Can I write True/False/Not Given instead of Yes/No/Not Given in the IELTS Reading Test?

One of my students has asked me this question during a lesson while we were going through feedback to his practice test. The quick answer to this is No. Why? Two reasons:

Reason 1:

T/F/NG questions are quite different from Y/N/NG. The T/F/NG statements are about information in the passage. For example:

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

The Y/N/NG statements are more likely to be about the views/claims of the writer in the passage. For example:

YES                  if the statement agrees with the view of the writer
NO                   if the statement contradicts the view of the writer
NOT GIVEN    if it impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

Reason 2:

Candidates are given explicit information about what they need to do in the test.

In boxes 7-13 on your answer sheet, write …

Try not to be adventurous and put a tick or a cross unless you are required to do so. The IELTS test also assesses your ability to follow instructions and if you fail to do this, then you risk losing marks. For example, if you write answers that require only ONE word, and you write two instead, then you will have forfeited that precious mark that could have increased your chances of getting a higher band score.

Creative Commons License Jonas Leander via Compfight

Remember, the IELTS is a high-stakes test and your future depends on it. It is also a rather expensive test. Because of this, you cannot afford to take any chances and should instead, play it safe and stick to what you are asked to do and follow instructions to the letter.

Until next time!

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