IELTS Reading Tips for True, False and NotGiven

True, False and Not Given questions are probably the most confusing type of questions in IELTS Reading Tests.

You can actually answer these questions without reading the IELTS Reading Passage.

Here are couple of pointers that you can use to make sure you get the T,F,NG questions correct with minimum effort.

Before you start the Reading Practice test. Look what are the instructions asking for?

Does it ask for?

Yes, No, Not Given

Or

True, False or Not Given

Does it ask for a sentence or a three word answer?

Let us keep this in mind and get started.

Direct Answers

1.     If article sentence is repeated as a question directly (sentence in the article changed to question in the question section)

  •  NOT GIVEN
    • Example:

In the paragraph there is this sentence,

Children are particularly at risk as the thick hollow stems and broad fan-like leaves lend themselves to a variety of games.

In Question there is sentence,

Are children particularly at risk as the thick hollow stems and broad fan-like leaves lent themselves to a variety of games?

Note: If you think its TRUE for a moment, do not even think about it; most of the students get it wrong. Most of the times these kinds of Paraphrase questions will be asked in IELTS to trap students. Remember when you see this type it is Not Given!

Strong Words

2.     If the question contains “should, must, swear, pledge, resolve, etc…” these kind of strong words

  • Not Given
    • Examples:

In question,

Organizations should be legally bound to institutionalize day dreaming processes.

Most children must be given space to day dream.

  (Note: there is nothing in IELTS world which is sure. When you read the articles in the IELTS test you will find that 80 % of the time they use uncertain words that are: may, might, seems to, can, could, etc).

 Range of Numbers

3.     If the article gives range of numbers but the question is a specific number which is in that given range

  • NOT GIVEN
    • Example:

In article,

The Indian revolution started from 1942 to 1947, and India finally got independence in 1947.

In the question,

The Indian revolution started 1942, and India finally got independence in 1947.

Note: Pay attention to point 4 and 5 these are tricky!

4.     If the number in the question is over the given range of numbers in the article

  • FALSE
    • Example:

In article,

The Indian revolution started from 1942 to 1947, and India finally got independence in 1947.

In the question,

The Indian revolution started from 1942 to 1947, and India finally got independence in 1948.

5.     If the number in the article is over the given range of numbers in the question

  • NOT GIVEN
    • Example:

In the article,

In his recent published book, Flora Britannica (1998), Richard Mabey devotes a whole chapter to garden escapes.

In the question,

The Flora Britannica (1998) by Richard Mabey is devoted to garden plants.

  • Example:

In the article,

The Indian revolution started in 1942, and India finally got independence in 1947.

In the question,

The Indian revolution started from 1942 to 1947, and India finally got independence in 1947.

Note: In the article it is just one chapter in the Britannica but in question it is the whole book, so the article is just focusing on a one chapter and the question is mentioning the whole Britannica. In second example, you can see that, article is just giving a number, while the question mentions the range of numbers.

If in article and question there is only a single number which is mentioned, locate the information first and then just find the number from the article.

6.     If the numbers and information is same

  • TRUE
    • Example:

In the article,

Flora Britannica (1998) was published by Richard Mabey and the writer devotes a whole chapter to garden escapes.

In the question,

Flora Britannica was published by Richard Mabey in 1998 and writer devotes a whole chapter to garden escapes.

7.     If the numbers and information is different,

  • FALSE
    • Example:

In the article,

Flora Britannica (1998) was published by Richard Mabey and the writer devotes a whole chapter to garden escapes.

In the question,

Flora Britannica was published by Richard Mabey in 1997 and writer devotes a whole chapter to garden escapes.

Irrelevant Questions

8.     The information in the question never appeared in the article,

  • NOT GIVEN
    • Example:

In the question,

Of the three pieces of Hesse’s work described, the first is the writer’s favorite.

In the article,

The article did not mention anything about “writer’s favorite work“ anywhere.

Conditional Question

Note: These questions are 80% False

9.     If there are A and B two set of information in the article, but the question only mention A OR B,

  • FALSE
    • Example:

In the article,

Deforestation and fumes from vehicles may lead to environmental imbalance and can cause disaster.

In the question,

Deforestation or fumes from vehicles may lead to environmental imbalance and can cause disaster. (Pay attention to this point, it’s very tricky)

  • Example:

In the article,

Weeds can be removed by hand and without the use of herbicides, in order to encourage bio-diversity.

In the question,

Weeds can be removed by hand or without the use of herbicides, in order to encourage bio-diversity

 10. If in the article A appears with a restricted terms, but the question only mention A without that term,

  • FALSE
    • Example:

In the article,

Weeds can be removed by hand and without the use of herbicides only when bio-diversity is needed.

