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.
Tip 1: Don’t guess the answer based on your own knowledge
If you think you know that an answer is true or false because you have read it somewhere else, you shouldn’t use this knowledge to answer the question.
To show you what I mean, here are two TRUE, FALSE or NOT GIVEN questions taken from a test in the book Cambridge IELTS 8:
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
29. Most New Zealanders believe it is good to teach children a second language
30. Chinese is the most common foreign language in New Zealand
If I had to guess the answers to these questions based on my own knowledge, I would answer TRUE for both. The answers in the test, however, are NOT GIVEN because the information isn’t stated directly in the text.
Tip 2: Guess the answer based on the answers in previous IELTS Reading tests
In all of the published versions of official IELTS Reading tests that I’ve looked at (both Academic and General Training), there’s almost always at least one answer that is true, one that is false and one that is not given in any set of TRUE, FALSE or NOT GIVEN questions.
What this means is that if you are confident with all of your answers except one, you should choose the answer that you haven’t used yet. If there are four questions, for example, and you are confident that the first three answers are TRUE, TRUE and FALSE, then it would be a good idea to choose NOT GIVEN for the fourth answer.
Of course, whether your guess is right or not depends on whether the answers that you are confident with are actually correct.
Have a good weekend,
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