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IELTS Reading True, False, Not Given Tips and Strategies

When it comes to IELTS Reading, mastering the True/False/Not Given question type is not only perplexing for many candidates but essential for achieving a high score in the exam. Understanding the intricacies of this question type, recognizing common challenges, and employing effective strategies and special tips are vital components of success. For those looking to master all aspects of IELTS Reading, our comprehensive eBooks provide step-by-step guidance, enabling candidates to answer each question type with 100% accuracy and confidence.

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IELTS Reading True / False / Not Given - Practice, Tips and Strategies

Understanding IELTS Reading True, False, Not Given Questions

Understanding the distinctions between True, False, and Not Given is paramount for answering these questions accurately. Misinterpretation can lead to incorrect answers, so careful reading and analysis are required. These questions test the candidate's ability to differentiate between factual information, contradictions, and absence of information.

Let’s explain each aspect of this question type:


This category is designated for statements that align with the information found in the text. If the statement mirrors what is explicitly mentioned, then it falls under 'True.' This doesn't necessarily mean a verbatim match, but the core meaning must agree with the text. For example,

  • Text: "Solar energy is a renewable resource."

  • Statement: "Solar energy can be replenished."

  • Answer: True


If a statement directly contradicts or opposes the information presented in the reading passage, it is categorized as 'False.' It's not simply a matter of missing information; the statement must directly conflict with the facts in the text. For example,

  • Text: "Cats are known for their independence."

  • Statement: "Cats are known for their dependency on human companionship." 

  • Answer: False

Not Given:

This option is used when the text neither confirms nor contradicts the statement. It might feel tempting to infer or assume a connection, but 'Not Given' should be selected only if the information related to the statement is entirely absent from the text. For example,

  • Text: "Apple Inc. was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne."

  • Statement: "Apple Inc.'s founders studied at the same university."

  • Answer: Not Given


Let's delve into a set of real test questions, sourced from the official book Cambridge IELTS -18.

To begin, carefully read the given specific section of the passage from which the True/False/Not Given questions are derived.

"Urban farming is not, of course, a new phenomenon. Inner-city agriculture is booming from Shanghai to Detroit and Tokyo to Bangkok. Strawberries are being grown in disused shipping containers, mushrooms in underground carparks. Aeroponic farming, he says, is ‘virtuous’. The equipment weighs little, can be installed on almost any flat surface and is cheap to buy: roughly 100 to 150 per square metre. It is cheap to run, too, consuming a tiny fraction of the electricity used by some techniques.

Produce grown this way typically sells at prices that, while generally higher than those of classic intensive agriculture, are lower than soil-based organic growers. There are limits to what farmers can grow this way, of course, and much of the produce is suited to the summer months. ‘Root vegetables we cannot do, at least not yet,’ he says. ‘Radishes are OK, but carrots, potatoes, that kind of thing- the roots are simply too long. Fruit trees are obviously not an option. And beans tend to take up a lot of space for not much return.’ Nevertheless, urban farming of the kind being practised in Paris is one part of a bigger and fast-changing picture that is bringing food production closer to our lives."

Questions 1-6

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage?

In boxes 1- 6 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE              if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE            if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN    if there is no information on this

  1. Urban farming can take place above or below ground.

  2. Some of the equipment used in aeroponic farming can be made by hand.

  3. Urban farming relies more on electricity than some other types of farming.

  4. Fruit and vegetables grown on an aeroponic urban farm are cheaper than traditionally grown organic produce.

  5. Most produce can be grown on an aeroponic urban farm at any time of the year.

  6. Beans take longer to grow on an urban farm than other vegetables.

First, take a moment to try completing these questions on your own; this hands-on approach will provide the best practice experience.

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Answers with Explanation

Let’s explain the correct answers for the True/False/Not Given questions related to the given text and discuss potential distractions or common mistakes that you might make.

  1. Urban farming can take place above or below ground. (True)

  • Explanation: The passage explains that urban farming occurs both above ground (on rooftops) and below ground (mushrooms in underground carparks). Thus, the statement is True.

  • Distractions: Some candidates might only read the details about rooftop farming and overlook the part about underground farming, leading to confusion.

  2. Some of the equipment used in aeroponic farming can be made by hand. (Not Given)

  • Explanation: There's no information in the passage regarding the equipment used in aeroponic farming being made by hand. So, the statement is Not Given.