In the question,

Weeds can be removed by hand and without the use of herbicides.

Note: Question did not mentioned the restricted term “only when bio-diversity is needed”

11. In the article, the sentence is A + some conditions that is (unless or if or provided or but or for or except… etc statement) than or that of B, but in the question only A no subordinate clause B,

  • FALSE
    • Example:

In the article,

When American economy is compared with Japanese economy, we find similar consumer behavior, provided the market is global.

In the question,

American economy is similar to Japanese economy in terms of consumer behavior.

 Tricky Questions

12. In the article using possibility words “odd, opportunity, chances, many believe, possible, likely, probable, seems, appear to,   one theory is…. etc”

But question changes to certain words “convinced, fact, definitely, invariably, absolutely, universally, accepted, well-documented, unanimously, perceived, acknowledged, all of theories…..etc”

  • FALSE
    • Example:

In the article,

Many believe that percentages of people who are involved in accidents are found to be under the influence of alcohol.

In the question,

Percentages of people who are involved in accidents are found to be under the influence of alcohol had been well documented.

13. In the article appearing “different, various, varied, versatile, a wide variety of , diversified….etc, but in question “only, unique, sole…..etc”

  • FALSE
    • Example:

In the article,

Researchers at Bell college of Technology selected different varieties of deeper-burrowing earthworm species for mineral content improvement.

In the question,

Researchers at Bell college of Technology selected unique variety of deeper-burrowing earthworm specie for mineral content improvement.

14. In the article “somewhat, somehow, someone…all”, but in question “common, usual, normal, typical, etc”.

  • FALSE
    • Example

In the article,

The main town in the region called Southhampton, somehow is the hub of UK ports.

In the question,

The main town in the region called Southhampton, is a typical hub of UK ports.

 Present – Past Questions

15. The article uses subjunctive , but the question changes to reality or a fact (would/may+ happen in article — changed to happened in question)

  • NOT GIVEN
    • Example

In the article,

There may be little room for further development in residential accommodation of the Waterside.

In the question,

There is a little room for further development in residential accommodation of the Waterside.

 Possibility Questions

16. There are some possibilities in the articles (not necessarily)

But question just give one of those possibilities or situation

(A, B and C leads to pollution in article— – pollution caused by A in question)

  • NOT GIVEN
    • Example

In the article,

Google, yahoo and MSN lead us to the way to information age.

In the question,

The way to information age is led by Yahoo.

Note: In article three companies; Google,  yahoo and MSN are mentioned but in question, only yahoo is mentioned

17. All the circumstances in the article appear in the question, but the extent, emotion and scope are different

  • NOT GIVEN
    • Example

In the article,

It’s good that some day-dreamers survive the process of conformity.

In the question,

It’s good that tomorrow day-dreamers survive the process of conformity

  • Example

In the article,

A reasonable thesis statement is a declarative sentence that contains no qualifiers.

In the question,

An exceptional thesis statement is a declarative sentence that contains no qualifiers.

{Note: Extent means, the strength in the words, the emotions used in the words, or the range used in the information. Also, note that second case shows the example of emotion. You can clearly observe the difference between reasonable (it’s not very good) and exceptional (it is brilliant)}

 Conclusion Questions

18. The question doesn’t give enough information to make a conclusion

  • NOT GIVEN

19. The question is a conclusion, but cant be made by the given information in the article

  • NOT GIVEN

Finding answer by adding – Not

Add NOT in the question

20. After adding NOT: if same with article

  • FALSE
    • Example:

In the article,

The main town in the region called Southhampton is not the hub of UK ports.

In the question,

The main town in the region called Southhampton is (not) the hub of UK ports.

Finding answer by adding-Not

21. After adding NOT : If differ with the article

  • TRUE
    • Example:

In the article,

The main town in the region called Southhampton is the hub of UK ports.

In the question,

The main town in the region called Southhampton is (not) the hub of UK ports.

 Finding answer by adding-Not

22. After adding NOT : Still can’t make conclusion

  • NOT GIVEN

 Turning Point Words

  • “But, however, yet, in fact, on the contrary, whereas, on the other hand, conversely, although, while, albeit, nevertheless, despite, inspite of, even if”

Note: Always read the sentence which follows your sentence in which you are looking for answers. If in next sentence you see, However or Yet these kind of words, then it means that the answer you thought for sentence is opposite 75% of the times

Reasons and Results

  • “Lead to, cause, pose, contribute to, result in, affect, influence, effect, impact, bring about, incur, create, trigger, because, in that, so, therefore, consequently, since, hence, thus”.

