Customise Change the way it looks

Change the colours of the different levels

level now new colour

Change all to same colour

GSL highlighter

GSL highlighter Highlight all GSL words in a text

Use this tool to highlight words from the GSL (General Service List). Enter the text in the box below then click 'submit'. As the GSL accounts for around 80% of words in written texts, most of the words will be highlighted. You may find the GSL limiter tool more useful.

Select max number of characters (if processing speed is slow, choose a lower number)


The highlighted text will appear here.

Sorted word list (by level) will appear below.

Word lists Sorted by level

Below are the words sorted by 'level'. These levels are unofficial (you won't find them referred to anywhere else). They are a convenient way to categorise the words. The levels are set according to frequency, not the number of words, with each level accounting for approximately 8% of words in written texts (the GSL accounts for 80% of all words in written English texts, and there are ten levels). The number of words in each level varies: Levels 1 and 2 have only two words (plus related forms), while level 10 has 1551 words. To understand the levels better, try the GSL limiter tool.


Like the website? Try the books. This extract from Unlock the Academic Wordlist: Sublists 1-3 contains all sublist 1 words, plus exercises, answers and more!



Sheldon Smith

Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 28 April 2020.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Popular pages in the vocab sectionMost viewed pages