Highly Recommended Material and Exercise Books for IELTS

If you feel like taking IELTS test, you may find it a little bit difficult sometimes. And yes, this is true. The test can sometimes be challenging due to two different reasons: First, you may be a non-native speaker and are not familiar with English Second, you may speak a good English but then you realize that there are several aspects of the test that could be quite technical, that you cannot rely merely on your language skills. You need to have a strategy and preparation. If this is the case, you will probably: 1. Take an IELTS course, or 2. Doing a self-study by reading material and exercise books. There are a lot of material and exercise books for IELTS, but as far as I know, there are several books which are really good and I think you need to consider reading those. Here are some of those books:

1. Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS

This book becomes the first book I bought when I learned IELTS for the first time. It covers a range of individual material that will help you learn both the language theoretical basic and the more technical aspect of the test. However, I also found out that the book is meant to be used by those having C1 level. This level covers score from approximately 6 until 7, which represents independent users (not the proficient one). If you feel like being an advance learner, then this book may not be suitable for you (although you can still learn a lot from it). 

2. Cambridge Series

Cambridge series starts from book number 1 until book number 12 (the most recent one). If you are a complete basic kind of learner, you better start from book number one. Book number 10, 11, and 12 seem like they are meant for advanced learners. Book number 10 and 11 are tough, and these books may be the best option if you want to take precautions and anticipate “the worst possibility of taking the test”. Book number is the one which is closest to the current real test. Despite the fact that it looks more representative, it does not pose you with challenges.I usually use this book for simulation test, before taking the real test. 

 To be completely honest with you, I have never used books other than the previous two. But you may also find it interesting to try books that are specifically related to certain sections of the test. There are also separate books for:

3. IELTS Writing

In this book, you will be given profound knowledge about IELTS writing such as the good layout, the kind of vocabulary you should use (or avoid), as well as several related tips like that of brainstorming tips. This book is highly recommended if you are new to IELTS.

4. IELTS Listening

This book will discuss Listening Section piece by piece until you get a better idea of the section. I mean like, literally piece by piece. You may find a material on how you should do questions in form of spelling, for example. And this will be elaborated a little bit further, like when the spelling is in form of alphabet (say, the name of a person), when the spelling is in form of numbers (like the phone number), or when you a combination of letters and numbers (like the postal code thing).

5. IELTS Reading

The book will mostly be like that of academic or effective reading. You will be taught to read effectively and efficiently using strategies like scanning or skimming. You will also be taught to use certain strategies like keywording and paraphrasing.

6. IELTS Speaking

I am rather dubious if we actually have a book for this section. But since Speaking is like the spoken version of your Writing Task 2, they may also have books for Speaking Section. If you have any idea whether or not there is a book for speaking, please enlighten me.


7. Cambridge Grammar for IELTS 

This is a book that will help you tackle problems related to grammar. If you read previous posts on this blog, you may realize just how grammar is essential for all parts of the test. You can answer the listening section even before listening to the audio by predicting the answer using the grammatical rules. As I told you earlier, the test is not just about your language performance. It is also closely related to a more theoretical and formal approach of learning language. So get used to it 🙂


8. Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS

This book will help you familiarize yourself with typical vocabularies used in IELTS test. This is extremely necessary, especially if you feel like having problems with Reading and Writing Section. Actually, you can list some typical vocabularies by doing a little translation work using passage for Reading Section. If you do it this way, however, the result will be very random. If you read book for IELTS vocabulary, the lesson will definitely be more well structured.

9. Digital Books Provided by Some Online Source
If you feel like not wanting to buy the books, there are still several pdf books given for free on certain web and blogs. This can also be a good source for learning. Besides, you can usually consult the material with the writers on their website or blog.


Whatever material and exercise books you are using to prepare for the test, I hope that you will be able to pass the test and get your desired score. God Bless!

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