This lesson explains how to answer True False Not Given questions for IELTS.
Firsly, you will be presented with a list of facts. You then have to look at the text in order to decide if the facts are true, false, or not given.
Below are some tips and strategies to help you answer this type of question.
Look at this statment, taken from the first sentence in the reading below:
Chiles originate in South America and have been eaten for at least 9,500 years.
Here are some example IELTS True False Not Given statements with answers:
Number one is clearly true. Notice the use of the synonym 'come from' used instead of 'originates'. It is common to use different words.
Two is clearly false as it was 9,500 years ago, not a few 100 years ago.
Three is not in the text. Be careful about making assumptions then thinking it is true. It is quite probable that South Americans began eating Chiles first as they originated there; however, you can't be sure of that and the text does not tell you that.
Now, read the following text and answer the questions to the right of the reading using the drop down menu to choose either True, False, or Not Given.
An explanation of the answers is provided below.
Do the following statements agree with the information in the text? Mark them:
True if the statement agrees with the text
False if the statement does not agree with the text
Not Given if there is no information about this in the text
Chilies originate in South America and have been eaten for at least 9,500 years. Organised cultivation began around 5,400 BC. Christopher Columbus was the first European to encounter chilies, when he landed on the island of Hispaniola in 1492. He thought it was a type of pepper and called it the “red pepper”, a name still used today. After their introduction to Europe they were an immediate sensation and were quickly incorporated into the diet. From there they spread to Africa, India and East Asia.
The reason for the chili’s “hotness” lies in a chemical called Capsaisin. Capsaisin causes temporary irritation to the trigeminal cells, which are the pain receptors in the mouth, nose and throat. After the pain messages are transmitted to the brain, endorphins, natural pain killers, are released and these not only kill the pain but give the chili eater a short lived natural high. Other side effects include: an increased heart rate, a running nose and increased salivation and sweating, which can have a cooling effect in hot climates.
The reason for the presence of Capsaisin is thought to be to deter animals from eating the fruit. Only mammals feel the burning effects; birds feel nothing. As birds are a better method of distributing the seeds, which pass intact through their guts, Capsaisin would seem to be a result of natural selection.
The smaller chilies tend to be the hottest. This may reflect the fact that they tend to grow closer to the ground and are therefore more vulnerable to animals. The heat of a chili is measured on the Scoville scale. The hottest types such as the Habenero and the Scotch Bonnet rate between 100,000 and 300,000, the world famous Tabasco sauceÒ rates at 15,000 to 30,000, about the same as the Thai prik khee nu, while the popular Jalapeno is between 5,000 and 15,000. Powdered chili is 500 to 1,000 and the mild capsicins and paprikas can range between 100 and 0.
Chilies became popular as soon as they were brought into Europe - True
After their introduction to Europe they were an immediate sensation and were quickly incorporated into the diet.
There two statements are clearly saying the same thing. Notice the use of synomyms:
Became popular = sensation
As soon as = immediately
Brought into = introduced
Capsaisin causes significant damage to the mouth. - False
Capsaisin causes temporary irritation the trigeminal cells.
This is false as the statement says 'significant damage'. This is not the same as a 'temporary irritation'.
Chilies can be part of a birds diet - True
Only mammals feel the burning effects; birds feel nothing. As birds are a better method of distributing the seeds, which pass intact through their guts
This is true as this section in the reading clearly tells us birds feel nothing (when they eat them) and they distribute them around when it leaves their body. So clearly chilies are eaten by birds. In other words, they can be a part of a birds diet.
All large chilies grow high off the ground - Not Given
The smaller chilies tend to be the hottest. This may reflect the fact that they tend to grow closer to the ground and are therefore more vulnerable to animals.
We are told here that small chilies grow closer to the ground. It can be assumed then that many of the large ones are higher off the ground.
However, it says 'all large chilies'. We are not given any information to say all of them grow high off the ground. It's possible some don't, so we don't know which means it is Not Given.
People breed chilies for their heat - Not Given
The heat of a chili is measured on the Scoville scale.
Again, this is Not Given. We are given some information about heat in this sentence and those that follow.
But these are just descriptions about how they are hot. We are not told specifically that this is the reason they are breeding them.
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