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How to practice & improve vocabulary (Tips & List PDF) | B2 First (FCE)

Level: B2
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B2 First (FCE): Vocabulary Tips
B2 First (FCE): Vocabulary List
B2 First (FCE): Vocabulary List - Download PDF


Reading is the quickest and most effective way to learn new FCE vocabulary and phrases.

It may include reading articles or doing specifically prepared vocabulary exercises. Although you can also learn new vocabulary by listening to podcasts or watching YouTube videos, such exercises are not as efficient as reading.

Start reading regularly in English and learn new FCE vocabulary for about 9 months (or at least 5 to 6 months) before taking the exam. Improving English vocabulary will not happen quickly!

B2 First (FCE): Vocabulary Tips

Tip 1: Read articles and essays

When taking the B2 First (FCE) exam, you should improve your knowledge of English vocabulary on various topics. It seems to be slower to do so by reading novels or books (which are generally devoted to one subject).

dog reading book with FCE vocabulary

Reading articles (as well as reviews and essays) is more effective in expanding your vocabulary on different topics. It will increase the possibility that the vocabulary you know appears on the exam.

Besides reading articles, you can also do vocabulary exercises (either online or in books).

Similarly to the articles, do exercises on topics and types of vocabulary commonly used during the exam.

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Tip 2: Learn Roots

Learn the roots of words. Most words in the English language are built from a common root, prefix, and suffix, usually with an origin in the Greek or Latin language.

Once you learn a root, you’ll begin to understand more words that use the same root. For example, -duc- (Latin root word) means to lead or to make, such as in the words produce or deduce.

Tip 3: Search for materials to read

Finding articles to read in English on common topics used in the exam isn’t difficult. Nevertheless, finding articles at the right level both for you and the exam might be challenging.

books with FCe vocabulary list

For instance, texts written for native English-speaking adults may be too complicated, and consequently, you may be confused and frustrated.

You can either read things designed specifically for FCE learners, texts intended for students with an intermediate level of English (very similar to FCE), or texts written for or by English-speaking young teenagers.

Below are some websites and resources for reading materials you can use:

Tip 4: Focus on specific types of FCE vocabulary

If you would like to succeed at the B2 First, you should focus on learning specific types of FCE vocabulary. Looking at the past exams, there are several topics which are often used.

We suggest focusing mainly on the topics listed below:

The environment
vocabulary connected to the weather, climate change, pollution, recycling, animals, plants, different types of habitats (deserts, sea, urban (e.g. towns and cities) etc…
vocabulary connected to different types of jobs and places of work, applying for a job, what people do in work etc…
vocabulary connected to the internet, social networks, using computers etc…
vocabulary connected to films/movies, books, music, concerts etc…
vocabulary connected to ways of travelling, going on holiday, problems related to travelling etc…
Social activities and hobbies
vocabulary connected to sports, hobbies, restaurants, shopping etc…
vocabulary connected to studying at school and university
Family and relationships
vocabulary related to family, friends and other types of relationships

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More than Practice Tests

Get your writing checked, track your progress online.
Sample papers, online practice tests & tips.

Tip 5: Memorize English better

 brain thinking how to improve FCE vocabulary listStarting with just reading or hearing English, you will gradually improve your FCE vocabulary. However, it will take some time.

The best way to understand and memorize new vocabulary is to focus on guessing its meaning from the contexts.

Next, check the dictionary to make sure you are right, then make a sentence with a given word.

Tip 6: Keep track of your English vocabulary

It’s easy to forget new words if you don’t make note of what you are learning. Be sure to keep a list of the new words as you learn them.

Consider keeping a word journal. Looking at the progress you’ve made with English vocabulary will give you something to review. It will also give you the pride and confidence to keep learning.

