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When gearing up for the important IELTS test, it is common advice to regularly practice taking the tests, and familiarise yourself with the different formats and question types.  

Although these are helpful tips, one crucial aspect that is often overlooked is the positive impact reading books can have on your written and spoken English language proficiency. This can help in test preparation while also enhance your general English speaking abilities out in the world.  

To assist test takers in developing their communication skills and boosting their confidence, a selection of 5 books has been carefully curated. So, if you are eager to demonstrate your proficiency in English, read on! 

1. Everyday English for grown-ups: Getting to grips with the basics


Are you in search of a book that covers various English language concepts in one go? Michelle Finlay’s ‘Everyday English’ is the perfect pick.

It caters to both native and non-native speakers and presents easily comprehensible rules and suggestions on topics such as punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure. 

Rather than providing comprehensive knowledge of the language, the book offers guidance on specific areas and motivates readers to assemble the knowledge themselves. This includes aspects such as clear communication, letter writing, and much more.

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2. English for everyone: English grammar guide: A comprehensive visual reference

English grammar visual reference

This guide to English grammar is a comprehensive resource that enables readers to comprehend and analyse various grammar concepts and rules with greater ease.

It includes a range of practice books and guides that cover the skills and topics required for the IELTS test, as well as supporting English learning at all levels, from beginner to advanced.

With helpful tools such as guides on sentence formation and sample language examples, readers can gain a clear, visual understanding of complex English sentences and phrases and why they are structured in a particular way.

By using these resources, you will be able to create your own sentences across all contexts and conversations in no time.

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3. Ship or Sheep?


The guidebook provides a comprehensive and structured approach to practicing English pronunciation, which helps readers differentiate between similar sounds and words through various exercises and activities. 

The audiobooks that accompany the book make the practice even more accessible. However, it is worth noting that the voice in the audio CDs has a distinct British accent, which may pose a challenge for some readers to understand.

For those who are beginners and just starting their English language journey, it may be advisable to skip this book for the time being.

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4. Practice makes perfect: English Conversation


If you're getting ready for your IELTS Speaking examination, this is a great reference for you.

The book simplifies difficult grammar, syntax, pronunciation, and vocabulary concepts, making it easier for non-native English speakers to comprehend.

Each section contains customized exercises and detailed instructions to assist readers in practicing what they've learned by creating personalized discussions.

With persistent practice and effort, you can improve your speaking confidence and excel on your IELTS Speaking test! 

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5. English collocations in use: Intermediate book with answers


In contrast to the other books that prioritize topics such as pronunciation and speaking skills, this last book places a significant emphasis on collocations.

Author Michael McCarthy defines collocation as a "grouping of words that frequently occur together." For example, phrases like 'crystal clear,' 'best possible,' and 'do no harm' are some of the common collocations.

This book teaches readers of different proficiency levels to comprehend collocations in context and gain confidence in using them in daily oral and written communication.

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Do your best in your IELTS test with the help of IDP!

If you are lost or need more help, you can also check out our whole host of IELTS resources available to guide you, and get you ready for the tests.  These include our Masterclass Webinars, our Preparation Course and tips from IELTS Experts to get started! 

And once you are ready, book your IELTS test with us today!