True False Not Given: IELTS Reading Practice

The T/F/NG are difficult questions which require you to locate the information and then decide if the information in the statement is the same, opposite or not given in the passage. These questions come regularly in IELTS reading so the more practice you have the better.

Skim read the passage below and then spend time reading the statements in each question. The more time you spend preparing the questions with paraphrases and paying attention to the information given, the easier it will be to get the right answer. Remember, the answers come in order.

Spam Text Messages in China

SPAM, as every user of mobile phones in China is aware to their intense annoyance, is a roaring business in China. Its delivery-men drive through residential neighbourhoods in “text-messaging cars”, with illegal but easy-to-buy gadgetry they use to hijack links between mobile-phone users and nearby communications masts. They then target the numbers they harvest, blasting them with spam text messages before driving away. Mobile-phone users usually see only the wearisome results: another sprinkling of spam messages offering deals on flats, investment advice and dodgy receipts for tax purposes.

Chinese mobile-users get more spam text messages than their counterparts almost anywhere else in the world. They received more than 300 billion of them in 2013, or close to one a day for each person using a mobile phone. Users in bigger markets like Beijing and Shanghai receive two a day, or more than 700 annually, accounting for perhaps one-fifth to one-third of all texts. Americans, by comparison, received an estimated 4.5 billion junk messages in 2011, or fewer than 20 per mobile-user for the year—out of a total of more than two trillion text messages sent.

In China, by contrast, the three largest mobile operators sell special numbers that start with the digits 106. These are exempt from rules limiting the number of messages that can be sent daily by a normal account. Regulators allow them to be used for non-commercial purposes, such as by companies to send messages to staff. But Tencent Mobile Security Lab, a software-security firm, found last year that 55% of mobile spam reported by users came from 106 numbers. After a documentary last year on these accounts by Chinese state television, China Mobile, one of the biggest carriers, admitted there were “loopholes and inadequacies” and said it would work to “hold people accountable”. The broadcaster estimated that the big three carriers earned hundreds of millions of dollars a year from spam text messages. (The economist, November 2014)

Questions 1-6

Decide if the following questions are true, false or not given.

True = the statement matches the information in the passage

False = the statement contradicts the information in the passage

Not Given = the information is not found in the passage

  1. The men delivering spam text messages in China use technology which is illegal and cannot be bought readily.
  2. Customer numbers are accessed by hacking into users phones.
  3. Mobile phone owners in Beijing and Shanghai receive over 700 spam texts in a year.
  4. America received 4.5 billion junk texts which was the least amount worldwide in 2011.
  5. Over half of all reported junk texts were sent from 106 numbers according to Tencent Mobile Security Lab.
  6. The three largest mobile operators make large amounts of money from junk text messaging.
  1. False (the gadgetry – technology – is easy-to-buy)
  2. False (numbers are accessed through a link which is hacked between the phones and the communication mast)
  3. True
  4. Not Given (there is no information given about how these figures compare to the rest of the world)
  5. True (55% = over half)
  6. True (the big three carriers is a paraphrase for the 3 largest mobile operators)
  • intense = strong / extreme
  • roaring business = successful business / booming business
  • residential = suburban
  • gadget = device
  • harvest information = collect / gather
  • sprinkling = smattering
  • counterparts = equals / colleagues
  • spam messages = junk messages
  • digits = numbers / numerals



More T F NG Practice


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  1. Can we jump lines to show that we have started a new paragraph(sometimes jump sometimes not)?
    If no, how can we show that we are in new paragraph?(if the previous paragraph ends at end of the paper?
    pls answer me soon

    • Leave one line empty between each paragraph – it is easier for the examiner to see your paragraphs this way.

  2. Hello Liz, recently when I did some True False Not Given reading task I felt really confused. This is one example. In the task it sad: Rent in the area soared by 15% last year. and the question ask The rent price went up by 15% this year. So this is a False sentence or a not given? can you help me? thank you

    • The answer should be false because it didn’t go up this year, it went up last year. So, this information contradicts.

  3. Its first time that I got 6/6

  4. Tram Nguyen says:

    Hi Liz,
    I am doing a practice test on IELTS Cambridge 10. And I have trouble with this question: T/F/NG

    Paragraph: Tourism has a profound impact both on the world economy and, because of the educative effect of travel and the effects on employment, on society itself.
    Question: Tourism has a social impact because it promotes recreation.

    Would you please help me?

