This is the essential vocabulary for education about schools, subjects, studying and university. There is an audio to listen to the pronunciation of the words. These are the most common words and collocations which you will need to learn in order to talk or write about school or university successfully. After each section of vocabulary, there are exercises for you to practice using the words.
Click here to download the PDF version of this page: Education Vocabulary PDF. Please note that the PDF does not contain the answers – you must check your answers on this page.
- kindergarten = pre-school education
- primary school
- secondary school
- college = further education
- higher education = university education = tertiary education
- post-graduate school = university for students studying beyond degree level
- natural science
- religious studies
- information technology (IT)
- physical education (PE)
- cookery = domestic / food science
Vocabulary Exercises: School Subjects
- One of the reasons that I didn’t like ……………… was because of the lab work which sometimes involved dissection.
- I’ve always enjoyed learning about how chemicals react with one another so I decided to choose …………. as one of my main subjects.
- When I was a child, we practiced ………………… three times a week which was fine in summer but was freezing during the winter when you have to football or hockey outside.
- My teacher encouraged us to take part in ……………………… in order to develop skills beyond what is taught in scheduled lessons.
- I used to find complicated calculations difficult as well as algebra but when we got a new ………… teacher, it all become much easier to understand.
- One of my favourite subjects was …………………… because you had a chance to get out of the classroom and learn more about the environment.
- Teachers were really strict on ……………… in exams. The exam invigilators won’t even let you have your bag in the exam room.
- Poetry should be taught more in ………………. lessons in order to help students develop a deeper understanding of their language and culture.
- I always loved studying maps. We spent a lot of time in our ……………. lessons tracing the borders of countries and learn the capital cities of different countries.
- My worst subject at school was …………… because I was completely tone deaf.
- physical education
- extra curricular activities
- natural science
Useful Language & Collocations
- lab work = laboratory experiments
- dissection = cutting up animals for scientific research
- scheduled lessons = lessons which are planned and written into a school curriculum
- algebra = formulas and equations in mathematics
- to give out or assign homework / to do or complete homework
- to complete high school / to graduate high school
- to do, to participate or to take part in school activities or sport
- tracing = copying, outlining in pencil
- tone deaf = without an ear for music = unable to appreciate or hear different music and notes
Types of Schools – Same-Sex & Co-Ed Schools
Watch this video to learn the advantages or single-sex schools and the plus points of mixed schools. This video contains ideas and vocabulary to help you express your ideas clearly.
- BA / BSc = Bachelor of Arts Degree / Bachelor of Science Degree
- MA / MSc = Masters of Arts / Masters of Science
- PhD = Doctorate
- Certificate = a lower level qualification often offered at colleges rather than universites. This is also the word used the for documentation received for completing any type of course or degree (she received her certificate for her BA degree).
- Online Course
- Distance Learning Course
- Vocational course = a course which teaches you skills for a specific job, for example engineering.
- Non-vocational course = a course which is not related to a job but to a general subject instead, such as Biology.
Useful Verbs & Nouns for University
- to graduate from a university = complete a degree course / to finish university
- to enroll on a degree course = put your name down for a degree course
- to major in physics = to choose physics as your main subject at university
- to attend a lecture = to go to listen to a speaker at university often with a large audience in a lecture theatre
- to attend a tutorial = to go to a meeting with a professor usually in small group held in his/her office
- deliver a lecture = to give a talk or presentation
- to lecture in media studies = to talk about media studies or to teach media studies at university
- the faculty of business = a department specialising in business at university
- to read history = to study history
- to do or complete coursework = doing project work or assignments as part of your course
- undergraduate (n) = someone currently doing their first degree
- graduate (n) = someone who has completed a degree course
- note-taking = being able to take notes in a lecture while the lecturer is talking
- keeping up with the work load = being able to maintain the level of studying required
- fall behind with studies = fail to keep pace with the school / university work
- project work
Vocabulary Exercises: Universities
Complete the following sentences are university education using no more than one word.
- People who have ……….. from university stand a better chance of finding a good job.
- I hope to enroll ………. a degree in law next year in the UK.
- There is a lot of competition to get a ……………….. but without it I won’t be able to afford the universities fees.
- One of the keys to successful ……………. is knowing where to look for information and how to judge which information is most current and relevant. Knowing the best sources of materials is essential.
- on / in
Other Useful Vocabulary for Education
- literate = to be able to read and write
- illiterate = unable to read and write
- the literacy rate = the percentage of people in a country or region able to read and write
- comprehensive education = a well-rounded, broad education covering a variety of subjects
- scholarship = an award of either free or supported education for high achievers
- student loan = money taken by a student to pay for their education which they must pay back after graduating
- pay off a student loan = to repay money borrowed for university education
- intensive course = a course which runs over a short period of time but contains a lot of information and training
- play truant / truancy = not attending school / being absent from school without permission
- gap year = to take a year out between high school and university
Vocabulary Exercises: Useful Education Vocabulary
Complete the sentences using no more than two words.
- The rate of …………… is higher in developed countries than in under developed countries.
- Schools should offer a ………………… which includes subjects relating to all minority groups.
- The rise in university fees has led to a large proportion of students taking out ………………… which can often be difficult to pay back.
- Students who take a …………… often find it difficult to get back into their studies again.
- Rather than the government offering free university education for all people, they should, instead, ensure that a certain number of gifted individuals receive a ……………….
- comprehensive education
- student loans
- gap year
Useful Pages for IELTS
- Vocabulary for IELTS Lessons
- Education Essay Questions
- All Writing Task 2 Lessons Tips & Videos
- All Speaking Lessons, Tips & Videos
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