39 thoughts on “IELTS Reading Tips for True, False and NotGiven

  1. really awesome tips to improve my reading skill………….thanks sir…..little bit confuse about some questions but i think by doing practice it may omit………

  2. Plz Nitin can you make your book as book so it is easy to get directly from the website after payment . Thanks

  3. Hello Nitin,

    I am planning to get the IELTS this coming July and your article is very informative. Thanks for sharing. But I will not deny that some of these are really confusing

  4. Hello Nitin can you make your book as e-book so that we can download straight away after the payment. I tried to buy your book but it says nearly more than a month to deliver as I have ielts within 2 weeks period. Also, it cost me more than a book just to deliver. waiting for your reply. Thanks

  5. its informative but little bit confuzing too…hopefully after some practice it ll be more clear..kindly discuss rest types of question..great work looking more

  6. Hi, Its an excellent tips for true ,false and not given but could u please more specific about your 18,19,20,21 tips of true -false ? I did not understand that last 4 tips??? please explain….

    Thanks for your good work

  7. Though i have doubt in example relating to reasonable and exceptional. in my opinion it should be false as two opposite words are there….

  8. Thanx a lot.. really useful examples. i am appearing tomorrow now lil bit confident abt true/false/NG.

    Thanx

  9. dear Nitin ,
    i am confused about this ..

    15. The article uses subjunctive , but the question changes to reality or a fact (would/may+ happen in article — changed to happened in question)
    Ø NOT GIVEN
    Ø Example
    In the article,
    There may be little room for further development in residential accommodation of the Waterside.
    In the question,
    There is a little room for further development in residential accommodation of the Waterside.

    WHY is it NOT given WHy cant it be FALSE . thanks

  10. hi nithin can u suggest the same tips for other short answer questions and list table A B C D type questions?

  11. Well. It is indeed confusing to compare NG and F questions. The best way, I think, is just to memorize the tips in which Nitin has written to us. Well done, thanks.

  12. dhara: You should read the first paragraph to understand what the whole text is about. Then, read only the first and the last sentence of each paragraph and match with the question. It works for me 80% of cases. If you are still unsure, read/skim the whole paragraph.

    tips: first and last sentence, elimination

  13. Hi nitin, thanks for posting important tips for true/false/not given questions. But i would like to ask why
    in the example with a strong word ” Must be ” in question number 18. The answer is TRUE and it’s not Not Given…Is this an exception when the paragraph in the sentence contains mandatory and the question has a must?

    Thanks,
    Eugene

  14. Interesting tips! Could you offer more tips for Reading, for instance about exercises such as “Complete the text with words”? Thank you

  15. Hi Nitin these is too confution and treaky but i have learn something from this i will try and score band 6.5 on 27th oct 2012 i promise you, THANKS.

  16. well its helpful but i think u should have used little complex words rather than “thick hollow stems and broad fan-like” which r extreme complex and out of the range of an average english learner. but its still very useful despite all above language because i used a translater . 🙂

  17. above information is really helpful to me can you explain some more tips regarding reading. i m finding deficulties in this task……… my exam is on 15 sept plzzzzzzzzz reply me swiftly…. thank uuuuuuuuu

  18. It is neither True nor false. It is not matching with the given info because the info is specific where the question is interogative ( non specific). It is not FALSE because it has no opposite meaning– Aren’t children happy. Therefore, It can not be FALSE.

    Final decision is NOT GIVEN. When a question does not match TRUE or FALSE, it is called NOT GIVEN. This is the key to NOT given.

    Tip: Elimination skill.

  19. Could you explain more about with Reasons and Result sentence, which kind of choice is the best?
    And thanks so much for sharing 😀

  20. Hi Roy,

    I know it is confusing, but think about it.

    In the paragraph it says “Children are happy”

    And question says “Are children happy?”

    So the paragraph mentions a statement and the question section is putting a question.

    If the paragraph says something like “Are children happy? Yes they are”, then it is true.
    Or if question repeats the same words as paragraph i.e. Children are happy, then it is also true.
    But if they have changed a statement to a question it cannot be concluded and hence Not Given. 80% of the times it is NG.

  21. Could you explain why is the first example is “Not Given”? It doesn’t make sense, for example:

    T: Children are happy.
    Q: Are children happy?

    and answer is clearly yes, they are..?

  22. Its great resources i hope it helps. im going to attend my IELTS class in two weeks. Thank you IELTS88.com

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