The IELTS Band Descriptors (public version) state that for your Writing Vocabulary Mark …


Band 7

Uses less common words with some awareness of style and collocation.


Band 8

Skillfully uses words but there may be occasional inaccuracies in word choice and collocation.


The key point here is ‘collocation’, which is putting together groups of words in accepted and stylish way. We say ‘heavy rain’, not ‘big rain’. I have already presented some material on collocation. Click Good Collocation to see that.


Students mostly do not collocate words very well (which is why they don’t receive IELTS 7 or 8). Bad IELTS material encourages students to memories wordy phrases that no native writer would ever produce, and which don’t make sense (‘concluding theories representing the solution can be portrayed in detail’). So, you need to get better at this, which means, it’s time to practise.


Change the italicised words to make the following sentences better.

  1. The schools can provide a solution.
  2. We can make further discussion.
  3. They owned a large amount of waste.
  4. My father got a car accident.
  5. Setting more academic institutions will help.
  6. America should hold more space missions.
  7. Another serious influence of not marrying is ….
  8. We need to enhance more space tasks.


Possible Answers to Back to Collocation (Once Again) (1 of 4)

  1. There are many advertisements warning of the health risks of smoking. [We ‘advocate’ positive things, not ‘risks].
  2. Nicotine makes people become addicted.  [‘make’ is necessary here, since an addiction is forced]
  3. Governments need to enact/implement/legislate more policies.
  4. I believe/think advertisements can provide an answer.
  5. Advertisements can convince/persuade people to give up smoking. [We ‘brainwash’ people with negative things, not positive ones.]
  6. The media plays a key role in this.
  7. Society will pay a higher cost on this.
  8. They can receive/gain more attention from their peers.


    IELTS Advice


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