of ideas, and introduction and summary. There is a large variety of topics for which you can reinforce and add to your vocabulary.

KhoshtipManThat is, when I have been given nearly 40 minutes

In a practice session, there is no time limit. Thus, you can write and rewrite without the stress of a deadline.

KhoshtipMan Am I right, please?

Only you can answer truthfully from your own experience.

I recommend using flashcards. I have used the app Flashcards Deluxe for slightly more than one year and I have learned and memorized 3400 new words and phrases so far. It's available for Android and iOS. It's not free, but it's worth its price in my opinion. I haven't seen a better app so far. While it can be a bit clumpsy to use sometimes, it's the only app I know that has complete flexibility and a good algorithm (for the determination of the learning intervals). Most other apps only let you learn in one direction (i.e. word -> definition).

This is what I usually do:

- I encounter a new word or phrase or just a nice formulation e.g. in the NY Times. Then I copy that passage or make a screenshot. I look up the word(s) on OALD or Merriam Webster's and then I create a new flashcard where I put the definition along with examples (including the original reference, which is usually the Times) with the word itself replaced by '...' on side one and the word along with its pronunciation on side two.

- Sometimes I just look up e.g. 'relation' on Oxford Collocations Dictionary, then I put e.g. 'verbs + relation' on side one and a screenshot of the Collocations Dictionary app on side two. These cards I learn only in one direction, of course.

- Sometimes I just put a picture of an object on side one and the noun on side two.

- When I want to learn a phrase, I usually put a translation into my native language (German) on side one and the original phrase with at least one example on side two. But sometimes there is no translation, then I procede on a case-by-case basis.

And it just works. Emotion: wink

Studying 10 - 20 flashcards a day is absolutely realistic if you're willing to spend ~30min every day on it. It's absolutely crucial to take the time to prepare good flashcards (with unequivocal definitions and examples).

Another good reference is vocabulary.com. But my criticism there is that it goes word -> explanation, which is precisely the wrong direction, in my humble opinion.

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Hope you succeeded.

There is an academic word list (AWL) based on real usage statistics. It lists the most important words to know in groups of 100. 680+ or so..

I had a link that allowed making flashcards and quizzing oneself directly from the list page (no moving off the page).

When I find it I'll come backnow and post it.

I just subscribed. Looks like a very useful site. Thanks.

Some word list sites:



nel0506There is an academic word list (AWL)


Is that the link?

I clicked on some random word, and got a multiple choice question that used much more complex terms than the word itself, and one that used the same term that was being defined. I'm not particularly happy with the on-line quizzes.

1. have an end, in a temporal, spatial, or quantitative sense; either spatial or metaphorical
2. assure somebody of the truth of something with the intention of giving the listener confidence
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