IELTS Preparation: Books & Online Resources

IELTS Preparation: Books & Online Resources

IELTS is a test that determines the English knowledge level of a person who wants to stay in an English-speaking environment. If we’re talking about immigration, work, or study abroad, you need to pass the test and get a certificate. But as with any exam, you need to prepare for IELTS properly.

In this article, our experts have collected the best IELTS preparation books and other available materials. You will discover how to choose the right resources for you and find free guides in the sections below.

🔎 How to Choose IELTS Preparation Materials

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a language proficiency exam for non-native English speakers. It’s one of the most trusted language knowledge assessment systems, which many universities and workplaces accept.

There are two types of IELTS exams:

  • IELTS Academic is commonly used by international students who would like to receive higher education in an English-speaking institution.
  • IELTS General is aimed at people, who are planning to move to an English-speaking country, and tests general knowledge of the language.

When selecting IELTS preparation books, it is necessary to determine your goal. Some books offer information for a general exam, others for an academic one. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to what’s written on the cover.

Tips on choosing IELTS preparation materials.

📚 Top IELTS Preparation Books

Any effective exam preparation starts with selecting appropriate textbooks. IELTS is no exception: you need to choose what materials will improve your English. In this section, we will explain which IELTS preparation books we find helpful.

With the following editions, you can fully prepare for the test:

1. The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS

This book is considered the best preparation manual for international students, as it provides you with everything you need to know. It doesn’t teach you the language. Instead, it explains the format of the test and what to expect from it. If you want to get a score of 4 and above, it is precisely the book you need.

IELTS Listening+IELTS Speaking+
IELTS Reading+IELTS Writing+
The book concentrates more on the academic type than on the general one.

2. Barron’s IELTS Superpack

This manual for preparation contains three books with online audio tracks. These books offer reading, writing, listening, and speaking practice sheets. In essence, you can find all the necessary material for preparation in these books.

IELTS Listening+IELTS Speaking+
IELTS Reading+IELTS Writing+
The focus is on IELTS vocabulary and preparation for the listening section.

3. IELTS Success Formula Academic

This book, with its tips and tricks, will surely boost your IELTS score. You’ll find all the necessary information on every topic crucial for the exam. It is straight to the point and has plenty of exercises to practice your skills.

IELTS Listening+IELTS Speaking+
IELTS Reading+IELTS Writing+
It provides a list of questions similar to the ones the examiner might ask during IELTS.

4. Ace the IELTS: IELTS General- How to Maximize Your Score

The book presents a general overview of the exam and shares some tips for effective preparation. Additionally, it includes a study plan that’ll help guide your study process.

IELTS Listening+IELTS Speaking+
IELTS Reading+IELTS Writing+
The focus is on improving writing skills and grammar.

5. Improve your IELTS Skills Series

This book is only for students who aim to get a score between 4.5 and 7.5. The information from the book will enable you to improve all the required skills and pass the exam successfully.

IELTS Listening+IELTS Speaking+
IELTS Reading+IELTS Writing+
The book emphasizes the importance of sentence structure and vocabulary.

6. Collins English for IELTS

If you want to get a high score on this exam, you should consider using this book. It will help you with improving speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. What is more, the book is relatively easy to study.

IELTS Listening+IELTS Speaking+
IELTS Reading+IELTS Writing+
It will significantly help you with expanding your vocabulary and learning grammar rules.

7. Simone Braverman’s Target Band 7: IELTS Academic

This book will assist you with all major exam areas and share some tips about passing the exam successfully. You’ll learn plenty of techniques and strategies to get the highest score.

IELTS Listening+IELTS Speaking+
IELTS Reading+IELTS Writing+
This manual will give info on how to maximize the timing given for the exam.

8. Road to IELTS

Being one of the top British Council IELTS guides, this book will help you prepare for the exam. It contains practice tests and answers keys so that you can have enough practice before the actual examination.

IELTS Listening+IELTS Speaking+
IELTS Reading+IELTS Writing+
It provides speaking videos.

You may be wondering how to prepare for IELTS’ specific exam stage. In this case, we have collected books for each given section.