  • Distractions: Mistaking the details about equipment being light and cheap as evidence of hand-making could lead to incorrect answers.

  3. Urban farming relies more on electricity than some other types of farming. (False)

  • Explanation: The passage states that aeroponic farming consumes a "tiny fraction of the electricity used by some techniques." Thus, the statement is False.

  • Distractions: Confusing the mention of electricity with reliance on more electricity might mislead candidates.

 4. Fruit and vegetables grown on an aeroponic urban farm are cheaper than traditionally grown organic produce. (True)

  • Explanation: The passage says that produce grown this way typically sells at prices lower than soil-based organic growers, so the statement is True.

  • Distractions: The mention of prices being generally higher than classic intensive agriculture could mislead some candidates.

 5. Most produce can be grown on an aeroponic urban farm at any time of the year. (False)

  • Explanation: The passage specifies that much of the produce is suited to the summer months, and certain vegetables cannot be grown this way, making the statement False.

  • Distractions: Overlooking the limitations of the aeroponic farming method might lead candidates to believe this statement is true.

 6. Beans take longer to grow on an urban farm than other vegetables. (Not Given)

  • Explanation: The passage does mention beans taking up a lot of space but doesn’t provide information about them taking longer to grow. So, the statement is Not Given.

  • Distractions: Misinterpreting the mention of space as a reference to time could confuse candidates.

These explanations clarify the correct answers and help understand the common pitfalls that might lead to mistakes. They serve as a detailed guide to mastering the True/False/Not Given question type in the IELTS Reading exam.


Remember, it's crucial to carefully read the text and pay attention to the specific wording of the statements to avoid misunderstandings or misinterpretations. If you wish to gain further insights, IELTS Luminary's Comprehensive eBooks provide step-by-step guidance, and our personalized essay feedback service offers tailored assistance to achieve a high band score in IELTS Writing.

Key Challenges in Answering IELTS Reading True, False, Not Given Questions

True/False/Not Given questions in the IELTS Reading section can pose several key challenges for you. These challenges may include:

 1. Understanding the Difference Between False and Not Given:

  • Challenge: Differentiating between a statement that contradicts the text (False) and a statement that has no information in the text (Not Given) can be tricky.

  • Solution: Careful reading and comprehension are essential. A False statement clearly conflicts with the text, while Not Given means the text neither confirms nor contradicts the statement.

 2. Identifying Specific Details in Long Passages:

  • Challenge: Locating specific information in a dense and lengthy passage can be time-consuming.

  • Solution: Skimming and scanning techniques can be employed to find relevant sections quickly. Practice with different types of texts to improve these skills.

 3. Misinterpreting Complex Language and Vocabulary:

  • Challenge: Complex language, synonyms, and paraphrasing can lead to misunderstanding the text.

  • Solution: Enhancing vocabulary and practicing reading various texts can improve comprehension skills. Focus on understanding the overall meaning rather than individual words.

 4. Falling for Distractors:

  • Challenge: Passages often contain information that may seem relevant but is intended to distract from the correct answer.

  • Solution: Critical thinking is key here. Candidates should closely analyze the statements and not be swayed by superficial similarities.

 5. Managing Time Effectively:

  • Challenge: Spending too much time on one question may not leave enough time for others.

  • Solution: Practicing under timed conditions can help candidates gauge how much time they should allocate to each question.

 6. Handling Stress and Anxiety:

  • Challenge: The pressure of the exam can lead to careless mistakes or overthinking simple questions.

  • Solution: Regular practice, relaxation techniques, and a well-structured exam strategy can alleviate stress.

 7. Overthinking the Questions:

  • Challenge: Some candidates might overanalyze the questions, leading them to second-guess their answers.

  • Solution: Trusting initial comprehension and not over-complicating the questions can help in arriving at the correct answer.

 8. General Reading Skills:

  • Challenge: Struggling with the overall reading comprehension may hinder performance in this specific question type.

  • Solution: Regular reading practice with various genres and topics can enhance general reading skills.

By understanding these challenges and working systematically to overcome them, candidates can improve their performance in the True/False/Not Given question type. IELTS Luminary offers in-depth long-form articles that guide visitors in everything they need for their IELTS preparation. Consider exploring the resources on this website for further insights and practice materials tailored to these challenges.

How to Answer IELTS Reading True, False, Not Given Questions

Answering True/False/Not Given questions in the IELTS Reading section can be a daunting task for many candidates. However, by following these effective tips and strategies, you can master this question type:

 1. Understand the Difference Between True, False, and Not Given:

  • True: The statement aligns with the information in the text.

