True, False, Not Given

In this post, we will be looking at identifying information and the writer's views or claims, including true, false and not given and yes, no not given questions.

True, False, Not Given

In the IELTS Reading Test, common questions include true, false, not given. You will be asked to identify information in a text, then reading statements and deciding if they are true, false or not given.

When reading the text, you must concentrate and look for the following;

  • TRUE - this means that the statement agrees with the information in the text. 
  • FALSE - This means that the information disagrees with the information in the text.
  • NOT GIVEN - this means that the information is not present in the text - so you cannot say if it is either true or false.

For the answer to be true, it must agree and be true to the information given in the text. Any information that is not shown in the text would be not given


TEST QUESTION

In the IELTS test, the true, false, not given questions will look similar to the those below >>


Exercise 1

Read the text below (from the English History website) and decide if the statements are true, false or not given.

Mary, Queen of Scots was one of the most fascinating and controversial monarchs of 16th century Europe. At one time, she claimed the crowns of four nations – Scotland, France, England and Ireland. Her physical beauty and kind heart were acknowledged even by her enemies. Yet she lacked the political skills to rule successfully in Scotland. Her second marriage was unpopular and ended in murder and scandal; her third was even less popular and ended in forced abdication in favour of her infant son. She fled to England in 1568, hoping for the help of her cousin, Elizabeth I. Her presence was dangerous for the English queen, who feared Catholic plotting on Mary’s behalf. The two queens never met and Mary remained imprisoned for the next nineteen years. She was executed in 1587, only forty-four years old. By orders of the English government, all of her possessions were burned. In 1603, upon Elizabeth’s death, Mary’s son became king of England as James I.

  • True - if the statement agrees with the information
  • False - if the statement contradicts the information
  • Not Given - if there is no information present

10. Mary Queen of Scots was once the monarch of four different places.

11. Mary married her first husband Francis ii of France in 1558.

12. Mary and Queen Elizabeth 1st were good friends and met often.

13. After her death, Mary's son James 1st became the King of Scotland.

Answers at the bottom of the page.

TIP >> NOT GIVEN > The IELTS Reading Test is measuring your ability to be able to read a text and find information within it. Not about your general knowledge on the subject. If the information is not in the text - your answer would, therefore, be not given


Exercise 2

Read the text below (from the English History website) and decide if the statements are true, false or not given.

Henry’s first wife, Katharine of Aragon, was the youngest child of the ‘Catholic Kings’ of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella; she and Henry were married for over twenty years. His second wife, Anne Boleyn, was the daughter of an ambitious knight; she was executed after three years of marriage. His third wife, Jane Seymour, died after less than two years of marriage, having finally produced a son and heir for Henry. His fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, was divorced mere months after the wedding, for Henry found her unattractive and was already courting his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. Catherine was executed after less than two years of marriage and the king settled upon the twice-widowed Katharine Parr as his sixth wife. She outlived the mercurial king.

  • True - if the statement agrees with the information
  • False - if the statement contradicts the information
  • Not Given - if there is no information present

14. Henry's first wife Katharine of Aragon was the longest relationship he had with any of the wives.

15. Henry Viii favoured his second wife Anne Boleyn above all the others.

16.Henry Viii divorced Anne of Cleaves after a short time.

17. atherine Parr had two sons with Henry Viii before he died.

Answers at the bottom of the page.


Exercise 3

Read the text below (from the English History website) and decide if the statements are true, false or not given.

Elizabeth Tudor is considered by many to be the greatest monarch in English history. When she became queen in 1558, she was twenty-five years old, a survivor of scandal and danger, and considered illegitimate by most Europeans. She inherited a bankrupt nation, torn by religious discord, a weakened pawn between the great powers of France and Spain. She was only the third queen to rule England in her own right; the other two examples, her cousin Lady Jane Grey and half-sister Mary I, were disastrous. Even her supporters believed her position dangerous and uncertain. Her only hope, they counselled, was to marry quickly and lean upon her husband for support. But Elizabeth had other ideas.