  • For Listening:
    IELTS Listening Practice Tests. Every practice test in this book has four sections. It contains different questions that you are more likely to see on the actual exam. You get some information on the format and what to expect from it. Also, there are strategies on how to complete this section.
  • For Reading:
    IELTS Book for General Training and Academic. Even though the book covers every type of IELTS question, it focuses on the reading section. Here you’ll find reading comprehension techniques, critical thinking skills, and various types of passages for practice. You get info about how to improve your score as well.
  • For Writing:
    The Ultimate Guide to IELTS Writing. The book covers the topics related to the IELTS writing tasks. It offers sample answers to see the correct way of approaching the question. You’ll see how to organize the information in an essay. Additionally, this IELTS writing book offers tips on what should be done to answer the question.
  • For Speaking:
    IELTS Speaking Section. With this book, you’ll get to know plenty of tips on what examiners want to hear during the speaking part. You’ll get to know some simple tips and strategies to boost your communicative skills and your score.

🪁 Free Resources for IELTS Preparation

In case you do not have the funds or desire to buy IELTS preparation books, you can use free websites. On the Internet, you can find many guidelines for passing the exam. But most importantly, you can get free access to a lot of practice sheets to prepare for each section separately.

Free IELTS preparation resources.

In the sections below, we have provided a selection of the best, in our opinion, sources. You’ll observe the materials and recommendations on IELTS preparation online. We will also tell you how to find them.

💻 6 Free Websites

As an open educational portal, firstly, we will recommend you free IELTS preparation websites. In the list below, you will find the best resources you can use at any time without payment.

  1. Official IELTS Website.
    This is an official IELTS website, a great place to get familiar with the examination process. It offers information on the format, registering process, and where you can find a test center for IELTS. Also, there are tips and questions that you can examine on this website.
  2. Take IELTS from British Council. The only real way to prepare for IELTS is to practice a lot. This website offers a large number of free practice tests with answers. That way, a person will understand the format better and experience the timed conditions under which the test is taken. Moreover, you’ll get to review your mistakes.
  3. IELTS Liz. Liz, an expert in the IELTS, created the website to help people pass the test. The source offers free-of-charge exercises along with some great tips. And if that’s not enough, she has a YouTube channel. You can watch videos that cover all the IELTS tasks.
  4. IELTS Buddy. Many IELTS sample tests, grammar and vocabulary, tips, and strategies are available on this website. You can download the exercises if that’s more convenient. Plus, you can find “Model Answers” for the Writing sections of the test. That’s quite convenient, as you can see how to answer the question, how to structure your essay, and what lexicon to use.
  5. IELTS Advantage. Vocabulary is an essential part of IELTS. That’s why this website focuses purely on words. There are many videos and tips on effectively learning new vocabulary and utilizing it in the speaking and writing sections. It’s free of charge. Yet, if you want to use a correction service, the price will start at 29.95 USD.
  6. IELTS Ninja. The website offers tutors’ help to get the highest score, and that’s not free. However, there are highly effective materials for preparation available, along with some helpful tips.

All the websites mentioned above also have their own YouTube channels with IELTS preparation tips. Another thing worth mentioning would be looking through the database of free essays. Samples stored there will be useful for writing and reading practice.

🍿 7 YouTube Channels

YouTube videos are perfect for students who have a better audio perception. On this website, you can find preparation tips for each IELTS section and even see the records of the exams. Here we will offer you some informative channels to check out.

