Top 6 books to prepare for IELTS Exam

To perform well in any examination, including the IELTS, determined and continuous practice is required. However, selecting relevant and authentic books from the vast array of resources accessible online and offline is a difficult undertaking that frightens everyone who plans to take the IELTS.

It is critical to remember that no single book can help you prepare for all of the IELTS modules. This is due to the fact that in order to completely study and practise every module, a massive quantity of practise material is necessary, which would be practically difficult to provide adequately in a single book. Using different books for each module can help you learn more effectively.

Here are the top books for IELTS:

  1. The official Cambridge Guide to IELTS
  2. The Cambridge Books for IELTS ( Book 1 to Book 17)
  3. IELTS 5 in 1 Actual Test eBook Combo
  4. The Target band 7 for IELTS Academic by Simone Braverman 
  5. A Complete Guide to IELTS Letters by David Wills
  6. Check Your Vocabulary for IELTS- Essential Words and Phrases to maximise your scores by Rawdon Wyatt

Let’s have a look at some truly effective books that I’ve attempted and found useful:

1. The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS

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The official Cambridge guide to IELTS is one of the most comprehensive IELTS books available. The book contains eight complete IELTS tests (8 listening, reading, speaking and writing) as well as two supplementary General Reading tasks. Each module of the IELTS exam is thoroughly explained and illustrated with appropriate examples.

The listening module study recommendations are broken into eight sections. It starts by instructing you on how to interpret the context and the fundamental principles to follow when undertaking the listening module. In the next sections, each type of question asked in the four sections of the listening module is described in length, with example audios and practise questions to ensure thoroughness. The tactics and types of questions for reading are also separated into 8 groups and described in depth. One of the book’s key strengths is that it describes the additional types of questions and changes in passage style for the General IELTS reading in a separate section.

Another appealing feature of the book is that it includes ‘test hints’ for each area discussed in dialogue boxes on the same page. This makes it simple for students to learn and implement. The rules for both Task one and Task two are supplied individually for the writing section, as are sample answers for each question. There is also a separate module for the General writing Task one (letter writing).

The DVD that comes with the book contains videos of the speaking test for the speaking module. This will provide a candidate a good picture of how the actual test is conducted. The procedures for self-evaluation and mistake correction are covered in a separate module. You get to practise eight complete examinations throughout these lessons to increase your knowledge and confidence. At the end of the book, there are solutions to both the practise problems and the entire exams.

Who is it for ?

Any student who is taking the exam for the first time and wants to study for the IELTS should consider buying this book. To grasp the book’s content, however, you need to have intermediate grammar and comprehension abilities.

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2. The Cambridge Books for IELTS ( Book 1 to Book 17)

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The most popular study guide for the IELTS tests is the Cambridge books for IELTS. The Cambridge books are among the most legitimate resources for IELTS practise since each one contains the EXACT actual questions that were asked on the past exams.

Each book has four complete tests ( one test includes one listening, reading , writing and speaking respectively ). Each book comes with an audio CD that includes the corresponding audio for the listening modules, videos for the speaking test, and answer keys with additional explanations. Answer keys for the listening and reading modules as well as for the writing exercises are supplied at the conclusion of each book. The audio scripts for the listening module are one of the book’s most beneficial features.As each answer is identified with a question number on the answer scripts, the audio scripts will aid students in understanding where each response is derived. It will also help students to understand the reasons why they were unable to come up with the solution on their own, such as if they heard or understood the question incorrectly or whether the word’s pronunciation prevented them from comprehending it.

The publication year is indicated by the book’s number. For instance, Book 17 of the Cambridge IELTS is the most recent, whereas Book 1 was released in 2006. The Academic and General examinations are integrated in one book for Cambridge Books 1 through 10. They are made available as independent publications from the Cambridge 11 Book ( Cambridge Book for IELTS 11 Academic and Cambridge Book for IELTS 11 General)

Who is it for?

The Cambridge books work best for students who are familiar with the exam’s format and have developed methods for the writing and speaking modules because they don’t offer any advice or recommendations and instead let you practise on the actual test. Additionally, it would be futile to follow the sample writing answers given at the end of the book because they are mostly unreliable for achieving a high score.

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3. IELTS 5 in 1 Actual Test eBook Combo.

