True False Not Given: Useful technique

TFNG: Changing the statements into questions

True False Not Given and Yes No Not Given questions are some of the most challenging for IELTS candidates. However, there is a technique you can use to successfully answer these questions which is to change the statement into a question. Actually, the IELTS reading test is really about how good your vocabulary is, such as your ability to understand synonyms and your paraphrasing skills.

TFNG questions are based on factual statements in the text. The techniques are the same for Yes No Not Given questions but Yes, No, Not Given texts deal only with the writer’s opinions, not facts. To begin with, you need to be aware of what True False and Not Given really means.

In this lesson we will look at a text from the Cambridge IELTS 11 book, always use authentic Cambridge material when practicing.


What exactly does “True, False, Not Given”  mean?

True = The statement agrees with the information in the passage.
False = The statement contradicts or is opposite to the information in the passage.
Not Given = There is no information in the passage and there is no way to know.

If the information in the text is similar or close in meaning then it is not true, we are looking out for facts, not maybes or similarities. It is also important to know what Not Given means. If it is impossible to find the information in the area of the passage then it will be Not Given.


Tips and strategies for this type of question.

For an infographic with 6 steps to approaching TFNG questions click here to see it.

Another good technique is to change the statement to a question, see below.


Source: Cambridge IELTS 11 page 20


Change the statement into a question.

So starting with Question 8 you can change it from a statement to a question, but before doing that underline the keywords.

  • Question: Have methods for predicting the Earths population recently changed? 

 

ielts focus true false not given

Source: Cambridge IELTS 11

3 step approach.

  • First, skim the text to get a general idea of what it is about.
  • Next scan the text, this is important to find more specific detail, spot paraphrasing and find keywords.
  • Now read in detail in the area you believe the answer could be.

With TFNG questions the answers usually come in order in the text, so I have highlighted paragraph one.. I can see that there is no information about methods predicting the Earth’s population the answer is Not Given.

Not Given = There is no information in the passage and there is no way to know.

A common issue when in IELTS reading, especially for TFNG questions, is that people will start looking further on in the text for the answer but this wastes time. As I mentioned earlier, the answers ususally come in order in the text so if there is no way to know it will be Not Given.


Let’s try another one.

  • Question: Are humans responsible for some of the destruction of the land to produce food?

Now I will need to read in detail further down the first paragraph.


Source: Cambridge IELTS 11

Now I can see a figure: ‘over 80% of land that is suitable for raising crops is in use….some 15 % of that land has been laid waste by poor management practices’ So the answer is True.

The phrase ‘some of the destruction’ in the statement connects with 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices’

True = The statement agrees with the information in the passage.


You can try this one:

  • Question: Do the crops produced in vertical farms depend on the season?

IELTS Focus TFNG reading
Source: Cambridge IELTS 11

The answer is False because it says that the crops are grown in environmentally controlled conditions’, so they do not depend on the season.

False = The statement contradicts or is opposite to the information in the passage.


Free Reading test

Try this technique with a free online reading test here by IDP, this covers Yes No Not Given Questions.

Click here to download the free reading test PDF

Remember to change the statements to questions and check out the tips Click here for more strategies.


What if you don’t understand the words in the sentences?

In this case, you will need to develop your guessing meaning from context skills.. Click here to see a lesson on this.


Any Questions? Leave a comment below.