Sometimes, reading exams have a section which focuses on vocabulary. These tips will help you get good marks in this section.

Possible questions could include:

  • Find the word in the text that means ... (You are given a definition)
  • Choose the correct definition of the word X. (You are given some definitions to choose from)
  • What does X mean? (You write your own definition)

These suggestions will help you get the questions right: 

  • Read the whole sentence with the word and the sentences before and after. Use the context to understand the meaning of the word.
  • What is the topic of the text? Is the word related to the subject of the text?
  • What part of speech is the word? Noun? Verb? Adjective? Adverb?
  • Does it have a prefix? e.g. the prefixes un- , in- or dis- make a word negative, the prefix re- means ‘again’, etc.
  • Does it have a suffix? The suffixes -tion, -sion or -ment are used in nouns, -ive, -able or -ful are used in adjectives, etc.
  • Is the word similar to another word you know? e.g. birth is similar to birthday.
  • Is the word similar to a word in your language? Circuit is similar to circuito in Spanish.
  • Is there another word in the text that means the same? We often use synonyms in a text so we don't repeat words.
  • Check that your definition or answer is the same part of speech as the original word.
  • When you learn a new word, write down other words in the same family, e.g. possible: possibility (n), impossible (prefix), possibly (adv).


Do you have any top tips to help others learn vocabulary outside the classroom? How do you remember new words? Do you keep a vocabulary diary?


Mariamffa11's picture
Mariamffa11 25 January, 2016 - 17:59

By reading and watching movies and using this website.
I don't know how to remember them.
Thanks for the advice. :)

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Jo - Coordinator's picture
Jo - Coordinator 25 January, 2016 - 11:58

Hi uik_12!
We don't have specific tips for Igsce, I'm afraid, but you should find some useful general advice in our exams section. What do you have to do exactly? Which bits do you find most difficult? If you tell us a bit more we can help you better.
Best wishes, Joanna (LearnEnglish Teens team)

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Tina - Coordinator's picture
Tina - Coordinator 11 December, 2015 - 16:48

Hi aleksa2002 :)
That's great to hear!
Good luck tomorrow with your competition and do let us know how you get on!
Best wishes, Tina (LearnEnglish Teen Team)

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