The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS

(6 customer reviews)

All the language skills that are essential for IELTS plus 8 practice tests.

The first half of the book teaches you the skills you need to master for IELTS reading, listening, writing, and speaking. The second half contains 8 complete practice tests written by the people who write the real IELTS test. The accompanying DVD has videos showing a real examiner interviewing candidates at different levels, so you can see how the speaking test works.


Buy from Cambridge University Press



The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS has two separate parts. The first half of the book looks in detail at the skills you need to master to achieve a high score in IELTS. This part of the book is divided up into 4 sections reflecting the 4 separate papers of the test. There are 8 chapters focused on IELTS listening skills, 8 chapters looking at IELTS reading skills, 8 chapters focusing on IELTS writing, and 4 chapters about IELTS speaking. The second half of the book has 8 complete practice tests. The book has a DVD with listening recordings as well as videos showing authentic speaking tests with candidates of different levels.
Although there are many books about IELTS, The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS is the first book to focus on the skills candidates need to learn for the test. The chapters in the skills section break down the broad skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking into specific micro skills. The units explain why these are important, show you how these skills are tested, and how to apply the skills you learn to different IELTS test questions. It is also the first book to combine this information with 8 complete practice tests. Another key features is that all of the writers of this book are skilled, IELTS test writers, with many years of test writing experience between us. So you can be sure that the practice tests and the information in the book reflect the real test.
If you have never taken the IELTS test before, the skills section of The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS will explain exactly how IELTS works and teach you the skills you need to show in each part of the test. The 8 practice tests at the end of the book then help you to practice these skills, so that on the day of your test, you can feel confident that you know exactly what to expect and what to do. The practice tests also help you assess whether you are ready to take the test or not as they show you the level of difficulty you can expect in each of the 4 papers.
Many IELTS candidates have taken the test several times and feel frustrated that they are not making progress. If you read my free book, The Key to IELTS Success, you will see that this is often due to myths about IELTS and the use of test materials that do not reflect the real test. These two problems cause candidates to remain stuck, even though they feel they are working hard. If you already have an IELTS score, The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS helps you to identify the key skills you need to improve on. Through basing your study on facts about IELTS and authentic test practice materials, you can finally begin to make progress and graduate from IELTS.
IELTS tests your language ability. While The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS shows you the skills you need, it cannot teach you all of the language you need for the test. To focus on language, look for my other books: Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS, Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS Advanced, Common Mistakes at IELTS Intermediate, and Cambridge Grammar for IELTS.
Latest reviews from Amazon

  • Well after 2 months studying with this book I am happy to say I passed my IELTS test with a very high score! So I am happy.
  • I've never read such a well organised and detailed book for IELTS ever!
  • This book is very useful to self-study. Video are very helpful mostly for the speaking to understand what to do or not to do.
  • This book is totally necessary for the IELTS preparation study.

6 reviews for The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mathilda Fernandes

    Hi Pauline,
    Is it possible to get a pdf version of the book,
    Thank you

  2. 5 out of 5


    Dear Pauline,

    I have a question in Test 1 listening section 3, question 30 as below:

    Q. Set up a ____ with technologies team
    => Answer key: conference call
    But as I heard and read in the audio scripts,
    Dave: […] I’m used to having conference calls […]
    Radir: […] if you could set up a call that would be great.

    Dave mentioned “conference calls” but this is plural and the question have the article “a” so I use Radir’s sentence as the answer “set up a call” but then the correct answer is “conference call”. I’m really confused, do I have to collect 2 words in 2 sentences?

    Thank you.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hafiz Usama Bin Zia

    Hello, I am going to give the IELTS General test as I am planning to immigrate to Australia. Does this book help me for General Test or this book is only for Academic test? Please answer

    • Pauline

      All of my books cover both GT and Academic. My free book shows you how to benefit from both types of materials. Have you read it?

  4. 5 out of 5


    Hi Pauline Cullen,
    I do not know how to thank you for the Guidance. I followed the Official book for IELTS and Today I got my score for Academic
    I got L7 R7.5 W6 S7

    Reading tips and strategies in your book really helped and 8 practice test helped me a lot. Other sections also was very very informative.
    I am closer now to achieving my dream. Thank you so much.

    • Pauline

      Thats wonderful, Subha, I am really pleased for you. I wish you all the very best with your future dreams! Please tell others to buy my books 🙂

  5. 5 out of 5


    I really love this book and how its teaches methods especially for Reading with 8 Practice tests. Thanks a lot for the wonderful book. Only thing I noticed is the answers for test 7 writing part is missing. Not sure if my copy dint have it

    • Pauline

      Hi Subha, I am going to be writing more model answers for this book in the near future. I’ll especially look at providing one for that test. I’ll be creating a separate page for extra resources like this for each of my books.

  6. 5 out of 5


    this book is great, I found the reading section extremely helpful. Before I did this book I used to make 4 to 5 mistakes in reading test. I did it two months ago, I haven’t made a single mistake in Cambridge practice tests ever since. Thanks. Kind Regards

    • Pauline

      That’s great to hear 🙂

Add a review