35 Best IELTS Books and Sources to Prepare for the Test

35 Best IELTS Books and Sources to Prepare for the Test

There are plenty of online resources you can employ to study for the IELTS exam. However, how to know which of them are effective and which are not? Although being popular, some IELTS preparation books don’t prove their usefulness and may even confuse you. On the other hand, there are alternative ways of studying, such as YouTube channels and mobile apps. They are handy, and you can bring them with you whenever you want. There are many IELTS vocabulary apps that you can use to boost your skills whenever you have a free minute.

How to Choose IELTS Preparations Books.

We analyzed over 50 resources and selected the 35 handiest ones for you. The list includes free channels and paid materials so that you can choose the best option. We found resources that may be useful for achieving different goals. Whether you want to improve your writing or deal with pre-exam anxiety – there is a perfect match for you!

📕 10 Best IELTS Books

Although many books from the list below first appeared around ten years ago, they keep being updated, and you can buy the versions that cover all specific issues in the latest IELTS test. We attach links to these IELTS books on Amazon, so you can choose whichever you like the most. Some of them are rather general, while other focus on the specific aspects of the exam, such as vocabulary or grammar. Also, there are some for General and Academic training.

Now, let’s see what crucial features each book has.

1. The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS Student’s book with answers with DVD ROM

This edition is one of the best Cambridge IELTS books of all time. It’s an ultimate guide to all sections of the exam. This training book focuses on Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Reading, paying equal attention to each of them. The guide consists of targeted exercises that aim at improving your skills. Many students confirm that this IELTS book includes everything you need to know to pass the exam with a high score.

  • Crucial features:
    • For both General and Academic training,
    • Audio included,
    • Eight practice tests,
    • Accompanied by app,
    • Up-to-date,
    • Covers all four sections,
    • Sample answers for Speaking and Writing,
    • Thorough explanations of each section and task,
    • Suitable for self-study,
    • Audio prompts are very similar to the actual ones,
    • Mainly consists of exercises.

2. Barron’s IELTS Superpack

This coursebook is one of the best IELTS books for self-study. The book has over 1000 pages and includes eight practice tests with thorough explanations of each step. Although some students claim to have trouble accessing the audio materials on the official website, this issue can be easily resolved, and you can enjoy high-quality listening. The Superpack presents various exercises to boost your skills in each section of the exam. You also receive sample responses to Writing and Speaking.

  • Crucial features:
    • For both General and Academic training,
    • Audio included,
    • Covers all four sections,
    • Sample answers for Speaking and Writing,
    • Thorough explanations of each section and task,
    • Eight practice tests.

3. Official IELTS Practice Materials

One of the places to look for IELTS books online is the official website. There, you can discover dozens of articles, videos, and exercises accessible online for free. Also, you can order the Official IELTS Practice Materials. The best thing about this study resource is that it’s 100% up to date because it’s released by the official organization responsible for IELTS. That’s why it’s a reliable guide to all the sections both for General and Academic training.

  • Crucial features:
    • For both General and Academic training,
    • Additional study materials online,
    • Up-to-date,
    • Covers all four sections,
    • Sample answers,
    • Two practice tests.

4. IELTS 15 Student’s Book (General & Academic editions)

One of the golden guides for prospect IELTS test-takers is these editions by Cambridge University Press. These are one of the best books for IELTS General and Academic trainings. Due to the reviews on numerous websites, these are the most accurate and practical resources both for self-study and training with a teacher. What makes it that good? First of all, it’s based on real exam tasks so that you won’t come across anything irrelevant. Secondly, its structure follows the original test that helps you get used to this routine. There are also other benefits that make these books perfectly suitable for IELTS preparation.

