10 Useful Tips for IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given Questions

Introduction to IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given

Getting a high score on the IELTS Reading section is not as straightforward as it may seem. If you don’t know the best way to deal with it, you may end up losing a lot of time in perusing for answers, and hence getting a lower score. 

However, there are several little things you can do to help yourself out and ace this section.

IELTS Reading ‘True/False/Not Given’ questions ask you to check a text to determine if its statements are correct or not. 

In other words, these questions are concerned with actual facts from the text given. This article will teach you some of the most useful strategies for answering these questions successfully and receiving higher scores.

Common Mistakes in IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given

The biggest issue for students here historically is the ‘not given’ option. The majority of students don’t know how to answer questions like this and they find them very difficult. They spend too much time checking that ‘not given’ and this harms the remainder of their test. 

Students sometimes also miss the point of what each statement says, and therefore cannot recognize whether it is correct or incorrect. They focus on keywords instead of considering the total statement. Failing to find keywords in the sentence leads to consequently getting lost. To solve this issue, you have to remember that most often the words will be synonyms. 

Understanding Facts & not Opinions in IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given

Remember that an answer to an IELTS question must be based on what the words ‘true’, ‘false’, and ‘not given’ really mean. Also, make sure you understand IELTS’ definitions of these terms. It is critical to know what the text is saying when you answer questions correctly.

  • If the text fully agrees with or confirms the assumption given, the answer is TRUE.
  • If the text does not match or agree with the statement, then the answer is FALSE
  • In order to answer correctly, you must pay attention to the statement. If there is no information or it is impossible to deduce, the answer is ‘not given’

Extremely Important:

A TRUE answer is one that matches the text. ‘Pretty much the same’ is not a permissible TRUE answer. It’s FALSE. The answers have to be factual, it doesn’t matter if the statement is 80% TRUE in your opinion.

A ‘not given’ answer does not mean there are no words that match the text. It just means you cannot determine the answer with full certainty.

Tips for IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given

  • Throw away what you already know in your mind when reading the passage, if you have read it before. Don’t rely on your prior knowledge. Instead, focus on the text itself. 
  • When reading the passage, seek out phrases like all, mainly, always, often, etc. that modify the meaning. These words can notify you for changes in the latent meaning because they can and they will. For example, ‘Pepsi has always produced its beverages in the U.S.A.’ has a different meaning from ‘Pepsi has principally produced its beverages in the U.S.A.’ 
  • When you see verbs like suggest, claim, believe, and know at the end of statements, be careful. A man ‘claims to be British’, and ‘the man is British’ means two different things.
  • Don’t skim and scan the text to find the final answer. You will have to read the passage carefully to understand what the author means. 
  • In addition to seeking synonyms, you should look for phrases that match the intended meaning, not words that are identical. It is essential that you read the text carefully in order to understand it.
  • If you can’t find what you’re looking for, then it’s ‘not given’. Don’t bother looking for something that isn’t there. 
  • Read on if you get stuck. The answers are in the same order that the questions are listed. Don’t waste time looking back.

Strategies for IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given

  • Always read the instructions thoroughly and make sure you know whether the question is true/false/not given or yes/no/not given.
  • Read all of the statements carefully, concentrating on their meaning instead of just the keywords. Be on the lookout for qualifying expressions like ‘some’ or ‘always’. 
  • Think of synonyms for the text; this will help you identify the matching portion of the text. 
  • Find the matching portion of the text and match it with the statement. 
  • Underline the portion that gives the answer; this will help you focus on it and check it later. Be sure to avoid any qualifying words. 
  • If you cannot find the answer, mark it as ‘not given’ and move on to the next question.

Final Thoughts

With the right strategy and the right amount of practice, you will be able to tackle IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given Questions successfully and move towards a perfect Band 9 Score.

Lastly, the one thing that’s very important is Practice. And the best place to practice IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given Questions is at the Kandor website or the Kandor app.

You can also read more blog posts and keep learning about IELTS at our Kandor Academy.

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