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Cool & contemporary vocab: studying

The IELTS has an academic and a general training version but the speaking test is the same in both. As the test is taken by many students hoping to do a BA or MA abroad, there are quite a few questions about student life and studying at university which many examiners choose. The listening test also has several recordings about this topic.

Our new blog posts will teach you several words and expressions that are currently used to talk about studying. Practice using them with friends and colleagues which will help you to internalise them so that they become part of your own vocabulary and that way you will feel confident using them in your IELTS speaking test.

studying

Vocabulary

 

  • brain-based learning

meaning: techniques from science about how our minds learn
example: I use several brain-based techniques to help me learn new words, so I study hard then go for a run.

  • low/high-stake tests

meaning: tests which are not important or those which are very important
example: I do a lot of low-stake tests online to check my progress before I do a high-stake one at university.

  • internalising

meaning: making something you learn part of your knowledge
example: Internalising new words takes time, but helps me recall them much more easily.

  • space your study

meaning: separating your study time into individual periods, rather than doing it all at once
example: I space my study by doing some in the morning and the rest after lunch.

  • cramming

meaning: studying intensively over a short period of time to memorise information just before an examination
example: I wasn’t an exceptional student, but I always did well in exams because I was good at cramming.

  • spaced repetition

meaning: revising or reviewing something at specific intervals
example: I make study cards and revise words every 3 days and this spaced repetition works really well for me.

  • self-testing

meaning: when you check to see how much you know or remember by testing yourself
example: I always do self-testing after each study session before I move on to a new topic.

  • a swot (informal)

meaning: someone, usually a child, who studies very hard
example: I was such a swot at school. I even used to ask the teacher for extra homework sometimes!


Phrasal verbs

 

  • to block out time

meaning: when you allocate a specific time just to study and do nothing else
example: I manage to block out 30 minutes a day just for learning English.

  • to block out noise

meaning: when you are not in a quiet environment but use your mind to ignore the sound
example: I block out the noise of the TV by concentrating on each word in my book.

  • to ramp up (your studying)

meaning: to significantly increase your amount of study time
example: I always ramp up my studying just before a test by at least 200%.

  • to pay off

meaning: when you put a lot of effort into something and then get a positive result
example: I’m sure all this extra studying will pay off and get me the band 7 I need.

  • to swot (up) (on something)

meaning: when you study very hard usually on a particular topic/subject before an exam or interview
example: I really need to swot up on useful idiomatic expressions before my speaking test.

  • to soak up

meaning: to absorb or learn something often by just being exposed to it
example: Isn’t it amazing how children just seem to soak up new information without any effort whatsoever!

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Vladina - Romania

I received my IELTS results and my overal band score is 7.5 (my target was at least 6.0). I was a little bit worried for the Speaking part but the speaking practice with Nigel helped me a lot and as a result, I got 7.5 in the Speaking part. He also gave me valuable feedback for the Writing part which helped me to improve some important aspects. They answered very fast all the questions I had. All the practice from the course was also very useful. Thank you!

Vladina - Romania

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