IELTS Reading Sample (General) #12

True / False / Not Given tasks

Learners of English at all levels of proficiency are familiar with reading and listening tasks that ask them to decide if statements about the text are true or false. In the IELTS Reading test, this task type is given a twist: instead of two options (True or False), there are three: True, False or Not Given. In particular, it appears to be the identification of this third option, Not Given, that many candidates consider to be a real challenge.

There seems to be a widely held misconception that these questions have been written to trick candidates. While there are certainly pitfalls to be avoided, the questions are designed to enable you to develop a very important reading skill: being able to read a text closely and critically, and to tell the difference between what a text tells us and what it doesn’t.

So, what does ‘Not Given’ actually mean? Firstly, it isn’t the same thing as just being ‘False’. With a false statement, we know that it’s wrong, or not true. If a statement is ‘Not Given’, then we can’t tell from reading the text if the statement is true or not. It might be true or false, but the text doesn’t say, so we can’t be sure.

Questions 1-5

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage?

In boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet, write

YESif the statement agrees with the writer's claims
NOif the statement contradicts the writer's claims
NOT GIVENif there is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

1It is more than a thousand years since people started to catch fish for commercial use. 

2In general, open access to the oceans is still regarded as desirable. 

3Sea fishing is now completely banned in the majority of protected areas. 

4People should be encouraged to reduce the amount of fish they eat. 

5The re-introduction of certain mammals to the Mediterranean is a straightforward task. 

Questions 6-8

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write your answres in boxes 6-8 on your answer sheet.

6What does the writer mean with the question, ‘How much time have we got?’ in the fifth paragraph?

7What is the writer’s comment on the Common Fisheries Policy?

8What is the writer’s conclusion concerning the decline of marine resources?

Questions 9-14

Complete the summary using the list of words/phrases, A-J, below.

A action
B controls
C failure
D fish catches
E fish processing
F fishing techniques
G large boats
H marine reserves
I the land
J the past
Measures to protect the oceans

Up till the twentieth century the world’s supply of fish was sufficient for its needs. It was unnecessary to introduce of any kind, because large areas of the oceans were inaccessible.

However, as improved, this situation changed, and in the middle of the twentieth century, policies were introduced to regulate . These policies have not succeeded. Today, by comparison with , the oceans have very little legal protection.

Despite the doubts that many officials have about the concept of , these should be at the heart of any action taken. The consequences of further are very serious, and may even affect our continuing existence.

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