All you need to know about IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given questions

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All you need to know about IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given questions

Crack the five trickiest True/False/Not Given questions

Do you find True/False/Not Given [or Yes/No/Not Given] questions nerve-wracking? These types of questions are perhaps the most difficult ones to solve in the IELTS reading section. However, if we follow some basic tips and tricks, we can answer them correctly. This blog will guide you through those tips and tricks, along with applying the same to some tricky examples.

What makes these questions so difficult?

So, first up, let’s find clarity on where exactly the difficulty lies in these types of questions. Firstly, the difficulty is in locating the particular sentence in the passage that hides our answer. There are a few things to keep in mind here: Always look for the information that specifies the answer and not the words. Therefore, find the synonyms of the words mentioned in the question. Also, the answer always lies in one sentence and not on multiple lines, so look for that specific sentence. To assist us, IELTS always give these questions in order, which means that the answer to question 2 will always be after the answer to question 1.

The second step after locating the line that contains the answer is to analyze and state whether the statement is true, false or not given. For this, read the question carefully and mark the keywords. If the information given in the passage matches with the question, the answer is true. If the information provided is opposite then the answer is false, and if the information is partly (to some extent but not completely) given or not given at all, the answer is not there. Also note generalized words (if used) in the question, for example; like, all, some, few, around, most, many, will change the whole meaning of the sentence and therefore do not ignore them.

Once you have read the question and the sentence in the paragraph carefully, mark the keywords and analyz them taking into consideration all the generalized words. By doing this, solving these kinds of questions becomes a piece of cake.

Solve the trickiest questions with us

Now let’s apply what we have just learnt on some of the trickiest IELTS questions.

Here are a few examples that will help you to have a complete understanding of true/false/not given types of questions and how to crack them…

Example 1 

Source: Official Cambridge English IELTS: Volume 7, Reading Test 4, Passage 1

Question: Clemmons found a strange hieroglyph on the wall of an Egyptian monument.

The line in the passage says: While perusing a book on the monuments of Egypt, she  (Clemmons) noticed a hieroglyph that showed a row of men standing in odd postures.

Answer: False

Justification: In the paragraph, it is mentioned that while perusing (reading carefully) a book, she noticed a hieroglyph. Whereas, the question says that she found the hieroglyph on the wall. Therefore, the information in the paragraph is opposite to the question, thus making it false.

Example 2

Resource: Official Cambridge English IELTS : Volume 11, Reading Test 4, Passage 2

Question: Audiences are likely to be surprised if a film lacks background music.

The line in the passage says: We are probably all familiar with background music in films, which has become so ubiquitous as to be noticeable in its absence.

Answer: True

Justification: In the paragraph, audiences have been referred to as ‘we’ and it says that background music has become so ubiquitous (present everywhere) that it is noticeable when absent. This information matches that of the question, which says that audiences might get surprised if the background music is lacking in the film.

Example 3: Resource: Official Cambridge English IELTS: Volume 13, Reading Test 1, Passage 1:

Question: It was found that most visitors started searching on the website by geographical location.

The line in the passage says: On the website, visitors can search for activities not solely by geographical location, but also by the particular nature of the activity.

Answer: Not given

Justification: The question says that most visitors started searching by geographical location whereas, in the passage, it says that visitors could not only search by geographical location but, also by the nature of the activity. The question is affirming that most (more than half of the percentage) started looking through the website based on its geographical location. However, if we look closely into the passage the number of visitors is not specified. Furthermore, it was at the discretion of a visitor to look for the activities based on location or nature of the activity they were interested in.

Example 4: Resource: Official Cambridge English IELTS volume 12: Reading Test 6, Passage 3:

Question: Bilingual people’s brains process single sounds more efficiently than monolingual people in all situations.

The lines in the passage say: When monolingual and bilingual adolescents listen to simple speech sounds without any intervening background noise, they show highly similar brain stem responses (sentence 1). When researchers played the same sound to both groups in the presence of background noise, however, the bilingual listeners’ neural response is considerably larger…(sentence 2)

Answer: No (it is contradictory to the writer’s opinion)

Justification: This is quite a tricky question as there are two sentences in the passage that are closely related and give us the information about the question asked. One important point to note here is that it is always one particular sentence that contains our answer as true, false or not given (yes/no/not given). In this case it is sentence 1 that gives us the answer. It talks about ‘simple speech sound with no background noise’ which implies that the writer is talking about one sound. Whereas, in sentence 2 the writer is talking about the sound with background noise, which in turn means, two or more sounds combined.

Now, if we go by sentence 1, the answer is to be stated as ‘no’ because simple speech sounds without any background noises have similar brain stem responses on both monolingual and bilingual adolescents.

Example 5: Resource: Official Cambridge English IELTS, Volume 13, Passage 3

Question: The need for happiness is linked to industrialization.

The line in the passage says: Modern industrial societies appear to need the possibility of ever-increasing happiness to motivate them in their labours.

Answer: Yes (the statement agrees with the writer’s opinion)

Justification: Words like ‘modern industrial societies’ have been replaced with the synonym ‘industrialization’. The writer has also expressed the need for the possibility of ever-increasing happiness. Therefore, the statement is in total agreement with the question.

That is it from us concerning True/False/Not Given type of questions. We hope this article was helpful! Feel free to get back to us on any further queries, or tell us about any IELTS questions that you find difficult. Happy studying!