Two tips for guessing IELTS Reading TRUE, FALSE or NOT GIVEN questions
If you don’t know an answer to a question in the IELTS Reading test, it’s important you don’t spend too long thinking about it and 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 help you guess 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 heard or 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 previous IELTS Reading tests
In all 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’re 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’re confident that the first three answers are TRUE, TRUE and FALSE, then a good guess for the fourth answer would be NOT GIVEN.
Do you have any other tips for guessing answers to IELTS Reading questions?