Origins of Bread: IELTS T F NG Reading Practice

A reading practice for the IELTS T F NG questions ย (true / false / not given). I’ve put some difficult questions in and also one easy question. I’m sure you can all spot the easy question ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck with the difficult questions ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is a quick review of what each one means:

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

Origins of Bread

Bread is the most widely consumed food in the world. Not only is it an important source of carbohydrates, itโ€™s also small and easy to carry, which helps to explain why it has been part of our diet for thousands of years. In fact, recent scholarship suggests humans started baking bread around 30,000 years ago.

Prehistoric man had already been making gruel from water and grains, so it was a small jump to starting cooking this mixture into a solid bread form by frying it on stones. A 2010 study by the National Academy of Sciences discovered traces of starch (likely from the roots of cattails and ferns) in prehistoric mortar and pestle-like rocks. The roots would have been peeled and dried before they were ground into flour and mixed with water. Finally, the paste would be cooked on heated rocks.

Question 1-4

Which of the following statements are true, false or not given?

  1. Bread is eaten in all countries in the world.
  2. Bread contains carbohydrates.
  3. The first bread was made about 30,000 years ago.
  4. Bread was first made from gruel cooked in clay pots.


Click below to reveal the answers.

  1. Not Given (It states in the text that bread is widely eaten in the world but we are not given information that shows it is eaten in all countries. If bread is widely eaten, we still don’t know which countries eat it – possibly only 90% of countries eat it. All countries is not confirmed in the passage)
  2. True (did you spot the easy question?)
  3. True (This is a direct paraphrase of the statement in the passage)
  4. False (The passage says that bread was made from gruel and fried on stones)
Vocab Builder
  • consume food = eat food
  • carbohydrates = foods with sugars and starch (potatoes, bread, pasta etc)
  • gruel = porridge
  • traces = small amounts
  • peeled = had their skins removed
  • ground = crushed / pounded

All reading exercises on have been written by myself to help you prepare for your IELTS test. ย ย 




  1. Hi Liz,

    Love your website and especially your videos!! They have been such a great help to me! I’ve just got a querie about 1 of the questions in this section.

    I’m just wondering why question 3 is true? Just because in the passage it states “recent scholarship suggests humans started baking bread atleast 30,000 years ago” the question is ‘the first bread was made about 30,000 years ago’

    All I’m thinking is if it’s says atleast 30,000 years ago that doesn’t necessarily mean it was about 30,000 years ago? It could have been 40,000 years ago but the scholarship only has evidence for it being atleast 30,000 years ago? So it’s not exactly true surely?

    Sorry I’m just trying to get my head around the true false not given questions because I have struggled with these and its this sort of question that throws me because I would have said false just because it doesn’t say it was about 30,000 years ago? Just that the scholarship knows it was atleast 30,000 years ago?

    Any help with this would be great thanks!

    • I’m glad you are thinking about these questions and considering every angle. The word “about” means maybe before or maybe after. When it says “at least 30,000 years ago” is shows that we don’t have much evidence of the date but we know it was around this time, although probably before. The answer false means that the information doesn’t agree with the passage, that it contradicts the passage. But in this case, it is fine. If the answer is false, the passage must show that bread was definitely not made about 30,000 years ago or near that time.

      • Hi Liz

        Thank you so much for your reply!

        Ok I think I get it now! That might be where I’ve been going wrong perhaps looking at the questions to litterally?

        I am sitting my second general IELTS test tomorrow, my first attempt I got 9 in both listening and speaking an 8.5 in the writing but only a 7 in the reading! So hopefully tomorrow I can get that extra point!

        Thanks again for your help!

        • Let me know how your test goes. I’m really interested to know if my reading lessons are useful because I was thinking of removing them. So, please let me know your results and if your reading score changes. Lots of luck! Remember to spend more time with the questions. Thinking of what they really mean, the information contained in the questions and paraphrases. Underline key words in the questions – and think about them. Only when you are sure, go to the passage to find the answer. Good luck!

          • Thank you! I will let you know how I get on. Honestly the only revision I done before my first test was watching your videos and reading through your website! I’m a 30 year old roofer who got terrible grades in school and haven’t done anything like this before so the fact I somehow got two 9’s an 8.5 and a 7 proves that your content works amazingly! I was shocked when I got that because I honestly did not expect anything over a 6 in any section!