  • Crucial features:
    • Separate books for General and Academic training,
    • Audio included,
    • Practice tests,
    • Up-to-date,
    • Covers all four sections,
    • Sample answers for Speaking and Writing,
    • Thorough explanations of each section and task,
    • Suitable for self-study,
    • Audio prompts are very similar to the actual ones,

5. Common Mistakes at IELTS Advanced And How to Avoid Them

When you’re preparing for IELTS, it’s crucial to understand what errors you can make and prevent that. In this case, the Common Mistakes at IELTS Advanced And How to Avoid Them is an excellent guide that will help you. The practice book contains the usual errors that test-takers make each of four sections. You can learn how to master English grammar, read tasks properly, and analyze questions to choose the correct answer promptly. This guide shouldn’t be used as a single tool when preparing for IELTS; however, it’s a great resource to consult with during the final revisions shortly before the exam.

  • Crucial features:
    • For both General and Academic training,
    • Covers all four sections,
    • Up-to-date,
    • Suitable for self-study,
    • Highlights real mistakes,
    • Clear and concise explanations,
    • Excellent structure,
    • Offers practice exercises.

6. Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS Advanced

Next on the list of the best training books is a special edition of Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS. This is another in-demand resource that many tutors use in their daily practice. The book can be helpful not only for future test-takers but also for everyone learning English, as it contains an excellent selection of advanced vocabulary. You can combine this edition with Cambridge Grammar for IELTS and The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS to achieve maximum results.

  • Crucial features:
    • Specific vocabulary-oriented exercises,
    • Up-to-date,
    • Suitable for self-study,
    • For both General and Academic training,
    • Contains practical exercises,
    • Audio included

7. Cambridge Grammar for IELTS

Cambridge Grammar for IELTS is an excellent solution for those not confident about their grammar skills. This guide contains basic and advanced rules that you will need to complete the exam tasks in all four sections. Regardless of which section you’re struggling with, improving your grammar can positively impact your general performance. The book provides practical exercises to strengthen your knowledge of particular rules. The best way to excel with this guide is to use it alongside Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS and The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS to achieve maximum results.

  • Crucial features:
    • Specific grammar-oriented exercises,
    • Up-to-date,
    • Suitable for self-study,
    • For both General and Academic training,
    • Contains practical exercises,
    • Audio included.

8. Improve IELTS Writing Skills

If you’re looking for an outstanding IELTS Writing book, this will be an excellent choice for you. This edition includes dozens of sample letters and essays for General training practice. You can find explanations for different writing approaches, learn how to analyze the tasks appropriately, and outline your answer. The IELTS Writing section varies in General and Academic exams, so be sure to focus on the type you are planning to take and thoroughly examine the examples in this book.

  • Crucial features:
    • Writing samples,
    • Clear explanations,
    • Contains practical exercises,
    • Suitable for self-study

9. Ready for IELTS: Coursebook with Key by Sam McCarter

Ready for IELTS is a modern guide to the exam’s structure and key milestones. The book has 14 units that relate to various topics you may encounter in the test. Although the tasks may differ from those in the actual exam, they are also beneficial for improving general language skills. Here, you can find exercises to enhance your vocabulary and grammar, as well as explanations of each exam section’s specific vital aspects.

  • Crucial features:
    • Covers all four sections,
    • Clear explanations,
    • Mainly consists of exercises,
    • Suitable for self-study.

10. Mometrix IELTS Book for General Training and Academic 2021 – 2022

This IELTS practice book is an excellent solution for everyone who wants to improve their skills in all four sections: Writing, Reading, Listening and Speaking. The guide includes sample tests, and you can also download video instructions to master complex topics. This IELTS training book is an affordable way to prepare for the actual exam.

  • Crucial features:
    • For both General and Academic training,
    • Additional study materials,
    • Contains practical exercises,
    • Covers all four sections,
    • Up-to-date.

💻 15 IELTS YouTube Channels to Watch

If you’re seeking alternative methods of preparing for IELTS, YouTube can be more than helpful for you. Here, you can find tutors from all around the world, including native speakers. This is an affordable way to access high-quality studying. You can watch tutorials by teachers to various accents, thus practicing listening intensively. What’s more, you can get in touch with experts and your peers in the comments below the videos to get advice. This routine is suitable for preparing for IELTS on your own and as an addition to regular preparatory lessons with a tutor.

