Hello, my name is Matthew. In this article we’re going to look at one type of question in the Reading Section of the IELTS test and we are going to look at IELTS examination reading strategies. Please note that this is not for the General IELTS Examination, but for the Academic IELTS Examination. We are going to look at the question that asks you to choose between three answers: True, False or Not Given. In the IELTS Reading Section you are going to see a long reading passage on a particular topic. After the passage there will be some factual statements; you need to decide whether the information in the factual statements is TrueFalse or Not Given.

Statements that are TRUE

TRUE means that the same information is clearly stated in the passage. If you see the information clearly written in the passage then you should write TRUE. Look for the same MEANING, not just the same words. This means that you will have to pay attention to paraphrasing and synonyms. Be careful, you might think the information is TRUE, but do not answer based on your knowledge and experience. If it is not clearly stated in the passage then it is not true. True means that the meaning is exactly the same. Not the words, the meaning. If it is just similar then then it is FALSE. For example, in the passage you might see words such as some, all, only, never, many and usually. Be very careful with questions containing these tricky and deceiving words. If you see a statement that says ‘All Australians enjoy sport.’, but in the reading passage it says ‘Many’ or ‘Most Australians enjoy sports’, then this statement is FALSE. This is an example of where they try to trick you in the IELTS Reading Section.

Statements that are FALSE

Now, let’s move on to FALSE. A statement is FALSE if the opposite is stated in the passage. For example, if the statement is ‘You mustn’t arrive at the event more than half an hour before your allocated start time’, but the text states ‘All participants are expected to arrive an hour before the given start time’, the answer is FALSE. It is also FALSE if the information is not accurate, as I mentioned earlier. For instance, if the statement says that ‘All Americans supported the civil rights movement in 1966’ and the information in the passage states than ‘Many Americans started to support the civil rights movement in 1966’, then this statement is FALSE. Once again be very careful of questions designed to trick you.

In my opinion, the best way to save time is to quickly skim the paragraphs to identify the main idea, then read the statements. As you read the statement, highlight key words and paraphrase it in your mind – this will help you better understand the statement and prepare you for identifying similar information in the passage. Then, go back to the passage and identify the relevant paragraph (this will be easy as you have already identified the main idea of each) then skim and scan to find the answer. This is a much better use of your time than reading the whole passage and then reading the questions and then going back to look for the answer. Reading word for word is one of the biggest mistakes IELTS candidates make. You are limited by time in the IELTS test so make sure you use your time wisely by using your reading skills and strategies effectively.

Statements that are Not Given

Finally, let’s look at the NOT GIVEN option. Finding information that is clearly stated is much easier than finding information that is FALSE, however many test-takers really struggle with the NOT GIVEN option. This is usually because they are not really sure what exactly NOT GIVEN means. NOT GIVEN means that there is no information about it in the text. Again, you need to be careful not to be tricked. There might be similar words in the text to those in the statement, but what do need to do is match the meaning, not key words. For example, if the statement says that ‘Australia is home to a variety of unique animals, including the koalakangaroo, emu, kookaburra and platypus’, but the statement says ’There are many koalas and kangaroos in Australia’, then the answer is NOT GIVEN. Remember, be careful about making assumptions then thinking it is true. The answer is not based on your own personal knowledge, but on what is stated in the passage.

So to summarize, if you see the statement clearly written then the answer is TRUE, if you see the opposite of the statement then the answer is FALSE. If it is neither true nor false, then it is NOT GIVEN. I wish you all the best with your IELTS preparation and if you require professional help contact English Today by phone on 021-7456296 or via e-mail matthew@english-today-jakarta.com

I hope that these IELTS examination reading strategies help and I wish you all the best with your IELTS preparation and if require professional help contact English Today by phone 021-7456296 or via e-mail matthew@english-today-jakarta.com

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