There are so many important components to prepare for IELTS. Above all, you must practice, whether you do so online or with a friend or a teacher. However, if you prefer to study from a book, there are some that are essential reading.

Click on the book titles to visit, where you can purchase them.

Here is a 2021 update on the best IELTS books:

1. Cambridge IELTS Series

This is by far the most important and useful series of books you can collect in studying for IELTS. The Cambridge IELTS books 1-11 are compiled by Cambridge (who make the IELTS exams!) and are comprised of actual sample tests. If you start with the most recent one (11) then you are looking at tests conducted very recently. This practice is invaluable in your preparation, so even though the books may be a little expensive, it is a good investment.

2. The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS

This is probably the best book you can use to prepare for the IELTS exam, excluding the above series. While the books above are practice tests (which are very important in your preparation), this is a definitive guide to the IELTS exam. It is published by Cambridge and based upon meticulous research into candidate’s difficulties. The advice contained in this book is crucial for getting a high score in the IELTS exam.

3. Target Band 7: IELTS Academic Module

This useful book contains a range of advice intended to bring your score up to a band 7. It’s made by the founder of so you know you can trust the materials here.

4. Focus on IELTS

I have been using this book in my classes lately and find it very useful. It’s a good book for students around the 5.0-6.5 range, and mixes general English with IELTS components. This is a great book for students who want to transition into IELTS, but will lack the challenge desired by students who have been practicing for the IELTS for a long time.

5. IELTS Trainer Six Practice Tests

This book contains six IELTS practice tests. They are not actual IELTS tests – ie they were not produced by Cambridge – however they are very realistic. It is important to do lots of practice tests before you attempt the IELTS for real, so books like this one are in invaluable tool in preparing for the exam. This also contains some great information about how to approach each stage of the exam.

6. Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS Advanced Band 6.5+

I don’t normally advocate specific study of vocabulary as I believe it should be integrated into a wider attempt at English use or IELTS practice. However, most students want to learn lots of vocabulary and in terms of vocab books, this one is great. It is produced by the same people who make the exams, and as the title suggests it is intended for students aiming at scores of at least 6.5.

And…. One more!

Actually, I wrote this one 🙂 Grammar for IELTS Writing is a short, simple handbook intended to help IELTS students with the most important points of grammar.

You can find my books here