We prepared a list of the most popular and helpful YouTube IELTS channels, which offer dozens of handy tutorials, speaking and listening practice tests on YouTube, and more. Some tutors behind these resources also offer to purchase or get their IELTS free books on their websites. Let’s see what they are!

1. IELTS Liz

IELTS Liz has over 1,000,000 subscribers and is one of the most diverse IELTS-oriented channels on YouTube. Liz, the tutor behind the channel, is an eager professional with significant teaching background and excellent pronunciation. She is an official IELTS examiner for over a decade, so her expertise in this field is doubtless.

The channel includes four playlists: Popular IELTS Lessons, IELTS Speaking, IELTS Writing Task 1 & 2, and IELTS Listening. Also, there are other handy tutorials about the Reading section. Liz’s videos are suitable for prospective test-takers of different levels. She offers helpful tips on General and Academic exams. The videos on this channel are not too short or too long, so they’re perfect for daily practice. You can combine this routine with doing exercises in the books we mentioned in the section above.

2. E2 IELTS

E2 IELTS is another excellent channel to improve your English skills and prepare for IELTS. The channel has nearly 1,000,000 subscribers today, and the number keeps growing. The information here is up to date, so you get to know the latest details about IELTS. For instance, you can watch the playlist IELTS 2021 to learn the updates and get ready. There are 20+ collections of videos on different topics, including all four sections of the exam, mock tests, super methods to speed up your training, etc.

On the E2 IELTS channel, you can listen to live classes for free. What’s more, you can watch how other people deal with the test. The best thing about this resource is that it’s run by professionals with excellent pronunciation and command of English. The lessons are also engaging and fun, so you will enjoy preparing for IELTS with this channel.

3. IELTS Advantage

The IELTS Advantage channel offers free tutorials on all sections of the exam. You can practice IELTS listening and reading, as well as get handy tips on writing and speaking. The resource provides short courses on vocabulary and grammar for IELTS. The channel is popular among prospect test-takers because the tutors are experienced in the field, and they present the information in a captivating way.

The channel suggests dozens of helpful IELTS study videos. Here, you will also find a podcast with 20+ short discussions of such topics as pre-exam anxiety and other related psychological phenomena that stop you from getting a higher score.

4. AcademicEnglishHelp (AEHelp)

AcademicEnglishHelp is an IELTS YouTube channel with over 1,400,000 subscribers and dozens of handy tutorials available for free. This online study resource has helped hundreds of students get IELTS Band 7+ over the recent years. The channel focuses on Academic IELTS, and you can explore nine playlists that cover different sections of the exam. The channel contains over 70 videos explaining IELTS Speaking, so this is the right place to get inspiration and practice this skill.

New videos appear on AEHelp almost every week, so you will get to know the latest updates of the exam. Also, you can attend live IELTS sessions where the tutor discusses the unique features of each section and answers the audience’s questions. Additionally, it can be beneficial to visit the AEHelp website and check out the Academic IELTS Premium Package – ultimate access to top materials on all aspects of the exam.

5. Learn English with Emma [engVid]

Emma is a professional IELTS tutor from the engVid platform who runs her own YouTube channel with dozens of helpful tutorial s on various aspects of IELTS. Learn English with Emma is an in-demand resource for millions of English learners worldwide. On her channel, the tutor explains IELTS basics and more advanced tips and tricks that will help you achieve the highest score.

Emma’s vlogs cover all four sections of both General and Academic IELTS exams. Here, you will find information about the best practice exercises to boost your writing and speaking skills. Also, you will learn how not to lose points in the Reading and Listening sections.

6. Learn English with Rebecca [engVid]

Learn English with Rebecca is the most popular channel among English learners who look for online IELTS practice materials. It has over 2,000,000 subscribers and covers dozens of topics related to the test. Here, you can find practical tutorials on basic English grammar rules, tenses, business language, and preparation for the exams: IELTS, TOEFL, and TOEIC.

