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9 MORE academic words that will help you score IELTS band 9!

Posted on February 20, 2014 by

Several people reported to me that last week’s video was helpful, so I decided to pull together another video in the same spirit. Here are 9 more words that can help increase the academic tone of your speaking and writing:

Here are the words as they appear in the video:

1. on par

  • (S) “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.”
  • (W) “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

  • (S) “Because of the volatile nature of my work, I find it difficult to maintain hobbies. I tend to exercise when I can, but I wouldn’t say there is a regular pattern to it.”
  • (W T1) “The figures exhibit volatility between the years 1996 and 2000; however, a reversion to stability is seen in 2002.”
  • (W T2) “For example, the volatile nature of weather in Caribbean countries can make tourism industries 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. Because a varied economy promotes stability, tourist dependent countries should clearly do what they can to establish other industries.”

3. plateau

  • (S) “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.”
  • (W T1) “Following rapid growth from 60 to 180 barrels in the first month of 2002, corn oil production hit a plateau of 200 barrels between February and April. In May, however, the trend once again reverts to climbing and reaches the highest point for the year, 275 barrels.”

4. pique

  • (S) “After visiting a science and technology museum as a child, my interest in computer programming was piqued.”
  • (W 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

  •  (S) “Contrary to my personality, my sister is very outgoing and tends to make friends easily.”
  • (W) “On the contrary, several disadvantages stem from the use of technology in the classroom.”

6. parallel

  • (S) “My university experiences paralleled those of my brother.”
  • (S) “There are clear parallels between my university experiences and those of my brother.”
  • (W TI) “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.”

7. embrace

  • (S) “I embraced the opportunity to study abroad.”
  • (W) “Thus, it is clear that students who embrace the study of another language are positioning themselves for future academic and professional opportunities.”

8. hinder

  • (S) “Distraction has definitely been a challenge 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.”
  • (W) “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 the 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

  • (S) “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.”
  • (W) “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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Ryan's Recent Posts Posts

Patrick answers your immigration questions

I had a very interesting chat with Patrick (101migration.com) about Canadian and Australian immigration. Several of your questions were answered. Tune in to hear the entire interview from start to finish:

Model response to an Academic Task 2 question seen 12 July 2014

 

(I’ve made this response a little bit longer than needed to demonstrate additional vocabulary and grammatical structures. Your IELTS essay would not need to be this long.)

Some argue younger people are not suitable for important positions in the government, while others think this is a good idea. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Government jobs carry with them serious responsibilities. It is therefore no surprise that a person’s age and experience come under scrutiny when positions in government need to be filled. Many feel influential government jobs should be reserved for those who are older and have more experience, while others feel the criterion for these positions should be capability, namely whomever is most able to carry out the job. This essay will look at both sides before drawing a logical conclusion.

On the one hand, many argue that younger people should be made ineligible for important government positions, and the implications of this opinion are clear. Those operating at senior levels within a country’s military, for example, require field experience to prevent disastrous decisions that could cause the needless loss of life. Were younger people allowed to fast track their ascension within a country’s military, they could find themselves having to make critical choices based more on theoretical study than practical experience, and this could have catastrophic results. Thus, is it understandable why many feel younger government workers should be incubated before given promotion to important positions.

However, there are several plausible counters to this argument. For one, younger workers bring creativity and fresh ideas to government. For example, young government workers in Canada successfully pushed to increase HIV understanding and dispel stigmas attached to the disease in the 1980s, a development that encouraged tolerance and reduced irrational fear. In addition to fresh ideas, it should be remembered that to get a government job, one has to successfully engage a rigorous screening process. If a younger person engages this process as well or better than an older person, it is hard to argue that age should be a decisive factor when offering employment. It is clear from these reasons that there is merit to awarding important government career options to younger people.

Although the above look reveals solid evidence for both sides of the argument, it is felt that the healthiest approach to designating government positions is to ensure candidates fulfil rigorous training programs. Thus, a person’s age should not be considered a universal precursor to the awarding of government jobs.

How to use concession in your argument essay

Looking at a point that opposes your own can be tricky in an argument essay. In this video, we go over what concession is and how you can use it.

Igor scores band 8.5

In this episode of IELTSCast, Igor, an IELTS instructor in Kazakhstan, details how he managed to score band 8.5. The resources Igor suggests are:

(Book) Listening Strategies for the IELTS (Beijing University Press)
(Website) http://www.renren.com – A Chinese social networking site with well established IELTS communities.
(Website) Everyone’s favourite former examiner Chris Green’s work at http://ielts-yasi.englishlab.net/

9 alternative words that will help you get to IELTS band 9

In this video we go over 9 words that you can use to supplant some of your plainer lexicon (see below for a list of the words):

Alternatives for “good”:

1. rewarding / 2. satisfying

(S) “I have a rewarding job.”

(S) “My career has been satisfying for several reasons.”

(S) “My time in Sydney has been rewarding.”

(WT2) Do you prefer to work for a large or small company?

“It is for this reason that I feel working for a large company is more satisfying than working for a small company.”

3. merit

(WT2) Some people believe that diet and exercise in a population are largely the responsibility of the government. Others feel people should…

“Thus, the argument that governments should be responsible for the diets and exercise levels of citizens holds merit.”

4. optimal

(S) At what time of the day are you most productive?

“My optimal work time is in the morning. It is when my mind is clearest and I can…”

(WT1) Pie charts comparing the diets of older men in varying states of health.

“The second pie chart illustrates optimal weightings of fat, carbohydrates and protein for men aged 50 and older.”

Alternatives for “faster/slower”:

5. accelerate

(S) “The clubs I joined at university accelerated my studies.”

(S) “Careers in high tech are typically accelerated in my hometown as many young people engage internships at the nearby tech park.”

(WT1) “Growth of laptop sales accelerated between 2002 and 2004.”

(WT2) Young people learn more and at an accelerated speed through the use of technology.

6. retard

“For example, libraries that do not electronically index their resources retard the rate at which a student can access information.”

Alternatives for important/unimportant:

7. key

(S) “The wedding planner we hired was a key individual for three reasons. Firstly, he was able to…”

(S) How do you define a “hero”?

“I think integrity, kindness and honesty are key. To me, a hero is someone that does the right thing even when no one is looking.”

(WT1) “A key feature of the diagram is the pause that occurs between the first and second halves of the paper making process.”

8. chiefly

(S) (In response to a Part 2 monologue about an important person in your country.) What do you think ___ will be most remembered for?

(S) “I think ___ will be chiefly remembered for his contributions to science…”

(WT2) “For example, it has long been established that carbon dioxide emissions are chiefly responsible for global warming.”

9. trivial

(S) How central was the Internet to your studies at university?

(S) “To be honest, the role it played was quite trivial. I found the vast amount of my studying was done using the traditional resources found at the university library.”

(WT1) (A pie chart comparing the impact various human activities have on the death rates of forest fauna.

(S) “Although pesticides account for 43% of all fauna death rates, mortalities due to human activities at campsites reveal the comparatively trivial figure of 0.01%.”

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