    • Always spend time with the question first. The question is about – tourism promoting leisure (recreation). There is no information in the passage about tourism promoting leisure at all. So, the answer is NG.

      • Tram Nguyen says:

        Hi Liz,
        Thanks so much for your response.

        When I did this question, I thought “Tourism has social impact because of its educative effect and employment effect”. The info about the cause for ‘Tourism’s social effects’ is not missing in the paragraph. There are only 2 reasons and they do not include “recreation”. That’s why I chose FALSE.

        So next time, if the info of the question is not included in the paragraph. It must be NG. Am I right?

        • If the information given in the question is not present in the passage, it is NG. In your case, tourism being related to recreation was not in the passage.

  5. how many passages would be there in the reading section?

  6. sujit kumar biswas says:

    Dear liz
    is this same hijack or hack?

  7. Shikha bhardwaj says:

    Thank u mam liz

  8. Mohannad Abusarah says:

    Hi liz,
    in Q3, it asks about only Shanghai and Beijing, but in the article it takes about big cities like Shanghai and Beijing not only shanghai and Beijing, why it is not False ?

    • If the example is for Beijing and Shanghai, then it matches. It doesn’t contradict so it can’t be False and it definitely gives the information so it can’t be NG.

  9. Respected Mam your lectures are informative and amazing.

  10. Hi…Your website is more useful…Plz clarify my below doubt.

    In the true or false reading test. If a passage contains ”Sam earn 700 $ per ‘month”

    Question is like..Sam earn more than 700 $ per month.

    ***This is true or false ?****

    • It is false. The passage does not say that Sam earns over $700.

      • According to your lectures on “true/false/not given” isn’t it “Not Given” ?
        In passage its mention “SAM earn 700$/month
        Question is: Sam earn more than 700$/month.
        If the statement is “false” there should be written in the passage that :SAM earn less than 700$/month…

        Please clarify

        • You are trying to find opposites in language instead of meaning. If someone does earn more than 700 usd. It means they earn 700usd or less. In this case they earn 700usd which means it isn’t more than that. The answer is FALSE. The information in the passage does not support the statement. Not Given means no information is presented relating to how much.

  11. Hi Liz,
    i used to watch your video about true,false,NG passages in youtube. but most of exercises i don’t find a link.why? you can help me, i need it to practice.

  12. Hi Liz,
    I am confused with question number 3. I think it’s a 700bilion as they have stated ‘Beijing and Shanghai’ were the biggest market of spasm text msgs. could you please explain it bit more?

    • In relation to those cities, both the passage and question refers to individual users. The “billion” number relates to a previous sentence about the entire country of china.

  13. I thought number 5 should be NG considering that the question says “over half of ALL reported junk text” and the paragraph says “55% of mobile spam reported by users” here it only says reported by users but does not specify whether its ALL users and therefor does not mean that its ALL reported junk text.

    Can I write down a counter argument like this during the test?

    • “reported junk texts” refers to all reported spam messages. This is a statement which does not refer to some or many but to all.
      All the best

  14. hello ma’am liz, answered question 6 not given because the statement says they sell special numbers. but there are no evidence that they earn enormous amount of money by selling. why is that wrong?by answering no means you are assuming, is in it?

  15. soha essam says:

    i don’t find the answers in this page , i can not find them , how can i look for them ?

  16. I only got one question wrong. I am improving in answering the questions

    • Muzaffar says:

      I am also making an imrovment in answering for this type of question! Thanks for everything… 🙂

  17. I can believe I got all the answers right and this happen to be my first practices after watching your Reading Test tips.
    I’m glad i got to realise that False is used when the question contradicts (opposite) what the passage implies. thanks a lot Liz, I see success ahead

  18. I thought the answer to question 6 was( not given )but i have read through the comments about the word ( the) used superlatively as explained by professor i have taken that correction. thanks Liz

  19. Sanone (from Saigon) says:

    Hello to you,
    Question number 6.
    How can the answer be true. “Largest” does not necessarily mean “big”, does it? How do you justify that answer? In my opinion it is NG as the article doesn’t say whether those 3 companies are the largest telecommunication companies in China. We know they are big but we don’t know whether they are the largest. Please explain. Thanks


  20. Hi Liz,
    the passage says “Americans, by comparison, received an estimated 4.5billion junk messages in 2011…..”

    The answer for Question 4. mentioned the year of 2001 – I answered False. Is it just because they did not mentioned the amount by comparison, the answer is NG??

