IELTS Preparation: Books & Resources

Are you about to start your IELTS preparation? Don’t know which resources to choose? Read the following article, and you will find out how to prepare effectively. It includes:

  • A list of valuable and trustworthy IELTS books;
  • Top 3 websites and best IELTS preparation apps for you to practice anywhere and anytime.

Your IELTS preparation should be versatile; it’s best to use different resources. That’s why we at Custom-Writing prepared a comprehensive list of various study guides, websites, and apps. Using them will help you to do well on the exam.

✏️ IELTS Preparation Tips: Best Ways to Practice

When preparing for IELTS, it’s essential to make your training as versatile as possible. There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, the exam will assess all of your language skills. For a perfect score, it’s crucial to practice listening, reading, writing, and speaking in equal measure. Secondly, a complex approach ensures better learning and memorizing. Here’s what you can do:

The picture shows a list of IELTS preparation essentials: using different mediums, mock tests, visuals.
  1. Practice and train your English skills using different mediums. Read physical books, browse websites, watch videos, listen to podcasts: the list goes on. Each medium has its benefits for individual language skills and overall learning. The more you use them, the better.
  2. Mock tests are another effective way of exam preparation. They allow you to familiarize yourself with the test format. Besides, with their help, you can assess your current skills. Remember that for effective practice, it’s not enough to complete multiple mock tests. The trick is always to analyze your answers and determine what you need to work on.
  3. Finally, use pictures and diagrams to improve memorizing. It’s easier to learn new words if you try associating them with mental images. You will also have less trouble understanding grammar rules presented as a table or diagram. Even seeing words on a page of a physical book can aid you in effective memorizing.

This article will tell you all about the best recourses for IELTS preparation. Try them out to ensure a perfect score!

πŸ“š Top 5 IELTS Preparation Books: An Overview

First, let’s talk about books. Reading them for preparation may seem like an outdated strategy due to the development of technologies. Still, physical books have undoubted benefits when it comes to studying. For example, when reading physical books, it’s easier to concentrate and retain information than with e-books.

As you can see, books are unique and effective means for self-study. The following list of best study guides will help you prepare for IELTS. They are published by reliable organizations that deal with this proficiency test directly.

πŸ“— IELTS Writing Book: Your Best Choice

Many test-takers find the writing part of IELTS especially challenging. Vocabulary, sentence structure, and grammar are its core pillars. And while the first two aspects are often easy to master, the latter often needs special attention.

That’s why we have chosen an official Cambridge guide: CambridgeGrammar for IELTS with Answers and Audio CD.

Here are its essential characteristics:

βœ”It explains grammar rules.This will help you improve your grammar skills. Also, there are some useful examples and exercises for you to practice.
βœ”The tasks are similar to the ones in the exam.You will not only revise the grammar rules but also learn how to complete IELTS assignments.
βœ”It is multifaceted.The book includes a variety of tests. It will help you define your weaknesses and work on them.
βœ”It includes answers.You can complete assignments and check them yourself.
βœ”It’s suitable for IELTS Academic and GT.You will find helpful information in this study guide no matter which of the tests you take.
βœ”It’s multifunctional.Students and teachers alike may use this book for IELTS preparation.
❌Beginners may find it challenging.This book helps to practice high-level grammar. It’s perfect for those who already have at least a B1 level and want to improve it.

Where to get this book: it can be purchased on Amazon.

πŸ“• Best IELTS Book for Speaking Preparation

Do you want to sound natural and fluent at the exam?

Then this book is for you: IELTS Preparation and Practice: Speaking & Listening Student’s Book. It’s a treasure trove for those who want to get a high score for the speaking test.

Check the list of its essential characteristics:

βœ”It’s a reliable resource.Its authors are the IELTS examiners. That’s why you can be perfectly sure that assignments given in this book are relevant.
βœ”The tasks’ format is the same as at the exam.Read this book, and you’ll know what to expect at IELTS.
βœ”It’s multifunctional.You can get ready for academic and general training tests using this book.
βœ”It’s a part of a series.You may also get the books with reading and writing tasks from the same authors.
❌It’s not for beginners.It suits intermediate, advanced, or proficient language learners. Teachers may find it helpful as well.

