25 Academic English Words You Should Know | Great for University, IELTS, and TOEFL

25 Academic English Words You Should Know | Great for University, IELTS, and TOEFL

October 20, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


Today I’m going to talk to you about 25 academic words that you should know. Now before I blow your mind with these academic words, I want to remind you to join our social media classes. It is a great way to practice your English. So in this lesson I am going to go over 25 academic words with you. Which is very important if you are in university or if you are going to attend university. Or maybe if you’re going to take the IELTS or TOEFL exam. Or if you’re just in some sort of job that requires some more academic vocabulary, this lesson will help. The words that I’m going to be talking to you about today come from the Academic Word List. It is a list of the most common academic vocabulary words used in English. So I’m going to give you the word, it’s part of speech, its meaning as well as an example sentence. so you can see how it’s used in context. And if possible, maybe I’ll throw in a picture or two so we can spice things up a bit. Keep in mind, some of these words have more than one meaning. But in today’s lesson, I’m just going to go over the more popular use of these academic words. Also, in order to expand your vocabulary, I would highly recommend learning the words in the word family. It is really going to help build your vocabulary. So for example, we have the verb DECIDE. If it’s a noun, it’s DECISION. And then the adjective is DECISIVE. They all have similar meanings, but they’re different words depending on the part of speech. But if you’re able to learn all of the words in the word family, it’ll really help you build your vocabulary and become more proficient in English. Okay, so let’s begin. I just put these words in alphabetical order. They’re not really ordered by importance or anything. You should learn all of them. So let’s begin, but before we do I need to free up a little space around here so… Okay, I think that’s a little better. It gives us a little more room to go over these words. The first word is ALTERNATIVE. So this just means an additional choice or a possible or remaining choice. So for example, you might hear people say… We have no additional choice. We have to do this or we have to do that. You could also say… That taking the bus was the additional choice. It wasn’t the first choice. It is the alternative. Taking the bus. Number two is ASSESSMENT. And this is just an evaluation of something. Some of you may be familiar with it because you might hear it in school where they want to do some sort of an evaluation and give you an assessment. And most of us probably don’t like assessments. But we can use it in a sentence and say… They wanted to evaluate it. And maybe they go through their checklist and do an assessment and see how the operations are functioning. Number three is BENEFIT. And benefit means something that is good or something that is advantageous. So this is a good thing when you have a benefit. And we can use it in a sentence and say… And that benefit might be she gets the fly for free. That is a benefit. It’s a good situation. Who doesn’t want to fly for free? Number four is COMPLEX. Now, if something is complex, it just means it has many different connected parts that are unique. And they are twisted and tied together and may be very difficult to understand. So a few words that this is often used with is maybe a complex situation. Or a complex problem. Or maybe there’s a complex issue. These are some words that complex is often used to describe. We could then use it in a sentence and say… If you’re a doctor and doing surgery…that is not simple. It’s probably pretty complex. Number five is the word concept. Now a concept is an idea about something that you form in your mind. So say that you are thinking of something new and different and you come up with a concept to try to explain that idea and show other people. Let’s use it in a sentence and say… We might not be exactly sure how we’re going to do it. But we need to come up with different ideas about how this can be done and think about what it can be like. Which makes it an interesting concept. Number six is a very important word, conclusion. And this just means the end or close. This is important in academic writing or if you’re giving a presentation because you frequently hear the words IN CONCLUSION. Which tells people like…okay, this is the end this is the final result. What is the end or the close? Who knows? Maybe I had too much to drink. Maybe I was just singing karaoke really, really badly. In conclusion, they kick me out Number seven is CONDUCT. And this means to organize or lead an activity. Don’t confuse it with the noun, conduct. Which means somebody’s behavior. This is the verb conduct. The stress is on the second syllable. Now there are many different things that we can conduct. But some of the more common ones are you can conduct research. Or you can conduct business. Or maybe you can conduct a meeting. These are common ways that we can use the verb conduct. So for example, we could also say… He leads these science experiments. He does these. He conducts these science experiments. And hopefully they’re safe and nothing explodes Number eight is consistent. Now this just means not moving away from principles or not being contradictory. So for example, we could say that… Maybe