When IELTS Test students are considering their vocabulary, considering this list of 2000 words in the first instance would place them in a good position.
The General Service List (GSL) (West. 1953) is a set of 2,000 words selected to be of the greatest “general service” to learners of English. They are not the most common 2,000 words, though frequency was one of the factors taken into account in making the selection. Each of the 2,000 words is a headword representing a word family that is only loosely defined in West. Texts based on the GSL are still on sale, but the list itself is out of print. A fuller discussion of the GSL, and word lists in general, can be found in Nation (1990, pp 21-24) and Carter and McCarthy (1988, Ch. 1)
The list given here was originally created by John Bauman and Brent Culligan in early 1995. Those who prepared this version wanted a version of the GSL ranked in frequency order.
In other words – the greatest liklihood of the word appearing in a text.
In the following table is the list of 2,284 words. It is in frequency order. Each line contains the rank number and word.
The order of the words is derived from the number of occurrences of that word and its related forms in the 1,000,000 words of the Brown corpus.
Get the list here: The 2000 Most useful words in the English language: The GSL Vocabulary
Pass IELTS Higher does not claim any ownership or copyright of any of the research or findings presented in this article. Readers are strongly encouraged to visit: http://www.lextutor.ca/research/ to understand more about the valuable research into this subject completed by Cobb, Hirsch, Nation, Waring and others.