ELT Blog

True, False, Not Given Unveiled: Top Tips and Hacks from IELTS Liz's Playbook!

IELTS Reading Tips
Embark on a journey to enhance your IELTS Reading skills with vital insights on True, False, Not Given (TFNG) questions. Explore invaluable strategies that extend to both TFNG and Yes, No, Not Given (YNNG) question types. The featured tips, techniques, and guidance are curated from the wealth of knowledge shared on IELTS Liz's YouTube blog, providing you with expert advice to navigate these challenging question formats successfully.

1) Analyze the Question Statement: Spend time reading and analyzing the question statement before attempting to find the answer. Understand the words and the meaning behind them.

  • Example: If the statement is "All students passed the exam," take time to analyze it. Recognize that "all" means 100%. This is crucial for understanding if the statement matches or contradicts the information in the passage.

2) Match Meaning, Not Just Keywords: Focus on matching the meaning rather than just finding keywords. Understanding the context is crucial for accurate answers.

  • Example: If the question is about "employment" and the passage discusses "job opportunities," understand that these are synonymous. It's not just about finding the exact word but understanding the meaning.

3) Consider Paraphrases: Be aware of paraphrasing. Look for different ways the same meaning might be expressed in the passage.

  • Example: If the question uses "expenditure" and the passage talks about "spending money," recognize that these terms are paraphrased and refer to the same concept.

4) Watch Out for Common Traps: Be cautious of common traps, such as comparisons (more/less) and words like "all" or "majority" that require specific matching.

  • Example:If the question uses "majority," and the passage says "some," be cautious. Majority implies more than 50%, which is not the same as "some."

5) Technique Applies to Yes/No Not Given: The technique used for 'true, false, not given' questions is the same for 'yes, no, not given' questions. The key is understanding the meaning in both cases.

  • Example: Whether it's a true/false or yes/no question, the technique involves comparing the statement to the passage content. The same rules apply to both types.

6) Answers Come in Order: Answers are arranged in the order of information in the passage. Pay attention to the order of questions, and remember that the next question's answer will come after the current one.

  • Example: If question 1 is about the introduction, question 2 may focus on the body, and question 3 on the conclusion. Knowing this order helps in navigating the passage efficiently.

7) Save Time by Keeping Track: Keep an eye on the next question while answering the current one. It helps save time and ensures you don't read too far ahead.

  • Example:If question 2 is 'not given,' don't read the entire passage. Remember that the answer is between question 1 and question 3, saving valuable time.

8) No Information in the Passage: 'Not given' means that there is no information in the passage related to the statement in the question. It's crucial to understand that 'not given' doesn't imply a lack of understanding but rather the absence of information in the provided text.

9) Understand the Meaning of False and No: Remember that 'false' and 'no' mean the information contradicts the statement, not just that there is no match.

  • Example: If the passage says "Some students passed the exam," and the question is "All students passed the exam," the answer is false, as it contradicts the information.

10) Write Correct Words on the Answer Sheet: If the question is 'true, false, not given,' write 'true,' 'false,' or 'not given' on your answer sheet, not 'yes' or 'no.'

  • Example: If the answer is 'false,' writing 'no' on the answer sheet would be incorrect. Always use the correct word provided in the question.

11) Clarity in Writing: While you can use abbreviations like 'T' for 'true,' it's safer to write the full word to ensure clarity.

  • Example: If the answer is 'true,' writing 'T' on the answer sheet is acceptable. However, for clarity, writing the full word 'true' is recommended.
The main difference between True/False/Not Given (TFNG) and Yes/No/Not Given (YNG) question types lies in the nature of the information being assessed.
True/False/Not Given (TFNG):

  • Focus: This question type assesses whether the information in the statement matches, contradicts, or is not found in the passage.

  • Type of Information: It deals with factual information presented in the passage. The statements are either true (matching the information), false (contradicting the information), or not given (the information is not found in the passage).

  • Usage: Typically used when the question is based on concrete facts, figures, or details presented in the text.

Yes/No/Not Given (YNG):

  • Focus: This question type assesses whether the writer's opinion or attitude aligns with, contradicts, or cannot be determined from the passage.

  • Type of Information: It focuses on the writer's opinion or attitude rather than concrete facts. The statements are either yes (agreeing with the writer's claims), no (opposite to the writer's claims), or not given (the writer's opinion is not expressed in the passage).

  • Usage: Used when the question is based on the author's viewpoint, opinions, or general claims, and the test taker needs to infer or deduce the writer's stance.

In summary, TFNG questions deal with concrete, factual information found in the passage, while YNG questions delve into the writer's opinions or attitudes, requiring test takers to read between the lines and infer the author's perspective. The distinction is crucial for understanding how to approach and answer each question type effectively during the IELTS reading test.
Source used: Liz, E. (2009). IELTS Reading Tips: True False Not Given. [online] www.youtube.com. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYl9PX7Ua_Q&t=241s [Accessed 26 Nov. 2023].
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