there is a good student and a bad student, and they both cheat on an exam. And the rule says that if you cheat you will be punished. So the teacher punishes both of them and not just the bad student. Which means the rules apply to everyone and not just some. The teacher is consistent. Number nine is CONTEXT. Now, this is just a statement that can either be written or spoken and surrounds a specific words or phrase. I tell students all the time, “Try to understand the meaning of a word by putting it in context. If you can understand what’s being said at the beginning and what’s being said at the end. Then you probably can guess what this one word or phrase means. So for example, maybe we have a passage that reads… Well, if I don’t know what the word perilous means, I can put it in context. Dark clouds. No one returned. Well, these are bad things so maybe perilous means something that is dangerous or even life-threatening. We can put it in context. Number ten is COORDINATION. This is just a combination of parts or people that are working together. We must have coordination if we’re going to succeed. If there’s no coordination, then that’s not good. Number eleven is ENVIRONMENT. And this is the condition of your surroundings and the surroundings. And those surroundings could be geography, could be society, could even be your mood It is the condition of those surroundings. Your environment. I wouldn’t want to be in that meeting. Number twelve…ESTIMATE. To estimate is a verb that means to make an approximate guess or judgement. So we could say… …which is pretty good. Number thirteen is FACTOR. And a factor is just something that contributes to a particular result. So we can say… And those factors might be poverty. Could be police presence or maybe even cleanliness. There are several factors. Number fourteen…FUNCTION. This is the purpose for which something is designed. What is its function? What is its purpose? For example we could say… And who knows. Perhaps it has other functions as well. Finding hotels. Finding rental cars. It might have several functions. Number fifteen…IDENTIFIED. And this just means to recognize something or someone. Commonly, it’s used in the past tense, and it is followed by a direct object. We identified something. For example… What did we identify? We identified something. The three different factors. Number sixteen…IMPACT. And impact is the strong effect or influence that something has on a situation or on a person. And a common question that you might hear about something is… How is this going to affect the situation or the person? What is the impact? Number seventeen is INDICATE. And to indicate is just to point out or show something. For example, we could say that… What do they indicate? What do they show us? They indicate that people are unhappy. Number eighteen…INVESTMENT. And an investment is the use of money or capital to receive a profit or an appreciation in value. And there are all sorts of investments that we can make. So for example… Well, maybe not this home. But…yeah, yeah. This one is more like it. This is probably a good investment. Number nineteen is MAJOR. And major is just an adjective used to describe that something is greater in size, extent, or importance. And it is often associated with something that is like bad news. For example, we could say… Major. Number twenty…METHOD. Method is a technique, plan, or way of doing something. Especially when there is a plan in place. So it’s something that you tend to think out beforehand. What is the method that we are going to use? For example… The scientific method. Number twenty-one is OCCUR. And this is something that happens or takes place. So for example, we can say that… That is when it happens and takes place. It occurs in winter. Number twenty-two is POTENTIAL. And this is something that could possibly happen. But maybe it might not come to pass. It has potential. For example… So it is something that is likely to happen, but it might not come to pass. He has potential because he’s a good athlete. Number twenty-three is PRIMARY. And primary just means the first of importance. And there are a couple of synonyms for primary such as chief or principal. But it just means the first of importance. So for example, we could say… There were other things, but this was the primary cause. Number twenty-four is RANGE. Now this is the upper and lower limits between which a number and amount or type of something may vary. So for example, we could say… So $2000 is the lower limit, $4000 is the upper limit, and anywhere between that is our range. Number twenty-five is SIGNIFICANT. It is an adjective that means something of importance or something of consequence. So for example, we could say… And that is true. If you’re watching this lesson and you were studying these words, that will be significant. And if you’d like to learn more about this word and the words in the word family, we did a video lesson on significant right there. So there you have it. Those are 25 academic words that you should know. That you should study and that you should practice. And again, I would recommend learning the other words in the word family. If you like this lesson and you learned something new, hit that thumbs up button. And also remember to subscribe to our channel for more video lessons on how you can practice and improve your English. Thanks for watching. We hope you enjoyed this vocabulary lesson and learned some new words. We’ll see you next time.