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Whether you take the IELTS Academic or the IELTS General exam, the True/False/Not Given question is considered one of the most challenging question types on the IELTS Reading test. This article will help you get a high IELTS score in the IELTS Reading TFNG question with our helpful tips & strategies and IELTS Reading practice resources.

To help you master the IELTS Reading True / False / Not Given question:

  • Read this article, learn the tips & strategies and try doing the IELTS Reading TFNG sample practice question given below
  • Watch the IELTS Reading lesson video for more IELTS reading tips & strategies
  • Sign up for our IELTS course and do the online IELTS practice questions using what you have learned in this article.

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The IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given Question – Overview

The IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given question type has a standard format. You will be given a passage of text to read. The passage is followed by a list of questions. Each question is framed as a statement about the passage. You will be asked to choose whether the statement is True, False or, if there is insufficient information given in the passage, you should choose Not Given. The format of the question looks like this:

A text on a page

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A close-up of a paper

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The biggest challenge for many people is deciding whether a statement contains information that is NOT GIVEN. Some people waste valuable time re-reading the passage and searching for information that is not contained in the text, and some even begin to panic. To avoid this mistake and others, read the IELTS True / False / Not Given tips & strategies below.

Don’t Panic – Overcoming IELTS Reading TFNG ‘Brain Freeze’

The TFNG question is famous for triggering ‘brain freeze’ in the middle of the IELTS exam. Brain freeze is a sort of panic that sets in when you are under stress. You can manage brain freeze by preparing and practising before the exam and using stress management techniques if you feel your anxiety levels rise while you are in the exam.

If you prepare before test day, you acquire a toolkit of knowledge, skills and abilities that you will bring to the exam. Knowing that you are prepared, you can tell yourself ‘I got this, I’m prepared.’ Let’s look at some techniques to tap into your confidence to help you do your best in the test.

IELTS Reading Section Tips, Strategies and Sample Passage of Text and Questions

The format for all IELTS Reading question types is the same. You are given a large passage of text to read. Reading and absorbing the meaning of these texts can take up a lot of your time. To save time and organize your thoughts better, you should follow these three tips:

  • Tip 1 – Develop paraphrasing skills to help you absorb and interpret the meaning of a statement when reading the question and answer options.
  • Tip 2 – Use your analytical or critical thinking skills to ask yourself: What is going on in this paragraph? Then learn to separate the main idea from the supporting ideas and details.
  • Tip 3 – Where you can, use common sense and your background knowledge about a subject to make a logical deduction, or guess, about the meaning of an unknown word, message or idea in the passage.

To practice these tips, read this sample TFNG passage of text and questions:

The real story about koalas

Although bear-like, koalas are not bears. They are mammals, so feed their young milk. They are also marsupials, which means that their babies are born immature, and they develop further in the safety of a pouch. They are tree-dwelling, herbivorous marsupials, which average about 9kg in weight and live on gum leaves. Their fur is thick and usually ash grey with a tinge of brown in places. Koalas in the southern parts of Australia are considerably larger and have thicker fur than those in the north. This is thought to be an adaptation to keep them warm in the colder southern winters.

Younger breeding females usually give birth to one joey each year, depending on a range of factors. The joey stays in its mother’s pouch for about six or seven months, drinking only milk. After venturing out of the pouch, the joey rides on its mother’s abdomen or back, although it continues to return to her pouch for milk until it is too big to fit inside. The joey leaves its mother’s home range between one and three years old, depending on when the mother has her next joey.

Koalas are mostly nocturnal. They sleep for part of the night and also sometimes move about in the daytime. They often sleep for up to 18 to 20 hours each day. There is a myth that koalas sleep a lot because they ‘get drunk’ on gum leaves. However, most of their time is spent sleeping because it requires a lot of energy to digest their toxic, fibrous, low-nutrition diet and sleeping is the best way to conserve energy.

The koala gets its name from an ancient Aboriginal word meaning ‘no drink’ because it receives over 90% of its hydration from the eucalyptus leaves (also known as gum leaves) it eats, and only drinks when ill or when there is not enough moisture in the leaves, such as during droughts.


Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage? 