She ruled alone for nearly half a century, lending her name to a glorious epoch in world history. She dazzled even her greatest enemies. Her sense of duty was admirable, though it came at a great personal cost. She was committed above all else to preserving English peace and stability; her genuine love for her subjects was legendary. Only a few years after her death in 1603, they lamented her passing. In her greatest speech to Parliament, she told them, ‘I count the glory of my crown that I have reigned with your love.’ And five centuries later, the worldwide love affair with Elizabeth Tudor continues.

‘Proud and haughty, as although she knows she was born of such a mother, she nevertheless does not consider herself to inferior degree to the Queen, whom she equals in self-esteem; nor does she believe herself less legitimate than her Majesty, alleging in her own favour that her mother would never cohabit with the King unless by way of marriage, with the authority of the Church….
She prides herself on her father and glories in him; everybody saying that she also resembles him more than the Queen does and he therefore always liked her and had her brought up in the same way as the Queen.’ the Venetian ambassador Giovanni Michiel describes Elizabeth; spring 1557.

Elizabeth Tudor was born on 7 September 1533 at Greenwich Palace. She was the daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Henry had defied the papacy and the Holy Roman Emperor to marry Anne, spurred on by love and the need for a legitimate male heir. And so Elizabeth’s birth was one of the most exciting political events in 16th-century European history; rarely had so much turmoil occurred on behalf of a mere infant. But the confident predictions of astrologers and physicians were wrong and the longed-for prince turned out to be a princess.

  • True - if the statement agrees with the information
  • False - if the statement contradicts the information
  • Not Given - if there is no information present

18. Queen Elizabeth 1st wanted to find a husband to share her royal responsibilities.

19. Queen Elizabeth 1st was loved by many.

20. Queen Elizabeth 1st was the only female heir to the throne.

21. Henry was determined to marry Anne Boleyn, driven by his affection and his longing for a son.

Answers at the bottom of the page.


What is the difference between true, false, not given and yes, no, not given questions?

There is a difference between the true, false, not given questions and the yes, no, not given questions.

The true, false, not given questions are asking you to look for information based on facts in the text.

The yes, no, not given questions are asking you to look for the writer's views or claims in the text.


Identifying The Writer's View or Claims

When the writer is giving their opinion, this is them expressing their view on a topic. If the writer presents something as a fact, then this is a claim. Therefore to find a claim or view in the text, you are required to read the text and use your own interpretation of it.

Not given still means that you cannot find any information in the text in relation to the statement.


Yes, No, Not Given

For these questions you will look at the following;

  • YES - if the statement agrees with the views or claims
  • NO - if the statement contradicts the views or claims
  • NOT GIVEN - it is impossible to say what the writer's views/claims are

TEST QUESTION

In the IELTS test, the yes, no, not given questions will look similar to the those below >>


Exercise 4

Read the text below (from the BBC English History website) and decide if the statements are yes, no or not given.

Viking Raids

Raids by seaborne Scandinavian pirates on sites in Britain, especially largely undefended monastic sites, began at the end of the eighth century AD.

By the end of the ninth century, there were large-scale settlements of Scandinavians in various parts of Britain, and they had achieved political domination over a significant territory.

Early in the 11th century, the king of Denmark became King of England as well. And in 1066 there were separate invasions by the king of Norway, Harald Hardrada, and Duke of Normandy, William, the latter the descendant of Scandinavian settlers in northern France.

Many monasteries in the north were destroyed, and with them any records of the raids.

Yet the most significant development of the period was an indirect result of Scandinavian involvement in the affairs of Britain - the emergence of two kingdoms of newly unified territories, England and Scotland.

In 793 AD, an anguished Alcuin of York wrote to the Higbald, the bishop of Lindisfarne and to Ethelred, King of Northumbria, bemoaning the unexpected attack on the monastery of Lindisfarne by Viking raiders, probably Norwegians sailing directly across the North Sea to Northumbria.

It is clear from the letter that Lindisfarne was not destroyed. Alcuin suggested that further attack might be averted by moral reform in the monastery.

Over the next few decades, many monasteries in the north were destroyed, and with them any records they might have kept of the raids. We know no historical details of the raids in Scotland, although they must have been extensive.

