They are a group of words which elevates the meaning and standard of English when used together.
A ‘collocation’ is a set of words which traditionally are used together. Examples from general English are ‘extremely happy’ and ‘deeply disappointed.’ In IELTS, you will increase your score if you can use some of the Academic English collocations which are used in formal writing, and speaking. This essay has some good examples:-
|minor crime||viable option|
|to some extent||limited effectiveness|
|robust alternatives||improved rates|
By using these colocations, the writer shows that she can write in the formal, academic style used in business, colleges and universities. Some of the other very frequent academic collocations which you should use in your IELTS can be:-
|There is widespread concern about . . .||There is universal consensus that . . . (= everybody agrees on this)|
|It is virtually certain that . . .||It is generally accepted that . . .|
|It is barely conceivable that . . . (= it is very hard to imagine this happening)||It is of paramount importance that . . . (= maximum importance)|
|It seems highly likely/unlikely that . . .|
Try to use these colocation phrases wherever possible in your essays, and the examiner will recognise that you are using advanced Academic English.