Where to get this book: it is available for purchase on Amazon.

πŸ“˜ Top IELTS Book for Reading Preparation

You might be asking yourself: What can be difficult in reading a text? If you are going to take IELTS, you should consider the reading part very seriously.

To help you, we have chosen the best book for reading preparation: Improve your Skills: Reading for IELTS 6.0-7.5 with Answer Key and Macmillan PracticeOnline.

Look through the list of its essential characteristics:

βœ”It can help improve your vocabulary.In the book, you will find multiple useful words and phrases for academic reading.
βœ”It explains the assignments’ format.You will learn how to deal with IELTS reading tasks.
βœ”It contains authentic test questions.Want to know what the assignments will be like at the exam? This book can provide you with all the necessary info.
βœ”You get access to Macmillan Practice Online.As a result, you’ll get a book and an online platform for practicing.
βœ”There is an answer key.Check it each time you have doubts about whether you are answering correctly.
βœ”It suits multiple purposes.This textbook can be used in class as well as for self-study.
❌It doesn’t suit students from all levels.If you have an advanced or proficiency level, you will benefit from this book. But it won’t be so helpful for beginners.

Where to buy this study guide: you can get it at a reasonable price on eBay.

πŸ“™ IELTS General Training Book for Preparation

Do you want to reside or work in an English-speaking country? Then, you should consider taking IELTS General Training.

For preparation we recommend the following book: Cambridge English: IELTS 15 General Training Authentic Examination Papers with Answers and Downloadable Audio.

Here are its essential characteristics:

βœ”It’s a complete guide.This book contains materials on all four parts of the exam: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
βœ”It includes an audio file.You can download the audio with the speaking test example and listening assignments to practice.
βœ”It explains the scoring system.Familiarize yourself with how your answers will be scored.
βœ”There are samples of the writing test.It will help you learn how to complete this part of the exam correctly.
βœ”An answer key is included.You can check your answers and correct yourself if necessary.
❌It’s not for beginners.This book will be helpful for those who have a B1-C2 level and want to find resources for self-study.

Where to order it: you may purchase the book on Amazon.

πŸ““ IELTS Academic Book for Self Study

If you are searching for a book for your academic test preparation, consider this one: Cambridge English: IELTS 15 Academic Authentic Examination Papers with Answers and Downloadable Audio. This official Cambridge guide for self-study is your lucky ticket to completing all the tasks successfully.

Let’s explore its essential characteristics:

βœ”It will help you prepare for all parts of the test.You don’t need to search for any separate books as this one contains all the necessary information.
βœ”It includes downloadable audio materials.You can listen to them and practice at home.
βœ”It contains answers for all the tasks.No need to ask teachers to check your assignments. You can do it yourself as you have an answer key.
βœ”The scoring system is explained.Are you unfamiliar with the scores? That’s not a problem. This book provides a proper explanation.
❌It’s not suitable for beginners.Do you have a B1-C2 level? Then this book is undoubtedly a good option for you.

Where to find the book: you are welcome to buy it online on Amazon.

πŸ–₯️ Other Resources for IELTS Preparation

We are sure that you’re taking preparation for IELTS very seriously. That’s why we advise you to consider not only books but also websites and apps. Using various mediums is essential; it helps make your preparation versatile and more effective.

🌐 Top 3 IELTS Websites

We’ve made a list of the best IELTS websites for you. Check them out:

This is the official website of IELTS. That’s why you can be perfectly sure that it is a reliable and useful resource.

Here you will find:

  • Lots of basic information about the exam;
  • Resources for test-takers, teachers, and researchers;
  • Free samples that you can use for your preparation.

