Widen Your Vocabulary for IELTS – Key Word: progress


1          Verb + progress

Use the correct form of these verbs:

bring               discuss

make               follow

hold up            monitor

  1. At the end of each school term parents ___________ their child’s progress with a teacher.
  2. Since he moved to his new school. William has ___________ a lot of progress.
  3. I remember my Uncle George took a personal interest in my education. He___________ my progress closely and gave me help and a lot of encouragement.
  4. The British were enthusiastic builders of railways. They believed railways ___________ progress and civilisation to less developed countries.
  5. Each student’s progress is closely___________ . We use a system of regular tests to measure their progress.
  6. Fallen trees are ___________ the progress of the rescue workers.

2          Common adjective collocations

Use the following adjectives in these sentences:

disappointing              good

rapid                            real

slow                             steady

  1. We are making slow but___________ progress. The job should only take about a day longer than we anticipated.
  2. There has been such___________ progress in computer technology over the last few years that I can hardly keep up with the speed of change.
  3. They are having great problems trying to reach the trapped men. Progress is painfully ___________ .
  4. Fortunately, there wasn’t much traffic on the roads, so we made ___________ progress and arrived with plenty of time to spare.
  5. The police have made no___________ progress in the investigation and detectives are now appealing to the public for help.
  6. No agreement has been reached after five days of discussions. Progress has been___________ -to say the least!

Go back and underline the adjective collocations.

3          Expressions with prepositions

Choose the correct preposition for each sentence:

in                     of                     on

  1. We are frustrated at the lack ___________ progress.
  2. Although she’s recovering from her illness, her rate___________ progress is quite slow.
  3. In order to continue your financial assistance, we will need regular updates ___________ your progress.
  4. John’s teacher says that his reading and writing is showing signs ___________ progress.
  5. Now that the project has started, we will need a weekly meeting for the next two months to keep a close check ___________ progress.
  6. There has not been much progress___________ the border dispute between the two countries.
  7. Political observers noted that there had been a lot of progress ___________ human rights.
  8. A concert was ___________ progress in the school hall, so we looked for another room.
  9. The college will be closed while maintenance work is ___________ progress.

What is the meaning of ‘progress’ in nos 8 and 9?


1.         In l-l ‘review’ is also possible.

2.         We talk about economic and technological progress:

The country has made significant economic progress in recent years.

Technological progress has allowed scientists to build smaller and smaller computers.

3.         We use the following expression to say that not all progress is good:

We are destroying the planet with our technology – all in the name of progress.

4.         Note the following ways of expressing ‘holding up’ progress:

His progress was hindered by his lack of experience.

The inability of management to decide what it wants has hampered the progress of the plan.

Continuing disagreement is impeding progress towards reform of the educational system.

By refusing to operate the new machines, the print workers were accused of standing in the way of progress.


Ex 1:

  1. discuss 2. made 3. followed      4. brought        5.         monitored        6. holding up

Ex 2:

  1. steady 2. rapid            3. slow            4.good             5. real              6. disappointing

Ex 3:

  1. of 2. of 3. on     4. of   5. on    6. in     7. on    8. in     9. in

(In nos. 8 and 9 ‘in progress’ means that something was happening.)

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Written By

Misbah Kagad is a Content Marketing Specialist, currently working as IELTS Trainer at ieltsmaterial.com. Experience Expert with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry. Skilled in Copywriting, Web Content writing, Management, IELTS and Research. Strong professional with a Diploma focused in Computer Science... Currently helping aspirants to crack IELTS, with tips and tricks to score a bandwidth of 8 and more. Handles the ideation and creation of compelling content including content for IELTS website, writing e-books and solving previous IELTS question papers…

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