The Best IELTS Preparation Books 2018 – 2019
Preparing for the IELTS exam requires a lot of determination, positive attitude, willingness to learn and of course, preparatory books.There is nothing as helpful as picking up some good IELTS preparation books to understand the test and take the exam expecting what to expect.
With a myriad of options available online, one can get confused with the choices, so here is a list of some of the best IELTS preparation books, in no specific order of priority. Use them to find out how to improve your IELTS exam scores.
Reviews of the top IELTS Preparation Books
The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS
It covers the IELTS preparation from both academic and general training perspectives. Along with IELTS questions and their answers, this book offers a glimpse of mistakes the IELTS aspirants have made as it is built on the basis on answers given by real students in a real exam, videos of the speaking test, and the like.
The papers in this book contain step-by-step instructions and helpful tips to take each section of the exam.
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Official IELTS Practice Materials
The IELTS prep guides from the British Council are a series of test materials in various volumes. You can familiarize yourself with the kind of questions and they can ask on the test day with the material in these sample tests. They include questions and their answers from all sections of the exam.
The books also include ‘examiners’ comments’ as well. These books have various volumes and all include CD/DVD for the listening test practice. The advantage with this is that British Council is the official partner for IELTS exam, hence it can be considered straight from the horse’s mouth as these are prepared by those preparing IELTS exam.
Even teachers who are preparing students for the IELTS exam can take help from these books. You can get an insight into how the student is actually assessed through the answers.
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Cambridge English: IELTS 11 Academic with Answers
This is the latest edition in the Cambridge English IELTS Academic series. The previous editions are numbered as 8, 9, 10, and the like. Latest edition is the 11 series. These carry the latest set of practice tests with their answers. Coming from Cambridge English Language Assessment, you can be sure of their authenticity.
It contains four tests for academic test takers. Four sections are dedicated to listening sections, three to reading, two tasks of Along with test papers, you will also get an idea as to how the examiners assessed and their scores calculated. This book doesn’t come with a CD for listening test. You will have to buy that separately.
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Barron’s IELTS Superpack
This is as comprehensive as it can get. Every section is described in great detail, not to forget essential tips to master specific section. The techniques described aid in understanding the subject matter thoroughly.
The superpack edition includes practice tests with two audio CDs for listening section, and also a manual of essential words for IELTS with an MP3 CD, strategies and tips also including a MP3 CD. The manual for essential words rope in the words within the practice tests and exercises. This helps improve vocabulary.
Those who have studied the book say it is good to build up your confidence level as the difficulty level starts up from easy, going towards tough. It basically combines all the different helpful material from Barron’s IELTS into one superpack.
The audio CDs for listening tests are stated to be in American English, but on the day of the exam, you might end up interacting with a person speaking British English, Australian English, Canadian English, and the like. You get the point, don’t you!
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Road to IELTS
Offered by the British Council this prep guide has mock papers, tutorial videos, interactive exercises. It is an online course which is available in three versions, test drive, last minute and full version.
The test drive version is free for download and gives you a sense of what is IELTS all about. Going up from here, the last minute version is only accessible for free to those who register to give the IELTS test with the British Council. You will get practice sessions worth 30 hours.
Finally, the full version, as is self-explanatory is available for a price of $49.99 (around INR 3,300). It is a complete online course with more than 300 interactive activities and nine practice tests. There are tutorial videos by experts from the British Council. At the same time, the software will keep you updated on how you get evaluated on the basis of your practice tests.
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Target Band 7: IELTS Academic Module: How To Maximize Your Score
This is vouched by many for pointing out your silly mistakes, managing time well, tips and techniques on how to answer questions like you know them from the back of your hand.
The USP of this book is that the author Simone Braverman had appeared for it too and hence she has written the book from the perspective of the test takers. She has given some pointers on how to understand the test properly and then appear for it.
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While the above resources are all encompassing, involving studying for both academic and general training and for all sections, there are books that focus solely on specific parts of the tests.
For instance, if you wish to improve yourself in writing an IELTS exam, you could look up IELTS Advantage Writing Skills
Completely dedicated to writing part of the exam, it will tell you how to structure your written answers in response to a specific question. You will understand how to develop the idea further and express it well on paper with vocabulary that the examiners will be looking for.
Similarly, there will be dedicated preparatory books for IELTS reading and speaking sections too.