Advantages and disadvantages:

βœ”It’s an official trustworthy website.
βœ”It’s easy to navigate.
βœ”It provides tips for preparation and taking the test.
βœ”It allows you to book a test anywhere in the world.
βœ”You can purchase a Progress Check which will be marked by official IELTS examiners.
❌The information on the website is not very specific.
❌While it’s great for training and checking your progress, there are not enough self-study materials.

Conclusion: this webpage is excellent for those who take their preparation for the exam very seriously.


This next website is owned by British Council. As you may already know, it’s a reliable international organization. It provides students with educational opportunities all over the world.

Here you will find:

  • Relevant and up-to-date information about the exam;
  • Valuable webinars for free;
  • Materials that can help you familiarize yourself with the computer-based test.

You can also enroll in their courses. Pay attention that the majority of courses are paid. If you decide to get any of them, you can be perfectly sure that:

  • you will get detailed and relevant information on all four parts of the exam;
  • all the materials are prepared by language experts.

Still, buying these courses is a good idea if you want to invest in yourself and your future.

Advantages and disadvantages:

βœ”It has free practice tests with answers.
βœ”There are resources for students, teachers, and future examiners.
βœ”You can read test day advice and other IELTS-related tips.
βœ”The preparation courses are high-quality.
❌You need to sign up to participate in free webinars.
❌The majority of the courses are paid.

Conclusion: This website is useful no matter whether you choose to buy British Council preparation courses or use its free resources.


Finally, the third website we recommend you is Cambridge English. This trustworthy organization ensures student’s perfect IELTS preparation.

Here you will find:

  • Free sample tests;
  • Official materials for self-study;
  • FAQ and other information for candidates;
  • An opportunity to test your IELTS skills and get personalized feedback.

Advantages and disadvantages:

βœ”There is lots of free helpful information on all IELTS types.
βœ”You can try IELTS Progress Checkβ€”an official online practice test.
βœ”It provides high-quality online preparation courses.
βœ”You can shop for official Cambridge IELTS books.
❌No free materials for training your skills.

Conclusion: if you are serious about your IELTS preparation and ready to spend time and effort on it, this website is a good source for you.

πŸ“² 3 Best Apps for IELTS Preparation

That’s right: you can now prepare for proficiency tests via mobile apps. There are so many of them that it might be hard to choose. No worries: we’ve chosen the three best ones for you to check out.

IELTS Prep App is definitely worth trying. It was launched by British Council, so you can be sure it’s made by language specialists. No matter if you’re getting ready for IELTS Academic or General Training, this app will be super useful for you.

Advantages and disadvantages:

βœ”It can help you practice your reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills.
βœ”You can improve your grammar with the help of exercises.
βœ”It provides essential tips and tricks for you to pass the exam successfully.
βœ”It is free to download.
❌Not all materials on this app are free.
❌Some users may experience glitches.

Where to get it: you candownload the app from Google Play.


Would you like to expand your vocabulary? Want to master grammar and improve punctuation? Here is the solution: use this awesome app launched by BBC.

Advantages and disadvantages:

βœ”You will find many useful exercises to improve your English.
βœ”You can practice all your IELTS skills here.
βœ”A download button allows users to improve their skills offline.
βœ”It has an intuitive interface.
βœ”All the information is divided into categories that are easy to navigate.
βœ”You can learn new words and phrases by reading interesting stories.
❌Users below the intermediate level may find the tasks challenging.
❌It has a few glitches.

Where to get it: it’s available for download on Google Play.


It is the best app for improving your writing skills. You will learn how to write letters and essays. It also contains grammar exercises and info on how to work with graphs. The app doesn’t require payment and can be used offline.

Advantages and disadvantages:

βœ”It’s practical and easy to use.
βœ”The design is simple and clear.
βœ”It contains free samples.
βœ”The tasks are versatile.
βœ”It has an offline mode.
❌The majority of the samples have a band score of 6 or even lower.

Where to get it: download it from Google Play.

We hope you found the information in this article interesting and helpful. If you choose any of the suggested resources, your results will be outstanding. Remember that a complex approach is the best way to ace IELTS. We wish you the best of luck with the exam!

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