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Speaking Education vocabulary

  • subject groups:
    • humanities: studies about human culture, such as literature, languages, philosophy, and history. Chloe excels in humanities subjects. She’s adept at arts and languages.
    • sciences: studies about the world, such as physics, biology, chemistry, and maths. Mark doesn’t like scientific subjects, he’s just too lazy to learn formulas.


  • A for effort: a good mark, which is given someone for trying hard rather than for a success. Although I’m not the smartest in my group, I often get an A for effort, because I try hard.
  • bachelor’s degree: an undergraduate course which usually lasts 3 or 4 years. I will receive my bachelor’s degree in two years.
  • bookworm: a term to describe someone who really likes to read and spends a lot of time on it. I’m a real bookworm. I won’t stop until the book is read.
  • distance learning (e-learning): education that takes place remotely, usually via the Internet. Distance learning is more flexible than traditional education, because students don’t have to attend classes and can schedule their timetables as they want.
  • eager beaver: an enthusiastic and hard-working person. My friend is an eager beaver. He studies everything with pleasure and gets great marks.
  • face-to-face classes: a traditional way of studying – in a classroom with a teacher. When I was a kid, face-to-face classes had no alternatives, but nowadays a myriad of educational establishments offer online courses and individual tuition.
  • higher education: education that is followed after high school. I plan on getting higher education after finishing school.
  • hit the books: begin studying hard. I’m on my third year in the university, it is time to finally hit the books.
  • individual tuition (private tuition): instruction received individually or in a small group. Individual tuition is sometimes more effective than group work.
  • intensive course: a course that offers longer and more frequent classes. A few years ago I took an intensive French course in the university.
  • internship: a temporary position which students usually take to get work experience and practical knowledge. Before I went into design industry, I took an internship in a company.
  • master’s degree: a graduate course, which follows after bachelor’s degree. Master’s degree is often important to find a job with a higher salary.
  • mature student: someone who’s older than others. Nowadays it’s not uncommon to face a mature student in the class. People often change professions and get a second or third degree in their mid-thirties.
  • not the sharpest tool in the shed: a polite way of saying that someone isn’t very smart. Maybe John isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but he’s a good friend nonetheless.
  • public schools: exclusive independent schools in the UK. My friend finished a public school a few years ago.
  • schoolboy error: a very basic and stupid mistake. Sam made a schoolboy error on his English test.
  • single-sex schools: schools for either boys or girls. My brother studied in a single-sex school.
  • small fraction: small part. A small fraction of students managed to pass this exam.
  • state school: a school which is paid for by the state or country. It is hard to find a good state school nowadays.
  • subject specialist: a person who is very talented in one specific field. My math teacher was a real subject specialist. Thanks to him math is my favourite subject now.
  • teacher’s pet: student whom teachers like the most. Hugo is a teacher’s pet, he attends all classes and manages to get good marks with poor knowledge.
  • three R’s: basic educational skills (reading, writing, arithmetic). Pupils in a primary school study the three R’s.
  • to attend classes: to visit classes. In my college, students need to attend classes five times a week.
  • to fall behind with studies: to progress less quickly than others. Mary was ill for two weeks, so she fell behind with her studies.
  • to give feedback: to give some information or criticism on a subject. I launched a project a couple of days ago and I want my friends to give me some feedback.
  • to goof around: spend time doing nothing important. Sometimes I like to goof around, although my parents scold me for that.
  • to learn something by heart: to memorize something. Last year i had to learn a very big poem by heart for my literature class.
  • to meet a deadline: to finish something within a time limit. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to meet the deadline for our project.
  • to pass with flying colours: to pass easily and with excellent result. I’m studying hard and I will pass IELTS with flying colours.
  • to play truant: to skip classes without permission. During my school years I often played truant with my friends.
  • to pursue studying: to continue studying. Lora would like to pursue studying in the future to become a professor.
  • to set aside some time: to take some time. I need to set aside some time to collect my thoughts.
  • to sit an exam: to take an exam. Tomorrow I’ll have to sit a two-hour math exam.
  • to take a year out: to spend one year working or traveling before studying in the University. My friend took a year out and went traveling to the UK.
  • tuition fees: money you pay for your education. I had to pay tuition fees this summer.

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