  1. Learn English with Rebecca
    Everything you say or write on the exam will be evaluated in terms of grammar. Therefore, if you’re unsure about tenses or just want to revise your knowledge, we highly recommend Rebecca’s channel. She provides organized and easy-to-follow information on tenses and vocabulary.
  2. Fastrack IELTS
    Asya, the channel host, is originally from Kazachstan. She passed IELTS several times and shares a firsthand experience on what should be done to get the highest score. Her information is annually updated, which makes her videos even more valuable. She generally focuses on tips for the whole exam but often goes into details, such as precise wording or things to write about.
  3. E2 IELTS
    It doesn’t matter whether you’re taking IELTS Academic or General. This YouTube channel elaborates on questions about each type. There are plenty of helpful videos, as well as live streams. This channel is of particular help to those who want to improve their writing for the IELTS section.
  4. IELTS by IDP
    International Development Program, or IDP, is one of the organizations that are responsible for the IELTS. Since it oversees the exam, the quality of content on the YouTube channel is incredibly high. If you use the information from this channel, you’ll most likely get a high band.
  5. Magoosh IELTS
    You’ll find plenty of information on this channel. Some videos offer materials related to the test preparation, while others show vocabulary tips and tricks. With their videos, you’ll improve your scores on listening and reading sections.
  6. World of English Exams
    Every video of this channel focuses on each question type of the test. Besides, examples from the Cambridge past question are also presented in the videos. With their advice, you will have everything to succeed on your exam. The videos on reading and writing sections are in particular popular on the channel.
  7. Academic English Help
    Ignore the name. It’s not only about preparation for IELTS Academic. This channel is rather about vocabulary and tips on how to improve your speaking skills. The mock interviews demonstrate mistakes people often make and the lexicon one should use to get a high score.

📱 7 Free Apps

Many students today use the phone to prepare for exams. Whether it’s for expanding your vocabulary or learning grammar, they can help you improve your English without taking too long. For the same reason, applications for IELTS preparation have appeared – in this section, we will list the best of them.

IELTS Preparation AppsWhy You Should Consider It
IELTS Prep AppThis free app was developed by British Council and is available on Android and iOS. Some of the key features include instant access to all the tools, free practice tests and materials, speaking interviews, and a progress tracker.
LearnEnglish Audio and VideoThis app offers some of the best podcasts and videos on different topics related to the UK. If you have trouble listening and understanding audio, there are extra features such as script and pitch control.
IELTS Exam PreparationThis user-friendly app by Magoosh is an excellent IELTS preparation tool. It focuses on vocabulary and tips to help answer the test questions. It tracks the progress for every question.
BBC Learning EnglishWhen it comes to learning English, BCC is always relevant. Their app offers programs listed by categories, new daily lessons, and notifications to keep you on track.
Vocabulary Flashcards – IELTSAnother great from Magoosh that’ll help you with enhancing your vocabulary. The app is stocked with words that are essential for the exam based on their difficulty level. Choose your own pace and learn new words.
English RadioBy downloading this app, you’ll get a great collection of radios from the UK, USA, Australia, and other countries. It’s easy to find the needed radio station. The app offers rich content that will help you in your preparation process.
IELTS Practice & IELTS TestThis app offers many practice tests to prepare for the actual IELTS experience. Additionally, you may find over 600 sample essays, idioms and phrasal verbs, irregular verbs, and common IELTS words.

🗣️ Forums & Blogs

It is helpful to learn about the personal experience of people who have already passed IELTS. There are many online communities for this purpose, where you can see lively discussions about every aspect of the exam and find preparation tips.

Here we will cite them and show you where to look for the rest.

  1. Facebook Groups.
    For many students, Facebook may be the most accessible place to get exam preparation information. Firstly, all the data is presented there in an accessible way. For example, you can check out the group where new vocabulary and grammar are provided in pictures.
    Secondly, you can find a group with people from your country or even region. In this case, any discussion about the exam will be more accurate for you, and the advice is more vital. Plus, in groups like the IELTS Speaking Partner Finder, you can find someone to prepare for the speaking section with!
  2. Blogs.
    Here you can find the shared experience and knowledge of the experts who have already taken the exam. These IELTS Expert Blogs will provide you with info on preparation strategy, tips, and tricks and answer all of your questions. If there’s anything specific you want to learn, you can write about it in the comment section or mail it to the expert.
  3. Quora and Other Forums.
    Internet forums are ideal places to find both suitable IELTS preparation materials and exam tips. People address specific issues about testing in an accessible way based on personal experience. There you can find answers to all your questions, especially on Quora, which has recently ranked as the number one learning-related discussion forum.

Thanks for reading our article! We hope that it will be easier for you to prepare for such a serious exam as IELTS with our tips. Recommend this page to your friends who may also need our help.