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Best books for IELTS Preparation

Print me , November 21, 2017, best books for ielts preparationbooks for ieltsielts booksielts test

The IELTS or the International English Language Testing System is such a famous and reputed test worldwide that it does not require any introduction. Each year approximately 2.7 million candidates appear for the test, to get certified on their proficiency of all forms of the English knowledge. Though candidates accumulate tons of free to download study materials and sample test papers from the internet which are of great use and most of them take expert coaching as well, still, a large chunk of candidates quest after best books for IELTS preparation. Some highly valuable and important books according to their popularity are:

  • 1) The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS
  • 2) Cambridge IELTS Series 1 – 12
  • 3) English Collocations in Use
  • 4) English Vocabulary in Use Series
  • 5) New Insight into IELTS with Answers
  • 6) Official IELTS Practice Materials
  • 7) “Improve your IELTS skills” Series

Let’s discuss why they are so valuable why students or candidates quest after these books. It is impossible to single out a book from the list and recommend as the best one, so we are providing a list of them with a short discussion of the contents.

No.1: The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS is the unequivocal guide for the candidates, also noticeable that this book is published by the organization that produces the IELTS test, that is the ‘Cambridge’. This book covers all the four sections of the IELTS. If you follow this book, you will get fantastic ‘Step-by-Step’ instructions, tips, and directions focused on the IELTS tests. It’s great for skills building also. This book’s guide on test-taking strategy would help you immensely for maximizing your band score. And it must be mentioned that there are ‘Ten Practice Tests’ for both Academic module and General Training module. The thorough and authoritative guidance on IELTS preparation, It is a great guide for you to your success in the IELTS. At the same time if you purchase this book you would get:

No.2: Cambridge IELTS 10 – 11 – 12

Cambridge IELTS 10-11-12 is a version of ‘Cambridge IELTS Series’ which familiarizes candidates with IELTS tests and provides practicing ‘Actual Examination Techniques’. This book was published by the ‘Cambridge Press’ and written by the IELTS test makers to provide the invaluable, clear and deep perception of the IELTS tests. The book covers Four tests for the ‘Academic Version’. And in addition, ‘Reading & Writing’ test materials for the General Training Candidates’. The ‘Cambridge IELTS 11’ was published in April 2016. Apart from containing ‘4 Complete Test Materials’ for the IELTS (for both the Academic & the General Training modules), this book contains a comprehensive section of question answers and also sample question answers for ‘Writing Tasks’. In my opinion for each and every candidate, this book is a must have. **Cambridge IELTS 12: This is the latest edition of Cambridge focused on Practice Tests for IELTS series, published in May 2017. This book also contains total four complete and authentic tests for both General Training and Academic module.

No.3: English Collocations in Use: Collocation means the grouping of words in a sentence. To polish and improve your English pronunciation and accent and thereby improve your style of both written and spoken English, this is a great book. Though improving your accent doesn’t mean that you should ‘imitate’ the accent of native speakers. Instead, you should focus on getting rid of your ‘Mother Tongue Bias’. This book contains 60 lessons about a wide variety of different topics with an aim to improve your style of spoken and written English. Each lesson is followed by theory and practice exercises and contains 1500 (approx.) collocations. Whoever wants to score band 7 or more, this book is an ideal possession for him.

No.4: English Vocabulary in Use

The candidates aiming for a high score in the IELTS must have a wide range of vocabulary and it’s for the information for the ‘Vocabulary Hunter’, that, this book has the reputation of ‘Bestseller’ for a number of times. It is extremely useful for candidates of all levels, including the native English speakers. This book is known to be one of the best-selling books on vocabulary building skills. Some notable features of

this book are:

  • Vocabulary is explained and presented with a wealth of innovative follow-up activities.
  • Consisting of 100 units, covering almost 3,000+ new vocabulary items.
  • Offers learners the opportunity to strengthen and expand their vocabulary.

Candidates with a burning desire to score as high as possible in IELTS test may go for having this book for ensuring their vocabulary, needless to mention, ‘Vocabulary’ matters 25% of your total marks in the exam.

No.5: New Insight Into IELTS

This is another noteworthy book for the IELTS candidates, which offers a guide to comprehensive preparation and solid practice for IELTS Test. For achieving success in the IELTS, candidates/students need to build up the perfect skill set (for all four sections) along with accurate test techniques to proceed to the IELTS with a high level of confidence, for that purpose this book is a perfect choice. The course comprises of a detailed introduction required for the test. The material is suitable for both Academic and General Training candidates and if you wish for Band 6 or more it’s for you.

No.6: Official IELTS Practice Materials Volume 1 & 2

This book is written by the ‘Cambridge ESOL’ examiners and material writers with huge experience on their crown. It has got a comprehensive pack of the resource with a view to helping the candidates to prepare themselves for the test. A specialty of the book is that it teaches the candidates, how each of the IELTS tests is assessed and marks are given. These Official IELTS Practice Materials (Vol.1 and Vol.2) incorporate huge samples for all the four tests, i.e. Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing with realistic sample answers and the comments of the examiners.