B2 First (FCE): Vocabulary List

environmentplace where people, plants, and animals live
environmentalrelating to the environment
wildlifeanimals, birds, and plants living in their natural habitat
carbon footprintamount of carbon dioxide produced by a person or company’s activity
endangered speciesanimals or plants that may soon become extinct
become extinctno longer exist (plants and animals)
extinctiona situation where an animal or plant does not exist
floodwhen a place is covered with water
greenhouse effectthe gradual warming of the Earth due to pollution and gases
greenhouse gasesgases, especially carbon dioxide, that cause the greenhouse effect
fumesgas or smoke which is usually dangerous
unsustainableusing more of something than can be replaced naturally
trafficlots of cars, lorries etc using roads
congested roadsroads which are blocked with traffic
overpopulationtoo many people in a place for the amount of food, space and resources
climate changechanges in the planet’s weather, particularly causing it to get warmer
global warmingthe gradual increase in the earth’s temperature caused by greenhouse gases
emissionsgas that is sent out to the air
pollutionrelease of harmful materials into the environment
ozone layerprotective layer in the Earth’s atmosphere that protects from UV radiation
rising sea levelsthe increasing level of the sea’s surface
deforestationprocess of cutting down trees in a large area
toxic wastepoisonous waste
fossil fuelsfuel that comes from the ground, such as oil or coal
solar energyenergy from the sun
solar panelsa special panel which converts sunlight into electricity
wind energyenergy from wind
nuclear energy/powerenergy produced by a nuclear reactor
natural resourcesmaterials from nature which we can use such as wood, coal, minerals, water
environmentally friendlynot harmful to the environment
renewable resourcesnatural sources of energy which don’t run out, e.g. solar and wind
organicfree from artificial chemicals, in food and animals
sustainableable to continue over a period of time and not harmful to the environment
recycle / recyclinguse waste materials again
biodegradableable to break down naturally
green energyenergy that is clean and doesn’t pollute the environment
conserve energysave energy
cut down (on)reduce, use less of something
reducedo less of something
reforestationplanting lots of trees to replace ones that have been cut down
activistperson who takes action in order to make political change
make a strong public expression of disagreement
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internetthe extensive global system of connected computers that allows people to share information and communicate with each other
online connected to the internet
wifi using radio or microwaves rather than wires to connect to the internet
wifi hotspotan area with an accessible wireless network, often a public place
internet connection the link between a computer and the internet
viralan image, video or piece of information that becomes very popular very quickly on the internet
e-booka book published in digital form and read on a computer or other dedicated electronic device
e-commercecommercial transactions conducted electronically on the internet
innovationa new method, idea, product, etc.
(technological) breakthroughan important discovery or event that helps to improve a situation or provide an answer
browse (the internet)reading and scanning through data on the websites
surf (the internet) look quickly through information on the websites
social mediaterm for websites and applications that focus on communication
cutting-edgethe latest or most advanced stage in the development of something
state-of-the-art the newest technology, ideas, and features
outdatedold-fashioned and no longer useful
internet addiction when a person has a compulsive need to spend a great deal of time on the Internet
privacylevel of privacy protection an individual has while connected to the Internet
spyingact or practice of obtaining secrets and information without the permission and knowledge of the holder
monitoroutput device that displays information in pictorial or textual form
(a) keyword (for a search)A word or phrase on web pages that is as close as possible to those typed into search engines
(to have a) subscription (to a site)an amount of money that you pay regularly to receive a product or service
(to) upload (sth to a site) to transfer (something, such as data or files) from a computer to the memory of another device
(a) bookmarksomething on a computer screen that serves as a shortcut (as to a website) bookmark
(to) launch (a program)starting up program
(to) share (content)distribution of content across relevant social media platforms
remote controlcontrol of a machine or apparatus from a distance
downloadcopy (data) from one computer system to another
log inconnect to a computer system by putting in a particular set of letters or numbers
plug inconnect an electrical appliance to the mains
posta piece of writing, image, or other item of content published online
browsera person who looks casually through publications or websites
websitecollection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name
upgradeto improve the quality or usefulness of something
keyboarda panel of keys that operate a computer
setbackevent that delays your progress or reverses some of the progress that you have mad
brainchildan idea or invention


