IELTS Reading Practice Test 6


The vocabulary below is meant to help you with the more difficult words. If the word isn’t on the list then you are either supposed to know it or it is too specific to be worth learning and you don’t have to know it to answer the question. Symbols in brackets mean part of speech (see bottom of the list). Sentences in italics give examples of usage for some more complex words and phrases.

And remember — you are not given a vocabulary list (or a dictionary) at your real exam.

Section 1

v. acquire — to get or gain something, usually permanently
adj. justified — proved to be valid or appropriate
ph. v. drum up — to gather, obtain or collect something or someone (e.g. a meeting)
n. badge — a distinguishing mark of membership, e.g. one’s name on a piece of paper
adj. intolerable — hard to stand, bear or tolerate
adv. otherwise — if not, then; or else
adj. convenient — suitable for one’s needs, easy to use
v. cull — to choose the best and discard the bad
n. anathema — (fig.) a person or thing that is hated
v. defeat the purpose — to make the reason for which something is done meaningless
n. tension — strain, either physical or mental
n. inferior — a person of lower rank in a company
v. rein — to rule, to command
adj. detrimental — harmful, injurious
v. stifle — to suppress, to choke
n. glory — praise, honour or fame
n. crumbs — small pieces of something, usually food (bread crumbs)
adv. apace — rapidly, quickly
v. span — an interval; a period of time
adj. compatible — fitting, able to coexist (there computer components are compatible)
adj. splendid — luxurious, great, grand, magnificent
adj. insular — isolated, remote, detached
n. wheeler-dealer — a person in charge of something, an active and effective manager
adj. meek — (of a person) patient, submissive

Section 2

adv. hitherto — until now, until this time
adj. menial — relating to a job that needs little skill or qualification to be done
n. literacy — ability to read and write
v. rest on one’s laurels — to enjoy past achievements without doing much in the present
n. bedrock — basic principles; base of something
adv. fully-fledged — finished, completely developed
v. conspire — to plan or agree to do something secretly
n. solitude — state of being alone, without others around
n. contempt — dislike, disrespect towards others; disdain
n. peer pressure — influence from group of people of your age, esp. in young years
n. attitude — how one views something or someone, relation towards it
phr. v. frown upon — dislike or disapprove something
adj. substantial — considerable in size, value or appearance
v. entice — to attract or tempt someone to do something

Section 3

adj. contemporary — belonging or coming from the same age
v. originate — to come from (about place of birth/creation)
adj. obscure — difficult to understand and strange
v. comprise — to contain or include something
adj. rigid — strict and hard to change; hard to bend
n. burden — something heavy that you carry
n. reflection — a mirrored image; process of thinking
n. flexibility — ability to change and adapt to circumstances