Rebecca is an experienced tutor with outstanding language and teaching skills. She offers short lessons that you can watch while commuting to work or doing household chores. Her tutorials can also be a beneficial addition to common IELTS practice coursebooks. A significant advantage of Rebecca’s channel is that you can find videos about different aspects of the English language that go far beyond the IELTS exam.

7. Fastrack IELTS

If you’re looking for engaging free IELTS tutorials on YouTube, check out Fastrack IELTS. This channel is run by an expert, Asiya, who has experience taking the exams a few times. Last time, she passed it at the highest score, so she has what to tell you about. Her video blog includes tutorials on various subjects related to IELTS. She discusses the specific features of each of four sections, both for General and Academic training. Also, she uncovers tricks that may help you achieve your goals and tackle the most challenging assignments.

On Fastrack IELTS, you can find over 50 videos on IELTS Writing, covering such issues as major mistakes, necessary vocabulary, words to avoid, etc. The tutor speaks from her own experience and tells what helped her succeed.

8. Learn with Sam and Ash

Learn with Sam and Ash is a great YouTube channel to discover lots of helpful information about IELTS. It has more than 1,000,000 subscribers, and the audience is growing fast. Although the tutors aren’t native speakers, they offer outstanding preparation methods for all four sections of IELTS quickly. Sam and Ash post excellent tutorials on English punctuation, grammar, prompt preparation for the exam, and more.

Explore the playlist IELTS Full Course 2021 to discover the latest news about the test and how to get ready for them. It includes over 40 videos covering all four sections in General and Academic training.

9. Oxford Online English

Another channel with an impressively large audience is Oxford Online English. Here, you will find videos on a huge scope of subjects, from British slang to advanced grammar. If you want to improve your English skills in general, this resource will be helpful for you. A significant advantage of this channel is that you can meet different tutors here to listen to various accents and develop your listening expertise.

One of the advantages of this channel is that teachers speak relatively slowly. This is perfect for everyone who is not confident in English yet. It can obviously be challenging to listen to tutorials not in your native language; however, you can consider this as a part of your IELTS listening practice.

10. IELTS Master

IELTS Master is a YouTube channel with a great collection of handy tutorials on IELTS and everything related. It contains numerous videos about preparation strategies, advancing reading and speaking skills, planning essays, etc. It focuses both on General and Academic training. A particularly great point about this resource is that it offers many lessons on IELTS vocabulary with detailed explanations, usage, and collocation examples. This method of learning new words is highly beneficial and helps you remember what you’ve learned for a long time.

Each video on IELTS Master is made to fit in your daily routine, so you can practice whenever you have a free minute. These prompt tutorials will help you excel in English even more if you combine them with exercises from some of the best IELTS preparation books we mentioned above.

11. Write to Top

If you’re looking for a resource to practice writing skills before taking IELTS, Write to Top is an excellent channel to help you. The tutor, Adam, focuses mainly on this aspect of the English language and provides detailed explanations of various related issues. Here, you will find a comprehensive guide to composing texts of different genres: letters, essays, summaries, reports, etc. The teacher gives examples and describes their strong and weak points to learn what to avoid in your answer.

Adam is an experienced tutor with excellent pronunciation, so his channel can also help you boost your listening skills before IELTS.

12. Tony IELTS Box

The Tony IELTS Box channel focuses on speaking and vocabulary practice for IELTS. Here, you can explore numerous tutorials explaining advanced words and approaches to fulfilling the exam’s Speaking part. The videos are engaging and will brighten up your study routine.

However, there are also many short lessons on IELTS Writing. You can learn how to describe graphs and pie charts, outline your essay for Task 2, and more.

13. IELTS Official

IELTS Official is a helpful channel to check out if you want to keep up with the latest exam updates. It’s run by IDP IELTS organization which is directly responsible for the test. It provides comprehensive study materials, which you can find on the website. The YouTube channel is meant to give prospective test-takers additional help.

