Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Recently, there have been a lot of questions about T/F/NG in our closed Facebook group.

The students in our course, 3 Keys IELTS, can post any and all questions and IELTS worries and we get back to them right away!

Question 1:

If I may ask regarding the bonus exercise which you give in the course, the T/F/NG Question 8: Phobias are often grouped in one of two ways, either social or specific. Then, I read in the passage: Phobias are characterized as anxiety disorders and are usually categorized in two ways, either specific or social. I saw they used the word usually, and therefore I compared it to the question which uses the word often, and therefore I answered False, because usually is more than often, but the answer is True.

This is a case of overthinking, which is a huge challenge in this question type.

You must trust the simple strategies. Back to basics!

  • True means everything in the statement matches everything in the passage, and they agree. As if  two people were having a conversation.
  • False means everything in the statement matches everything in the passage, and they disagree. It is an obvious contrast. As if two people were having a conversation, and they are arguing.
  • Not Given is when one key piece of information from the question is not in the passage. Then, it is like they are not having a conversation.

Click here to learn more about our ‘conversation strategy‘!

In this question, usually and often agree.

If the passage said sometimes, it would be False.

In order for the answer to be Not Given in this case, the question could say, “Phobias are organized by research scientists in one of two ways.” The passage does not mention who organizes the phobias.


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Question 2:

The statement is: The communication class involves speaking in front of an audience. The passage describes this course by saying: …gain the public speaking experience that will empower you with better communication skills and confidence. How is this true? It should be NG, as the passage did not tell us the course involves an audience.

Again, overthinking a bit!

It has to be True or False, because all the information is there. It all matches.

The parallel expressions agree- public speaking experience and speaking in front of an audience. Notice- we are not looking for direct synonyms, we are looking for similar meaning- parallel expressions.

Question 3:

The statement says Carthage was an enemy town which the Phoenicians won in battle. The passage says Carthage was the largest of the towns founded by the Phoenicians. It should be NG? Why is the answer False?

Imagine a conversation! 

Person A: Did you know that the Phoenicians actually won Carthage in battle? Crazy!

Person B: No way! You are so wrong! They didn’t win it, they founded it!

Thus, they are having a conversation and they disagree, and the answer is False.

Have you tried this strategy?

Tell us your experience in the comments section below!

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