Idioms are helpful for the IELTS exam if you want to score 7+ bands. You can easily get a score of 6.5 or 7 bands by using vocabulary, but to score higher than that, you must know idioms.

There are common idioms to boost IELTS score, and for 8.5 or 9 bands, you must know some advanced idioms. 

You can learn idioms easily, but the thing that you will find difficult to do is to use idioms in sentences. So to solve your problem, we will describe some important common idioms to improve your IELTS score with meaning and examples. 

But before that, you must understand what idioms are.

What Are Idioms?

Idioms are words that generally don’t have a specific, it means that you can’t understand the meaning of an idiom by reading every word in the idiom. Idioms are used to make a sentence more attractive. For example, to show you are very happy after getting a good score in IELTS, “you can say you were over the moon when you saw your IELTS result.” 

Here over the moon is an idiom that is used to show your happiness. You can see that by reading every word of the idiom, you can’t tell the exact meaning of the idiom. If you don’t know this idiom, then you may think that over the moon mean looking moon in the sky. 

You can also express the same feeling by saying, “you were happy when you saw your result.”  

Here you can see that the sentence in which we have used idiom looks more attractive compared to the simple sentence. 

Importance Of Using Common Idioms To Boost IELTS Score

After knowing what idioms are you should understand the importance of using idioms:

  • Work as advanced vocabulary
  • Improve your speaking skill
  • Build up confidence 
  • Help you score higher

Some Common Idioms To Boost IELTS Score

Out of the blueSomething which was not expected to happenToday, out of the blue, Ram asked Sita to marry.
In the redWhen you don’t have moneySorry, I can’t help you, I am in my red.
Give someone the green lightGive permissionRam’s father gives him the green light to buy a new phone.
A white lieTo speak a lie that is not too seriousI don’t think that you should worry about it, it was a white lie.
Green with envyTo be jealousShivani was green with envy when she saw her sister’s gold and diamond ring.
Day and nightContinually working without stoppingRam studies day and night for his math test.
Drop outTo leave without finishingHe dropped out of the program/course because it was too hard.
Learn by heartTo memorizeYou must learn all the idioms by heart to get a good score in IELTS.
Pass with flying colorsPass with good gradesParents always hope their child passes with flying colors.
BookwormSomeone who reads a lotRam used to be a bookworm when he was a child.
Brought upRaisedEvery parent brought up their child with some hope.
Child’s playVery easy to doIt is not a child’s play to learn how to play guitar.
Like a kid in a candy storeVery excited about somethingWhen we first came to the town, we were like a kid in a candy store as there was a lot to do and see.
To follow in someone’s footstepsAchieve something that someone already has achievedI followed my father’s footsteps to become a doctor.
To run in the familySimilar qualities in the familyWe are all good in science and maths, it runs in our family.
Under the weatherFeeling unwellOne of my friends was feeling under the weather I hope he does not have COVID.
As sick as a dogFeeling very illRaj was as sick as a dog yesterday.
On the mendRecoveringRam was sick yesterday, but now he is on the mend.
Kick the bucketTo dieShaam was very sick, everyone once thought he might kick the bucket.

You should also read our other blog, “50 Difficult Words With Meaning That Are Important For IELTS.”

Other common Idioms

Here are many other common idioms to boost IELTS score for you to practice. We will provide the idioms with their meaning and you can make your own examples using those idioms. 

You can let us know through comments whether your examples are right or not. Our experts will check your comments and respond as soon as they can.

So now, let’s look at common idioms to boost IELTS scores for both IELTS speaking and writing.

  1. To show promise

Meaning: To indicate possible success

  1. Practice makes perfect

Meaning: To continuously improve by practicing

  1. Break a leg

Meaning: To wish someone good luck

  1. Driving me up the wall

Meaning: Something that annoys you

  1. Better late than never

Meaning: It is good or better to do something than never doing it

  1. Blind as a bat

Meaning: Can’t see or bad eyesight

  1. Pulling your leg

Meaning: Joking around

  1. Actions speak louder than words

Meaning: Better to do something instead of speaking about it

  1. Cut to the chase

Meaning: Come to the point by cutting unnecessary details

  1. The heat of the moment

Meaning: To say something without thinking about it

  1. A drop in the ocean

Meaning: A small of something much bigger

  1. An arm and a leg

Meaning: Very expensive

  1. Stuck between a rock and a hard place

Meaning: Having two terrible choices

  1. Once in a blue moon

Meaning: Happening very rarely

  1. Over the top

Meaning: Excessive or more than enough

  1. Keep an eye on them

Meaning: Watch something carefully

  1. let sleeping dogs lie

Meaning: Avoid a conflict

  1. Driving me up the wall

Meaning: to make (someone) irritated

  1. Hold your horses

Meaning: wait a moment.

  1. You are what you eat

Meaning: Eat good food to be healthy and fit

  1. Jumping the gun


  1. Chip on his shoulder


  1. Piece of cake


  1. To hit the nail on the head

Meaning: to do or say something exactly right or accurate

  1. To kill two birds with one stone

Meaning: to accomplish two tasks with one effort

  1. To cut corners

Meaning: to do something in a hurry or cheaply, often sacrificing quality

  1. To have a chip on one’s shoulder

Meaning: to have a grudge or resentment, often over a perceived slight or injustice

  1. To pull someone’s leg

Meaning: to tease or joke with someone in a playful manner

  1. To turn a blind eye

Meaning: to ignore or pretend not to see something that is wrong or unethical

  1. To bite off more than you can chew

Meaning: to undertake more than you can handle or manage

  1. To throw in the towel

Meaning: to give up or abandon a situation or goal

  1. To cost an arm and a leg

Meaning: to be very expensive or cost too much

  1. To be the icing on the cake

Meaning: to be the best part or the finishing touch to something already good

  1. To beat around the bush

Meaning: to avoid discussing a difficult or sensitive issue directly

  1. To jump on the bandwagon

Meaning: to follow the trend or join a popular movement

  1. To be the black sheep

Meaning: to be the odd one out or the outcast in a group

  1. To have a snake in the grass

Meaning: to have an enemy or someone who is secretly plotting against you

  1. To be the elephant in the room

Meaning: to be an issue or problem that everyone is aware of but no one wants to talk about

  1. To be a wolf in sheep’s clothing

Meaning: to be someone who pretends to be innocent or friendly but is actually dangerous or harmful

  1. To be the straw that broke the camel’s back

Meaning: to be the final problem or stressor that leads to a breakdown or collapse

These are the most common idioms to boost IELTS score.

To get good band score in IELTS speaking you must read, “Idioms For IELTS Speaking With Meaning And Example.”

Should We Use Idioms In IELTS Writing

No, we should not use idioms in writing because idioms are informal, and we can not use them in IELTS writing tasks 1 and 2.  


In this blog, we have provided some of the common idioms to boost IELTS score. We have  given idioms with meanings and examples to help you understand them easily. 

We have given 20 idioms without examples that you can practice by yourself. You can also let us know through comments about the examples, and our experts can look at them for you and will let you know if you have any mistakes.

We hope we have cleared all your queries about common idioms to boost IELTS score. For more content like this, keep visiting CourseMentor™.


Are idioms good for IELTS?

Yes, idioms are good for the IELTS exam. You can easily improve your score in IELTS speaking and writing by using idioms correctly. However, you may lose your band score if you do not use it correctly.

Does IELTS depend on luck?

No, it is just a myth that IELTS depends upon luck. If you work hard, you will easily get a good score if you do not, then it will be hard for you to score good marks.