Over the past 25 years the IELTS has gained prominence as a valid English language proficiency test. In 2013, more than 2.2 million tests were taken around the world. The IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. The test is administered at more than 1,000 test centres and locations in over 140 countries. This article aims to offer a list of popular books and resources that will help you prepare for the IELTS.
Brief descriptions of some of the most popular and useful books to help you prepare for the IELTS are given below:
“The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS” published by the Cambridge University Press is the definitive resource for those aspiring to write the IELTS. The book has dedicated sections for each test component - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Each component is further sub-divided into four to eight sub-units that offer students a clear perspective of the test. The book has eight complete official IELTS practice tests. Answer keys with detailed explanations are also provided. The guide also comes with a DVD that includes the book’s listening portions as MP3 audio tracks as well as speaking test videos.
We recommend that you buy this book and study for the IELTS - it is the best book in the market!
In addition to the book listed above the Cambridge University Press regularly issues books, which have a selection of solved practice IELTS tests. Some books contain four sets of question papers and some six. These books are to be used in combination with the official guide.
The British Council regularly publishes study material that is quite helpful. “How to Prepare for IELTS” is a combination of a book and a CD-ROM. A number of practical exercises covering all four test skills, answer key and transcript of text recorded in the CD make it a good choice. There is a two-volume “Official IELTS Practice Materials” book as well.
“Barron’s IELTS Superpack” is extremely popular in the American continent. The pack is a combination of three books and a collection of audio CDs. The IELTS manual offers a comprehensive overview of the test, details about each section of the test and tips and strategies to score well in the test. Sample IELTS tests are collected in the second book. The third book is the most popular component of the whole package; the “Essential Words” manual, which has an excellent selection of word exercises that helps improve one’s vocabulary. The only negative aspect in the entire package is the set of audio CDs which focuses on the ‘Listening’ exercises. The CDs have people speaking with a pronounced American accent. In the actual IELTS the ‘Listening’ exercise will have people speaking with a clear British or Australian accent.
The official IELTS website has a selection of free sample test material that will offer a clear picture of how the test is structured. Additional information on the test format, learning resources and tips to successfully clear the IELTS are also listed.
The IELTS section on the British Council’s website has a sample test for each module and some learning activities and information on useful learning resources. “Road to IELTS” is an e-learning initiative that has a comprehensive selection of tests and learning material. This is a paid service.
Another interesting website that we spotted recently is IELTS-Simon. Managed by a former IELTS examiner the website has a good selection of learning resources and practice tests. Short daily lessons are added on a regular basis and the website has a good fan-following with students from various countries posting comments and queries.
We Can Help You:
Try our latest IELTS mock test, which is free. This test resembles the actual IELTS so that you get to know the test patterns and develop confidence to face the real test. Moreover, If you live in and around New Delhi or Chennai you can walk into our offices and contact our language experts. They can help you prepare for the IELTS free of cost. You can call us on the telephone numbers given below, fix an appointment to meet our language experts and get a personalised analysis of your language skills.
- New Delhi - 1-800-103-2581 (Toll free)
- Chennai - 1-800-103-9634 (Toll free)
Test Day Tips:
These remain pretty consistent and standard for all the tests that you plan to take.
- Get a good night’s sleep before the test.
- Reach the exam venue well in time.
- Carry all the materials that you require for the test.
- Do not be nervous and be calm during the test.
- Do not dwell too long on any question; if a question stumps you move on to the next one.
- Take extra care while writing the essay and use simple easy language and stick to the topic.
- If you don’t do the test well do not worry, work diligently, prepare better and retake the test.
We hope that you found this article useful. If you would like to share your tips on preparing for the IELTS, please add your suggestions in the ‘Comments’ section below.
Image courtesy: British Council