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IELTS Reading: True/ False/ Not Given

Many candidates find the True/ False/ Not Given question one of the most challenging tasks in the Reading test. In fact, the biggest problem is the ‘Not Given’ option. Most candidates are not used to having this option and it confuses them a lot. They spend too much time making sure that it is ‘not given’ and this affects the rest of their test.

Lessons to learn: IELTS Reading tips and tricks

So, what are the key strategies when answering this question?

  • Read the instructions and all the statements carefully. Try to understand what the whole statement means, and do not focus only on key words.

  • Identify any words that qualify the statement, for example some, all, mainly, often, always and occasionally. These words are there to test if you have read the whole statement because they can change the meaning.

  • Don’t skim and scan the text to find the final answer. You will have to read the appropriate part of the text very carefully in order to understand what the writer means.

  • Try to think of what synonyms might be in the text. This will help you identify the matching part of the text.

  • The answers will be sequential with the passage. This means that the answer to the first question will come first in the passage, the second question after and the last one or two, near the end.

  • Do not spend a long time looking for the answer to one question; if you have no idea what the answer is, put ‘Not Given’. You probably have no idea because the answer is not there.

And finally:

  • Don’t assume anything based on your knowledge and experience. Read the text and find the answers there.

  • Don’t overthink your answer. You could start building long logical sequences that will lead you to the wrong answer.

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