Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you learned the trick to answering them?

Probably not, because it’s my trick! And, as far as I know, no other teacher uses this technique.

Let’s start with the basics.

In order to answer any IELTS Reading questions, including T/F/NG and Y/N/NG, you need 3 reading skills.

3 Skills for IELTS Reading

  • Skimming: Reading bits and pieces of the text for gist, or general understanding
  • Scanning: Using your pen or finger to find specific information, like names, numbers, and key words
  • Reading for Detail: Reading very carefully to understand meaning and/or find an answer

Strategy for Answering T/F/NG and Y/N/NG

Let’s get to it. We’ve discussed this strategy for answering T/F/NG and Y/N/NG IELTS Reading questions before on the podcast, so I’ll summarize the strategy here as well as provide you with some examples of how it works.

First, you have to use your imagination to conquer this strategy.

Imagine that the passage is one person, and the question is another person. They are trying to have a conversation with each other.

If the two people, or the passage and the question, are talking about the same thing and they agree, the answer is True or Yes.

If the two people are talking about the same thing but they disagree, the answer is False or No.

If the two people are not quite talking about the same thing, or a key piece of information is simply not there, the answer is Not Given.

Examples of the Strategy for T/F/NG and Y/N/NG

Example 1

Passage: Paul saw an increase in his salary. He decided to use his extra earnings to buy higher quality food for his family.

Question 1: Paul used his new salary to pay for transportation passes for his family.


Person A: “Hey, did you hear that Paul is getting a higher salary? He is using the money to by better food for his family.”

Person B: “No he isn’t! He’s using his new salary for transportation passes!”

So, you can see that these two people are having a conversation, but they disagree. The answer is F or N.

Example 2

Passage: Health experts toured his neighborhood, surveying people between the ages of 12 and 62.

Question 2: Health experts from other countries came to visit Paul’s neighborhood.



Person A: “Did you know that health experts came to his neighborhood?”

Person B: “Yeah. Health experts came from other countries.”

Do you see what’s missing? Person B is adding new information about where the health experts came from. Nothing about this is originally given in the passage. So, the answer is NG.

Example 3

Passage: The incidences of disease among the locals significantly decreased.

Question 3: The health of the villagers improved.



Person A: “Hey! Did you know that the local people didn’t get sick as often?”

Person B: “Yeah. The health of the villagers got better.”

The two people are having a conversation, or are talking about the same thing, and they definitely agree. So, the answer is T or Y.

For more information about how to increase your Reading scores, listen to this podcast episode.

And, for more detailed strategies and a solid system for using the 3 skills to answer every question on the IELTS Reading exam, get into our IELTS course that is guaranteed to raise your score3 Keys IELTS. 

What do you think of today’s strategy?

Leave us a comment below!

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