IELTS Reading strategies: True, False, Not Given


Hello. My name is Emma, and in today's video, we are going to be looking at the IELTS, that

scary test a lot of you have to do. We're going to look at, specifically, one type of

reading question for the academic reading. So this isn't for the general; it's for the

academic reading. We're going to talk about the question that has to do with "true, false,

or not given". So this is a specific question. It may or may not be on your test, but I think,

personally, this is one of the most difficult questions on the reading section of the IELTS.

So I'm going to give you some tips and strategies on how to do well on this section. Okay, so

let's get started. In this section, what you are going to find

is a reading passage. So you will have a long passage on maybe cybercrime, maybe food security,

on the history of the Internetit can be on anything. After the passage, there will

be some statements, some facts, okay? What you need to do is you need to say if the fact

matchesif it's true based on the reading, if it's false based on the reading, or if

the information is not given in the reading. So I will explain "true", "false", "not given"

in detail in just a minute. Okay. What else to know about the "true, false, or not given"?

Another important thing about this question is we're not talking about the question that

has to do with the writer's opinion. There's a very similar question on the IELTS that

asks about the writer's opinion. That's the "yes, no, not given". This is only on "true,

false, not given", not "yes, no, not given". Justhopefully, that will clear up any

confusion. Okay. So let's get started. What do they mean by "true" in these questions?

When would you write "true"? I will show you. You can write "true" or "T". "T" is shorter.

If there is a fact and it is clearly written, you write "T". If the fact is clearly written

in the reading, you would write "T". You'll often see synonyms, and, again, write "T"

only if you actually see this fact written. If you know the fact is true, but it's not

written, don't write "true". Only write "true" if, with your eyes, you read it, and you see

it in the fact. You see it in the reading; write "true". So I'll give you an example

of this type of question. Here is just a part of a passage. The reading

is a lot longer, but here is a short version that you might find on the IELTS. "This increase

in cybercrime has alarmed many experts." So it would be a long passage. You might see

something like that. And then, at the end of the reading, one of the statements you

might see might say, "Cyber crime is on the rise." You need to say if this is "true",

"false", or "not given". So how do you know if it's "true", "false", or "not given"?

My advice to you is first, read the statement: "Cyber crime is on the rise"; underline any

key words. "Cyber crime" — this is a keyword. "is on the 'rise'" — that's a keyword, okay?

Then you go back to the reading passage, and you quickly scan for these words or synonyms.

What are "synonyms"? "Synonyms" are words that mean the same thing but are different

words. So what is a synonym of "rise"? "Increase", "go up", okay? So let's see if we can find

"cyber crime" or "rise". So I would scan the passageoh, the word "increase", "cybercrime".

So "rise", "increase", okay. So I found a synonym. Now, it's important for me to read

very carefully to see if there are any contradictions. What does the sentence say? Does it really

match? "This increase in cyber crime has alarmed many experts." "Cyber crime is on the rise."

Both of theseboth the reading passage and the fact or the statement are saying cyber

crime is increasing. It's going up. So that would mean it's true. So I could write a "T"

beside this, "true". Okay. One thing to look out for with "true": Sometimes you will see

words like "some", "all", "only", "never", "usually", "often", "sometimes". Be careful

with these words, okay? Because if it says, "Some people in Canada like to eat poutine",

and you see the sentence saying, "Poutine is always eaten by Canadians", even though

you see the two wordsoh, "poutine", "poutine" — one says "always", one says "some". So

this would not be a true statement. So be on the lookout for "some", "all", "only",

"never", "usually". This is where they try to trick you on the IELTS. Okay. So now, let

us look at "false". What does it mean if you write "false"?

Okay. Now, let's talk about "false". What does it mean to be "false" in this section

of the IELTS? If you write "false" for the fact at the bottom after the reading passage,

it means you're saying the fact is opposite. So if you read the reading passage, you read

the fact, the fact says, "All cats are black." The reading passage says, "Not all cats are

black." That would obviously be "false", okay? So the fact is opposite. And, again, you have

to look out for words like "all" versus "some", "often" versus "always". This is how they

trick you. So if it says, "All children should eat broccoli" — if that's what the fact says.

In the reading passage, if it says, "Some children should eat broccoli", this would

be where you would write "false". So let's look at an example.