    • because the year mentioned is wrong that is why i answered False.

      • False doesn’t mean that it is wrong. False means it is contrary / contradictory. NG means there is no mention of it or the information is not fully given.

        • Dear liz,
          As you said false does not mean wrong so the answer was given for Q4 is NG because the year of 2001 was not mention in the passage or because least amount was not mention in the passage? Clarify plz

    • Purna Bahadur Kumal says:

      The date is mentioned as it does not give any information about the least amount worldwide…Hence it must be not given…Hope that you will get my point…

  21. Hi Liz, How will you rate the passage and question? Easy/medium/tough. I have done all of them correctly. So, I am confused.

  22. Dear Liz,
    Is this all right if I write (on real ielts answer sheet) TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN or YES/NO/NOT GIVEN in small latter? Can I just write T/F/NG or Y/N/NG ? I want to know correct method.
    Please reply.

  23. 5/6

  24. Hi teacher,Liz
    You are a great IELTS teacher I have ever known. This website is really useful for me.
    I am lucky that I found your teaching website. Special thanks 🙂 🙂

  25. Thanks liz , All of your lessons are really helpful. Im always confused with “False and Not Given” , i mix it up these two options. I answered “NG” for answer 1. Can you please clarify for me the differences between them.

    • “bought readily” means bought easily. That is the key to the answer. For tips about TFNG questions, please see my free video lesson – you can find it in the reading section.

      • hello Liz, i found some wonderings from school
        the question says : Adam was built in the 1960s
        the passage says:The result was the Aswan Adam ,begun in 1960 and completed in 1968.
        Is it true false or not given.
        i chose False and teacher gave me wrong

        • The 1960’s means from 1960 to 1969 = all the years within the decade of the 60’s. So, the answer is true. You need to spend some time reviewing time periods in English.
          All the best

  26. Thank alot
    For question 6 its not clear estimate here mabe not afact that the answer is correct
    I thought its opinion.

  27. if I did not see the answer, I think number 4 was false.

    • There is no information given in the passage as to whether it was the least amount or most amount worldwide, so the answer is NG.

  28. Hello Liz
    I am a bit confused
    regarding the 6th question ,
    the spam message is not equal to junk message ..there is a difference between them
    spam is electronically generated message for some purpose like advertising
    However, Junk is message that might contain spams ,message from a person you do not want to receive from or a blocked company message
    Hence, my answer was FALSE regarding this …what will be the situation now ?

  29. Wonderful article

  30. Joharra says:

    I think I over analyzed question # 5. I thought the word “all” makes a big deal so I answered NG. I am holding back to write T because of this word. Thank you Liz.

    • Usually “all” is a word that means it could be NG. However, in this passage, it didn’t say “all people”, it said “half of all messages” which basically means 50% of the messages. It’s just an expression to write “all” in this situation, it would equally be possible to omit it.

  31. No 6 question is written In present tense but in the passage the information is in past tense, if I considered that it would be NG, but its true.pls clear by obligation. Thanks

  32. Q 6 says the three largest mobile operators make large amounts of money from junk text messaging.
    However the passage says: the broadcaster estimated that the big three carriers earned hundreds of millions of dollars a year….. . it does not say as these companies earned money.

    then how comes it as True.

    explain me please. Thank you in advance

    • Present simple is used to describe a general state. Incomes are calculated annually. Any company that earned 10 million in the previous year, earns (present tense) a lot of money.

  33. 6/6

  34. 6 out of 6

    thank you Teacher,
    i need work hard still know .

  35. 5/6 …I am so happy after getting this score.
    Thanks ma’am for giving the actionable pieces of advice .

  36. 5/6 question 2 was tricky,

  37. Hi,
    Thank you for this very useful website.
    Is there any kind of communication to review our answers to different types of ielts questions?
    Is there a possibility to take sample ilets exam online and to give us your comments about our answers?

    • Take a look at my Useful Website page which contains some practice test links (see the IELTS Extra Section). Also you should get the IELTS Cambridge books 1 to 9 to do more practice tests. I try to give a comment when students post some writing but it’s not always possible because of time constraints.
      All the best

  38. What is meant by ‘The answer come in order?’

    • This means that the questions follow the order of information in the passage. So the answer to question 1, will come before the answer for question 2. This will help you locate the answers easier. You don’t have to read through the whole passage for each answer. You know the first answer will be nearer the beginning of the passage and the last answer will be nearer the end.

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