No.7: Improve your IELTS Skills Series:

Improve Your IELTS Skills – Reading:

As the name suggests, this book helps candidates to improve their skills of ‘Academic Reading’. The courses help candidates to develop language, skills with test techniques to achieve a higher IELTS band score. One point is to be mentioned that it is especially aimed at candidates/students aiming between 4.5 and 7.5, means it is helpful for week students as well. There are 3 preparation courses in 3 books, first one is reading.

Improve Your IELTS Skills – Writing: This is a definitive guide and it is one of the best books to improve your proficiency in English writing for the IELTS. It emphasizes on the formation and structuring of sentences and strengthening of vocabulary. This book might be prescribed for all categories of students/candidates for the IELTS test and anyone can improve his writing skills a lot without any external help.

Improve Your IELTS Skills – Listening & Speaking:

This is an excellent book for completing your preparation for the IELTS ‘Listening and Speaking’ tests. It would guide a candidate with chosen and targeted practice to develop listening and speaking skills leading one to achieve a higher IELTS score in either of the two modules.

There are three more highly rated and admired books from Cambridge publications, they are as follows and the name of each book suggests the subject of each book. All three are as good as it gets.

1) Cambridge Vocabulary for IELT

2) Cambridge Grammar for IELTS

3) Cambridge IELTS Trainer with Answers

Cambridge IELTS Trainer with Answers is enormously popular and useful book. For your ‘Extra Rich Vocabulary’ and ‘Excellent Grammatical Knowledge’ the other two books are fantastic resources. Though almost all the top most famous and precious books are discussed, there are some more very useful and praiseworthy books from different famous publications. With the increasing popularity of the IELTS Test, almost each year reputed publishers across the world publish extremely useful books. Though with the easy access of the Internet and availability of good books free to download from the Internet has affected the ‘Book Market’ to some extent, still, there are plenty of book lovers and a segment of students worldwide who prefer reading books to quench their thirst of knowledge to anything else.

Originally posted 2017-05-28 08:17:07.


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Are you searching for the best IELTS books to help yourself be well-prepared for the IELTS test? Look no further. Here are our list and reviews of top 12 IELTS books for 2017

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS is the definitive guide to IELTS from the organisation that produces the test – Cambridge English Language Assessment. This guide covers all 4 IELTS sections (writing, reading, speaking, listening) which provides IELTS learners with useful step-by-step instructions, tips and hints for IELTS and focuses on skills development and test-taking strategy to help you maximise your band-score and has 10 practice tests for both Academic and General Training. For thorough and authoritative IELTS preparation, choose The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS. It can be your guide to IELTS success.

I would recommend it for IELTS learners who aim to get a 6.0 or above in the IELTS test.

Cambridge IELTS 10 – 11 – 12

Cambridge IELTS 12 is the latest edition in Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS series released in May 2017. This books contains 4 complete authentic tests for both General Training and Academic module.

Cambridge IELTS 10 is the latest version of Cambridge IELTS series which provide students with an excellent opportunity to familiarise themselves with IELTS and to practise examination techniques using authentic test material. This IELTS practice test series was published by IELTS test makers from Cambridge Press so they provide an invaluable insight into the test. Each book contains four complete tests for Academic module candidates, plus extra Reading and Writing modules for General Training module candidates.

Every students who will sit for IELTS test should have this book to get themselves familiar with IELTS test.

Cambridge IELTS 11 is in the Cambridge IELTS series which will be released in April, 2016. This books contains four complete tests for either Academic or General Training candidates, a comprehensive section of tapescripts and answers, models and samples for all the Writing tasks. Like other Cambridge IELTS books, it reflects the IELTS actual test and is the most updated version.

English Collocations in Use

To sound like a native speaker, you should check this book out.  It aims to improve your style of spoken and written English with 60 lessons about a rich variety of topics, each contains 2 pages for the theory and practice exercises with a total of more than 1,500 collocations. This book is ideal for IELTS learners at intermediate level and above.

To get Band 6.5+ for IELTS, I’m sure you shouldn’t miss this excellent book: English Collocations in Use.


English Vocabulary in Use

This book series is known as the best-selling vocabulary reference and practice books from elementary to advanced level and is the perfect choice for IELTS learners wanting to build their vocabulary skills. My favorite book in the family of the best-selling vocabulary books is English Vocabulary in Use (Upper-Intermediate edition). Some main features of this book is:

  • Vocabulary is explained and presented on left-hand pages with a wealth of innovative follow-up activities opposite.
  • 100 units, covering approximately 3,000 new vocabulary items
  • Offers learners the opportunity to consolidate and expand existing vocabulary

This book is suitable for anybody who has a burning desire to get band 6.5 or above in IELTS test

New Insight Into IELTS

New Insight into IELTS offers comprehensive preparation and practice for IELTS. By exploring the test paper by paper, and looking in detail at each task type, the course gradually builds up the skills, language and test techniques students need to approach IELTS with confidence. The course contains a detailed introduction to the test and a full answer key and is equally suitable for use in the classroom or for self-study.

