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How do I Choose the Best IELTS&Reg; Books?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2016
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Choosing the best IELTS® books involves selecting materials that fit the general level, specific curriculum, and the cultural and academic makeup of the International English Language Testing System test. The IELTS® exam is given to many thousands of students each year, both for academic purposes, and to help immigrants or other travelers certify that they can speak the language of a destination country. Those who want to choose the best IELTS® books for preparing for this critical English-language test should look very carefully at what different textbooks and resources offer.

One of the key issues for choosing proper training materials for IELTS® is to make sure that these books address the specific nature of the IELTS® exam. Books that are just focused on basic grammar, or simple English-language skills may not have the right targets or focus for someone who wants to pass the IELTS® test. Specialized IELTS® books will include the right level of language, correctly targeted vocabulary and language skills, and good overall strategies for preparing to take the exam.

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It’s also critical that students look at available IELTS® resources that appropriately take a British-centric tone. Some American books may not be extremely helpful in taking the IELTS® because they may have a different slant that does not compliment the particular test-giving criteria of the testing staff for IELTS®, many of whom are associated with Cambridge ESOL or a similar school. Although the books may not need to be particularly different from a standard resource, it is helpful to get books that are tailored toward the specific cultural and dialect-oriented English language standards of Cambridge and the greater U.K. English language community.

The best IELTS® books will also address all four major categories of the IELTS® test. The test includes categories in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Skilled trainers and educators will prepare students in this way for taking the IELTS® test; good IELTS® books should do the same. It may not be enough for a book to simply go into the depths of vocabulary, phonetics or topical exploration, if the book does not prepare students for specific IELTS® exercises like the “long turn” in speaking, or an essay structured to appeal to the Cambridge trainer’s standard.

Students who are familiar with what the IELTS® includes will often be able to tell at a brief scan of a book, whether it goes into sufficient detail on every IELTS® category. By flipping the pages and studying the general progression of the book, the reader may be able to figure out how much the product delves into each category, and whether it offers diverse prep exercises. IELTS® books and resources are especially effective in combination with some form of preparatory language course, or English-language training workshop.

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