Understanding Lexical Resources and How to improve it

IELTS exam tests the modules of writing and speaking on the basis of four parameters, that is, coherence and cohesion, lexical resources, Grammatical Range and Accuracy and task achievement for writing, and fluency & pronunciation for the speaking module.

Lexical resources is one of the main parameter and in this article, you will get to know:-

  • About lexical resources.
  • How to improve it?
  • What are the band descriptors?

I. Lexical Resources

Lexical Resource means vocabulary. More the wider range of vocabulary a student uses (correctly and accurately), the more the bands it will fetch. The English language is an ocean of vocabulary and there is a wide variety of common and unique words.

New words have many uses in one sentence. If you use a correct word appropriately in an accurate sentence, lexical resources will be marked tick.

II. How to practice lexical resources?

Using new words correctly is an art. It is trickier to use different words or synonyms to make your writing look attractive and understandable at the same time. Every word does not suit every line or meaning. So here are some tips and tricks to improve your lexical resources knowledge.

The examiner is always looking for your wide range of words and how beautifully you express your thoughts and ideas without creating any confusion. This can be overcome by:-

1. No repetition of words:-

First and most importantly, words should not be repeated in your writing and speaking. Use synonyms or pronouns instead. To make your writing and speaking less mundane, it is crucial that no word is to be repeated. However, if the word is a proper noun or the word has no synonyms, then the word can be repeated. Otherwise, try to enhance your vocabulary and write more new words instead of the same repeated words.

2. Do not copy words directly from the task:-

Another important trick to Get good marks in lexical resources is not to copy the words directly from the task or the topic given. In writing part, there is task one and task 2. Task one is about report writing where an illustration is given and you are asked to do write a report. Task two is an essay writing where you are required to write an essay. Do not ever copy the lines of the topic in your writing.

Similarly, in speaking part, do not try to repeat the question or the topic cue card line as it will leave a bad impression on listener.

3. Focus on Paraphrasing:-

Followed from the above point, it is required that you should focus on paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is about writing the topic line in another way by using synonyms or sentence re formation but without changing its meaning. Paraphrasing can be done in three ways.

  • By using synonyms
  • By sentence restructuring
  • By using both the methods.

For example:-

How to paraphrase?

The two bar graphs represent the volume of products transferred by various means of transport in between 1984 and 2012 in United Kingdom.


The two bar graphs illustrate the transportation of products in United Kingdom from 1984 to 2012 by distinct means of transfer.

4. Learn Topic- Focused Vocabulary:-

Writing and speaking is not that much trickier as the student thinks. Taking help of the past papers or the common vocabulary of the English language, a student can practice a lot of topic-focused vocabulary. There are many common words that are commonly used in the Writing and Speaking of IELTS test. So, a student can practice for that topic related words daily and enhance his or her vocabulary.

5. Focus on Passive Vocabulary Too:-

Passive vocabulary, here means, the vocabulary of reading and listening part. Whenever you are practicing for the reading and listening modules, try to memorise the vocabulary used in that modules. There are many chances that what you have read in reading, can be used in the writing and speaking part too.

  • Maintain a worksheet of that vocabulary on daily basis. Do not ignore some common words to learn their synonyms.
  • Memorise some new words daily from the reading and listening part.
  • Try to indulge that vocabulary in the writing part to know what you have learned.

6. Improve Active Vocabulary:-

Active vocabulary is the vocabulary used in writing and speaking part where you are actually required to express your thoughts and ideas into words. Active vocabulary can be enhanced by active participation in it.


  • Write an essay or a report, mark some words which are repeatedly used.
  • Exchange those words with the words or phrases which you have learned in the past practise.
  • Ensure that the words matches with your writing and speaking and making sense in the sentences.
  • Try different versions of new words so that you can get to know that how the word suits to the sentence.

III. Writing and speaking band descriptors:-


Lexical resources


· Range of vocabulary in natural and sophisticated way.

· Minor errors as ‘slips’


· Range of uncommon words but with minor inaccurate ones.

· Fluent and flexible to convey message.

· Rare errors in spelling or word formation.


· Sufficient range of vocabulary

· Minor errors in word choice and formation


· Adequate range of vocabulary.

· Use of less common words but with inaccuracies.


· Uses a limited range of vocabulary.

· May make major noticeable errors.


· Uses basic vocabulary, sometimes repetitively.

· Limited control of word formation and spelling errors.


· Limited vocabulary

· Major errors may distort the message.


· Extremely limited range of vocabulary.

· No control over formation


Can only use isolated words


Not attempted, not appeared.

Lexical resources is an important parameter to be taken care of and it is marked 25% of the total bands calculation for writing and speaking test. Also, if you want to make your writing and speaking attractive, it is required that you should use a wide range of vocabulary in it. Using a wide range of words is not easy and it requires a lot of practise too But it is impossible.

I hope that above article will work for you in an efficient way and it will guide you in the right direction.

Students can also enroll now in BDS Online IELTS Preparation Course today where you will get access to anytime/anywhere IELTS classes, with 400+ detailed video lectures, sample papers, and live classes by Dr. Roma. Candidates can also sign up for IELTS Dr. Roma Writing Templates + Cue Cards Course to get ready essay templates and solutions latest IELTS essay topics. So let's get started with IELTS writing practice.

Best of luck!

Dr. Roma

Content Writer