IELTS Reading: True/False/Not Given and Yes/No/Not Given

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The question types:
In fact there are two question types here:

1. True/False/Not given: fact based
2. Yes/No/Not given: opinion based

In each case you need to decide if the information in the text agrees with the information in the question. You should note that in the “Yes/No/Not given” questions, you are normally asked to look for the writer’s opinions rather than facts.

Many students think this type of question is very hard, because it is testing “Do you understand” instead of “Can you find”.

So for this type of question, you need first “find”, then “understand”

Finding
You need to be able to find the right part of the text quickly. you decide which words in the question we need to search for, then try to locate those words (or words with the same meaning) in the text.

Understanding
When you have found where the answer is, you need to read that part of the text carefully. Read the sentences before and after the keywords that you found. Then it becomes a test of your vocabulary knowledge: if you don't understand the words that you are reading, it will be difficult to get the right answer.

A difficulty – Not Given

The “Not Given” variation is probably what makes this type of question so difficult. How can you deal with this problem? You need to understand that:

 • “Not given” does not mean “Not mentioned”. Typically, you may find the “NG” information/words mentioned in the text – they simply don’t answer the question
 • You cannot add information that is probably true: you can only use the information given in the text

Some practical tips

1. Read the instructions carefully and note whether you are being asked to look for facts or opinions.
2. Read the whole question. Do NOT focus on key words. Think about the meaning of the question.
3. Be especially careful with words such as “often” and “some”. They can change the meaning of the question dramatically.
4. Be careful with questions beginning “The writer says”: here you need to think about the writer’s opinions and not about facts.
5. The questions will follow the order of the text: if you can’t find answer 12, you know it must be somewhere between 11 and 13.
6. Do not spend too long on any one question. If the answer is “Not Given”, there may be nothing for you to find.
7. One possibility is to mark all the “True” answers and all the “False” answers and then guess “Not Given” for the others.

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