Using Collocation to Boost Your IELTS Score – Key Word: rate

Key Word: rate

1          Adjective + rate (speed)

Use the following adjectives in these sentences:

tremendous                 own                 present

average                       this                  steady

  1. Babies don’t grow at a ____________ rate. They grow in fits and starts.
  2. Throughout my teaching I’ve always let my students work at their____________ rate.
  3. The car was going at a ____________ rate as it passed us. It must have been doing over 150 kilometres an hour.
  4. If the numbers of pandas continue to decrease at their____________ rate, they will be extinct in ten years.
  5. Most of us walk at an ____________ rate of about 5 kilometres an hour.
  6. We’ll be lucky if we get there by midnight at ____________ rate! Can’t you go any faster?

2          Rate (money)

Complete the sentences with these words:

interest                        exchange

flat                                  going

variable                       inflation

hourly                         concessionary

  1. What are people usually paid for this kind of work? => I’ve no idea what the _________ rate is.
  2. We offer special reduced rates for students and pensioners. These _________ rates are also available to the unemployed.
  3. Please note that our rates are _________ . If you make a call during peak hours, it is charged at a higher rate.
  4. We charge a _________ rate of £2 per hour for internet access, unlike some companies which charge you double before six pm.
  5. I need to change these pounds into dollars. What’s the current _________ rate?
  6.  _________ rates are at their lowest for 40 years.
  7. There has been a further fall in the rate of _________ this month.
  8. The_________ rate for hotel and restaurant workers can be as low as £4.50.That’s not enough to live on.

 3         Other types of rate

Complete the sentences with these words:

birth                            crime

divorce                        dropout

heart                            success

death                           survival

  1. She is a highly-paid lawyer because she has a high ___________ rate in the cases she handles.
  2. The university has a very low ___________ rate. Only 2% of students fail to complete their courses.
  3. He argued that the___________ rate would be reduced if the police were armed, but few people agreed with him.
  4. You attach this machine to your finger and it measures your ___________ rate.
  5. With new medicines, the___________ rate for people who have this disease is now an amazing 92%.
  6. The___________ rate has risen steeply in recent years as more and more women have the financial resources to support themselves.
  7. In Southern Africa the ___________ rate from AIDS is getting worse and worse.
  8. The national___________ rate remained static for a decade, then it started to fall steadily as the standard of living increased.


1.         Note this expression:

Figures published today show another rise in the rate of unemployment.

2.         We talk about ‘high’ and ‘low’ rate of something:

We put the low crime rate in the area down to good policing.

3.         We talk of bank rates, interest rates, hourly rates and daily rates.

Banks have increased interest rates by half of one per cent

4.         We talk about birth rates, death rates and infant mortality rates.

5.         In the UK ‘rates’ sometimes means local taxes. For example: water rates.



Ex 1: 1. steady 2. own 3. tremendous 4. present 5. average 6. this

Ex 2: 1. going 2. concessionary 3. variable 4. flat 5. exchange 6. Interest 7. inflation 8. hourly

Ex 3: 1. success 2. dropout 3. crime 4. heart 5. survival 6. divorce 7. death 8. birth

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