Which IELTS book should you choose?

Choosing a book to study IELTS can be an overwhelming process. There are so many out there and they are both similar and different. It really depends on your own needs. Do you just want practice tests? Answer keys? Just study materials? Do you want something self-guided? What level is best for you? Which IELTS exam are you going to take?

Stack of books

GlobalExam has made a top five books after reading them, those suggestions can help you achieve the success you want.


1. Complete IELTS from Cambridge

Complete IELTS from Cambridge publishing is a great book series (student and teacher) to start studying IELTS and improving your language ability. It breaks down all the sections of the test into manageable learning parts. It has advice on how to approach different questions in all sections, grammar boosters, and vocabulary focus. The book contains a full practice test, answer keys (with explanations as to why answer choices were wrong) and examples of writing at different band scores.

The layout of the book is very user friendly, full of interesting topics, and makes studying for the IELTS exam fun. This book is available in different IELTS score levels allowing you to focus your learning on the score you need to achieve. They are 4-5, 5-6.5, and 6.5-7.5 covering both general and academic papers. It is also available as an ebook.


2. IELTS Trainer

IELTS Trainer is a book that concentrates learning on your exam skills only. This book doesn’t help improve your language skills it teaches you how to approach the test, what the test looks likes, tips on how to answer different question types in the reading exam, to understand the writing questions, different listening questions, and develop your answers for the speaking test. It contains 6 full tests.

The book is available from Cambridge publishing in two versions – with and without answers. This makes it a great option for being used with a teacher or for self-study. Just make sure you get the one you need – general or academic.


3. Collins English for IELTS

Collins English for IELTS are a series of books that allow you to study IELTS and focus specifically on areas where you need to improve. Each book works on one area of either improving your language skills (grammar, vocabulary, …) or exam skills (speaking, reading, writing, listening), and practice tests. The books for each of the four skills will help you develop a greater understanding of how to answer specific questions for that part of the test. For example, each chapter of the reading books covers a different question type. They are aimed at bands 5.5-6 in skill level and the reading and writing books focus on academic IELTS.

The layout of the books is very student friendly. These books are great if you are just starting to study for the exam and want to focus on a specific area or if you have already taken the test and need to book a band score in one skill area.


4. IELTS Life Skills by Cambridge

IELTS Life Skills by Cambridge publishing is another book to look at. It is a test book and comes in both levels of the test – A1 and B1 and focuses only on speaking and listening skills. If your focus is for a visa to another country and need this test or just want to focus on these skills, this is a nice test book to help you focus on giving concise answers to questions. The book guides you through the exam and contains four full practice tests with answer keys. This makes it a great book for both the classroom and self-study.


5. Cambridge English IELTS

Cambridge English IELTS is the official guide to IELTS from Cambridge publishing. If you are new to IELTS structure and the exam this is a great book to start with. It covers both academic and general paper, gives examples of all the different questions types used across all four skill areas, guides you through how to approach and deconstruct questions, language tips, and includes common mistakes and how to avoid them. The level of exam detail is very high. Do remember that it is an exam preparation book so won’t help you improve your language skills.


What about an ebook to study IELTS?

The ebook is still a good option if you do not want to carry heavy books with you. GlobalExam has made an IELTS ebook, that you download by clicking on the link.

Away from physical or ebook is also the option of studying and practicing IELTS exam skills online. There are different option for this, from online classes to exam practice software.


Online training with GlobalExam

GlobalExam is an online platform where you can practice both your language and exam skills. It also allows you to track your progress so you will know when you are ready to take the test. We have content available for lots of different exams and IELTS is one of them. There is a trial version for you to try out and see if this style of learning is for you, with a free sample IELTS test available on the platform. Then, you can buy a Premium version to have access to all the content available!

You can access GlobalExam from any device!

Being an online solution also means you can access it anywhere without carrying books everywhere with you. This is a big plus point! Take a look at our list of the best websites to study IELTS.


So…..decide what you need and which IELTS resources are going to help you achieve your desired score.


Good luck!