IELTS – strategies for True/False/Not GivenMarch 17, 2008 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Reading Strategies | 4 Comments
Tags: IELTS, Reading, strategies
Here are some idea strategies for the TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN exercises, which I consider are a headache in IELTS reading.Be careful to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS in your booklet and write in your answer sheet TRUE instead of YES and so on.
Although the strategy is completely the same, you’ll be penalised if you didn’t write the correct word as your answer. Students generally find this type of exercise in the IELTS rather difficult. One reason is that they are used to doing True/ False exercises where the False covers False and Not Given. Then when they come to do True/ False/ Not Given, they cannot make the distinction between the three different types of contradiction and Not Given. It is therefore important that students are able to understand what False means in True/ False/ Not Given.
There are three types of contradictions:
• statements which are the opposite of the original text.
• statements which are the opposite of the original text, because they are negative.
• statements where the information is not the opposite or negative, but the information in the statement contradicts that given in the text. Look at the examples below relating to the text and exercises:
Example 1 There are plans to increase slightly the space for displaying art at the Uffizi. You can see that the statement is False, because a slight increase contradicts an increase of 100%.
Example 2 From the author’s point of view, the plan to increase the space for displaying art at the Uffizi gallery is not at all ambitious. You can see that the statement is False, because the negative contradicts the text, which says it is ambitious.
Example 3 A collection of pictures by Caravaggio now in a small room on the second floor will soon be transferred to larger premises on the first. You can see that the statement is False, because the text states that the paintings are by Caravaggio and his school not by Caravaggio alone.
Note that the statement is contrasting one basic piece of information [by Caravaggio], where the original text contains two [by Caravaggio and his school]. Compare this with: The Palazzo degli Uffizi was designed by Giorgio Vasari, who was an artist. The statement is checking one piece of information. It is easy for students to become confused here, because the text states that Vasari was an historian and an artist, but the statement here is only asking if he was an artist [not an artist only excluding the idea of his being an historian].
Strategies to help students tackle True/ False/ Not Given exercises
If we take the sentence in the example we can look at some basic ways to help yourselves understand what is being asked. Sentence There are plans to increase slightly the space for displaying art at the Uffizi.
• Turn the above statement into a question: Are there plans to increase slightly the space for displaying art at the Uffizi?
• Ask yourselves to say which words or phrases qualify the basic information in the statement: There are plans to increase the space for displaying art.
• Ask yourselves to say which word or words are most likely to carry the main stress in the statement: slightly. This helps to see what the focus of the statement.
• Ask yourselves to match the individual pieces of information to the text.
• Remember always to look from the statement to the text and not to analyse from the text to the statement. In True/ False exercises, the answer going both ways is the same, but with True/ False/ Not Given you may have a different answer!