Two quick tips for when you need to guess IELTS Reading true, false or not given questions
If you’re really stuck with a question in the IELTS Reading test, it’s important that you don’t spend too long thinking about your answer and that you take a guess instead. If you have to guess the answer to a TRUE, FALSE or NOT GIVEN question, here are two quick tips to give you a better chance of guessing right.
As you probably know, one type of IELTS Reading question is where you have to match headings to paragraphs or sections of a text.
You may not know that a common mistake in this type of question is to choose answers by matching words in the headings with words in the paragraphs without thinking about the main idea of each paragraph.
To show you what I mean, here’s an example from a text about seaweeds in the Academic Reading test from the Official IELTS Practice Materials (Volume 2).
Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below.
List of headings
i) The appearance and location of different seaweeds
ii) The nutritional value of seaweeds
iii) How seaweeds reproduce and grow
iv) How to make agar from seaweeds
v) The under-use of native seaweeds
vi) Seaweed species at risk of extinction
vii) Recipes for how to cook seaweeds
viii) The range of seaweed products
ix) Why seaweeds don’t sink or dry out
A common mistake in TRUE, FALSE, NOT GIVEN questions in the IELTS Reading test is to choose answers by matching words in the questions with words in the text without reading the relevant parts of the text carefully.
To show you what I mean, here’s a TRUE, FALSE, NOT GIVEN question from Section 3 of the General Training Reading test in the Official IELTS Practice Materials (Volume 2) and an extract from the text.
Do the following statements agree with the information in the text?
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information given
34. The average person can name thousands of smells.
35. Participants in smell tests at Hill Top Research are required to avoid using certain products.
36. Most perfumes are made from natural materials.
Extract for question 34: “The average person can detect at least 10,000 odours. Being able to identify those smells is another story. If blindfolded, most people can put a name (‘roses’, ‘fish’, ‘oak’) to fewer than a hundred scents.”
In this example, many candidates would read ‘the average person can detect at least 10,000 odours’ and choose TRUE. The correct answer, however, is FALSE because most people can ‘put a name to fewer than a hundred scents’. Read the full post »