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The website has released a collection of 5 books called the IELTS 5 in 1 Actual Test eBook in pdf format. Despite the abundance of ebooks that are readily accessible online, the IELTS 5 in 1 Actual Test stands out because of the precision with which the question formats and response examples are presented. The most recent version for the months of October and November is currently available. The eBook bundle is offered for both the Academic and General IELTS examinations.

Each of the five categories—listening, reading, writing task one, writing task two, and speaking—has five books. Twelve listening tests with audio scripts and answer keys are included in the listening book. Twelve reading comprehension exams and answer keys are also included in the reading book. 100 current IELTS report writing questions and sample answers with a 7 score range are included in the Academic writing task one book. 18 sets of letter questions—each set including a formal, semi-formal, and informal letter—as well as model responses are included in the General Writing Task One book. This is one of the most comprehensive collections of task one questions that I have come across so far (for both the general and academic IELTS). 

The writing task two book has 18 essays that follow a specified strategic format, and I found these to be both interesting and realistically relevant. The speaking book has 25 complete speaking questions (part 1 warm up, part 2 cue card, and part 3 discussion), example responses, and terminology related to each topic. This is incredibly helpful since you may pick up new vocabulary as you read through the questions for a particular set.

Who is it for ?

Since the majority of the fundamental information on the test modules is given in simple terms, this book is appropriate for applicants at the beginner level even if they have no prior knowledge of the examination. The example answers included in this book are of a top quality and fall within the 6.5 to 7 band score range, which is one of its greatest features.

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4. The Target band 7 for IELTS Academic by Simone Braverman 

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Simone Braverman is one author who writes from the viewpoint of a student because she took the test and received good band scores herself. She offers various realistic strategies for achieving better scores, particularly for writing task one report writing. Simone also provides thorough advice on how to successfully manage your time so you can finish the reading and writing module within the stipulated time frame. 

The “pocket tips” portion of the book, which offers a variety of immediately relevant and effective advice for each module, is one of its most helpful sections. The “study plan” section of the book, where Simone outlines a one-month study schedule for the IELTS, is my personal favourite section.

Who is it for ?

Any beginner or intermediate student taking the IELTS can utilise the target band 7 book. It is especially helpful for students who are unsure of their weaknesses after failing to earn the requisite marks on the first try. This is due to Simone’s explanation of frequent mistakes and solutions. Remember that all of the tactics discussed in the book—as the title implies—are for a Band 7 score range. If you need a band higher than that, it is not beneficial to rely only on this book.

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5. A Complete Guide to IELTS Letters by David Wills

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A Complete Guide to IELTS Letters by David Wills is unquestionably the best book out of the few that are available to aid students in learning the tactics for IELTS General Task One, Letter Writing. Wills provides a comprehensive explanation of the proper format for letters as well as the distinct terminology that should be used for formal, semi-formal, and informal letters. Additionally, he offers 34 example letters with annotations that fall within a 7 band range. One of the best parts about Wills is the way he breaks down learning syntax and vocabulary into manageable, point-by-point tactics that are specifically intended for letter writing.

Who is it for ?

Any student having trouble with writing for the General IELTS should utilise this book. Even if you just have rudimentary knowledge of the English language, you can readily grasp the book’s content since it employs straightforward, simple language.

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6. Check Your Vocabulary for IELTS- Essential Words and Phrases to maximise your scores by Rawdon Wyatt

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This is an essential book that will aid in an organic acquisition of terms specifically necessary for the IELTS test. The engaging and distinctive exercises and activities employed in this book to increase vocabulary are one of its standout characteristics. Additionally, this book provides sample responses to real IELTS speaking and writing questions.

Who is it for ?

A candidate with any level of English proficiency might strengthen it with the use of this book. It will especially benefit pupils who are having trouble moving forward on a certain score. this is due to the fact that the book contains a significant amount of high frequency vocabulary that is taught in a topic-based method to enhance memory retention.

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As I stated at the outset, no one book can be beneficial for every aspirant because each person’s level of existing competence and the IELTS score they ought to achieve are different. However, these materials may help you build a solid foundation for the test, and regular practise, together with acknowledging your shortcomings, would ensure that you receive a high IELTS score.

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Shruthi Raveendran

I am Shruthi Raveendran, a TEFL-certified IELTS/PTE and ESL tutor who has 8+ years of experience working in the education industry. I am a passionate writer, logophile and film enthusiast

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