IELTS General Speaking – 21 Phrasal Verb for Band 8

1. Make it: arrive or get a result
Examiner: Do you have any expectation regarding your scholarship application?
Candidate: I am not sure if I am good enough to actually get the scholarship, but I expect to at least make it to the final round
2. Bone up on: to learn.
Example: I had to bone up on my English studies to push my IELTS score to a 7 or higher.

3. Do away with: end/ terminate
Example: Personally, I think we should do away with school uniforms. Students should wear what they like.

4. End up: become eventually
Example: I’m not sure what I will end up doing with my life. I can’t decide on a career path.

5. Figure out: to learn the details of something, or discover how it works.
Example: I figured out how to fix the television.

6. Make do with: accept something less satisfactory because there’s no alternative
Examiner: Can you tell me something memorable about one of your recent outings?
Candidate: Sure! My friends and I went to a friend’s house last week. Things were great, except that there was no coffee, so we had to make do with tea.

7. Goof off: to waste time or avoid work 
Example: I used to spend most of the school days goofing off with her friends.

8. Make of: understand or have an opinion
Candidate: I’m not sure what to make of this question. Could you rephrase it for me?

9. Worn out: exhaust/ tire
Example: I’m usually worn out by the end of the week because I’m studying for IELTS and working as well.

10. Clam up: say nothing usually because you are embarrassed or nervous
Example: I clammed up when she asked me to answer the question.

11. Work out: calculate
Example: I need to work out whether I can afford to study abroad.

12. Catch up: to try to reach the same standard, stage, or level as others after you have fallen behind them (like you’re chasing someone, or with your studies)
Example: I fell behind after 1 week off from school and had to catch up.

13. Carry on: continue
Example: I’m going to carry on studying IELTS till I get the score I need – I’m not giving up!

14. Come across: To meet or find (something or someone) by chance.
Example: On the halfway back home, I came across Tom, what a coincidence!

15. Read up on: to study or learn by reading
Example: Before setting out to travel around the world, I read up on all the places I planned to visit.

16. Sort out: to find a solution to (a problem, etc), esp to make clear or tidy.
Example: It took a long time to sort out the mess.

17. Zone out:  fall asleep or lose concentration or consciousness.
Example: I just zoned out for a moment after such a long drive.

18. Put up with: endure
Example: After graduating, I had to put up with many months of unpaid work before finally being given a permanent contract.

19. Come up with: to think of, develop, or find something 
Example: They’ve tried their best to come up with a feasible solution to air pollution. 

20. Look back on: Think about something that happened in the past
Example: When I look back on my childhood, I’m amazed by the crazy things we used to do

21. Call off: to stop or cancel
Example: They called off the football match because of the weather forecast.

22. Make up on: Compensate for someone because of something

Example: Thanks for making up on me

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