Academic Word List
The academic word list is designed to improve your knowledge of vocabulary for the IELTS test. The AWL consists of 570 word families, and these words are the most common words to be found in academic texts. This is why they are so useful to learn if you are studying for tests like IELTS where your level of vocabulary can affect your score.
The words shown on this page below are just the headwords. If you download the full academic-word-list , you can see that there are many variations of each word according to whether you are using it as a noun, verb, adjective etc.
There are a total of 60 word families in each sublist, apart from sublist 10 which has 30.
About the Academic Word List Exercises
In order to make your learning of the words structured, each academic word list has been divided into sets of 10 words. Each set of exercises then focuses on just those 10 words.
When you are confident you know them, you can move onto the next 10.
Before you start learning them it is important to understand that recognizing the words and actually using them are two very different skills, the first one being much easier than the second.
Let’s look at an example using the first word on the academic word list, analyze:
If you learn the word analyze and its meaning and are aware of the other word forms, then you may well understand the meaning of the word when you read it, whichever form it is in.
However, knowing which one to use when you are writing is a much more difficult skill and will take a lot more practice and time to master!
These academic word list exercises will help you to get to know the words, but you will need to work on your own as well. No website will be a substitute for actually practicing the words when you are writing and checking your usage.
And an important thing to do whenever you learn a new word from the academic word list or elsewhere is to learn which words it collocates with.
And the number one rule with vocabulary – only use words in the test that you are confident you know how to use!
Or you are at least confident you understand its meaning and where it can be used – a few errors in word form are ok in the test if you are not looking for a top score as you will be given some credit for using less common words.
However, you may find you actually lower your band score if you try to use lots of clever vocabulary but you are not using it properly or making lots of word form errors!
This will only confuse the examiner when they read your work. Try to keep improving your vocabulary, but when it comes to the test, stick with what you know and are confident with!