Are Books an Efficient Way to Prepare for IELTS Compared to Online Education?

The International English Language Testing System is more than an exam procedure. It checks every candidate’s ability to properly comprehend and deliver the English language. As young students prefer moving abroad for higher education, they appear for IELTS to clarify their proficiency and English language skills.

Most of the students prefer to self-study and prepare for this exam. These students have two options either opt for IELTS books or online courses.

Although these mediums have their advantages and drawbacks, both of them have helped several aspiring candidates achieve their dreams.

IELTS Books Compared to Online IELTS Education

In recent times, the education system has shifted to an online mode. Whether it is the school or preparing for any specific exam, online education is gaining more popularity.

Considering the fact that there are aspirants who belong to remote areas, books are more beneficial. It is because they might have no proper internet accessibility or the required devices to avail online education.

  • Reliability

IELTS Books are considered more reliable than online courses. It is because these are like a one-time investment. Unlike online resources, books can never expire, be corrupted or get attacked by viruses.

In addition to their reliability, these books also come with audio CDs to help practice for the listening section.

  • Convenience

Although online courses are convenient to some, others may feel differently. For example, if someone always prefers books over PDFs, it becomes very difficult to follow online courses and reading materials.

Moreover, taking notes while reading a book is much easier than following a live class online.

  • Affordability

The pricing is a major differentiating factor between books and online courses. While some can easily afford books, online courses can be a little expensive.

Nevertheless, there are exceptions. Some academic books can cost hugely, and at the same time, online courses can be available at great discounts.

Popular Books for IELTS Preparation

  1. Barron’s IELTS Superpack
  2. The Official Cambridge Guide for IELTS
  3. Cambridge IELTS 15 Academic Student’s Book with Answers with Audio
  4. IELTS Practise Tests Plus 2 with Key and CD Pack
  5. Simone Braveman’s Target Band 7
  6. Road to IELTS
  7. Check your English Vocabulary for IELTS
  8. Mometrix Book for IELTS General Training and Academic 2021-2022
  9. IELTS Trainer
  10. Focus on IELTS Foundation: Foundation Coursebook

Online Courses for IELTS Preparation

Course Name Offered By
Understanding IELTS British Council
IELTSMaterial’s 7+ Band Complete Preparation Program IELTSMaterial’s
Free IELTS Academic Test Preparation Course EdX
IELTS Band 7+ Complete Prep Course Udemy
IELTS Test Preparation Course Magoosh
IELTS Online Preparation Courses Kaplan

Effective Ways of Preparing for IELTS

It will be highly unlikely if someone cracks IELTS without any practice. This exam checks the ability of each individual to converse and understand the language clearly.

However, preparing for any exam varies from one person to another. For instance, while some applicants refer to IELTS books, others might join online courses.

Here are some of the effective ways of preparing for this exam.

  1. Understand the Exam Pattern

There are two types of IELTS exams, Academic and General Training. Nonetheless, the test format remains the same for both. This test is divided into four parts – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

It is essential for every aspiring student to carefully understand the exam pattern and prepare accordingly.

  1. Know the Marking Scheme

Being aware of the marking scheme helps every candidate plan their course of action. The table below depicts the marking scheme for each section.

Section Details
Listening There are 40 questions in this section, each for one mark.
Reading This section also has 40 questions, one mark for each.
Writing Consists of 2 questions; the second task contains more marks than the first one.
Speaking Contains three parts, including a basic introduction, a speech on a given topic and followed by a discussion about the same.
  1. Study the Reading Materials

Preparing for the IELTS exam isn’t easy. It requires dedication to enhance and improve one’s command of the English language. There are numerous IELTS books and online courses available to help aspiring candidates.

By following the reading materials, one can study the sample questions and learn how to answer them. In addition, most of these study materials include practice tests that effectively help candidates prepare for this exam.

  1. Take a Course

Furthermore, if any student isn’t comfortable following a strict book, they can always take up an online course. Several educational websites offer online courses on IELTS. Some of these are certified as well.

One of the advantages of taking online courses is that it provides exclusive reading materials for a lifetime. Opting for a preparation course can never go wasted, even if you do not get your desired scores. You will still have the lesson recordings to help you prepare for the next time.

  1. Track Time while Preparing

Another tip to guide you in preparing for this exam is tracking time for every section. This exam contains several questions, and you have to complete all of them in time. Hence, whenever you are practising, time yourself.

This trick helps particularly for the speaking section when you will get a topic and have to discuss it within a few minutes. If you are not confident enough for this round, stand in front of a mirror, pick any topic and start speaking. In the end, you can check the time you have taken and improve accordingly.

To date, there are students who prefer IELTS books over online courses. Nevertheless, there can be no comparison between the two mediums as they have different approaches to their consumers. Hence it depends on the candidates which mode of study to choose to get ready for IELTS.


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