timetablea list of the times of trains, buses etc.
 runwaya wide path from which airplanes take off and land
reservationan arrangement to have sth (a room, table, seat etc.)
package tour a holiday or tour, arranged by a travel agent
accommodationrooms in a house or hotel in which to stay
destinationthe place to which you are going
 departure the act of leaving a place especially to start a journey
 travel agenta person who works in or owns a travel agency
 return ticket a ticket for a journey to a place and back again
arrivalthe act of arriving
a flighta journey made by air, especially in a plane
a tour a journey for pleasure, during which you visit several different towns, areas etc.
a cruisea journey by sea, visiting different places, especially as a holiday
a drive a journey in a car, especially for pleasure
a journey(countable) an act of traveling from one place to another
an expeditionan organised trip whose purpose is scientific exploration of the environment
a tripa short journey to a place and back again
a crossinga journey from one side of the sea to the other
a voyagea long journey in a ship or spacecraft
travel(uncountable) the general activity of moving from place to place
platformarea alongside a railway track providing convenient access to trains
runwaya strip of hard ground along which aircraft take off and land
accomodationa room, group of rooms, or building in which someone may live or stay
luggagesuitcases or other bags in which to pack personal belongings for travelling
delayedbe late or slow
bookreserve (accommodation, a place, etc.); buy (a ticket) in advance
check inarrive and register at a hotel or airport
airporta place where aircraft regularly take off and land
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to attend classesto go to classes
bachelors degreean undergraduate course which usually lasts 3-4 years
boarding schoola school where pupils live during term time
distance learninga way of studying where tuition is carried out over the Internet or by post
face-to-face classesas opposed to distance learning the traditional way of studying in a classroom with colleagues and a teacher
to fall behind with your studiesto progress less quickly than others
to give feedbackto offer guidance on a student’s work
a graduation ceremonyan event where a successful student receives his or her academic degree
higher educationeducation, usually in a college or university, that is followed after high school or secondary school
an intensive coursea course that offers lots of training in order to reach a goal in as short a time as possible
to keep up with your studiesto not fall behind
to learn something by heart to memorize it
a mature studenta student who is older than average and who has usually returned to education after a period at work
masters degreea period of study which often follows the completion of a bachelors degree or is undertaken by someone regarded as capable of a higher-level academic course
to meet a deadlineto finish a job or task in the time allowed or agreed
to play truantto stay away from classes without permission
private language schoolan independent school run as a business concern
public schoolsexclusive independent schools in the UK
a single-sex school:a school where only boys or girls attend (as opposed to a mixed-sex school)
to sit an examto take an exam
state schoola school paid for by public funds and available to the general public
to take a year outto spend a year working or travelling before starting university
tuition feesthe money paid for a course of study
to work your way through universityto have a paid job whilst studying to support yourself financially
a nursery / kindergartena type of preschool that focuses on the children aged three to five years.
a primary schoola school for children between the ages of about five and eleven.
a secondary schoolschool intermediate between elementary school and college
private schoolschool that does not receive financial support from the government
collegeuniversity where you can study for an undergraduate
a state schoolprimary or secondary school that educates all students without charge
to apply to a universityask to be accepted as a student at colleges or universities by filling out
graduate to receive an academic degree or diploma
courseworkwork set at regular periods as part of an educational course


To be out of a jobto no longer have the job one has had
To look for a jobthe process of trying to find a job
To turn in an application for a jobsending a letter or form detailing your qualifications, skills and experience
To get a jobfind employment
interviewa conversation which occurs between a potential employer and a job applicant
make redundant dismiss (a person who is no longer needed) from a job
To be fireddismiss (an employee) from a job
To resign from a jobto quit or retire from a position
earnto receive money as payment for work that you do:
work shiftsa work schedule that is performed in rotations
 part-time joba form of employment that carries fewer hours per week than a full-time job
 full-time joba set work week, usually with eight-hour days and 40 hour weeks
To work overtimeto spend time working at one’s job in addition to one’s normal working hours
accountantsomeone whose job is to look after money accounts
agencya business that provides a service to other people or organizations
leadershipthe action of leading a group of people or an organization
customer servicesthe support you offer your customers
health servicea public service providing medical care
managementthe control and organization of something, esp. a business and its employees
promotionwhen an employee moves from one job to another, which is higher in pay
badly paidnot earning or paying much money
duty rostera roster is a list which gives details of the order in which different people have to do
skilledhaving or showing the knowledge, ability, or training to perform a certain activity or task well.
well paid earning or paying much money
under pressurebeing in a state of stress or anxiety due to having too much to do
occupationa job or profession
labour marketthe place where workers and employees interact with each other
companya commercial business
motivation lettera written document whose purpose is to express your interest in a job, scholarship, internship or a place on a Master’s degree
developmentthe process of growing or changing and becoming more advanced:
employeea person who is paid to work for someone else
employera person or organization that employs people
workplacea place where people work, such as an office or factory
apply for a jobparticipate in the job recruitment process
job searchthe process of trying to find a job
physical workerwork you do with your hands (chopping wood, moving furniture etc)
office workera person who does their job in an office
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ovationcheering or applause to express approval, welcome etc
performancethe act of performing a play, concert etc.
review a report in a newspaper or magazine, or on the Internet
 admissionbeing allowed to go in
amusement parka large park with many special machines that you can ride on
musicalA film or theatre production in which dancing and singing play an integral part
playA theatre production/performance
audience  The people watching a particular show/event
classicalA musical genre that uses traditional instruments and follows established principles and convention
competitionYou enter one of these to win a prize.
 festivalan organized series of concerts, plays, or films, typically one held annually in the same place.
carnival a travelling fair having merry-go-rounds, etc
to invitemake a polite, formal, or friendly request to (someone) to go somewhere or to do something.
free timetime when you do not have to work, study, etc. and can do what you want:
to feasta large meal, typically a celebratory one.
nightcluban entertainment venue
leisure timefree time
take up a hobbywhen you become interested in it and spend time doing it
channel television station and its programs
circusa travelling company of entertainers such as acrobats, clowns, trapeze artistes, and trained animals
exhibitiona public display of art, products, skills, activities, etc
concerta performance of music by players or singers that does not involve theatrical staging
garden partya social gathering held in the grounds of a house, school, etc, usually with light refreshments


