Last Updated: June 26, 2021

Review of Ace the IELTS and Target Band 7- 4th Edition

Why Choose Simone Braverman?

IELTS is a language proficiency test taken by students for both academic and immigration purposes to state the level of knowledge they have in the subject. The examination contains four sections on the facets of language learning. They are Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. Candidates are provided with a time duration of 2 hours and 45 minutes. Due to the importance of the test, it is common practice for candidates to take up extensive care in preparing for it. While some candidates will choose to join online or offline courses that can prep them, some candidates attempt the exam by studying with the right self-prep books.

Following the highly-rated 3rd and 2nd edition of the Ace the IELTS book series, Simone Braverman is back with the 4th edition of the book. The book focuses on the how’s and why’s of taking the test. It also focuses on what a candidate should work on to score better in the examination strategically. Unlike other guides in related areas, the book begins with guidelines for using the text for a better experience.

The 4th edition of the Target Band 7 prep book, like its previous edition, focuses on the academic aspect of the test. While this book will not teach candidates the basics of the language, it contains elements that can strengthen the candidate’s proficiency in the language by grooming them for IELTS. This book focuses mainly on the Writing Tasks of the examination and is a must-have for candidates who wish to upgrade their low score despite knowing the language.

Approach Opted by the Prep-Books

Both the books provide candidates with an overall sense of the examination before it delves into more content. Understanding the format and structure of the examination helps candidates prepare themselves for the test content since the candidates will most often have a certain level of knowledge in the language. They will mostly require prep books only to hone their skills for the examination.

The general guidelines in the books, especially in the writing section, provides candidates with an idea of the kind of questions that generally appear in the two tasks of the section and explains the kind of mistakes that candidates are prone to make. Mentioning the most common mistakes aids candidates in understanding where they go wrong and how they can correct these common errors. The books contain cue cards and different topics listed out for the tasks that are for practice in both the Writing and Speaking sections. The author has included a list of the most useful phrases in the language which is beneficial in the examination. It makes the learning process easier for candidates without requiring them to have years of experience in dealing with the language.

After detailing every section, both the books move on to a 21-day study plan for students that they can follow to maximize their score academically through the Target Band 7 book and generally through the Ace the IELTS book. Both the books also contain a full-length practice test with a sheet for answers towards the end of the test that candidates can make use of. In short, Ace the IELTS approaches the examination through the format of the examination and moves on to the content of the test and strategies and culminates with a full-length test paper along with its answers and scoring patterns. Target Band 7, on the other hand, approaches the examination through the tips and strategies that can help the student get a band score of 7 and above. This book, while not too deep in content, provides an excellent step-by-step construction of report writing that can help students get a high score in the writing task.

Relevance of Prep-Book Content

The books have been crafted carefully for the perusal of candidates ranging from different proficiency levels of understanding the language. Both the books begin with a brief review of each of the four sections included in the examination but through different perspectives - one book focuses on learning while the other on scoring. They both include a detailed preview of the exam format. After this, the books move on to the approach candidates can take in bettering themselves in different sections. This is useful for candidates who already have a certain understanding of the language and need to improve themselves in specific sections of the test.

Each of the tips mentioned in both the books has been given from the perspective of cracking the test. The books, therefore, cannot be used as a language guide for aspirants who want to learn the language from scratch. From telling one about assessing their skills to tips on learning spelling, the books cover it all.

Ace the IELTS and Target Band 7, both contain detailed explanations of the format used in every section where the author mentions the kind of task, the difference in both the paper-based instructions and computer-based instructions, along with the procedure candidates can follow to score in each question type.

Both Ace the IELTS and Target Band 7 contain the following information from different perspectives. While the former focuses on cracking the examination through minimal preparation, the latter focuses on cracking the examination with a high score.

Ace the IELTS and Target Band 7

Candidates who are planning to purchase a minimum number of books for their IELTS preparation and are also looking for a cost-efficient alternative will be able to purchase one of these two books without thinking twice. The books have been designed as a crash course for the IELTS examination for students who do not have enough time at their disposal to prepare accordingly. Both the books have been written focusing on each of the four sections of the examination with an overwhelming emphasis on the tasks in the Writing Section.

The prep book Ace the IELTS has an unmatched section on Letter Writing as part of the 1st writing task in the Writing section of the examination. Here, the author provides a lot of necessary information including the phrases that can be used for each paragraph in the letter thereby making it easier for candidates to excel in the area without practicing by writing hundreds of letters. The hints and tips that have been provided can be considered to be hacks for cracking the writing section with a high score.

The book titled Target Band 7, alternatively, has an extensive section of report writing with strategies and tips that can be used even by English users who do not have the experience of writing reports. The book only has 97 pages in all. It can, therefore, be used to prepare within a week though ideally, it is recommended that candidates prepare for the IELTS taking at least 21 days in all as stated by the study plan in the book.

Final Take on the Prep-Books

The 4th edition of Ace the IELTS, when compared to the 3rd edition, has minor differences that reflect in the kind of strategies that are mentioned and the practice questions that are provided. The study plan in the 3rd edition and the 4th edition are both for 21 days. But even though the study plan is essentially similar, adapting it for preparing for the examination can help students who have not made a study plan of their own.

This prep-book offers a one-stop solution for students who have applied for the IELTS and requires a specific grade in each section of the test. The book contains only one full-length practice test that can be considered a drawback. It deals with letters and essays in the Writing Section that are covered extensively when compared to the other sections of the test. Speaking and Writing samples have also been provided with the book. This can help students crack the examination better. The different online sources in the book link candidates to sites where they will find additional material for all four of the sections in the test.

Both Ace the IELTS and Target Band 7 have a friendly tone and confidence-boosting style in the rendition of the content, which like the previous editions of the book continues to stand out in comparison to other prep books in IELTS. The books are fully process-oriented rather than content-oriented which seems to be a bit too advanced for beginners. The author focuses on intermediate to advanced learners of English who need to ace the examination without poring over different prep-books and study courses. The book has been designed to be the equivalent of a crash course in taking the examination.

IELTS Resources


IELTS Writing

IELTS Listening

IELTS Speaking


IELTS Practice Tests/Reading


Word of the day

imperative : urgent; essential

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