On this channel, you will find tips from professionals on how to get the highest score, tackle assignments in each of the exam’s four sections, and so on. Apart from that, the resource offers some technical tutorials regarding the computer-delivered IELTS and other aspects that you need to know before taking the exam.

14. IELTS Ryan

IELTS Ryan is the right place to learn about each aspect of the exam. Ryan, the tutor behind this channel, is also an author of comprehensive IELTS practice books. He developed his own methods of preparing for the test and shared his experiences with thousands of the channel’s subscribers. On his website, you can download his IELTS books in PDF for complex preparation.

The main advantage of this channel is that the author organized all videos in a course that covers almost everything you need to know about IELTS. You can enjoy the excellent structure of all lessons, which makes the study process much easier. Learn about IELTS Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Reading, combining this practice with mock tests to maximize the effectiveness of your study routine.

15. IELTS Charlie

The last channel on our list is IELTS Charlie. This resource provides diverse tutorials on IELTS-related issues. Here, you will find a guide to excellent completing of the Speaking section. Also, in recent years, the channel’s focus shifted to explaining advanced vocabulary. Another aspect that you can study is academic writing. IELTS Charlie offers numerous videos in which an experienced tutor describes the best practices of dealing with this type of assignment.

What’s more, you can watch a detailed step-by-step overview of the writing section. In these tutorials, the speaker displays each stage of composing your answer to the exam’s common questions.

📱 10 Best IELTS Apps

Want to prepare for IELTS right on the go? The best way to do that is to use mobile apps. They will help you boost your skills whenever you have a free minute. Whether you’re commuting to work or doing housework, you can make the most of this time and learn more with the best IELTS apps.

We selected a list of mobile tools that work and help thousands worldwide succeed in IELTS. Let’s see what they are!

1. IELTS Prep App by British Council

Speaking of the best apps for daily use, we should start with an official utensil that you can use alongside the best books for IELTS. The tool includes a comprehensive overview of the exam’s four sections, grammar exercises, free practice tests, videos of IELTS speaking interviews, and more. Additionally, you get explanations to assessment criteria, a preparation checklist, and numerous blog posts on related topics.

Whenever you want to scroll Instagram feed one more time, it’d be much better to open this app and do some exercises. Doubtlessly, the results will come up shortly!

2. English Radio – IELTS TOEFL

English Radio - IELTS TOEFL‬‬‬ App Screenshot.

This app is the best one to boost your listening and speaking skills. It features popular radios in English-speaking countries, so you can hear various accents and learn to understand them. You can listen to the discussions of different topics that you may encounter later in IELTS. Same as in music apps, you can create your favorites list and save stations that you liked best.

You can also use this app to make new friends and practice your spoken English daily. It offers free messaging services, and you can share your progress with others as well. When you’re studying on your own, it can be highly beneficial to find your peers who are going through the same thing, and you can improve your skills together.

3. IELTS Word Power by British Council

IELTS Word Power App Screenshot.

This app is an excellent choice for you if you aim at boosting your vocabulary. It’s a powerful tool with a great selection of words on different topics you may encounter in the IELTS test. There are subjects like work & business, environment, traveling, family & friends, etc. You can do practical exercises to understand better and remember new vocabulary.

This tool is suitable for any level and regardless of which exam type you choose: General or Academic. Another feature of this app is that you can find the nearest testing center within a few clicks.

4. IELTS® Test Pro 2020

IELTS Test Pro App Screenshot.

IELTS® Test Pro 20120 is one of the best apps of this kind available on the market, and what’s impressive about it is that most of its services are free. This tool offers pro IELTS preparation assistance, detailed progress reports, sample tests, over 3,000 tasks, and much more. It has high ratings among the users, and they mention that it was an ultimate helper when they studied for IELTS.

The app can work offline, which makes it even more convenient for daily use. Don’t hesitate to download it and improve your skills whenever you have time!

5. IELTS Essays

IELTS Essays App Screenshot.

If you’re looking for a collection of high-quality IELTS written pieces, you’ve found a proper resource. This mobile app has a vast database of great sample essays and their analysis. Here, you can find out how to detect the topic of your essay question, outline your answer, brainstorm ideas, generate a compelling introduction, and much more.

