Reading Question Types Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

Try out a new interactive lesson experience! Go to our new Reading Practice | True, False, Not Given lesson.

For the old lesson, continue below.

In the IELTS reading test there are often true/false/not given questions. Below is an example.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text?

Write TRUE if a statement agrees with the information in the text.
Write FALSE if a statement disagrees with the information in the text.
Write NOT GIVEN if there is no information given about this in the text.

​​This type of task tests your understanding of the details of the text. 

​When doing this task, students often make these mistakes:

Common errors:
  • Some candidates struggle (find it difficult) to identify when information is not given. Always read the text very carefully when answering this type of detail question. Be aware that just because a word or phrase from the question statement is mentioned, it doesn’t necessarily make the statement true – the text and statement may disagree but use the same vocabulary. The exam will try and fool you by using similar vocabulary in the question statements and in the text to trick you into giving the wrong answer.

 

  • Some candidates answer based on their own knowledge of the topic rather than on what they read in the text. It is a reading test so all answers must be based on the information in the text.


​These are our tips to help you answer these questions. You should try them on the questions 1 – 8 later.
IELTSTutors Tips:
  • Step 1: Read the instructions carefully.
  • Step 2: Skim through all the statements to get an idea of the topics you will need to look for.
  • Step 3: Read the first statement again carefully. Underline the key words.
  • Step 4: Skim the passage to find the part which refers to the information in the statement.
  • Step 5: Read the part of the text relating to the statement very carefully. Compare it with the statement. Decide if the information in the statement is true, false or not given. If you cannot find any information that directly matches the statement, then it is not given. Base your answers on what you read in the text only, your personal knowledge of the topic area is not important here so don’t make assumptions about the information in the text.


​Let’s give these tips a go on some questions with an interactive exercise. The text is below the question set. The answer guide is at the bottom of the post.
Question 1-8
Are the following statements True, False or Not Given,

Select TRUE if a statement agrees with the information in the text.
Select FALSE if a statement disagrees with the information in the text.
Select NOT GIVEN if there is no information given about this in the text.

Answer True, False or Not Given

1. The largest mass balloon ascent ever occurred at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.
True
False
Not Given
2. If the meteorological situation is acceptable, then more than one mass launch of balloons can occur per day.
True
False
Not Given
3. A night glow event takes place on each evening of the festival.
True
False
Not Given
4. One company is responsible for all of the balloons at the festival.
True
False
Not Given
5. The festival benefits from being moved to an earlier time in the year.
True
False
Not Given
6. The decision to close the Clifton suspension bridge in 2003 was made by the local traffic police.
True
False
Not Given
7. Different kinds of events have been introduced at the festival in the recent years.
True
False
Not Given
8. Since 2013 the festival has broken records every year.
True
False
Not Given

​Our Answer Guide

Confused about some of these answers? Our answer guide can help. Only click them after you have tried all the questions.
1. The largest mass balloon ascent ever occurred at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.

This is not given, as the text in paragraph 1 mentions that 100 balloons may launch at the same time, but doesn’t say if this is the largest ever.
2. If the meteorological situation is acceptable, then more than one mass launch of balloons can occur per day.

True. A paraphrase of ‘if the meteorological situation is acceptable’ is ‘subject to weather conditions’. The text states that mass launches are made twice a day, subject to weather conditions.
3. A night glow event takes place on each evening of the festival.

This is false. We can see the key word ‘night glow’ in paragraph 3, however the text says that these events only happen on the opening Thursday night and Saturday night, not on each evening.
4. One company is responsible for all of the balloons at the festival.

This is also false, as paragraph 4 says that Cameron Balloons ‘make many of the special shaped balloons’. Notice that ‘many’ is not the same as ‘all’. The paragraph also states that other balloons come ‘from abroad’. 
5. The festival benefits from being moved to an earlier time in the year.

True. Paragraph 5 informs us that the festival was moved from September to ‘the start of August’ and that ‘this has had a great effect’. A ‘great effect’ here has the same meaning as ‘benefit’.
6. The decision to close the Clifton suspension bridge in 2003 was made by the local traffic police.

Not Given. This event is mentioned in paragraph 6, with the sentence ‘it was decided to close the bridge to all traffic…’ You might assume that traffic police decided this, but be careful, because it is not mentioned who made the decision – the answer is not given.
7. Different kinds of events have been introduced at the festival in the recent years.

Paragraph 7 tells us this is true, using the phrase ‘the event has diversified’.
8. Since 2013 the festival has broken records every year.

​Paragraph 8 tells us that a record was broken in 2013, and again ‘a year later’ in 2014, but has no information about 2015, 2016 and onwards – the answer is not given.

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Picture

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is held annually in England. Teams from the UK and other parts of the world bring their hot air balloons to the site and participate in mass ascents where as many as 100 balloons may launch at a time.

The event was first held in 1979 and is now one of the largest in Europe. It is common to have crowds of over 100,000 on each of the four days of the festival. It takes place in a large country estate Ashton Court. Mass launches are made twice a day, at 6am and 6pm, subject to weather conditions.

One popular attraction is the night glow, when balloons are inflated and glow to music after dark. These are held on the opening Thursday night at approximately 9:30pm, followed by a spectacular fireworks display. There is another night glow at the same time followed by the fireworks on the Saturday night. Some people see these as the highlight of the fiesta.

The balloon makers Cameron Balloons are near to the fiesta site, in Bedminster, and make many of the special shaped balloons, which have included Rupert the Bear, The Scottish Piper, Bertie Bassett, the Tesco Trolley, Stuart the Minion, and the BBC One Balloon. Many interestingly shaped balloons have also attended the fiesta from abroad, over the years a UFO and a beaver have travelled from the USA, a kiwi bird from New Zealand, and an upside down balloon from the Netherlands.

In the past, the fiesta used to be held in the second week of September, but due to cancellations of flights and the muddy ground because of bad weather, it has been moved in the start of August. This has had a great effect as more flights manage to fly; cancellations are now normally due to high winds.

In 2003, the weight of crowds returning from the Balloon Fiesta and Ashton Court festival put such a great strain on the Clifton Suspension Bridge that it was decided to close the bridge to all traffic, including pedestrians, during these events from 2004 onwards.

In recent years, the event has diversified to include small scale air displays, attracting the likes of The Blades, Typhoon display team and the Red Arrows.

On 10 August 2013 the festival broke a balloon fiesta record after 74 balloons landed in one field near the former Somerdale Factory in Keynsham. The record was then broken a year later, when 90 balloons again landed in the former Cadbury’s chocolate factory on 9 August.

“Bristol International Balloon Fiesta” wikipedia,
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_International_Balloon_Fiesta,  Accessed 14.8.2017

​How did you do with today’s True/False/Not Given reading questions? If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below.

Now let’s move on to Reading Practice 5!

For previous reading practice, have a look at these lessons:

Reading Practice 1
Reading Practice 2
Reading Practice 3