go for a walkactivity of going for long walks
have a quiet night injust stay at home and relax
throw a partyOrganize a social gathering
be keen on (sth)enjoy doing something
have a passion for (sth)an extreme interest in or wish for doing something
eat outeat away from home (e.g. in restaurant)
(to be) crazy about (sth)to be very interested in something or love someone very much
take part in (an activity)do an activity with other people
chill outrelax
get togethermeet
come roundcome to someone’s house
be intobe interested in something
take up a hobbystart a new hobby
gardeningthe job or activity of working in a garden
 rollerbladingskate using Rollerblade
window shoppingthe activity of going to a store or website to look at goods rather than to buy anything:
scuba divingthe sport of swimming underwater with special breathing equipment
huntingthe activity or sport of chasing or searching for wild animals or birds with the intention of killing or catching them
hikingthe activity of going for long walks, especially across country
board gamesa game (such as checkers, chess, or backgammon) played by placing or moving pieces on a board.
bowlingsport and recreational activity in which a player rolls a ball toward pins
surf the webto spend time visiting a lot of websites
crosswordsa game in which you have to fit words across and downwards into spaces with numbers in a square diagram
birdwatchobserve their actions and habits in their natural habitat as a recreation
yogaphysical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India.
joggingthe activity of running at a slow, regular speed
sewingactivity of making or repairing clothes or other things made from cloth
knittingthe activity of knitting something
do model
the activity of making models, miniature representations of things.
stamps collectingthe act of collecting postage stamps as a hobby
horse-ridingthe sport or activity of riding a horse
sailingthe sport or activity of using boats with sails
rock climbingactivity in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations
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colleaguea person who works with you
fiancéthe man to whom a woman is engaged to be married
son-in-lawa daughter’s husband
niecethe daughter of you brother or sister
mother-in-lawthe mother of your husband or wife
acquaintancea person whom you know
nephewthe son of your brother or sister
fiancée the woman to whom a man is engaged to be married
workmatea person that you work with
relative/relationa person who is in the same family as somebody else
descendantyour child, grandchild
divorcedno longer married
widowa woman whose husband is dead
flatmate person who shares a flat with one or more others
engagedhaving given a promise to marry someone
adultfully grown
ancestora person in your family who lived a long time ago
neighboursomeone who lives near you
acquaintancea person one knows slightly, but who is not a close friend
anniversarya day when we remember or celebrate something important that happened on that day in a previous year
communitya group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common
coupletwo people who are married or otherwise closely associated
engagementa formal agreement to get married.
flatmate/housemate/roommatea person with whom you share an apartment or house
fall in love (with someone)to be very attracted to someone and begin to love them
fall out (with someone)you have an argument and stop being friendly with them.
get in touch (with someone)to initiate or establish contact or communication with one
get on well (with someone)you have a friendly relationship with them
make up with someoneto forgive someone and be friendly with them again after an argument or disagreement
propose to someoneask someone to marry you

B2 First (FCE): Vocabulary List – Download PDF

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