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IELTS Vocabulary: less formal for speaking

 In the speaking test, you can use conversational (less formal) phrases that you wouldn't use in the writing test. Here are some examples from yesterday's lesson:

  • leave something until the last minute
  • work flat out (meaning: work hard without stopping)
  • get something finished
  • get something done
  • one in particular that I really struggled with
  • put something off (meaning: avoid doing it)
  • in the end
  • have mixed feelings about
  • get started on something
  • to go through it again (meaning: to do or experience something again)

I also used some good words and phrases that would be suitable for both speaking and writing (i.e. this vocabulary is not informal):

  • procrastinating
  • producing a final draft
  • complete the final draft
  • the pressure of such a close deadline
  • manage the task in an efficient way
  • I limited myself to just ten research sources
  • summarise and synthesise
  • I was relieved and quite impressed with myself

The vocabulary in the two lists above might not seem 'difficult', but it's the kind of natural "native-speaker" language that will impress the examiner. That's why I gave the answer a band 9.

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