What Should A Good IELTS Test Preparation Book Have?

If you have opted for self-study as part of your IELTS preparation plan, then you most definitely will be on the lookout for a good preparation book or guide to help master the skills necessary for the IELTS exam. There are a plethora of books available for IELTS preparation in most of the bookstores in Singapore as well as in online stores that claim to be essential to get your desired result. This article will help you narrow down the search by providing you valuable information on important things to consider while selecting an IELTS preparation book.

1.      IELTS Exam Module

Some books are designed to help students prepare for different modules such as the Academic or General training modules. Make sure that you choose a guidebook that focuses on the module you have registered for.

2.       Appearance and Layout

Choose a book that is laid out in a manner that is appealing to your individual tastes. People respond to different methods of teaching. Therefore, not every book might be laid out in a way that is easy to understand for you, despite having good source material and information.

3.      Self-Study Or Classroom Aid

Some books are designed as a complete guidebook while some focus on specific components. To further complicate matters there are also books which are meant to be used in classroom situations under the guidance of an IELTS teacher. Make sure that the book you choose is a self-study book!

4.      Author

Do a bit of research into the author of any book you are considering purchasing. Take a look at customer reviews of the book and check whether it was helpful to other IELTS test takers. Make sure that they are well qualified and hold a degree in teaching the English language. Unfortunately these days, there is a growing trend to use the naivety of first time IELTS test-takers to make easy money. A quick search on Amazon yields many quick fix IELTS books, which are written by authors who claim to be qualified professionals. To many unsuspecting students, these books might appear to be good, but when inspected by true professionals they are clearly lacking in many areas and many are poorly written as well.

The problem with any IELTS preparation book is that they cannot provide feedback on your proficiency. In my opinion, it would be better and more productive to invest in finding a good IELTS teacher to guide you and then use a book as supplementary materials.

List of IELTS Exam Preparation Books

Here is a list of 20 of the best IELTS preparation books for both the academic and general training tests:

  1. The IELTS Official Cambridge Guide
  2. Simone Braverman’s Target Band 7: IELTS Academic
  3. IELTS Practice Tests Plus 2 with Key and CD Pack
  4. Ace the IELTS
  5. Road to IELTS (British Council)
  6. ELTS Success Formula Academic with CD
  7. Cambridge IELTS 13 Academic Student’s Book with Answers
  8. Collins English for IELTS
  9. Cambridge IELTS Trainer with Answers
  10. Official IELTS Practice Materials
  11. New Insight into IELTS
  12. IELTS Advantage Series
  13. Barron’s IELTS Superpack
  14. Cambridge IELTS 10
  15. Cambridge IELTS 11 Guide
  16. Improve your IELTS Skills Series
  17. IELTS Life Skills by Cambridge
  18. Ideas for IELTS Essay Topics E-book
  19. Grammar for IELTS Writing Task 2

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.