Let me go to this side so you can see better. "The first personal computer was invented

in the 1970s." So this is what it says in the reading passage. It's a long passage,

imagine, on personal computers, and you come to this section. Now, you look at the fact

afterwards. So you finish reading. Here is the fact. "Personal computers were first invented

in 1990." Is this true, false, or not given? Well, what would I do? First thing I would

doand also I should point out, it's not good to read the passage first. It's better,

in my opinion, to look at the fact at the bottom of the passage and then look for information

in the reading passage. This will save you some time. Now, let's do this how I would

do it if I was doing the IELTS. First, I would look at the statement: "Personal computers

were first invented in 1990." I would underline keywords. So we're looking at "personal computers";

we're looking at when they were "invented"; and we're looking at a year. Okay. So I might

try to think of different words for "invented" in my head quickly: "created", "manufactured"

maybe not true synonyms, but similarand "1990". So then, I would do my scan looking

for the keywords quickly. "Invented", something that looks like "invented". Okay, "personal

computer", "invented" — same word, that's easy — "1970s". Now, I look to see if there's

a match. I read this carefully, and I compare. "The first personal computer was invented

in the 1970s." "Personal computers were first invented in 1990." "1990", "1970s", this statement

is "false". So it says the opposite, okay? So now, let's look at the hardest choice,

"not given". Okay, so now, let's look at "not given" or

"NG". This is, I think, why many people have a very difficult time on this part of the

test. Usually, "truth" isn't so difficultfinding things that are true. But the difference

between "false" and "not given" can really confuse a lot of people. So let's look at

what they mean by "not given". Okay, so you write "not given" if the fact is not written

in the text, okay? So if it's not thereif it was written, it would be "true", so it's

not "true". And also, you do not see the total opposite of the fact written. If you see the

total opposite, it's "false". But if it's neither "true" nor "false", it's "not given".

All right? So let's look at an example to see what I mean by this.

Let me switch sides. Okay. So, again, you'll have a long reading passage, and this is just

a section of it. So, "Although once eradicated from Toronto, bed bugs have made a comeback

and are now considered one of the leading pests in the city." Okay? So the first thing

I would do is I wouldI wouldn't even bother reading the reading passage yet; I would go

straight to the question. So here's the question. So I look at the fact. The fact says, "Rats

are the most common nuisance Torontonians face." Okay. Now, I go back; I scan. Well,

first, let's underline "rats", "most common", "nuisance", and "Torontonians". So these are

the keywords. So I'm going to scan, scan, scan, scan. "Although once eradicated from

Torontookay, so I see the word 'Toronto' — bed bugs have made a comeback and are now

considered one of the leading pests in the city." Okay. So this talks about bed bugs.

This talks about rats. I don't see anything here about rats. Now, could this becould

this one be false? Because is it bed bugs are the most common pest that Torontonians

face? Well, if I read this, "bed bugs have made a comeback and are now considered one

of the leading pests." This does not mean that they are the most common. There could

be something that's more common than them. Maybe rats are the most common nuisance, okay?

So you've got to be careful with words like "one of the". "One of the leading pests",

"the most common". So if I look at this questionoh, the other thing I forgot to mention:

When you the check for synonyms, in this example, "pest" and "nuisance", these are synonyms.

So that helps lead me to this area. So in this case, I see nothing about rats being

the most common nuisance. It doesn't say, "Rats are the most common nuisance." It also

doesn't say they are not. So in this case, my answer would be "not given".

Now, there are some important things I want to go over just quickly. One of the things

I want to tell you is even if you read a statementokay, you read the passage, you read the

statementmaybe you study rats at university. Maybe you're an expert, and you know for a

fact rats are the most common nuisance Torontonians face. "This is 100 percent true. I know it."

If you don't see it in the reading passage, it doesn't matter if it is true or not, okay?

Even if you know it's true, if you don't see it, the answer is "not given", okay? So that's

very important. Another important point is don't spend too

much time on each fact because what can happen is maybe there's no information. Maybe it

is a "not given", but if you think "I've got to find it", "I've got to find it", "I've

got to find it", and you keep searching, you'll waste a lot of time, and the answer might

just be it's not there. So it's better to spend some time on it, just a little time,

and guess if you don't know. You can always put a star and go back after. So maybe, if

I didn't know this, I'd put a star; I'd move on to the next question, and then I'd take

a guess. So that's also a very important point. Okay, so I hope you come visit us at our website: There, you can practice a test which will hopefully help you prepare

for your IELTS. I hope you will feel more comfortable with this type of question after

practicing our test. So until next time.