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  • Hi!

  • I’m Martin.

  • Welcome to Oxford Online English!

  • In this lesson, youre going to learn how to complete true/false/not given, and yes/no/not

  • given questions in the IELTS reading exam.

  • But what is the difference between these two types of question?

  • True/false/not given questions ask you about facts.

  • Yes/no/not given questions can include facts or the writer’s opinion.

  • However, you can think about these two kinds of question in exactly the same way.

  • But, please check what type of question youre answering.

  • If you write the answeryesin a ‘true, false, not givenquestion, the answer is

  • obviously not correct.

  • This is mistake is easier to make than you might imagine.

  • Let’s have a look at some techniques you can use to answer true/false/not given questions

  • in your IELTS reading exam.

  • Part One: how to find the relevant part of the text.

  • Before you can answer the question, you need to find the right part of the text.

  • First, remember that the questions follow the text.

  • That means that for the first question, you should start looking near the beginning of

  • the text.

  • Now, let’s do an example.

  • Imagine that you see this question:

  • "Zander cannot live in salt water."

  • Probably, your first thought is, “What’s a zander?”

  • Perfectly reasonable.

  • I had to look it up, too!

  • However, you know that the zander is something which can (or can’t) live in salt water.

  • What lives in water?

  • Many things, but we know the zander must be some kind of animal or plant which lives in

  • water.

  • So, look for words in the text related to fish or sea life.

  • You can also look for the word 'zander', obviously.

  • Also, the question mentions salt water.

  • Where do you find salt water?

  • In the sea, right?

  • So, look for words like sea, ocean etc.

  • What’s the opposite of salt water?

  • It’s fresh water.

  • Where do you find fresh water?

  • Mostly in rivers and lakes.

  • If the answer istrue’, and zander cannot live in salt water, then they must live in

  • fresh water.

  • This means you should also look for references to fresh water in the text, so look for words

  • like river or lake.

  • Let’s do one more example.

  • You see this question:

  • "Before 1900, there were no zander in the UK."

  • What should you look for in the text?

  • Look for dates or time references.

  • The question mentions 1900, so you could look for time expressions like 19th century, 20th

  • century, turn of the century, and so on.

  • You could also look for references to the UK or parts of the UK.

  • This means you should look for words like Britain, England, Scotland, etc.

  • Use these techniques to find the section in the text which will let you answer the question.

  • Okay, so now youve found the relevant part of the text.

  • What next?

  • Part two: finding key ideas in the text.

  • Take a look at this extract from a text.

  • "The zander is a type of fish, thought originally to be from Western Europe.

  • Zander were introduced into the UK in the late 20th century, and now can be found in

  • many rivers and freshwater lakes around the UK.

  • Scientists claim that zander have harmed many native English fish species since their introduction."

  • Pause the video if you want extra time to read it.

  • What should you focus on here?

  • Here are a few things to look for and think about:

  • First, look for time and date references.

  • The statement says 'late 20th century'.

  • What does that mean?

  • 1990?

  • Is 2000 late 20th century?

  • When does late start?

  • Is 1970 late 20th century?

  • Secondly, look for expressions of quantity like 'all', 'many', 'some', 'most', and so

  • on.

  • Here, the text says 'many rivers and freshwater lakes'.

  • Does that mean all zander live in rivers?

  • Does it tell you whether zander are more common in rivers or lakes?

  • Thirdly, look for specific details and facts.

  • What do you know for sure after reading this text?

  • You know that the zander is a fish, and that there weren’t any zander in the UK before

  • 1950 (because they were introduced).

  • You know that zander live in rivers and freshwater lakes in the UK.

  • Those are the only facts in the text, so they're the only things you can be sure about.

  • To do well with IELTS true/false/not given questions, you need to separate fact from

  • speculation.

  • Finally, look for expressions of uncertainty.

  • This is the opposite of the point we just mentioned.

  • Look for modal verbs like 'could', 'might' or 'must'.

  • Look for expressions which indicate uncertainty, for example 'it is thought that…' or 'many

  • experts believe that…'

  • For example, the text says that zander are thought to be from Western Europe.

  • Does that mean they are definitely from Western Europe, or is it uncertain?

  • The text says that scientists claim that zander have harmed many native English fish species.

  • From this, can you say for sure that zander have damaged English wildlife?

  • Of course, the exact points you consider depend on the question youre trying to answer.

  • However, it’s good practice to think about these different things when youre preparing

  • for your IELTS reading test.

  • To get a high score, you need really good attention to detail.

  • Part three: how to answer true/false/not given questions.

  • Let’s do a few questions together to practise.

  • First I’m going to give you the statement which you need to read, then I’ll give you

  • the part of the text where you would find the answer.

  • All you have to do is decide if the statement is true, false, or not given.

  • Here’s your first statement.

  • Read it and think about what you could be looking for.

  • "Bananas became popular as soon as they were brought to Europe."

  • Here is the text:

  • "After their introduction to Europe bananas were an immediate sensation and became a staple

  • in many people’s diets."

  • So, what do you think?

  • Is the statement true, false or not given?

  • It’s true.

  • The text says 'immediate sensation' and the statement says that 'bananas were popular

  • as soon as they were brought to Europe'.

  • These are exactly the same thing.

  • Even if you don’t know the exact meaning of 'sensation' or 'staple', you could still

  • could still make a good guess based on:

  • 1.

  • The link between 'as soon as' and 'immediate'.

  • 2.

  • 'Many people’s diets'.

  • Even if you don’t know what 'staple' means, you can hopefully work out that many people

  • were eating bananas.

  • That allows you to say that bananas were popular.

  • Let’s do one more.

  • Here’s the statement:

  • "Capsaicin can irreversibly damage the mouth."

  • And here’s the relevant sentence from the text.

  • "Capsaicin, found in chili peppers, causes temporary irritation of the cells in the mouth."

  • Do you know what capsaicin is?

  • Does it matter?

  • Not really.

  • Even if you have no idea what capsaicin is, you can still be sure that this one is false.

  • How can you be sure?

  • If something is irreversibly damaged, then it’s permanent; the text says it is only

  • temporary irritation.

  • Therefore, it has to be false.

  • Let’s do another one.

  • Here’s the statement:

  • "Bananas can be part of a parrot's diet.

  • "

  • And here’s the text:

  • "Parrots must compete with larger animals, such as monkeys, for the available food, and

  • especially fruit.

  • Larger fruits, such as bananas, are mostly consumed by monkeys, who can reach them easily

  • by climbing."

  • What do you think?

  • The text doesn’t say that parrots eat bananas, but the statement includes the word 'can'.

  • Is there anything in the text which tells us that it’s possible for parrots to eat

  • bananas?

  • No, there isn’t.

  • We know that parrots eat fruit, and that bananas are mostly consumed by monkeys.

  • The text suggests strongly that parrots can eat bananas, but it doesn’t directly say

  • so.

  • So, the answer isnot given’.

  • Be careful with questions like these.

  • It’s natural to read something like this and guess that parrots can eat bananas.

  • It’s reasonable to guessthe text does suggest this.

  • However, your answers must be based on what the text says or doesn’t say.

  • Part four: how to answer yes/no/not given questions.

  • So, youve seen how to answer some true/false/not given questions.

  • Now well look at some yes/no/not given questions.

  • Remember, you can approach these in the same way.

  • The only difference is that yes/no/not given questions may also include the writer’s

  • opinions.

  • Here’s a text.

  • Pause the video to read it if you need extra time.