I have seen many candidates struggling to get answers of Yes/No/Not Given questions. They struggle due to lack of focus and clarity of the question. If they understand the question and use the divide and rule formula which I am going to elaborate in this article, then they will not find any problem while solving these questions.

Why is this problem faced by candidates?

The confusion in the mind of the candidate to take a decision between yes/no/not given is created by IELTS questions, which are created for the those who are accurate in their reading and understanding.

The confusion is caused by either vocabulary, lack of understanding of the question, finding the wrong sentence in the paragraph and not dividing the sentence into parts. Those who know the trick can solve it easily. Therefore, it is a piece of cake for those who learn how to solve these questions. Read this article carefully till the end as after reading this, you will never ever face such problem in solving this type of question.

The golden rule “divide and rule”

Whenever you see a true/false/not given question, divide the question into three parts.

a. Subject
b. Verbal
c. Rest of it

Let us see an example of a question.

“John Player invented Vernier Calliper in 1962 while an experiment in his lab.” (True/False/Not Given)

In the question above we can divide this question into three parts

Subject: John Player, Vernier Calliper
Verb: Invented Vernier Calliper in 1962,
Rest: while an experiment

Now here, the question is divided into 3 parts. Once this is done you have to go to the reading paragraphs and start looking for

a. Subject (here John Player or Vernier Calliper), Once its found, then start looking for the year in which it was invented

b. Invented? (Vernier Calliper/Football/Anything) in? (1962/1922/1700), When you are done with this check the last part, i.e was it really an experiment?

c. while what? (experiment/sports/dream)

The matching part which gives you the correct answer

Match all these 3 parts when you find any details about them in the reading paragraphs where you have already located your keywords. Now to answer whether it is true/false/not given, you will require to think the below three statements

a. If all the three parts (a,b,c) exactly matches to the paragraph details part, then the answer will be “Yes”.
b. If any of two parts (a,b,c) exactly matches to the paragraph details part, then the answer will be “No”.
c. If any one part (a,b,c) matches to the paragraph details part, then the answer will be “Not Given”.

But the answer in the passages is not given directly as it may contain synonyms and the answer may not be directly given in the paragraphs. For example, let us see these paragraph sentences where we located them with keywords,

“John Player was a renowned scholar of England. He used Vernier Calliper and invented large microns with it in 1962.”

Part a: Matched, Here we found both “John Player and Vernier Calliper”
Part b: Not matched as he used Vernier Calliper and not invented it.
Part c: Not Matched, as the word invented is not a synonym for the experiment

So we have the result a is matched, b is not matched, but c is also not matched. So as per the formula if only one match is there then the answer will be “Not Given”. But some students may get confused and write “No” instead of “Not Given”. But this formula will definitely save their precious band scores. If you continuously instill and apply this formula, you will never ever lose any score for these question. These are one of the simplest questions in IELTS reading if the formula mentioned above is used.

Let see the same example, if you find this in your paragraph

“John Player was a renowned scholar of England. He used Vernier Calliper to dry-run large microns with it in 1962.”

In this case

Part a: Matched, Here we found both “John Player and Vernier Calliper”
Part b: Not matched as he used Vernier Calliper and not invented it.
Part c: Matched, as the word dry-run is a synonym for an experiment.

So, in this case, we have the result a is matched, b is not matched, but c is matched. So as per the formula if two matches are there then the answer will be “No”.

Same example, but if you find this in your paragraph

“John Player a renowned scientist of England created Vernier Calliper for the first time after dry-run on large microns in 1962.”

In this case

Part a: Matched, Here we found both “John Player and Vernier Calliper”
Part b: Matched as he created (created for the first time means invented) Vernier Calliper.
Part c: Matched, as the word dry-run is a synonym for the experiment.

Here, all the three cases a,b,c matched and hence the answer will be a “Yes”.

Thus, I hope you like this article, as it gives a clear picture of solving true/false/not given questions. Please give your honest feedback and suggestions for this article.

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5 thoughts on “How to solve Yes/No/Not Given questions in IELTS Reading Module”

  1. hello,
    dear friend sometime there is mentioned subject but no verb in it like The identity of pupil. so how to find it.

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