  • False: The statement contradicts the information in the text.

  • Not Given: There is no information about the statement in the text.

Strategy: Focus on understanding these distinctions, so you don’t confuse them during the exam.

 2. Read the Questions First:

Strategy: By reading the questions first, you'll know what to look for in the passage. It helps in targeting specific information without wasting time.

 3. Use Skimming and Scanning Techniques:

Strategy: Skim the text to get a general idea of the content. Then scan for specific information related to the questions. This approach helps you locate answers quickly.

 4. Look for Keywords and Synonyms:

Strategy: Identify keywords in the questions and look for them or their synonyms in the text. This will guide you to the relevant part of the passage.

 5. Don’t Make Assumptions:

Strategy: Stick to the information given in the text. If the text doesn't provide information to support or contradict the statement, mark it as Not Given.

 6. Watch for Paraphrasing:

Strategy: The statements in the questions might be paraphrased in the text. Recognizing synonyms and rephrased sentences can help you find the correct answer.

 7. Beware of Distractors:

Strategy: Avoid getting tricked by information that may seem related but doesn’t directly address the statement in the question.

 8. Don’t Overthink:

Strategy: Avoid overanalyzing the questions. Focus on matching the statement with the information in the text.

 9. Use Elimination Method if Necessary:

Strategy: If you are unsure, try to eliminate what you know is incorrect. This might lead you to the right answer.

By incorporating these tips and strategies into your IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given question preparation, you'll be better positioned to achieve a high score. For more in-depth guidance, you can check our comprehensive eBooks on IELTS Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, Grammar, and Vocabulary. Overall, these  eBooks are specifically designed to help you get a complete IELTS preparation.

How to Prepare for IELTS Reading True, False,  Not Given Questions

Preparing for the IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given (T/F/NG) questions requires a targeted and methodical approach. Here's a comprehensive preparation plan that has proven to be effective:

1. Understand the T/F/NG Question Type

Familiarize yourself with the nature of these questions. Understand what True, False, and Not Given mean within the context of IELTS reading.

2. Start with Basics

Begin with simpler texts to get used to the structure and format of T/F/NG questions.

3. Develop Skimming and Scanning Skills

Practice skimming (reading quickly for the main idea) and scanning (searching for specific information) to improve your ability to find answers quickly.

4. Focus on Vocabulary and Paraphrasing

Build your vocabulary and understand how paraphrasing works, as synonyms and rephrased sentences are common in these questions. Tools: Vocabulary building apps, flashcards, thesaurus, paraphrasing exercises.

5. Work on Comprehension Skills

Read texts on a wide range of subjects to develop your comprehension skills. Focus on understanding both explicit and implicit meanings. Tools: Newspapers, magazines, academic texts, IELTS practice material.

6. Practice with Real IELTS Material

Gradually increase the difficulty level by working on actual IELTS T/F/NG questions from practice tests. Tools: Official IELTS practice tests, IELTS preparation books, online IELTS preparation platforms.

7. Analyze Your Mistakes

Review your errors, understand why you made them, and learn from them. Tools: Solutions and explanations in practice books, online forums, and online IELTS coaching.

8. Timed Practice

Simulate exam conditions by timing yourself as you answer T/F/NG questions. Tools: Timer, actual IELTS exam papers.

9. Utilize Online Resources

Make the best use of online resources that provide detailed free long-form articles, high scoring eBooks, and personalised essay correction services to help in preparation.

11. Consistent Review and Practice

Continue reviewing key strategies and practicing regularly leading up to the exam. Tools: Regular self-made quizzes, peer study groups.

12. Maintain a Positive Attitude

Stay positive, well-rested, and confident as you approach the exam. Tools: Mindfulness techniques, proper sleep and diet.

Navigating the True/False/Not Given questions in the IELTS Reading section doesn't have to be a daunting challenge. By embracing the comprehensive preparation plan outlined above, you can systematically build the required skills and confidence to tackle these questions effectively. Leveraging resources and continuous self-assessment, you can transform this seemingly intricate task into an achievable goal.


Remember, mastery in this area isn't just about rote learning; it's a cultivated skill that combines comprehension, critical thinking, and strategic reading. Approach your preparation with curiosity and determination, and success in this crucial part of the IELTS exam will be well within your reach.

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