Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Why should you read novels while studying for IELTS?

After all, it seems like there are so many strategies to learn, so many tests to practice, how is there time to dig in to a good novel?!

Actually, reading for pleasure is excellent for IELTS candidates. Yes, it will improve your reading comprehension, but this habit is beneficial for reasons far beyond that!

Firstly, you will learn vocabulary that you can use in Speaking and Writing. Your grammar knowledge will also improve, as you see more structures used in impressive ways.

Also, you’ll get ideas that other students won’t have been exposed to, and you can really impress the examiner with this knowledge on your Speaking Exam! Books are a common topic!

It’s a fact: good readers make the best writers! To improve your writing skills and ability, you must experience high-level writing!

Novel Recommendations:

Stephen King (these are not horror books!)

The Gunslinger– This is the first book in his Dark Tower series. It’s fantasy/sci-fi, and it is a short book! If you get into it, you can read the rest of the series!


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The Stand– This is a long sci-fi tale about a postapocalyptic world. It’s one of the only books I’ve read more than once! There is also an old TV mini-series starring Molly Ringwald based on the book.


Snow Crash– This is by Neal Stephenson. It is a cult-classic exploring the power of language.

Foundation– The first in The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov. This is about space exploration, power and corruption. It’s also a quick read!


Outlander- This is the first book in a series by Diana Gabaldon. Now, I’m usually not a romance story kind of gal, but it also involves time travel and war, so I’m in! There is also a new television series based on these novels.

Historical fiction

The Nightingale– Set during World War II, this story takes place in France and focuses on the lives of two very different sisters. It was written by Kristin Hannah.

New York– Written by Edward Rutherfurd, New York is one of many long tomes that tell the history of a real city by following one or more families from its inception to modern day. Although these look hugely daunting, the books go by quickly as the dialogue and story draw you in so completely.

Noble House– Noble House is the fourth book in James Clavell’s Asian Saga, and is based in 1963 Hong Kong. As with New York, it is massive, but completely worth it. The drama of the characterssnappy dialogue and pacing lead you to lose yourself in these pages.

What books would you recommend?

Share the titles you love in the comments section below!

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