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How to solve TRUE, FALSE, NOT GIVEN in IELTS Reading

29 Sep 2017

How to solve TRUE, FALSE, NOT GIVEN in IELTS Reading

Many candidates find the True/ False/Not Given question one of the most challenging tasks in the Reading test. This lesson gives you tips on how to answer this type of question.

Task description

You will be presented with a list of facts. You then have to look at the text in order to decide if the facts are true, false, or not given.

How to approach this task

  • If the fact you are given is clearly in the reading it is True
  • If the reading says the opposite of the fact you've been given it is False
  • If it is not true or false, it is Not Given.

Example

Look at this statement, taken from an IELTS reading:

Chiles originate in South America and have been eaten for at least 9,500 years.

 

Here are some example IELTS True/False/Not Given statements with answers:

  1. Chiles come from South America - TRUE  --> This statement is clearly TRUE. Notice the use of the synonym 'come from' used instead of 'originates'. It is common to use different words.)
  2. People began eating Chiles in the last few centuries FALSE  --> This statement is clearly FALSE as it was 9,500 years ago, not a few 100 years ago. 
  3. South Americans were the first people to start eating Chiles - NOT GIVEN --> This statement is not in the text. Be careful about making assumptions then thinking it is true. It is quite probable that South Americans began eating Chiles first as they originated there; however, you can't be sure of that and the text does not tell you that.

     

It's time to practice!

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage?

Write

TRUE          if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE        if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

Link: http://mini-ielts.com/791/reading/mau-piailug-ocean-navigator

1. At the time of his voyage, Mau had unique navigational skills.

2. Mau was familiar with the sea around Tahiti.

3. Mau thought it would be difficult to use a compass and charts.

How to solve this test?

  • Scan the text to find where the answer is using key words from the question When you find where the answer is, read the text carefully to identify if you think it is T, F or NG.
  • The questions will probably use synonyms rather than the words in the text.
  • Look out for controlling words such as “only”, “all’, “never” etc. For example, if the fact in the question says 'some' and the fact in the text says 'all', then it is FALSE.
  • Do not spend a long time looking for the answer to one question; it is probably NG, if you cannot find it.
  • Make sure you use the correct code; 'Yes', 'No', 'No Information' is sometimes used (these question are slightly different and you look for opinions rather than facts).

Keyword table for this practice test:

Keywords in Questions

Similar words in Passage

1. At the time of his voyage, Mau had unique navigational skills.

At the time, Mau was the only man alive who knew how to navigate just by observing the stars, the wind and the sea (TRUE)

2. Mau was familiar with the sea around Tahiti.

He had never before sailed to Tahiti, which was a long way to the south (FALSE)

3. Mau thought it would be difficult to use a compass and charts  The voyage took him and his crew a month to complete and he did it without a compass or charts. (NOT GIVEN)

 

Explanation:

Question 1:

  • In this question, you can find the keywords: At the time and unique navigational skills.
  • Find the synonyms/antonyms of these keywords in the reading passage: the only man alive who knew how to navigate just by observing the stars, the wind and the sea
  • So the Q1 is TRUE.

Question 2: 

  • In this question, you can find the keywords: was familiar with the sea around Tahiti.
  • Find the synonyms/antonyms of these keywords in the reading passage: had never before sailed to Tahiti
  • So Q2 is FALSE.

Question 3: 

  • In this question, you can find the keywords: difficult to use a compass and charts
  • Find the synonyms/antonyms of these keywords in the reading passage: did it without a compass or charts
  • So Q3 is NOT GIVEN. Because in the passage the author did not mention Mau use the compass with difficult or not!

Now continue this technique with another questions. This may seem like a lot of work and in the beginning but once you have practised this many times, you will be able to find your answers really fast and with much better accuracy and that will improve your score.

You can practice more this task question at: http://mini-ielts.com/reading?search=&q7=on&q8=on&count=&sort=date-desc

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