Choose: 

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

    1. Koalas are vegetarian. T / F / NG
    2. There are more koalas in the southern parts of Australia. T / F / NG
    3. Koalas may have one to three babies during their lifetime. T / F / NG
    4. Koalas are mainly awake at night. T / F / NG
    5. Koalas get drunk from gum leaves. T / F / NG
    6. Koalas do not normally drink water. T / F / NG

IELTS True/False/Not Given Reading Strategy

To answer TFNG questions in the IELTS Reading section, follow this four-step strategy:

Step 1 – Focus on the statement. For example, statement 1 reads: Koalas are vegetarian.

Step 2 – Identify keywords in the statement and interpret the meaning of the statement in relation to those key words. In this example, the keywords are ‘koalas’ and ‘vegetarian’.

Step 3 – Locate the area in the text that talks about this particular information. For example, the first paragraph says ‘They are tree-dwelling, herbivorous marsupials’.

Step 4 – Decide if it is saying: 

  • the same thing (True), 
  • a different thing (False), or 
  • is not mentioned or referred to at all (Not Given).

For statement 1, the answer is True because herbivorous = vegetarian.

Now, let’s try this strategy with the rest of the IELTS True/False/Not Given statements below. The relevant information has been located and highlighted for you, to help you follow this four-step strategy.

Practise Your IELTS True/False/Not Given Question Type – TFNG Sample Question and Answers

The real story about koalas

[Q1 & 2] Although bear-like, koalas are not bears. They are mammals, so feed their young milk. They are also marsupials, which means that their babies are born immature and they develop further in the safety of a pouch. They are tree-dwelling, herbivorous marsupials, which average about 9kg in weight and live on gum leaves. Their fur is thick and usually ash grey with a tinge of brown in places. Koalas in the southern parts of Australia are considerably larger and have thicker fur than those in the north. This is thought to be an adaptation to keep them warm in the colder southern winters.

[Q3] Younger breeding females usually give birth to one joey each year, depending on a range of factors. The joey stays in its mother’s pouch for about six or seven months, drinking only milk. After venturing out of the pouch, the joey rides on its mother’s abdomen or back, although it continues to return to her pouch for milk until it is too big to fit inside. The joey leaves its mother’s home range between one and three years old, depending on when the mother has her next joey.

[Q4 & 5] Koalas are mostly nocturnal. They sleep for part of the night and also sometimes move about in the daytime. They often sleep for up to 18 to 20 hours each day. There is a myth that koalas sleep a lot because they ‘get drunk’ on gum leaves. However, most of their time is spent sleeping because it requires a lot of energy to digest their toxic, fibrous, low-nutrition diet and sleeping is the best way to conserve energy.

[Q6] The koala gets its name from an ancient Aboriginal word meaning ‘no drink’ because it receives over 90% of its hydration from the eucalyptus leaves (also known as gum leaves) it eats, and only drinks when ill or times when there is not enough moisture in the leaves, such as during droughts.


Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage? 

Choose: 

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

    1. Koalas are vegetarian.
    2. There are more koalas in the southern parts of Australia.
    3. Koalas may have one to three babies during their lifetime.
    4. Koalas are mainly awake at night.
    5. Koalas get drunk from gum leaves.
    6. Koalas do not normally drink water.

You can check the answers after you have tried answering the IELTS TFNG sample questions in the above example!

Check Your Answer to IELTS True/False/Not Given Question Types

  1. Koalas are vegetarian. = T (‘herbivorous’ means only eats plants; eats ‘gum leaves’)
  2. There are more koalas in the southern parts of Australia. = NG (koalas are ‘larger’ in size in southern Australia, but the number of koalas is not mentioned)
  3. Koalas may have one to three babies during their lifetime. = NG (they have ‘one joey each year’, but it does not say the maximum number of joeys they can have)
  4. Koalas are mainly awake at night. = T (they are ‘mostly nocturnal’, which means awake at night time)
  5. Koalas get drunk from gum leaves. = F (that is ‘a myth’, which means an idea that many people believe but is not true; they sleep a lot to ‘conserve energy’)
  6. Koalas do not normally drink water . = (they usually get their water from ‘eucalyptus leaves’; only drink ‘when ill’ or when ‘not enough moisture in the leaves’)

So how did you go with IELTS True/False/Not Given practice? 

Now that you have a better idea of how to approach answering the IELTS Reading TFNG question, to master it you will need to practise. To access high quality IELTS Reading practice questions, sign up to E2 Test Prep today and join our free trial.

Author Bio: 
E2 is the world’s leading test preparation provider. Our expert teachers are fully accredited English teachers, with TESOL, British Council or IELTS certification, and years of IELTS examiner or IELTS teaching experience.

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