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The Best IELTS Textbooks for International Students

The Best IELTS Textbooks for International Students

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Finding the right textbook to compliment your learning is one of the first steps you need to take ahead of reaching your target IELTS score, and today we are going to look at some of the best on the market for all types of student.


It’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many book options alone, which is why we decided to put together a list of five top IELTS preparation books. While the list is in no particular order, one may suit you better than others. 

1. The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS

In comparison to other IELTS preparation books, this one is catered to both academic and general training. The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS offers advice and tips based on previous test takers’ experiences, along with clear explanations on how to achieve high scores. Practice with eight (8) official practice tests and a step-by-step guide for each section of the test. Finally, you will also receive audio and video files for all listening exercise portions and practice tests.

2. Barron’s IELTS Superpack

This Superpack combines all of the necessary Barron’s IELTS materials into one, thus the name Superpack! The edition is complete with the Barron’s IELTS manual and an MP3 CD, and practice exams with two audio CDs. It doesn’t stop there. It also includes IELTS strategies and tips with an MP3 CD and Barron’s Essential Words for the IELTS with an MP3 CD. Not only do you practice your reading and writing skills, but with the Barron’s Superpack, you also get more familiar with American English which will help with your listening and speaking skills.

3. Cambridge IELTS 13 Academic Student’s Book with Answers

The latest edition of the Cambridge IELTS Academic series, this book offers authentic examination papers directly from Cambridge Assessment English. The benefit of this? Well, they’re exactly like the real exam. It contains four (4) complete tests for Academic candidates. In addition, an introduction to all modules and the overall scoring system, and a comprehensive section of answers. Similar to nearly all preparation books, students have access to downloadable audio for listening materials.

4. Official IELTS Practice Materials

Written by the IELTS partners, this specific book shows how each section is assessed while also providing valuable tips. In it, students will find practice tests in all sections for both academic and general training, answer sheets, tapescripts, examiner comments and more. The Official IELTS Practice Materials isn’t only created for students, but also for teachers who prepare students to take the IELTS exam.

5. IELTS Recent Actual Test With Answers

IELTS Reading Actual Test Vol 1-6 is a must-have IELTS book for all IELTS learners in 2019. It includes authentic IELTS reading tests from IDP and British Council from 2016 to 2018. You can access these books free at:

When selecting from the various IELTS preparation books, carefully consider what you want to get out of them. While some books are made more general, others provide academic training. The academic IELTS preparation books offer far more information than the general training books.

Another thing to keep in mind is choosing your own reading material can help you avoid a boring book. Let’s face it – some IELTS books simply aren’t as interesting as others. Picking something you’re interested in will help you avoid falling asleep when you should be studying! It will also help you stay motivated as you prepare for your exam.

Finally, don’t forget to consider a teacher for the writing and speaking portion of the IELTS exam, as they can provide you with feedback a book may not otherwise do. Even online mock exams are strongly recommended as you’ll get a good sense of what to expect.

More practice leads to perfection!


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