Your IELTS Guide: True, False, Not Given Questions – Part 2

Your IELTS Guide: True, False, Not Given Questions – Part 2


In part 1 of this series, we looked at the purpose and structure of “True, False, Not Given” Questions, as well as explored the difference between “Yes, No, Not Given” and “True, False, Not Given.” In case you missed the post, click here

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at each answer type then explore a unique technique that can help you complete these questions faster. Here we go!  

True/Yes Answers

“True” means that the statement matches the reading passage. “Yes” means that the statement agrees with the reading passage. 

To be considered true or yes, a statement must meet two criteria. 

  1. The information in the question must appear in the reading passage.
  2. Accuracy: the statement must be true or in agreement with the reading passage.

False/No Answers

“False” means that the statement contradicts the reading passage. “No” means that the statement disagrees with the claim or opinion in the reading passage. 

Look for sentences or statements that contain qualifiers such as “usually, probably, possibly, or may.” If a sentence contains these kinds of words, it is highly likely that it will be false or no. 

Not Given Answers

Not given means that there is no way to determine if the statement is true or false.  

To be considered not given, a statement has to meet one of two criteria.

1. No information regarding the statement can be found in the reading passage.


2. The information in the passage cannot be used to determine if the statement is true or false.

Will studying paraphrasing make doing these questions easier? 

Yes! Studying paraphrasing techniques will help you identify sentences and phrases that have similar meaning. This, in turn, will help you determine if the statements match the reading passage.   

Essentially, there are four different techniques for paraphrasing that may be used.

1. Replacing words with synonyms

When most people think of paraphrasing, this is the first thing that comes to mind. This technique involves replacing a word with another word that has a similar meaning. For example, you might replace “old person” with “senior citizen.”  

2. Changing the parts of speech

This method involves changing the word form. That can mean changing a verb to a noun, an adjective to an adverb, or something else.  “The quick boy ran” can be changed to “The boy ran quickly” or “the running boy was quick.”

3. Changing sentence structure 

This involves changing the type of sentence used to express meaning. A common technique is to change an active voice sentence to passive voice, or vice versa. “The girl ate the chocolate” can be changed to “The chocolate was eaten by the girl.” 

Pay attention to passive voice in statements and reading passages. When passive voice is used, the subject may not be visible, as in “the chocolate was eaten.” This could mean that the test is trying to trick you, and the answer might be “not given.”

4. Reducing or adding clauses 

This involves splitting longer sentences into shorter ones or combining shorter sentences into longer ones. Compare the following: 

Multiple short sentences: The student opened the IELTS test book. Her hands were shaking and heart thumping. She prayed that the techniques she had learned on FCT’s blog would help her.  

A single long sentence: The student opened the IELTS test, her hands shaking with fear and heart thumping at a rapid pace, praying the techniques offered on Fleming College Toronto’s blog would have helped her get a great score.  

For some help with IELTS writing, check out our guide to academic writing task 1 or our guide to thesis statements


Read more blogs

Stress to Success: Managing Personal Challenges to Improve Academic Honesty

Learn about the complex reasons behind academic dishonesty.…

The Benefits of Studying Abroad

Find out how living abroad can change your life for the better.…

How to Have the Full College Experience: Student Clubs

Enjoy your college years and learn about the exciting possibilities of joining a student club.…

Back to top