            Thanks again and I will let you know how I get on!

            • Your story inspires me !! Well done for tackling this test. It’s not an easy test for anyone but you’ve done so well already – I wish you all the very best ๐Ÿ™‚

              • Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ you are an inspiration to a lot of people! That’s how I found you, because your name comes up everywhere online with people highly recommending you! I now know why ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Hi Liz, please for the listening and reading test, should I use capital letters for all?
    I have my test scheduled for tomorrow.

  3. Dear Liz,

    Q3 How it is True while the passage mentioned (Suggest) and the question came in firm way statement?

    • A false answer means that the passage contradicts – it does not. A NG answer means that no information is given – this is not so. You are looking at meaning rather than words.

  4. In the video about True/False, the first example you give with “majority of people” and “all people” you said it is opposite and therefore, the answer is False. Why now the question 1, is not the same way. I reply “false” because all countries is opposite of “widely”? This confuses me.

    • “widely eaten” refers to the number of people = a lot of people. It doesn’t mention the countries. It might mean there are a lot of people but they are from just a few countries – we don’t know. Remember you are not matching words – look at the meaning. It is about countries or people? It is not the same thing. This is a typical trap used in IELTS.

  5. Dr.Angel Mery Cherian says

    It was my first experience..i only got 2//4..hope i can improve.

  6. thank you very much for these useful exercises….

  7. Anubhuti Nirmohi says

    Dear Liz,

    I am usually reluctant to give my feedback on websites but I couldn’t resist this time. You not only have a great command on the subject but you pass on the knowledge in eloquent manner which is fantastic !
    I am now able to crack 95% of answers correct for TFNG and YNNG. Thanks a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. sujit kumar biswas says

    I got 3/4 but i am happy. thank you again

  9. thanks to your free lessons, i can study at home without west of my valuable time spent on traveling about 50 KM away form a place where i lived. Thank you once again.

  10. thanks liz! you’re such a wonderful teacher! keep up the good work! many people are benefitting from your work! God bless!

  11. Mohammed Abdulmoneim Mohammed says

    I wanna thank you a lot for your free lessonsI was struggling to find a source to study from to answer well in the IELTS.You are an excellent teacher.

  12. Vedant Patel says

    My answer to third question was false because
    Q- the first bread was made about 30,000 years ago.
    Passage gives- human started making bread atleast 30,000 years ago.

    I was confused between “about” & “at-least”.
    As “about” indicate exact figure while “at-least” indicates minimum value, also it can be more than that. So according to me it contradicts but your answer contradicts to me.

    • “about” does not indicate an exact figure. In fact, it means the opposite of exact. “about” means that we don’t know the exact figure – it could be above or below.

      • Is the word ‘baking’ and “was made” have the same meaning?
        As I see from the text, “human started baking bread at least 30.000 years ago, while the question ask about the first bread was made about 30,000 years ago. That’s why my option is Not given.

  13. waqas haider says

    the first bread was made about 30000 years ago.
    i do not understand . the first bread means one bread
    do you enlighten me ? please

  14. hi liz,
    can u provide me exact link that contains at least 10 or 20 examle of true or false ng questions..pls.
    im just doing a self review for i need more examples ..

  15. Bhumika Adajania says

    Thanks a lot Liz ๐Ÿ™‚ It really helped me a lot in practicing in reading. Making my confidence more firm. Looking forward for more practice material.

  16. Hi Liz,
    In Q #1, how come it is not (False) since it contradicts the meaning. It has already been mentioned it is the most consumed food, which clearly indicates the majority/most of countries consume it but not by ALL countries.
    Most vs All
    Please can you explain more!
    NG is very confusing to me because some answers rely on the common sense, while some others it is just Not Giving!

    I need you help

  17. Hi Liz

    It’s just a few days before my IELTS test that I’ve found your website and useful information. I might not be able to keep in mind all of them; still, you are a great help for me. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Number 3. In the text, it is said that someone suggests that humans started making bread a t l e a s t 30,000 years ago.
    So it’s vague whether the first bread was made about 30,000 years ago or much earlier – people have found just some proofs that date back 30,000 years. I would say the information is not given in the text.