The app offers writing pieces created both for General and Academic training. You can find what you need by entering some keywords in the search bar. The related sample essays will appear shortly, and you can choose whichever suits you the best.

6. IELTS Preparation – IELTS FREE – ILFREE

IELTS Preparation - IELTS FREE App Screenshot.

This is another diverse IELTS app that contains many handy tips & tricks covering different aspects of the test. It has a colorful and easy-to-use interface, so you will enjoy practicing with it. The information is well-structured: you can explore various sections like IELTS Vocabulary, Tips, Speaking, Writing, etc. For each creative task, you can check out sample answers to understand how to fulfill them. Also, you can save your favorite words or idioms. The app provides usage examples to all new vocabulary, which makes it easier to remember.

This tool is suitable for both those who plan to take General and Academic IELTS. The app offers various practical exercises for you to get used to the exam’s structure and demands.

7. IELTS TestBank – ESL Test Prep

IELTS TestBank App Screenshot.

This app gives you access to over 9,000 exam-type questions covering all four sections: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. With this tool, you can track and compare your progress, create lists of favorite questions, and learn many test-taking tricks.

The app includes sample tasks for other tests too, such as TOEFL, SAT, and ACT. What’s fascinating about IELTS TestBank is that it adjusts to your given answers. This helps avoid repeating questions, and you receive relative tips depending on your performance. This app is not 100% free; however, it gives access to unique material to help you get ready for IELTS.

8. BBC Learning English

BBC Learning English App Screenshot.

An official language tool by BBC can be a helpful addition to your regular study routine. Although you can’t solely rely on this app, it contains lots of useful material for self-study. So, what’s inside?

BBC Learning English contains various topical lessons, audio programs with transcripts, quizzes, and more for free. You can choose a short course that you’d like to take and follow its updates. This app doesn’t focus on any exam in particular; however, it can help improve your general command of English, influencing your performance when taking IELTS.

9. IELTS Vocabulary

IELTS Vocabulary App Screenshot.

The IELTS Vocabulary app concentrates on one of the most crucial aspects of the exam. You can comprehend advanced grammar, but lacking the essential vocabulary will definitely affect your performance. This tool will help you learn all words you need most effectively. It gives compelling explanations to each one and then fulfills some practical exercises to strengthen your knowledge.

All vocabulary is divided into sections, so it’s easier to learn the words by topics. It offers what you will encounter on the actual test only, so everything is worth learning. Vocabulary is essential for completing all four sections of the IELTS exam, so be sure to try this app as an additional study resource.

10. IELTS Speaking

IELTS Speaking App Screenshot.

The last tool on our list of the best IELTS apps focuses on speaking. This diverse study source will help you boost different related skills like vocabulary and answer structuring. Here, you can explore various tasks similar to the ones on the actual IELTS test. It’s hard to imagine that it’s possible to practice speaking with a mobile app; however, this tool makes this process easy and effective.

What makes this tool stand out is that you can record your answers and analyze them later. So it’s much like the actual IELTS interview. Also, you will receive hints on how you can improve your performance and make the most use of this tool. If you’re not able to practice speaking with a tutor, this is an excellent choice for you.

Conclusion

Today, we explored the diverse world of IELTS preparation materials, including practice books, YouTube channels, and mobile apps. One thing to admit is that there’s no perfect source to learn everything about the test and analyze the examples. However, you can experiment with various tools, buy IELTS books, online courses, and select the approaches that work particularly for you. If you see that you have troubles with new words, don’t hesitate to download a free app that provides profound vocabulary practice. Consider your personal need rather than ratings you see on the Internet and consult your tutor or mentor. The adventure of preparing for IELTS shouldn’t be tedious and exhausting. Remember that you are heading to your dearest dreams!

We hope that our list will help you get ready for IELTS and excel in your English skills in general. Keep up with our updates to learn more about language tests and much more!

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