IELTS preparation- Books and study materials
Updated on Jun 7, 2016 - 2:25 p.m. IST by Bedasree Das
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IELTS preparation- “The approach to preparation tells a lot about how well a candidate will succeed. You need to do more than only dream big. You need to practice!” says Sarah Deverall, Director of British Council, Malaysia. True that. Practice alone is the key to cracking any difficult exam and as someone once put it, practice alone leads to perfection.


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The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the toughest English proficiency tests accepted by over 9,000 organisations worldwide, including schools, universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies. The test is taken by more than 2 million candidates every year and measures a person’s ability in English on four different parametres -- Listening, reading, writing and speaking. The exam is measured on a band from 0-9. Most of the good universities and organisations demand that you should have a score of at least above 6 in the band. As such you need a comprehensive IELTS preparation strategy to crack in IELTS and the most important element here are IELTS preparation books and study materials. Which IELTS books do you refer to? Are there sample papers available? Do I take mock tests? Are there other materials available for IELTS preparation? These are some of the questions that come to any test taker's mind before appearing for IELTS.

To guide test takers through the right IELTS preparation strategy, Careers360 brings some of the important IELTS books study materials that IELTS candidates should study from.

IELTS is basically of two types - Academic and General. IELTS academic is taken by students who want to apply to a university at the undergraduate or postgraduate level and IELTS General is taken by people who want to take up work related training in an English speaking country. Although, the sections covered by both the versions are same, what varies is the difficulty level of the tests and their orientation. So, while in IELTS academic the orientation is more towards academic and in-depth knowledge of English, the focus of IELTS General is to test a candidate’s ability to communicate comfortably in a work environment.

However, the IELTS study materials for both the versions are more or less the same. This is so because the pattern for both the tests is similar:

Here’s the pattern of IELTS:

IELTS Test Component


Brief Description


30 minutes

4 sections, 40 items


60 minutes

3 sections, 40 items


60 minutes

2 tasks


11-14 minutes

3 part one-on-one conversation

Find below books and study materials for IELTS preparation:

British Council: One of the conducting bodies of IELTS, British Council publishes a huge collection of preparation materials for prospective test takers of the English proficiency test. Start with the ‘How to prepare for IELTS’ which is like a beginner’s guide in the preparation for IELTS. The book has exercises and answer keys for your help. Besides that you can go for their ‘IELTS Practice Materials Volume 1 and 2’.

Here are the IELTS books and study materials by British Council:

  • How to Prepare for IELTS

  • Official IELTS Practice Materials Volume 1

  • Official IELTS Practice Materials Volume

  • Top Tips for IELTS Academic

  • Top Tips for IELTS General Training

Cambridge: Your IELTS preparation is incomplete without the ‘The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS’. Cambridge also publishes a ‘Cambridge IELTS 9’ which includes practice sets for all the sections.

Here are the IELTS books and study materials by Cambridge:

  • The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS

  • Objective IELTS

  • New Insight into IELTS

  • Cambridge IELTS 9

  • Complete IELTS

Barron’s: Barron’s offers some of the best IELTS books and study materials for IELTS preparation.When it comes to study for an English proficiency test, Barron’s is the name which appears in the lips of many candidates. What Barron offers is a pack of IELTS preparation materials, including exam know how, practice sets, answer keys. Barron’s IELTS superpack has 10 full length practice tests with a comprehensive discussion on problem areas in the English proficiency test.

Ace the IELTS: Ace the IELTS by Simone Braverman, basically, focuses on the general version of IELTS test and is one of the best IELTS preparation study materials around. It covers every module of the test and includes exam effective tips and techniques for students.The books in itself do not have any sample tests but they include links to practice tests so that aspirants can go to these links later and test the techniques that they have learnt in the book.

Target band 7: Another gem on IELTS by Simone Braverman; this one talks about how you can maximise your score in the English proficiency test. Now what this IELTS preparation book essentially teaches you is speed and time – management. It has some interesting tips on getting the best scores through smart preparation, though its biggest drawback is that it does not include any practice tests or sample papers to practice.

IELTS preparation- Online and practice sets: Besides books, there are many IELTS study materials available online that students can use. In fact, you can even take mock tests online to check your time-management skills. You can either download the materials or buy online preparation kits. Besides that, you can also refer to IELTS preparation sample papers.

Click here to download IELTS Sample Papers for free!

Also read:

Know the Minimum IELTS Score Required for Top B-Schools

IELTS Exam Preparation Tips

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Questions related to IELTS

Showing 399 out of 399 Questions

what is the cost of hotel management course in canada ????

Snehlata Sinha Student Expert 21st Jan, 2020


This depends on which university you wish to go and the city where you want to reside.

The living costs do vary from province to province and within a province city to city.

The estimation of costs will be provided to you in the admission letter you receive from the university.

Alternatively you can obtain admission handbooks from few universities and there will be indication of costs for tuition fees, living expenses and medical insurance etc.

Hope this helps.


As I Pursuing my engineering in electrical and electronics engineering is IELTS / TOFEL exams are suitable for me to enter MS in Germany for Abroad

Archita Aggarwal 16th Jan, 2020


If you want to pursue your MS in Germany abroad, first you need to find out which college are you exactly aiming for and then decide to weather go for IELTS/TOEFL. Some universities do accept IELTS and some do accept TOEFL as a proof for your English proficiency. Without proving your English proficiency you can not go for studying Abroad

Hope this answer helps.


how much does it cost overall to study PhD biochemistry at mit uk. and wat should be my GRE and TOEFL/ IELTS scores ?

Ameya Narendra Parkar 13th Jan, 2020
Dear Aishwarya,
I would like to tell you that PhD in biology is available at MIT, in that you can choose your research area as biochemistry.
PhDs are usually full funded but if theres any tuition fee present then your PI can only tell you about that.

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Minimum score required: 6.5
Electronic scores send to: MIT Graduate Admissions

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Minimum score required: 90 (iBT) 577 (PBT)
  • Institute code: 3514
  • Department code: 35

I hope this information helps you

all the best

hi, i wanted to do mba from Germany with a government college but i have less than 60%(59.7) in my graduation( so am i eligible if not so if i score good in gmat/ielts/toefl will this help me to get the admission in public college of Germany. i have a experience of 2 years in IT.

Sanjay Khandelwal 8th Jan, 2020
For different university and college there are different eligibility criteria, you must have 6-6.5 IELTS score for that, work experience is not compulsory but they will consider during application, they may have interview also. You can do MBA but you must see the criteria in University you wish to desire. In B-School that will not be a problem i think. If you can mention any college then i can help further.

How can I get into the MBA courses of top business schools in USA? Should I take GRE or GMAT? TOEFL or IELTS? Which are the best coaching institutes to prepare for these exams?

Leon George 3rd Jan, 2020

Hello Tamaghna,

Yes to get into top business schools in USA, you can either take GRE or GMAT for getting into one of the best and top business schools of USA.

TOEFL and IELTS  are exam for non native English speakers. TOEFL only tests academic subjects whereas the IELTS academic option will have academic reading and writing sections with general listening and speaking sections.

The top business schools in USA are-

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Stanford University
  • Harvard University
  • Columbia University
  • University of Chicago
  • Yale University
  • Duke University

Good coaching institutes for GRE and GMAT are-

  • Career Launcher
  • AIEL
  • Jamboree
  • Gateway Abroad
  • Fateh Education
  • Tutor Jar

These are some of the best coaching centre for GRE and GMAT

Thank you

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