Iona was burnt in 802 AD, and 68 monks were killed in another raid in 806 AD. The remaining monks fled to Kells (County Meath, Ireland) with a gospel-book probably produced in Iona, but now known as the 'Book of Kells'.

Other monasteries in Scotland and northern England simply disappear from the record. Lindisfarne was abandoned, and the monks trailed around northern England with their greatest possession, the relics of St Cuthbert, until they found a home in Durham in 995 AD.

Skim the text and see if the statements below agree with the claims of the writer >>

  • YES - if the statement agrees with the views or claims
  • NO - if the statement contradicts the views or claims
  • NOT GIVEN - it is impossible to say what the writer's views/claims are

7. The most important part of that time was the evolution of two empires.

8. The fear that the Norwegians would cross the ocean and settle into the North of England.

9. The Vikings left with treasures including 'The Book of Kells'.

10. The Vikings ruined many places along the north coast in the UK including Bamburgh Castle. 

Answers at the bottom of the page.


Exercise 5

Read the text below (from the BBC English History website) and decide if the statements are yes, no or not given.

The Home Front

The concept of a 'Home Front' - when civilians are mobilised en masse to support the war effort during a conflict - dates from World War One, as far as the British are concerned. It was re-activated in 1938 during the Munich crisis when civilians were encouraged to enrol in Air Raid Precautions (ARP) or the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS).

Anticipating terror from the air

ARP was a reaction to the fear, shared throughout Europe in the 1930s, of the mass bombing of civilians from the air. In the 1930s, the government estimates calculated that 600,000 people would be killed and 1.2 million injured in air raids during a future war.

The evacuation had already been running for two days by the time war with Germany was announced on 3 September 1939. Throughout the war, three million people were moved beyond the reach of German bombers, in what became a fundamentally life-changing event for many. The internment of German and Austrian 'aliens' also commenced at the outbreak of war, and those considered high risks were interned immediately. Later, Italian aliens were 'rounded up' under Churchill's orders after Italy joined the war in June 1940.

'Doing your bit'

The nation's labour was once again mobilised, and to an even greater extent than World War One. Half a million women joined the uniformed services, and millions more worked in the factories and on the land. Both men (from 1939) and women (from 1941) were conscripted. Men were even conscripted into the coal mines - one in ten of those enlisted domestically.

Skim the text and see if the statements below agree with the claims of the writer >>

  • YES - if the statement agrees with the views or claims
  • NO - if the statement contradicts the views or claims
  • NOT GIVEN - it is impossible to say what the writer's views/claims are

11. Although many people were in the military services during World Wars 1 and 2 much more volunteered to help.

12. During the war, many people were displaced.

13. People from Italy were offered protection from the English government.

14. Women completed more roles during the war effort than men.

Answers at the bottom of the page.


REVIEW AND STRATEGY

The true, false, not given / yes, no, not given questions are common in the IELTS Reading Test, therefore you should practice and develop a strategy for answering. 

TIP >> Read the instructions before you start reading the questions or the text. Take note if the questions are true, false, not given or yes, no, not given. 

TIP >> Read the questions and the given text. For the yes, no, not given questions look out for keywords that suggest the writer is sharing their view or opinion, like; always, occasionally, some or claimed.

TIP >> Skim read the text and match the statement to the correct part of the text.

TIP >> Check that the statement exactly matches the meaning of the text if you are going to say it is true (or yes). If it does not it is false (or no). If there is no information - it is not given.

TIP >> Answers are in the same order as the text, work your way through them. If you are going over and over looking for something, then it is most likely 'not given'. Don't waste lots of time looking for something that is not there.  

TIP >> Be aware of synonyms and paraphrasing.


Answers >>

Exercise 1 Answers >>

10. True

11. Not Given

12. False

13. False

Exercise 2 Answers >>

14. True

15. Not Given

16. True

17. False

Exercise 3 Answers >>

18. False

19. True

20. Not Given

21. True

Exercise 4 Answers >>

7. Yes

8. Yes

9. No

10. Not Given

Exercise 5 Answers >>

11. Yes

12. Yes

13. No

14. Not Given


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