Reading Practice

Reading Practice

True, False, Not Given

In your IELTS exam, one of the most common questions is a true, false or not given, based on a passage you are provided with. There are ten question types in total and you could be assessed on any of them, but not necessarily all of them

IELTS reading questions

  1. True, false, not given
  2. Multiple choice questions
  3. Information matching
  4. Sentence completion
  5. Summary completion
  6. Heading matching
  7. Features matching
  8. Matching sentence endings
  9. Matching information
  10. Short answer questions

The example below is intended to be slightly harder than what you would get on the general paper. In the general paper for section 1, you are more likely to read a section of writing that is quite instructional like the procedure to leave a building in case of an emergency, or the itinerary for a school trip.
The example below is not IELTS-specific material, but is content I have crafted to help you prepare for your general IELTS exam, section 1.

The source of information can be found here:

IELTS reading practice with answers

Passage: Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and stage designer considered one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century. Pablo Picasso was born in Málaga, Spain, on October 25, 1881. Though he was a relatively poor student, Picasso displayed a prodigious talent for drawing at a very young age. According to legend, his first words were "piz, piz," his childish attempt at saying "lápiz," the Spanish word for pencil.

Picasso's father began teaching him to draw and paint when he was a child, and by the time he was 13 years old, his skill level had surpassed his father's. Soon, Picasso lost all desire to do any schoolwork, choosing to spend the school days doodling in his notebook instead. In 1895, when Picasso was 14 years old, his family moved to Barcelona, Spain, where he quickly applied to the city's prestigious School of Fine Arts. Although the school typically only accepted students several years his senior, Picasso's entrance exam was so extraordinary that he was granted an exception and admitted.

At the turn of the 20th century, Picasso moved to Paris, France — the center of European art — to open his own studio. Lonely and deeply depressed over the death of his close friend, Carlos Casagemas, he painted scenes of poverty, isolation and anguish, almost exclusively in shades of blue and green.

Cubism was an artistic style pioneered by Picasso and his friend and fellow painter Georges Braque. In Cubist paintings, objects are broken apart and reassembled in an abstracted form from multiple viewpoints. Cubism shocked, appalled and fascinated the art world. Picasso remains renowned for endlessly reinventing himself, switching between styles so radically different that his life's work seems to be the product of five or six great artists rather than just one.


Select which of the statements are true, false or not given

  1. Picasso was skilled at anything creative
  2. Picasso grew up extremely poor
  3. It is said that his first word was pencil
  4. Picasso and his father were at the same artistic level by the time he was thirteen
  5. Picasso couldn’t engage with his school studies
  6. The centre of European art was based in Barcelona, where Picasso moved to
  7. The school had a history of only accepting students several years older
  8. Picasso moved to France to open a studio with Carlos Casagemas
  9. Picasso dedicated works solely in shades of blue and green
  10. Cubism was pioneered more strongly by Picasso than painter Georges Braque
  11. The art world had mixed feelings about Cubism, but were drawn to it nevertheless
  12. Picasso continued to revive his artistic styles

Try identifying what the answers are (the answers are below so that you can check afterwards).

Preparation and tips for your IELTS reading exam

  1. Read lots of articles, of different levels. Whether it’s the academic or general paper, read a variety of reading levels so you are exposed to new language and sentence structures
  2. Practice skimming where you identify the main ideas of the text as you read through it quickly- this capitalises on time-saving. Skimming allows you to understand the gist of the text.
  3. Scanning on the other hand, is where you read through every line looking for a particular word or phrase
  4. Time management is everything. The questions get harder so trying to even your time between all questions isn’t a good tactic. Try to get the easier, and earlier one’s done quickly, saving more time for harder questions later on
  5. Read the question before reading the text- you probably don’t have the time to read the whole text
  6. Not sure on the answer? Move on. Put a mark next to the question as a reminder to return to it, but don’t become stuck here and jeopardise further marks
  7. Write your answer onto your answer sheet rather than transferring everything at the end
  8. Spelling mistakes do count for loss of marks
  9. You won’t know every single word in the text and that’s ok, you’ll need to make an educated guess. Use what’s around the sentence, your intellect and judgement to help fill in some of these gaps

Answers to statements

  1. Not given
  2. False
  3. True
  4. False
  5. True
  6. False
  7. Not given
  8. False
  9. True
  10. Not given
  11. True
  12. True