The 5 Best IELTS Preparation Books for Self-Study 

Getting ready for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam is a huge step for those who dream of studying, working, or immigrating to English-speaking countries across the globe. 

It’s the key that unlocks the door to endless opportunities! Scoring big on the IELTS is like unlocking a treasure chest of opportunities because this test is the most important one of English proficiency exams – universally recognized and respected. 

Get ready to embark on a thrilling journey through the realm of IELTS preparation books!

  1. The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS” is a trusted and highly recommended IELTS preparation book. This comprehensive guide, published by Cambridge University Press, offers a complete package for IELTS aspirants. It includes practice tests, detailed explanations of test sections, and invaluable tips from IELTS experts. 

What sets this book apart is its authentic IELTS test materials, ensuring you get a true feel for the exam’s format and difficulty level. The book features four complete practice tests, along with audio CDs for the listening sections. 

It’s comprehensive, covering both the Academic and General Training sections, so it may help any kind of exam taker. The handbook is great for independent learners since it includes detailed instructions for understanding each chapter. 

  1. Barron’s IELTS Superpack 

The “Barron’s IELTS Superpack” is another excellent choice for self-study. It’s a comprehensive package that includes three valuable resources: “Barron’s IELTS with Audio CDs,” “Essential Words for the IELTS,” and “Practice Exercises for the IELTS.” This superpack offers a holistic approach to IELTS preparation, covering all the essential aspects of the exam. 

“Barron’s IELTS” provides four full-length practice tests, complete with answer explanations and listening transcripts. The accompanying audio CDs enhance the listening practice experience. “Essential Words for the IELTS” helps boost your vocabulary, a crucial component of the IELTS, while “Practice Exercises for the IELTS” offers additional practice to reinforce your skills. 

  1. “IELTS Trainer” by Cambridge University Press 

Cambridge University Press presents “IELTS Trainer,” a book tailored for those seeking to maximize their IELTS score. This self-study resource includes six full practice tests, providing ample opportunities to assess your progress and refine your test-taking strategies. Each test mirrors the real IELTS exam in terms of format and content. 

What sets “IELTS Trainer” apart is its focus on test strategy development. The book offers detailed guidance on how to approach each section of the test, including helpful tips and time management techniques. Additionally, the included audio CDs ensure that your listening skills are honed effectively. 

  1. IELTS Academic and General Training – The Complete Guide 

IELTS Academic and General Training – The Complete Guide” by Phil Biggerton and Nick Kenny is a versatile IELTS preparation book suitable for both Academic and General Training modules. It is a complete study guide for the IELTS exam, including material for the Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking tests. 

To help you learn and retain the material, this book provides several practice tasks, example answers, and recommendations. It provides detailed explanations and strategies for tackling the writing tasks, making it particularly beneficial for those who struggle with this section. The book also comes with downloadable audio files for the listening practice. 

  1. Target Band 7: IELTS Academic Module – How to Maximize Your Score 

Target Band 7″ by Simone Braverman is a popular choice among IELTS aspirants aiming for a high score. While it focuses primarily on the Academic module, many of its strategies and exercises can be adapted for the General Training module as well. This book is particularly known for its practical tips and techniques to boost your IELTS score. 

“Target Band 7” offers detailed guidance on each section of the exam, including sample answers and model essays. It also includes a comprehensive study plan to help you make the most of your self-study time. Additionally, the book provides access to online resources, including practice tests and additional exercises. 

What Are the Benefits of Self-Study for IELTS? 

Self-study often involves independent problem-solving. When you encounter challenges or difficult questions, you learn how to research, find solutions, and develop critical thinking skills—a valuable asset for both the IELTS and future endeavors. 

Many self-study resources offer adaptive learning features, which means they adjust the difficulty of exercises and practice tests based on your performance. This ensures that you receive targeted practice in areas where you need improvement. 

As you progress in your self-study journey and see improvements in your language skills, you’ll gain confidence in your abilities. This increased confidence can positively impact your performance on the IELTS exam. 

Self-study instills a sense of lifelong learning. While preparing for the IELTS, you develop study habits and language skills that can serve you well beyond the exam, making you a more proficient English speaker and writer.

Why break the bank when you can save some serious cash by self-study? It’s like getting a high-quality education without the hefty price tag. You have the delightful privilege of hand-picking your study materials to match your budgetary whims. From the classic allure of textbooks to the modern allure of online resources, and even the thrilling allure of practice tests, the world is your oyster. On top of that, you’ll be able to pocket some extra cash by dodging the dreaded commute and those pesky classroom fees.

Self-study, the superhero of education, swoops in to save the day by fostering independence and self-motivation. Sticking to your study plan and meeting your goals requires more discipline and self-control than resisting the urge to eat an entire chocolate cake in one sitting. Mastering these skills will not only boost your IELTS game but also sprinkle some magic into the other realms of your existence.

With self-study, you get to be the master of your own learning destiny, handpicking the study resources that tickle your brain cells in just the right way. Whether you’re a textbook aficionado, an online course connoisseur, a mobile app enthusiast, or a delightful blend of all three, you have the power to curate your learning materials and create a veritable masterpiece of knowledge acquisition.

You hold the reins of your self-study chariot, allowing you to gallop at the speed of your choosing.

Combining self-study with periodic assessments, practice tests, and feedback from qualified individuals can further enhance your chances of success on the IELTS exam.


Self-studying for the IELTS exam can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to achieve your desired score. These five IELTS preparation books offer a range of resources and strategies to suit various learning styles and objectives. 

Let us remind you that conquering the IELTS is a challenging feat. No matter which book you pick from this fabulous list, remember to put additional effort into your self-study with some real-life English adventures. 

Dive into the world of English movies, unravel the mysteries of newspapers, and embark on daring conversations with native speakers. It’s time to unleash your linguistic prowess! With the right tools and a study plan, you can make the most out of this opportunity and ae your IELTS exam with flying colors. 

The best part? If you are looking for help regarding IELTS preparation, contact +92 300 200 2153 and get enrolled in the “IELTS Super Package” offered by Next Consultancy.

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