  19. i also got the 4th question on the origins of bread wrong.I felt it should be the exact opposite of the word in the passage.this means for instance if a passage says a man moved up ,and the question says the moved sideways,the answer will be false because the man did not move sideways.i thought it should be false when the question says the man moved down since down is the opposite of up.ok i now get it.thanks

    • It does not need to be an opposite word. The statement needs to contradict which is not exactly the same as opposite. Up and down are opposites. But brea cooked on stones contradicts a statement which says that bread was cooked in a claypot. True = it matches the meaning. False = there is a different meaning or information given. NG = the information is not fully given or not given at all.
      All the best

  20. Dear MRs.Liz:
    can you help me with this :
    the passage says : migratory beekeeping is nothing new, the ancient Egyptian moved clay hives, probably on rafts down the Nile to follow the bloom and nectar as it moves toward Cairo.

    the questions says : The Egyptians keep bees on the banks on the Nile.
    The answer states “NG” , can you kindly elaborate this ? is it because the question uses the present time “keep” instead of past “kept” which would represent Egyptians in the present time? because I thought that I should answer with “False”

    Many thanks in advance for your help, ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The passage explains how the Ancient Egyptians moved bees by using the river. It does not explain where the bees were kept.

      • thanks a lot for your reply, but : the passage says migratory beekeeping is nothing new, so I thought that moving bees in Nile = beekeeping in the river in a migratory way.. what do you think? shall I skip the 1st sentence?
        ๐Ÿ™ can you explain further ?

        • No, it is only about moving bees from one location to the next location. We don’t know where they lived. “Migratory bee keeping” means keeping bees but not in one place. It is about people who own bees and move them from place to place. This passage doesn’t mention which places they keep the bees, only the method of transportation.
          All the best

  21. Hi Liz,
    The passage says ” most widely consumed food in the world”
    I thought when it mentioned world, I thought it would be all counties in the world.
    However, because it says “all”, not majority of the countries in the world, I answered False instead of NOT GIVEN.
    Is it just because of the word “countries in the world ” instead of ” the world”?

  22. Hi Liz,
    You are an amazing teacher, I have learned a lot from you and am really thankful. I have a question regarding your reading ” Origins of Bread” . Don’t you think the last question (number 4) is NG and not F because the sentence says:
    Prehistoric man had already been making gruel from water and grains, so it was a small jump to starting cooking this mixture into a solid bread form by frying it on stones.
    The word “already” I think shows that it was before they fried on stone.
    I really appreciate your answer. Best Regards.

    • The question is “Bread was first made from gruel cooked in clay pots.” True means that bread was made from gruel cooked in clay pots. False means that bread was made from gruel but not in clay pots”. As you can see, bread was made from gruel cooked on stones not on clay pots. This is contrary information – it contradicts. So the answer is False. The word “already” refers to making gruel not making bread.
      All the best

  23. i am so confused with question 3. i got it at false because i thought prehistoric men made the first bread(form of bread). can you please explain?

  24. In question number 4, it is confusing that the answer is false because stone is not an opposite of clay pots. I think not given should be the answer? Please enlighten me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The answer for FALSE is opposite. If the statement says that stone is used. The opposite of that is that stone is not used. Turn the statement into the negative. As you can see stone is not used, clay pots are used so the answer is FALSE.

  25. jagmeet singh says

    i hav gotten 3/4………….

    • jagmeet singh says

      mam ……
      i need more & more reading TF reading paper as i feel myself quite weak in this module, but here i could not get any recommend option for another reading paper . shall i get more or not?? please reply as soon as possible

  26. Hi Liz,

    Hope you are doing good!, i am facing more difficulty in Reading Module.. advise or provide some tips how to overcome and give my best shot in IELTS. everytime i practice out of 7or 8 questions i can crack only 3 to 4 answers rest all are wrong.


  27. Hi, Liz.

    I, wish the best the best ever health for whole your life, Actually I,am convinced my self
    you always have been and always will be more than English Teacher to the Student who
    want study in English Universities.


  28. Thanks a lot Liz.
    By far the best explanation one can find to crack the T/F/NG mystery!
    Infact, I read a lot of books and watched several videos to get the logic on how to answer these questions correctly , none of them come anywhere close to your excellent explanation of cracking these type of questions.
    Can’t thank you enough

  29. priyanka says

    Even I was confused with this. These close meaning words really need a keen eye and clear understanding. Thanks

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