The Best PTE Academic Preparation Books

If you have opted for self-study as part of your PTE preparation plan, then you most definitely will be on the lookout for a good preparation book or guide to help master the skills necessary for the PTE exam. There are a plethora of books available for PTE preparation in most of the bookstores in Singapore as well as in online stores that claim to be essential to get your desired result. This article will help you narrow down the search by providing you valuable information on important things to consider while selecting an PTE preparation book.

Here is a detailed list of what you will find in this article:

What Should You Look For In A Good PTE Academic Preparation Book

1. Designed Specifically For The PTE Academic Exam Module

Some books are designed to help students prepare for different modules such as the Academic or General training modules. Make sure that you choose a guidebook that focuses on the module you have registered for.

2. Appearance And Layout

Choose a book that is laid out in a manner that is appealing to your individual tastes. People respond to different methods of teaching. Therefore, not every book might be laid out in a way that is easy to understand for you, despite having good source material and information.

3. Self-Study Or Classroom Aid

Some books are designed as a complete guidebook while some focus on specific components. To further complicate matters there are also books which are meant to be used in classroom situations under the guidance of an PTE teacher. Make sure that the book you choose is a self-study book!

4. Author

Do a bit of research into the author of any book you are considering purchasing. Take a look at customer reviews of the book and check whether it was helpful to other PTE test takers. Make sure that they are well qualified and hold a degree in teaching the English language. Unfortunately these days, there is a growing trend to use the naivety of first time PTE test-takers to make easy money. A quick search on Amazon yields many quick fix PTE books, which are written by authors who claim to be qualified professionals. To many unsuspecting students, these books might appear to be good, but when inspected by true professionals they are clearly lacking in many areas and many are poorly written as well.

The problem with any PTE preparation book is that they cannot provide feedback on your proficiency. In my opinion, it would be better and more productive to invest in finding a good PTE teacher to guide you and then use a book as supplementary materials.

List of PTE Exam Preparation Books

Here is a list of the best PTE preparation books for both the academic and general training tests:

  • The Official Guide to PTE Academic
  • The PTE Expert Academic Course Book B1 and B2
  • PTE Academic Testbuilder (Macmillan Testbuilders)
  • PTE Official Vocabulary 2020-2021
  • PTE Academic Practice Tests Plus Volume 1 and 2

Why Should You Choose Pearson PTE Books


The answer is quite obvious, the PTE exam is prepared by Pearsons. They are best equipped to understand what students need to know in order to do well in the PTE test. There are plenty of PTE resources published by other reputable publishing houses, but no matter how well – connected they might be, their books on the PTE exam will always be from an outside perspective. PTE resources published by Pearsons are authentic and they will give you an accurate idea about what the test entails and the true levels of difficulty.

1. The Official Guide To PTE Academic

The Official Guide to PTE Academic is a book that is published and endorsed by Pearsons themselves. It’s the best option for familiarising yourself with the format of the exam. Since pearsons hosts the PTE exam, they are best equipped to understand what students need to know in order to do well in the PTE test. The guide also gives you an accurate idea about what the test entails and the true levels of difficulty.

Here’s what is included in the book:

  • A detailed overview of what to expect in the on-test day.
  • Information about test scores
  • A basic explanation of the test format
  • Authentic Pearson PTE practice exercises

2. The PTE Expert Academic Course Book B1 And B2

The book is an indispensable guide to the pte academic. These books contains more advanced material to prepare and practice  for the PTE exam. The book has two different levels B1 & B2, depending on your current level of proficiency.

The book has specialized content structured to test the proficiency level of the test taker. The book will help you to polish your skills and do better in the exam.

The subsequent chapters go into great detail about the  test sections and how to solve different types of questions for each section. Each part of the book has unique tips and advice on how to score well for that particular part of the exam

The PTE Academic expert also gives you access MyEnglishLab, which enables you to use hundreds of practice papers to prepare for the PTE exam.

3. PTE Academic Testbuilder (Macmillan Testbuilders)

The PTE Academic Testbuilder book is a relatively new addition to PTE preparation guides. It is published my Macmillan and is designed to improve student’s exam skills  and increase their language abilities. The book also has four complete practice tests and  provides guided analysis of answers.

4. PTE Official Vocabulary 2020-2021

This is the official Pearson vocabulary book and it is essential for all prospective candidates The book contains all the important words you will need to know to for the speaking and writing part exam.

The book contains all the necessary words and phrases you need to know, including important collocations. There are also definitions for each of these words.

5. PTE Academic Practice Tests Plus Volume 1 and 2

These books provide authentic practice tests developed by actual PTE exam writers.

The book provides detailed, strategies and tips on how to tackle each question type. You will also be provided with a comprehensive answer key and explanations, as well as a score guide to help you assess your answers.

The book includes complete PTE tests along recording scripts and audio for the listening test, answer keys for the reading and listening components and  real candidate answers with comments for each spoken and written task,

These tests are a useful tool when practising for the exam, but in no way should be considered as a textbook or coursebook. These tests should only be used to practice skills that you have learned from other PTE resources or teachers. There are separate books for the PTE Academic and General Training tests. So make sure that you purchase books that are for the module you have registered for.

When Should You Use These Practice Tests?

These books are a useful tool when practicing for the exam, but in no way should be considered as a textbook or course book. It's necessary to use good well-formulated material to help you master each skill before you even begin practicing. The tests in these books should only be used to practice skills that you have learned from other PTE resources or teachers.

A common thing which I hear students say is I’ve been practicing for 'x' months. I’ve been going over past papers, but I’m still stuck at this band score!' If you don’t know what skills you need to master and haven’t actually mastered those skills, practice will never help you improve! This is why you need guidance about how to move forward with your preparation.

In my opinion, there are only 3 times when you should take practice tests:

  • At the beginning of your PTE preparation in order to get an idea about your current level of proficiency. Taking multiple tests at the beginning will not help improve your scores, since you have not learned any of the skills necessary to perform better.
  • During your preparation to check if there have been any improvements and also to apply and reinforce the skills and strategies you have picked up.
  • At the end of your preparation to get an accurate estimate of your scores on test day

It is also important to analyze your scores once you take a test. Try to figure out why you made certain errors. For example, did you not understand the wording of the question or parts of the readings passage, were you unable to understand a particular speaker’s accent or were you unfamiliar with a particular question type?

Since both the speaking and writing tasks involve producing language, it is very difficult to for second language learners to objectively assess their own answers. This is where having a trained PTE professional tutor comes in handy. Not only will an PTE lecturer be able to tell you about the estimated band scores for your practice answers but they will also be able to help you improve on them as well.