The material is intended for use with students whose current level is around Band 6 and is suitable for both Academic and General Training candidates.

Barron’s IELTS Practice Exams

Barron’s is the leader in test preparation and students’#1 choice. This newly updated second edition with two audio CDs prepares test takers for success on the IELTS, an English competency test that’s recognized by leading colleges, universities, and government agencies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Official IELTS Practice Materials Volume 1 & 2

This book is a comprehensive teacher resource pack with the view to helping IELTS learners preparing themselves to sit the IELTS test. Written by Cambridge ESOL examiners and material writers with many years of experience preparing IELTS tests, this pack shows candidates how each of the tests is assessed and provides valuable tips. These Official IELTS Practice Materials Volume 1 & 2 offer samples of the Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking tests with sample answers and examiner comments.

Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS

This advanced version of Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS covers all the vocabulary needed by students aiming for band 6.5 and above in the IELTS tests and provides students with practice of exam tasks from each paper. Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS Advanced focuses on moving students to 6.5 and beyond by working on vocabulary-building strategies necessary for success at advanced levels. It includes useful tips on how to approach IELTS exam tasks and covers especially tricky areas such as paraphrase and collocation.

Cambridge Grammar for IELTS

Cambridge Grammar for IELTS provides complete coverage of the grammar needed for the IELTS test, and develops listening skills at the same time. It includes a wide range of IELTS tasks from the Academic and General Training Reading, Writing and Listening modules, and contains helpful grammar explanations and a grammar glossary.

IELTS Advantage Series

IELTS Advantage: Writing Skills

“IELTS Advantage: Writing Skills” written by Richard Brown (Author), Lewis Richards (Author) is a fully comprehensive resource designed for IELTS learners who want to achieve a grade of 7.0 or higher in the Writing section of the Academic IELTS test. Students are guided step-by-step through the different tasks in the writing module, using material developed in the classroom, by authors with many years’ experience in helping hundreds of IELTS candidates achieve a high IELTS score.

IELTS Advantage: Reading Skills

This book is suitable for IELTS learners who want to pass the IELTS Academic Reading Test with a grade of 6.5-7.5 or higher. This book provides a intensive preparation for success in the IELTS reading paper, with a focus on vocabulary development and paraphrase training. It teaches IELTS learners a range of key strategies for reading effectively and for understanding texts more easily, such as skimming, scanning and speed-reading techniques, helping students to get a better result in the Reading paper.

IELTS Advantage: Listening & Speaking Skills

IELTS Advantage: Speaking & Listening Skills is a comprehensive resource for all IELTS candidates who want to get Band 6.5 or higher in the Speaking and Listening modules. IELTS learners are guided step-by-step through the different stages of the speaking and listening modules, using lively material covering a wide range of the topics that are likely to occur in the IELTS examination.

Improve your IELTS skills Series

Improve Your IELTS Skills – Reading

“Improve your IELTS Skills” is aimed at students between bands 4.5 and 7.5. The series has three preparation courses, Academic Reading, Academic Writing, and Listening and Speaking. The courses develop language, skills and test techniques to help students achieve a higher IELTS score. The three books in the series may be used together as a complete course or may be used to target specific skills. Or they may be used separately to supplement other coursebooks.

Improve Your IELTS Skills – Writing

This book puts emphasis on the importance of sentence structures, vocabulary, and improving one’s ideas from a variety of drills for the examination. This book is a must-have for all candidates for the IELTS test. Study with alone or with a coach, Improve Your IELTS Writing Skillswill definitely be the best English proficiency training for you.

Improve Your IELTS Skills – Listening & Speaking

It is a complete preparation course for the Listening and Speaking Modules of the International English Language Testing System. Through targeted practice, it develops skills and language to help you achieve a higher IELTS score in these two modules.

Cambridge IELTS Trainer with Answers

IELTS Trainer by Cambridge English includes six full practice tests plus easy-to-follow expert guidance and exam tips designed to guarantee exam success. The first two tests are fully guided with step-by-step advice on how to tackle each paper. Extra practice activities are informed by a bank of real candidate’s exam papers and focus on areas where students typically need most help.

Other IELTS books:

English Grammar in Use

English Grammar in Use Fourth Edition is the world’s best-selling self-study grammar book for learners of English, written by Raymond Murphy and published by Cambridge University Press. It is a self-study reference and practice book for intermediate to advanced students of English. It has 136 two-page units covering all areas of English Grammar with a multitude of additional practice exercises to consolidate learning

I would highly recommend this book for any IELTS learners who wants to get a 6.0 or above in the IELTS test.

Target Band 7: IELTS Academic Module – How to Maximize Your Score

This excellent self-study book for intense IELTS preparation in a few weeks is designed to help students achieve their best personal score. All the tips, techniques, strategies and advice are focused on maximizing students’ score by increasing their task-solving speed and efficiency, and preventing typical mistakes.

I hope you have found this article useful. Do you agree with my top 12 IELTS books? Do you have any other recommendations?

Please let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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Top 12 IELTS Preparation Books

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